Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong: First crypto takes the fringes then the mainstream

Paying for a cup of coffee will be the last area that gets disrupted by digital currency, he reckons

Venture capitalist Tim Draper recently predicted that, by 2022, people will routinely use Bitcoin in everyday transactions such as buying coffee at Starbucks.

“I think when you go to Starbucks and you try to pay with dollars, they will laugh at you because you are not using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency…It will be like the old lady paying out with pennies,” he said.

Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong, however, is taking a more cautious (read: realistic) approach. In a recent Ask Me Anything session on YouTube, he commented: “If you think about the most common transaction that happens, like paying for a cup of coffee at Starbucks with a credit card, there’s a normal distribution of payments in the world and that’s square in the middle.”

“And I think that’s the last area that gets disrupted by digital currency. Digital currency is actually going to be used more on the fringes first and slowly move into the mainstream,” he added.

Crypto is gaining traction where “people need to send $1 million to invest in something in 10 minutes somewhere else around the world. Or a developer who is trying to script and automate distributions of payments to thousands of people for one dollar around the world. And then on the other side, you have people who are unbanked or de-platformed – emerging markets, Venezuela, this is where crypto is playing.”

It will then slowly work its way into the middle. “That’s what we’re trying to do at Coinbase; we’re trying to build the crypto economy. Not just onboarding, buy a little bit of a crypto and hold onto it, but increasingly connect people so they can do more things. Earn tasks. Can they do voting? Can they do staking? Can they do borrow/lend? Or start to buy products with crypto?” Armstrong said.


Also during the Ask Me Anything session, Armstrong addressed crypto trolls, noting that he had not been trolled in real life by any keyboard warriors, and commenting: “Maintaining your sanity in a world where the internet exists is like a deeper topic.”

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