John Russ, global marketing head at San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, will leave the company following its new “no politics in the workspace” stance, he announced on Twitter yesterday.

Prior to Russ’s announcement, Coinbase’s chief compliance officer Jeff Horowitz likewise decided to leave the exchange, although it reportedly had nothing to do with the new policy, according to The Block’s sources. Andrei Anisimov, a senior software engineer at Coinbase, also tweeted on October 10 that it was his last week at the company, yet similarly provided no additional details as to why.


As Decrypt reported, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong stirred up quite a controversy recently by announcing a new company policy that prohibits employees from discussing political matters at work. Naturally, this immediately split the crypto community into two camps.

While some commenters applauded Armstrong for separating politics from business, others bashed him for allegedly invading employees’ privacy and stifling freedom of speech. Whatever the case may be, Armstrong still offered generous severance packages to all Coinbase employees who have issues with the new non-activist rules.

In total, Coinbase has lost at least 60 employees—or around 5% of its workforce—since the political speech ban was announced.

In his turn, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently argued that Coinbase’s new policy may be contradicting the free spirit of Bitcoin as it is “important to at least acknowledge and connect the related societal issues your customers face daily.”


Because Twitter is all about free speech without censorship, right?

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