Crypto with Brian Foster From Coinbase

On Monday, October 18th, the NEU Blockchain Organization hosted Brian Foster, from Coinbase in a collab event with Disrupt- the Fintech Initiative at Northeastern. Brian spoke to 40 students in person and over 70 students virtually about Coinbase’s institutional practice with market-leading crypto asset custody and trading solutions to financial institutions. And Coinbase Ventures with investments in early-stage startups building the future of the crypto economy.

Resources Brian mentioned:


Find the recording here:


For more resources about future events join our community:

OR Contact us at

Event Recap

Current challenges: scalability

About IPO: people found a great business structure in a global company and some institutional investors were interested in the company

Governance — IPO forced the company to oblige to policies and governance

First mover advantage being the first crypto exchange to go public

Company’s retail team sending the right message — Coinbase is the financial account for all things crypto

  • Easy to navigate tools for users
  • Reported Q2 6 mil users
  • Retail challenges — ensuring that people can use this new type of technology correctly
  • Trusts — security toolkits
  • Ex. Sending crypto to other addresses
  • Educational side for first-time users

- Quality and supportive services

- Just rolled out a customer service helpline

  • Concerns, feedback, hearing from users

Deciding what kind of coins to list on exchange:

  • Reputation and trust associated with the protocol?
  • Meet user needs — what do they demand
  • Regulatory profile of the asset

NFT Marketplace

  • Crypto forward, want to support the latest governance, staking, and other crypto native initiatives
  • For NFTs, crypto started from storing value to smart contracts to all types of financial activities  now it’s integrated with media, digitizing entertainment aspect, art, media and gaming markets will eventually be tied to crypto & blockchain in the near future

Coinbase in the next 5–10 years

  • More crypto adoption will hit billion market in the next few years

1. Retail side: Continuing to provide easy-to-use tools for users

2. Institutional side: power other platforms and services, help other startups or platforms scale, looking to collaborate with those who have less expertise in crypto

a. Externalize their educational infrastructure

  • Continue to push DeFi and NFT — pushing more horizontally Ventures — how the investing evolved
  • Portfolio of over 200 ventures

Is Coinbase teaching institutions anything?

  • Able to help institutions and retail who are the next wave of adopters learn about the technology

Advice to work in crypto space:

  • “Just do it!” — Brian Foster
  • Don’t get hung up on timing
  • Monster multi-decade phenomenon
  • From a career standpoint, zoom out take the long view
  • Ample opportunity to get in the game
  • Work at a crypto native firm if you can
  • If you want to move fast. Spend less time trying to convince people, cause everyone is already all in
  • Working on great teams w/ people who are long term focused

Don’t get caught up in the hype

Written by Bennett Thompson & Alyson Liu



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NEU Blockchain Organization

NEU Blockchain Organization


A student-led organization dedicated to advancing blockchain education, development, and research.