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How we’re supporting employees, customers and each other during COVID19

By Author


, March 20, 2020

, 4 min read time

Coinbase is operating important infrastructure for the economy during these trying times. I wanted to share a few updates on how we are keeping employees safe and ensuring that we are serving our customers.

We’ve published our internal planning and comms around COVID19 here in case it is helpful for other companies.

Supporting our employees

My first priority is the health and safety of our employees. That is why we have mandated that everyone globally who can work from home do so. A lot of credit goes to our internal teams who have built the tooling that allow us to flip the switch during a crisis to work almost 100% remotely.

One of the hardest parts of working from home is keeping morale high. Here are some of the ways I’ve been adjusting to working from home, that I shared with the team earlier this week:

  • Get outside for sunshine at least once a day (assuming travel restrictions don’t completely block this in your city).

  • Make time for (virtual) hugs and conversations with loved ones.

  • Try to build exercise, meditation, stretching, or some movement into your day so you don’t stay in one place the whole day.

  • Build discipline around your social media diet — don’t let yourself get sucked into a vortex looking at your phone right after waking up, or spiral into fear/anger during the day. Limit your time here.

  • If you feel yourself getting irritated, or a colleague seems irritable, reconnect with them by picking up the phone to chat 1:1. It’s incredibly difficult to read tone correctly over written communication channels (email or slack), and even video conferences have their quirks. They need to hear your voice.

  • Give everyone the benefit of doubt during these trying times. It’s not personal, they are likely dealing with their own challenges that have nothing to do with you.

  • If you have an old laptop or computer, setting up a dedicated machine for video conferences can help avoid the temptation to get distracted on your main computer.

I recognize that my experience is different than many of my colleagues (for instance, with school closures many employees are trying to get work done with children in the home, which can be especially difficult). We are all finding ways to adapt to this new environment, and taking care of ourselves and loved ones should come first.

Supporting our customers and the cryptoeconomy

We have always considered it critically important to use slower periods in crypto markets to invest in our systems, so that we’re prepared when volumes or prices spike like we saw last week. Over the last couple years, we’ve invested heavily in increasing reliability and scalability of our systems. This included increasing the redundancy and throughput of our exchange, expanding the capacity of our core products, and improving our internal processes and responses when things go wrong.

This hard work contributed to our stability last week while many platforms, in both crypto and traditional equities, struggled with the increased volume. We set new peak traffic records–50% higher than our previous peak–across a number of our internal systems. This included processing more than $2 billion in volume on our exchange in a single 24-hour period last Thursday and Friday. Thanks to the hard work of our engineering teams, this all happened with minimal impact to our customers.

As we look toward the future, especially in this uncertain time, we may see further volatility — and we are preparing our systems to handle these increases as best we can. With the speed of customer growth in crypto, we can’t rule out that we may face future challenges. In the event this happens, we’ll clearly communicate with our customers what’s going on and what we’re going to do about it.

Our Customer Experience team has been anticipating a Work From Home (WFH) scenario for weeks and has partnered with our IT and Security teams to build a secure WFH environment. We are now executing on that plan. In addition, we recently revamped the Coinbase Help Center and contact forms so that customers can get the information they need more quickly.

We’re hiring

As a cryptocurrency company, we’re in a unique position. Coinbase has never known a time where we’ve operated without volatility. We have managed through 40x growth in a year, and negative 10x growth. We are full steam ahead executing on our 2020 strategy in service of our Vision and Mission and we will continue hiring in this environment.

In a world where unprecedented stimulus packages are being rolled by governments around the world, and a major expansion of the money supply is likely, I believe there has never been a better time for people around the world to learn about sound money and a more global, fair, financial system powered by cryptocurrency. If you’d like to join us in building this for the world, check out our open roles.

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