Top crypto company Coinbase paid $13.5 million for controversial intelligence firm Neutrino, Bitcoin Magazine reported Wednesday, after accessing a leaked legal document.
The Neutrino acquisition was at the heart of a heated debate last week after it emerged that its core executives had previously founded Hacking Team; an Italian firm that sold spyware to governments linked to human rights abuses.
The document, dated February 15, also shows that Coinbase agreed to pay Neutrino's three top execs - Hacking Team's former chiefs - nearly $3 million each, as large shareowners. Coinbase said its purchase of Neutrino's technology - and staff - was to help it analyse coin flows from different public blockchains.
Coinbase has since announced that it would be "parting ways" with any Neutrino employees with links to Hacking Team, including CRO Marco Valleri, CTO Alberto Ornaghi and CEO Giancarlo Russo.
A wave of users joined a #DeleteCoinbase movement to put pressure on the exchange for undermining the “censorship-resistant” ethos of the crypto community by association.