In brief

  • Coinbase wants to hire hundreds of new engineers and other specialists in India.
  • The company will hand out $1,000 in crypto to new recruits.

U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is going on a hiring spree for its recently launched tech hub in India—and is luring new recruits with the promise of a $1,000 payment in cryptocurrency.

“We have ambitious plans for this hub in the near future–we want to hire hundreds of world class engineers in the near term,” Pankaj Gupta, Coinbase's VP of Engineering in India, wrote in a blog post last Friday.

To accomplish this ambitious goal, Coinbase has introduced a new program dubbed “CIkka–short for “Coinbase India Sikka.” Within this program, the company will be offering each new employee a one-time payment of $1,000 in crypto.


According to Gupta, India is “seeing a boom in crypto-native talent,” and a generous financial incentive will help the newcomers to better learn crypto and “use this knowledge to help us build the next generation of products.”

Gupta said Coinbase wants to create locally-led teams for all major areas that the company is currently working in–which include building infrastructure, cloud platforms, payments solutions, blockchains, data engineering, and machine learning.

In addition, the San Francisco-based company is setting its sights on further expansion in India, targeting startup acquisitions and acquihires–the process of buying a company for the sake of its talent rather than for its products, services, or revenue streams.

India's regulatory uncertainty around crypto

The news of Coinbase’s recruitment plans comes at a time of regulatory uncertainty around the status of cryptocurrencies in India.

In April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) prohibited local financial institutions from serving crypto companies—restrictions that were lifted earlier this year.


The RBI and India's lawmakers and regulators are wrestling with the question of how to deal with cryptocurrency, with some advocating an outright ban on crypto. In March, India's finance minister proposed creating a "window" to allow experiments with cryptocurrency, while the government is mulling convening a panel of experts to discuss regulation in the country.

Still, the precise plans the country’s lawmakers have for the future crypto bill remain unclear.

Despite that, crypto adoption in India is racing ahead, according to a recent report from Chainalysis, which showed that the overall volume of crypto investments in the country has skyrocketed over the past year from $200 million to nearly $40 billion.

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