Coinbase is a bitcoin wallet and exchange company headquartered in San Francisco California, founded by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. It operates exchanges between bitcoin and fiat currencies in twenty-six countries, and bitcoin transactions and storage in 190 countries worldwide.
Coinbase was founded in June 2012 and enrolled in the summer 2012 Y Combinator program. In October 2012 the company launched the ability to buy and sell bitcoin through bank transfers. In May 2013, the company received a US$5 million Series A investment led by Fred Wilson from the venture capital firm Union Square Ventures. In December 2013, the company received a US$25 million investment, from the venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures and Ribbit Capital.
In 2014 the company grew to one million users, acquired the blockchain explorer service Blockr and the web bookmarking company Kippt, secured insurance covering the value of bitcoin stored on their servers, and launched the vault system for secure bitcoin storage. Throughout 2014 the company also formed partnerships with Overstock, Dell, Expedia, Dish Network, Time Inc., and Wikipedia to power accepting bitcoin payments. The company also added bitcoin payment processing capabilities to the traditional payment companies Stripe, Braintree, and PayPal.
In January 2015, the company received a US$75 million investment, led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the New York Stock Exchange, USAA, and several banks, “apparently the first time any traditional financial institutions have taken direct stakes in a bitcoin enterprise.” Later in January the company launched a U.S.-based bitcoin exchange.