Coinbase is a platform for cryptocurrency exchange. And as of Thursday, December 17, 2020, this company has completed and submitted a confidential Form S-1 draft registration statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Their IPO announcement can’t come at a better time; the IPO market and cryptocurrency prices are soaring. On Wednesday, bitcoin made a new record exceeding $20k. Details about whether their IPO would be a traditional one or an alternative have not been disclosed.
The SEC signing off on the IPO in question is another matter and a murky one, so to speak. Should the SEC refuse to approve Coinbase, the company- blessed with an enviable balance sheet- may choose to follow in the footprints of Spotify and Slack, which both sell shares directly to the public.
A high-profile startup founded in San Francisco, California in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, Coinbase has since done well for itself in the crypto space. Coinbase, at present, has approximately 35 million users. Its popular mobile app has a simple, user-friendly interface and makes cryptocurrency investment/price tracking easy.
Cryptocurrencies are increasingly legitimized with their budding acceptance from mainstream institutions. PayPal, Robinhood, and Square now feature crypto trading options. Big-time investors such as Michael Novogratz, Paul Tudor Jones, along with corporations such as MassMutual, have cashed in on bitcoin and no qualms admitting this. And now that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining more momentum, Coinbase is filing for public recognition.
This move will, albeit indirectly, reveal just how profitable bitcoin is as an industry and provide a little glimpse into how Coinbase operates. No one knows exactly how much money Coinbase is making but we can guess it is quite the sum.
In spite of recent political drama from its CEO Armstrong’s blog post labeling Coinbase as an “apolitical” company during the height of Black Lives Matter earlier this year, in addition to Black employees leaving the company for somewhere without racism from coworkers, Coinbase has plowed on and even made some changes to its board. Ex-Cisco CFO, Kelly Kramer, is a new board member and Silicon Valley investor, Marc Andreessen, presently has full board member status. These changes were made, arguably, in preparation for the company’s possible IPO.