Coinbase responds to Neutrino acquisition criticism

"The compelling reason for making the acquisition was that Neutrino had some really industry leading and best-in-class technology"

Coinbase is looking into its controversial acquisition of blockchain intelligence firm Neutrino, an executive told Cheddar.

“We are aware of the backgrounds of some of the folks that were involved in Neutrino and we are looking into that,” said Christine Sandler, Head of Sales. “The compelling reason for making the acquisition was that it had some really industry leading and best-in-class technology.”

Creating such a partnership is nothing new for a big hitter like Coinbase. However, the deal has ruffled a lot of feathers in the crypto community. The negativity revolves around CEO of Neutrino, Giancarlo Russo, who previously worked for HackingTeam, which has been accused of selling “offensive intrusion and surveillance capabilities to governments, law enforcement agencies, and corporations”. This week, the hashtag #DeleteCoinbase began circulating on social media.

“It was important for us to migrate away from our current providers,” Sandler commented. “They were selling client data to outside sources and it was compelling for us to get control over that and have proprietary technology that we could leverage to keep the data safe and protect our clients.”

XRP

Coinbase has also been in the spotlight this week for adding support for Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency. The ‘is it a security or not?’ debate has weighed heavily on Ripple’s shoulders, but Sandler insisted there had been a groundswell of interest in adding the asset to the Coinbase Pro platform.

“There was some speculation about whether the asset would be classified as a security or not — we’re not securities lawyers. We felt there were compelling arguments on either side,” she said.

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