Posted 1 year ago | by Ben Armstrong

Coinbase CEO Armstrong Thinks Crypto Users May Expand to 5 Billion Globally

The CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase thinks that cryptos can become far more popular. Brian Armstrong commented on the massive potential that cryptos have, and why they could see an expansion of 100x in their user base.

Armstrong described how the internet developed and resulted in mass adoption, which is similar to the work that is being done on cryptocurrencies currently. The CEO admitted that it still not clear which blockchain “will help get crypto from ~50M users to 5B,”

He added:

“The chain that manages to ship some of these scalability, privacy, decentralized identity, and developer tool solutions will have a big leg up.”

Bitcoin is the most valuable blockchain, when measured by market cap, but it isn't perfect. There are other contenders, like Ethereum and Ripple, but opinions about how the future of cryptos could looks is divided.

Armstrong is Projecting the Past

The recent ideas expressed by Armstrong were inspired by a conversation he had with A16z co-founder Ben Horowitz.

While there are parallels between the early internet and cryptocurrency, there are also some major differences. Horowitz had been a product manager at Netscape, which had a market share of over 90% in the mid-nineties.

According to Armstrong, Netscape developed the tools that allowed the internet to go mainstream and attract millions of developers and startups. The internet did start off as a novelty for most people, although it has its roots in research done by ARPA, the predecessor to DARPA.

Some Big Differences Exist

Armstrong pointed out that in the early days of the internet, dial-up modem bandwidth severely limited access to content, and lack of privacy standards prevented people from trusting the web with their credit card credentials

He went on to say:

“Anyway, the parallels to crypto are pretty staggering here... Slow internet speeds/dial-up models reflect early challenges in scaling blockchains. [Internet traffic encryption standards] SSL and HTTPs are similar to some of the privacy coin efforts.”

The real differences start to emerge when we look at the basis of cryptos. Unlike the internet, which focused on data as a while, cryptos are specifically made to work as money. This is a major problem for the central banking cartel, which uses the monetary system as a fail-safe control mechanism for the global economy.

People worldwide are gaining easier to access to crypto-assets. The number of crypto ATMs across the globe has grown to over 7,000 and they can be found in 75 countries. While this is encouraging from a near-term perspective, it is curious to consider if the fiat currency system will go quietly into the night, or if a more substantial fight will emerge over the future of money.