Coinbase was established in June 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, with its main headquarters in San Francisco, California. Currently, Brian has become one of the youngest billionaires in the United States, with a net worth of 6.5 billion USD as reported by Forbes. Following a successful fund raising campaign of 300 million USD from Tiger Global investment group in 2018, Coinbase was valued at 8 billion USD. This prompts the question of who Brian Armstrong is and how he achieved such a remarkable success in his career. To gain a deeper understanding of Mr. Armstrong and his career, please read on.
Who is Brian Armstrong?
Brian Armstrong, born on January 25th, 1983, is the current CEO of Coinbase, one of the largest and most popular Bitcoin exchanges in the world. He has been featured in numerous publications in the “Under 40” category due to his notable status as a Rockstar in the Bitcoin community. Armstrong is a leading advocate for the integration of Bitcoin and frequently speaks at conferences and seminars.
Biography of the founder and CEO of Coinbase Exchange
Brian Armstrong was born near San Jose, California in 1983. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Computer Science from Rice University, Texas in 2005 and a year later, he pursued a Master’s degree in Computer Science. During his time in school, he also provided tutoring services for fellow students. Upon graduation, Armstrong traveled to Argentina and worked for an education company.
Passionate about making money since school
During his high school years, Armstrong had a divergent mindset compared to his peers. He initiated learning the programming languages of Java and CSS while still attending classes.
The initial sum Armstrong earned from his computer was through creating websites for local small businesses. During that period, his office was located at the neighboring restaurant’s garage.
Back in 2003, during Armstrong’s time at Rice University, he embarked on an entrepreneurial venture with a website-based connectivity project aimed at providing tutoring services for student learning as well as offering opportunities for parents and students to search for learning companions.
During his time at Rice, Brian Armstrong completed a four-month internship with IBM, a leading computer corporation. Following his graduation, he assumed the role of Enterprise Risk Management Consultant at Deloitte.
In May 2011, Brian Armstrong commenced his employment with Airbnb as a software engineer. Following a year in this role, he made the decision to resign and establish Coinbase.
The pathway to achieving billionaire through virtual currency
During the years of 2010, Brian Armstrong had an encounter with the digital currency Bitcoin. Recognizing the immense potential and limited opportunities in the market for cryptocurrencies and corresponding startups at that time, Armstrong made the decision to collaborate with Fred Ehrsam and establish Coinbase in June of 2012.
Brian and Fred had an idea to transform Coinbase into a cryptocurrency trading platform, where individuals can buy, sell, and exchange digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Consequently, they decided to solicit investment from Y Combinator, a startup platform support program.
At that time, trading virtual currency on a daily basis was almost impossible. Despite this, Coinbase was able to thrive and secure funding. In 2013, Coinbase received a $5 million investment from the USV fund. By the end of 2013, this virtual currency exchange had received a total of $25 million in funding from a consortium led by USC, with participation from Ribbit Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.
In May 2015, Coinbase achieved the distinction of becoming the first virtual currency exchange to receive funding from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as well as several other investors, collecting a total of $75 million in capital.
From 2016 to 2017, there was an increase in the number of trading accounts on Coinbase from 4.7 million to 13.3 million, and the current figure is 56 million across 100 countries.
In 2018, the valuation of the company during the funding cycle was estimated at 8.1 billion USD. In December 2020, the company submitted a request to SEC for public listing through direct stock issuance. After the direct listing in April 2021, the market capitalization of Coinbase rose to 85 billion USD, and Armstrong’s personal net worth soared above 10 billion USD.
Coinbase, a cryptocurrency platform, is trusted by over 73 million verified users, 10,000 organizations, and 185,000 partners across 100 countries for investing in digital currency, saving and…
It is worth noting that Armstrong presently possesses approximately 19% of the equity stake in Coinbase. Furthermore, in the year 2020, the company succeeded in earning a profit of 322 million USD on a revenue of nearly 1.3 billion USD.
Coinbase is commonly known as a cryptocurrency exchange platform, but in reality, Coinbase Global offers a plethora of products and services. Such products include:
Coinbase exchange is amongst the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world in terms of liquidity. It offers a plethora of trading options such as bank transfers, credit cards, and PayPal, among others.
A notable detail is that 99% of Coinbase’s assets are stored in cold wallets, thus in the event of a breach, Coinbase’s potential losses would be limited.
According to SensorTower’s recent report, on October 28th, the Coinbase application became the most downloaded app on the iOS App Store and the second most downloaded app on Google Play for Android in the US. This trading platform app has surpassed even its formidable competitors such as TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram owing to its unprecedented surge of downloads.
Coinbase Pro, akin to Coinbase Exchange, is a premium trading product with advanced functionality. While Coinbase solely facilitates asset buy, sell, receive, and send transactions, Coinbase Pro offers the ability to place limit and stop orders, among other features.
Coinbase Pro was established in 2016 under the name GDAX, which was subsequently renamed to Coinbase Pro in May 2018. As a trading platform overseen by regulatory bodies in the United States, it is regarded as a highly secure platform and free from any fraudulent activities. For users in certain countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Singapore, Coinbase is the preferred choice for purchasing and selling cryptocurrencies such as BTC, ETH, LTC, and BCH.
Additionally, the trading volume on Coinbase is restricted based on the payment method or jurisdiction. However, on Coinbase Pro, traders will not encounter any limitations on their trading volume.
The Coinbase Wallet serves as a decentralized storage solution for cryptocurrencies, supporting over 4,000 types of assets. Apart from crypto storage, Coinbase Wallet also enables users to send NFTs to their wallets. With Coinbase Wallet’s integration with various DApps, users can efficiently participate in DeFi activities while storing their assets on the platform.
This is a product that was launched in 2018, which allows digital currency investment funds and exchange platforms to securely store their digital assets under the supervision of Coinbase. The total value of assets currently being held by Coinbase Custody exceeds $20B and is trusted by leading digital currency companies such as FTX (FTT), Serum (SRM), AAVE, Curve, and others.
The product was launched in May 2018, known as Coinbase Prime which is an integrated solution that offers secure custody, advanced trading platform, and basic services for users to manage their cryptocurrency assets in one place.
Through the implementation of smart order routing, users are able to access the cryptocurrency market more efficiently, as opposed to solely relying on prices from Coinbase. This technology automatically routes user orders to supported exchanges with the most favorable rates, including transaction fees.
The narratives of Brian Armstrong outside of Coinbase
Brian Armstrong is renowned for being a philanthropic billionaire and holds the distinction of being the first crypto-industry tycoon to sign the Giving Pledge – a commitment that entails donating a significant portion of their wealth towards charitable initiatives. In his blog post on Giving Pledge, he articulated as follows:
Once a certain level of wealth attainment has been reached, spending more on oneself yields diminishing marginal utility, leaving few benefits. This prompts individuals to turn their ambitions outward.
I hold in high esteem those entrepreneurs and leaders who possess the aspiration to enhance the world, rather than pursuing personal wealth, as their primary goal.
In early 2018, in addition to the “Giving Pledge,” Armstrong established his own philanthropic initiative called GiveCrypto.org. Its purpose is to provide direct cash transfers to individuals living in poverty. The platform allows donors who wish to remain anonymous to send cryptocurrency donations, which are then effectively distributed to those in need through the use of blockchain technology.
Due to his influence, he has also made appearances in documentaries and literature. In 2014, Armstrong featured in the American documentary film “The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin”.
He was also introduced as the main character in the novel Kings of Crypto, which illustrates the mission of a startup company to bring cryptocurrency out of Silicon Valley and onto Wall Street in the year 2020.
The affluence of Mr. Armstrong has been acknowledged by top-notch magazines such as Time and Forbes. In 2017, at the age of 34, Armstrong was ranked 10th in the Fortune 40 under 40 list. In 2019, Armstrong made it to Time’s 100 Next list. In 2021, Forbes crowned Armstrong as its #1 cryptocurrency billionaire with an estimated net worth of $6.5 billion as of February 2021. He also stood at #60 on Forbes’ list of wealthiest individuals in the United States, also known as the Forbes 400.
The above information was researched by the team at 247btc.net. We hope that this information will be helpful to our readers. However, please note that this is not investment advice, but rather an informational channel. Therefore, investment decisions should be carefully considered.
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