Coinbase’s CEO Owns a Whopping $14B of His Company

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Brian Armstrong may soon be laughing all the way to the bank as he owns nearly $14 billion worth of Coinbase stock.

The Coinbase’s co-founder and CEO owns 39.6 million shares of the company which is heading into its direct listing in April. Based on an average private market price this year of $343.58, his stake is worth $13.6 billion.

If the stock trades at around those levels or near there, the CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange would become one of the world’s wealthiest people in the tech world. He will join the ranks of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, and Tesla’s Elon Musk.

Armstrong, who co-founded the company in 2012, will be able to sell shares right away after the stock goes public. There is no lock-up period as part of Coinbase’s direct listing, which differs from an IPO in that the company doesn’t raise fresh capital but instead allows existing shareholders to sell stock on the open market.

In the past year the value of Coinbase’s stock had jumped over 10-fold.

The company gets most of its revenue from the trading and storage of bitcoin, the number one cryptocurrency. Bitcoin has seen explosive moves in the last year, soaring over 700%. Ethereum is another crypto that has jumped over 1,000%.

It was last September that Armstrong landed in hot water when he said that Coinbase would not be a company focused on activism.

“The reason is that while I think these efforts are well intentioned, they have the potential to destroy a lot of value at most companies, both by being a distraction, and by creating internal division,” Armstrong wrote in a blog post.

The NY times later ran an expose on Coinbase and had reported on allegations from Black employees of unfair treatent at the company. Coinbase had refuted the claims in another blog post.

“Because we are a founder-led company, actions by, or unfavorable publicity about, Brian Armstrong, our co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, may adversely impact our brand and reputation,” the company’s filing has read. “Such negative publicity also could have an adverse effect on the size and engagement of our customers and could result in decreased revenue, which could have an adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition.”

Disclaimer: We have no position in any of the companies mentioned and have not been compensated for this article.