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Coinbase, Neutrino Part with Hacking Team Ex-Members

US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase may have listened after all to the agitations of its user base regarding its acquisition of Neutrino. It is to discontinue the relationship with members of the Neutrino team who previously worked with the Hacking Team since their prior work conflicts with their current mission.

Yesterday, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong explained in a blog post that the decision was “living up to the exchange’s values”, after falling short of its due diligence. In what appears to be a veiled apology, he said:

“We had a gap in our diligence process. While we looked hard at the technology and security of the Neutrino product, we did not properly evaluate everything from the perspective of our mission and values as a crypto company.”

The exchange has reconsidered its decision and together with the Neutrino team have agreed that “those who worked with the Hacking Team will transition out of Coinbase, despite not having a current affiliation with the Hacking Team”. It is not currently known exactly how many members of the Hacking Team were working for the Neutrino project, however, the executives of the project, Marco Valleri and Alberto Ornaghi, stood out.

Like most cryptocurrency platforms out there, decentralizing the financial system and placing end users in control of financials is a top priority. “[Coinbase’s] mission as a company is to create an open financial system for the world,” says Armstrong and according to him, to do this required the empowerment of many people to acquire cryptocurrency.

The CEO further explained that the ambition of connecting to the traditional financial system – as a part of the company’s mission to an open financial system, required compliance with existing financial laws and regulations as regarding know your customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) programs. And this he said, required blockchain analytics and that those of the Neutrino team were exceptional.

Earlier last week, the acquisition of Neutrino may have seemed to be an important milestone for the Coinbase team considering they were eventually going to need a blockchain analytics solution “in-house”.

However, their decision to have hurriedly acquired Neutrino analytics platform, while falling short of their due diligence in evaluating the past working experiences of the team members, soon turned ugly. Upon discovery of the historical background of the founders of Neutrino platform, Coinbase users protested against the acquisition in a #DeleteCoinbase hashtag movement that threatened to delete their accounts with the exchange.


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Coinbase CEO: Virtual Reality and Crypto Next Big Combo

Coinbase CEO: Virtual Reality and Crypto Next Big Combo

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has said that cryptocurrency has the potential to turn Virtual Reality into a full-time job.

Armstrong suggests that virtual spaces could create their own currencies or even make use of existing ones such as Bitcoin or Ethereum by integrating the means for users to spend crypto in the same way as they are currently using fiat.

Developers would see more time spent on such games, according to the Coinbase boss, taking it much further into the realms of Sci-fi by suggesting that players could use the virtual world to support themselves in the real world, cashing in their accrued gaming funds for “real” use, such as paying rent. He speculates:

“Perhaps we’ll see virtual bank buildings with pillars, virtual bank vaults that spin when you open them, and virtual tellers with glasses.” The exchange magnate, clearly a follower of the gaming and VR world added, “Ready Player One had a great visual of coins being collected in the game, and spilling out of characters when they were killed (leaving a big pile of loot on the ground).”

Clearly, Armstrong has seen the potential of turning VR ownership into the real thing via some of his own exchange-listed cryptocurrencies. But in reality, there’s still a long way to go – crossing the bridge from virtual into reality.

Armstrong appears to be in touch with the man on the street, if not through gaming and VR, then certainly in terms of what reality actually means for many of the world’s “have-nots” these days. This was shown by his recent personal $1 million giveaway through his charity project called GiveCrypto.

The project is a global enterprise which will give out cryptocurrency donations to worthy recipients, who will then be able to make personal choices in whether to keep their donations as cryptocurrency or exchange them for fiat. GiveCrypto wants to raise USD 10 million by the end of 2018 and grow to a fund of USD 1 billion over two years. Donations will hopefully come from wealthy donors who have amassed wealth through cryptocurrency, passing on their good fortunes to those in need of financial help. Suggested cryptocurrencies for donations are Bitcoin, Ripple, and Zcash.

Ripple’s co-founder Chris Larsen has already put in an undisclosed donation into the Armstrong charity hat. This may not be all that Ripple will be putting into Coinbase’s coffers if recent news that Coinbase plans to list XRP on its exchange becomes reality…. that’s not a virtual one by the way!

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Coinbase CEO: Crypto-Space Population Will Grow to 1 Billion in Next 5 Years

Brian Armstrong, crypto exchange giant Coinbase’s CEO, has suggested that the number of people in the cryptocurrency ecosystem will swell to 1 billion over the next five years.

In a recent interview, Armstrong sees the current number of 40 million making such a substantial growth due to the continued development of tokens by commercial enterprises and even charities. He suggested:

“It makes sense that any company out there who has a cap table should have their own token. Every open source project, every charity, potentially every fund or these new types of decentralized organizations [and] apps, they’re all going to have their own tokens.”

He added that his own company is likely to host hundreds of tokens within a period of years, and these could possibly swell into millions over time. He maintains that regulation remains key to such a groundswell of token adoption though, suggesting it is more likely that the majority of these tokens will more than luckily be classified as securities.

The exchange has made some major changes over past weeks. They introduced crypto trading pairs for the users in the United Kingdom through the Great Britain Pound (GBP) with a goal to be the trading platform of choice for UK crypto traders, one of the cryptocurrency’s largest world markets. Last month, the San Francisco Exchange introduced a digital gift card program aimed at revamping old business models, offering European clients other ways of accessing cash for crypto.

It’s also been rumored that Coinbase may apply for a Bitcoin ETF from the SEC, joining an already expanding waiting list, though, this hasn’t been confirmed yet by the exchange.

Last week Coinbase also revealed that it is considering the Irish Republic as its next push to expand local markets around the globe. Dublin has been cited as the exchange’s next target and to that end, they have begun an employment drive in the city taking on customer support, analysts, a compliance officer, and an office manager.

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Ethereum Founder and Coinbase CEO See Positive Growth in Crypto

Joe Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum, has commented that the fall in recent cryptocurrency prices is no constraint to future positive market growth.

The comments were made in an interview with Bloomberg yesterday when the ConsenSys CEO indicated that the big picture was the relevant factor for investors, and not to focus on “pimples on a chart” as he put it, referring the peaks and troughs of Bitcoin prices.

He spoke of the “bubble” factor, suggesting that each of the six major events has always bought a surge of activity. He argues:

“…we build more fundamental infrastructure, we see a correction, and the potential gets even more impressive… I absolutely expect that there is a strong correlation between the rise in price and the growth of fundamental infrastructure in the ecosystem and the growth of development in the ecosystem. We are probably two orders of magnitude bigger as a developer community than we were eight or ten months ago.”

The current market trend should be expected, Lubin suggests. He argues that much of the current volatility has to be put down to investor speculation rather than flaws in the underlying technology, suggesting that cryptocurrencies were very much still on the right positive trajectory. Regarding his own case as a CEO, he said:

“So we can look at the price and make growth plans and projections, and we’re still on track, basically. So this is not unexpected.”

Lubin added that each value surge over the past years indicated that the current situation is just like the last “six big bubbles, each more epic than the previous one, and each bubble is astonishing when they’re happening”.

In other news, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has revealed that the company signed up 50,000 new customers a day last year and on Tuesday reflected Lubin’s view that the general trend is positive, suggesting:

“This technology is going through a series of bubbles and corrections, and each time it does that, it’s at a new plateau… People’s expectations are all over the map, but real-world adoption has been going up.”

At time of press, Bitcoin is currently trading at USD 6,429, up 6.47% on 24-hr trading. Ethereum is trading at USD 285, up by 6.93% on 24-hr trade.


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Coinbase Maintains Optimism Despite Recent Popularity Slide

Crypto exchange giant Coinbase is reported to have recorded a decline in popularity over the past month, according to Ethereum World News.

The downturn in business correlates to a decline in app downloads since the recent fall in the global cryptocurrency market, where prices have suffered a 70% drop over the past six months.

The result is that short-term speculators are looking elsewhere for business and app downloaders have bypassed the Coinbase app, which at its peak was a go-to item in Apple and Google Play apps stores. According to Quartz, Coinbase app downloads have reached their lowest level in the US since last April when Bitcoin was selling at USD 1,250. At one point last year, Coinbase was one of Apple’s most downloaded apps.

Other statistics indicate that the Coinbase online platform has experienced a similar downturn with monthly visits to the site dropping from 126 million in January to 28 million in June with its other platform GDAX losing a further 5% than the parent company.

Despite Coinbase’s recent declining fortunes, the company is continuing its expansion, bringing new products to the market and recently opening an office in Portland, Oregon which has plans to hire over 100 employees.

Coinbase is an “open financial system that is not controlled by a central power”, maintains Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong who clearly remains upbeat and optimistic. His recent Tweet explained that he sees such slides as simply part of the overall crypto landscape:

“The crypto industry is like no other I’ve seen – lots of up and down cycles (reaching a new plateau each time). There have been 3 or 4 of these now. It can be scary the first time you see it, but to us who have been in the industry for many years, it feels like old news.”

However, another exchange giant, Binance, has seen its fortunes turn out to be quite a different story, with its user base going from strength to strength, experiencing a massive five times expansion since the beginning of the year, and is predicted to bring in USD 1 billion by December.


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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong “Enjoying” Low Bitcoin Prices

The CEO of prominent cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, shared a series of posts on Twitter Tuesday promoting the positive benefits of extended periods of low Bitcoin prices.

Armstrong focused on three cycles of Bitcoin prices from 2013, 2014, and 2017, commenting that the up and down momentum of Bitcoin is normal for the cryptocurrency.

His Tweet reads: ”After many years of this, I’ve come to enjoy the down cycles in crypto prices more”,’ while justifying this by saying it rids the market of people who are in it for “the wrong reasons”.

Those with the right reasons for involvement as he sees it are given ”an opportunity to keep making progress while everyone else gets distracted”.

1/ Shared the following message with the team @coinbase today…

— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) June 19, 2018

With the statements in the Tweets initially shared with Coinbase staffers, Armstrong reminded them to ignore any “irrational exuberance” or “irrational pessimism” regarding Bitcoin’s price.

”Reality is always somewhere in the middle, more correlated with real usage (transactions per day) than the price”, he noted.

His opinions are shared with the likes of Phillip Nunn who recently reiterated his belief that Bitcoin will not have trouble recovering from this low period, and will make it to USD 60,000 by the end of the year.

Bitcoin currently stands at around USD 6,550, having recovered from lows of approximately USD 6,250.

Allegations against Coinbase

Armstrong’s exchange Coinbase is currently facing allegations of fraud from several of its clients. The accusers have given a 134-page report to the US SEC and the California Department of Business Oversight outlining their claims.

As outlined by Mashable, the report illustrates Coinbase as an irresponsible actor that was underprepared for its own success.

The complaint files note multiple occasions where would-be traders find their money has disappeared, or to be locked out of accounts, with Coinbase reacting with what is described as ”aggressive nonchalance“.

Coinbase has responded to these complaints by issuing a statement saying they have increased their support team by over 150% and reduced the response time to less than ten hours for 95% of complaints.


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