Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong expressed a desire to grow his company beyond cryptocurrency trading, and to instead become a platform for adoption and industry growth. 

Beyond Trading

Speaking in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on July 19, Armstrong commented on his vision for Coinbase over the next five years. While the exchange has become one of the more popular portals for cryptocurrency in the US, thanks to its user-friendly smartphone application, the CEO believes his company will move beyond trading. 

Instead, Armstrong imagines Coinbase as a universal platform for cryptocurrency adoption. He pointed to the company’s mission statement to grow the global economy for crypto-assets and to aid in mainstream adoption beyond price speculation and trading. He also highlighted the development of Coinbase Earn, an education program that rewards users with real crypto for participating in short lessons. 

Market Saturation

Coinbase has committed to expanding its trading tools with the announcement of crypto lending and margin trading features. However, Armstrong believes a sole focus on trading would be to the company’s detriment. The exchange has benefited thus far from its early market advantage, but Armstrong foresees a glut of crypto trading platforms in the near future. 

He said, 

“In five years I hope that we’ll have it even further beyond that. There’ll be thousands of companies that’ll be crypto-first.”

He continued, 

“I see for us using these five years to be the place where people develop their crypto education, their careers, and they’ll be able to go seed those crypto-first companies and all the work we’re doing today around the culture…I think it’s going to seed that economy.”

Trading has been the primary experience for most crypto investors and exchanges to date. With the rise of Facebook’s libra and shifting sentiment in favor of digital assets, Armstrong sees an opportunity in providing better information and learning tools. 

Coinbase Mafia

Armstrong also addressed the idea of a “Coinbase mafia,” which involves the branching out of former Coinbase employees to run their own crypto projects. In the AMA, he voiced support for his departed employees and wished them well in their endeavors. Similar to his goal of growing crypto education, the CEO wants Coinbase to be a model example for other cryptocurrency firms.