What You Need to Know
- Coinbase is the first pure-play crypto company to trade publicly.
- Its debut listing on the Nasdaq paves the way for more retail and institutional investors to buy into the crypto market.
- Cryptocurrency investors see the listing as a defining moment for the crypto market.
Coinbase, the largest exchange in the U.S. of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, went public Wednesday, opening at $381 a share, far above the $250-per-share reference price set by Nasdaq, where the stock debuted with the ticker COIN.
At its opening price Coinbase was valued over $99 billion, almost four times the value of the Nasdaq itself, before topping $400 a share, then retreating.
More than 50 cryptocurrencies trade on Coinbase.
Hours before the Coinbase started trading on Wednesday at around 1:30 p.m. Eastern, Bitcoin, which trades 24 hours, surged to around $64,000. By midday it, the cryptocurrency had retreated to slightly over $62,000.
Raghu Yarlagadda, co-founder and CEO of FalconX, an institutional crypto trading platform, called today’s Coinbase debut a “defining moment” for the crypto industry that not only creates one of the largest publicly traded companies, providing the company with the resources to attract more retail investors, but also paves the way for more institutional investors to move into the crypto space.
The Coinbase debut will also mean “more scrutiny from regulators,” which ultimately means better framework that will attract institutional investors, said Yarlagadda.
“Bigger, better stronger companies will be built,” he said.