Fred Ehrsam

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Fred Ehrsam
Frederick Ernest Ehrsam III

(1988-05-10) May 10, 1988 (age 36)
EducationDuke University
Occupation(s)Co-founder and managing partner of Paradigm
Known forExecutive, entrepreneur, co-founder of Coinbase

Frederick "Fred" Ernest Ehrsam III[1] is an American business executive and investor who is the co-founder and former managing partner of cryptocurrency investment firm Paradigm. He is also the co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.[2]

Education and early life[edit]

Ehrsam was born on May 10, 1988, in Boston, growing up in Concord, Massachusetts.[3] He played video games professionally in high school, and was an avid World of Warcraft player, which introduced him to the concept of in-game digital currencies.[4][2]

In 2010, Ehrsam graduated with distinction from Duke University,[4] earning a B.S. in computer science with a minor in economics.[5] At Duke, he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.[6][7]


After graduating from Duke, Ehrsam became a foreign exchange trader at the investment bank Goldman Sachs in New York.[2][8] He learned about Bitcoin from a Georgetown University professor's paper, and began trading in his free time.[4]


In 2012, Ehrsam and Brian Armstrong co-founded Coinbase in an apartment in San Francisco, as a way for cryptocurrency enthusiasts to trade bitcoins and other digital currencies.[9][4] The two met on the Bitcoin subreddit forum.[4] Ehrsam served as Coinbase's first President.[10] Ehrsam reportedly reached out to his alma mater Duke to invest in Coinbase's 2015 Series C. He increased Duke's initial investment a hundredfold.[11] In January 2017, he announced he was leaving the company, but would remain on its board.[9] He also reportedly still owned 8.9% of Coinbase stock as of April 2021, and was assigned to the company's audit committee before its April 2021 public offering.[10]

Ehrsam was featured as one of the main protagonists in the 2020 novel "Kings of Crypto: One Startup's Quest to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street."[12]

Ehrsam is also an inventor and together with Brian Armstrong and Julian Langschaedel has registered a few patents with the USPTO. The patents main focus is on bitcoin transactions.[13]


In 2018, Ehrsam co-founded cryptocurrency investment firm Paradigm with former Sequoia Capital investor Matt Huang.[14] They founded the company to invest in cryptocurrencies and the companies that focus on that market, and became the firm's managing partners.[15][16] As of October 2020, the company had made 28 investments in cryptocurrency-related companies.[14]

On November 15, 2021, Paradigm closed the largest-ever cryptocurrency venture capital fund at the time. The fund raised a total of $2.5 billion to invest in nascent cryptocurrency and Web3 projects.[17]

In October, 2023, Ehrsam stepped down from his managing partner role at Paradigm and announced he will continue to act as a general partner.[18]


  • 2013 – Ehrsam was named to TIME Magazine's list of 30 People Under 30 Changing the World[19]
  • 2014 – Ehrsam was named to Forbes' 30 under 30 list at age 25[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Neghaiwi, Steve Stecklow, Anna Irrera, Brenna Hughes (2017-12-01). "Exclusive: Tezos founders push for legal bailout from Swiss foundation". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2019-08-16. Retrieved 2018-07-30.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b c "#1664 Fred Ehrsam". Forbes. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "30 Under 30: Futures Market". Forbes. June 30, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Coinbase mafia shows how tight a circle holds sway over Bitcoin". Japan Times. March 1, 2021. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  5. ^ Becker, Charles (2018-10-28). ""The downfall of Durham's historic Hayti: Propagated or preempted by urban renewal?"" (PDF). Duke University. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-10-28. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  6. ^ SAE Alumni Directory. Evanston, IL: Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. 2018.
  7. ^ "Fred Ehrsam, Paradigm Operations LP: Profile and Biography". Retrieved 2023-04-08.
  8. ^ "BrokerCheck - Find a broker, investment or financial advisor". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  9. ^ a b "Why Coinbase's Cofounder Is Moving On". Fortune. January 21, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Coinbase Independent Directors Have Close Company Ties". Wall Street Journal. April 5, 2021. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  11. ^ "Duke University's Early Coinbase Investment Could Now Be Worth $500M: Sources". Yahoo Money. March 26, 2021. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  12. ^ Roberts, Jeff (December 15, 2020). Kings of Crypto: One Startup's Quest to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street. Harvard Business Review Press. p. 188. ISBN 9781647820183.
  13. ^ "Fred E. Ehrsam Inventions, Patents and Patent Applications - Justia Patents Search". Retrieved 2023-10-31.
  14. ^ a b "These Young Investors Betting Big On Crypto Are Taking Harvard And Stanford Along For The Ride". Forbes. October 18, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  15. ^ "Fidelity, Square, Coinbase Launch Bitcoin Trade Group". Wall Street Journal. April 6, 2021. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  16. ^ "Fred Ehrsam". Bloomberg. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  17. ^ Matney, Lucas (November 15, 2021). "Crypto VC firm Paradigm debuts monster $2.5 billion fund". Retrieved May 1, 2022.
  18. ^ "Paradigm's Fred Ehrsam Steps Back From Crypto-Focused VC Firm". 2023-10-24. Retrieved 2023-10-24.
  19. ^ "These Are the 30 People Under 30 Changing the World: Fred Ehrsam". Bloomberg. December 5, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021.