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Crypto Exchange Coinbase Cancels Job Postings, Jeopardizing International Graduate Visas

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

Coinbase, the largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, announced on June 2 that it would extend a hiring break and cancel a number of accepted offers, citing “current market conditions and the continuous effort to prioritize activities”.

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

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

“It was devastating for me as I was going to start with a STEM OPT VISA and I am only entitled to a certain number of days of unemployment,” wrote Ashutosh Ukey, a recent graduate from the University of Illinois. in Urbana-Champaign. – post shared on LinkedIn after Coinbase rescinded its job offer as a backend software engineer.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.

Optional Practical Training, or OPT visas, allows international students to stay in the United States for up to 12 months as long as they find employment, with the possibility of an extension for science, engineering, technology and math graduates (STEM) degree. But recent graduates with OPT visas who have been unemployed for more than three months risk violating their immigration status, putting international graduates affected by Coinbase’s hiring freeze in a particularly difficult situation to find new employment.

“Without a stable job, I will not be able to stay in the United States for an extended period of time and will have to leave the country,” said Donghyun Park, a recent Cooper Union graduate who also had a Coinbase software engineer job canceled. . , wrote on LinkedIn. Dozens of additional LinkedIn posts from recent graduates said they were in a similar position after Coinbase rescinded their job postings.

Coinbase did not respond 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 make more STEM fields eligible for OPT in a bid to bolster tech competitiveness. American.

But Coinbase’s recent decision highlights the precariousness of jobs in the volatile cryptocurrency space. Coinbase shares have fallen 72% since the start of the year, while the price of one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, has fallen more than 30%.

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

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

Crypto Exchange Coinbase Cancels Job Postings, Jeopardizing International Graduate Visas