The recent controversial acquisition of Neutrino, a blockchain tracking startup by Coinbase has led to criticisms against the exchange from members of the crypto community.
However, to clear the air, Director of Institutional Sales at Coinbase Exchange, Christine Sandler, explained why the exchange acquired Neutrino, a firm whose founders had, in the past, sold surveillance applications to governments agencies and corporations around the globe for nefarious purposes.
In a recent interview, Sandler admits that Coinbase is aware of the background of some of the staffs at Neutrino, but that had not prevented the exchange from acquiring the startup as Coinbase had a more “compelling” reason for doing so.
“We are aware that Neutrino’s Co-Founders previously worked at Hacking Team, which we reviewed as part of our security, technical, and hiring diligence,” she stated.
Emphasizing on the primary reason why Coinbase acquired Neutrino, Sandler revealed that Coinbase had to drop its current tracking providers as they were selling customer data without authorization.
“It was important for us to migrate away from our current providers… They were selling client data to outside sources, and it was compelling for us to get control over that and have proprietary technology that we could leverage to keep the data safe and protect our clients,” Sandler explained.
The Crypto Community Responds With #deletecoinbase
Even though this explanation for the acquisition of Neutrino looks reasonable enough, it seems to have worsened the situation on the ground. This information reveals that users private data were never safe within the exchange, and this has increased the anger of members of the Bitcoin community.
The hashtag #deletecoinbase, which started on social media after the acquisition, has continued to trend, requesting crypto users to delete their Coinbase accounts following the acquisition.
While no one currently knows which data were sold off by the tracking providers, it could hurt users, especially since Coinbase is stringent with its know-your-customer (KYC) procedures.