Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong comes to Disrupt – TechCrunch

Brian Armstrong, the founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, is coming to Disrupt this September 21-23, and given so much to discuss, we couldn’t be more excited to host it. .

As some industry watchers know, Armstrong, a native of San Jose, Calif., Whose parents were both engineers, graduated twice from Rice University in Texas before joining Airbnb as a software engineer in 2011 in as a technical product manager focused on fraud prevention. .

The role gave her the opportunity to learn more about payment systems – and payment issues – across the world. It also fueled an then nascent interest in cryptocurrencies, which he began to buy and store and, more importantly, he began to believe that they would eventually replace fiat money. In fact, after just 14 months at Airbnb, Armstrong left the company to join Y Combinator and founded Coinbase.

He wasn’t focused on making money, from what he said. Instead, as he told Forbes last year, “I wanted the world to have a global, open financial system that spurs innovation and freedom. Either way, along the way Armstrong got very wealthy, as did many Coinbase employees and investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, who made the biggest stake in Coinbase over the years and whose position was valued at $ 11 billion at time of direct contact with Coinbase. list last April.

Yet the success of Coinbase – which has established itself as the clean, well-lit place to invest in cryptocurrencies – has also invariably led to further scrutiny. The company has been widely accused by its customers of focusing on security at the expense of adequate customer service. Several of Armstrong’s management decisions, including cracking down on political discourse inside Coinbase, cost the company valued employees, while others said they were treated unfairly because of their race or gender.

Moreover, after a very long time, enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies has abruptly slowed down over the past month. While Armstrong has seen enthusiasm for crypto grow and decline before, Coinbase is now a publicly traded company, and as questions arise about Bitcoin, shares of Coinbase are also down. (As of this writing, they’re trading at around $ 217, which is almost half of their value at their peak April price of around $ 429.)

No wonder Armstrong focused not only on strengthening what Coinbase has already built, but on setting it up to become an even bigger business, including acquiring a company earlier this year that sets Coinbase to work. like a kind of AWS, allowing companies who, for example, want to connect their wallet app to a blockchain to click a few buttons rather than hiring a team of engineers to run the necessary nodes.

How else does Armstrong, 38, deal with the ups and downs of the markets as he builds a brand new financial institution? Where does it want to take Coinbase over the next 12 months? How is he responding to criticism of some of his very public decisions regarding Coinbase employees? These are among the many things we’ll be talking about with him at this year’s Disrupt for an appearance that we know attendees won’t want to miss. We are certainly delighted to sit down with him.

Join him and over 10,000 of the world’s most influential startups at Disrupt 2021 online from September 21-23. Get your pass to attend now for under $ 99 for a limited time!