Product & Engineering
Niall O'Higgins
Director of Engineering, Crypto

Niall looks across broad and diverse disciplines to find solutions to hard problems. Having worked deeply in security, distributed systems, database technology, and infrastructure, he has found his true passion in crypto. Niall loves to bring out the best in people and gets immense satisfaction from mentoring others.



Niall got his start in software engineering in 2006 at Metaweb Technologies in San Francisco, which was building a “database of all the world’s knowledge” and was acquired by Google in 2010 to become the foundation of Google’s Knowledge Graph.


Niall was an Engineering Manager on Nextdoor’s Core Infrastructure group where he ran the Dev Tools team. Notably, he led initiatives to improve production release times by 10x with Docker and AWS Elastic Container Service and migrated the engineering team to full “push on green” Continuous Deployment.


Niall was an early Coinbase employee, helping to scale the engineering team during hypergrowth from 80 engineers to over 1500. As a Senior Engineering Manager on the Crypto team, he helped build the bridge between Coinbase and the crypto economy. His responsibilities included support and integration of all new crypto assets and verbs, which ultimately led to the Open Source Rosetta API, as well as the reliable scaling of Coinbase’s wallet and blockchain infrastructure.

Niall enjoys working with teams to innovate pragmatic, efficient solutions to challenging technical problems. He tends to gravitate towards problems that other folks may think are impossible or impractical. 


Pragmatic and results-oriented

Niall always likes to focus on the bigger ‘end-to-end’ solutions, meaning he’s good at shipping with real impact as efficiently as possible.  


Niall loves to take a step back and revisit first principles. This involves questioning everything and drawing from different technical areas to find creative solutions to problems that may have been previously obscured.

Calm amid the chaos

Niall takes a very methodical, calm, and steady approach to deal with the high-stress and high-stakes challenges which are common in startups.