United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced it is expanding its operations to Canada.
According to a Dec. 22 announcement, Coinbase is establishing operations in Canada and plans to open a physical office for Canadian employees later in 2021, when COVID-related conditions allow for it. Before this expansion, the exchange was already hiring in the US, UK, Ireland, Japan, and the Philippines.
The move comes as Coinbase moves ahead with its attempt to launch an initial public offering (IPO) and sell shares in the company—becoming the first firm in the cryptocurrency industry to go public the traditional way.
While the expansion will not immediately impact the company’s offerings in Canada, it added that it will be investing in the market in 2021.
“Canada has long been known as a hub for innovation and its high-quality workforce, and more recently for its crypto talent,” Coinbase said. “We are hiring technical and recruiting roles immediately and will expand to more functions soon.”
Despite its plans for a physical office in Canada, the firm said it will remain a “remote-first company” and notes that “new hires in Canada and elsewhere will have the option to work anywhere in their country of hire.”
The firm announced the intention to transition to a largely remote-oriented model in May due to the ongoing pandemic, saying it “was initiated by social distancing requirements, but we’ve found silver linings: some employees are finding work from home to be a welcome change, and overall it’s been less complicated to transition than we would have expected.”
This year saw the cryptocurrency community devote even more attention than usual to Coinbase. While the potential IPO has been greeted with excitement, the loudest news surrounding the firm this year has not been as positive. In October, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong refused to align the company with the Black Lives Matter movement and told employees the company would stay apolitical. His stance led to the exodus of dozens of employees after Armstrong offered a severance package to anyone who wasn’t onboard with the new policy.
That was followed by a high-profile New York Times story that claimed many black employees felt discriminated against at Coinbase.