American crypto exchange Coinbase’s bid to separate work from politics has been met with a tidal wave of criticism, with Twitter’s CEO and former chief having their say on what has become a furious online controversy that just got some virtual taste of violence.
Richard Costolo, the CEO of Twitter from 2010 to 2015, accused Coinbase’s management of “me-first capitalism,” saying that this kind of people “are going to be the first people lined up against the wall and shot in the revolution.”
@pt @Jason @coinbase Me-first capitalists who think you can separate society from business are going to be the firs… https://t.co/6KogAYs2ny
— dick costolo (@dickc)
People reacted by saying that they “cannot believe that a former CEO of [T]witter said that he’d be happy if Brian [Armstrong] was lined up and shot.” While others suggested that Costolo is breaking “its own hateful conduct policy,” as Twitter rules state that they “do not tolerate content that wishes, hopes or expresses a desire for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against an individual or group of people.”
“Wow, get ready for the smartest innovators to build their companies outside of the US if this keeps up!” added popular crypto trader Tone Vays.
It all began when Coinbase stated, in a blog post authored by its CEO Brian Armstrong, that it wanted to place a ban on its staff from engaging in political debate while at work, claiming that poli-talk was not in line with its greater mission. Anyone not on board with the idea, said the exchange giant, was welcome to agree terms on a severance package and quit the company.
But Jack Dorsey, the Twitter CEO, said that the crypto industry simply cannot be apolitical.
He tweeted that bitcoin (BTC) and crypto were synonymous with “direct activism against an unverifiable and exclusionary financial system.”
#Bitcoin (aka “crypto”) is direct activism against an unverifiable and exclusionary financial system which negative… https://t.co/gBFtTMftbE
— jack (@jack)
“There are real issues that real people who use these services every day experience. Why would we not acknowledge and connect with our mission? Not asking for solutions, but as we connect the issues the solutions become clearer.”
Coinbase’s bid to “focus on what unites us, not what divides us” and build a “championship team” through an apolitical stance has sent social media into a storm – despite Armsong’s public backing of the Black Lives Matter movement back in summer this year.
Some sided with the Twitter chief’s sentiments.
Bitcoin has political implications. Best make your peace with that.
— Stephan Livera (@stephanlivera)
However, some claim they are baffled as to why the crypto community and social media appear to have turned on Armstrong so quickly.
It’s interesting to see that the one time that I agree with @brian_armstrong and I think he did a great job is when… https://t.co/o5hTWYotXE
— WhalePanda (@WhalePanda)
@peterktodd I agree that he had the sanest response about the subject of any CEO I saw for a while… to me, this w… https://t.co/Ov51PihIEf
— Nicolas Dorier (@NicolasDorier)
Others stated they feared Armstrong’s imminent “cancellation” as the backlash rages.
I have mixed feelings about @brian_armstrong’s impending cancellation.
— Jimmy Song (송재준) (@jimmysong)
And others still accused Dorsey of talking the crypto talk, but ultimately failing to put his money where his mouth is.
@pierre_rochard There are various ways to support the movement. I’m happy with what we’re doing with @sqcrypto and… https://t.co/VwRDdN62xa
— jack (@jack)
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