How high will Coinbase stock go? Cryptocurrency firm soars past $112 billion in IPO

Company has become first major cryptocurrency firm to go public

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
@graemekmassie
Wednesday 14 April 2021 20:53
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Coinbase stock soared to value the company at a high of $112bn as it became the first major cryptocurrency company to go public.

The company is the largest US crypto exchange and provides a string of financial services based on bitcoin and 50 other cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase shares opened at $381 on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on Wednesday morning, and quickly rose as high as $429 in its first few minutes of trading.

The price of the stock then dropped back throughout the trading day to around $350.

The exchange had set a reference price of $250 on Tuesday but no trades were executed at that number.

Coinbase was last valued at around $8bn during a 2018 round of fundraising, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Rather than do a traditional IPO, Coinbase decided to go public through a direct listing, which saved the company the money they would have had to pay investment banks.

But unlike a traditional IPO the company does not raise any money through a direct listing but it allows employees and current investors to sell their shares to the public, rather than the company offer new shares.

Coinbase followed in the footsteps of other tech companies such as Spotify, Slack, Palantir and Roblox in using a direct listing.

The listing made Coinbase one of the 100 most valuable companies in the United States.

The value of bitcoin reached a record of $64,000 earlier this week ahead of the Coinbase public listing.

The company was founded in 2012 as a way to simplify the purchase of bitcoin and it has become the most popular crypto exchange in the US.

The company now has 56 million users, up from 43 million at the end of last year, and 32 million in 2019.

Coinbase’s 2020 revenue more than doubled to $1.28bn and it turned a profit of $322.3m, after making a loss in 2019.

The company’s founder Brian Armstrong, owns 39.6 million shares in Coinbase.

Last August he was given a performance award tied to the company’s share price that will let him buy up to 9.29 million shares at $23.46 over 10 years.

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