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Brian Armstrong: How the Coinbase CEO Became a Billionaire

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Does the name Brian Armstrong ring a bell? Well, if you have heard of San Francisco-based cryptocurrency startup Coinbase, then you must have come across the name.

In fact, the startup has been around for a couple of years now. But before we introduce Brian Armstrong, let’s bring the operation of the startup into context.

Coinbase is steadily expanding

For those who may be new to the cryptocurrency world, Coinbase serves as the reliable and trustworthy gatekeeper for the new asset class. Launched in 2012 by Armstrong, Coinbase has since been one of the preeminent firms in the cryptocurrency space. You have to be a cryptocurrency guru to know that its success is attributable to its services, features, and topnotch security. Indeed, these factors made Coinbase a force to be reckoned with in the industry.

Additionally, by employing a brokerage service, Coinbase has prepared an easy entry for those looking to give the burgeoning industry a try. Similarly, this also gives the entrants a wide range of common deposit options. What’s more? Coinbase also offers more advanced trading tools, setting itself apart from its competitors. Also called GDAX, its main brokerage base, Coinbase Pro earns huge sums per transaction it processes for traders and investors.

Coinbase and CEO Armstrong

According to Bloomberg, Coinbase successfully raised $300 million USD through a fundraiser, in turn, receiving a valuation of $8 billion USD. Therefore, this leaves the CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, with over $1.3 billion USD based on his stake in the firm. An estimate placed his net worth between $900 million USD and $1 billion USD in January 2018. In truth, this supports media reports that crypto exchange firms are increasingly smiling to the bank even during bear markets.

For those who closely follow the progress of the exchange, these figures shouldn’t be a surprise at all. This is particularly true given that Coinbase has had a busy 2018. In fact, some of the activities that kept Coinbase busy include a new license acquisition, high-profile hires, and the launch of innovative products and services.

Cryptocurrencies are volatile

There is no denying the fact that Coinbase is facing fierce competition from the folks at the institutional markets. The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced that it aims to launch a one-stop crypto shop, Bakkt. In addition, Fidelity Investment disclosed a planned launch of a trading desk.

Without mincing words, these developments are giving Armstrong and Coinbase cause for concern. Consequently, Coinbase’s efforts to appeal to the well-to-do investors remain in doubt. The question on the minds of cryptocurrency analysts is, “Will the world’s wealthiest venture capitalists prefer established money managers over some startup?” Only time will tell.


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