Coinbase, a leading crypto exchange, says that it plans to go public with a direct stock listing in two weeks. As per a Coinbase blog, the U.S. SEC (Securities Exchange and Commission) has approved the crypto exchange’s S-1 registration for public offering. Moreover, the blog states that Coinbase’s Class A common stock will trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. It will trade with the ticker symbol “COIN” on April 14. However, companies such as Roblox, Spotify, Slack, and Palantir earlier went public via direct listings on the New York Stock Exchange. Coinbase will be Nasdaq’s first prominent direct listing.
Coinbase had earlier been expected to go public in March. However, it supposedly postponed its plans after paying a $6.5 million fee as part of a settlement with the CFTC (Community Futures Trading Commission). Coinbase posted its draft registration for a public offering to the SEC in December, though the crypto exchange revealed plans to seek a direct listing via Nasdaq in early 2021. The firm may have a $100 billion valuation at the time of its IPO (initial public offering), as recommended by the exchange’s shares reportedly trading for over $375 each in a private auction last month.
Coinbase to Register Approximately 115 Million Shares of Class Common Stock
The company advocated that it has plans to register almost 115 million shares of Class A common stock, which will trade under ticker symbol COIN. Last month, Coinbase took another significant step en route to becoming a public company by hosting a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) forum highlighting its CEO, Brian Armstrong. The AMA amounted to the social media equivalent of a “roadshow”—a conventional ritual where pre-IPO companies pitch their stocks to rich investors—and included Armstrong answering questions from Reddit users on topics varying from consumer service to the novelty cryptocurrency Dogecoin.
Coinbase is amongst the biggest crypto exchanges in the U.S., with Coinbase Pro managing more than $3 billion in daily transactions. Crypto exchange Kraken, also based in California, has not yet verified that it will follow Coinbase’s footprints by going public but stated it would do so by a direct listing instead of a special-purpose acquisition company. Coinbase’s appearance on the public markets will be a crucial milestone for crypto as a whole and offer insight into how Wall Street responds to an industry with different cycles and volatility.