Coinbase Global Inc. filed to go public with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, becoming the most prominent cryptocurrency-focused company to tap the public markets.
Coinbase, the largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, has emerged as one of the most recognizable names in the industry, with more than 43 million verified users, and about 2.8 million that use the company’s trading platform monthly.
The filing reveals how much Coinbase’s business is tied to the ebbs and flows of the bitcoin market. Its revenue more than doubled to $1.3 billion in 2020 amid a bitcoin rally, while it posted a profit of $322 million. In 2019, when bitcoin trading was weak, it had a loss of $30 million on $533 million in revenue.
Coinbase had said in a December blog post that it filed confidentially with the SEC to go public. Shares will be listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market via a direct listing under the ticker symbol COIN.
Direct listings differ from traditional initial public offerings in that companies take their shares to the stock market directly. Companies are able to save money that in a more traditional IPO would be shelled out to investment banks. This option to go public isn’t as common as traditional IPOs.