Coinbase, a cryptocurrency giant announced that it has filed for an IPO on Thursday, joining the parade of startups pursuing an IPO this year.
The company started in 2012 making it easier for consumers to purchase Bitcoin. Since 2012, Coinbase evolved into one conglomerate of industry standard-bearers and crypto-business, both of which are considered with suspicion and cautiousness by financial establishments and regulators.
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Coinbase’s statement comes in a moment when the cryptocurrency prices and IPO market are hot. BTC price is at a record-breaking $23,500 with an increase in trading volumes which is a boost for firms like this one which gets most of the revenue from the trading commissions. However, the company in its IPO filing didn’t provide the details about the structure of its offering. An IPO where the banks get institutions to take first dibs on the stock’s fixed price would probably be anathema for many Coinbase employees and crypto enthusiasts.
Fred Ehrsam, a co-founder, told Fortune that the company is built for going public through an offering that involves blockchain digital tokens which is a ledger technology underpinning Bitcoin and believed to be the financial infrastructure’s future by various crypto enthusiasts. But it is unclear whether the SEC will confirm the arrangement. The company can go for direct listing for selling shares to the people directly if the SC refuses to confirm the arrangement. Slack and Spotify went for this model recently and Alex Wilhelm, a tech journalist noted that this firm is a typical candidate to go for direct listing due to its heavy balance sheet.
In the last few months, the company has been laying groundwork regarding its IPO along with a lot of shuffles in the boardroom. They recently added Kelly Kramer, CFO, Cisco to its board. The company also elevated Marc Andreessen, investor, Silicon Valley to the status of a full member of the board.