In brief

  • A Coinbase board reshuffle sees the additions of venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and Silicon Valley vet Gokul Rajaram.
  • Andreessen is a long-standing crypto enthusiast with investments in Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  • The reshuffle comes amid rumor of an impending Coinbase IPO.

After a board reshuffle, crypto exchange Coinbase has onboarded venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, co-founder of silicon valley VC, Andreessen Horowitz, as its board observer.

Joining Andressen is Gokul Rajaram, an executive at the soon-to-go-public logistics firm DoorDash, and former product development lead at fintech firm, Square. Rajaram joins the Coinbase board as one of its directors.

The pair replace Chris Dixon, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, and American entrepreneur Barry Schuler.  

Andreessen's appointment, in particular, makes perfect sense. A long-time believer in crypto, and early investor in Bitcoin and Ethereum, Andreessen has taken a litany of crypto-based projects under his investment wing, including stablecoin firm Maker DAO; decentralized finance (DeFi) lending platform, Compound; and, of course, Coinbase itself.

"Since investing in 2013, I've seen Coinbase grow from an early-stage startup into the most trusted and respected company in crypto," Andreessen said in a statement quoted by Fortune. 

"Coinbase is the company that will help forge this future and bring crypto into the mainstream," he added.

The board shake-up comes amid rumours that Coinbase may be readying to go public. According to sources speaking to Reuters in July,  Coinbase has already held talks with investment banks and law firms about a potential IPO, though it's yet to register its intent with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Given its status as the crypto industry's first unicorn, and its current $8 billion valuation,  the sources suggest that Coinbase is likely to explore a direct listing, in which no new shares are sold, rather than a traditional IPO.

IPO or not, Coinbase is clearly looking to bolster its base, and with the addition of two Silicon Valley veterans, the tech firm’s foundation is looking stronger than ever.