Brian Armstrong, the 35-year-old co-founder and CEO of cryptocurrency trading app Coinbase, has joined the Giving Pledge, bringing to a hundred and eighty-five the number of those pledging to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
According to Forbes, Armstrong, who co-founded Coinbase as a first-time entrepreneur in 2012, today has a net worth of $1.8 billion and is the first crypto entrepreneur to sign the pledge. He also created GiveCrypto.org, which to date has raised $4 million in donated cryptocurrency that will be distributed, in the form of direct cash transfers, to people living in poverty.
"Once a certain level of wealth is reached, there is little additional utility from spending more on yourself," Armstrong wrote in his pledge letter. "One's ambition begins to move outwards. I've always admired founders and leaders whose ambition to improve the world supersedes any goal related to personal wealth....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."
Other recent signatories to the pledge include Choice Hotels International chair Stewart Bainum and his wife, Sandy, who joined the pledge in September. Stewart Bainum — whose father, Stewart, Sr., grew up during the Great Depression, worked multiple jobs as a teenager, and went on to found Choice Hotels and Manor Care as well as the Bainum Family Foundation — served in the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate in the 1970s and '80s.
"With our good fortune came the obligation to give back. My interest in philanthropy and public service grew out of both my religious upbringing, which included a year and a half of divinity school, and my parents' early commitment to giving," the Bainums' pledge letter states. "Historically we've preferred to quietly allocate our philanthropic capital, often anonymously. But we have come to believe that joining 'the Giving Pledge' might motivate others to as well."