Corporate emergency plans are forcing staff to work remotely and other companies are refining their protocols for when coronavirus arrives at their doorstep.
Since its launch, a number of cryptocurrency exchanges have favored dispersed labor force. Companies like Binance and Kraken say they have been implementing this playbook for years in an industry defined by the ideals of decentralization: most of their employees already work remotely.
And while firms around the world are struggling to develop protocols for what is increasingly likely to become a pandemic, and as capital markets plummet with fears from global investors that the worst outbreak of coronavirus is yet to come, these exchanges say business is going as usual.
Their headquarters need not be shut down; because they don’t have ones.
“The Binance team works in a decentralized way, with team members scattering in different countries and regions,” said Binance representative Cecilia Zhang.
Companies Tell Employees To Work Remotely
When it comes to geography, her exchange is particularly fluid. Where Binance is based is not always clear, or if it even has a “headquarters,” in the sense of the office-park. Binance had claimed a headquarters in Malta for the past few years but only last week the Maltese regulator declared that the so-called blockchain island never had a regulated or registered Binance exchange.
Nevertheless, lacking a headquarters becomes an asset when an inexplicable act-of-god-like event like an epidemic arrives in town. Binance’s Zhang claimed the exchange was ” not been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.” For over two years, its employees worked remotely and in clusters.
As for Kraken exchange, it went a step further. It’s spinning coronavirus into a recruitment and advertising opportunity, boasting on Twitter Thursday that despite rising international fears its decentralized workers are “thriving.”
“Kraken’s global collapse and pandemic survival strategy has been in place since our founding in 2011. Our remote-first, decentralized team of 800+ is thriving right now. Join us,” the firm said.
At peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange Hodl Hodl, which says it has no head office, “we don’t prepare ourselves actually,” said CEO Max Keidun. “Since day one we’ve been fully distributed and remote.”