Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has revealed that the exchange’s trading revenue has declined by approximately 50% or more when compared with last year, according to a Dec. 7 report from Bloomberg.
Armstrong made the statement as part of an interview with the David Rubenstein Show. When asked about the exchange’s revenue, he stated that the company did $7 billion in revenue and $4 billion in earnings in 2021, but “it’s looking, you know, about roughly half that or less” in 2022.
Bloomberg said that a spokesperson for Coinbase later clarified that 2022 revenue, not earnings, was projected to be less than half what it was in 2021.
Coinbase had previously stated in a letter to investors that it expected to post a roughly $500 million loss in adjusted EBITDA for 2022. Adjusted EBITDA is an earnings metric that doesn’t include interest, taxes, depreciation or amortization.
In the interview, Armstrong was asked if he thinks the FTX bankruptcy will hurt the crypto industry. He admitted that it is “a bit of a black mark for the industry” but argued that what happened is not very different from traditional financial scandals like Bernie Madoff and Enron.
Armstrong also said that he thought regulation “won’t be a bad thing” and that the FTX collapse would “serve as a wakeup call” that would lead to clearer regulations in the U.S.
When asked about which regulatory body should have authority over crypto exchanges, the Coinbase CEO emphasized that different cryptocurrencies have different use cases, and they don’t all fall into a single category, so different cryptocurrencies will have to be regulated by different agencies.
2022 has been a tough year for crypto exchanges, including Coinbase. In May, the TerraUSD (TUSD) stablecoin lost its peg to the U.S. dollar, causing fear to spread through the market. In July, crypto lender Celsius filed for bankruptcy after being unable to process withdrawals partially due to the fallout from the TUSD collapse.
Just as the crypto market was beginning to recover, the second-largest centralized crypto exchange, FTX, had a liquidity crisis and was unable to process withdrawals. It later began bankruptcy proceedings as well.
As a result of these events and other factors, crypto trading activity has plunged over the course of the year, and Coinbase has reported a 44% decline in revenue in the third quarter alone.