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Coinbase and Messari Employees Working Remotely due to Coronavirus

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The spread of COVID-19 is causing cryptocurrency firms to implement new policies to protect employees.

Just one week after releasing its plan for the coronavirus spread worldwide, Coinbase is recommending its employees prepare for the next phase, and they’re not the only ones.

Coinbase CEO  Brian Armstrong sent out a Tweet to his 300K+ followers on Mar. 2 indicating the crypto firm would be directing certain employees to work from home. Within an hour, the founder of Messari, Ryan Selkis, posted a similar message stating the company would be “going remote first and will be scrapping most planned business travel for the next couple of months.”

Armstrong shared an updated version of the Coinbase plan, highlighting the impact COVID-19 has had on the firm since the outbreak began spreading in January.

“...we are starting to see the first documented instances of community transmission in the areas of our Portland and SF offices.  We’ve seen a handful of cases in Chicago and just saw the first case in New York. We continue to see community transmission in Japan.”

Among the measures Coinbase proposed was for employees to minimize personal travel, especially internationally. Those considered greater at risk to contract the virus are to begin working from home. In addition, Coinbase is restricting business travel to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, and South Korea.

“Working from home is not a complete solution, but it may help slow the growth of infections.”

Messari takes similar measures on coronavirus

Selkis announced his company would also not be standing idly by while COVID-19 potentially affects employees' health.

In a statement posted to the company website, Selkis decided the crypto analytics firm would “go remote-first indefinitely”. Citing the poor response of the U.S. government to contain the epidemic — Messari is based in New York City — the founder said though his team was young and healthy, not taking action was irresponsible:

“...a temporary remote move is less about our team’s well being, and more about being a proactive part of the solution to a much larger potential problem.”

With the exception of a conference to be held in Washington DC next week, most business travel at Messari is cancelled through the end of the second quarter. Selkis speculated that the Bitcoin 2020 Conference scheduled for Mar. 27-28 in San Francisco may be at risk as well.

Other ways the coronavirus has affected global markets

The social and economic ramifications of COVID-19 continue to spread almost as quickly as the virus itself.

Equities markets in Italy dropped sharply last week, with some speculating investors feared the virus’ effects on the area. Quarantines of cities in China, many responsible for manufacturing, can negatively impact markets and international trade.

The cryptocurrency industry itself hasn’t been exempt either. The price of Bitcoin took a hit in February, dropping below $9,400 for the first time in months.

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