Brian Armstrong, co-founder, and CEO of Coinbase has announced that Neutrino staffs who involved in Hacking Team software firm will be moved out of Coinbase, according to a blog post published on March 4.
Previously on Feb 19, US-based giant Coinbase has acquired a blockchain startup called Neutrino. This event leads to controversy from blockchain community since the former founders of Neutrino were members of commercial software firm Hacking Team, which had been reported to sell spyware to governments and law enforcement agencies. The hashtag #DeleteCoinbase has been seeding on social media to protest this controversial acquisition, TheCryptoSight reported.
Responding to the Hacking Team scandal, Armstrong has given his official statement claiming that “while Coinbase 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.”
Then he stated that “We […] 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.”
The CEO described the Neutrino acquisition as a “gap in Coinbase’s due diligence process.” However, to function and connect well to the banking system, which requires a legally compliant and regulated platform, Neutrino’s Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer technology and blockchain analytics tools in-house are crucially important, he added.
Regarding “Bitcoin, and crypto more generally, is about the rights of the individual and about the technological protection of civil liberties,” Armstrong admitted that Coinbase had not made “the right tradeoff in this specific case.”
As TheCryptoSight reported yesterday, Coinbase director of institutional sales Christine Sandler had defended the Neutrino acquisition, stating that it was essential for the exchange to migrate away from its existing blockchain analytics tools providers because they had been selling Coinbase clients’ data to outside sources.