US-based cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase seems intent on narrowing its focus on business having highlighted the company’s new ‘Apolitical’ internal stance.
Armstrong spells out Coinbase’s ‘Apolitical’ culture
The letter comes after the company’s CEO outlined the strategic priorities of Coinbase in a blog post on their Medium page on September 27. As was widely reported, Armstrong highlighted the fact that the company would narrow down its focus on its core functions and priorities to be one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges and service providers.
While highlighting this priority, Armstrong made it clear in no uncertain terms that the company would not focus on a variety of factors related to politics and societal issues. Armstrong’s post said that Coinbase would focus ‘minimally on causes not directly related to the mission’ including policy decisions, non-profit work, broader societal issues and political causes.
Further clarifying each point, Armstrong said that the company would understandably engage in governmental policy relating to cryptocurrencies but wouldn’t engage in issues not related to the industry.
As for non-profit work, Armstrong said the company would continue to contribute to its Pledge 1% program and GiveCrypto.org but would not participate further on that front.
“We are a for-profit business. When we make profit, we can use that to hire more great people, and build even more. We shouldn’t ever shy away from making profit, because with more resources we can have a greater impact on the world,” Armstrong wrote in his Medium post.
Armstrong said the company would not engage in issues unrelated to its core mission as it would degrade their ability to impact the sector. The CEO delivered a similar take on political causes.
“We don’t advocate for any particular causes or candidates internally that are unrelated to our mission, because it is a distraction from our mission. Even if we all agree something is a problem, we may not all agree on the solution.”
The Medium post concluded with Armstrong highlighting his belief that the company needs to be clear on the kind of culture it wants to foster – inclusive but narrowly focused on its purpose as a business:
“We are an intense culture and we are an apolitical culture. We’re also committed to making Coinbase a place that creates incredible job opportunities and a welcoming environment for people of every age, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.”
‘Attractive severance package’
Following Armstrong’s Medium post and the attention centred-around the company sharpening its focus on its core mission ‘to create an open financial system for the world’, the CEO announced that it would offer employees severance packages if they wanted to part ways with Coinbase.
The letter sent to staff offers a four months payment package for staff that have worked for the company for less than three years. Employees that have worked at Coinbase for more than three years will be viable for a six month payment package.
In addition Coinbase will offer employees wanting to take the severance package six months medical aid cover through the US Government’s COBRA program.
Down to business
From the outside look in, it seems as though Armstrong is dead set on narrowing the company’s focus on its core offerings. Conceding that drawing a line in the sand when it comes to company policy may have its detractors, Armstrong seems to genuinely believe that Coinbase can affect real change by continuing to improve on its services.
The CEO also pointed to other major companies that have seemingly been hamstrung by allowing employees to actively partake in various activist causes.
“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. We’ve seen what internal strife at companies like Google and Facebook can do to productivity, and there are many smaller companies who have had their own challenges here.”
It is hard to argue with Armstrong’s belief that a concerted effort by his company could profoundly influence the world by continuing to introduce more people to the liberating power of cryptocurrencies and onboarding them into the ecosystem. The CEO believes a long-term, consistent and collaborative effort will be key in reaching that goal.
“Change happens in the world only when a smart, talented, group of people come together to focus on a hard problem for a decade or more. Many companies never stand the test of time, because they decide to dabble in unrelated efforts, and distract and divide their workforce in the process. Paradoxically, by being laser focused on our mission, we will likely have an even greater impact on the world, through our products and growing customer base.”