Video Of The Week: Fireside Chat With Brian Armstrong

Back in May, during Blockchain Week in NYC, I had the pleasure of interviewing the CEO of our portfolio company Coinbase, Brian Armstrong.

We started off talking about their rapidly growing institutional business, but quickly got to talking about everything Coinbase.

Brian also gets a question in for me about 17mins into the talk.

It’s about 10 minutes of me asking Brian questions and then another 20 minutes of Q&A from the audience.


Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    & kudos to Brian for responding to President Trump re: Bitcoin…

    1. jason wright

      Not so quick step. 4 is not yet here. Trying to win friends and influence people in power is the better approach. Hitting back is unwise, even if it might rally the troops (Jobs – “thermonuclear”).

    2. JLM

      .”He who rides the tiger cannot dismount at will.”The comment by Brian Armstrong was a sophomoric utterance. He picked a fight where there was no necessity to do so.Pres Trump’s objections were short and simple: “. . . drug trade and other illegal activity . . .”Instead of pissing on Pres Trump’s leg, a smarter guy would have said, “Of course we agree with President Trump that the drug trade and other illegal activity is wrong. We intend to ensure — Hell, we guarantee — that cryptocurrency overcomes the President’s objections.”Selling is all about overcoming objections. Those were very reasonable objections, but they are also ones that have to be overcome if crypto is to advance its cause.Nobody is going to win an argument that the drug trade and other illegal activity should be overlooked in any discussion about crypto.Why set up that confrontation?Bush league.It is worth noting that the Fed Chairman Jerome Powell was asked a similar question — because the reporter was trying to see if he could provoke a spat between Pres Trump and the Fed Chair — and got an even more direct answer.So, now you have the White House, President Trump, the Federal Reserve, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and the IRS teeing it up with crypto and guys are making snarky Ghandi quotes?Come on, man.There is an unsoundly founded, intellectual arrogance about the crypto discussion that is going to result in a hard line being taken against it.By publicly picking a fight with the President during the lead up to a presidential election, there is also the added dividend of casting the issue of crypto as being in the basket of unattainable, far left desires that will slowly be abandoned as we get closer to the election.There is no good to come from politicizing something like finance.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Richard

        “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win “is indeed a reheated tripe that – while once delicious – is a more of a old leftover at this point.

        1. JLM

          .Could you translate that into gibberish for me?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Richard

            see above

      2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Hi @JLM:disqus I thought this was a pretty good response on money-laundering (prosecutions for which of household name banks exceeds the total market cap of bitcoin)…Any comment ?(Edited to add…)Heck KYC fines (only) easily exceed mcap)

        1. JLM

          .These are crimes. These are fines that were imposed by law enforcement that apprehended the criminals.The issue for crypto is this — do they expect the regulators to insert another avenue for criminal money laundering when the magnitude of crime is already demonstrated?Money laundering is a huge problem. The regulators are not going to allow it to become even huger.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      3. William Mougayar

        Well, truth hurts. You can’t escape reality, and there is a limited time for hiding from it.Cryptocurrencies are here to stay. President Trump is making a mistake to not jump on the bandwagon and capitalize on the US leadership in this field. It is his for the taking.

  2. awaldstein

    Fun listen, thanks.As a coinbase user, I like that I like the company.That is not always the case.Glad that you touched on staking which to me is not only one of the most interesting pieces of this paradigm for a number of reasons, but one of two or three pieces in the crypto world that I play in with projects and can contribute.

  3. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    I have a couple pretty specific questions for Brian – I am a generally happy customer but feel coinbase are losing a couple of tricks.1, My wife cannot signup without lying so she will not – I understand the need for KYC but are people who choose not to work (or do not have an employer) not of interest? It seems to me that many unemployed people who may have substantial assets (the retired) etc are not being served.2. Trading options – I find myself transferring currency to bitstamp from coinbase pro when I want to use a trailing stop or a conditionally executed subsequent trade. Are these so hard to build – or do you not want to offer such convenience for some other reason?3. The trading UI (GDAX replacement) great on a huge screen but sucks lemons on a laptop – any comments / plans to upgrade ?All in all – I love cb – and the fee structure is very fair (beats eg bitstamp – which as a European holds a certain charm for me)Keep up good work @brian_armstrong

  4. pointsnfigures

    Interesting that Coinbase disbanded their entire Chicago office, which was targeted toward building product for institutional and HFT customers.