Just one day after Bitcoin broke the $20,000-mark last year, Coinbase, the largest broker and custodian for cryptocurrencies in the U.S., filed preliminary documents with the SEC for an IPO. Given Bitcoin’s continued soaring, and the IPOs surrounding its rise, the Coinbase offering could be one of this year’s deal to watch.
Founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong (of Airbnb), Ben Reeves (the co-founder of blockchain.info), and Fred Ehrsam (a Goldman Sachs trader), Coinbase has quickly become a company of major influence where cryptocurrency is concerned. Since its beginnings, the company’s first move was to develop an app that facilitated the purchase and sale of bitcoin via bank accounts that quickly garnered the interest of venture capitalists like Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.
Since Coinbase’s inception, a key strategy was to find ways to make cryptocurrencies mainstream. In the 8 years since, the company now has over 35 million investors across 100 countries, over $25 billion in assets on the platform, and over 1,000 employees making good on its goals.
Today, as a major hub for retail bitcoin trading and a gateway for alternative cryptocurrencies, this IPO will likely pique the interest of Wall Street traders who have yet to find a way to partake in cryptocurrency at a lesser risk than trading bitcoin. Most likely, the Coinbase IPO will be a sure validator for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as the IPO will certainly gain a lot of attention.
While a lot of speculation exists as to what kind of IPO the company will pull off, Coinbase has been silent so far as to their intentions, providing no public access as yet to the financials and other details. The only thing known is that Coinbase will most likely not raise money in the transaction because capital is not a major concern following the company’s successful $300 million funding round 2 years ago valuing the startup at $8 billion. As far as it has been reported, the IPO will likely launch in February or March.