Coinbase COO Asiff Hirji Says IPO is an “Obvious Path”

The former chairman of the board of Saxo Bank spoke in an interview with the CNBC show "Fast Money".

The COO of Coinbase and former chairman of the board of Saxo Bank, Asiff Hirji, confided that the company is looking into an IPO at some point in time. The step was cited as “the most obvious path” for the company going forward.

Assif Hirji
Assif Hirji

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Speaking on CNBC’s “Fast Money”, Mr. Hirji outlined that the leading cryptocurrency exchange is likely to go public sometime in the future. The outcome is to be expected as a way for early investors to be able to capitalize on their stakes.

Mr. Hirji was recently appointed as COO of Coinbase at the beginning of December. He has already been overseeing the company’s operations in turbulent times as the user base of the exchange continues growing exponentially.

With the Bitcoin rally at a pause after the release of the CBOE futures contract, the exchange experienced difficulties on Tuesday in Ethereum trading. The second most popular cryptocurrency rallied massively in the aftermath of the Cryptokitties proof of concept application amid increasing interest from companies that are keen to build applications on top of the Ethereum network.

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Current Valuation Estimated at $1.6 Billion

According to the website of the company, the firm has raised money from Union Square Ventures, the New York Stock Exchange, and the USAA. The current valuation of the exchange is estimated to be around $1.6 billion.

Hirji dispelled any prospective acquisitions on the part of other financial exchanges, stating that the endeavor would be “quite expensive.”

In the interview, he also elaborated on the prospects for other cryptocurrencies to the added to the platform. At present, the firm is only offering to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Rumors about the addition of currencies such as Bitcoin Cash and Ripple have been picking up in recent weeks, but the COO denied to comment on a timeframe for the deployment of any new products.

What he did state explicitly is that users should be expecting more assets to be added to the platform over time.

As of the end of November, Coinbase had over 13 million users, which is higher by 5 million when compared to a year ago. The company is looking for a raft of talent – from engineering and business development to HR and legal and compliance, Coinbase appears to be committed to meet the rising demand.

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