Coinbase discriminates against its employees

NY Times scoop: Coinbase discriminates against its employees on the basis of gender and race

The influential American newspaper wrote that „Coinbase’s pay disparities appear to be far greater than those of the tech industry as a whole“

New controversy at Coinbase, the well-known San Francisco-based exchange: according to a report by New York Times journalist Nathaniel Popper, according to 2018 payroll data, the company Bitcoin Bonanza would have paid its black employees about 7% less than their white colleagues in similar positions: the average difference was about $11,500. When the company’s stock options are taken into account, the gap between the pay of white and black employees at Coinbase was closer to 11%.

The journalist also claims that there is a gender pay gap

For example, top-level male managers at Coinbase earn 20% more than their female peers. On average, women at the company were paid 8% less, about $13,000, than their male counterparts in 2018.

Popper wrote:

„Coinbase’s pay disparity appears to be much greater than that of the tech industry as a whole, and the few other tech companies that have had to publish data.“

Coinbase’s Chief People Officer, L. J. Brock, was quick to respond to the allegations. In an internal company email, published today on Coinbase’s blog, the company says it has done „significant work to ensure that the pay-for-performance philosophy […] is transparent and fair“ since 2018.

It said that „all eligible employees“ received at least a 3% pay increase at the beginning of 2019 and that employee pay targets were made transparent during the same year. The email also reports the number of employees at the crypto company has grown from 830 in 2018 to more than 1,000 in 2020.

The company blog reads:

„Coinbase is committed to eliminating bias in all internal processes without delay. We also recognise that it is good practice to regularly monitor our work and, while pay equity is key at every stage of the company’s development, we believe we have implemented a framework to ensure fair outcomes.“

This is not the first time that the exchange has come under the spotlight for issues relating to the management of its staff. In October, CEO Brian Armstrong declared that the company would adopt an „apolitical culture“, offering a severance package to any employee who did not agree with the move. Armstrong later stated that, following this statement, 60 staff members decided to leave the company, about 5% of Coinbase’s workforce at the time.