Coinbase engineer unveils secrets to ecosystem’s growth

In this post:

  • Jesse Pollak, the head of protocols at Coinbase, shared insights on Coinbase’s growth strategies and the creation of Base, an open Ethereum layer-2 network.
  • He highlighted the importance of methodical growth rather than rapid expansion, emphasizing on maintaining a healthy ratio of engineers to other roles.
  • Pollak underscored the impact of on-chain native tooling, which allows for significant growth with fewer resources. Base, developed primarily by a small team, stands as testament to this approach.

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, Coinbase, the Fortune 500 crypto giant and the largest crypto company in the United States, has been making significant strides in its expansion.

Recently, Jesse Pollak, the head of protocols at Coinbase, shed light on the strategies that have fueled the company’s spectacular growth and the launch of its latest open Ethereum layer-2 network, Base.

Methodical growth: The Coinbase way

When Pollak joined Coinbase in 2017, he led a team of four engineers. Fast forward to today, his team has grown to 200, reflecting the company’s journey to its current Fortune 500 status.

This exponential growth, however, presented its unique set of challenges. “It was both a people challenge because we needed to figure out how to onboard people and make them successful, and then it was also a technology challenge: how do we onboard more users and keep the website up?” shared Pollak.

He emphasized the importance of methodical, not rapid, growth. Resisting the temptation to quickly increase the headcount, Pollak advised, “Don’t grow until you have to grow.”

When it does become necessary, he suggests expanding as methodically as possible. This strategy extends beyond personnel to roles, with Coinbase maintaining a healthy ratio of engineers to product and design roles.

Addressing the demand of a growing to-do list while avoiding the pitfall of rapid expansion, Pollak highlighted the power of going on-chain. He believes that businesses can achieve 10x more impact if they are building with on-chain native tooling.

This approach allows companies to create applications that can reach more people around the world with fewer resources.

Base, Coinbase’s layer-2 scaling solution, stands as a testament to this strategy. Remarkably, it was developed predominantly by Pollak and a four-person engineering team, despite Coinbase being a large company with 4,000 employees.

Beyond centralized-decentralized

While Coinbase, a centralized entity, is operating in a domain that prioritizes decentralization, Pollak suggests a more nuanced perspective. He prefers using the terms ‘onchain’ and ‘offchain’ instead of ‘centralized’ and ‘decentralized,’ believing it to be a more accurate descriptor of reality.

Pollak also touched on the company’s commitment to improving user experience, which he sees as a way of creating more use cases for crypto beyond speculation. The goal is to make it easier for developers to innovate, thereby creating more things for people to do with Coinbase products.

Open-source technology also plays a pivotal role in Coinbase’s strategy. Pollak believes that working with open-source technology, as Base does with the OP stack, will offer more options to developers.

With these insights, it’s clear that Coinbase’s strategies of methodical growth, embracing on-chain technology, focusing on user experience, and promoting open-source technology have propelled its rapid expansion.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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