Former employees of the popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase told the New York Times that they experienced racist and discriminatory treatment during their time with the company. The report comes just weeks following the adoption of a company policy that prohibited discussion of politics at the workplace. CEO Brian Armstrong said at the time, “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.”
According to a report by the New York Times, former employees at Coinbase are speaking out against an alleged pattern of discrimination at the company. Coinbase was founded in 2012 to serve as an exchange for emerging cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The platform has since expanded to several other cryptocurrencies.
In 2018 and 2019, 15 black employees at the company reportedly complained about a pattern of racism and discrimination at the company. Alysa Butler, who resigned from Coinbase in 2019, suggested that Coinbase is worse than any other Silicon Valley company when it comes to “diversity.”
“Most people of color working in tech know that there’s a diversity problem,” Butler said. “But I’ve never experienced anything like Coinbase.”
Ruby Bhattacharya, a former recruiter for Coinbase, claims that her former colleagues ostracized her over her sexuality and race. “I was told I don’t have the right brain for this,” she said. “It was constant condescension.”
Breitbart News reported in October that Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong told employees that they would not be permitted to discuss politics at the workplace. Armstrong was criticized for the policy by progressive leaders in Silicon Valley.
“We don’t engage here when issues are unrelated to our core mission, because we believe impact only comes with focus,” Armstrong wrote in a blog post. “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.”
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