- If the SEC approves these plans, Coinbase will become the first US-based exchange to go public.
- The exchange did not unveil whether it would go public through an IPO of direct listing.
- Per Kyle Samani, Coinbase going public would be a significant event for the crypto sector.
San Francisco-based crypto company Coinbase Global Inc. has filed to go public with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm unveiled this news on December 17 via an official announcement, saying that it had confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the regulator. Per Coinbase, the Form S-1 will become effective once the SEC finishes its review process, which depends on market conditions as well as other conditions.
The publication was quite bland as it did not give details of whether Coinbase seeks to go public through a traditional IPO or direct listing.
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It only noted that,
“This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. Any offers, solicitations or offers to buy, or any sales of securities will be made in accordance with the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). This announcement is being issued in accordance with Rule 135 under the Securities Act.”
However, if the firm decides to proceed with its IPO plans, it will have to share details of its operations and finances in public SEC filings.
A well-funded company
This news comes after a report earlier this year unveiled that Coinbase was planning to go public in 2021. The report noted that Coinbase would become the first major US-based crypto exchange to go public if it follows through with these plans.
Before this, Coinbase completed a £221.5 million funding round in 2018, bringing the firm’s value to more than £5.9 billion. Since then, it is not clear how the company has been fairing, seeing as it has kept how profitable its operations have been secret. As such, it is hard to predict how the firm’s upcoming public valuation will fare compared to its current private valuation.
Per Kyle Samani, the co-founder of MultiCoin Capital, and a Coinbase investor, the exchange’s going public will be a huge event for the crypto space.
He added that,
“It is a watershed moment for the asset class, both as a form of legitimization, and by providing a way for investors to bet on the crypto industry without betting on a specific asset.”
Nic Carter, Coin Metrics’ co-founder noted that Coinbase would see a lot of the firm’s early employers leave. This is because they would have ample liquidity for angel investments and would abandon the exchange to start startups.