Blockchain Industry Profiles: Brian Armstrong
Brian Armstrong is a founder of Coinbase and rewriting the history books with his cryptocurrency exchange’s “Unicorn” status.
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Brian Armstrong is the brains behind one of the most successful cryptocurrencies established to date. In fact, his digital currency is the first ever cryptocurrency exchange to attain the so-called “Unicorn” status. This status is a landmark for when an exchange equates to or surpasses, a valuation of one-billion dollars. Impressed? Let’s take a look at the life that has made this happen.
Education and Neighbour’s Garages
Armstrong grew up in California in the 1980s and instantly became interested in technology. He excelled academically in comparison to his peers and was finding paid work while still a high-school student. His talents in Java, CSS and website design attracted small businesses in his local area. To complete these projects, a fresh-faced Brian Armstrong would work from the neighbour’s garage.
He continued down the fruitful path of technology by studying computer science and economics at university. For our familiar profile-series readers, the merging of technology and economics appears to be a common trait amongst blockchain prodigies. One degree was not enough for Brian, he then earned a master’s degree before taking some time in Argentina.
During his higher-education years, Armstrong completed an internship with IBM in a technological role. This role developed his skills in Java even further. After university, he worked for Deloitte before co-founding UniversityTutor.com in 2003 alongside John Nelson. He remained in a CEO position there for many years until May 2012. At this point, he had his sights set further ahead on something even more impressive.
The Birth of Coinbase
Just one month after standing down as CEO of his tutoring business, Armstrong moved onto his flagship creation and one that will be hard to beat. Working with Fred Ehrsam and co-founder of Blockchain.info, Ben Reeves, the three set out on a monumental venture. However, Reeves didn’t see some of the project the same way as Ehrsam and Armstrong, so he parted ways.
The venture that they began – and one which Ben Reeves probably wish he stuck around for – is now what is well-known as Coinbase. Coinbase, for cryptocurrency newbies, is an exchange platform where digital currencies are traded. This digital broker accepts Ethereum, Bitcoin, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash in exchange for fiat currencies. It is in operation in more than 30 countries and is likely to keep expanding over the coming years.
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