Brian Armstrong, Co-Founder, and CEO of Coinbase shared insights in his blog on the acquisition of the blockchain intelligence platform, Neutrino and a decision going forward.
Brian commenced by stating that the mission of Coinbase is to foster a transparent financial system for all individuals. In order to achieve this, Brian noted, every person must have access to cryptocurrencies. Since the current infrastructure is linked to traditional financial models, there should be a way to seamlessly connect and be compliant with the rules.
Brian highlighted that any cryptocurrency exchange which has facets of banking must have a know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) program. Brian added that another key component of such programs is blockchain analytics.
Brian touched upon a crucial point that Coinbase had worked with several outside vendors in an effort to avail blockchain analytics. However, these vendors were not supporting all the assets that Coinbase yearned to have on their platform. When Coinbase became aware that this capability should become in-house, Neutrino was just right for acquisition, with the needed skills.
Brian admitted that there was a gap in the assessment process post the acquisition of Neutrino. Brian emphasized that although Coinbase scrutinized the technology and security of the Neutrino product, due diligence was not given to evaluate from the perspective of a crypto company.
Brian cited a rather tough decision –
“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.”
Brian noted that the portfolio of the team which was laid off, presents a conflict with Coinbase’s mission. Brian thanked Neutrino for working with Coinbase on this decision.
Brian concluded in his blog capturing the spirit of cryptocurrencies as being a technological savior of civil liberties. Brian vouched that Coinbase would maintain its stance as the most secure, trusted and compliant pathway to digital coins. He also averred that compromises have to be made to run efficiently but in this case, they had faltered.
Coinbase made news with its acquisition of Neutrino last month. Coinbase was very much drawn by the features of blockchain intelligence which Neutrino had to offer. Neutrino also maps blockchain networks and provides insights about cryptocurrency transactions.