What Is Brian Armstrong’s Net Worth? Coinbase CEO’s Wealth in 2024

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Brian Armstrong is the co-founder and chief executive of Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the US by trade volume.

Over the years, Armstrong’s dedicated work at Coinbase and crypto advocacy efforts have earned him the reputation of the industry’s flagbearer.

The success of Coinbase has also made Armstrong the co-founder of a multibillion-dollar company. How rich is Brian Armstrong, and what is his net worth in 2024? We answer all this and more in this article.

Key Takeaways

  • Armstrong founded Coinbase after joining the Y Combinator startup accelerator in 2012.
  • Coinbase listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange via a direct listing in April 2021.
  • According to Forbes, Brian Armstrong is the second richest crypto billionaire in 2024.
  • Armstrong owned a 15.6% stake in Coinbase at the end of 2023.
  • In 2018, Armstrong joined The Giving Pledge to give away the majority of his wealth.

How Did Brian Armstrong Make His Money?

Early Ventures

Armstrong was born on January 25, 1983, near San Jose, California, to engineer parents. He is said to have displayed an entrepreneurial spirit since his school days when he operated a candy-selling venture and a computer reselling business.

He graduated from Rice University, Texas, in 2006 with a dual bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science and a master’s degree in computer science. Armstrong founded an education startup called University Tutor during his time at the university.

According to Armstrong’s LinkedIn profile, he interned for IBM for four months in 2003. He also worked at Deloitte as a consultant for the enterprise risk management team for five months in 2005. Later, Armstrong joined Airbnb as a software engineer in 2011. He worked there for 14 months.

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In 2012, Armstrong joined the Y Combinator startup accelerator, where he received a $150,000 investment to fund Coinbase.

Breakthrough With Coinbase

Armstrong came across cryptocurrencies in 2010 when he read the Bitcoin whitepaper authored by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. According to Forbes, he bought his first Bitcoins at $9 per token.

In June 2012, Brian Armstrong founded Coinbase. Originally, British programmer Ben Reeves was supposed to join him at Y Combinator, where they had pitched Coinbase. However, differences in their opinions about crypto custody resulted in Reeves dropping out at the last minute while Armstrong headed to Y Combinator alone.

Later, Fred Eshram, a former forex trader at Goldman Sachs, joined Armstrong after noticing his plea on Hacker News.

On April 14, 2021, Coinbase listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange via a direct listing where no shares were sold ahead of the opening.

Coinbase stock opened at $381 per share, more than 50% higher than the IPO reference price of $250. By the end of the day, Armstrong’s company boasted a fully diluted valuation of over $85 billion.

In 2023, Coinbase posted a total revenue of about $3.11 billion and a profit of about $94.9 million. Coinbase’s market cap stood at $55.44 billion as of May 22, 2024.

Coinbase (COIN) Market Capitalization History

What Is Brian Armstrong’s Net Worth?

According to Forbes, Brian Armstrong’s net worth in 2024 stood at $11.2 billion at the time of writing, making him the 180th richest billionaire in the world.

Meanwhile, Forbes’ Richest Crypto And Bitcoin Billionaires list for 2024 placed him in the second spot. Only Binance co-founder Changpeng Zhao was ahead of him on the Bitcoin rich list.

Coinbase is the main source of Brian Armstrong’s wealth.

At the end of 2023, Armstrong held about 35.5 million Coinbase shares, which gave him a 15.6% stake in the company. His shareholding consisted of over 5.9 million stock options, over 26.5 million Class B common stock held directly by The Brian Armstrong Living Trust, and over 3 million Class B common stock held by The Ehrsam 2014 Irrevocable Trust.

According to Fintel, the net worth of Coinbase stock held by Armstrong stood at about $7.4 billion at the end of 2023.

Brian Armstrong’s salary as Coinbase CEO and chairman of the board of directors had a base pay of $1 million in 2022. After adding all other compensation, Armstrong drew a total annual compensation of over $7.46 million in 2022.

It is not known how much cryptocurrency Armstrong personally holds.

Wealth Fluctuations

As Coinbase is the main source of Armstrong’s wealth, the market performance of Coinbase stock will affect his net worth.

Since debuting on the stock market in April 2021, Coinbase shares have fallen 24% as of May 22, 2024.

However, over the last year, Coinbase stock has gained about 269% from $61 to $227 after the cryptocurrency market entered a bull run at the end of 2023.

Coinbase (COIN) All-Time Performance

Furthermore, higher cryptocurrency prices will also increase Coinbase’s Bitcoin wealth. At the end of 2023, Coinbase held Bitcoins worth $388.3 million at fair value.

What Does Brian Armstrong Own?

Brian Armstrong’s Companies

Armstrong owned 35.5 million Coinbase shares, which gave him a 15.6% stake in the company at the end of 2023.

Additionally, Armstrong also founded an academic startup called UniversityTutor in 2004.

Armstrong co-founded a scientific research development platform called ResearchHub Technologies in 2020, where he currently serves as CEO. The company received seed funding worth $5 million, according to Crunchbase.

Armstrong also co-founded a San Francisco-based biotech company, NewLimit.

Investments

Brian Armstrong is known to be a prominent angel investor. According to PitchBook, Armstrong has made 17 investments so far.

Orchid, a home-based genetic test kit developer, was Armstrong’s latest investment made in December 2023. Armstrong has also invested in financial software company Nomba, foster care and adoption center platform Binti, biotech firm Gameto, and crypto company Ampleforth, among others.

Armstrong exited investments made in online interactive publishing platform WoMeN.com, crowdfunding platform HandUp, and publishing platform Openvote.

Real Estate

If you are wondering where Brian Armstrong lives, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that the Coinbase founder bought an estate in Los Angeles (LA) in a deal worth $133 million in January 2022. According to WSJ, the transaction is one of the biggest single-family home sales ever made in the LA area.

Philanthropy

In December 2018, Armstrong made a commitment to give away the majority of his wealth to address societal problems by joining The Giving Pledge — a charitable initiative founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet.

Earlier that year, Armstrong founded a non-profit called GiveCrypto.org, which distributed cryptocurrency to individuals in need. However, GiveCrypto.org was shut down in December 2023.

Brian Armstrong and Coinbase also introduced a 501(c)(4) nonprofit called The Stand With Crypto Alliance to champion “clear, common-sense regulations for the crypto industry.”

The Bottom Line

Brian Armstrong is one of the most well-respected personalities of the crypto world.

His vision to create “the easiest way to get started with Bitcoin” by establishing Coinbase has helped crypto adoption spread from Silicon Valley to remote parts of the world.

FAQs

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Mensholong Lepcha
Crypto & Blockchain Writer
Mensholong Lepcha
Crypto & Blockchain Writer

Mensholong is an experienced crypto and blockchain journalist, now a full-time writer at Techopedia. He has previously contributed news coverage and in-depth market analysis to Capital.com, StockTwits, XBO, and other publications. He started his writing career at Reuters in 2017, covering global equity markets. In his free time, Mensholong loves watching football, finding new music, and buying BTC and ETH for his crypto portfolio.