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News Report

Laid-Off Workers May Find Home With Wall Street Regulator; Coinbase Still Eying India Expansion

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James

In Brief

  • The crypto winter has led to thousands of job losses for workers in the industry.
  • Some of the laid-off staff might join the ranks of Wall Street’s top financial watchdog.
  • Despite the moves to reduce its workforce, Coinbase has set its sights on Indian expansion.
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The crypto winter is one of the hardest times with thousands of jobs lost as firms brace themselves for the long night. For those with terminated contracts, there’s a chance to switch sides and become regulators in the industry that they once worked in.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has revealed plans to increase its monitoring of the crypto industry. It plans to do this by systematically increasing the size of its workforce and acquiring innovative surveillance tools.

FINRA to improve surveillance

“We are already having to be engaged in space and we think that as a result, it’s appropriate for us to bulk up our capabilities there,” said Robert Cook, CEO of FINRA. He made this known at a recent trading industry summit, where he added that the FINRA was developing asset verification techniques to improve cross-blockchain surveillance.

In recent weeks, crypto has been hit with reports of firms freezing hiring and even going all the way to reduce their workforce to cope with the decline in crypto asset prices. Coinbase, Gemini, and BlockFi are some of the leading firms that have let a percentage of their staff go. 

The recent freezing of withdrawals at Celsius and Bitcoin’s (BTC) dip to an 18-month low struck panic in the hearts of investors as they sought to cut their losses. However, Cook said that those affected by the new policies in crypto firms have a chance to work with the regulator.

“We’re going to need to be engaged and prepared to have the resources to do that, so anybody who is getting laid off from a crypto platform and wants to work for FINRA, give me a call,” he said.

Coinbase eyes India

Coinbase, one of the exchanges in the eye of the crypto storm, is making a brave play to expand into the Indian market. The firm hired Arnab Kumar, an ex-senior executive at Prosus Ventures, to spearhead a relaunch in the country.

Coinbase’s decision to launch in India raises eyebrows considering the fact that the exchange just laid off nearly a fifth of its workforce as part of downsizing efforts. The firm famously rescinded the contracts of newly hired staff, froze all future hires till further notice, and broke the camel’s back by letting 20% of staff go.

Coinbase’s first foray in India did not go according to plan, as the app became non-functional in the country after three days. The global shakedown only affected 8% of staff in the country but executives are still hopeful that things will be different this time.

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