The Coinbase-Neutrino controversy has been an ongoing event in the cryptocurrency sphere ever since the acquisition occurred on February 19. The acquisition of Neutrino created a massive storm because its core team was also part of HackingTeam, an organization accused of selling cyber hacking tools to countries with a poor human rights track records.
A report had revealed that Coinbase purchased the controversial software services provider for $13.5 million. The document further stated that the Bria Armstrong-led Coinbase agreed to buy “the units of the respective total ownership representing the entire share capital of the company”. Marco Valleri and Alberto Ornaghi, the founders of Hacking Team, each received $2.951 million respectively. Valleri also stated:
“Neutrino would continue to operate as a standalone business based out of [Coinbase’s] London office.”
The news related to Coinbase, its partners and the Neutrino acquisition occupied the lion’s share of the events in the cryptocurrency field. After the backlash to the Neutrino acquisition, Coinbase’s Director of Institutional Sales Christine Sandler claimed that its partners had sold user data to the third parties.
Some of the partners who were brought into the picture because of the above-mentioned comment were Elliptic and Chainalyis, who both categorically rejected the claims. In an official release, Chainalysis said:
“We do not share any personally identifiable information about cryptocurrency users with exchanges. When we screen a transaction in KYT for an exchange customer, we add it to our list of transactions made by that service.”
Elliptic also ensured that it had a clean slate as its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. James Smith, commented:
“Elliptic has no access to end users’ personally identifiable information. Our exchange clients, including Coinbase, do not provide us with any personally identifiable information about their users. Our clients use our solutions to screen specific transactions for risk.”
The acquisition, which was completed on February 19, aimed to boost Coinbase’s hold on the cryptocurrency market after sources stated Coinbase’s market share had halved since 2017. The acquisition release stated:
“Neutrino’s technology is the best we’ve encountered in this space, and it will play an important role in legitimizing crypto, making it safer and more accessible for people all over the world.”
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