Coinbase Global Inc. founder Brian Armstrong had a personal fortune of $13.7 billion as recently as November and about $8 billion at the end of March. That’s now just $2.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after a selloff in digital currencies from Bitcoin to Ether triggered a precipitous decline in the market value of Coinbase, the largest US cryptocurrency exchange.
The firm’s shares have tumbled 84% since their first day of trading in April 2021, closing Wednesday at $53.72 after the company warned that trading volume and monthly transacting users were expected to be lower in the second quarter than in the first.
It’s raised questions about Coinbase’s ability to withstand the sharp decline in crypto prices, forcing Armstrong to take to Twitter to defend the company. There is “no risk of bankruptcy” even amid a “black swan” event and users’ funds are safe, said Armstrong, the firm’s chief executive officer.
Then there’s Michael Novogratz. The CEO of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital has seen his fortune plummet to $2.5 billion, from $8.5 billion in early November. He’s been a champion of TerraUSD, the algorithmic stablecoin that’s now at risk of a complete collapse amid a breakdown in the price of a crypto token in the same ecosystem, Luna.