Coinbase CEO Details New Revenue Streams Hours Before NASDAQ Listing
Coinbase's entire business model is built on fees. Is that sustainable long-term?
- Brian Armstrong went on Squawk Box to discuss Coinbase's business model.
- Investors are wary that the exchange relies too heavily on transaction fees.
- Armstrong said we will not see lower fees on Coinbase on the short-term.
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Brian Armstrong expects Coinbase Earn, its debit card, custody for institutional clients, and staking revenue to become more than half of the firm’s revenue.
Coinbase Soothes Investor Worries
In 2020, 96% of Coinbase’s revenue was generated through transaction fees. As competition in the space mounts, however, Armstrong’s firm will likely need to lower those fees. Investors, specifically those eyeing COIN, are acutely aware of what this means for its share price: dwindling revenues.
Amstrong went on CNBC’s Squawk Box to soothe these woes and explain how his company plans to adapt its revenue streams.
"We haven't seen any margin compression yet, and I actually wouldn't expect to see it in the short and the mid term," says @Brian_Armstrong. "Longer term, yes I do think there could be fee compression just like in every other asset class out there." $COIN pic.twitter.com/zc6iJYJJam
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) April 14, 2021
While Armstrong said that the crypto exchange isn’t planning to reduce its fees yet, the company is developing alternative revenue streams if competition becomes too problematic. Amongst these alternative revenue streams, Armstrong referenced Coinbase Earn, its educational program that gives out cryptocurrencies to those who learn about them.
Learning about crypto in the same place where one might purchase crypto may lead to new users joining the platform.
Coinbase also defended their model by saying that a custody fee is included in the transaction fees since the exchange is responsible for holding the assets bought by users. Armstrong also mentioned the firm’s debit cards, staking rewards, and their growing business of institutional clients as potential revenue streams in the long term.
According to the CEO, these could represent more than half of Coinbase’s revenue in the next few years.
Coinbase will list on Nasdaq on Apr. 14, under the ticker COIN. Binance has announced that trading of tokenized versions of COIN would be possible on their platform shortly after.
Disclaimer: The author held BTC, ETC, and a number of other cryptocurrencies at the time of writing.