Coinbase Valued at $8 Billion, Is an IPO, ICO Coming?

The biggest crypto broker and one of the biggest crypto exchange for trading ethereum, bitcoin, bitcoin cash and litecoin, has valued itself at $8 billion.

The Silicon Valley based company reached that internal estimate when offering its stocks to Earn’s equity investor during a recent acquisition deal of over $100 million.

According to a report citing people familiar with the negotiations, Earn investors preferred cash. Some of the management, however, did take common stocks.

It’s unclear how much exactly Earn’s CEO, Balaji Srinivasan, received in Coinbase stocks, but Earn’s investors managed to be paid fully back, with profit. Srinivasan recently said:

“With this deal, the total value of cash, cryptocurrency, and equity returned to our shareholders is now in excess of the capital invested in the company.”

What crypto was paid and in what amount has not been stated, but the deal Earn ended up accepting valued Coinbase at $8 billion.

That’s significantly higher than valuations earlier last year at around $1.5 billion prior to the skyrocketing price rise in November and December.

Even now, however, analysts are valuing the exchange from $4.5 to $6 billion according to Recode. That’s based on last year’s revenue of one billion dollars, but since then Coinbase has expanded considerably.

They have been a significant backer of ethereum’s ecosystem, with their Toshi app potentially becoming eth’s version of the app store. They have further expanded into the underserved British market through a deal with Barclays which will make Coinbase the only exchange to provide instant deposits and withdrawals in British pounds.

The exchange has further initiated the legal process for offering ERC20 tokens. Once they’re approved by the SEC, that would make them the only regulated exchange to offer buying and selling of tokens that have either complied with security requirements or fall outside such requirements.

Their final expansion of sorts, besides the PayPal like plugin for merchants, is their recent steps to serve institutional investors.

All that suggests Coinbase is now becoming a giant as far as this space is concerned, leading to heightened speculations they might debut in an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

They could easily pioneer the regulated ICO route as filing with the SEC for an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) would cost them only around $100,000. While an IPO would cost perhaps as much as $5 million.

An ICO, however, might limit their market, while an IPO would open them to the $90 trillion global stock market. Moreover, the exchange has been very conservative so far, making it more probable they’ll utilize the traditional method.

If and when they do, it would certainly be the biggest IPO in this space and probably one of the most anticipated in the world. It would also mark crypto’s debut to the global stage.

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