Duke Econ Alum Fred Ehrsam (T' 10) Addresses 2021 Graduates

Headshot of Fred Erhsam

Duke Economics graduates were treated to a surprise guest speaker when they logged on to watch the departmental commencement video on Sunday, May 2nd. Fred Ehrsam (T ’10) partnered with the department to wish the recent graduates well on their special day. Erhsam graduated from Duke in 2010 with honors and departmental distinctions in both Economics and Computer Science.

 After working as a trader at Goldman Sachs, Erhsam co-founded Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform in the U.S., and served as its first president. Today, the company is valued at about $60 billion, and is the largest U.S. crypto brokerage. In 2018, Erhsam co-founded another company, Paradigm, an investment firm that focuses on supporting crypto companies, currencies,  and protocols.

 Erhsam’s endeavors have brought him success in a very short amount of time. He was listed on the Forbes' “30 Under 30” list at the age of 25, and was also named to was named to TIME Magazine's list of “30 People Under 30 Changing the World.” As a department, we are inspired and proud of what he has done, and were happy he agreed to collaborate with us on this special day.

Erhsam's former professor Emma Rasiel remembers him as very driven, and always willing to work hard to achieve his goals. "It has been a pleasure to catch up with him from time to time, and watch his exceptionally successful career unfold," Rasiel said. 

 What was Erhsam’s biggest advice to the recent grads? “Follow your curiosity.” Click here to view the full message.