On Wednesday, Nasdaq gave Coinbase a reference price of$ 250 a share ahead of its planned direct listing, which would value the cryptocurrency exchange on a fully diluted basis at about$ 65.3 billion.
Coinbase is projected to become the first major crypto company to go public in the U.S. and, should it reach a$ 100 billion market cap, will immediately be one of the country's 85 most valuable companies. The company's value has risen in the past year alongside Bitcoin and ethereum, the primary currencies traded on the website.
Coinbase chose the direct listing path to the traditional market rather than a public IPO. Instead of raising cash by selling new shares to a group of institutional investors, Coinbase allows existing stakeholders to start selling at a market-driven price immediately.
The reference price provided by Nasdaq reflects recent private market trades and input from investment bankers, but does not indicate where the stock will open. This is Nasdaq's first major direct listing; In the five major direct listings on the New York Stock Exchange- Spotify, Slack, Palantir, Asana and Roblox- the opening price was on average around 37% above the reference price. Coinbase said in announcing the preliminary first quarter results that revenue in the period surged from$ 32 million to$ 1.8 billion and net income climbed to between$ 730 million and$ 800 million from a year earlier.
The vast majority of transactions on Coinbase involve the purchase of bitcoin and ethereum, which have been on a historic tear, climbing over 800% and 1,300%, respectively in the past year.