Illustration: Juanjo Gasull

Late last fall, the New York Times was preparing a bombshell article about Coinbase, a financial exchange that had become the largest U.S. company in the cryptocurrency industry and was just months away from a sensationally lucrative IPO. Nathaniel Popper, a writer in the newspaper’s San Francisco bureau, had spent months reporting a story about Coinbase’s alleged inhospitability to Black employees. (One former worker told him, “Most people of color working in tech know that there’s a diversity problem … But I’ve never experienced anything like Coinbase.”) With Silicon Valley increasingly the dominant force in American life, and during a national reckoning over structural racism, an examination of HR practices at one of the tech industry’s…

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