On Wednesday, major U.S.-based crypto exchange Kraken published a culture statement insisting it would continue to hire through the crypto downturn but only if applicants fit its new “crypto-first culture,” which means employees must “not call someone’s words toxic, hateful, racist, x-phobic, unhelpful, etc.,” and entails things like hiring based “strictly on merit” and not “a short checklist of obvious physical features.”
Kraken’s new culture statement reads more like a manifesto, with sections titled “VI. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sound Money” and “VII. Someone Must be Offended, Some of the Time.” A great deal of it is focused on “The Mission” which Kraken’s manifesto states “is to accelerate the worldwide adoption of cryptocurrency because we believe that this will improve lives of billions of people and usher in a new era of human flourishing.”
In one section, Kraken insists it is founded in “dangerous” ideas: the ideas that free markets must reign supreme, that people must be free to say what they want, and a host of other libertarian beliefs that boil down to protection of private property, self-defense, and autonomy. “This should be no surprise to Americans as these rights can all be derived from the US constitution,” Kraken’s manifesto explains at one point. “Our ability to drive crypto adoption in the world depends on these rights. Not everyone needs to personally hold these beliefs to enlist as a Krakenite but these beliefs are a core component of our culture.”
This single-minded commitment, Kraken cautions, may lead to places that workers don’t like. Its manifesto warns that the company “will engage in lobbying, as a single-issue donor, supporting controversial politicians and legislation that furthers The Mission, possibly to the detriment of other civil rights causes.” Kraken’s commitment to libertarian values also may mean it will advertise and sponsor “controversial” content, and incorporate “firearm and self-defense training” at corporate retreats (though participation will be optional).
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