Coinbase CEO Believes Going Public Gave the Company Leverage to Do Business with Other Established Companies

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Coinbase CEO Believes Going Public Gave the Company Leverage to Do Business with Other Established Companies
Photo: Hubert Lamela / Flickr

CEO Brian Armstrong has weighed on the pros and cons of Coinbase going public last year. He says there’s more respect but also more scrutiny.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong maintains that the crypto exchange has largely benefitted from going public. Armstrong’s opinion comes even as Coinbase’s stock is currently down 84% since its record high price of $381 on its listing day. The leading American crypto company went public in April last year.

On going public, Armstrong reckons that Coinbase is now in a position to broker deals with leading companies like BlackRock and Meta. Further touting the benefits of going public, the Coinbase CEO explained to Messari CEO Ryan Selkis, at a recent social function:

“Now we’re the first Fortune 500 company doing crypto, and so we can go do deals with other Fortune 500 companies now, and they treat us more as a more legitimate force out there.”

However, Armstrong also highlighted some associated downsides of going public, including public scrutiny and media coverage. In his own words:

“I think some of the scrutiny is not that helpful, to be honest. It’s just people pushing their own narrative or trying to do anti-tech bias pieces, [that] should be labeled opinion pieces, but they’re not.”

Coinbase is also facing numerous lawsuits from various parts of the world regarding crypto-related matters. The most notable is the US Justice Department’s recent insider trading accusation. Additionally, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also alleged that Coinbase listed some unregistered securities.

Coinbase CEO Demonstrates Intent to Defend Crypto Industry amid Growing Pains from Public Listing

Following these litigious developments, Armstrong acknowledged going public comes with a few obligations to regulatory decrees. However, the Coinbase CEO also suggested a strong sense of duty to defend the crypto industry. This is evident in the crypto exchange’s support of the lawsuit brought against the US Treasury by users of crypto mixer Tornado Cash. In a blog post from earlier this month, Armstrong explained:

“Sanctioning open source software is like permanently shutting down a highway because robbers used it to flee a crime scene.”

In addition, the Coinbase CEO also says that such “sanctions” are not the best way to solve a problem. Most especially because it ends up “punishing people who did nothing wrong” and results in “people having less privacy and security.”

Despite all challenges, Armstrong intimated that Coinbase’s priority at this time is creating more products. These products will come support as Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) principles. In addition, Armstrong also stated that Coinbase would solicit the support of regulators for its projected slate of new products. This is in keeping with the broader vision of defending the crypto industry. “We’re just one of the companies building this movement,” the Coinbase chief executive officer noted.

Other Coinbase News

Coinbase plans to use a new app integration to educate users on policies held by local politicians. According to Armstrong, the leading exchange must become part of crypto advocacy, which is vital for economic freedom.

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