Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse.
John Chiara | CNBC
Fintech start-up Ripple has no plans to follow Silicon Valley peer Coinbase in banning politics from the workplace.
Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, caused a fuss late last month when he wrote a blog post outlining the company’s policy of not being involved in social and political issues.
He said cryptocurrency exchange addresses issues that “do not discuss causes or political candidates internally” or “have nothing to do with our core mission.” Armstrong added that the company has a “non-political culture” and is “focused on lasers” on cryptocurrency advances and profit generation.
Rejecting that stance in an interview with CNBC, Ripple CEO Bradgarlinghouse said he believes tech companies have a “duty” to work towards solving social problems.
“We consider our mission to enable a valuable Internet, but we want society to have positive results,” Garlinghouse told CNBC. “Technology companies have the opportunity to be part of a solution, but I think they have a duty.”
Coinbase declined to comment. The company offered retirement packages to employees who wanted to leave the company because of a renewed work culture. About 5% of Coinbase employees accepted the company’s proposal.
Ripple, known for its cryptocurrency XRP, promotes corporate activity and provides employees with paid leave for voting and volunteering in the next presidential election, a spokesman said.
“The sad reality, I say, is a longtime veteran of Silicon Valley, but some of these (social) problems are at least exacerbated by the technology platform itself,” Garlinghouse said.
For example, the issue of online platforms such as Facebook and YouTube being used to manipulate high-stakes elections and political discourse is generally well documented.
Garlinghouse and his company also alleged that Google’s video sharing service failed to protect consumers from “gift” scams that used fake profiles to send viewers thousands of dollars in XRP. , Said he was bringing YouTube to court.
“We didn’t have to do that, it doesn’t help Ripple,” he said. “But it emphasizes that we need to take ownership of issues that are caused by the platform.”
YouTube was unable to comment immediately when contacted by CNBC.
Last week, Garlinghouse told CNBC that Ripple, which was valued at $ 10 billion in the latest funding round, is considering moving abroad because of unclear regulations on the domestic market surrounding XRP.