I would personally not believe that we can be insulated from social affairs happening around us. Social issues such as BLM, racial injustice, social inequity are facts and they have to be addressed as we live in the same ecosystem. Individuals are never isolated from those issues and they would either acknowledge it or oppose the fact. But what about institutions? Do you think crypto companies or even tech companies should remain out of these political issues?
Recent news that broke out about Coinbase and its CEO’s stance on “Apolitical Organization” has made me think about this issue. Maybe it depends on what vantage point you are at when it comes to these social issues. For the context, Coinbase apparently has been dealing with Staff walkouts over the disagreement on how the organization handled the BLM issue. On that ground, the CEO posted a blogpost on Medium where he outlined how Coinbase is a mission focused company and mentioned > “We don’t engage here when issues are unrelated to our core mission, because we believe impact only comes with focus”.
This is a bold statement and obviously there are people supporting the statement as a stance that tech or crypto companies need to take to remain focused on their project goal which has nothing to do with social issues. However, there are people who criticized the move and said the tech or crypto companies must deal with social issues as they cannot function outside of this social bubble.
It is interesting to see that this narrative is being played out now where social issues are seriously touchy. Especially when the US election is happening in less than a month and people are sensitive about the racial injustice Coinbase could have played it safe. But, the CEO did not and now they are offering a severance package for the staff who choose to quit. This shows how determined the CEO is when it comes to having a team with undivided focus on their company’s mission.
Is it sustainable though?
Can you remain apolitical on issues that affect you?
If you are an employee who faces injustice on a daily basis in society, how would this decision impact you?
In the past, tech companies were considered the outliers without having the impacts the other companies had in the society. But, in a world where tech companies are the biggest companies it is childish to say that you want to remain focused on your mission without factoring in social issues.
On top of that, Coinbase represents the Crypto sector which epitomizes freedom and decentralization. Personally, it seems unorthodox for a crypto company to have a formal road-map that promotes economic freedom but not focus on policy issues that will eventually affect their organizational existence and functionality.
I understand the point why someone would want to distance themselves from politics though. The political divide and polarization we have witnessed in the last couple of years is ugly. It is impossible to remain saint with what’s going on around you. But, that does not mean you chose to remain apolitical when you run an organization full of employees from the same society that is being impacted by the same policies
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