Coinbase Global (COIN) - Get Coinbase Global Inc Report shares surged more than 70% on their trading debut Wednesday, valuing the world's biggest cryptocurrency platform at more than $115 billion in a stunning success for the first direct listing from the Nasdaq.
The Nasdaq set a reference price of $250 a share for the nascent listing late Monday, which would have valued Coinbase at around $65 billion. However, the shares opened at $381 -- before rising to as high as $429.54 each -- in early afternoon trading. At the peak of the session, Coinbase, founded in 2012, was valued the group at $112 billion, just shy of 150-year-old venerable Goldman Sachs Group (GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (The) Report.
Early investors filed a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the sale of 114.9 million in class A common shares, a move that's consistent with the mechanics of a direct listing, where no new shares are issued and only the existing shares are placed on the Nasdaq to trade.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong -- who has a $15 billion stake in the group -- told CNBC Tuesday the he wants the listing to be seen as a "landmark moment for the cryptocurrency space", noting that bitcoin's adoption in mainstream finance will increase its value and utility over time.
Bitcoin prices jumped to a fresh record high of more than $64,000 each in overnight trading Tuesday, extending its year-to-date gain to around 117%, before easing to around $62,800 in early afternoon trading.
TheStreet's founder, Jim Cramer, told CNBC's Mad Money program Tuesday that he considers Coinbase "the real deal", adding that is you're a 'big believer in cryptocurrency ... you want to town 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."
Last week, Coinbase estimated first quarter revenues at $1.8 billion, with overall trading volumes pegged at a staggering $335 billion from 6.1 million of what it calls "monthly transacting users" (MTUs).
Coinbase said it expects MTUs in the region of 7 million in its 'high' scenario, 5.5 million in its 'mid' and 4 million in its 'low' scenario, adding that the unpredictable nature of the trading base makes its full-year revenues difficult to forecast.
The San Francisco-based company has raised some $537.4 million from early stage private investors. Its last round, which raised $300 million in 2018, valued Coinbase at $8 billion. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global, IVP and Ribbit Capital.