According to an email sent by Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong, to his staff, San Francisco-based leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase might lose 5% of its employees who are not comfortable with the exchange’s policy, which bans employees from political activism.
In a blog post on Thursday, October 8th, Brian Armstrong said that about 60 employees had accepted an exit package offered to staffers bothered by the policy.
On September 28, in a blog post titled “Coinbase is a mission-focused company,” Brian clarified to staff that he wanted Coinbase to be a mission-focused and apolitical company. According to him, political activism is harmful to companies like Coinbase that are working on a broader mission. He wrote:
“The reason is that while I think these efforts are well-intentioned, they have the potential to destroy a lot of value at most companies, both by being a distraction and by creating internal division.”
He offered generous severance packages to those who didn’t want to comply with his prohibition on political activism at work. He said:
“But for some employees, working at an activism focused company may be core to what they want, and we want to prompt that conversation with their manager to help them get to a better place. Life is too short to work somewhere that you aren’t excited about, and we’re happy to make that a win-win conversation.”
According to a follow-up article on Thursday, Brian noted that about 5% of employees (60) have decided to take the exit package and the number is expected to grow. “There are a handful of other conversations still ongoing, so the final number will likely be a bit higher,” he said.
According to some source, 8% of employees has shown interest in the exit package, but the total isn’t expected to reach that high.
In his email to staffers, he clarified that general political discussion about cryptocurrencies is permitted as it is related to Coinbase’s mission of creating an open financial system for the world. “We have just made a decision to not engage in broader activism as a company outside of our mission,” he added.
This decision has sparked a debate among the crypto community. There are mixed reviews about this decision but Paul Graham, an English-born American computer scientist, predicted that the most successful companies would follow Coinbase’s lead.
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