Coinbase has long been deemed the flagship company of the crypto and blockchain industry. It is the most well-known exchange by far due to its long history and it last raised money from some of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capitalists at a more than $8 billion valuation.
Out of all startups dealing with Bitcoin, it is the one investors think is most likely to go public via a stock listing, with it being rumored at least as early as 2018.
An exclusive Reuters report published on Jul. 9 confirmed that yes, Coinbase is looking to trade its shares on public markets.
Reuters: $8 billion crypto upstart Coinbase is readying a stock market listing
Per the outlet, three “people familiar with the matter” have confirmed that Coinbase is looking to undergo a stock market listing that may take place as early as 2020.
The anonymous sources said Coinbase has not yet registered this plan with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is necessary for it to trade on U.S. markets. Coinbase, however, has purportedly been in talks with investment banks and law firms to establish a plan.
The investment banks and law firms were not listed. But, JPMorgan recently took on Gemini and Coinbase, the Wall Street giant’s first crypto-centric clients. JPMorgan does deal with IPOs and direct listings.
Coinbase’s purported plan is notably not the same as an IPO, as Investopedia explains. A direct listing is when a company lists itself on an exchange without selling new shares. An IPO is when shares are created, underwritten, and sold to the public.
Crypto firms also looking to list shares on notable stock exchanges include Ripple Labs
Bullish for the crypto industry
Analysts say this should this news be true, Coinbase’s intent to go public is bullish for the Bitcoin and crypto market.
Chris Burniske, a partner at Placeholder Capital and former analyst at ARK Invest, commented that a high-profile crypto listing/IPO could be “this cycle’s kickoff catalyst”:
“[An IPO] may even come in 2020 and be this cycle’s kickoff catalyst, with DeFi providing the narrative and fundamentals. 2017’s catalyst was the Winklevoss BTC ETF garnering attention and then getting rejected, shifting interest to ETH, with ICOs the narrative.”
This was echoed by pseudonymous Ethereum investor “DCInvestor,” who said that the Coinbase listing will only “bring attention to the space and will engage many who want crypto exposure.”
He added that Coinbase attempting to go public now indicates that the crypto giant is seeing positive internal metrics, be that user adoption, transaction volumes, or other growth metrics.
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