On Wednesday, Brian Armstrong skyrocketed into billionaire land—way into billionaire land. The 38-year-old founder and CEO of Coinbase added about $16 billion to his worth when the company went public at a valuation of around $100 billion, CNN reports. Armstrong owns roughly 40 million shares, a 21% stake. (Per Celebrity Net Worth, he's now No. 73 on the world's richest list.) Coinbase assists its more than 35 million users with buying, selling, and storing cryptocurrency, and the IPO came as interest in such currencies has soared amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In a 25-tweet-long thread Wednesday, Armstrong, who is active on the social media platform but is not known for speaking publicly, hailed cryptocurrency's history and his own desire, via Coinbase, to "increase economic freedom in the world."
He also recalls "how bad of an idea everyone thought Coinbase was," with even friends in the tech industry doubting it, and then tracks the company's history from its early days of working from a small loft in San Francisco through the massive growth it's seen since. "Crypto can provide the basics of economic freedom to anyone: property rights, sound money, free trade, and the ability to work how and where they want," he writes. "As the first major crypto company to publicly list, today is a big day for Coinbase and the cryptoeconomy that we’re a part of." The BBC notes that Coinbase's valuation is beyond that of some well-known stock exchanges and the oil company BP. Fortune has a list of early investors and board members that made out big in the IPO. (Read more cryptocurrency stories.)