Owen Lau, an equity researcher at Oppenheimer, has estimated that the Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) could have “hidden value” in its Coinbase Ventures unit.

In a note sent to clients reported on by CoinDesk, the research analyst estimated that Coinbase’s Ventures portfolio may be worth up to $6.6 billion and noted that while they aren’t yet contributing financially to the exchange they are “strategically important to the firm.”

Their importance, the notes adds, comes as these investments support the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem and add insight to emerging technologies.  The Nasdaq-listed exchange has notably invested in over 250 companies through the fourth quarter of last year, with a carrying value of $352 million at cost basis according to Oppenheimer.

According to Coinbase Ventures’ website, the exchange has invested in DeFi money market protocol Compound, crypto lender BlockFi, Ethereum blockchain explorer Etherscan, leading non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea, and a number of other leading firms in the space.

Lau wrote:

Our sensitivity analysis shows that the market value could go as high as $17.0B, assuming a 13% ownership stake. Given the continuous capital influx to blockchain/digital assets, there is potential upside to our estimate

The analyst has an outperform recommendation for COIN shares, with a $377 price target. He added that in the near term Coinbase’s stock price may be influenced by the price of bitcoin and macroeconomic pressures. At the time of writing, COIN shares are trading at $152.

Coinbase is notably one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world and often used to gauge institutional interest in the cryptocurrency space. Earlier this month, over three transactions, BTC whales withdrew over $1.1 billion worth of the cryptocurrency from the exchange, suggesting accumulation to hold over the long-term.

Earlier this month Coinbase blocked 25,000 wallet addresses related to Russian individuals or entities it believes have engaged in illicit activity. The addresses were blocked over fears they could be used to evade sanctions levied against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.