Everything you need to know about Coinbase’s stock market debut

This article was first published on Silicon Republiccryptocurrency – Silicon Republic
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Wednesday (14 April) marked a watershed moment for the cryptocurrency market as Coinbase went public via a direct listing on Nasdaq.

The highly anticipated listing hit the highest of expectations, peaking at a valuation of more than $100bn.

Coinbase closed its first day of trading under the ticker symbol COIN at just over $328 and a valuation nearing $86bn.

Here’s the story behind the historic listing.

Not your average stock market listing

Coinbase decided not to go for a traditional initial public offering (IPO), which would involve engaging banks to underwrite the transaction. Instead, the company took the direct listing route to the stock market.

Other companies that have gone with a direct listing include Spotify, Slack, Palantir and Roblox. This meant Coinbase didn’t issue any new shares, but gave employees and early investors the opportunity to sell their shares at a price determined by the market.

Also unusual was Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong appearing on Reddit for an ‘Ask Me Anything’ and the company announcing preliminary results for Q1 2021 right before the listing.

In its mandatory S-1 filing before listing, Coinbase revealed that it reached revenues of more than $1.2bn in 2020, securing a profit of $322m. This marked a dramatic turnaround from 2019, when the company made a loss of $30m on the back of $522m in revenue.

But even this was nothing compared to the first quarter of 2021, as the price of bitcoin continued to soar. Amid this rally, Coinbase reported Q1 revenues up 847pc to $1.8bn – surpassing its full-year revenue from 2020 in just three months.

How it started, how it’s going

Founded in San Francisco in 2012, Coinbase has grown to become the largest crypto exchange in the US. Its Q1 results revealed that the platform has 56m ...

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