In a forward-looking perspective, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong predicts the convergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and crypto, envisioning a future where autonomous AI “agents” engage in transactions using digital currencies. Armstrong highlighted the increasing prevalence of AI agents—bots performing various tasks—and emphasized the necessity for them to conduct transactions for services like information and API calls. He expressed skepticism about these AI agents using traditional payment methods such as Visa, foreseeing the use of “digitally native currency like crypto.”
Armstrong speculated on the broader intersection of AI and crypto, proposing potential applications such as verifying the authenticity of information in the face of fake content. He suggested leveraging cryptographic signatures on videos, images, and articles to establish their provenance, ensuring they originate from reputable sources.
Coinbase is already integrating AI tools in various aspects of its operations, including fraud prevention, customer support, and backend services. Armstrong highlighted the use of tools like Copilot, which aids developers in writing code and reportedly saves Coinbase engineers an average of an hour per day.
Looking ahead, Armstrong outlined areas of the crypto space expected to see substantial developments in the coming year. He identified payments as an evolving sector, fueled by enabling technologies like stablecoins and layer-2 solutions such as Base, particularly witnessing activity in emerging markets like Africa. Additionally, decentralized social media, facilitated by decentralized identity solutions like ENS, emerged as an exciting prospect. Armstrong emphasized the potential of NFTs in social media, envisioning each post becoming an NFT, whether it’s text, images, or videos.
While stablecoins, DeFi, and NFTs have made significant strides, Armstrong sees them as instrumental in propelling crypto adoption into the next wave. He envisions the challenge of expanding the user base from tens of billions to potentially hundreds of millions or even a billion people engaging with these technologies daily. The dynamic interplay between AI and crypto, according to Armstrong, holds the promise of reshaping digital transactions and services in the future.