Crypto exchange Coinbase has recently faced a widespread backlash from the community following its acquisition of Neutrino—a firm with close ties to Hacking Team, which allegedly sold spyware to oppressive regimes.
Coinbase explained that the Neutrino acquisition was caused by a “gap” in its due diligence process and have decided that Neutrino members who were formerly connected to the Hacking Team will transition out of the exchange.
Outspoken crypto industry members and Coinbase users were disturbed to discover that several Neutrino members, who had then become part of the Coinbase team, were previously affiliated with the Hacking Team. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong addressed the issues in a recent blog post, saying in deciding to buy Neutrino, they concentrated on its technological clout, while failing to check its team and their prior indiscretions.
“However, 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,” he explained.
“We took some time to dig further into this over the past week, and together with the Neutrino team have come to an agreement: those who previously worked at Hacking Team (despite the fact that they have no current affiliation with Hacking Team), will transition out of Coinbase,” Armstrong mentioned, stating that their past work conflicts with Coinbase’s core values and mission.
Although Coinbase’s onboarding of ex-Hacking Team members into their firm was apparently a grave mistake, several notable figures in the crypto community are urging investors and users to forgive Coinbase.
Popular crypto figure Joseph Young spoke about Coinbase’s recent indiscretion on Twitter:
Blockstack PBC CEO Muneeb Ali also spoke about the exchange’s decision to let go of ex-Hacking Team members:
It is yet to be seen if this whole imbroglio will have any significant impact on the user base of Coinbase in the long term, but their swiftness in apologizing and addressing the issue likely rescued them from increased scrutiny and criticism.
This content was originally published here.