Brian Armstrong @brian_armstrong Co-founder & CEO at @Coinbase Co-founder @GiveCrypto Building an open financial system for the world. Join us: Jan. 03, 2019 2 min read

1/ Today is a big day for Bitcoin, as it marks 10 years since the Genesis Block. Some people think I don’t like to talk about Bitcoin (😀), but today I have a few words to say

2/ I read the Satoshi Nakamoto white paper for the first time in 2010, after seeing the link on Hacker News while I was home for Christmas  I couldn’t stop thinking about it for the next 6 months and re-read it a number of times.

3/ I got excited by the prospect of another global decentralized protocol (like the internet) that could create a more open financial system for the world. I had a hope that it could create more economic freedom 

4/ Most of my friends thought Bitcoin sounded pretty crazy, but something in my gut told me it was important. I wanted to do something to help make this technology easier to use and see if it could get wider adoption.

5/ So I started tinkering on nights and weekends on various projects. The first part was a simple Bitcoin wallet for android 

6/ It helped me start learning about Bitcoin, but it was still too difficult to use (and buggy!). So I started working on a hosted wallet that I thought could reach more people, including writing a custom Bitcoin node in Ruby (my C++ wasn't good enough).

7/ This took ~3 months but helped me understand the protocol one level deeper. I applied to YCombinator with my idea and prototype, and their initial investment helped convince me start working on it full time!

8/ The project was initially called BitBank (I liked how it alliterated - like Paypal, or CocaCola) but the lawyers told me not to use the word 'Bank' in the name. So I started brainstorming new names.

9/ I happened to see the word 'coinbase' in the Bitcoin Wiki  (it is a part of the Bitcoin protocol) and liked it. I purchased the domain  a few days later for ~$1,800. Millions of customers later here we are.

10/ Bitcoin is one of the most important inventions of all time and has launched a global movement. It's awesome to see an entire ecosystem spring up around it, but Bitcoin is my first love.

11/ Bitcoin remains the most popular asset on Coinbase among new customers and longtime hodlers alike. It's great to see steady progress continue, including lightning network adoption and more.

12/ To the extent I was critical of people working on any part of Bitcoin or crypto in the past, I apologize. My hope is that we see this technology succeed in the world, and my hat is off to anyone working to make that happen.

13/ I believe we’re still at the beginning. The white paper signaled the start of a movement and the full promise of Bitcoin is still yet to be realized.

14/ Every day, I see more talented people coming in to the space, and I’ve never had more conviction about crypto and what it holds for the future. Happy 10th anniversary Bitcoin!

You can follow @brian_armstrong.


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