In a blog post announcing the hire, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong described engineering as core to its strategy of building cryptocurrency products, and said Wagner would be leading and expanding its team of engineers.
“[W]e are more focused than ever on meeting the increasing needs of individuals, institutions and businesses while continually advancing the frontiers of cryptocurrency. At the same time, we’re creating the infrastructure that will allow us to add more assets to our platform and accelerate the adoption of crypto around the world,” Armstrong wrote in the blog post.
Wagner’s hiring is significant in part because he played a key role in building AWS Lambda, a server-less computing platform with a strong reputation for security. He has also worked on app and API services for Amazon. Prior to Amazon, Wagner worked at Microsoft.
The news also represents the latest in a series of high-profile hires by Coinbase in the last six months. Others include Emilie Choi, head of business development who previously led M&A at LinkedIn, and Twitter operations veteran Tina Bhatnagar, who was hired to smooth out customer relations at Coinbase.
The hirings come at a time when a growing number of large firms, including Goldman Sachs and Intercontinental Exchange, are making plans to offer cryptocurrency products and services. Their entry would bring further competition to a market served by established crypto companies like Coinbase and Circle, and by more recent entrants like Robinhood and Square.