“Most people of color working in tech know that there’s a diversity problem,” said Ms. Butler, who resigned in April 2019. “But I’ve never experienced anything like Coinbase.”
Much of Coinbase’s culture stems from the one around Bitcoin, current and former employees said. Bitcoin, which embodies a libertarian philosophy that snubs its nose at the pieties of mainstream institutions, has attracted a generation of fans known as “crypto bros.” Many have propagated a brash male-dominated way of life, facing criticism for sowing racism and sexism.
Tech companies have long struggled to hire and support Black employees and entrepreneurs. Just 1 percent of venture-backed companies were led by Black entrepreneurs from 2013 to 2018, according to a study by RateMyInvestor, which analyzes tech investors. Large tech companies like Intel, Google and Facebook have publicly said that they need to do better on diversity and have committed to improvements, though progress has been uneven.
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