Coinbase CEO to Take Crypto Exchange Public After Bringing Bitcoin to Masses

April 14, 2021

Brian Armstrong is poised to become one of the richest people in the world after Coinbase Global Inc. goes public Wednesday.

Coinbase, co-founded by Mr. Armstrong in 2012, runs the largest bitcoin exchange in the U.S. and is set to become the first major cryptocurrency-focused company to go public in the country. It is expected to fetch a valuation of between $65 billion and $100 billion, which could make Mr. Armstrong’s 20% stake worth up to $20 billion.

That would put the 38-year-old chief executive among the 100 wealthiest people in the world, based on Forbes’ most recent billionaires list.

Yet Mr. Armstrong remains largely unknown outside crypto circles and is something of an enigma within them. He isn’t the typical, brash Silicon Valley founder or crypto evangelist. He rarely talks in the press and attends few conferences. His Twitter account is, by that platform’s standards, unusually tranquil.

What propels him, a number of people who have worked with him said, is a steadfast focus on bringing bitcoin to the masses.