The Coinbase application for exchanging cryptocurrency on the screen of an iPhone.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said Thursday it will begin trading on April 14, after receiving regulatory approval for its direct listing from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company, number 10 on the 2018 The Washington City Times Disruptor 50 list, published a short blog post announcing the SEC’s approval. While companies like Roblox, Spotify, Slack and Palantir have previously been disclosed via direct listings on the New York Stock Exchange, Coinbase will be Nasdaq’s first major direct listing.
The company has said it plans to register nearly 115 million shares of Class A common stock, which will be traded under the ticker symbol COIN. In a direct listing, the issuing company refrains from selling new shares and instead allows existing stakeholders to sell their shares to new investors.
The green light from the SEC marks a milestone for cryptocurrency advocates, who have accumulated in blockchain-related assets such as bitcoin. Only recently have many traditional banks and institutional investors embraced cryptocurrency, previously considered too speculative and volatile.
With bitcoin up about 800% in the last year and an ecosystem of infrastructure companies and trading platforms that have sprung up around it, Coinbase has risen in value as a proxy for the wider crypto economy.
Coinbase listed potential price declines in bitcoin as one of the risk factors in its prospectus. The company claims to have more than 43 million users trading digital assets in more than 100 countries.
Last month, an updated filing revealed that Coinbase had reached an implied retail market value of $ 68 billion, based on an average share price of $ 343.58. While retail market value is less indicative of the value of a company’s stock, the Nasdaq will use that information to establish a reference price prior to Coinbase’s direct listing.
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