U.S.-based digital asset platform Coinbase has acquired Neutrino, a blockchain intelligence startup that is a rival to Chainalysis.
There were no details about the cost of the acquisition, but the move was in Coinbase’s effort to enhance its compliance efforts and regulatory relationships.
Italy-based Neutrino uses blockchain analytics to identify potential money laundering or other illegal transactions on the blockchain. The company’s eight employees will move into Coinbase’s London office and will retain their distinction as a separate entity in order to continue serving external clients.
According to Coinbase’s director of engineering and product, Varun Srinivasan, the acquisition will help Coinbase research new assets while simultaneously ensuring the cryptocurrency exchange can identify undesirable activity, like theft, without handing over internal information to external companies.
Coinbase has said that companies like Chainalysis, Whitestream, and Elementus are “necessary” in an “open financial system.”
The company also stated, “Neutrino’s technology is the best we’ve encountered in this space, and it will play an important role in legitimizing crypto, making it safer and more accessible for people all over the world.”
“They’ve done a really good job of building up in the European market,” Srinivasan said. “But we want to bring them to the American market and the international market and introduce them to companies that are doing all kinds of things with crypto that need blockchain intelligence.”
Neutrino CEO Giancarlo Russo stated that the acquisition was an “important milestone” for innovation in Italy. He added, “We decided to join Coinbase because we’re totally aligned with the company’s mission of building an open financial system and we share the same commitment to regulation, compliance and security in the cryptocurrency space.”
“Blockchain intelligence is increasingly important in the crypto ecosystem, and is necessary to achieve our mission of bringing the open financial system to the world. By analyzing data on public blockchains, Neutrino will help us prevent theft of funds from peoples’ accounts, investigate ransomware attacks, and identify bad actors. It will also help us bring more cryptocurrencies and features to more people while helping ensure compliance with local laws and regulations,” said Coinbase. Not everyone was thrilled with the news however. @Melt_Dem tweeted, “weird flex, but ok? goodbye @coinbase ?not interested in having my data, identity, and crypto ownership data served to every government agency on a silver platter.”