Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has announced that the former Hacking Team members will transition out of the company. The move follows a period of widespread criticism after the exchange bought the controversial Neutrino Outfit. Coinbase users had started boycotting its services.
“Bitcoin — and crypto more generally — is about the rights of the individual and about the technological protection of civil liberties.”https://t.co/faqXmWh8z1
— Coinbase (@coinbase) March 5, 2019
A Gap in Coinbase HR’s Due Diligence
While announcing the decision, Mr. Armstrong said:
We had a gap in our [hiring] 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…
He added that Coinbase does not side with the past actions of the Hacking Team members. While acquiring the firm, Coinbase focused on what Neutrino brought to the table. According to him, the technology offered by the outfit was the best in the market. It was a good fit for user needs.
Coinbase had also acquired Neutrino in a bid to enhance user security. Its primary function was to protect Coinbase customer data. Besides that, the team was intended to help trace any lost user funds. Ultimately, it would also prevent data breaches.
A Shady Past of the Hacking Team
In the past, the Hacking Team has a history of selling spyware to governments. They sold some of these tools to governments which had weak human rights track records. Because of the shady past, there was an outcry from the exchange’s user base. People started boycotting its services. Others joined the #DeleteCoinbase movement.
Mr. Armstrong said that Coinbase does not defend the past actions of the Hacking Team. He stated,
……those who previously worked at Hacking Team (despite the fact that they have no current affiliation with Hacking Team), will transition out of Coinbase.
Anti-Money Laundering and KYC
In the acquisition, Coinbase was aiming at streamlining its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) process. It would also address the ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) issues. The exchange platform is modernized, being compliant with regulations. It was seeking to bring the technology in-house. However, in doing so, it also raised concerns that user privacy would be at risk.
From this new development, it is clear that Coinbase management has heeded its user-base outcry. It has bowed to pressure. It is addressing one of the essential needs of the customers – dealing with ethical people.
Do you think #DeleteCoinbase will come to a stop? All the Hacking Team members are out of Coinbase. Let us know!
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