Coinbase acquires Neutrino for $13.5 million

As per the recent announcement, Coinbase, a giant leading cryptocurrency exchange, has purchased Neutrino, a controversial Italian software services provider, for $13.5 million (€12 million). The acquisition was in the third week of February, but the acquisition value was not known then. A recently leaked legal document reveals the value of the acquisition.

Janine, Block Digest podcast member, has been raising ethical concerns originating from the history of the company as it was connected with an Italian hacking team, man-in-the-middle software provider, whose malware and spyware has been Interrelated with human rights and privacy abuses across the global market.

Such information, when revealed, had raised various questions and concerns from a few of the community members which resulted in the creation of #DeleteCoinbase movement. Finally, Coinbase had to heed under the building community pressure and was made to take an appropriate decision as per the majority’s interest and announce that Coinbase would not collaborate with Neutrino staff who were linked to the Hacking team.

According to the strategy, Neutrino would “continue to operate as a standalone business based out of [Coinbase’s] London office,” that signifies CRO Marco Valleri, CTO Alberto Ornaghi and CEO Giancarlo Russo were initially slated to remain at the post of executives until the severance.

Both Marco Valleri and Alberto Ornaghi were founders of Hacking Team, and Neutrino’s CEO, Giancarlo Russo, had joined the Hacking Team in 2004 as COO. Each executive possessed 22 percent shares in the new company that summed up to around $5,650 (€5,000). The rest 33 percent of shares that summed up to $8,500 (€7,500) was held by 360 Capital, a French-Italian venture capital firm registered in Paris which had invested $565,000 (€500,000) in the project in April 2017.

The agreement further states that Coinbase agreed to buy “the units of the respective total ownership representing the entire share capital of the Company.” The company would issue shares in proportion to the shares held in Neutrino and Ornaghi, Russo and Valleri would each receive a sum up to $2,951,792.91 (€2,608,916.11) and 360 Capital would receive $4,993,401.86 (€4,413,374.16).

On the day the deal was signed, the acquisition’s notary paid each of the executive $487,045 (€430,471) and 360 Capital $4,055,107 (€3,584,071). Also, around $8,332,534 (€7,364,637) was transferred into the Credit Suisse trust account which is related to the company. However, it’s still not evident when the balance capital would get distributed to the previous shareholders.

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