Coinbase Reportedly Helped Tesla Purchase Its $1.5 Billion of Bitcoin

Coinbase Global, the largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, announced last month that it plans to go public through a direct listing.
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Coinbase Global, the biggest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, reportedly helped Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report in its $1.5 billion purchase of bitcoin that the electric carmaker announced last week.

The report came from The Block, a cryptocurrency news service. Tesla wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Coinbase bought the bitcoin on behalf of Tesla during several days in the first week of February, knowledgeable sources told the publication. The transactions went through several over-the-counter trading desks, they said, noting that Coinbase's prime brokerage arm has more than five Fortune 500 clients.

Bitcoin recently traded at $52,152, up 7.2%, after hitting an all-time peak of $51,640 earlier in the day. Bitcoin has skyrocketed more than fourfold in the last six months amid massive investor enthusiasm.

Coinbase announced last month that it plans to go public through a direct listing. It would be the first cryptocurrency exchange to tap the public markets to raise cash.

Coinbase has quickly become one of the better-known exchanges for trading bitcoin and other so-called digital currencies. The exchange has more than 43 million verified users in more than 100 countries.

Coinbase has raised roughly $537.4 million from early stage private investors, according to Crunchbase. Its last round, which raised $300 million in 2018, valued Coinbase at $8 billion. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global, IVP and Ribbit Capital.

Direct listings, which are different from traditional IPOs, aim to level the playing field for investors and give companies another path to going public. In December, the SEC approved a rule change from the New York Stock Exchange to allow primary direct floor listings.