Armstrong says „silent majority“ supports political neutrality of Coinbas

New Audo leaks show accusations against Coinbase.

The management of the large crypto company Coinbase has recently decided to stop political discourse within its own workforce in order to focus back on the company’s objectives. Founder and CEO Brian Armstrong then called an extraordinary works meeting to discuss this change in corporate culture with his staff. Meanwhile, audio recordings of the meeting on October 1 have been leaked to the tech news portal Motherboard.

Motherboard writes: „Excerpts from an internal staff meeting show that Coinbase has been accused of preventing internal discussions and that the company has deleted political slack messages.

Motherboard asked Coinbase for comments, whereupon the crypto company replied that „these accusations are very extreme and not true“. However, when asked again by Motherboard, Coinbase did not clarify which of the allegations made were false.

With the works meeting, Armstrong wanted to establish new guidelines for the internal company culture, which is why he invited his staff to a dialogue to discuss the changed principles of Coinbase.

Armstrong had previously published a blog entry on 27 September in which he explained the background to this change. According to the blog entry, his company would return to political neutrality in the face of the irritable political climate, at least for all issues not directly related to crypto-currencies. In the course of this, he asked his employees to stop dealing with politics at work. In the meantime, almost 5 % of the staff have accepted Coinbase’s offer to leave the company voluntarily with a severance payment.

Motherboard also reports that Coinbase has asked its staff to delete certain Bitcoin Legacy political content from the slack-messenger, which is used for internal company communication. In doing so, the management is said to have specifically targeted people who have disseminated certain content.

At the works meeting, Armstrong claimed that a „silent majority“ of the workforce would agree to the change to political neutrality. According to the Motherboard, this did little to appease those employees who now fear repression if they express a political opinion.

Rather, some employees would fear that they would be under constant surveillance in the future and that the company would closely monitor all messages in the company messenger, including those on company mobile phones.

For example, citing an anonymous former Coinbase employee who left the company after the said staff meeting, Motherboard writes that the company’s assurances were unconvincing, leading to fear of surveillance and censorship.

Although some employees see their freedom of expression curtailed by the new direction, Coinbase’s management clearly agrees with the new political neutrality.