As leading U.S. digital currency marketplace Coinbase struggles to handle accelerating consumer demand, the start-up has hired an executive from Twitter to improve customer support.
Tina Bhatnagar, former vice president of operations and user services at Twitter, is joining the company, Coinbase co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong announced Monday. Bhatnagar will be vice president of operations and technology at Coinbase, with the goal of doubling the size of the support team so that all customers will have 24/7 telephone support by the second quarter of this year.
"It's a rare opportunity to be able to go into a hypergrowth company and make an impact," Bhatnagar said in a phone interview with CNBC.
San Francisco-based Coinbase has struggled to keep up with the surge of interest in digital currencies such as bitcoin, which has soared more than 1,100 percent over the last 12 months. Its website has suffered degraded performance due to occasional spikes of high traffic, while trading services have suddenly gone down for hours. Money transfers from PayPal have been unavailable since Friday, according to Coinbase's status website.
The company, valued at $1.6 billion, grew from less than 5 million users in late 2016 to more than 13 million at the end of November. Twitter had an average 330 million monthly active users as of the third quarter of 2017, up from 317 million a year ago.
Overall, Coinbase doubled in size in 2017 and had about 200 employees by the end of last year, according to the company. Its GDAX exchange also plans to launch an office in Manhattan later this year.