By Jeff John Roberts
January 22, 2018

The digital currency exchange Coinbase has been on a rocket ship ride for the last year, signing up a flood of new retail and institutional clients eager to be part of the ongoing crypto craze. But explosive growth has also resulted in a bumpy experience on the customer service front, including complaints of outages and slow response times.

Coinbase has responded in part by going on a hiring spree, which includes its latest appointment. On Monday, the company announced a new vice president of operations and technology: Tina Bhatnager, who has spent the last five and a half years at Twitter, where she helped scale the company’s customer service team from a basement operation to a global force.

Bhatnager’s time at Twitter, which is no stranger to chaos and controversy, is likely to help her navigate the colorful and free-wheeling world of cryptocurrency world.

“Not only did [Bhatnager have] the depth of experience, but also the right temperament: assertive enough to take control, while patient and empathetic to our customers’ plights,” said Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong in a blog post announcing the hire.

In an interview with Fortune, Bhatnager says she was drawn to San Francisco-based Coinbase because she was seeking to join a fast-growing company, and because of her longtime interest in cryptocurrency.

“If you asked people five years ago if crypto was around for long run, most would say no but today it’s obvious it’s something the world needs … It could make big impact in financial services,” she says.

Bhatnager declined, however, to say if she holds bitcoin or any other digital currency herself.

In her new role, Bhatnager says her top priorities include improving customer support and helping Coinbase, which also runs an institutional platform known as GDAX, scale up.

While Coinbase has released few details about its financial performance in the last year, it can likely afford the hiring spree thanks to the soaring volume of crypto-transactions, on which it charges commission fees that are typically around 1%.

Late last year, the company brought on Asiff Hirji, a former top executive at Hewlett-Packard and TD Ameritrade, as its President and COO. Around the same time, Coinbase also added David Marcus, vice president of messaging products at Facebook and a former president of PayPal, to its board.

While Coinbase is still riding high, it also faces challenges, including the recent downturn in the overall crypto-currency market and expenses related to its recent legal battle with the IRS. Meanwhile, there are questions about whether the company will expand its digital currency offerings—which currently consist of bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin—to other currencies such as Ripple.


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