Coinbase strategy: API, DeFi & Self-Custody first
Crypto musings from Permissionless conference
This week I attended the Permissionless conference with ~100 of my fellow colleagues from Coinbase - many of us flew down to listen to an amazing roster of speakers across a breadth of topics. I wanted to spend sometime sharing the insights from the Coinbase leadership into how the company is driving the open, decentralized financial ecosystem forward and evolution of its Web3 strategy.
(Please note all the information below is publicly available on Coinbase website or twitter internet)
This was also a week where Coinbase turned 10 years! With ~100M KYC users and $300B crypto traded in just one quarter, Coinbase has firmly established itself as a crucial gateway to the Web3 ecosystem.
At Permissionless, our Chief Product Officer also unveiled some of our most important products: Dapp wallet/browser and Coinbase Pay SDK
Dapp wallet and browser: Launched a web3 browser built directly into its main mobile app, powered by MPC tech that eliminates the need for you to manage your own keys.
Coinbase Pay: The easiest fiat-to-crypto solution - purchasing or transferring crypto takes just a few clicks and developers can apply for access to the SDK.
Looking back to Brian Armstrong’s Mission, Vision & Strategy statement - we can see how far we have we have come along as Coinbase evolves into an app platform and new financial ecosystem
About five years ago, I wrote the Coinbase Secret Master Plan that outlined the four phases I envisioned cryptocurrency going through on its path to reaching 1 billion users. We have made incredible progress towards this plan, with >50M verified users on Coinbase, and more using other crypto products.
If our mission of increasing economic freedom is what we’re trying to achieve, then our strategy represents how we’re going to get there. This revised framing reflects where we are in the evolution of crypto 5 years later, and what we think the next 5+ years will look like.
Our strategy has 3 pillars (July 2019):
Coinbase Ventures is also advancing crypto & Web3 by partnering with exceptional founders who share Coinbase’s mission of creating more economic freedom for the world. It is recognized as one of the most active corporate VCs in the world by deal count. To date, we’ve invested in 300+ teams building everything from layer 1 protocols, Web3 infrastructure, centralized on-ramps, decentralized finance, NFTs, metaverse technologies, developer tooling, and more.
Coinbase Ventures generally break down our investments across six categories. Within these six categories, here’s how our activity shook out in Q1 ‘22.
3 years later, not much has changed from the original vision except that the articulation has become sharper with increasing realization on how important open-source, decentralization and self-custody are! As we evolve towards the Product 3.0 strategy, these 3 guiding principles influence how we think about building with the users at the center of our decision:
1. API - first
Empowering developers and other ecosystem partners to build along with us
2. DeFi - first
Innovating in DeFi to allow permissionless, 24x7, global, instant access to everyone
3. Self-custody first
Embracing decentralization while building trust and ease of use for next 100M users
For more inspiration on our crypto spirit of “default to open,” watch this 2019 video where Coinbase hosted an open house with Brian
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