US crypto exchange Coinbase hires former Twitter executive

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The biggest cryptocurrency marketplace in the US – Coinbase – has recruited Tina Bhatnagar, the former vice president of operations and user services at social media giant Twitter. Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO and co-founder officially confirmed the news on Monday.

Bhatnagar will take on a like for like role at Coinbase, as vice president of operations and technology. The crypto startup has seen growing consumer demand for its services over the last year, and Bhatnagar’s first task will be to oversee a doubling in size of Coinbase’s customer support team. The goal is for all Coinbase customers to have access to round the clock, 24/7 telephone support by Q2 of this year.

Coinbase has seen spectacular growth over the last 12 months inspired by the cryptocurrency boom and huge hype surrounding Bitcoin. It has grown from under 5 million users to 13 million in a year. The San Francisco-based company has found it difficult to deal with the increased volume of traffic flocking to its website, and users have experienced sudden crashes in trading services.

Now valued at a worth of $1.6 billion, at the end of 2017 Coinbase employed 200 staff. The company’s GDAX exchange will also be opening up an office in Manhattan in 2018.

Bhatnagar’s hire is one of several stellar appointments made by Coinbase in recent weeks, and is the latest in a handful of high-profile hires in order to see the company through this period of expansion.

Other hires include Asiff Hirji, the former president and CEO operating officer of the online broker TD Ameritrade. Hirji will also take on like for like roles at Coinbase, and was previously employed as an advisor at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, one of Coinbase’s investors. The head of Messenger at Facebook and former president of PayPal, David Marcus, will also be joining Coinbase’s board of directors.

And Coinbase’s general manager Dan Romero said there will be more to come. Speaking to CNBC, Romero said: “I think you’ll see some other senior hires, we’re an early company in the space. We’ve [had] great growth in 2017. That is something we can lose.”