Today shares of Coinbase began to trade after the company executed a direct listing. From a reference price of $250, Coinbase shares opened at $381 today, a change of around 52%. At its open Coinbase was valued at $99.6 billion on a fully diluted basis. As of the time of writing Coinbase has appreciated further to just over $400 per share, valuing the company at a touch more than $104 billion.
Coinbase was worth $65.3 billion at its reference price, on a fully diluted basis.
Coinbase's debut has been hotly anticipated, thanks to its position inside the greater crypto economy and, from a purely startup perspective, its huge value unlock. Private investors poured capital into the company during its life as a private company, valuing it as high as $8 billion.
The company's new valuation dwarfs that prior figure, implying strong returns for its long-term backers. Today even regular folks could get a scratch at the company's equity, and they were willing to pay up for the privilege. TechCrunch asked its audience about the debut, pre-trading results that served as an anti-indicator of where the crypto-unicorn's shares would trade:
For Coinbase the road ahead is interesting. The company is richly capitalized and posted monster profits in its most recent quarter. However, Coinbase has yet to chart a future sufficiently delinked from the impacts of cryptocurrency price levels and resulting trading volume to be immune to a potential setback in growth and income if the value of bitcoin, et al. dropped.
But for crypto believers, watching Coinbase list is a win; it is ironic that a traditional company listing on an old-fashioned exchange is a key moment for the crypto economy, but most things come in steps. Perhaps the next major crypto company trading debut will be on a decentralized exchange.