Twitter and Cash App founder Jack Dorsey stirred up controversy in the Bitcoin community after his comments on a recent “mission-driven” policy by crypto exchange Coinbase attracted bouquets from some, and brickbats from others.
Dorsey said in a tweet earlier today, “Bitcoin (aka crypto) is direct activism against an unverifiable and exclusionary financial system.” He also suggested that companies must acknowledge the issues their customers face in the real world.
“There are real issues that real people who use these services everyday experience. Why would we not acknowledge and connect with our mission?” added Dorsey in another tweet.
Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, published a blog post earlier this week detailing Coinbase's plans to avoid societal and political distractions and focus on its mission instead, that of “building an open financial system for the world.”
“We don’t advocate for any particular causes or candidates internally that are unrelated to our mission, because it is a distraction from our mission,” Armstrong wrote in the blog post.
But the post wasn’t received well in some quarters. Critics — including some current and ex-Coinbase employees — raised concerns against the exchange’s apparent capitalist approach.
“Why can’t Coinbase acknowledge the injustice and inequality that affects many current and future users?” questioned Reuben Bramanathan, a former Coinbase employee and current partner at Fair Launch Capital.
Dorsey’s comments were in the same vein. However, those siding with Armstrong noted that companies are, in fact, profit-driven entities and that external politics do not have a place in such a structure.
“[Armstrong] basically told people that companies aren't the place to practice politics. It's a place of work where everyone should be focused on the same mission, building the company,” explained angel investor WhalePanda.
Pierre Rochard, a Bitcoin developer, shared the sentiment, “[Armstrong] is correct with separating local politics from the global workplace. Get involved in your local politics, but don’t use it as an excuse to spam your coworkers who have their own different local politics.”
As news outlet Bloomberg noted, the Coinbase letter was a suggestion for more tech companies to adopt an apolitical stance, as a reaction to a growing movement within the tech sector for employees’ beliefs to be better represented by their companies.