Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange company, is forbidding employees from discussing political and social issues at work, and offered to pay employees who decide to quit in light of the new rule.
CEO Brian Armstrong told staff in an email that the company would offer severance packages to anyone “who doesn’t feel comfortable with this new direction,” according to CNBC.
“Life is too short to work at a company that you aren’t excited about,” Armstrong said in the email. “Hopefully this package helps create a win-win outcome for those who choose to opt out.”
Armstrong explained last week that Coinbase “won’t debate causes or political candidates internally” and will not engage with issues that are “unrelated to the core mission, because we believe impact only comes with focus.”
That core mission, he said, is the use of digital currencies and the profits these currencies guarantee.
Both companies have also taken a proactive role in politics, banning certain ads and favoring certain political groups in their algorithms.
“While I think these efforts are well intentioned, they have the potential to destroy a lot of value at most companies, both by being a distraction, and by creating internal division,” Armstrong said. “I believe most employees don’t want to work in these divisive environments.”
#Bitcoin (aka “crypto”) is direct activism against an unverifiable and exclusionary financial system which negatively affects so much of our society. Important to at *least* acknowledge and connect the related societal issues your customers face daily. This leaves people behind: https://t.co/0LMlF1qcmG
— jack (@jack) September 30, 2020
Armstrong responded and said he “agreed” with Dorsey, and admitted that Coinbase is political — but only about one thing: cryptocurrencies.
Totally agree. We are political about one thing: our mission. (This includes Bitcoin, crypto, economic freedom, etc).
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) October 1, 2020