The story of CoinBase’s acquisition of Neutrino is hardly news anymore but continues to be one of the most talked-about topics in crypto.
Besides the acquisition itself, there was controversy surrounding the co-founders of Neutrino, who were revealed to have previously been part of a software hacking firm that sold spyware to governments with human rights violations links.
This resulted in the hashtag #deleteCoinBase to trend online with critics calling for a boycott of the firm.
In an attempt to save the situation, CoinBase’s Head of sales to sit down for an interview with Cheddar where she explained that the reason for the acquisition was that CoinBase’s previous analytics provider was selling user information.
“We are aware of the backgrounds of some of the folks that were involved in Neutrino and we are looking into that,” she said,”The compelling reason for making the acquisition was that Neutrino had some really industry leading and best-in-class technology.”
Within days, several firms such as Chainalysis and Elliptic release statements saying that they have not ever and do not currently sell user data and went into an in-depth explanation of their company policies.
This also sparked fresh debates in the industry about user data and how it is handled (and possibly mishandled) by analytics firms and crypto exchanges themselves, with several firms frantically trying to clear their names and reassure users.
Now, more details are emerging about the controversial acquisition, specifically how much money was exchanged in the process. According to some leaked documents regarding the sale, CoinBase paid an impressive $13.5 million to acquire Neutrino.
CoinBase has since announced that it will be parting ways with Neutrino CRO Marco Valleri, CTO Alberto Ornaghi and CEO Giancarlo Russo, who had been part of the Hacking team. The relationship ended, however, with a payout of $3 million to each of the members.
With the sale finalized, CoinBase says it will now make use of Neutrino’s technology and expertise to analyze the coin flows from public blockchains while the firm will continue to act as an independent arm of CoinBase in London.
“By analyzing data on public blockchains, Neutrino will help us prevent theft of funds from peoples’ accounts, investigate ransomware attacks, and identify bad actors. It will also help us bring more cryptocurrencies and features to more people while helping ensure compliance with local laws and regulations,” the announcement of the acquisition said.