Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase, one of the world’s most popular wallet platform and digital currency exchanges, announced his official decision to leave the company to pursue other ideas within the cryptocurrency scene.
The announcement of Ehrsam struck as a surprise to the Bitcoin community, mostly because of the position Coinbase holds in the global digital currency market as an industry leader. In an interview with Fortune, he revealed that the strong performance of Coinbase, as both a venture capital-backed company and Bitcoin service provider, was the most important factor that convinced Ehrsam to relieve his daily operations at the firm.
“The reason I feel comfortable leaving now is because the company is doing really dang well. And I think the industry is doing really dang well, to the point where it's actually feasible for the first time, in my opinion, to start building other ideas.”
He also emphasized his optimistic view towards the long-term performance and health of Coinbase, stating that the executive team of Coinbase had become significantly stronger since 2016, with the recruitment of Chief Risk Officer (CRO) Mike Lempres and a new vice president of engineering.
“The business grew more than two and a half times by revenue in 2016,” he says. “So the business is doing well. The second part is the executive team has grown quite stronger. We hired a VP of engineering this year. We just hired a chief risk officer, a guy named Mike Lempres, who was the CCO [chief compliance officer] at another Bitcoin company called Bitnet, the GC [general counsel] at Silicon Valley Bank, and a U.S. attorney, amongst other things. He's starting next week.”
What is next for Fred Ehrsam?
After taking time off, Ehrsam intends to proceed with the development of unique platforms, software or applications built on top of Bitcoin, Ethereum or powerful Blockchain infrastructures.
He hinted at a potential business plan involving the token model, or alternative cryptocurrencies. Ehrsam also stated that he felt positive about developing Blockchain-based decentralized services that may serve broader enterprise-grade clients in the upcoming years.
“I think this is the first time it’s become viable that you can build some really powerful new ideas on top of the Blockchain infrastructure that's available now. Especially with Ethereum [a decentralized cryptocurrency network and rival to Bitcoin] coming onto the scene and continually strengthening,” said Ehrsam.