Coinbase Was Adding 50,000 Users a Day, Says CEO Brian Armstrong

Francisco Memoria
  • Coinbase's CEO has recently revealed its exchange was adding 50,000 users a day last year.
  • He didn't reveal how many it's adding now, but noted the company grows along with bitcoin.

Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, was reportedly adding 50,000 users a day last year, when most cryptocurrencies surged to their all-time highs. Per its CEO Brian Armstrong, the company’s growth is accompanying that of the flagship cryptocurrency.

Speaking at the Bloomberg Players Technology Summit in San Francisco, Armstrong revealed the exchange was adding about 500 users a day when it started. After enduring its first crypto bubble, it was adding 5,000, and ended up adding 50,000 per day last year.

While Armstrong didn’t reveal how many users the company is currently adding a day, he noted bitcoin’s price has gone through a series of bubbles, each one reaching a new plateau. While people’s expectations quickly hit “irrational exuberance,” he said, the technology is still developing.

People’s expectations are all over the map, but real-world adoption has been going up.

Brian Armstrong

As for adding new users, Armstrong believes owning a piece of the technology - some bitcoin – will help people learn about it and understand it. The CEO further revealed his cryptocurrency exchange has helped users trade $150 billion worth of crypto last year, and that it now has about 1,000 employees.

During his interview, Armstrong was asked whether Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon were wrong about bitcoin. Buffett, as CryptoGlobe covered, called the flagship cryptocurrency “rat poison squared,” while Dimon claimed it was a “fraud.”

Although Dimon later on claimed to regret his comment, Buffett and his lieutenant at Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger, maintained their position comparing it to “turds” and “dementia.”

Per Armstrong, both are wrong about bitcoin, although their positions are understandable as most are initially going to be skeptical about new technologies. Now, however, he believes it’s getting harder to find cryptocurrency skeptics, although he estimated that about 10 percent of cryptos are used in real life.

He noted:

I think it will be quite some time before you cross the street to Starbucks in the U.S. and pay with crypto.

Brian Armstrong

As CryptoGlobe covered, the Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt will have Starbucks as its “flagship retailer.” The coffeehouse chain won’t, however accept bitcoin at its stores, as it will be accepting cryptocurrencies converted into US dollars at Bakkt.

Recently Coinbase has been upping its offers to institutional and retail investors. It recently halved its Index fund’s fee from 2% to 1%, to make it more attractive, and added support for new features at its decentralized exchange.

As covered, falling cryptocurrency prices saw the San Francisco-based exchange’s popularity decline. Its app was the top finance app in the US back in December, and fell to 40th place in June, as the flagship cryptocurrency plummeted from a near $20,000 all-time high to about $6,440 at press time, according to CryptoCompare data.

Ripple CEO: 'You Don’t Want to Use BTC at Starbucks'

On Thursday (January 23), Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, told the Wallet Street Journal (WSJ) that Bitcoin is not a good means of payment because BTC transactions take too long.

The Ripple CEO's comments were made during his talk with Phillipa Leighton-Jones (Editorial Director for Innovation) at a Ripple-sponsored event (organized by the WSJ) called "Ripple Panel: Changing the Finance Industry From Within" held alongside this year's World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Although we don't yet have a full transcript of this interview, we do know about two of the things he talked about thanks to tweets by Asheesh Birla, SVP of Product at Ripple, who was at this event.

First, it seems that although the Ripple CEO likes Bitcoin as a store of value, he does not see (at least, as of now) as a viable means of payment. The example he gave was paying for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. He believes that BTC transactions take so long to confirm that by the time you have finished paying for your coffee, "it'll be cold." 

Second, within the next 12 months, he sees several companies in the crypto space holding initial public offerings (IPOs) and he wants Ripple to be "on the leading side" since this is "a natural evolution" for Ripple, which raised $200 million via a Series C funding round (which valued the company at $10 billion) last month. 

On Wednesday (January 22), Ripple published the "Q4 2019 XRP Markets Report", which is a quarterly report that allows Ripple to "voluntarily provide transparency and regular updates on the company’s views on the state of the XRP market, including quarterly programmatic and institutional sales updates, relevant XRP-related announcements such as Xpring and RippleNet partnerships and commentary on previous quarter market developments." 

In Q4 2019, Ripple's total XRP sales were down just over 80% compared to the preceding quarter ($13.08 million vs. $66.24 million). Ripple "continued the pause of programmatic sales" (to crypto exchanges), and focused exclusively on over-the-counter (OTC) sales to "a few strategic partners, who are building XRP utility and liquidity in strategic regions including EMEA and Asia."

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