Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 5-5-2022


Bobin, D. (2022, May). Coinbase Global Inc. Strategic Audit. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska - Lincoln.


Copyright Decker Bobin 2022.


Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange founded in the U.S during 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. Coinbase’s application allows users to buy, sell, and exchange different cryptocurrencies on the open market. Cryptocurrencies are digital assets used as a medium to quickly transfer value, globally, without any middleman. Some cryptocurrencies have different technology than others, but all are based on blockchain, and cryptography. Blockchain technology allows transactions to be built into a chain that is forever accessible, hence the name “public ledger.” Cryptography is what ensures ultimate ownership, through seed phrases, and security through encryption. Coinbase has several large competitors in the U.S.A. and hundreds if not thousands of others worldwide. The reason for its success stems from the quality of its security measures, the ease of accessibility on the platform, and its first mover advantage. All of these factors have helped Coinbase establish the brand image of “trust” over the last 10 years, its greatest intangible asset and competitive advantage. They use this brand image to employ a two-pronged global company strategy. The first part of the strategy is to iterate and improve their core exchange offering. The second part of the strategy is to develop in demand, adjacent applications to their core offering. The Bitcoin network was established in 2009, only three years before Coinbase was founded. Many external factors affect Coinbase, but regulatory and legal forces are the largest threats to its stability in the coming years. Massive amounts of legislation have already occurred, and will continue to be rolled out in the United States. However, Coinbase has the size, and long standing experience in the industry to likely weather any new regulations thrown at the industry in the coming years.