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Brian Armstrong: Bubble beater

Cryptocurrencies keep swinging wildly in value. Brian Armstrong's Coinbase just keeps getting bigger

Published: Jan 14, 2019 03:59:12 PM IST
Updated: Jul 29, 2021 05:57:04 PM IST

Brian Armstrong: Bubble beater
Image: Christian Peacock / The Forbes Collection

Uncertainty defines the cryptocurrency market. But here’s one thing that’s for sure: Amid all that mania and volatility, Brian Armstrong—the co-founder of Coinbase, a crypto broker and exchange—is a billionaire.

Before co-founding Coinbase in 2012, Armstrong was a computer-science and economics student at Rice University and then, briefly, a software engineer at Airbnb. Coinbase attracted around 30,000 users its first year; today it has more than 20 million.

At one point last year, Coinbase was the most downloaded iPhone app in America, and it reportedly generated $1 billion in revenue in 2017. Investors valued the business at over $8 billion in October—an increase of more than 400 percent in a little over a year—making Armstrong’s stake in the firm worth an estimated $1.3 billion. Coinbase achieved that lofty valuation despite the latest crash in cryptocurrencies, with bitcoin, the largest crypto asset, down nearly 71 percent this year as of November 30.

(This story appears in the 01 February, 2019 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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