Coinbase, an exchange of cryptocurrencies, has announced its intention to let Neutrino's staff, who previously worked for Hacking Team, leave in an attempt to appease angry users.
The company landed in hot water after acquiring Neutrino, an Italian start-up specializing in blockchain analysis, linked to the Hacking Team group, known for its sales Intrusion and surveillance capabilities in authoritarian regimes around the world.
Angry users revolted, calling other social media users to delete their accounts by spreading the information hashtag #DeleteCoinbase.
Today, Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, said in a blog that the company, along with Neutrino, will break all ties with those previously employed by Hacking Team.
Armstrong has questioned a "gap in our due diligence process," adding, "We have looked closely at the technology and safety of the Neutrino product, but we have not evaluated everything correctly from the point of view of our mission and values as a cryptographic company. "
"Those who previously worked at Hacking Team (although they currently have no affiliation with Hacking Team) will be leaving Coinbase. It was not an easy decision to make, but their previous work presented a conflict with our mission. "
We do not really know how many Neutrino employees were employed by Hacking Team, but we know that Giancarlo Russo, CEO, Alberto Ornaghi, CTO, and Marco Valleri, CRO, were involved.
The publication of the blog continues: "Bitcoin – and crypto more generally – concerns the rights of the individual and the technological protection of civil liberties. Coinbase is the safest, most reliable and most law-abiding cryptocurrency bridge. Sometimes we need to make practical compromises to manage a modern and regulated stock market, but we have not made the right compromise in this particular case. We will fix it and find another way to serve our customers while complying with the law. "
The hawking of Coinbase may have been well received by some, but others quickly pointed out the lack of detail about its decision and its implications.
Udi Wertheimer, eminent Bitcoiner applauded Armstrong "Not to double," but said he was disappointed by the lack of clarity.
"Who will do exactly the transition? We need names. When will they be out? This must happen IMMEDIATELY, "he said, adding:
4 / We MUST MANDATORY this statement on the @Cheddar interview, this Coinbase Tracking partners sold customer data to third parties. If this is true, it is a massive leak that must be revealed IMMEDIATELY. If this is not true, Coinbase MUST specify it.
– Udi Wertheimer (@udiWertheimer) March 5, 2019
So, while Coinbase apparently does everything in its power to appease users in order to weather the storm, one can only wonder if it's too little, too late. All the more so as his desire for adoption by institutional investors seems to have led the company to completely lose touch with the crypto-currency community.
Posted on March 5, 2019 – 09:46 UTC