Coinbase to go public on the stock market in funding bid

The crypto exchange is currently waiting for a green light from the Securities and Exchange Commission

Coinbase on phone
The company has flagged their stock market debut for the later half of 2020 or early 2021

Coinbase, one of the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges has revealed its plans for a stock market debut sometime this year or early next year. Their listing is pending approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

If the SEC approves the company’s plans, this would be the first stock market listing for a cryptocurrency marketplace. A select number of mining companies have undergone or are preparing for initial public offerings, with Canaan finishing up late last year.

In 2018, the company’s most recent funding round valued the firm at over $8 billion. Coinbase appears to be more interested in going public with a direct listing, as opposed to a traditional initial public offering.

Direct listings give firms the opportunity to go public without raising capital in a stock sale. In addition, shareholders would be able to sell their equity without having their stakes watered down by a new issuance.

The SEC has not yet published rules and regulations surrounding digital tokens. Previously, it classified a select number of coins as securities, and established that these coins could be regulated accordingly. The lack of regulatory recognition within this asset class has long deterred investors from taking stock in these tokens.

Recently, a social media trend that took place on Tiktok revived commentary on the speculative nature of the cryptocurrency market. The trend, which focused on encouraging users of the app to buy Dogecoin, successfully raised the market price of the DOGE by 100%.

Coinbase was founded in 2012 and facilitates the trade of various coins, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP, for more than 35 million users. High-profile entities that have invested in the crypto exchange include the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) and the former CEO of Citigroup Vikram Pandit.

Earlier this month, Coinbase hired Paul Grewal, a former deputy general counsel and vice president for Facebook, as their new chief legal officer.

“Paul’s mix of experience in private practice, as a federal judge, and as a leading in-house lawyer makes him a phenomenal addition to Coinbase.” the company announced.

Aside from their plans of entering the stock market, Coinbase has been working on expanding their in-house legal operations.

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