People Digest: Ex-Snapchat India top exec joins Coinbase; Crypto Finance names Asia head

Signage is displayed on a monitor as employees work at the Coinbase Inc. office in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. Photographer: Michael Short/Bloomberg

US-based Coinbase and Swiss digital asset specialist Crypto Finance have announced key appointments to expand their footprint in Asia.

Coinbase ropes in ex-Snapchat India head

Durgesh Kaushik, the former Snap Inc. managing director for India and South Asia, will join Coinbase on May 9 as senior director for market expansion.

“I am joining Coinbase, where my goal would be to help Coinbase’s entry into India and other markets in APAC, Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA), and the Americas — focusing on launching and going from zero to one in many new markets,” Kaushik said on his LinkedIn page on Tuesday.

Kaushik helped kickstart Snapchat’s India operations in 2019, setting up its first office in the country, and developing the playbook for Snap’s international expansion.

Prior to Snap, Kaushik was the head of growth at hyperlocal delivery service Dunzo, and co-founder and CEO of social media platform Wishfie.

Kaushik’s appointment comes at a time when the Nasdaq-listed Coinbase had just launched crypto trading services in India backed by UPI, but the regulatory body overseeing the popular digital transaction platform in the country denied the association by releasing a statement stating it is “not aware of any crypto exchange using UPI.”

Coinbase has since told users that it will not be able to offer UPI-based transactions.

In a separate blogpost, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said the exchange has planned to hire over 1,000 employees in India this year, on top of 300 full-time employees at its tech hub launched last year. “India is a magical place, and I believe crypto has a big future here,” Armstrong said.

Crypto Finance names new Asia head

Swiss digital asset specialist Crypto Finance has appointed Daniel Kukan to drive its growth and expansion plans in the APAC region.

In his role, Kukan will be responsible for identifying profitable business opportunities and developing long-term business growth strategies, team, product range, and distribution channels.

Kukan succeeds Alisher Tashpulatov, who has made “spearheaded Crypto Finance’s key business development projects in Asia since 2020,” the company statement said.

Kukan, who holds a degree from the Swiss Banking School, has investment banking experience with stints at UBS, Credit Suisse, Bank Vontobel, and the Zurich Kantonalbank.

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