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Fred Ehrsam Net Worth, Crypto and NFT Investments

The net worth of Fred Ehrsam in 2023 is estimated to be $1.5 billion. The billionaire is famous for his strong opposition to the controversial activities of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in the crypto space. Meanwhile, his net worth is heavily dominated by his stakes in Coinbase and Paradigm.

Fred Ehrsam

After working alongside Brian Armstrong to establish Coinbase, Ehrsam left in January 2017 shortly before the firm went public. However, he retained a 6% stake which fetched him a significant portion of his wealth. A year after leaving Coinbase, Ehrsam established Paradigm alongside former Sequoia Capital investor Matt Huang. Nevertheless, his effort toward the prosperity of Coinbase earned him a spot on Time magazine’s “30 People Under 30 Changing the World” and Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list.

Fred Ehrsam’s Net Worth Since 2021

YearNet Worth
2021$1.9 billion
2022$2.1 billion
2023$1.5 billion

Early Life

Frederick “Fred” Ernest Ehrsam was born on May 10, 1988, in Boston. He grew up in Concord, Massachusetts. Ehrsam is an avid video game player. His passion for video games made him pick an interest in World of Warcraft. However, while playing the game, he got exposed to in-game virtual currencies. During this period, he became a semi-professional and played on two championship America’s Army teams. Later, he chose the path of business after discussing various investment opportunities with his father. His father was a Bain consultant with a Harvard M.B.A.

However, he enrolled at Duke University in 2006. While at the institution, he was committed to his academics. In 2010, he graduated from Duke University with distinction. There, he bagged a B.S. in computer science with a minor in economics. Thereafter, Ehrsam became a foreign exchange trader at the investment bank Goldman Sachs in New York.

During this period, he learned about Bitcoin from a Georgetown University professor’s paper and picked an interest in the innovation. A year later, Ehrsam purchased his first Bitcoin in 2011. His commitment to crypto encouraged him to attend various conferences instituted to talk about Bitcoin. He also designed numerous applications alongside some of his old friends from Duke University. 

Ehrsam also devoted his time to write about Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency space at large. These efforts earned him an outstanding reputation among other crypto enthusiasts. Later, he linked up with Brian Armstrong, a former Airbnb Engineer through a Bitcoin subreddit forum. He and Brian Armstrong thought of creating a virtual platform to enable other crypto enthusiasts to trade and own a wide range of virtual assets. His visionary approach complemented Armstrong’s coder’s focus which made them get along quickly. 


Despite learning about Bitcoin within a year, Fred Ehrsam took the bold step of investing in the crypto space. In 2012 alongside Brian Armstrong, he established Coinbase with its headquarters in San Francisco, California. Coinbase enjoyed a remarkable acceptance among Bitcoin enthusiasts shortly after it was founded. With its base in the United States, Bitcoin community members in the country swiftly embraced the platform. A few months after the establishment of the exchange, it already attracted 30,000 users. Due to that, Coinbase, within a short period, became one of the largest Bitcoin firms in the United States. Ehrsam was appointed to serve as the President of the cryptocurrency exchange with Brian Armstrong as its Chief Executive Officer.

Meanwhile, before Ehrsam joined the founding team of the project, Brian Armstrong has already applied for the Y Combinator startup incubator program. After a successful application, the former Airbnb engineer received $150,000. However, the launching of the project suffered a setback after one of its founders Ben Reeves, a British computer expert, pulled out from the initiative. This was because he had a different view of how the Coinbase wallet should function. However, the addition of Fred Ehrsam to the team did not allow Reeves’ departure to affect the project. 

Ehrsam’s decision to join Coinbase boosted his reputation, making him one of the prominent Bitcoin community members. It is worth mentioning that the founding team, including Ehrsam opted for the name Coinbase in reference to special transactions that introduced cryptocurrency into circulation in proof-of-work cryptocurrencies. At first, Coinbase only permitted users to buy and sell Bitcoins via bank transfer. 

However, the firm struggled with its finances and couldn’t enhance its services. Later, it gained a financial boost after receiving $5 million through a Series A investment round. It is worth mentioning that the round was led by Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures. The investment in Coinbase manifested as a result of a surge in the price of Bitcoin.

Then, Bitcoin soared from $10 to $1,100. Meanwhile, with the funds, Coinbase added more user-friendly services to its products. The efforts made good returns and consequently attracted the attention of other venture capital firms. In December 2013, the cryptocurrency exchange received $25 million through a funding round from venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures (USV), and Ribbit Capital.

Notably, the funds provided Coinbase with the financial capacity to add more talents to its ranks. It began to grow in adoption, recording not less than one million users around 2014. Thereafter, the exchange bought Blockr, a blockchain explorer. Also, it acquired Kippt, a web bookmarking company. 

Ehrsam and Armstrong showed that they prioritized the safety of users’ assets by insuring the value of Bitcoin stored on the platform’s system. Likewise, the duo designed a virtual vault system to protect their Bitcoin storage. In January 2014, Coinbase Global, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware as a holding company for Coinbase and its subsidiaries. Later that year, the firm embarked on a reorganization process that birthed the emergence of Coinbase as a subsidiary of Coinbase Global. 

As one of the leading figures in the crypto space, Ehrsam through Coinbase pushed for the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency. He alongside Armstrong conceived the idea of simplifying the process of acquiring Bitcoin to drive its mainstream adoption. In a bid to pursue this goal, Ehrsam hired Adam White. White studied optical engineering at the University of California. 

Meanwhile, White under the directive of Ehrsam focused on collaboration to achieve the target. This birthed the firm’s partnership with organizations like Overstock, Dell, Expedia, Dish Network, and Time Inc. Occasioned by these collaborations, these firms began to accept Bitcoin for payment. Also, Coinbase introduced a feature that allows users to purchase Bitcoin using Stripe, Braintree, and PayPal.

The growing status of the firm under the watch of Ehrsam as the President showered Coinbase with attention from more venture capitals. In January 2015, the company received $75 million worth of investment from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the New York Stock Exchange, USAA, and other top banks. Later, it launched a subsidiary known as Coinbase Exchange for professional traders. Meanwhile, as part of the efforts to keep the organization afloat, Ehrsam and Armstrong embraced the idea of availing the services of Coinbase to other countries. Driven by this initiative, Coinbase extended its services to Canada and Singapore.

In 2016, Coinbase under the leadership of Ehrsam, launched the Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX). Later that year, it also listed Ethereum. Then, Ehrsam said; “Ethereum has taken what was a four-function calculator of a programming language in Bitcoin and turned it into a full-fledged computer.” However, Olaf Carlson-Wee left the organization to start a hedge fund that focused on the trading of blockchain-based tokens. 

Ehrsam and Coinbase attracted unwanted attention after the firm disclosed its plan to suspend its service by August 2016. Then, the exchange cited the closure of Canadian online payments service provider Vogogo as the reason for its decision. Later, Coinbase decided to drop the plan.

Eventually, in January 2017, the President announced his intention to leave the organization and focus on other business ventures. During his announcement, Ehrsam pointed to how other employees of the organization were likely to leave after him. Despite his departure, he remained a member of the firm’s board of directors. Also, the co-founder retained a 6% stake in the organization for himself. The stake in Coinbase massively contributed to the net worth of Fred Ehrsam. 


Barely a year after leaving Coinbase, Ehrsam co-founded Paradigm alongside former Sequoia Capital investor Matt Huang. The duo focused on investing in crypto and blockchain projects. Ehrsam became a managing partner in the firm around 2020. At that time, Paradigm had already made twenty-eight (28) investments in crypto companies. Later in 2021, the firm made major headlines after it completed the biggest crypto funding round in history.

Then, the organization raised $2.5 billion to invest in new cryptocurrency and web3 startups. As a matter of fact, this investment surpassed the $2.2 billion crypto-centric fund Andreessen Horowitz announced during the summer. In January 2022, Solana wallet application, Phantom received $109 million in a funding round led by Paradigm on a $1.2 billion valuation. 

With Paradigm, Ehrsam focused on projecting his reputation in the industry by supporting a Bitcoin payment initiative belonging to former Meta-crypto boss, David Marcus. Meanwhile, the two partners failed to disclose the value of the investment. In a similar effort, prominent NFTbrand loyalty platform, Hang received $16 million in new Series A funding from Paradigm. The investment effort was supported by other investment firms like Tiger Global and Good Friends. 

In May 2023, Paradigm filed an amicus brief in support of Coinbase’s case against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to the petition, the investment firm argued that the regulator’s lack of a good guideline for crypto firms to register could birth the ban of various virtual asset organizations.

Paradigm made the petition in reaction to the Wells notice the regulator issued to the cryptocurrency exchange. Paradigm pledged its support to the legal action of the crypto exchange against the SEC. Ersham also said he has reservations about the regulator against crypto firms. 

Paradigm has picked up an advocacy role against what it perceived to be an excessive execution of the SEC’s oversight responsibility on  the crypto space. In July 2023, the investment firm filed another amicus brief, arguing that the SEC’s case against Bittrex should be “dismissed.” The firm criticized how the regulator relied on an “unreasonable” use of the Howey test to back its argument. Also, Paradigm faulted how the regulator has been calling on firms within the industry to register but failed to open up an effective channel for doing so. 

In May 2023, Paradigm under the guidance of Fred Ehrsam spent over $75 million to acquire about 1 million shares in Coinbase. The firm made the purchase amid the dip in the stock price of the crypto exchange. Paradigm made the purchase twice within the same month. The first purchase was made on May 13, buying 706,000 shares worth $50 million. Later on May 17, it also bought another 385,000 shares for $25 million. The investment pushed Paradigm’s shares in Coinbase to $3.6 million.


In March 2013, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released an “interpretive guidance” requesting that organizations offering or exchanging virtual currencies such as bitcoin should be considered money transmitters. Due to that, the regulator argued that such firms including Coinbase would be subjected to state licensing, federal registration, and Bank Secrecy Act.  

According to reports, Fred Ehrsam then called Coinbase’s lawyer to discuss the issue. The lawyer reportedly told him that it would be difficult for the firm to comply with regulatory stipulations due to its financial implication. He then advised Ehrsam to argue against the submission of the regulator. Later, Fred Ehrsam and Brian Armstrong had a discussion in which they resolved to go against the advice of the lawyer by meeting the demands of the regulator. They then opt to fire the lawyer and hire a new one. 

On May 1, 2023, on behalf of other stockholders, Adam Grabski filed a lawsuit against top Coinbase executives in the Delaware Court of Chancery. According to the lawsuit, Fred Ehrsam, Andreessen Horowitz Group, Brian Armstrong, and Emily Choi used insider information to avoid the loss of $1 billion worth of Coinbase’s shares. Grabski stated that the executives sold Coinbase stock within days of the cryptocurrency platform’s public offering. 

He accused them of initiating the sales after knowing about the “bad news” that would affect the value of the firm’s shares. According to Grabski, the board of directors carried out a direct listing instead of a typical initial public offering. With that, they were able to sell $2.9 billion worth of stock before the “significant negative information was made known. 

Is Fred Ehrsam Pro Crypto?

It is safe to identify Fred Ehrsam as one of the earliest proponents of cryptocurrency. His first exposure to crypto happened in 2011 after he learned about Bitcoin through a Georgetown University professor’s paper. At that time, crypto was still striving to get off the ground. Ehrsam was one of the first people who were convinced of its potential despite the fact that it lacked prominence at that time. Then, Mt.Gox was the only major Bitcoin exchange, handling 70% of its total transactions. In 2012, Mt.Gox began to experience security issues which later led to its eventual shutdown.

Ehrsam did not allow the Mt.Gox crisis and the stigma in the crypto industry to deter him. His priority at that time was to come up with a project that could help foster widespread crypto accessibility and adoption. Driven by this initiative, he collaborated with Brian Armstrong to develop Coinbase.

During this period, the public reputation of Bitcoin was not in good shape as people were mentioning the crypto and scam in the same breath. So, apart from creating enablement for people to easily trade crypto, Ehrsam, and Armstrong leveraged Coinbase to fight the stigma. He understands the significant role of crypto education in curtailing the menace and encouraging massive adoption. This explains why Coinbase has a blog that is fully dedicated to educating people about the technical nature of these technologies.

Apart from being known as the co-founder of one of the largest crypto exchange, Ehrsam has also established himself as a vocal analyst whose commentaries on issues within the industry cannot be ignored. He strongly believes that crypto offers better opportunities than the internet. Amid the growing institutional adoption of cryptocurrency, he boasted about how the feat has continued to prove skeptics wrong.

Recently, the co-founder reflected on how people outside the crypto world felt the industry was dead around 2014-2017, but “yet crypto kept building.” He added; “Ethereum (another cryptocurrency) came on the scene and showed that crypto native applications were possible, opening up a whole new world of possibilities. Today, almost 10 years later, crypto is a sprawling ecosystem quickly redefining money, the financial system, and, ambitiously, the internet itself.”

The co-founder talked about how top institutions are now fostering crypto adoption. He mentioned the likes of Harvard, Duke, MIT, Stanford, and a few others as schools with standard crypto institutes. These institutes offer well-attended crypto classes to students.

In 2021, Ehrsam returned to Duke to teach and was impressed with the number of attendees he saw. He described the development as an indication of growing interest in cryptocurrency. 

Ehrsam is optimistic about the potential of crypto to produce more innovation in governance and economics than the “real world.” However, he noted that the gaming ecosystem will be instrumental in ensuring the realization of this feat.

According to him, most innovations in governance and economics will manifest in games which will in turn take shape in crypto. To Ehrsam, crypto remains an innovation with the capacity to transform free information into money, the financial system, and the next generation of the internet.

However, Ehrsam admitted that the industry is still yet to reach its peak and will certainly do better in the future. He expects crypto to face a lot of volatility in its quest to attain greater heights. In a 2021 interview, Ehrsam said, “I think the reality is that if crypto is to achieve the huge mission that I think it can — which is being a new global digital money, financial system and internet app platform — there is bound to be a lot of volatility along the way. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart in the early days, and that was a huge challenge in building Coinbase and staying the course.”

 “We are ~1% into the most important technology of the coming decades. Crypto will redefine money and information, the two fundamental ways the world coordinates. I feel honored to be a small part of this journey which will transform society for the better. I salute all the crypto builders exploring this fertile and critically important frontier. And I look forward to seeing what we all create together,” Ehrsam added (sic).

Meanwhile, Ehrsam does not believe all crypto assets will thrive in the long run. Recall that there are over 14, 700 cryptocurrencies in existence today but the Coinbase co-founder admits that only a handful of these assets will survive. In view of this, he advised potential investors to do proper research before venturing into crypto projects, and should not bet their savings on them.

He holds the same view about NFTs. In a 2021 interview, Ehrsam decried the large number of NFT collections greeting the market and predicted that 90% of them would be worthless in the five years time. 

Just like other crypto proponents, Ehrsam has also been vocal about the ongoing efforts by regulators across the world to regulate cryptocurrency. In a 2021 interview with Bloomberg, he expressed worries about the fact that regulators may underestimate the opportunities enveloped in cryptocurrency in their quest to regulate the sector.

Ehrsam was so particular about the U.S., predicting that the regulator in the country would get it wrong. Although the co-founder admitted that regulators play a vital role in safeguarding investors, he emphasized that “crypto is the next Internet-sized opportunity for the United States,” with “the potential to create as many if not more jobs than the Internet.”

Certainly, his prediction that the U.S. regulator would get it wrong in regulating crypto has started to manifest. As of July 2023, the country is yet to come up with a clear crypto framework and has been using inter-agency efforts to clampdown on crypto firms. In recent years, the SEC dragged several crypto firms like Binance, Ripple, Coinbase, and many more to court, accusing them of offering unregistered securities.

The agency, in its argument, described crypto products as securities and insisted that they must be subjected to existing financial laws. But, it has already suffered a huge blow in its battle against Ripple as the Court ruled that XRP is not a security. According to analysts, this judgment will set precedence for other lawsuits instituted by the agency. 

Meanwhile, Ehrsam has continued to criticize the tough stance of the U.S. government on the industry, insisting that it will not stop crypto trading markets from flourishing elsewhere. According to him, the regulator in the country needs to reconsider its stance, particularly on perpetual swaps as it constitutes the dominant financial product in the market.

He recently heaped praises on the U.K. government for securing its position as one of the global crypto hubs. Recently, he shared the headline of a paper by the government which contains its efforts to ensure the development of the crypto sector. Ehrsam wished the U.S. regulator could follow the same path.

Crypto and NFT Holdings of Fred Ehrsam

According to Fred Ehrsam, he has been investing in crypto since 2011. Although the exact worth of his crypto investment cannot be ascertained, it is not in doubt that the Coinbase co-founder is one of the crypto billionaires across the globe. On numerous occasions, prominent publications featured him in their rankings of rich crypto investors. Apart from his various stakes in Coinbase, Paradigm, and a few other startups, Fred Ehrsam also built his net worth by engaging in crypto trading.

This thus explains why situations in the market usually fluctuate his net worth. For instance, amid the 2022 bear market, Fred Ehrsam saw a massive drop in his net worth which took him far behind in Forbes’ list of richest individuals across the globe. Nevertheless, he is still a member of the League of Billionaires.

Notably, Ehrsam’s crypto portfolio is widely dominated by Bitcoin, Ethereum, and just a few other assets. He is not someone who invests in every asset that comes his way. This explains why his crypto portfolio, according to reports, is not enveloped with too many cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile, his exposure to Bitcoin started in 2011. At that time, the crypto had not gained the widespread attention it enjoys today and traded a bit around $6. Driven by his unwavering confidence in the long-term potential of Bitcoin, Ehrsam ventured into it. Then, such investment was seen by people outside the industry as one of the dumbest decisions anyone could make.

However, barely a few years later, Bitcoin proved skeptics wrong after it started to grow in mainstream adoption and value. Within these years, the crypto recorded an aggressive surge that made it move from six dollars to thousands of dollars. This development soared the net worth of Fred Ehrsam. Apart from him, there are other early Bitcoin investors who also benefitted from the massive boom.

Ehrsam also has an NFT portfolio. His account on Coinbase NFT is dominated by not less than thirteen collections including #World 232, Thumbs Up, Base, Noun 232, Fly Frog #8, Spinal Foxe, and many more.

Crypto and NFT Projects Featuring Fred Ehrsam

We can confirm that there are scores of NFT collections featuring Fred Ehrsam on OpenSea and Coinbase. One of these NFTs is named “#39 Fred Ehrsam.” It is an ERC-1155 token, enveloped with a portrait of the Coinbase co-founder.

Due to his prominence and growing impact in the crypto sphere, Ehrsam might be featured in Wall Street Memes. This project which has a robust connection with WallStreetBets has, in recent years, been leveraging its overwhelming social media memes to unite the crypto market. On several occasions, these memes feature critical stakeholders whose activities have directly or indirectly impacted the crypto market. As of late, the likes of Joe Biden, Sam-Bankman Fried, Jim Cramer, Jerome Powell, Changpeng Zhao, Donald Trump, and many others were featured in its memes.

According to our findings, the project’s involvement in the industry is not just about memes. It is also making a wave in the NFT arena since the success of its Wall St Bulls on OpenSea in 2021. Then, Wall Street Memes netted $2.4 million in sales from the NFT. In 2023, it took a step forward by launching 420 ultra-rare Bitcoin Ordinal NFTs and a crypto coin, $WSM. 

Apart from having a worthwhile roadmap, Wall Street Memes has been leveraging its vast community backing to rise above other meme coin projects. Without any doubt, this community has remarkably lived up to expectations, paving the way for the project to go mainstream and as well secure the attention of popular celebrities like Elon Musk.

The community has also been instrumental to the success of the ongoing $WSM presale. As of July 13, Wall Street Memes has raised over $12 million in investment, thereby placing the program as one of the most successful crypto presales in the industry. If this momentum is sustained, $WSM might possibly emerge as the next cryptocurrency to go high.

The team behind the project understands the significance of the community members to the long-term growth of the project and has been doing everything possible to aid its relationship with them. Recently, it announced an airdrop worth $50,000 in $WSM. Anyone can benefit from this airdrop just by following the project on its social media handles. You can get more information about it on

Fred Ehrsam’s Net Worth – Our Verdict

Although Fred Ehrsam might have lost a huge portion of his net worth to the 2022 bear market, he is still a billionaire. According to Forbes, he is worth $1.5 billion, dominated by his personal investment in crypto projects like Coinbase, Paradigm and many others. Also, his early investment in Bitcoin has also contributed to his wealth. So, it is safe to affirm that Ehrsam’s endeavors in the industry have earned him huge fortunes.

Over the years, Ehrsam has made a name for himself as one of the critical stakeholders in the industry. At a time crypto was unpopular and Bitcoin was suffering a reputational issue, he was at the forefront, providing enablement for people to trade easily. His contributions earned him a strong reputation in the media. Apart from featuring on Time magazine’s “30 People Under 30 Changing the World” and Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list, he was also featured as one of the protagonists in the 2020 novel “Kings of Crypto: One Startup’s Quest to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street.”

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When did Fred Ehrsam establish Paradigm?

Fred Ehrsam founded Paradigm in 2018, a year after stepping down from an active role in Coinbase.

What's the percentage of Fred Ehrsam’s stake in Coinbase?

Fred Ehrsam owns a 6% stake in Coinbase, an investment holding that helped soar his net worth.

What's the 2023 net worth of Fred Ehrsam?

According to Forbes, the net worth of Fred Ehrsam is estimated to be around $1.5 billion.