Brain Armstrong, Co-Founder and CEO of Coinbase, believes that Bitcoin could one day replace the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency. 

Speaking on episode 27 of Coinbase’s “Around The Block” podcast, Armstrong said that he was optimistic about the chances of Bitcoin becoming the world’s reserve currency.

According to a report by The Daily Hodl, when asked by Justin Mart about crypto’s place within a changing world order, the Coinbase CEO replied:

One alternative to, you know, the US decline and China’s rise is still a very country-centric view of the world. It’s one country has to be the new world order. But I think things may be a little different this time, which is that we have a new global gold standard that’s been introduced with Bitcoin.

And there’s only 200 million people in the world or so who have tried crypto at this point. That’s a lot, but it’s nowhere near maybe the influence of the dollar or something like that. I think most people in the world would consider this to be a crazy thing to say, or a contrarian view or whatever. But I think there’s a chance that Bitcoin becomes the new global reserve currency.

Last month, Armstrong commented on the crypto market, NFTs, and layer 2 scaling solutions. Below, we highlight some of the most interesting comments he made during Coinbase’s First Quarter 2022 Earnings Call.

Crypto Market

So before we dive into our results this quarter, I think it’s worth just addressing the elephant in the room, which is that, of course, the broader markets are down. We’re seeing a down market for growth tech stocks and risk assets. And of course, Coinbase and crypto is no exception to that…

54% of our active users now are doing something other than just trading crypto. They’re actually using crypto in a variety of ways. And so our thesis about moving away from just being a trading 2 platform to enabling the entire cryptoeconomy and being that primary financial account people, it’s really starting to work. The majority of our active users are now doing something other than trading…

But for now, regardless of whether the market is up or down, we’re going to keep building. And I think the real key is to mentally flip from seeing down markets as being scary to actually being our opportunities to pull ahead. And that’s exactly what we’re going to be doing in this environment…


But I can just say that there’s a lot to build and the opportunity in the NFT space is enormous, so there’s a lot of features we’re plenty to add – the ability for people to do NFT drops, mint their own NFT tokens, there’s token-gated communities we want to support, and even the option to buy NFTs just directly with your credit card or any funds that you currently have in your main Coinbase account, which isn’t possible today in the app.

We also want to support more chains over time. People are minting NFTs across more and more chains. And we want to continue to decentralize the NFT experience and really embrace the onchain native protocols and make sure NFTs don’t become a centralized experience...

We’ve only built a small fraction of what we’re gonna do in the NFT space. It’s probably worth mentioning also that just reminding everyone, I think NFTs, it’s not just artwork or collectibles, digital collectibles. I think NFTs are going to play a big role in gaming, in music, in the metaverse, decentralized identity, and even in the real world, items like tickets to events, proof of attendance, and maybe even digitizing real estate in the real world…

Crypto Economy

… – 54% of our active users are now doing something other than trading with crypto. And if you’re wondering what are they doing? It’s all the things you would use money for and more. They’re earning money with crypto, they’re spending it with merchants using Coinbase Card. They’re earning yield on their assets.

There’s borrowing and lending opportunities, and increasingly, there’s this huge ecosystem of third party applications or ‘dapps’ – decentralized apps – probably over 1,000 of them now that people are creating all kinds of new stuff with – games and social and art and music and all kinds of things.

So in my mind, this is a little bit like the early days of the Internet where you saw the birth of e-commerce in the late 90s, early 2000s, and now fast forward 20 years, e-commerce is something like 15% of global GDP. And I think if you fast forward 20 years from here, the cryptoeconomy is going to represent probably a large portion like that, 15% or so of global GDP. And so Coinbase can help create that vision and make it a reality in the world.

Layer 2 Scaling Solutions

So, Lightning Network – for those who don’t know, Lightning Network is a layer two solution for Bitcoin which lowest fees and improves payment capabilities. And we think it’s a really important innovation that we would like to support. There’s of course, Layer two solutions across a variety of block chains.

And so Ethereum has some layer two solutions as well. And just broadly, I’d say we’re seeing a lot of interest from customers in layer two solutions. You can think of it as, I think it could be as important as the Internet moving from dial-up to broadband in terms of the new applications and utility that it will unlock. So we’re working really hard to integrate every layer two solution out there that our customers want. Have a specific date to share with you about the Lightning Network specifically, but it’s certainly one of the ones on our roadmap.