Major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase settled at an $85 billion valuation following its first day of public trading on Nasdaq, per The Wall Street Journal.
“Shares of Coinbase, the first major bitcoin-focused company to test the U.S. public market, opened at $381 on the Nasdaq Global Select Market,” according to the report. “They rose as high as $429.54 in the first few minutes of trading and ended the session at $328.28.”
Coinbase had set a reference price of $250 the day before, but the session-ending share price multiplied by the 261.3 million shares of common stock gave it a valuation of a little more than $85 billion.
Founded in 2012, Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, as one of the few pioneering Bitcoin exchanges, Coinbase has grown to have more than 1,000 employees and about 56 million customers. A 2018 valuation gave Coinbase a value of merely $6 billion.
Rather than follow the convention of listing the stock in an initial public offering (IPO), Coinbase listed directly, allowing it to gain a lot more from the listing.
“To a lot of people, crypto still seems like a sideshow,” D.A. Davidson, an analyst and early Bitcoin adaptor, told The Wall Street Journal. “Once you have a $100-billion-market-cap company that all they do is buy and sell crypto, it’s going to be the epiphany for everyone that this is real.”