At the helm of Coinbase since its founding with Fred Ehrsam in 2012, Brian Armstrong has gone through severe compliance storms to exploit the largest active crypto exchange in the United States.
Coinbase’s stature in the industry and Armstrong’s extracurricular activities to advance adoption and regulation – particularly in the United States – ensured its position in the top 10 of Cointelegraph.
Major changes at Coinbase in 2019 set the stage for 2020
As the stock exchange is not listed on the stock exchange, its evaluation is delicate. At the end of October 2018, Coinbase announced a huge $ 300 million financing cycle that put the value of the company at $ 8 billion, but subsequent estimates are difficult.
In addition to acquisitions of leading startups like Neutrino and Blockspring, Coinbase Custody bought Xapo’s child care service in August, placing the value of Coinbase’s total assets in custody at $ 7 billion. At the time, the company said it made it the largest crypto repository in the world.
Also seeking to make crypto more accessible to more people, Coinbase launched a Visa debit card linked to crypto in early April, which it then extended to all of Europe in April.
In his own broader summary of the last decade in crypto, Armstrong gave his version of major events, placing Coinbase’s survival in second place after Bitcoin’s resilience since 2010. It was at a time when high-level attacks against crypto exchanges like Mt. Gox has left many skeptical about the feasibility of the entire business model of a crypto exchange, given the ingenuity of the hackers.
Describing the central achievement of Coinbase over the past decade, Armstrong said:
“We have made cryptocurrency easier to use in the process and introduced tens of millions of new people to this new technology.”
The entire cryptosphere
Armstrong’s outlook for the past 10 years contained information that extended beyond Coinbase. It is clear from the topics he described in the blog post that the crypto billionaire has his eyes on the transformation of crypto into a fully compliant industry, capable of dealing with traditional institutions and regulators.
And why not? There is money in it, or at least Armstrong says there is. In August, he estimated Coinbase revenues from institutions, stating, “We see $ 200-400 million a week in new crypto deposits from institutional customers.”
But beyond strictly seizing money, Armstrong clearly focuses on the long-term value of making cryptography accessible and relatively stable. For Coinbase, this meant an early flirtation with governments. Armstrong wrote:
“The decade started with completely unregulated cryptocurrency. Coinbase was (as far as I know) the first crypto company to really take regulation seriously, as we thought it would increase adoption in the long run. We started applying for money transmitter licenses in the United States from around 2013. “
In addition to somewhat joyfully noting the role of former Coinbase employees in the creation of the three main crypto-prime venture capital firms, Paradigm, Polychain and A16z Crypto, Armstrong has clearly defined the past decade as a process of integration crypto. Mass adoption seems to be a central point of his thinking.
Armstrong’s ambitions for adoption
The Coinbase brand has extended far beyond its initial crypto trading activity. In addition to its expanded list of companies, the company’s participation in lobbying and compliance is still increasing. On January 16, major changes were made to the Exchange’s Crypto Ratings Council, which provides ratings on digital tokens to indicate whether they are considered to be securities – a classification that subjects their issuers to securities regulation. Exchange Commission.
In a “Ask me anything” livestream on YouTube in July, Armstrong explained that his vision for Coinbase is for the company to go beyond crypto trading, offering more broad support for advancing adoption. massive. What exactly it looks like remains to be seen, but further engagement on the political and institutional fronts seems likely.
What to expect
On January 3, Coinbase released a sequel to Armstrong’s summary of the 2010s in crypto. This time the blog was looking forward to the next decade.
Armstrong not only anticipates greater adoption of crypto, but that this adoption will be the strongest in the developing world: “In particular, countries with high inflation rates and large money transfer markets where crypto can really shine. ”
Perhaps more controversial, Armstrong predicted a growing integration of privacy into major blockchains. Private coins like Monero and Dash have been particularly watched by regulators, who view these capabilities as a mechanism to fight crime and illicit financing.
Whatever the future brings to cryptography, Coinbase and Brian Armstrong seem poised to play a major role in shaping the industry to come.
Brian Armstrong is ranked # 6 in the very first Top 100 Cointelegraph in crypto and blockchain.