On March 17, 2021, the U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase took yet another step toward its direct listing with a regulatory filing indicating nearly 114.9 million shares had been registered to trade. The filing also showed that in the private market, shares traded at a weighted average price of $343.58 during the first quarter of 2021 (through March 15), which would put the estimated total value of shares registered for trading at over $39 billion.
Coinbase still hasn’t provided an official date for when its shares will be available to the public, but earlier reports suggested it could happen early in 2021. The company will list its shares on the Nasdaq under the stock ticker “COIN.”
After Coinbase has gone public, you’ll be able to buy and sell its shares on the stock market like any other public company.
However, what’s unique about this stock is that your investment’s potential success is tied to the popularity and trading volume of cryptocurrencies, but you won’t have to convert your U.S. dollars into cryptocurrency, according to Randy Carver, a registered principal with Raymond James Financial and president and CEO of Carver Financial Services in Mentor, Ohio.
“Buying Coinbase [stock] could provide a way to participate indirectly. It’s like the person selling picks and shovels to the miners; you don’t have to be a prospector to make money,” Carver says.
According to Chris McAlary, CEO of bitcoin ATM operator CoinCloud, Coinbase’s IPO could be a way for more traditional investors to gain crypto exposure without feeling like they’re jumping squarely into the game of speculation.