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Coinbase Closes 31% Above Reference, 14% Below the Open

Coinbase Global, the cryptocurrency exchange, opened its first day of trading at $381 at share, 52% above its reference price of $250 a share.
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Coinbase Global  (COIN) - Get Coinbase Global Inc Report, the cryptocurrency exchange, opened its first day of trading at $381 a share, 52% above its reference price of $250 a share.  

The shares closed regular Wednesday trading up 31% from the reference price at $328.28. That's 14% below the initial trade.

According to Yahoo Finance data, the stock traded on Wednesday as high as $429.54, up 72%.

The stock's valuation topped $100 billion at one point before giving up some gains.

The San Francisco company went public through a direct listing Wednesday.

Bitcoin was recently trading at $62,320, down 1%, according to Yahoo Finance data. 

Coinbase was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong, 38, who is the company's chief executive.

Jim Cramer: How to Play Coinbase Direct Listing

On Tuesday, Armstrong told CNBC that Coinbase is storing more than $200 billion of crypto, which is about 11% of all the crypto in the world. About half that volume is from institutional customers. 

Coinbase Stock Goes Live: Half of Trading Volume Institutional

"The majority of money in the world is tied up in institutions. I think it is maybe 80-90% and so we expect that business to be really big over time," Armstrong said.

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Coinbase is the U.S. largest cryptocurrency exchange with 56 million verified users. The company adds about 13,000 new retail customers a day, according to crypto analytics firm Messari. 

RealMoney: Avoid Coinbase - Especially On and After the Opening Trade

TheStreet's founder, Jim Cramer, told CNBC's Mad Money program Tuesday that he considers Coinbase "the real deal," adding that if you're a "big believer in cryptocurrency ... you want to own Coinbase for the long haul."

“What matters to me is that there’s a tremendous appetite for this new asset class and it’s not going away," Cramer said. 

"You don’t have to be a believer in crypto the concept to believe in crypto the investment."

Coinbase was valued at just under $6 billion as recently as last year, but its value has jumped along with the price of bitcoin.

"The Coinbase IPO is a watershed and historical event for the crypto industry and will be something the Street will be laser focused on to gauge investor appetite going forward," Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said. 

Nasdaq Sets Coinbase Reference Price at $250

On Tuesday, the Nasdaq pinned a reference price of $250 a share on Coinbase, which would represent a value of about $65 billion for the Silicon Valley crypto exchange.

Coinbase is the latest company to opt for a direct listing instead of a traditional IPO. Roblox,  (RBLX) - Get Roblox Corporation Class A Report the gaming platform, said earlier this month it would use a direct listing to go public. 

Palantir Technologies  (PLTR) - Get Palantir Technologies Inc. Class A Report  and Asana  (ASAN) - Get Asana Inc. Class A Report both used the method to go public last fall.