Crypto Exchange Coinbase Cancels Job Vacancies, Putting Visas For International Graduates At Risk

The descent of Coinbase. Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Coinbase, the largest US-based cryptocurrency exchange, announced on June 2 that it would extend a hiring hiatus and cancel a number of accepted offers, citing “current market conditions and the ongoing effort to prioritize operations”.

New employees planning to work for Coinbase received an email from Human Resources Director LJ Brock informing them of the decision to withdraw the offers, just two weeks after the company sent an email notifying them. said they had no intention of doing so, according to emails posted by Blind, a site where tech workers anonymously share and discuss workplace tips and gossip.

The news is especially concerning for newly hired international students who have just graduated and were counting on a job offer to stay in the country.

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“It was devastating for me because I would be starting a VOTE OPT VISA and I am only entitled to a certain number of days of unemployment,” wrote Ashutosh Ukey, a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. – post shared on LinkedIn after Coinbase withdrew its job offer as a backend software engineer. Ukey wrote that he turned down a doctorate. programs and declined to interview for other jobs after receiving an offer to work for Coinbase in March.

With optional practical training or OPT visas, international students can stay in the United States for up to 12 months as long as they find employment, with the option of an extension for science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) graduates. But recent graduates on OPT visas who have been unemployed for more than three months are at risk of violating their immigration status, leaving international graduates affected by Coinbase’s hiring freeze in a particularly difficult situation to find a new job. .

“Without a stable job, I won’t be able to stay in the United States for any length of time and will have to leave the country,” said Donghyun Park, a recent Cooper Union graduate who also withdrew an offer from Coinbase software engineer. , wrote on LinkedIn. Dozens of additional LinkedIn posts from recent graduates said they were in a similar position after Coinbase pulled their job postings.

Coinbase has not responded to a request for comment.

Coinbase is the latest tech company to cancel deals

The number of international students earning STEM degrees at U.S. institutions has grown steadily in recent years, and the Biden administration announced in January that it would allow more STEM fields to qualify for OPT in an effort to bolster technological competitiveness.

But Coinbase’s recent decision highlights the uncertainty of jobs in the volatile cryptocurrency space. Shares of Coinbase are down 72% since the start of the year, while the price of one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, is down more than 30%.

Other tech companies have canceled offers in recent weeks, though it’s unclear whether international students have been widely affected. Twitter withdrew some offers and announced a hiring freeze last month, as did Meta, which had also reportedly withdrawn offers.

An employee of Amazon, a major employer of STEM OPT students, appeared to offer job references to affected Coinbase employees in a separate post on Blind.

Crypto Exchange Coinbase Cancels Job Vacancies, Putting International Graduate Visas At Risk

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