What a past couple of weeks it has been for Coinbase. The San Francisco-headquartered added XRP to its Pro and Consumer platforms in rapid succession, and the firm acquired Neutrino, an analytics and research startup. In a company statement, the now-Neutrino owner, valued at a hefty $8 billion, noted that it participated in this business deal due to the importance of blockchain data in its raison d’etre of creating a global open financial system.
Coinbase added that Neutrino’s roster of offerings would allow it to prevent the theft of digital assets, delve into ransomware attacks, and most importantly, identify bad actors in the ecosystem.
Just days, if not hours after Coinbase made this announcement, investor discovered that members of the Neutrino team aren’t God-given angels. Chief executive of the analytics unit, Giancarlo Russo, along with two other C-suite members, actively participate in Hacking Team, a cybersecurity startup that sold spyware and questionable pieces of software to purportedly human rights abuser groups and governments. The prime example that critics took to was the Hacking Team’s involvement with the Saudi Arabian government, specifically the case in which the company may have aided the seeming murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Read more