Coinbase soars in milestone crypto market debut

Cryptocurrencies took a giant leap into the mainstream Wednesday with the blockbuster stock market debut of Coinbase, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange.

Shares surged about 60 percent on the Nasdaq, immediately giving it a market valuation close to $100 billion, eclipsing that of the parent company of the venerable New York Stock Exchange, and rivaling that of Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs.

This stock market debut, seen as a watershed moment for cryptos, comes as bitcoin, the most visible of the group touched another record high Wednesday - near $65,000.

Coinbase -a9-year old company- is a big beneficiary of the interest in bitcoin, ethererum, doge coin and all the other cryptocurrencies out there.

The exchange has 56 million users worldwide, capturing 11 percent of the crypto market, according to regulatory filings.

Bitcoin trading, however, is its bread and butter.

No longer relegated to the dark web, bitcoin's value has more than doubled this year alone as household names like Tesla said they will accept bitcoin as payment.

And as bitcoin's value has skyrocketed, so has Coinbase's fortune.

In just the first three months of this year alone, Coinbase predicts it took in more than $1.8 billion in revenues....that's more business than it did all of last year.

And unlike many companies making stock market debuts - this one is profitable. Coinbase said it had an estimated quarterly profit between $730 million and $800 million.

But that close correlation to bitcoin is also a risk.

In bitcoin’s brief history - it has had huge swings to the downside.

And that’s not the only potential headache facing Coinbase:

Any potential regulatory crackdown of the new asset is a risk…

And so is the prospect of competition from old-guard Wall Street firms who may make a move on Coinbase’s turf.

But judging from the stock’s opening day surge, those are risks Coinbase's new investors are willing to take – as they hope the milestone creates the kind of publicity that sends crypto-trading into a new orbit.

Video Transcript

- Cryptocurrencies took a giant leap into the mainstream Wednesday with the blockbuster stock market debut of Coinbase, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange. Shares surged about 60% on the NASDAQ, immediately giving it a market valuation close to $100 billion, eclipsing that of the parent company of the venerable New York Stock Exchange and rivaling that of Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs. This stock market debut, seen as a watershed moment for cryptos, comes as Bitcoin, the most visible of the group, touched another record high Wednesday near $65,000.

Coinbase, a nine-year-old company, is a big beneficiary of the interest in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and all the other cryptocurrencies out there. The exchange has 56 million users worldwide, capturing 11% of the crypto market, according to regulatory filings. Bitcoin trading, however, is its bread and butter. No longer relegated to the dark web, Bitcoin's value has more than doubled this year alone, as household names like Tesla said they will accept Bitcoin as payment.

And as Bitcoin's value has skyrocketed, so has Coinbase's fortune. In just the first three months of this year alone, Coinbase predicts it took in more than $1.8 billion in revenues. That's more business than it did all of last year. And unlike many companies making stock market debuts, this one is profitable. Coinbase said it had an estimated quarterly profit between $730 million and $800 million.

But that close correlation to Bitcoin is also a risk. In Bitcoin's brief history, it has had huge swings at the downside, and that's not the only potential headache facing Coinbase. Any potential regulatory crackdown of the new asset is a risk and so is the prospect of competition from old guard Wall Street firms who may make a move on Coinbase's turf. But judging from the stock's opening day surge, those are risks Coinbase's new investors are willing to take, as they hope the milestone creates the kind of publicity that sends crypto trading into a new orbit.