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  • The co-founders of Neutrino, a blockchain analytics firm acquired by Coinbase were related to the controversial “Hacking Team” company.
  • After social media outrage, Coinbase released a statement saying that those members will “transition out of Coinbase.”

As reported by FX Street, Coinbase lately attracted social media outrage for acquiring Italian blockchain analytics startup, Neutrino. Neutrino’s co-founders Giancarlo Russo, Marco Valleri, and Alberto Ornaghi were directly related to “Hacking Team,” a company whose spyware has been used by many international governments and law enforcement agencies.

Giving in to the relentless pressure, Coinbase’s CEO, Brian Armstrong, released a statement titled, “Living up to our values and the Neutrino acquisition.” Armstrong says:

“However, 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. This was not an easy decision, but their prior work does present a conflict with our mission. We are thankful to the Neutrino team for engaging with us on this outcome.”

He also promised that Coinbase will take precautions not to repeat this in the future::

“Coinbase seeks to be the most secure, trusted, and legally compliant bridge to cryptocurrency. We sometimes need to make practical tradeoffs to run a modern, regulated exchange, but we did not make the right tradeoff in this specific case. We will fix it and find another way to serve our customers while complying with the law.”