San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has reportedly started preparing for a stock market listing that could come as early as this year.
The move would make Coinbase the first major U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange to go public, but the listing would require the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) blessing. According to Reuters, one source claimed the exchange is considering a direct listing instead of a traditional initial public offering (IPO).
While in an IPO new shares are created, underwritten and sold to the public, in a direct listing no new shares and created and only outstanding shares are sold, with no underwriters involved. Reuters quoted three people familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity because the listing preparations are reportedly confidential.
Coinbase has not yet registered its intention to go publish with the SEC, but has already reached out to investment banks and law firms. The cryptocurrency exchange was valued at $8 billion in its latest private fundraising round in 2018.
It was founded in 2012 and now has over 35 million users, allowing them to trade various cryptoassets both on its Coinbase platform and on the Coinbase Pro platform. It also has multiple other services, including Custody, Commerce, and Earn.
The San Francisco-based firm’s bitcoin holdings are estimated to now be over 1 million BTC, as users deposit funds on it over time. Last month Coinbase revealed it suffered outages after seeing its traffic spike significantly in a few minutes, as the price of most cryptocurrencies moved abruptly.
As CryptoGlobe reported, CryptoCompare’s June 2020 Exchange Review showed Coinbase was the third-largest top tier crypto exchange by trading volume in May, trading $6.86 billion worth of crypto throughout the month, falling behind OKEx and Binance.
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