The head of the biggest crypto exchange in the US is sharing his thoughts about 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 an internet presence or to use the internet in some way. Even if they’re not an internet company, they’re going to have a homepage or maybe get new customers through the internet or accept payments.
Crypto is the same way. I think Big Tech is going to have a role to play there. We’re seeing companies like BlackRock, the largest asset manager out there, has now integrated with Coinbase. Meta was another great example.
It’s showing me that we can really win, not only a large retail customer segment, but we can also win deals with the largest companies in the world as Coinbase. That bodies really well for our future.”
When it comes to the crypto winter that has hindered the industry since late last year, the tech entrepreneur hopes to see a turnaround sometime before the middle of 2023.
“Obviously we’re in a bit of a down cycle, but it’s not unusual for us. We’ve been through four cycles like this as a company, and we’re only 10 years old.
This one just happens to coincide with the broader macro environment coming down. We all hope it’ll be 12, 18 months and [then a] nice recovery, but you obviously have to plan for it being longer than that. We don’t try to get too cute about predicting the future.”
Armstrong adds that Coinbase remains focused on its long-term goals rather than fluctuations on the price charts.
“We have this saying internally 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 we try not to get focused on short-term ups and downs. We just zoom out and think about, ‘Five, 10 years from now, are more people going to be using crypto? Probably. Is the internet going to be more widely distributed? Probably. Is there going to 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 do fine over the next five or 10 years.”
The CEO concludes by saying he’s encouraged by how expanded staking is improving the crypto space, especially projects like Ethereum (ETH), Polygon (MATIC), Optimism (OP) and Solana (SOL).
“[Staking is] important in terms of getting these blockchains to be more scalable as well. We’re seeing Ethereum getting closer and closer to the Merge, which is upgrading to Ethereum 2.0, and that’ll be a nice step on the journey of upgrading [and] getting more scalability from Ethereum.
We’re seeing that with other blockchains too. The Lightning Network has been really great at going in that direction. We’re seeing good things with layer-2 solutions [like] Polygon, Arbitrum and Optimism. Solana’s been doing really great on scaling as well, so all across the board, good progress on staking.”
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