Angry Bitcoin Fans Delete Coinbase Accounts to Protest Neutrino Acquisition
Leigh Cuen's original article for www.coindesk.com reduced by 60%
The battle cry #DeleteCoinbase is resounding across crypto Twitter as bitcoin users close their exchange accounts to protest a controversial acquisition by the exchange. These users are upset with Coinbase for acquiring Neutrino because that blockchain analytics outfit's executive - CEO Giancarlo Russo, CTO Alberto Ornaghi, and CRO Marco Valleri - previously spearheaded projects for the startup Hacking Team, which sold spyware to several governments known for human rights abuses. Further, even 500 would amount to a sliver of Coinbase's 13 million accounts.
Coinbase declined to comment by time of publication about the number of vocal users now leaving the platform. Last month, Coinbase's director of engineering and product, Varun Srinivasan, told CoinDesk that Neutrino would allow Coinbase to expand cryptocurrency listings quickly while retaining data analysis services in-house. In a statement to The Block, a Coinbase spokesperson said the company was aware of the Neutrino team's past but felt the significance of this business opportunity outweighed that consideration.
Italy's Ministry of Economic Development stated that Hacking Team's exports of surveillance technologies to countries like Egypt posed a clear risk to human rights abroad. Yet among those offended by Coinbase's affiliation with the Hacking Team veterans, many users are posting complaints on social media about difficulty closing their accounts.
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