In a blogpost shared on Sunday, digital currency exchange Coinbase announced that it would focus on its company mission rather than focus on outside causes including activism and politics.
The blog titled “Coinbase is a mission focused company,” penned by Coinbase co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong explained what the company’s mission is and why it decided not to focus on outside causes.
In the post, Armstrong compared the staff at Coinbase to that of a “championship team,” and broke down what elements that includes such as, “Be[ing] company first”, “Act[ing] in service of the greater mission”, a focus on unity, having a high performance, and “Focus on what unites us, not what divides us.”
Later in the post, Armstrong laid out simply what the bitcoin broker’s mission is: “Coinbase’s mission is to create an open financial system for the world.” He also said that during the year there were different ideas about what the mission meant. He said some employees believed that the mission included “all forms of equality and justice,” while others thought that the company was “trying to create infrastructure for the cryptoeconomy, and that yes, this would create more equality of access for all people, but [Coinbase] weren’t trying to solve all forms of inequality in the world.” Armstrong said that the latter interpretation of the mission was what he intended for the company. The CEO said that this was clarified at a recent all hands meeting.
He proceeded to summarize some how the company would proceed, explaining that company goals were of chief importance and that political arguments at work would not be welcome, and Coinbase won’t pursue activist causes outside of its mission. The summary can be found below:
- Debate causes or political candidates internally
- Expect the company to represent our personal beliefs externally
- Assume negative intent, or not have each others back
- Take on activism outside of our core mission at work
- Fight to get on the same page when we have differences
- Support each other, and create team cohesion
- Assume positive intent
- Put the company goals ahead of our teams or individual goals
He also said that employees were still welcome to discuss issues like pay or conditions of employment.
Earlier in the letter, Armstrong explained that the company would limit its stance on outside issues, unless they affected Coinbase’s mission. For example, it wouldn’t take a stance on policy decisions relating to issues like healthcare or education, but if a bill related to cryptocurrency was introduced, it may take a stance. He also explained that the company’s non-profit work was limited. While there are programs like “Pledge 1%” and GiveCrypto.org, it was only a small part of the company’s work.
In two bullet points, he summarized that the company wouldn’t engage with “broader societal issues” or advocate for “causes or candidates internally that are unrelated to [the] mission,” as both distract from time given to the company’s mission. He also said that there was still room for debate regarding Coinbase’s work among team members.
Armstrong concluded the letter by calling for an inclusive workplace, and reassuring that focusing on the mission would help the company be better. “We’re also committed to making Coinbase a place that creates incredible job opportunities and a welcoming environment for people of every age, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc,” he wrote.
He continued, “At Coinbase, that culture means staying focused on our mission and being the best company we can be. I believe this is how we will have the greatest impact.”
A press contact for Coinbase did not respond to Newsweek’s emailed request for comment in time for publication.