Crypto Exchange Kraken Is Hiring, As Long As Employees Don’t Call Things Racist

With the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and just about every other cryptocurrency plummeting, major crypto firms like Coinbase and have laid off hundreds of workers in the past few days alone. But one company is on a hiring spree, but not for employees who will call out racism, transphobia, or label other types of work behavior as toxic.

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, ranked in the top five globally by trading volume, announced in a blog post on Wednesday that it was hiring more than 500 new employees, provided they fit the company’s vision of a ” crypto culture. Another document linked in the post outlines the fundamentals of that culture divided into subsections outlining a particular view of crypto-libertarianism associated with controversial CEO Jesse Powell.

One pillar is that “crypto is for everyone”, and another is that “believing in The mission is essential”: the mission is to accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrencies around the world. Another section, titled “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sound Money,” explains that Kraken is built on a belief in the constitutional basis of free speech, free markets, and armed self-defense.

But apparently, the right to free speech at Kraken isn’t absolute because the next section, “Someone must be offended, at some point,” explains that employees “don’t call someone’s words toxic, hateful, racist, x -phobic” and instead should “calmly challenge ideas with logic, reason, and better ideas.”

If there was confusion about the kind of work environment Kraken promotes, Powell gave his own summary of the culture in a tweet thread posted early Wednesday morning, stating that there were only “20 people out of 3,200 [employees] who are not fully on board.”

The things that made these 20 people not fit together, according to the thread, included concerns about “DEI” (diversity, equity and inclusion), “pronouns” and “if someone can identify as a different race and is allowed to use the N – word.” Powell entertained discussion of these issues for a while, but in his words, “people get irritated by everything and can’t stick to the ground rules of honest debate.”

The Kraken public culture briefing was likely an attempt to preempt reports of the New York Times which referenced chat logs, videos and other internal documents showing Powell conducting a “culture war” within the company. The documents now released by Kraken are reportedly a shortened version of a longer culture document that was sent to employees in early June, with the instruction that they should resign if they did not agree with the values ​​contained in it. the.

According to the Times, Powell posted comments on a company’s Slack channel calling American women “brainwashed” in a discussion of female intelligence. She also reportedly started another channel specifically for the purpose of debating whether people should be able to choose gender pronouns that weren’t assigned to them at birth. Many employees are said to have lobbied hard against Powell, but were told the company culture would not change significantly.

Kraken did not respond to the edge Request for comments at time of publication.

The Kraken story has strong parallels to a previous controversy on the Coinbase exchange. In June 2020, following the death of George Floyd, a group of employees walked out after CEO Brian Armstrong refused to make a public statement in support of Black Lives Matter. Armstrong later stated that Coinbase was a “mission-focused company” that would not get involved in issues unrelated to the core mission and offered a generous exit package to employees who disagreed with his position.

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