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Coinbase President Asiff Hirji is second executive to leave firm this month

Coinbase President Asiff Hirji is second executive to leave firm this month

Asiff Hirji, president and chief operating officer at Coinbase, is the second high-profile departure at the crypto exchange this month.

Hirji’s departure is the latest in a string of executive-level officers to leave Coinbase in 2019. He follows hot on the heels of chief technology officer Balaji Srinivasan, who left at the start of the month, and former head of institutions Dan Romero.

Hirji and Coinbase linked up after he left venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz in 2017 after working with exclusive clients as an operating adviser.

Despite the move, it appears from his recent tweet that he left Coinbase on good terms.

In a tweet, Hirji touts his achievements of scaling the business to over $1 billion in revenue, launching Coinbase in new markets and helping it achieve a valuation of $8 billion, and “cheering” on CEO Brian Armstrong, and the rest of the team.

It looks as though he will be sadly missed by former colleagues, with many tweeting their best wishes to him.

Changing times

The continued departures are a notable shift for the exchange, which in 2018 trebled staff numbers to around 800, but it’s a sign that despite a positive shift in market sentiment the bear market still has teeth, with companies streamlining their operations in order to save money.

Last month the company let 30 engineers go as it shut down its Chicago office after just 11 months as it admitted defeat in its attempt to build a high-speed, institutional-grade “matching engine”–a system that brings together buy and sell orders.

Still relevant?

Coinbase has struggled to remain relevant in the face of major competitors like Binance, which has launched a decentralized exchange and set up a number of fiat to crypto platforms to compete directly with it, including Binance Jersey and Binance Singapore.

It has also faced continued opposition to its centralized operations and decisions to list some relatively unknown tokens for trading, all of which stoked the #DeleteCoinbase movement on Twitter following the controversy around acquired surveillance firm Neutrino.

The departure of key C-level executives raises questions as to whether there is turmoil inside the company or if it is merely part of the maturation process for the billion-dollar exchange.

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Chris Chiddle

Chris is a former national journalist and editor at some of the UK's top daily newspapers and broadcasters. Now, he's working in the crypto and blockchain space. He is also a passionate believer in the potential of distributed ledger technology to disrupt the status quo and reshape the world we live in.

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