5% of Coinbase staff left the company amid political controversy

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Cryptocurrency giant Coinbase has been at the centre of a fierce controversy since its chief executive, Brian Armstrong, published a blog post two weeks ago urging employees to avoid engaging in workplace politics.

The post, which appears to have been influenced by the departure of employees because of the company’s attitude toward Black Lives Matter, also called on employees to leave if they disagreed with Armstrong’s position.

On Thursday, Armstrong published a second post explaining his position and revealing the number of employees who decided to leave.

The new post says about 60 workers have accepted the exit package, which provides for compensation for four to six months. That figure represents about 5% of the company’s workforce, says Armstrong, who added that the final figure could be slightly higher given ongoing negotiations with some employees.

Armstrong also said that, contrary to the fears of some Coinbase employees, the departures do not include a disproportionately large number of people of color.

“It was reassuring to see that people from groups under-represented in Coinbase did not choose the exit package in numbers disproportionately large in terms of the total population,” the blog post said.

Armstrong’s latest post comes two weeks after his initial blog post further fueled an ongoing culture war in Silicon Valley. On the one hand are those who say that companies need to do more to promote social justice, while on the other hand we meet those who believe that these discussions are distracting from the main mission of companies.

Armstrong’s original post said the policy had become “in a state of ing” at Coinbase, a position that – what an irony! – confirmed in light of the criticism the company has received from media and other executives, including Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey.

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