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Earlier, Coinbase was considering going public through a direct listing as opposed to the traditional IPO. But at that time it didn’t file with the SEC.
In a statement made available on their blog, the San Francisco-based Coinbase exchange declared that they had “confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission”, an initial step in anticipation of an IPO.
It was made clear that the announcement was not a call to sell or buy securities and that all such offers and solicitations to either buy or sell securities were to be made in conformity with the “Securities Act”. The exchange, founded in 2012 now has over 35 million verified users with a trading volume of over $320B. It is currently the largest American cryptocurrency firm.
Reuters reported in July this year that the company was consulting with investment banks and law firms about stock market listing.
Reports at that time suggested that Coinbase was considering going public through a direct listing as opposed to the traditional IPO. However, the company, at that time, had not filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The announcement comes at a bullish time for the world’s biggest cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
CoinShares CSO Meltem Demirors had this to say:
“I believe that this will be a monster IPO and the first of many to come in 2021. This and future IPOs will further enable investors at both an institutional and retail level to get more pure-play exposure to crypto-assets… As an investor in over 250 crypto companies over the last six years, I believe that this will be the first meaningful exit, which means more allocation to crypto companies going forward”.
2020 has been a great year for crypto (primarily bitcoin) and crypto exchanges like Coinbase as a result. Earlier this year, the company brokered a $425M Bitcoin purchase for MicroStrategy. This move has been credited for the recent bullish trend that resulted in a new Bitcoin ATH.
Of course, Coinbase has had its fair share of controversy. In recent months, there have been reports of employee walkouts as a result of politics and an alleged “racist company culture”.
The company joins a throng of others to go public in recent months. Some of the most notable IPOs have been:
- E-commerce company Wish (NASDAQ: WISH) which raised $1.1B and offered its 46 million shares at $24 each.
- Food Delivery service DoorDash‘s (NYSE: DASH) stock on 9 December debut closed at $189.51
- Online advertising company PubMatic (NASDAQ: PUBM) made a splash with a stock surge of almost 50% in it’s 9 December IPO with market value going over $1.4B.
- Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB), at $68 per share, raised $3.5B in what is said to be the biggest IPO of the year.
- Beijing-based pharmaceutical products e-commerce site JD Health made its Hong Kong stock market debut with a 34% price soar
Beyond the statement on their blog, Coinbase has yet to comment on the IPO as of the time of this writing.