Coinbase Exec Brian Armstrong: A Billion People Will Be Using Cryptocurrency in 5 Years

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The world of money is revolutionizing in front of our eyes. Cryptocurrency is creating new paradigms for alternative payment systems and decentralized banking. There is no doubt that the user adoption of various cryptocurrencies is rapidly increasing. The cryptocurrency industry has become more fluid as the borders between it and mainstream finance continue to blur. At the same time, regulators are spending long hours at work to regulate the booming circle of crypto-enthusiasts.

It could be one of the prime reasons why Brian Armstrong believes crypto-adoption will increase at an astronomical pace in the next half-decade.

The Coinbase chief executive was responding to a question about cryptocurrency’s international outreach at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, to which he predicted that 1 billion people would eventually be using cryptocurrencies in the next five years.

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Armstrong believes a growing number of cryptocurrency companies will contribute to the overall crypto ecosystem growth. These companies, under a regulated environment, will issue their tokens backed by their respective market caps. In a way, these institutionalized digital assets will prove to be an alternative investment system in addition to equities.

“It makes sense that any company out there who has a cap table should have their token,” Armstrong said. “Every open source project, every charity, potentially every fund or these new types of decentralized organizations [and] apps, they’re all going to have their tokens.”

Coinbase, the U.S. company Armstrong heads, is one of the world’s largest bitcoin and altcoin exchanges by trading volume. They have only recently entered the U.K. markets to tap the growing crypto-user base in the country. Previously, it had been working actively in the U.S. and Europe, and it has amassed over 13 million users to date. That makes it 32.5 percent of the overall crypto-users — arguably, anyway.

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Armstrong plans to expand Coinbase to more global territories. They have recently announced their plans to open new offices in Africa.

In the long run, Armstrong believes they will function like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), with “probably” millions of tokens in their portfolio.

“We do feel a substantial subset of these tokens will be securities,” he said. “Our approach has always been to be the most trusted [cryptocurrency exchange] and the easiest to use. So we want to be the legal compliant place where you can start to trade these tokens that are classified as securities.”

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