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The people making millions—and billions—from Coinbase’s stock market debut

April 14, 2021, 5:55 PM UTC
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As investors scramble to get in early on Coinbase’s public offering, early investors and board members of the cryptocurrency exchange are laughing their way to the bank.

Some are making tens (or hundreds) of millions of dollars off of the direct listing. (Coinbase decided to sidestep a traditional IPO.) Others are making billions. (Even employees are making thousands of dollars, thanks to a company gift.)

A quick note about the types of stock. Coinbase principals own both Class A and Class B stock. Only shares of Class A common stock are being listed for trading on Nasdaq. Outstanding shares of Class B are convertible, at any time, into one share of Class A common stock.

Here’s a look at who stands to make the most.

Brian Armstrong

The CEO and co-founder of Coinbase, who launched the company in 2012, will, not surprisingly, be the biggest breadwinner. The company’s 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, filed eight days ago, listed him as holding 2,753,924 Class A shares and 36,851,833 Class B shares of the company. That makes him the largest individual shareholder.

Marc Andreessen

Andreessen was one of the first investors in Coinbase. Individually and through Andreessen Horowitz, he owns 5,516,037 Class A shares and 23,961,498 Class B shares. Prior to investing in Coinbase, he was a backer of Netscape and Facebook.

Fred Ehrsam

The Coinbase co-founder and managing partner of the crypto investment firm Paradigm owns 2,570,459 Class A shares and 15,114,503 Class B shares.

Fred Wilson

The Union Square Ventures partner joined the Coinbase board in 2017 and led the Series A funding round. He currently holds 13,902,324 Class B shares.


A rap icon might seem an unlikely name amongst the financial titans, but Nasir Jones (better known by his stage name) also runs the investment firm QueensBridge Venture Partners and was part of the Series B round in 2013. Coinbase didn’t list his investment in the 8-K, but a story posted on Coindesk estimated his holdings between 99,329 shares on the low end or 496,642 on the high end.

Ribbit Capital

The firm behind the Robinhood trading app, got in early on a Coinbase funding round. It currently owns 11,995,949 Class B shares.

Tiger Global Management

The group, which led the Series E round of funding at Coinbase, owns 2,624,880 Series A shares.