Coinbase Pushes Out Ex-Hacking Team Employees Following Uproar


Coinbase will push out several employees from Neutrino following online criticism over the crypto exchange’s acquisition of the blockchain analytics firm.

Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong announced in a blog post on Monday that Coinbase and Neutrino have decided they will let go Neutrino’s employees who had ever worked for an IT startup called Hacking Team, whether or not they still have any current affiliation with the startup.

It’s currently unknown how many of Neutrino’s employees had worked for Hacking Team, except the Neutrino’s management including CEO Giancarlo Russo, CTO Alberto Ornaghi, and CRO Marco Valleri.

The announcement came after online criticism of Coinbase’s decision to buy Neutrino, which was reveled on Feb. 19.

Since then an online battle has been spreading on Twitter due to the fact that Coinbase neglected that Neutrino’s main management had led projects for Hacking Team, a startup who aided governments known for human rights abuses.

Armstrong said in the post on Monday: “We had a gap in our diligence process. While we looked hard at the technology and security of the Neutrino product, we did not properly evaluate everything from the perspective of our mission and values as a crypto company.”

As a solution, the company added:

“Those who previously worked at Hacking Team (despite the fact that they have no current affiliation with Hacking Team), will transition out of Coinbase. This was not an easy decision, but their prior work does present a conflict with our mission.”

Amstrong image via CoinDesk archive.

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