During the session, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said Bitcoin is made for the type of crisis the world is currently facing. Satoshi Nakamoto’s main motive for creating BTC, some speculate, was to establish a new financial system with greater resiliency.
“The good news is that Bitcoin was built for this… Bitcoin is amazing – it’s global, it’s inflation proof, it is digital. It’s the money that people need right now in this moment.”
Armstrong notes that the US and governments around the world are all in the process of promoting massive expansions of their countries’ respective money supplies with stimulus packages and bailouts to combat the economic fallout from the pandemic.
“Just about every sector of the economy is really struggling. Manufacturing people don’t want to go into factories if they can’t social distance, and retail has been decimated. Travel is really struggling. We might even see some of these investment banks needing to be bailed out, so in some ways it’s incredibly lucky that we as a tech company are able to continue to work at all because almost every sector of the economy has been really struggling…
So what does this actually mean in practice? Well, when you put a bunch more money into the ecosystem, and the number of goods is not really going up due to manufacturing slowdowns, that means over time there’s going to be higher prices. There’s basically going to be inflation. And when that happens people try to look for alternative investments that are inflation proof, that basically have guaranteed scarcity baked into them. So that is a great case for Bitcoin and also other asset classes – real estate and things like that – that are hedges against inflation.”
Armstrong also compares the current state of crypto to the early days of the internet.
“Crypto is going through all these growing pains. It needs to become more scalable. It needs to become more usable for average people, and that’s how we’re going to get it to be 100 million and a billion people, and that’s the infrastructure that Coinbase is really providing.”
The CEO says the company’s vision to provide economic freedom “for every person and business out there.”
“Economic freedom means sound money for everybody. It means property rights. It means free trade. It means you can go work at the company you want to work at, start the company you want to start…
We’re going to use cryptocurrency at this unique moment in history to go build a more open financial system that creates economic freedom for people all over the world.”
Coinbase plans to usher in the next phase in global finance by executing three broad steps:
1) Further enabling crypto investment,
2) Connecting the crypto economy, initally by offering Coinbase account holders a variety of payment and commerce products, and
3) Growing the economy at-large by supporting crypto development.
With all of the rapid changes and turmoil stemming from the coronavirus outbreak, however, the Coinbase CEO says immediate expectations need to be tempered.
“There’s a new top level priority … you and your families should prioritize putting yourselves in safety. That’s the number one priority. And we also just need to make sure that we can maintain business as usual during all of this …
Some of our ambitions around 2020, we may need to scale some of these things back given this new reality.”