Coinbase CEO Busy Selling Stock to Fund His Other Startups

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has pledged to sell 2% of his company stake to fund life extension startup NewLimit and other ventures


Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong | Exclusive art by Axel Rangel modified by Blockworks


Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is well on his way to fulfilling a pledge to sell company stock to fund his new ventures.

Last October, Armstrong promised to sell 2% of his total Coinbase stake over the next year, with proceeds going to projects like life extension unit NewLimit and science startup Research Hub, both of which he co-founded.

Armstrong is now about one-third of the way through offloading that stock. He held 39.6 million Coinbase shares at the time of the firm’s 2022 proxy statement, representing an 18% stake in the company (with 59.5% voting power).

  • 2% of Armstrong’s stake was around 792,000 shares.
  • Armstrong has sold 252,722 Coinbase shares for $13.8 million.
  • He has 539,275 shares to go, now worth $31.74 million
Brian Armstrong’s largest sale was $4.55 million on Jan. 13, as shown by the big yellow bubble.

Coinbase stock has fallen 8% since Armstrong tweeted his plans, and nearly 85% since its direct listing in Apr. 2021. He’s fetched an average price of $54.80 (Coinbase shares are currently worth $59).

Direct listings differ from traditional initial public offerings, in that new shares aren’t created.

Instead, insiders and other early investors provide all the liquidity for public trade. Coinbase insiders have sold more than $5.8 billion in company stock since the firm’s direct listing, $5 billion of which occurred on the first day of trade.

Armstrong took part in those first-day sales, offloading 749,999 shares for $291.8 million, garnering an average price of $389.10. Coinbase stock is down 85% since then, and Armstrong hadn’t sold any Coinbase stock until just after his pledge.

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Only two Coinbase insiders have bought stock since it went public: Shopify CEO and Coinbase board member Tobias Lütke has acquired $10 million COIN, making regular weekly purchases of more than $350,000 since Aug. 2022. He’s up 7% on those trades ($745,600 in paper gains).

Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam bought the dip much earlier, spending $76.8 million on 1.12 million shares last May for an average price of $68.49. So, he’s 14% down on those buys ($10.6 million in paper losses).

Although, Ehrsam cashed in more than $492 million in Coinbase stock between its direct listing and Dec. 2021 for an average price of $328.

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