Today I’m going to tell you the story of Brian Armstrong who created his wealth with cryptocurrencies, but he didn’t do it himself. This story is not just about one man, but thousands of people who now have financial power thanks to the existence of Coinbase, which he founded.
The idea of creating what became Coinbase came to Armstrong when he discovered Bitcoin in 2012 during his computer science studies at the University of Virginia.
Coinbase is an exchange, one of the most used in the world.
But it wasn’t all rosy and easy for Brian. He started alone in a cold and small basement. He was a nerd who didn’t like socializing.
Despite his character and economic limitations, he successfully emerged from his starting condition. He did it, it is thanks to a lesson he learned from his career that can help all of us: entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs.
Thanks to this rule, any dream you have, if you respect it, you can have a life that amazes you.
The story of this young man begins in Texas, where he was born on January 25,1983.
He grew up in Dallas where his father worked as an engineer for DuPont, while his mother stayed home to take care of their three children. Brian was the youngest.
He was an excellent student, but he felt that his peers weren’t too interested in school.
Something that didn’t change during his time at the University of Virginia.
“Brian spent most of his time behind a computer screen programming, instead of attending sporting events with friends or enjoying parties.”
He has always been very focused, rather closed, and unsure of himself.
After graduating in 2006 with a degree in computer science, he joined the Peace Corps but left after just three months due to his father’s illness requiring medical attention.
Then he took another programming job at Akamai Technologies, which provides Internet services.
From there, Armstrong moved to California where he worked as a software engineer for several startups before starting Coinbase.
It wasn’t easy for Brian:
inside he knew he was different from other kids and his school years weren’t particularly kind to him. Many made fun of him and even mistreated him because they found it more fun than usual to bully an un-athletic guy.
Brian pursued his programming career more seriously after moving to California. He received his first job offer from Deloitte Consulting and Airbnb.
Deloitte was attractive for the high salary it was offering, but Brian decided to go with Airbnb. He believed he could learn more about programming there.
At the time, Airbnb was not yet what it is today: an international company that had more than 1 million listings in 190 countries. It only operated in San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle.
But his interests were limited, and when his father moved back to San Francisco, Brian decided to go with him.
“After a few months, he received an offer from Airbnb that was particularly attractive: the company asked him to set up its new international office in Dublin.”
This was like a dream come true for Armstrong – he wanted to work overseas and this opportunity was perfect.
Eventually, he accepted the offer and moved to Ireland with his wife. But soon after he arrived, things didn’t go as planned …
His employer didn’t put in enough energy to support Brian’s team. The employees were poorly paid and had terrible working conditions.
The productivity of the group dropped sharply to completely zero. The project ended up failing miserably due to its underdevelopment.
Brian knew he couldn’t make it work. The company did not appreciate him and his employees, so he decided to leave Airbnb to look for another job.
Instead of looking for work in Dublin, however, Brian decided to return to the United States with his wife.
When he got there, he found himself homeless because his old apartment was already occupied by new tenants. He ended up sleeping on friends’ sofas until they could find a new place.
But when it all seemed on the brink … a brilliant idea was born …
Brian’s shyness disappeared when he was introduced to Bitcoin in 2012 during his undergraduate studies.
One winter night, after leaving work late, Brian arrived home and saw on the Internet that PayPal had announced its intention to stop partnering with Bitcoin-related transactions for security reasons.
This kind of news worried him because since 2011 he had mined Bitcoin partly as a hobby and partly as an investment.
And so, two days later, Armstrong decided to check the trend in the value of this cryptocurrency … But what happened:
Within minutes, he saw that the value had jumped from $9 to $15, meaning 1 BTC was worth more than four times what it was before.
Armstrong sat at the computer for hours analyzing how this could happen and interviewing those who knew the most about this technology.
It took him a few days to figure out everything he needed to know.
“ So, during a momentous conversation with his best friend, Micky, Brian decided to devote himself to cryptocurrencies – especially Bitcoin – full time. And that’s how Coinbase was born …. “
Brian started obsessively working on the project during the nights and weekends after finishing work every day …
When he got home to San Francisco, he opened his laptop and started planning … when it got late, he headed to the YMCA where there was silence.
So, after a year of hard work, Brian finally opened Coinbase’s doors on July 14, 2012, with Micky one of its co-founders.
At first, they were only looking for US customers because their mission was to make Bitcoin more accessible by eliminating barriers like long sign-up processes and complicated user interfaces.
However, Brian quickly realized that the best way for this company to grow rapidly was to focus on overseas markets as well.
And thanks to good timing and excellent execution (the company began operating internationally during a time when cryptocurrencies experienced large increases in value), from 2013 to 2015 Coinbase had grown at an incredibly fast pace.
By May 2013, Bitcoin prices had jumped again … this time to $117 a
piece. The value of the coin has risen by over 400% in just four months. During the same period, investors began to hear more and more about Bitcoin.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange also announced that he would accept Bitcoin donations through his website. Brian noticed that Coinbase was growing every day mainly because of the increase in the price of Bitcoin.
How much is Coinbase worth today?
In 2018 alone, Coinbase was worth $1.6 billion. Today he has assets of approximately $7 billion.
It is the leading Bitcoin exchange in the United States, Europe, and most Latin American countries. It manages its own cryptocurrency wallet which is used by over 20 million people around the world.
AND has served more than 200,000 businesses (including Overstock, Expedia, and Dell) to allow them to accept cryptocurrencies as payment for their services or products.
For these reasons, Brian has received many calls in recent months from investors interested in acquiring some of his capital …
But he doesn’t want to sell any part of his company because he thinks there are great things coming for this global phenomenon.
Brian was forced to face himself to change his life for the better and to grow.
Eventually, he managed to create one of the most successful tech companies that ever existed. Today Coinbase ranks among the world’s leading cryptocurrencies with a market capitalization of $8 billion.
All this despite it starting as an unassuming project born out of a pure passion for technology and finance …. He had never attended college or worked in another tech company before founding Coinbase
So what drove him so powerfully?
“The curiosity. The interest. Passion. Intuition “.
If you follow these characteristics. If you feel them in what you are doing or would like to do. Here you will go 100 times faster. Faster and safer when that project or idea is completed successfully.
The same thing is true with people, love affairs, or friendships. It follows these inner instincts.
Today Brian is following this principle in another of his operations as well. It will be in everyone’s favor.
In June 2018, he announced the birth of givecrypto.org, a non-profit organization that wants to help people who have no bank account receive financial services.
With the ultimate goal of “empowering people by distributing cryptocurrencies globally”.
On the platform, people can make donations in cryptocurrency, which will then reach those who need it.
In 2019, GiveCrypto reached the equivalent of $4 million in donations.
Armstrong’s ambition, however, is to go beyond the simple model of donations.
What he wants to spread to the world is the so-called “economic freedom”, a concept used by economists and politicians to describe the financial strength of people.
I would say it is extraordinary.
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Nico Nobili —Alias SirNickNite
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