Brian Armstrong: Tech Grants

NET WORTH: $1 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Coinbase

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Economic Inequality, TBD

OVERVIEW: Brian Armstrong recently launched GiveCrypto, whose mission is to financially empower people by distributing cryptocurrency globally. He is a recent Giving Pledge signatory.

BACKGROUND: Brian Armstrong graduated with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rice University. In 2012, he launched Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. Tiger Global recently valued the company at $8 billion.

ISSUES:

GIVECRYPTO: In 2018, Armstrong launched started GiveCrypto.org, a nonprofit that distributes cryptocurrency to people living in poverty. Similar to the GiveDirectly model, GiveCrypto seeks to place funds right into the hands of people in struggling economies, where they can convert crypto into their local currency, carry out crypto-transactions, or hold it over the long term. The charity has thus far decided to focus solely on Venezuela and states that “we feel that we can have an outsized impact in Venezuela and that our chances of sparking a cryptoeconomy are highest in Venezuela.” Armstrong has contributed at least $1 million to GiveCrypto, which aims to reach 10,000 individuals within 18 months. The organization has distributed about $200,000 directly to Venezuelans through a network of local community leaders.

LOOKING FORWARD: In his Giving Pledge letter, Armstrong writes that “whether it's through improving education, creating a more level playing field, or increasing economic freedom, I'm interested in helping more people see their ideas come to fruition in the world." Armstrong is only in his 30s and very much engaged in business but these are all areas for future greater giving down the line.

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