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Here's the pep talk the CEO of bitcoin exchange Coinbase gave to new hires about the price dip: 'People are irrationally pessimistic'

Becky Peterson
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong

Anthony Harvey / Stringer


  • $1.6 billion cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase became a prominent name as the price of bitcoin surged toward $20,000. But now that bitcoin is valued around $6,700, some people are freaking out. 
  • Brian Armstrong, CEO and cofounder of Coinbase, says he's used to these wild swings.
  • In a message to employees, which he later shared on Twitter, Armstrong told his team that price fluctuations are totally normal in the world of cryptocurrency.
  • He sees downturns as the perfect time to make progress as a company "while everyone else gets distracted."
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Brian Armstrong via TwitterJust six months after bitcoin mania sent prices soaring up toward $20,000, the popular cryptocurrency is now worth about $6,700 — just a third of its all time high.

But the CEO of Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange valued at $1.6 billion last August, has a message for newer employees: Don't panic.

In a Twitter thread Tuesday, CEO Brian Armstrong shared the motivational message that he sent to his employees earlier in the day to reassure them to stay strong during the cryptocurrency down cycle.

"It can be scary the first time you see it, but to us who have been in the industry for many years, it feels like old news," Armstrong said.

"When there is hype, people are irrationally exuberant. When there is despair, people are irrationally pessimistic. Neither is true," he continued. "Reality is always somewhere in the middle, more correlated with real usage (transactions per day) than the price."

Founded in 2012, Coinbase became a household name in the second half of 2017, as an upturn in the price of bitcoin sent new traders to the easy-to-use exchange.

Longtime bitcoin investors, including the Winklevoss twins, became overnight billionaires thanks to early investments in the once valueless digital currency. The hype grew on the promise that anyone could earn their own Lamborghini with the right investments. 

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Coinbase grew its userbase and revenue as interest grew from the general public. 

The company put in action a plan to double its headcount from around 250 to 500 people. So there are a lot of new people at Coinbase, many of whom left careers at big-name tech companies to join the wild west of crypto. 

But it also suffered under the strain of its newfound popularity, particularly in terms of customer service and system outages.

It's for that reason that Armstrong told employees that he's "come to enjoy the down cycles in crypto prices more."
 
"It gets rid of the people who are in it for the wrong reasons, and it gives us an opportunity to keep making progress while everyone else gets distracted," he said. 

Read Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong's full Twitter thread here

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