05 Mar 2019 Simon Briggs
Coinbase Fires Ex-Hacking Team Employees After #Deletecoinbase Uproar
Coinbase, one of the biggest players in the crypto industry, decided to push out several of Neutrino’s key employees, because of their connections to the considered fraudulent Hacking Team.
Coinbase recently acquired Neutrino, a blockchain intelligence startup, but received a widespread uproar among the crypto community. The #deletecoinbase movement forced Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong to cut the ties with former Hacking Team employees, regardless of their current affiliation with the Italy-based company.
The list of pushed out employees include Neutrino’s senior executives – CTO Alberto Ornaghi, CRO Marco Valleri, and even Neutrino’s CEO Giancarlo Russo. #deletecoinbase gained popularity among the crypto communities on Twitter and Instagram, thus creating tension inside Coinbase. The Hacking Team is mostly known for helping governments which disregard human rights. Hacking Team has worked closely with the governments of Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkey. Hacking Team’s malware was found on many computers, but mostly on journalists and human rights activists.
Coinbase’s CEO confirmed the news, stating that company focus was on the features and the security aspects of Neutrino and this lead to underestimating that the prior working experience of the employees conflicts with Coinbase’s mission as a crypto company.
One of Coinbase’s core principles is to serve as a bridge between the standard fiat world and the crypto realm. In his blog post, Armstrong noted that the company did not make the right move with this acquisition. “We will improve ourselves and seek other methods to manage our work while being law compliant,” Coinbase’s CEO added.
Neutrino is a project that maps blockchain networks. The company specializes in monitoring crypto transactions and aiding law enforcement officials in investigating digital assets thefts, ransomware and darknet activities.
Coinbase is by far the largest crypto company, achieving $8 billion valuation in October 2018, after raising $300 million Series E funding. With that momentum, Coinbase wants to spread its customer base and invite institutional investors into the crypto sector.Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Coinbase Pro Cryptocurrency Trading Platform