Coinbase Offers Severance Package to Employees Unsatisfied With 'Apolitical' Mission

Coinbase's CEO has issued a company-wide letter informing employees to get in line with a new cultural shift or take a severance package.

AccessTimeIconSep 30, 2020 at 4:31 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:02 a.m. UTC

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong sent his employees a letter telling them to get in line with a new company "culture shift," offering those unwilling to do so a "generous separation package."

  • Armstrong sent the letter, which CoinDesk obtained, to Coinbase employees on Wednesday, stating the time has come to have a "difficult conversation" over his recent clarification of Coinbase's mission.
  • A person close to the situation and speaking under condition of anonymity confirmed the letter was real and said Coinbase recognized certain employees weren't comfortable with the new direction.
  • Armstrong wrote that Coinbase had "an apolitical culture" in an open letter published Sunday that said the exchange would not engage in "broader societal issues" or entertain employee discussions about these issues.
  • Those employees unhappy with the new direction have been informed they can take up a separation package because "life is too short to work at a company that you are not excited about."
  • The packages includes four months' severance for employees who have been at the exchange less than three years or six months for longer-term employees.
  • Coinbase will also offer six months of health insurance through the U.S. government's COBRA program.
  • Armstrong said he acknowledged "many" were still processing the "cultural shift" and offered to answer questions in an ask-me-anything forum slated for Thursday.
  • Coinbase's CEO also said employees have until Oct. 7 to submit a form to begin the process of severance should they chose to do so.
  • Beyond that date, it will be assumed that everyone at the company agrees with the new company direction, the letter reads.
  • "It doesn't mean you have to agree with every aspect," Armstrong said, "but you should be at least able to disagree and commit to making this new direction a success."

Read the full letter below:


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.