On a day when bitcoin rallied to a new all-time high, Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, went live with its direct listing on Nasdaq. After beginning at $381, the crypto exchange's shares traded above $400 and then into the low $300s. Despite this, COIN is up about 55%, valuing the US crypto exchange giant at just under $100 billion.
Coinbase, which has no official headquarters, decided to forego an initial public offering (IPO) and instead list its shares on the Nasdaq stock exchange directly, rather than depending on Wall Street investment banks to set the price.
Analysts, traders, and economists hailed the stock sale as a watershed moment for cryptocurrencies, as the largest US exchange now has access to mainstream stock-market investors. The conference has also been dubbed a "catalyst" for digital asset adoption.
Coinbase will have a market capitalization of $76 billion based on the most recent exchange price, with 199.2 million outstanding shares. Using the completely diluted share count of 261.3 million, the total will be $99 billion, according to Coindesk report.
According to regulatory filings, the San Francisco-based company has 56 million users worldwide and an estimated $223 billion in assets on its website, accounting for 11.3 percent of the crypto asset market share.
After US regulators charged associated blockchain company Ripple with a $1.3 billion unregistered stock offering, Coinbase suspended trading in the big digital currency XRP last year. The allegations have been refuted by Ripple.
After weeks of anticipation following Coinbase's direct listing announcement on the Nasdaq, trading on the COIN stock has already begun.
Bitcoin, the most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization, soared to a fresh all-time high above $64,000 on Wednesday, until slipping down to about $63,500 as of press time. Ether, the Ethereum blockchain's native cryptocurrency and the second-largest overall, also hit a new high of about $2,400.