At the end of September Coinbase grabbed headlines following a public statement from Armstrong, in which the company’s CEO outlined a changing culture stance which essentially informed employees that the company would become laser-focused on its own goals and not support various forms of social activism and current societal causes.
The original letter to staff which was then published on the Coinbase blog said that the company was a ‘mission focused’ entity that would adopt an entirely ‘apolitical’ stance when it came to various societal issues.
Furthermore Coinbase went on to offer employees that were not on the same page a severance package if they chose to leave the company on the grounds of its changing internal policy towards activism.
60 employees have chosen to leave
Following Armstrong’s public statements on the company’s changing culture, employees that wished to part ways with Coinbase had a short window to act upon the offered severance package.
Armstrong shared an email that was sent out to employees on October 8, highlighting the fact that the option to take the package had now expired.
“Many of you are probably curious about the outcome. I wanted to share that about 5% of employees (60) have decided to take the exit package. There are a handful of other conversations still ongoing, so the final number will likely be a bit higher. For those of you who have decided to move on, I want to thank you for your contributions to Coinbase and we wish you the very best. And for those of you who are opting in to the next chapter, I want to thank you for your trust and commitment to this mission. I’m excited to build the future with all of you,” Armstrong wrote in his letter to the company.
Following that statement Armstrong went on to highlight that fears that the company’s clarification on its culture might ‘disproportionately impact our under-represented minority population at Coinbase’ had not come to fruition.
“It was reassuring to see that people from under-represented groups at Coinbase have not taken the exit package in numbers disproportionate to the overall population,” Armstrong wrote.
‘Not engaging in broader activism’
Armstrong also clarified a few points that had been brought up by various commentators and detractors across the industry.
The Coinbase CEO conceded that the nature of cryptocurrencies are inherently political and that it would continue to support this particular space.
“Yes, we are ok being political about this one particular area because it relates to our mission.”
Armstrong also noted that the company and its employees would not ‘pretend’ that wider political issues do not exist and would support and continue to have internal conversations among its staff around these issues. However the company would still ‘not engage in broader activism as a company’ outside of its ‘mission’.
The CEO further added that the company would not be on the lookout for employees that continue to flirt with the boundaries of activism that would go against the changing policy.
“We recognize it’s a blurry line, and ask that employees use good judgment. Our goal is not to look for violations, but rather to support employees in adapting to these clarified expectations.”