• A new lawsuit claims that Coinbase’s CEO stole work from a blockchain startup

  • According to a recent complaint filed by MouseBelt Labs, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong misappropriated concepts from a research platform called Knowledgr. The exchange has yet to reply on the subject.

    In a new lawsuit filed in San Francisco, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is accused of stealing work from a competing blockchain business. It claims that Armstrong stole ideas while allegedly attempting to invest in the firm. MouseBelt Labs filed the lawsuit on December 17.

    Armstrong was said to be working on a platform for publishing academic research that would employ tradeable tokens. These tokens would be used to reward users for their contributions to the ResearchHub ecosystem.

    According to the lawsuit, he discovered a platform called Knowledgr that was already pursuing a similar purpose. It goes on to explain that Armstrong became aware of Knowledgr and offered financial investment in exchange for the tokens being listed on Coinbase. MoustBelt Labs was another platform investor.

    According to MouseBelt, Armstrong’s intention was not to assist fund and build Knowledgr, but rather to take the latter’s idea and eliminate a competitor. In essence, MouseBelt claims that Coinbase copied ideas from Knowledgr and incorporated them onto its own platform. According to the complaint,

    The intent of Armstrong and the other Defendants was to steal MouseBelt’s work for themselves, not only to eliminate a potential competitor but also to obtain for ResearchHub the benefits of the financial, design, and technical resources MouseBelt put into Knowledgr, allowing ResearchHub to launch a successful platform based entirely or substantially on MouseBelt’s work sooner and at a lower cost.

    Coinbase is likely to fight the case.

    Coinbase has not responded publicly to the case. It remains to be seen how valid the lawsuit’s allegations are, and the exchange is sure to fight back hard. The exchange has survived various issues in the past and continues to thrive.

    Allegations of racism and a “company-first” workplace policy have been two of Coinbase’s most contentious issues in the past. The latter prohibited contentious workplace talks, which some condemned as not being in keeping with the spirit of decentralization.

    Coinbase’s success since its IPO has been undeniable. According to the exchange’s CFO, it stores 12% of the world’s crypto assets, which is a significant amount. In terms of business, it is doing well, with $1.2 billion in revenue reported in the third quarter financial reports.

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