Coinbase CEO to sell 2% of his stake to fund scientific research

Brian Armstrong owns 16% of the cryptocurrency exchange, controls 59.5% of its voting shares

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said he will sell 2% of his total stake in the cryptocurrency exchange to help fund scientific research.

“I’m passionate about accelerating science and tech to help solve some of the biggest challenges in the world. To further this, I’m planning to sell about 2% of my Coinbase holdings over the next year to fund scientific research and companies like @newlimit + @researchub,” Armstrong tweeted on Friday. “I’m sharing this as I want you to hear it from me first.”

According to Coinbase’s latest proxy statement, Armstrong owns 16% of the company and controls 59.5% of its voting shares.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I intend to be CEO of Coinbase for a very long time and I remain super bullish on crypto and Coinbase,” Armstrong added. “I’m fully dedicated to growing our business and advancing our mission, but I am also excited to contribute in a different way.”

Armstrong’s disclosure comes as Coinbase shares have fallen approximately 71% year to date.

In the second quarter of the year, Coinbase reported a net loss of $1.1 billion. Net revenue fell 31% on a quarterly basis to $803 million driven by lower trading volume. Total operating expenses climbed 8% quarter over quarter to $1.9 billion.

Coinbase’s monthly transacting users totaled 9 million as of the end of the second quarter.

In June, Coinbase laid off approximately 1,100 employees, or 18% of its global workforce, to prepare for a possible economic downturn and “crypto winter.” Gemini co-founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who similarly laid off 10% of their workforce in June, have described a crypto winter as a “contraction phase settling into a period of stasis.”

“We have observed four major crypto asset price cycles since 2010,” Coinbase said in its quarterly shareholder letter. “Each prior cycle has lasted anywhere from two to four years and resulted in the crypto market capitalization significantly increasing compared to the preceding cycle.”

As of the time of publication, bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is trading around $19,500 per coin, near its 52-week low of $17,601.58 per coin and well off its all-time high of $68,990.90 per coin.