Coinbase S-1 Filing Details Shows Company Is Ready for Public Market

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by Benjamin Godfrey · 3 min read
Coinbase S-1 Filing Details Shows Company Is Ready for Public Market
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According to the detail provided, founder and Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong reportedly earned $60 million in the 2020 fiscal year.

Details shared by American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase in its S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is evident the company is set to the public markets. The cryptocurrency industry is just a bit more than a decade old but many players in the space are making waves, per revenue and income accruals.

One of the high points of the filing is the extensive growth in both retail and institutional investor transactions carried out by Coinbase. The dramatic shift in trading volumes attained its peak in the fourth quarter of 2020. Retail transactions account for 36% of all volumes, down from 80% in the early quarters of 2018. This shift is being transferred to corporate investors.

In the last quarter, retail trade value came in at $32 billion while institutional buy-ups raked in $57 billion. Amid these impressive trading figures, Coinbase was valued at $100B, making the firm one of the most valuable firms to file for direct listing through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) this year.

Money Bag Firm with Highly Paid Executives

It is surprising to note that Coinbase, a trading platform that was established in 2020 could outpace some long-standing US firms, in terms of remunerations to senior executives. While this metric may seem simplistic, it goes to show how much the company has matured in its financials.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong reportedly earned $60 million in the 2020 fiscal year. Stock options worth about $56.6 million accounted for the bulk of the total cash with the main salary coming in at $1 million, and a special package for private security worth $1.78 million was also included in the deal.

According to Coindesk, this figure stands tall ahead of revenue earned by Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) pegged at $31.5 million, and Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc (NYSE: AAPL), who earned $14.7 million.

Other Coinbase executives including Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee raked in $15.8 million in 2020 compensation and Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal earned $18 million in 2020.

Risks Identified by Coinbase in Its S-1 Filing

As required of companies aspiring to go public, Coinbase identified some potential risks to its business in the S-1 filing.

As gleaned, the exchange believes that unmasking the identity of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto will pose a significant risk to its business. However, the company did not reveal how this could happen.

The filing also noted that the advances in decentralized finance (DeFi) are a risk factor for the company as the growing ecosystem competes for customers and transactions. Per the filing, Coinbase noted that they “compete against a growing number of decentralized and noncustodial platforms and our business may be adversely affected if we fail to compete effectively against them.”

Negative perceptions surrounding Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH), and further regulatory hassles were also listed amongst the company’s potential risks to watch.

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Benjamin Godfrey

Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalist who relishes writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desire to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain media and sites.

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