The CEO of Kraken says the crypto exchange is considering a traditional IPO following rival Coinbase’s volatile direct listing

Jesse Powell
Jesse Powell is the chief executive and co-founder of crypto exchange Kraken.

  • Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said he is considering an IPO when his company goes public instead of a direct listing, Fortune reported.
  • Powell’s thinking was influenced by Coinbase’s volatile direct listing in April.
  • The CEO ruled out going public via SPAC, saying his company is “too big” for it already.
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Kraken founder and CEO Jesse Powell said he is considering a traditional initial public offering to take the cryptocurrency exchange public instead of a direct listing following Coinbase’s volatile performance.

“An IPO is looking a little more attractive in light of the direct listing’s performance,” Powell told Fortune. “I would say we’re looking at it more seriously now having the benefit of seeing how the direct public offering played out for Coinbase.”

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, went public on April 14 in what many viewed as a milestone from the digital asset ecosystem. The company was valued at $68 billion ahead of its direct listing but now hovers around a market cap of $58 billion.

Powell pinned the volatility of Coinbase’s performance to the method it used to go public, especially since existing shareholders are not prohibited from selling their shares at the debut in direct listings.

Unlike in an IPO, companies that go public via direct listing do not issue new shares.

Following a record for Kraken’s bitcoin trading volume in the first quarter of 2021, Powell had floated the idea of following Coinbase’s direct listing route.

The Kraken boss told Fortune that he is still optimistic his company can go public next year.

“Hopefully we’ll have more analyst coverage out, and there’s just more of a track record of growth for the industry that people feel like they can rely on,” he said.

While mulling over how best to take Kraken public, Powell said that a merger with a blank-check company was not an option.

“It might have been possible a few years ago, but today, I think we’re too big to consider doing a SPAC,” he said.

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Coinbase sinks to the lowest level since its IPO as newly public companies struggle

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Coinbase shares tumbled to their lowest since the company’s hotly-anticipated Nasdaq direct listing on April 14.

The stock price of the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US slipped 8.16% to $251.85 at around 2 p.m. ET Thursday, continuing its slide for the fourth straight day. It was trading 5.50% lower to $257.98 as of 3:40 p.m. ET.

“Coinbase, from a stock perspective, has entered bear market correction territory,” David Wagner, portfolio manager and analyst at Aptus Capital Advisors, told Insider.

While Coinbase’s debut saw volatile trading through the day, the company had a valuation on a fully diluted basis of about $86 billion by the end of the session. The stock had a $250 per share reference price and opened at $381 before hitting an intraday high of $429.54, then reversing course to trade as low as $310.

Wagner added that from a fundamental standpoint, institutional investors may be worried to dip their toes into Coinbase as the stock appears to be priced at a very high multiple. He also said that the lack of a lock up period may also be a reason as this gives insiders and early investors little incentive to hold their shares.

Coinbase, the first major cryptocurrency exchange to go public, was viewed by crypto bulls as a milestone for the digital ecosystem as it looks to continue to make headway into mainstream financial markets.

Coinbase does not offer trading in cryptocurrencies that have been seeing explosive rallies in the past few days, such as dogecoin, the meme token that has seen a 13,000% gain year-to-date, or Binance Coin, the third-largest cryptocurrency with a $99 billion valuation.

“Coinbase has been in a steady decline since its debut as many cryptocurrency traders have begun betting big on altcoins and tokens on other exchanges, while some have decided to directly hold their cryptos in a wallet,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, told Insider.

Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini allowed customers to trade dogecoin staring this Tuesday, joining a growing list of platforms such as Kraken and Robinhood.

Competition is also a concern. While rival Binance has said it has no plans of going public, Kraken said it could go public next year after seeing an explosion in bitcoin trading volume.

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Coinbase could jump 21% due to growth in the ‘cryptoeconomy’ and buy in from institutional investors, CFRA says

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People watch as the logo for Coinbase Global Inc, the biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, is displayed on the Nasdaq MarketSite jumbotron at Times Square in New York, U.S., April 14, 2021.

Coinbase could surge 21% due to the growing “cryptoeconomy” and a push to lure in more institutional clientele, CFRA Research says.

In a note to clients on Friday, CFRA analysts led by Chris Kuiper, CFA, initiated coverage on shares of Coinbase with a “buy” rating and a $400 12-month price target.

The price target represents a potential 21% jump from Monday’s intraday low of $330 per share.

Kuiper and his team said they believe Coinbase could exceed the Street’s high expectations given the growth potential of the “cryptoeconomy.” The analysts see Coinbase becoming one of the largest financial exchanges worldwide and are betting institutional clients will take note.

“Our base case scenario implies COIN not only becomes one of the largest financial exchanges for crypto but that it is also successful in diversifying into other products and services, most notably those aimed at institutional investors, an area it has more aggressively pursued over the past two years,” Kuiper wrote.

Kuiper and his team also presented earnings per share estimates of $6.89 for 2021 and $3.00 for 2022 in their note to clients and said they see operating margins ramping and then stabilizing at 35%.

In a separate thematic research note that was also released on Friday, CFRA highlighted Coinbase’s push for institutional clients, saying the group is seeking to build a “one-stop-shop” for institutions to access the crypto markets.

CFRA analysts laid out three scenarios for Coinbase’s shares, a bear case where the company trades at $120, a base case where the firm hits $400, and a bull case where shares could rise as high as $840 per share.

The bull case implies a potential 145% jump in share prices over the next year amid a push for crypto from institutions. It also assumes a CAGR of 36% for the next decade, slightly below Amazon’s 40% CAGR from 1998 to 2009, and puts Coinbase’s revenue north of $19 billion by 2027.

CFRA analysts are definitely bullish on the prospects of Coinbase after its historic direct listing.

Coinbase went public on Wednesday of last week and saw its shares open at $381. However, the crypto exchange’s stock then sank as much as 19% in opening day trades, before recovering to end the week at $342.

Some market commentators have called the Coinbase public listing a “watershed moment” for the crypto community. Coinbase is now worth more than General Motors, FedEx, and Twitter.

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The Coinbase IPO is a watershed moment for the industry that will suck in big-name investors, says Crypto.com CEO

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Coinbase went public on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

  • The Coinbase IPO is a watershed moment for the industry, the boss of the Crypto.com exchange said.
  • Kris Marszalek said it “immediately reprices all the companies and all the deals in this space.”
  • Yet he said exchanges need to diversify to become less dependent on volatile trading revenue.
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Coinbase’s $100 billion stock market debut is a watershed moment for the cryptocurrency industry that will fuel a boom in investment, crypto exchange chief executive Kris Marszalek has said.

The head of the Crypto.com exchange told Insider that the direct listing “immediately reprices all the companies and all the deals in this space.” He added that it was “extremely positive news for the whole industry.”

Yet, Marszalek said Coinbase still faced some challenges, the main being the volatility of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and their resulting trading revenues. Exchanges need to add new lines of business to tackle this problem, he said.

Coinbase, the US’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, listed directly onto the Nasdaq exchange on Wednesday. Its valuation at one point shot above $100 billion but it closed at around $65 billion.

Crypto-enthusiasts and traditional investors alike were captivated. Many commentators hailed the listing as a coming-of-age moment for cryptocurrencies.

Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said on Wednesday: “Bitcoin has survived years of skepticism and today’s Coinbase debut is an exclamation point that cryptocurrencies are here to stay.”

Marszalek’s Crypto.com exchange is a smaller but sizable rival to Coinbase, with just over 10 million users compared to Coinbase’s 56 million. He said the listing was a huge boost to the industry in general, in part because of the buzz it generated.

“It was so broadly covered… it was unavoidable,” he said. “And this will result in further allocations to the space by institutions.”

Institutional interest has been a major driver of the soaring bitcoin price in 2021. Big-name banks JPMorgan, BNY Mellon and Morgan Stanley are getting involved. And firms are queueing up to launch the first US bitcoin ETF, should regulators allow them.

Coinbase, ticker COIN, is now one more way for people to get exposure to bitcoin and crypto, Marszalek said. “I expect a little bit of a cool-down after such a seminal event, but it’s not going to [last] long.”

But the Crypto.com boss said the most positive effects would come from the spotlight the IPO shined on the industry.

“It attracted a lot of attention and what it does is it immediately reprices all the companies and all the deals in this space, regardless of the [fundraising] stage [they’re at]. All these deals are suddenly repriced in this new reality.

“Fundamentally, it will result in more capital flowing into crypto companies. And that means more resources at their disposal to hire more engineering talent, bring in more people, innovate more, just basically drive this industry forward.”

Yet, Marszalek said the volatility of cryptocurrencies is a problem for exchanges, and is something Coinbase needs to address.

With 96% of Coinbase’s revenue coming from transaction fees on trading, the danger is that a sharp fall in bitcoin and other currencies could badly hurt the company’s quarterly results.

Coinbase is well aware of this, with CEO Brian Armstrong saying on Wednesday that the company will diversify away from transaction fees over the next 5 to 10 years, by developing products like crypto cards.

Marszalek, whose company has a Visa crypto card and recently launched a NFT marketplace, said: “The question is who is going to be able to build a robust business that doesn’t just stand on one leg.”

He added: “We will see who manages to do it over the next couple of years, it’s going to be a fun thing to watch.”

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Coinbase climbs 6% after Cathie Wood’s ARK funds show $246 million investment in the crypto exchange

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Brian Armstrong, founder and CEO of Coinbase; Cathie Wood, founder and CEO of ARK Invest.

  • Shares of Coinbase rose as much as 6% on Thursday, following its turbulent trading debut.
  • Three of famed investor Cathie Wood’s funds snapped up close to $250 million worth of shares.
  • At Coinbase’s closing price on Wednesday of $328.28 per share, ARK holdings are worth about $246 million.
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Shares of Coinbase climbed as much as 6% on Thursday following its debut on the Nasdaq on Wednesday, after various funds managed by Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest snapped up around $250 million worth of shares.

The stock pared gains in early trading, rising 1.1% to $331.75 at 10:35 a.m. in New York.

The Ark Innovation ETF, Ark Fintech Innovation ETF, and Ark Next Generation ETF together bought a total of 749,205 shares of the cryptocurrency exchange during its much-anticipated debut, according to daily fund trading summary data on the fund’s website.

While Tesla remains the top holdings of two of its funds – ARKW and ARKK – the star stock picker sold around $170 million shares of the electric car company, which is also known for its bitcoin exposure. Tesla in February invested $1.5 billion in the popular cryptocurrency.

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, opened at $381, spiked to $429, then tumbled below its debut price, even dipping as low as $310.

Still, at Wednesday’s close, it was worth more than major companies such as GM, FedEx, and Twitter

The listing of Coinbase was celebrated by many cryptocurrency bulls who view the move as a milestone for the digital currency ecosystem that has long faced scrutiny and skepticism.

“Coinbase’s direct listing on Nasdaq is a major step forward in bringing legitimacy and mainstream awareness to the digital asset sector as a whole,” Brad Kam, co-founder of Unstoppable Domains, told Insider.

“For the next billion cryptocurrency users, it will be critical that we focus on ease of use. Millions in funds have been lost due to typos in hard-to-read wallet addresses or simply sending the wrong coin to the wrong wallet,” he said.

Read more: Bitcoin is a headache to store, and that’s created an investment opportunity that could theoretically pay determined traders big risk-free returns by December

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2 Coinbase execs are worth nearly $1 billion after barely a year at the crypto company as its direct listing showers wealth on employees

Surojit Chatterjee, Coinbase Chief Product Officer
Coinbase chief product officer Surojit Chatterjee (left) has a stake in the company worth $657 million. CEO Brian Armstrong (right) has a stake worth $13 billion.

Coinbase, one of the world’s most popular and earliest cryptocurrency exchanges, made its public market debut on Wednesday, riding the wave of mainstream investors’ growing interest in digital currencies.

Coinbase’s highly anticipated direct listing resulted in its shares closing at $328.28 on Wednesday, giving the company a valuation of $85.7 billion – around 10 times what it was last valued at as a private company, according to PitchBook.

That’s up 31.3% from Coinbase’s reference price of $250. But because it opted for a direct listing, no shares traded at that price, instead opening at a price of $381.

Still, as Coinbase’s valuation soared, its top executives and biggest investors got substantially richer.

CEO and cofounder Brian Armstrong’s stake – 2.75 million Class A shares and 36.9 million Class B shares – is now worth a combined $13 billion.

Two Coinbase executives, Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee and Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal, both of whom joined the company less than 15 months ago, have stakes worth a combined $957 million.

At Wednesday’s closing price, Chatterjee’s 2 million Class A shares are worth $657.2 million, while Grewal’s 915,331 Class A shares are worth $300 million.

Chatterjee joined Coinbase in January 2020 after having previously been at Google for 11 years. Grewal joined just last summer, leaving his four-year tenure as a vice president and deputy general counsel at Facebook.

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Coinbase climbs 13% in trading debut as valuation hovers around $100 billion

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong

Shares of Coinbase climbed as much as 13% on Wednesday in its hotly anticipated trading debut on the Nasdaq.

The direct listing had a $250-per-share reference price, and opened at $381 before hitting an intraday high of $429.54, which was 13% above its opening price.

The $381-per-share opening price put Coinbase’s valuation at $99.5 billion, giving it a bigger market capitalization than such established US companies as General Motors, FedEx, and Gilead Sciences.

Coinbase is the first major cryptocurrency exchange to go public, and investors see its direct listing as a major milestone for bringing cryptocurrencies in the mainstream. Bitcoin hovered near an all-time high above $63,000 when trading commenced, having hit a record of $64,869.77 earlier in the day.

“We look at the Coinbase listing as an additional validation of the space, and a major PR opportunity for the entire industry to shine as the future of finance,” said Alex Mashinsky, CEO and co-founder of Celsius, a cryptocurrency yield-earning platform.

He added: “Coinbase has more users and more revenues than many of the largest Wall Street players and is more profitable than any major exchange, this validation puts most skeptics at a crossroads having to re-evaluate their denial and frustration with the disruption coming at them from all sides.”

Read more: Bitcoin is a headache to store, and that’s created an investment opportunity that could theoretically pay determined traders big risk-free returns by December

Coinbase’s direct listing comes on the heels of its blowout first quarter earnings. The cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage revealed first quarter revenue grew 840% year-over-year to $1.8 billion, compared to the $1.3 billion for all of 2020.

The results led DA Davidson analyst Gil Luria to up his price target for COIN to $440 from $195 .Though other analysts caution that Coinbase has hefty competition.

David Trainer, New Constructs CEO, said in a stock research note that Coinbase’s $100 billion expected valuation implies that Coinbase will become the largest exchange in the world by revenue, which isn’t guaranteed given the existence of competitors like Gemini, Kraken, and Binance.

In the earnings report, the company warned that its financial results have fluctuated drastically on swings in crypto trading volume-something investors should keep an eye on, Trainer said.

“Trading volume, and therefore transaction revenue currently fluctuate, potentially materially, with Bitcoin price and crypto asset volatility. This revenue unpredictability, in turn, impacts our profitability on a quarter-to-quarter basis,” Coinbase acknowledged in its prospectus.

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Coinbase gets 96% of its revenue from transaction fees right now – but its CEO says the company aims to have other businesses like credit cards make up 50% of sales in the next 5-10 years

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong

  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said on Wednesday that the company plans to diversify its revenue stream away from transaction fees in the next five to 10 years.
  • In 2020, 96% of the company’s revenues were from fees it charged users.
  • The CEO also said users can expect fee compression in the long term.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said on Wednesday that the company will diversify its revenue stream away from transaction fees over the next five to 10 years.

According to a company filing, 96% of the company’s sales in 2020 came from fees it charged users. He anticipates that will decline to around 50% as new revenue streams like credit cards and staking services grow. Armstrong also said users can expect fee compression over the long term.

“We’ve started to monetize a number of things,” he told CNBC in an interview on Wednesday, detailing a number of examples. “And my guess is that in five or 10 years, you’ll see them being maybe even 50% or more of our revenue.”

Currently, Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, and offers a wide variety of products including custodial accounts for institutions, digital wallets for retail investors, as well as its own US dollar stablecoin.

In 2019, the professional platform of Coinbase updated its fee structure by increasing some maker fees as high as 233%, as reported by CoinTelegraph. Coinbase then amassed $1.1 billion in direct revenue following this change in 2020, more than double the $482 million revenue it made in 2019.

Coinbase is going public via direct listing on the Nasdaq on Wednesday, viewed by many cryptocurrency bulls as a milestone for the digital currency ecosystem.

“Coinbase’s listing is for crypto what Google’s IPO was for the internet,” Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner of Nexo, a regulated financial institution for digital assets with over $12 billion in assets under management, told Insider. “Just over 15 years on, it’s hard to imagine life pre-Google.”

Read more: Bitcoin is a headache to store, and that’s created an investment opportunity that could theoretically pay determined traders big risk-free returns by December

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Bitcoin surges to new high near $65,000 as all eyes turn to Coinbase direct listing

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Coinbase is set to directly list on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

Bitcoin hit an all-time high for the second day running on Wednesday as excitement around the direct listing of exchange Coinbase helped push the cryptocurrency close to $65,000.

A rise of 2.6% took bitcoin as high as $64,870, before it pared its gains to trade at $63,709 at 9.15 a.m. ET.

Commentators said the latest leg higher has been driven by the Coinbase direct listing on the Nasdaq on Wednesday, which is set to be the first time a major cryptocurrency company has gone public.

Coinbase’s volatile revenues make it hard to value, but estimates have been as high as $100 billion. Nasdaq set a reference price of $250 a share on Tuesday, although it could trade much higher, given that shares changed hands for $350 in a private auction in March.

“I expect record-breaking demand for this IPO,” said Richard Johnson, chief executive of technology focused investment firm Texture Capital. “The valuation from private market trades was $90 billion, but this was before Coinbase announced their blowout Q1 numbers.”

He added: “Medium to long term, I see COIN [Coinbase’s ticker] becoming a proxy for crypto exposure until the ETFs start getting approved.” An ETF is an exchange-traded fund.

Richard Johnson, chief executive of technology focused investment firm Texture Capital, said: “I expect record-breaking demand for this IPO.” He added: “Medium to long term, I see COIN becoming a proxy for crypto exposure until the ETFs start getting approved.”

Vitaliy Kedyk, head of strategy at Currency.com, said: “This listing along with the BTC ETFs will attract a lot of institutional money, fueling the entire industry forward.”

However, some commentators have warned a disappointing public listing could knock confidence in crypto.

Edward Moya, senior market analyst at currency firm Oanda, said on Monday there is a risk that “a disappointing IPO or excessive concerns over enhanced regulatory oversight could weigh on bitcoin and the other altcoins.”

More broadly, massive amounts of monetary and fiscal stimulus have powered the bitcoin surge over the last 6 months, analysts say. The cryptocurrency has more than doubled in 2021 and is up around 830% from a year ago.

Institutional interest has also been a key part of the story, with major companies such as Tesla, JPMorgan and BNY Mellon getting involved.

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Bitcoin eyes new record above $61,000 as the crypto market’s focus turns to Coinbase IPO

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Bitcoin rose as much as 2.6% to $61,229 on Monday as the crypto world prepared for a week dominated by Coinbase’s direct listing on Wednesday. The surge took the coin close to its all-time high of $61,742 reached on March 13.

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency has since pared gains slightly, trading at $60,429.68 as of 9:05 a.m. in New York.

“There’s a lot of anticipation, some restlessness, maybe some anxiety in crypto markets today,” Justin d’Anethan, head of sales at Nasdaq-listed exchange Equos, told Insider.

“With BTC solidly in the upper 50Ks, everyone is looking to see if we can reclaim or surpass that last all-time high… seen a couple of weeks back,” he said.

The big event of the week in the cryptocurrency world is the direct listing of crypto exchange Coinbase on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

It will be the first listing of a major crypto company, with Coinbase pulling in around $1.8 billion of revenue in the first quarter of 2021. The exchange said private market transactions valued the firm at about $68 billion in March.

D’Anethan added: “Coinbase’s IPO is definitely a supportive move for the space as it is bolstering the legitimacy of the asset class and offering investors new ways to interact with it.”

Edward Moya, senior market analyst at currency firm Oanda, said in an email “a disappointing IPO or excessive concerns over enhanced regulatory oversight could weigh on bitcoin and the other altcoins.”

Bitcoin has more than doubled in 2021 thanks to a renewed interest in digital currencies supported by huge amounts of stimulus from governments and central banks.

Now, many major institutions are moving into the crypto space, adding legitimacy to bitcoin and other currencies.

Yet cryptocurrencies continue to divide the financial world, with many figures saying they are too volatile to become serious investments for major players. Others argue they serve little purpose except speculation.

Read more: A 29-year-old self-made billionaire breaks down how he achieved daily returns of 10% on million-dollar crypto trades, and shares how to find the best opportunities

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