Video Of The Week: Coinbase's Vision

Fortune recently did a big profile on Brian Armstrong, founder and CEO of our portfolio company Coinbase and in concert with that, they made this video featuring Brian and Emilie Choi, who leads corp dev, M&A, and a few other strategic efforts at Coinbase.

It’s a short video, less than five mins, and does a nice job of explaining the company’s mission and strategy.


Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    does Brian have anything to say on the SEC’s failure to bring clarity to crypto’s legal status?

    1. JLM

      .Actually, the SEC and the IRS have both brought clarity to crypto’s legal status.A prudent issuer of anything crypto related will go to see the SEC — just like any company getting ready to issue securities of any kind does.What the SEC has denied is some “special” get-out-of-jail-free status which sets crypto apart from the 1933/34 Acts, Sarbanes-Oxley, Reg FD, or any other securities regulation that every other issuer on the planet has to adhere to by getting its securities reviewed and approved by the SEC.Is crypto a security? Well, it depends — depends on what the SEC tells you on a case-by-case basis in which they will review the issuer’s qualifications, the securitization, and the offering docs.This is how the game is played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. jason wright

        Thanks.Has the SEC officially declared the legal status of tokens, as securities or not? I’ve observed quite a few SEC officials offering individual personal opinion on that, but i’ve yet to see an official SEC ruling.The SEC seems hesitant on most things crypto. It has teeth, but it seems to be all gummy on this one, like a baby mouthing a soft toy.

  2. William Mougayar

    But I don’t agree with the headline, “…to take on Wall Street.”Coinbase is about a new type of Wall Street. No need to take on the current one. It will be left behind on its own.

    1. jason wright

      it won’t be left behind. it will either buy its way in or ‘fix things’ to its liking.

    2. LE

      I have been reading this type of article since I was in college. I should say I used to read I just hate the way they are written.Even things like this:But good luck finding it. There’s no logo outside the building or in the lobby. Nor is there any signage in the hallway outside that reception desk, just fortified metal doors and an intercom. Coinbase employees maintain a low profile, they explain, because most own virtual cryptocurrency, some
in quantities that make them multimillionaires on paper.
 A kidnapper could capture someone and “pull out their fingernails,”That is so typical of the way these articles roll. After all if you really cared that much about security and being kidnapped why would you let Fortune in so you can educate and get in front of thieves and give them ideas? Great so the building is protected. I could find out the home addresses of a dozen of their employees (most likely including Brian and Emily) pretty quickly. How is bringing attention to what you do in a Fortune article keeping a low profile? (Point being it’s either true (and stupid) or not true and Fortune is using hyperbole..)

    3. JLM

      .Oh come on.Coinbase is not the rounding error on the rounding error on the postage machines of Wall Street.That is just so much hype. The proportions are so out of scale as to compare a raindrop to the Pacific Ocean.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. William Mougayar

        Yeah, it is small now and the comparison to WS is not that appropriate, but did make a good MSM headline. That said, all alternative and new/emerging markets start small, then they get bigger over time. You and I are old enough to remember when the Web had only 50M users and that was a drop in the bucket vs 3 Billion today.

  3. LE

    It’s a short video, less than five mins, and does a nice job of explaining the company’s mission and strategy.I agree. But wait. Crypto slump Emily says? (at 1:22). There should have been a better way to phrase the reason they have some breathing room to enhance and develop their offerings, rather than saying because we are in a slump.The audio is informative and it’s interesting to listen to. But who did the creation and the filming of this? Coinbase marketing (who gave it to Fortune?) or Fortune created it? The production values are really poor. The lighting is way off and they should have makeup on Brian but definitely Emily.. And the shots aren’t great. Don’t say it doesn’t matter either. [1] When you create something it should be well done. Especially if you have the resources to create top flight marketing materials. Details matter. Pride in what you create matters. Maybe not in every case but over time it does make a difference. (Of course a rocket ship can ignore many things but most startups are not rocketships, right?)[1] I am not making stuff up either. Example years ago the local newspaper was going to show up at my office to take a picture of me for an article for a story they were doing (which I pitched as always). I spent time setting up the shot for them in advance even arranging monitors before they arrived for max impact and coolness. I had a ladder for the photographer to stand on ready so he could get an overhead shot. He liked that I had done all of that for him. So the photo he took (of me) ran very large on the front page of the business section to the exclusion of others also mentioned (competitors). It then was syndicated and ran in 20 other Knight Ridder papers all over the country. I could tell where it was running because we got orders from the cities that it ran it. Money for sure for a small bit of effort and attention to details. Now sure for coinbase it’s not the same. My point is you either think and do it right (if you can) so you have the best potential outcome. Not trying to overstress the value to Coinbase yes they are not typical. Just that you need some pride in what you do and more importantly you have to know what you are doing as well. Other time I did that was years before in a different business. Literally created props so that when the Tv crew and newspaper arrived they would have interesting visual info (and it worked the exact same).

  4. JLM

    .Just to be clear, Coinbase is the pick axe, shovel, and overalls to the Gold Rush – a smart play. The gold may or may not be there, but there will be a lot of axes, shovels, and overalls sold to find that out.As long as there is a need for services to facilitate crypto, but without having to take crypto risk, they will do fine. Not just fine, great.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  5. jason wright

    did we ever get to the bottom of why Charlie Lee departed Coinbase immediately after it listed Litecoin?what actually went on there? an “independent internal investigation” seems like a contradiction of good governance and oversight to me.Is Coinbase one of USV’s ‘trusted brands’?My October motto has become ‘beware the company you keep’. i think it’s sound advice.

  6. Adam Parish

    I was recently reviewing my crypto investments and during that review what jumped out to me is that I’ve paid over $100 fees to Coinbase. I want Coinbase to be successful and I also want Robinhood’s crypto approach to be successful.