The head of the largest crypto exchange in the US shares his thoughts on the industry’s present and future.
In a new interview with CNBC’s Crypto World, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong tells host Kate Rooney that he believes Big Tech companies like BlackRock and Meta will all participate in the next phase of the crypto-powered internet.
“We want every company in the world to integrate into crypto. Just like saying we want every company to have a presence on the Internet or use the Internet in some way. Even if they’re not an Internet company, they’re going to have a website or maybe get new customers via the internet or accept payments.
Crypto is the same way. I think Big Tech is going to have a role to play there. We see that companies like BlackRock, the biggest asset manager out there, have now integrated with Coinbase. Meta was another good example.
It shows me that we can really win, not only a large retail customer segment, but we can also win deals with the biggest companies in the world like Coinbase. It bodes very well for our future.”
When it comes to the crypto winter that has hampered the industry since late last year, the tech entrepreneur hopes to see a turnaround sometime before mid-2023.
“Obviously we̵[ads1]7;re in a down cycle, but that’s not unusual for us. We’ve been through four such cycles as a company, and we’re only 10 years old.
This happens to coincide with the wider macro environment coming down. We all hope it will be 12, 18 months and [then a] nice improvement, but of course you have to plan for it to be longer than that. We’re not trying to get too cute when it comes to predicting the future.”
Armstrong adds that Coinbase remains focused on its long-term goals rather than price chart fluctuations.
“We have this saying internally that I like to repeat a lot, which is, ‘It’s never as good as it seems.’ It’s never as bad as it seems.’
I think one of the reasons Coinbase has been so successful over the last 10 years is that we try not to focus on short-term ups and downs. We just zoom out and think, “Five, 10 years from now, are more people going to be using crypto? Probably. Will the internet become more widespread? Probably. Will there be more e-commerce and more digital payments?’
These are all tailwinds that are long-term trends. If we don’t get distracted and keep building great products, we’re going to be fine in the next five or ten years.”
The CEO concludes by saying that he is encouraged by how expanded efforts are improving the crypto space, especially projects like Ethereum (ETH), Polygon (MATIC), Optimism (OP), and Solana (SOL).
“[Staking is] important in terms of making these blockchains more scalable as well. We see that Ethereum is getting closer and closer to the merge, which is upgrading to Ethereum 2.0, and that will be a nice step in the journey of upgrading [and] get more scalability from Ethereum.
We also see it with other blockchains. The Lightning Network has been very good at moving in that direction. We see good things with layer 2 solutions [like] Polygon, arbitrage and optimism. Solana has also done very well on scaling, so across the board, good progress with efforts.”
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Featured image: Shutterstock/Tithi Luadthong