Brian Armstrong is an American entrepreneur who co-founded Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency trading platform in the United States. He was on top of the Crypto Rich list last February of 2021, where he was valued at a net worth of $6.5 billion.
As of 2022, Brian Armstrong’s net worth is $2.8 billion according to Forbes. His wealth has taken a hit with the recent sell off in the market but he still retains his billionaire status.
He currently owns a 19% stake in Coinbase, of which the company earned $322 million in profits against total revenue of $1.3 billion in the year 2020.
Born on January 25, 1983, in San Jose, California, Brian Armstrong had parents who were both engineers. He graduated from Rice University with a degree in economics and computer science. After college, he then continued to earn a degree in Master’s of Computer Science. While attending university, he gathered experience working as an intern/developer for IBM. He was tasked to design java-based tools for Network Attached Storage Devices.
At that time, Armstrong also co-founded an online tutoring directory called UniversityTutor.com. The website aimed to provide a free platform to help tutees and tutors find, match, and work with each other both offline and online. He worked and led the company for eight years and remained its CEO until 2012, when he started Coinbase.
How He Made His Money
He eventually came across Bitcoin in the year 2010. It was published in a whitepaper written by its founder Satoshi Nakamoto. Working as a software engineer at Airbnb in 2011. Armstrong became aware of the problems and difficulties of payment systems that ran across 190 countries worldwide. He then decided to provide a solution that could make it easier for people to buy and sell crypto coins.
He met and partnered with Fred Ehrsam, and they started a crypto trading platform known as Coinbase. A year after the company was in operation, they already managed 25 million dollars, which gave their company a valuation of 143 million dollars. By the year 2014, Coinbase had hit 1 million users. They then formed partnerships with established companies like Expedia, Dell, Dish Network, and others to expand their base of bitcoin-accepting clients.
Growth and Investor Confidence
By 2017, Coinbase achieved Unicorn Status, making it the first crypto startup to reach a valuation of $1 billion or more. Since then, the company grew some more which earned it a reputation among investors that Coinbase was consistent and satisfactory. Fast forward to the year 2020, Coinbase has already generated $1.28 billion in that year alone.
The company continued to earn $800 million in profit in the first quarter of 2021. It made its first public offering via a direct listing on NASDAQ, selling at $380 per share. The offering caused the company to hit a market cap of $112 billion, as Armstrong became one of the 70 wealthiest people in the world. He ranked with the likes of Google’s Eric Schmidt and Carl Icahn, the hedge fund king.
Contrary to what others are saying, Armstrong wasn’t an overnight success. He has already been in the business of startups even when he was still in high school. Today, Coinbase serves more than 50 million users who buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.