Major United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase shut down its Chicago office and scaled down the development of its matching engine, Fortune reports on April 23.
Per the report, the exchange will consolidate the high-frequency trading matching engine efforts into its San Francisco office. Coinbase also purportedly laid off about 30 employees and will relocate some to the area of the other office, while others will work remotely.
According to local news site Chicago Inno, when the company announced the opening of the Chicago office in May last year, it planned on hiring 100 people over three years, most of whom were going to be engineers.
The office was lead by Paul Bauerschmidt, who according to his LinkedIn profile was the former managing director at Eris Exchange and executive director at CME Group, and Derek Groothius, who was previously a software engineer at DRW. Both are reportedly leaving the company.
A spokesperson of the company reportedly told Fortune that while the closure of the office is a setback, the company is continuing to hire new employees in other offices. The spokesperson also noted that high-frequency trading is no longer a priority and that the company is focusing on new products.
The Block reported that the decision to close the office was made at the executive level and it is unclear whether the employees were expecting their positions to be terminated. The Block estimated that simply the teams salaries could have been as high as $6 million, without accounting for bonuses, office rent or the cost of technology.
As Cointelegraph reported last week, Coinbase reportedly saw around $520 million in revenue last year, 60% less than some analysts expected.
On the other hand, competing crypto exchange Binance reported $78 million in profits in Q1 2019, up 66% compared to the previous quarter.