Among the Former Employees of Coinbase There Is a “Coinbase Mafia”


The informal association of former employees and founders of the operator of the largest centralized electronic payment system PayPal Inc., which includes five billionaires, is known as the “PayPal Mafia”. If we talk about the cryptocurrency industry, then on closer examination it turns out that the American company Coinbase has acquired its own “mafia” for the six years of its existence. The Block has presented an entertaining infographic, showing the participants in this association.

Note that the expression “Coinbase Mafia” does not belong to journalists, but to the head of the company, Brian Armstrong.

So, probably the most famous in the “mafia” list is the creator of Litecoin “digital silver” Charlie Lee. It also includes the head of Polychain Capital, a major investment firm, Olaf Carlson-Wee, and the co-founders of Scalar Capital, Linda Xie and Jordan Clifford, who were suspected of being involved in listing of 0x tokens.

Do not forget that Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam also left the company and created Paradigm hedge fund in partnership with former top manager of venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, Matt Huang and ex-employee of the crypto fund Pantera Capital, Charlie Noyes. According to Bloomberg, at the start of operations under Paradigm management, there was about $400 million.

A former employee of the company Tanooj Luthra took the position of CTO in the blockchain startup Elph, which develops Plasma sidechains for scaling the Ethereum network, and Josef Urgo co-founded the district0x network for creating markets and communities in the DAO format. It is noteworthy that the district0x token also recently appeared in the Coinbase listing.

If we turn to another interesting infographic, you might get the impression that the scale of the “mafia” in the cryptocurrency industry is much more than it seems at first glance.

So, a giant Digital Currency Group [DCG] has a stake in Coinbase under the management of the Forbes crypto-millionaire Barry Silbert. We add that Brian Armstrong itself is also on this list.

By the way, DCG, Coinbase and Polychain Capital have recently formed a  blockchain association, the first lobbying group that will represent the industry in Washington.

At the same time, DCG has stakes in BitGo [a US- licensed digital asset custodian, attracted investments from Goldman Sachs], Grayscale Investments [can own 1% of all existing Bitcoins, fully controlled by DCG], Kraken trading platforms, bitFlyer and ShapeShift, maker of popular hardware wallets Ledger, media CoinDesk, as well as Californian startup Ripple.

In turn, DCG does not exist on its own but partly belongs to MasterCard, which was an investor in the first round of financing.

Continuing the theme of interesting connections, you can see that more recently Coinbase and the startup Circle [owner of the Poloniex exchange], who attracted investments from Goldman Sachs and formed the CENTRE consortium to promote the “programmable dollar” USDC.

In late October, it became known that the capitalization of the industry’s first unicorn exceeded $8 billion against the background of a successful round of financing led by the Tiger Global Management hedge fund. Coinbase has also become one of the few cryptocurrency companies whose advertising has been allowed on Facebook.

Probably, conspiracy theorists will consider that many events that occur in the industry are not really coincidences at all. True or not – remains a mystery.