Coinbase CEO
Coinbase plans to list more cryptocurrencies with the announcement of its new policy. Here, Coinbase cofounder and CEO Brian Armstrong (left) and moderator Fitz Tepper speak onstage during Day 3 of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018 at Moscone Center in San Francisco, Sept. 7, 2018. Steve Jennings/Getty Images


  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong was the first cryptocurrency billionaire to sign the Giving Pledge
  • He also set up a philanthropic effort called GiveCrypto in 2018
  • His net worth shrunk by several billion over the past year amid a selloff in Bitcoin and other digital currencies

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is one of the richest individuals in the world today, but just like fellow billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, he won't be leaving all of his wealth to his family.

The former Airbnb software engineer co-founded Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency trading platform in the United States, in 2012 with former currency trader Fred Ehrsam.

In 2018, Armstrong became the first cryptocurrency executive to sign Gates and Buffett's Giving Pledge campaign and promised to give away the bulk of his wealth to philanthropic causes.

He also set up a philanthropic effort called GiveCrypto to allow people to make public or anonymous donations to help others living in poverty.

In his Giving Pledge letter, Armstrong recounted how his idea of starting a tech company came to fruition through his determination and luck.

"About ten years ago I wrote down a goal: 'start a billion-dollar tech company.' I associated a billion-dollar valuation with scale and impact. It meant creating a product that reached millions of people around the world and building an amazing team to do it," he wrote.

"Fast forward ten years, and through a lot of determination and luck, I am now the founder of a multi-billion dollar company," he added.

Following his experience, Armstrong said he wants to help bring other people's ideas to life as well through charity work.

"There is a quote I saw recently which read: 'The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him their own.' This stuck with me," he wrote in his letter.

He went on to explain, "Whether it's through improving education, creating a more level playing field, or increasing economic freedom, I'm interested in helping more people see their ideas come to fruition in the world. My hope is that more people will write down a 'crazy' goal some day, just like I did ten years ago, and it will turn out to be not so crazy after all."

Armstrong, who owns about 19% of Coinbase's shares, had a personal fortune of $13.7 billion around November 2021, but it had shrunk to about $8 billion by the end of March. according to Fortune. This was due to Coinbase tanking in value following a selloff in Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

The 39-year-old's net worth currently stands at $2.7 billion, according to the latest Forbes estimate.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. Anthony Harvey/Getty