Cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage service, Coinbase just gave its biggest indication that it plans to go through with an initial public offering this year, confidentially filing its paperwork for an IPO.
The San Francisco-based platform announced today that it has confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
However, Coinbase did not reveal when it expects to go through with the offering, how many shares it plans to sell or what price it expects to offer them at.
Before that, the form goes into effect only after the SEC completes its review process. And, if the regulator refuses to sign off on such an arrangement, in which new shares are created, underwritten and sold to the public, Coinbase could pursue a direct listing in which no new shares are created and only existing shares are sold with no underwriters involved.
“Coinbase’s arrival on Wall Street is also somewhat ironic as it is now tech, and crypto, where the brightest minds are gravitating. In the past this had been almost the exclusive preserve of Wall Street,” said Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Bitfinex.
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IPO Comes as Bitcoin Value More Than Tripled
Strictly compliant with regulations, Coinbase, which has around 500 employees and nearly 35 million users, is one of the world’s most popular consumer-facing cryptocurrency platforms.
Until now, Coinbase has raised a total of $525.3 million. Its latest $300 million fundraising round took place in 2018, and at this time it confirmed its status as the largest digital asset provider of its kind after bringing its market valuation up to $8 billion.
Although there were no exact figures available about its revenues, Coinbase had reported a cracking 2017 thanks to layman interest in cryptocurrencies that users can buy and sell through the app.
As it positioned itself as one of the strongest on-ramps for mainstream crypto-investors, Coinbase’s revenue exploded from $16 million in 2016 to $923 million in 2017, generating a profit of $380 million in the year. However, some estimates suggest that it collected less revenue of nearly $520 million in 2018 a total turnover of $488 million in 2019.
Many crypto firms have revived their IPO plans on the heels of a bull run in cryptocurrency markets. The news of Coinbase IPO comes as Bitcoin has been on a tear this year, growing by almost four times since March lows. Just today, the No.1 cryptocurrency soared to a record high after breaching $20,000 for the first time since 2017.