Coinbase Global Inc., the biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, filed to go public via a direct listing, in what’s anticipated to be a break-through moment for the industry.
The company won’t raise any proceeds in the transaction, Coinbase said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.
Coinbase’s offering could be the first major direct listing to take place on the Nasdaq. All previous ones, including Spotify Technology SA, Slack Technologies Inc., Asana Inc. and Palantir Technologies Inc., were listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Online video game company Roblox Corp. has also announced that it’s planning a direct listing, after earlier delaying its IPO and raising capital privately.
Started in 2012, Coinbase has raised more than $500 million from backers that include Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator and Greylock Partners, according to its website. It was valued at more than $8 billion in 2018 after a $300 million funding round led by Tiger Global Management.
Coinbase’s revenue more than doubled last year from 2019 as it swung to a profit. The company reported a net income of $322 million on net revenue of $1.14 billion for 2020, compared to a net loss of $30 million on revenue of $483 million a year earlier.
It has 43 million verified users, of which 2.8 million use transact on the platform monthly, the filing shows.
Bitcoin was trading around $50,000 on Thursday, after hitting an all-time high of $57,355 on Feb. 21. Cryptocurrencies have been buoyed by the tide of monetary and fiscal stimulus aimed at fighting the impact of the pandemic.
Coinbase said that a majority of its net revenue is derived from transactions in Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Among potential risk factors that could affect the listing plans, Coinbase listed the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies as the main concern.
“If demand for these crypto assets declines and is not replaced by new demand for crypto assets, our business, operating results, and financial condition could be adversely affected,” the filing shows.
Coinbase will be listed under the symbol COIN. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Allen & Co. and Citigroup Inc. are advising on the transaction.