Coinbase stock surges- valuing crypto exchange at $100 billion

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Coinbase’s market value rocketed to nearly $100 billion as the cryptocurrency exchange’s stock price soared in its landmark trading debut this week. Coinbase went public through a direct listing, meaning it sold existing shares rather than issuing new ones through a traditional initial public offering.

Coinbase shares hit the Nasdaq exchange at $381 apiece, notching a 52% gain from the $250 reference price that was set for the crypto giant’s direct listing.

That opening price gave Coinbase a fully diluted market value of $99.6 billion, according to CNBC — making it worth nearly four times as much as the Nasdaq’s parent company and some 49 % more than Intercontinental Exchange, which owns the New York Stock Exchange.

It also made Coinbase’s 38-year-old CEO Brian Armstrong an instant billionaire, driving his net worth to $15 billion. The former Airbnb engineer owns a 20% stake in Coinbase, amounting to 39.6 million shares.

“We’re still in the early days of this industry, but we’re squarely focused on the future, on our mission, and on building the best crypto experiences for you, our community,” Armstrong wrote in a Wednesday blog post.

The stock rocketed even higher Wednesday afternoon but later slid to $328.28 at closing, valuing the exchange at $85.8 billion.

The initial spike underscored the strength of investor interest in Coinbase and the extent to which the company’s listing marked a major milestone for cryptocurrency’s push into the financial mainstream.

“Coinbase is a foundational piece of the crypto ecosystem and is a barometer for the growing mainstream adoption of Bitcoin and crypto for the coming years,” Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said.