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April 14 · Issue #880
  • Bitcoin and ether hit new highs driving crypto marketcao above $2.2 trillion as the market awaits Coinbase’s Nasdaq listing
  • Crypto Mom issues update to proposed Token Safe Harbor Proposal 
  • Republican House Leader says idea that you can ignore digital currencies and they will go away has not worked

Happy Coinbase Listing Day!

Having spent the majority of my time (including many early mornings) over the past several years focusing on the digital currency ecosystem has been an incredible experience. It has been both exciting and gut wrenching, but as many of us remember, the first years were the hardest. We had already fallen down the proverbial rabbit hole and believed we were working to help drive a financial and technological breakthrough but we encountered constant resistance along the way.

Last night I was thinking about a story about my Father (my apologies if I have written about this before.) In 1958, my Father was one of the first people to receive an American Express card. Back then it was actually a paper card but he has recounted his experience of showing a piece of paper with his name and a multi-digit account number printed on it to his Father and explaining how this card would allow him to pay for dinners and travel without the use of cash. My Grandfather could not understand what my father was trying to explain and kept telling him that no one would accept his paper card and that he would always need to pay with real money.

This was probably a similar conversation to what I encountered with my Father when I told him I was interested in a digital money that had been developed by an unknown man called Satoshi Nakamoto and was not backed by any government or company. How will people use and accept it if you cannot actually touch it and how does it get its value he asked.

Digital Currency Group CEO Barry Silbert often speaks about the 5 phases people go through when learning about cryptocurrencies: dismissive, skeptical, curious, believer and evangelist. As a reader of BitDigest, it is difficult to see how people can still be dismissive about digital currencies. Look no further than the ongoing developments in China, the EU and the US, digital currencies are here. Many people are still skeptical, but I think the curiosity stage is gaining the most support today especially as bitcoin reaches a new milestone with Coinbase’s direct listing.

What started as a way for crypto investors to buy and sell digital currencies has evolved into a globally regulated exchange that is expected to open with a greater marketcap than Nasdaq, the Deutsche Bourse, London Stock Exchange, or Intercontinental Exchange. Over the past 9 years, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstong and the team have gone from an idea to building a multi-billion dollar financial services company allowing investors to trade and custody digital currencies in a manner similar to online trading of stocks.

Congratulations and thanks to the team at Coinbase. Not only will today provide a great financial reward to management, investors and employees of the company, today is bringing further credibility to the crypto cause and will held drive us into the next ‘believer’ stage.  We should all celebrate today!

If you would like to learn about the history Coinbase, I recommend reading “King of Crypto: One Startup’s Quest to Take Cryptocurrency out of Silicon Valley and onto Wall Street” by Jeff John Roberts.

By the way it took American Express another 19 years after issuing the first credit card to my Father for the company to go public.

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