Crypto exchange Coinbase has generated nearly $2bn in transaction fees since 2012

CEO Brian Armstrong rejects ‘unicorn’ claims and reveals that company is profitable

Major US crypto exchange Coinbase is in profitable and has generated nearly $2bn (£1.55bn) in transaction-fee revenue since its launch in 2012, according to CEO Bill Armstrong.

Speaking at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, Armstrong revealed that Coinbase made positive returns in 2017, 2018 and in 2019. He added that the amount of transaction fees had generated more operating profit than venture capital money raised.

He rejected claims that Coinbase was a so-called unicorn company: “I sort of think of us as the anti-unicorn unicorn… I want Coinbase to be a company of repeatable innovation.”

Armstrong believes that cryptocurrencies are the future of finance. "Crypto is creating a new economy, and it’s replacing and disrupting a whole bunch of areas of financial services," he said.

The Coinbase CEO also believes that Facebook's proposes Libra cryptocurrency could really help unbanked people: "I don’t really know why the reaction was so negative. I’d really like to see the US embrace this area of innovation."

This month Armstrong accused US senators of forcing major payment systems Stripe, Mastercard and Visa to leave Facebook’s crypto project.

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