Embracing decentralization at Coinbase

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Brian Armstrong

The cryptoeconomy is still in its early stages, but it is clear that every year more and more economic activity will take place on crypto rails. Coinbase is the trusted bridge to the cryptoeconomy today, but we need to become the place people also go to actually participate in the cryptoeconomy.

We’re seeing crypto quickly mature from its initial use case of trading bitcoin to the trading of thousands of new assets, and the adoption of new use cases like Decentralized Finance (DeFi), NFTs, smart contracts, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), and more. Much of this is relatively new and there are challenges to using it, but I see it as the future of where this industry is going. In the same way we helped people access Bitcoin for the first time in a trusted, easy way — we need to do the same for the decentralized cryptoeconomy.

For years, people at conferences and journalists would ask me, “Where are the use cases?” We’re finally seeing a wide range of emergent applications and products get traction. From NFTs, to a broad array of new dApps (decentralized apps), the cryptoeconomy is growing at an incredible pace, and I think this will continue to accelerate. Like the internet, or the mobile app stores, we’re seeing developers rush into the space to use these new tools to develop innovative use cases that we couldn’t have imagined before.

Our centralized (CeFi) products will continue to play a critical role in the growth of the cryptoeconomy. But the decentralized cryptoeconomy will also be a major area of growth. With all of this new innovation coming to crypto, we have a massive opportunity to give our customers access to these new products and features. Here are some of the ways we’re going to tackle this:

Improve our asset addition process

Have an International-first mindset

We put a huge amount of effort into working with regulators in the US, UK, EU, etc. which has generated an enormous amount of value for customers in these regions, but it can also lead to products that are hyper focused on the western world. We’re going to flip this approach on its head by shipping more products in international markets on day one, while still partnering with regulators in more established markets to ensure our products are compliant with their local rules. This is also better aligned from a mission point of view, because sometimes international markets are even more in need of the economic freedom that crypto can provide.

Embrace third-party interfaces and self-custody

Soon any app built on decentralized crypto rails will be accessible to users of the Coinbase app. Our customer’s wallet and identity should seamlessly integrate into any of these apps. Part of this change will be embracing new wallet technologies, including those that allow for safe and easy self custody. In the future you will have the option to do self-custody of your crypto, right in the main Coinbase app.

The crypto industry is changing rapidly. The products that the most crypto-forward people are using today will be used by mainstream customers in a year, and by institutions a few years after that. We need to start integrating them today. Coinbase has shown that it can be a great crypto 1.0 company. Our next step is to show that we can be a great crypto 2.0 company.

This effort all ties back to our mission, which is to increase economic freedom in the world. Many of the most innovative use cases in crypto are being created in decentralized apps. By fully embracing this trend we can put crypto in the hands of more people around the world and thereby increase their economic freedom.

If these challenges excite you, please join our amazing team and come help build the cryptoeconomy.

Check out the original article here.
Author: Brian Armstrong

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