Coinbase Pushing Ahead With New Tech Hub in India

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In Brief
  • Coinbase's plans for a "sustainable, well-rounded tech hub in India" are going ahead.

  • Pankaj Gupta, Coinbase VP of Engineering, says the company will consider start-up acquisitions and hires to support its ambitions in India.

  • Revelation comes amid ongoing uncertainty in the Indian crypto space.

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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has announced that his exchange platform will be getting an office in India, or more specifically, a high-quality tech hub.

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The billionaire business executive and investor revealed the development in a tweet shared on July 2. Coinbase’s official Twitter backed the statement up with a tweet of their own, in which they stated:

“We’re continuing to build out a sustainable, well-rounded tech hub in India.”

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Both tweets encouraged readers passionate about crypto to join them, and linked to a post on Coinbase’s blog. The post, written by Pankaj Gupta, Coinbase’s Vice President of Engineering and the Indian site lead, details the exchange’s plans and ambitions as they take on the Indian market. For one thing, hiring hundreds of engineers in the near-future. 

“This team of engineers will be complemented by equally high quality product and design teams,” Gupta’s post reads. “As well as support functions such as recruiting and HR to build out a sustainable, well-rounded tech hub.”

He also wrote that Coinbase is exploring start-up acquisitions and hires to support their plans in India.

Coinbase first started hiring in India back in March.

Indian crypto space struggles continue

Coinbase’s announcements come amid ongoing turbulence in the Indian crypto space. While Gupta’s blog post has no shortage of praise for the crypto projects and native talent coming out of India, governmental attitudes in the country towards crypto are filled with uncertainty. 

Most recent reports revealed that the Indian government is considering applying an additional 18% tax on foreign cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country. Meanwhile, the department of indirect taxes is reportedly exploring whether exchanges should pay goods and services (GST) tax, under current law. Exchanges would pay GST as part of their annual taxes. In a similar vein as brokerages on the stock market.

With local exchanges, the trading fees charged to customers already includes the 18% tax.

The ambivalence towards crypto in India extends to their banks as well as their government. Recent reports revealed that exchanges in the country are struggling to acquire payment solutions since Indian banks have started to distance themselves. 

Since the banks severed ties, exchanges have suffered slow transaction speeds, among other issues. Resulting, in turn, in vast numbers of complaints from their customers.

The banks’ decision has left exchanges dependent on smaller payment solution providers, with at least two turning to AirPay. In other cases, exchanges have held back on immediate settlements, or have only offered peer-to-peer transactions. Some have applied an even stricter take in the latter scenario. WazirX, for example, now only performs peer-to-peer transactions on certain days.

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Dale Hurst is a journalist, presenter, and novelist. Before joining the Be In Crypto team, he was an editor and senior journalist at a news, lifestyle and human-interest magazine in the UK. Cryptocurrency was one of the first subjects he specialized in when first going freelance in 2018, reviewing exchanges and analysing lawsuits.

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