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Coinbase’s highly anticipated direct listing has been postponed, say sources. The public offering will arguably be one of the most critical moments in the crypto world.
According to Bloomberg, people familiar with the matter who preferred to stay anonymous revealed that the Coinbase listing has been pushed to April. Coinbase had announced on January 28 that it planned to become a publicly listed company via a direct listing of its Class A common stock. This was a little over a month after the December announcement that Coinbase had filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
In the past week, Coinbase registered 114.9 shares to be traded when the stock – to trade under the ticker ‘COIN’ – goes live on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. A regulatory filing on Wednesday revealed that Coinbase Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong, Co-Founder Fred Ehrsam, investment firms Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures are among those whose shares could trade upon listing.
The volume-weighted average price per share for transactions conducted from the start of the year until March 15 is $343.58. This translates into a public market valuation of $67.6B based on outstanding shares as of Monday. The company’s financial statements reveal that it is doing significantly better than most start-ups when they decide to go public.
The Coinbase listing is expected to be the first major direct listing to take place on the Nasdaq. All other major direct listings were on the NYSE. These include Spotify Technology SA, Slack Technologies Inc, Asana Inc., Palantir Technologies Inc. and Roblox Corp.
While no reason has been offered for the postponement, it is worth noting that the SEC has been reviewing the direct listing plan.
The crypto giant has also been under investigation for illegal wash trading practices. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) asserts that Coinbase had submitted misleading trading information to services like CoinMarketCap and the CME Bitcoin Real Time Index for a period of three years between 2015 and 2018. This was due to the improper use of trading bots and an employee’s “irregular action”.
CFTC Acting Director of Enforcement Vincent McGonagle says the CFTC’s decision to fine Coinbase $6.5 million should serve a message to other exchanges operating in the US that the commission will investigate and punish any unlawful actions.
“Reporting false, misleading, or inaccurate transaction information undermines the integrity of digital asset pricing. This enforcement action sends the message that the Commission will act to safeguard the integrity and transparency of such information.”
Coinbase has yet to comment on the delay of the direct listing.