We’ve come a long way since Satoshi’s Bitcoin proposal in 2008. Since then, the digital asset has seen all sides of fame. It’s been considered criminal money by some, while others believe it will save the world. Brian Armstrong, CEO of the famous cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, claims Bitcoin is just getting started.
In an interview with Chris Dixon, Andreessen Horowitz’s cryptocurrency general partner and board member of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong describes how he got involved with digital assets and why he thinks Bitcoin is still in its early stages regarding use case.
Seeing The Potential
Graduating from Rice University with a Masters in Computer Science, Armstrong started his journey working at Airbnb in Silicon Valley and was the 40th employee of the world famous company. That said, the Airbnb suffered from financial problems – problems that Armstrong wanted to fix:
“Airbnb had grown really quickly — it had grown into 600 people — and they were moving money all over the world to 190 countries. So I had a front-row seat into how broken the global financial system was because there were high fees and delays, and each country we were trying to move money into and out of had opaque, broken infrastructure — like an oligopoly of different payment companies.”
However, Armstrong discovered the Bitcoin white paper in 2010. He called it the “most exciting thing I read in five years,” and explained how often he thought about it. The soon-to-be CEO starting talking to others about Bitcoin, going to discussion groups in San Francisco, and more. He felt it would be as big as the internet, and he wanted to be at the forefront of the industry.
The rest is history. Armstrong founded Coinbase, which is now the most popular exchange in the United States. He continually makes it known that his first love is Bitcoin and that it’s “one of the most important inventions of all time,” despite the other assets that have come afterward.
Armstrong went to Twitter to state that he’s happy with all of Bitcoin’s improvements. There are different protocols, services, platforms, and of course the Lightning Network – all of which he is a fan of. He even apologized for previous comments dismissing the cryptocurrency, and that he wants nothing but success for Bitcoin.
Of course, the industry is still in its early stages, and the Coinbase head is aware of this. But in the Twitter thread mentioned above, he talks all about how more “talented people” are moving into the crypto space, and that he’s “never had more conviction about crypto and what it holds for the future.”
An Industry United
In another interview with TD Ameritrade, founder of the Ikigai Fund, Travis Kling, echoed Armstrong’s comments. Kling believes the first ten years of Bitcoin were its “runway,” and “the asset is just getting its wings off the ground now.” He went on to say that most of Bitcoin’s improvements within the last two years and not during its earliest times.
Similar to Armstrong, Kling believes in the success of cryptocurrencies as a whole, along with their ability to bring citizens out of debt. That said, some naysayers think crypto is just a scam, a facade, a fad. However, the industry is poised to prove otherwise. All sorts of exciting new projects are being introduced every single day, and some of the smartest people in the world are getting involved.
Spencer Bogart, the figurehead of the Blockchain Capital investment group, commented on how these changes increase our chances of success, with the “most encouraging” factor being the “quality of talent” that keeps finding its way to this industry. So many “young people” are learning about Bitcoin, and these “best and brightest” are making their way into different startups to learn about the asset. There’s no way the industry can fail with this backing.