Coinbase, whose users primarily deal in bitcoin and ethereum, reported last week that its revenue soared 847% in the first quarter to $1.8 billion, and that it now has 56 million verified users goes pubic.
The secure online platform for buying, selling cryptocurrency, Coinbase has gone public via direct listing at an opening price of $381 per share, climbing to nearly $430 before closing at $328.28 (giving the company a market capitalization of $85.8 billion).
Coinbase is the Nasdaq’s first major direct listing, with Spotify SPOT, -1.88%, Slack Technologies WORK, -1.16% and most recently Palantir all opting to directly list at the NYSE.
The listing is a major milestone for the cryptocurrency world (with various crypto prices soaring today as well), though there’s at least a tiny bit of irony in the fact that this success comes via the traditional stock market.
What is Coinbase?
The Silicon Valley crypto exchange was co-founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong, 38, who runs the platform as chief executive. Fred Ehrsam, a Coinbase director, also played a role in the company’s creation.
The company estimated it oversees about 11 per cent of the total cryptocurrency market, with $90bn in assets at the end of last year.
Active cryptocurrency users have said that Coinbase takes advantage of its status as a trusted intermediary, charging high fees for basic functions such as holding and trading digital assets. Coinbase takes an average cut of more than 50 basis points per transaction.