Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced this evening that the company is firing key members of recently acquired high-profile security firm Neutrino. Per Armstrong:
We had a gap in our diligence process. While we looked hard at the technology and security of the Neutrino product, we did not properly evaluate everything from the perspective of our mission and values as a crypto company. We took some time to dig further into this over the past week, and together with the Neutrino team have come to an agreement: those who previously worked at Hacking Team (despite the fact that they have no current affiliation with Hacking Team), will transition out of Coinbase.
News of the Hacking Team members' ouster follows an intense period of criticism of the acquisition. As the controversy initially developed, Coinbase said in a statement to The Block that it is “aware that Neutrino’s co-founders previously worked at Hacking Team, which we reviewed as part of our security, technical, and hiring diligence.” Per that statement, “Coinbase does not condone nor will it defend the actions of Hacking Team,” but “it was important for Coinbase to bring this function in-house to fully control and protect our customers’ data and Neutrino’s technology was the best we encountered in the space to achieve this goal.”
Clearly, Coinbase management has had a change of heart over the past few days -- and the Hacking Team members are no longer part of the organization.