Coinbase chief hits out at NYT over forthcoming article alleging racism

Coinbase has alerted employees to an upcoming story in the New York Times alleging racist behaviour at the company, which has suffered a backlash against its refusal to be drawn into political and societal issues, such as the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Coinbase on Defense As NYT Report Alleging Racial Discrimination Goes Live

Yesterday, US-based major crypto exchange Coinbase warned of a scathing report in The New York Times, and, today, the major news outlet published the article, stating that 15 former Coinbase employees who have either quit or were fired from the company have one thing in common — they were all Black. Coinbase employs 600 people, 3% of whom are Black, according to the Times report. Nearly a dozen of the aforementioned subset reportedly told the human resources department that they had suffered “racist or discriminatory treatment,” the report said, citing five undisclosed people with knowledge of the situation. The Times story also features Coinbase’s reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, which reportedly left employees feeling “disappointed” by the silence of CEO Brian Armstrong. Armstrong is on the defense, calling any allegations of discrimination “false.” Coinbase claims that “only three” people out of the 11 mentioned in the article actually filed official complaints during their tenures. One of them was Layllen Sawyerr, who is Black and who quit Coinbase in 2018. Sawyerr told the Times,Coinbase reportedly determined that Sawyerr’s complaint was “unsubstantiated.”Also among the complaints documented in the NYT article, former recruiter at the company, Alysa Butler, stated that she was made to feel “invisible” and left out from important discussions, claims that she says she made clear to her manager.“Most people of color working in tech know that there’s a diversity problem. But I’ve never experienced anything like Coinbase,” Butler, who resigned from the company in April 2019, told the Times. Coinbase reportedly told the Times that it has no record of Ms. Butler’s official complaint. The exchange went on to say that the complaints that were filed were “thoroughly investigated” both through an internal probe and by outside parties, the result of which was “no evidence of wrongdoing.” As a result, Coinbase said it made it clear to the NYT that the claims “were unsubstantiated.”Overall, Coinbase appears to be taking the bad press on the chin, maintaining that they “take all allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior seriously” and that they “do not tolerate harassment or discrimination.” And considering all the attention that bitcoin (BTC) has been getting lately, the Coinbase management team is also predicting that as the company grows, there will be “more, not less, media coverage,” of both the positive and negative sort. has contacted Coinbase with a request for comment and will update this article if an answer is forthcoming.____Learn more: Coinbase Controversy Gets Violent Twist As Twitter CEOs Chime InNew Twist in Coinbase Case Raised More QuestionsBlack Americans Keener on Crypto than Whites Counterparts – Survey

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Brian Armstrong: Coinbase, Cryptocurrency, and Government Regulation | Lex Fridman Podcast #307

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