- Coinbase CEO says that going public has been very good for the company.
- Brian Armstrong: “Now that we’re the first Fortune 500 company to use crypto, we can do business with other Fortune 500 companies”.
- Going public also allows the company to raise money quickly and at good rates, he says.
Coinbase stock has dropped by 84% since its all-time high of $381 on the day it went public in April 2021, CEO Brian Armstrong says that going public has been very good for the cryptocurrency company.
Armstrong told Messari CEO Ryan Selkis onstage at Messari’s Mainnet conference in New York last week that going public “has put us on the main stage, where we can do deals with BlackRock and companies like Meta.” “Now that we’re the first Fortune 500 company to use crypto, we can do business with other Fortune 500 companies and they’ll take us more seriously.”
Armstrong said that before he made Coinbase public, he talked to CEOs who had decided to keep their companies private about the pros and cons. Armstrong said that another benefit of going public is being able to raise money quickly and at good rates. He pointed out that Coinbase raised $3 million in debt in a week last year without him having to go to a single meeting.
Armstrong thinks that this is a bad thing. The attention from the public and the media.
“I think some of the scrutiny is not that helpful, to be honest,” he said. “It’s just people trying to push their own story or write biassed anti-tech pieces, which should be called opinion pieces but aren’t.”
But bad press isn’t the biggest problem Coinbase is facing right now. In August, the U.S. Justice Department said that an ex-employee had traded on inside information. The SEC then said that the exchange had listed securities that were not registered.
Armstrong knows that being on the stock market means having to deal with rules and regulations. But because of its size and reputation, he also sees it as his responsibility: “Not just trying to build Coinbase, but how do we actually go out there and be a champion for the whole industry and defend the whole industry”
This is why, earlier this month, Coinbase backed a lawsuit by Tornado Cash users against the U.S. Treasury.
“Sanctioning open source software is like permanently shutting down a highway because robbers used it to flee a crime scene,” Armstrong wrote in a Coinbase blog post. “It’s not the best way to fix something. It ends up punishing people who didn’t do anything wrong and makes people less safe and private.”