Chamath Palihapitiya responds to Coinbase controversy: Get a soapbox

  • Well-known venture investor Chamath Palihapitiya said on his “All-In” podcast that employees should be able to have free-form debate on any topic, on one condition — they should have to speak from a physical soapbox.
  • The investor was responding to the Coinbase controversy where Brian Armstrong told employees in a memo last week that politics and social causes had no place at the company.
  • “You put the soapbox someplace — in a safe space — where you can go and you can talk and people who want to listen will listen, and people who need to work can work, and people who don’t want to listen don’t have to be forced to listen,” Palihapitiya said on the podcast.
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The head of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, created a firestorm in tech last week when he told employees in a memo to leave their politics and

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How the Coinbase memo exemplifies Silicon Valley’s current political crisis

Coinbase, the bitcoin bank valued at $8 billion and expected to go public in 2021, is going through an internal identity crisis.

It started back in June, amid the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, when Brian Armstrong, the company’s extremely introverted cofounder and CEO, was asked a question at an employee town hall about why Coinbase had not shown public support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Armstrong declined to give a clear answer, according to crypto news site The Block, and his avoidance resulted in a virtual walkout by “hundreds” of Coinbase’s 1,100 employees on June 3.

The next day, Armstrong tweeted, “I want to unequivocally say that Black Lives Matter.” He added: “I’ve been watching the events of the last few weeks unfold – I really did not know what to say about it for a long time, and I’m still not sure I

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Coinbase Workers Rattled by Politics Ban and Fear Being Muzzled

(Bloomberg) — Coinbase Inc.’s clampdown on discussing politics and activism at work — and the offer of severance packages to employees who don’t want to comply — continues to ripple through the cryptocurrency exchange and Silicon Valley.



a group of people standing in a living room: Inside the Coinbase Inc. office in San Francisco, California, U.S., in 2017.


© Bloomberg
Inside the Coinbase Inc. office in San Francisco, California, U.S., in 2017.

Many employees were shocked by Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong’s blog post imposing the rules Sunday, and some are concerned that he is trying to stymie discourse that should be happening, according to two people familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified. Neither knew of anyone taking an exit package from the San Francisco-based company, but employees have until Oct. 7 to apply.

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Jack Dorsey, Twitter Inc.’s CEO and a noted Bitcoin advocate, criticized Armstrong’s ban on politics, saying late Wednesday the change runs counter to the core principles of cryptocurrencies. Other veterans of

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Coinbase head draws scorn and praise for anti employee activism post

  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong wrote in a blog post over the weekend that corporate activism was a “distraction” from his company’s mission of increasing global access to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
  • Mentioning charged topics like the police killing of Breonna Taylor and the upcoming presidential election, Armstrong implied that employees who wanted their company to be focused on social issues should find work elsewhere.
  • Some in the startup and venture capital world were outraged, pointing out that Armstrong tweeted “Black Lives Matter” in June.
  • Others cheered Armstrong, like investor Paul Graham.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The CEO of cryptocurrency broker Coinbase Brian Armstrong stirred outrage and praise from Silicon Valley over the weekend by coming out with a hard line against employee activism at work in a Medium post Sunday.

Mentioning hot-button issues like the police shooting of Breonna Taylor and the upcoming U.S. election, Armstrong said he

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New Android Malware ‘Alien’ Targeting Coinbase Wallets Can Steal Passwords

KEY POINTS

  • Alien is based on Cerberus, a notorious malware that affected Google Play store
  • The malware can harvest and forward SMS messages, steal login credentials, and display fake login pages to users
  • Alien targets financial and cryptocurrency apps

A new Android malware, named “Alien”, targeting financial apps is capable of stealing credentials from 226 applications including cryptocurrency apps like Coinbase, according to security researchers from ThreatFabric.

The researchers say Alien has been active since the beginning of 2020 and is being offered as a “Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS)” in underground forums. The team noted that Alien was based on the source code for Cerberus, a notorious malware that Google’s security team was able to control by August 2020, Cointelegraph reported. 

Alien, even though it has the same base code as Cerberus, is more advanced and can intercept Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) codes and mimic and overlay content on top of other apps.

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