Coinbase is going public via direct listing

Coinbase plans to go public by way of a direct listing, the company announced in a blog post today.

The cryptocurrency exchange was founded in 2012 and allows users to buy and trade decentralized tokens like bitcoin and ethereum. The company has raised over $540 million in funding as a private company.

Last month, the company shared that it had confidentially filed an S-1 with the SEC, we still haven’t seen those financials but we now know that they have opted out of the traditional IPO process. Direct listings have been slowly gaining popularity and given some of the most recent first day pops from tech IPOs, it’s unsurprising to see a company like Coinbase which is likely flush with cash thanks to recent gains in the cryptocurrency market opt for a path to public markets that involves less fuss.

Direct listings allow companies to skip much of the heavy-lifting of the IPO process by stripping the public debut of a release of new shares, instead giving existing shareholders like VCs and employees a path to just liquidate their equity in the company.

This has been one of the friendliest IPO windows for tech stocks ever with investors racing to back technology companies that are primed for what’s been called the “digital transformation.” Coinbase is in a pretty favorable spot with the public markets and cryptocurrency markets aligned in frothiness. Bitcoin is currently trading near $33,000 just weeks after reaching on all-time-high.


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