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Over the last 3 years, the Coinbase engineering team has nearly tripled in size: from tens of engineers in the early 2016 to hundreds of engineers. At the same time, we’ve also increased the product surface area we are working across: from 1 product (Coinbase) to 6 distinct Coinbase products that are collectively building the cryptoeconomy.

As our team size and product scope has grown, we’ve observed a few challenges:

  1. As we’ve added more people, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to maintain consistency in culture across the entire engineering organization.
  2. As we’ve increased the number of products, we’ve seen a divergence…


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How one Coinbase engineer grew from a senior engineer to an organizational leader

At Coinbase, we deeply believe in parallel tracks for people and technical leadership. Our managers are people leaders — they help organize teams, help people grow, and work to create a fertile ground for technical innovation. Our individual contributors (i.e. non-managers) are our technical leaders — they are the ones who chart the future of what our engineering systems will look like at Coinbase. …


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Today, we’re excited to launch Ethereum and Litecoin vaults for all customers, bringing these assets in line with our current Bitcoin storage offerings. With vaults for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, customers get additional layers of withdrawal security for stored digital currency, such as a 48-hour withdrawal delay and required email approvals.


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Faster management and simplified deposits

Today, we’re excited to roll out a new way to manage Coinbase accounts. We’ve given the entire experience a refresh that creates the simplest, most intuitive interface to buy, sell and store digital currency. Try it out at coinbase.com/accounts.

Access all accounts from a single page

Previously, there were different pages needed in order to manage different accounts, a frustrating experience for customers that manage multiple currencies. With the new design, customers can now check account balances and see recent transactions for every account on a single page, along with deposits and withdrawals.


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Why I’m focusing on cryptocurrency after 5 years of killing passwords

TL;DR when Clef joined Twilio, I decided I wanted to focus on cryptocurrencies. I took a couple months off and I’m now the Engineering Manager of the Brokerage team at Coinbase, building coinbase.com.

I created my Coinbase account exactly three years ago. A Bitcoin was worth $447 and Ethereum hadn’t launched yet.

At the time, Clef was in what my co-founders and I refer to as “Season II*.” We’d left college to work on the company full time, but it was still just the three of us. We’d tried raising a seed round once and had failed. …


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Now you can customize the primary color used in buttons and links.

Today, we’re rolling out our first customization feature: the ability to choose a primary color that will be used in buttons, links, and icons across the Instant 2FA experience.

When we set out to build Instant 2FA, we knew there were a few things businesses would need from a hosted two-factor authentication solution:

  1. Security. Two-factor is a critical part of a company’s security architecture and they need to trust their provider to keep them safe.
  2. Ease of integration. Many businesses never roll out 2FA because it takes too long to integrate, so we knew Instant 2FA needed to be…instant.
  3. Customization…


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One month ago, we started working on a new product: Instant 2FA, the easiest way to add two-factor authentication to any site in less than an hour.


Not maybe.

I think an ex introduced me to Maybe.

We are lying in bed, discussing something ordinary. Our childhoods, perhaps. We romanticize playdates and temper tantrums. We wax poetically on what it feels like to be seven or twelve or seventeen. We share nostalgic memories that we forget never happened. We round a corner and head towards the future. I quietly declare, over the trickling of the fountain outside her half-open window, that I’m going to finish this year and become something else.

“Maybe,” she says.

We are sitting on the grass, discussing something extraordinary. The daytime moon rising above the…


Transforming default error messages to reduce support time and build a better experience

At Clef, we actively maintain two mobile apps: Clef for iOS and Clef for Android, both of which are used by hundreds of thousands of people to log in. Because many of them are non-technical, we work hard to provide error messages that are easy to understand and take action on.

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A sample of good error messages you might see in the Clef iOS app.

Consistent support requests for one type of error

A couple of months ago, while looking through our support inbox, we noticed a disturbing trend: over the past year, the term “request timed out” had appeared in support messages more than 100 times. …


Recently, I was talking to my friend Tal who previously worked at Pivotal Labs. He’s now the CTO at Josephine and we were discussing our team’s respective product & engineering workflows. Five minutes into the conversation, he mentioned the cognitive dissonance he initially felt around his experiences working at Pivotal and then later building a small engineering team:

At Pivotal, every Monday we had a planning meeting that was exactly 30 minutes long. At the end, everyone knew exactly what they were doing and we’d close the meeting with a synchronized clap. For the rest of the week, every team…

Jesse Pollak

building @coinbase; previously @getclef and @instant2fa.

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