Coinbase Paid CEO Armstrong $60M in 2020 – Including $1.8M for 'Personal Security'

The 38-year-old tech CEO received nearly $60 million in total compensation last year.

AccessTimeIconFeb 25, 2021 at 3:34 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:17 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong received $1.78 million to cover "personal security" expenses in FY2020 as the 38-year-old tech CEO prepared to take the cryptocurrency exchange operator public.

  • Armstrong, who founded Coinbase in 2012, netted nearly $60 million in salary, stock options and "all other compensation" in FY2020, according to the crypto firm's newly-filed S-1, making him Coinbase's highest-paid executive.
  • While the lion's share of that sum – $56.6 million – came via option awards and an additional $1 million for his base salary, Armstrong also received $1.78 million to cover "costs related to personal security measures."
  • "We view personal security expenses for Mr. Armstrong as reasonable business expenses due to a bona fide business-oriented security concern and not the receipt of taxable personal benefits," the S-1 read. Armstrong appears to be the only Coinbase employee with such an arrangement.
  • Armstrong's compensation package for 2020 puts him ahead of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon ($31.5 million) and Apple CEO Tim Cook ($14.7 million) on the list of highly paid executives.
  • Joining Armstrong on Coinbase's list of highest-paid employees are Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee ($15.8 million in 2020 compensation) and Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal ($18 million in 2020). Chatterjee's and Grewal's packages also leaned heavily on stock and option awards.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.