Top crypto trading platform Coinbase is closing its Chicago office which opened just a year ago, and as a result, 30 employees were let off.
The company’s Chicago division which is also called Coinbase Markets was focused on developing complex electronic markets technologies such as matching engines and fast trading for digital assets.
Coinbase stated that it has taken the difficult decision to merge the matching engine development done in Chicago with the similar work done by its San Francisco team.
“To become the ‘Google of crypto’ we have to be comfortable making big bets. Some of them will be audacious and some of them won’t work out.” – said a Coinbase spokesperson.
When Coinbase Markets first opened, the company’s blog made a post saying that the Chicago office would give “access to a large talent pool of engineers with deep exchange infrastructure experience” and “enable us to continue offering the most performant and reliable cryptocurrency exchange.”
The Chicago division executives, product lead Paul Bauerschmidt (formerly of CME) and engineering head Derek Groothius (former chief software engineer at DRW) will also depart from the company.
Only a few of the employees from the Chicago office that have no connection with the matching engine project will keep working for Coinbase, stated the spokesperson. Also, Coinbase said it would try to reposition a small number of matching engine employees from Chicago to San Francisco.
The main purpose of Coinbase Markets was to develop a high-frequency/low-latency trading strategy for cryptocurrencies – the type of system which uses co-location in specialized data centers.
Regarding its developments made in Chicago, the spokesperson has stated that the will keep intellectual property which will be integrated with its technology, adding that:
“The team built some amazing technology and it could be used to influence the future development of our matching engine.”