Brian Armstrong, born in 1983, is the co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States. Armstrong co-founded the exchange with Fred Ehrsam in 2012 and has since been responsible for Coinbase’s retail and institutional arms and all of its products and services.
Prior to founding Coinbase, Armstrong was the founder and CEO of UniversityTutor.com, worked as a developer at IBM, a consultant at Deloitte, and was a software engineer at Airbnb. He always maintained an interest in the technology market and has actively participated in this industry.
Before Armstrong started any of his careers, he started learning Java and CSS in highschool while developing websites for small-scale businesses. He then proceeded to study Computer Science and Economics at The Rice University, Houston, Texas, in 2001. He graduated with a Double Major and continued to study until he received his Master’s degree in Computer Science in 2006.
Following university, Armstrong went on to the careers mentioned above and eventually discovered Bitcoin in Christmas of 2010. He became very interested and saw its potential but realized there weren’t many Bitcoin startups at the time. He saw this as an opportunity and became an early participant in the Bitcoin community. This led Armstrong to develop a Bitcoin wallet which eventually led him to the creation of Coinbase.
Fast Forward to 2017, and Armstrong’s Coinbase exchange became the first crypto-related company to attain the Unicorn status and had a valuation of $1.6 billion. With Armstrong’s tremendous success, he founded givecrypto.org – a non-profit organization that ‘financially empowers people by distributing cryptocurrency globally’. The organization has since given away $4 million as of 2019. Adding to this, Armstrong made Fortune’s 40 under 40 list in 2016 (most influential young leaders under 40 years old).
To this day, Armstrong continues to actively work at Coinbase and in the cryptocurrency sector and is a massive proponent for Bitcoin and crypto in general.