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It's official. Cryptocurrency exchange firm Coinbase (COIN) has made its public debut on the stock exchange in a wild first day of trading. That means its stock is now publicly available to purchase. Here's how you can buy in from Australia.
How to buy shares in Coinbase
Coinbase is now trading on the NASDAQ, which means you'll need a share trading platform that offers US stocks.
- Choose a platform. If you're a beginner, our share-trading platform table below can help you choose.
- Open your account. You'll need your ID, bank details and tax file number.
- Confirm your payment details. You'll need to fund your account with a bank transfer, debit card or credit card.
- Search the platform for stock code: COIN in this case.
- Research Coinbase shares. The platform should provide the latest information available.
- Buy your Coinbase shares. It's that simple.
The whole process can take as little as 15 minutes.
- Wednesday, April 14: Shares of COIN debuted Wednesday at US$381 after the Nasdaq issued a US$250 reference price Tuesday. The stock quickly skyrocketed to US$429.54, but settled to just under $400 after the stock began trading. We'll update this page as new information becomes available.
- Tuesday, April 13: The Nasdaq issued a reference price for the expected April 14 Coinbase offering at US$250 per share, which would value the company at about US$65 billion, CNBC reported. That price is based on private market activity and doesn't necessarily show where COIN shares will open in the market tomorrow. Recent direct listings have opened well above that price. It's not yet clear when shares will begin trading.
- Monday, April 12: Bitcoin jumped back over US$60,000 days before Coinbase's direct listing, which is scheduled for Wednesday, April 14. Market insiders believe Coinbase's listing will be a catalyst for a bitcoin and broader cryptocurrency surge.
- Friday, April 9: Coinbase this week announced a huge gain in first-quarter revenue, possibly giving a boost to its initial public offering expected April 14. Revenue for the quarter came in at US$1.8 billion, more than it earned in all of 2020, according to BusinessWire.
- Friday, April 2: Coinbase has announced via Twitter that it expects to launch its offering in a direct listing April 14 on the Nasdaq under the symbol "COIN."
- Friday, March 19: Coinbase plans to delay the public launch of its direct listing until April, reports Bloomberg.
- Wednesday, March 17: Coinbase is expected to offer 114.9 million shares in its direct listing, the company said in an amended registration statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The direct listing could value Coinbase at more than US$100 billion.
- Thursday, March 11: Coinbase announced that private trading of its shares last week suggests a US$90 billion valuation, up about US$13 billion from February when shares were trading around US$303 apiece.
What is a direct listing?
A direct listing is different to a traditional IPO in a number of important ways.
In a traditional IPO, an underwriter (typically an investment bank) purchases pre-IPO stock before selling it on to investors. Their job is to mitigate any risks, set the IPO stock price and determine how many shares should be issued to the market.
With a direct listing, there is no underwriter involved and no newly issued stock. Instead, existing private shareholders and employees of Coinbase sell their stock directly to the market.
The benefit is that it costs less for the company and Coinbase does not need to convince institutional investors to buy in ahead of going public. However it could also lead to higher volatility on the day of the IPO.
How do similar companies perform?
It's impossible to predict how any stock will perform — and IPOs can be particularly volatile. But evaluating the performance of companies like Coinbase can be useful in determining how the market is performing and whether now is a good time to invest in this industry. Select a company to learn more about what they do and how their stock performs, including market capitalisation, the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, price/earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratio and dividend yield. While this list includes a selection of the most well-known and popular stocks, it doesn't include every stock available.
Coinbase's balance sheet
Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, with over 43 million verified users and US$90 billion in platform assets. Its global network is over 115,000 partners strong and spans 100 countries. Private trading of its shares in March 2021 suggests a US$90 billion valuation, up US$13 billion from its February valuation.
With the release of Coinbase’s S-1 filing, we were able to take a closer look at the company’s financials.
|As of December 31, 2019||As of December 31, 2020|
|Coinbase revenue||US$533.7 million||US$1.27 billion|
|Coinbase net income (loss)||(US$30.3 million)||US$127.4 million|
In 2019, Coinbase reported US$533.7 million in revenue and a net loss of US$30.3 million. In 2020, its revenue rose to US$1.27 billion and it reported a profit of US$127.4 million.
Rising revenue and falling losses is a promising trend — so long as Coinbase can continue its profit-making trajectory. But no investment is free from risk and the inherent volatility of the crypto sector may prove a determining factor in Coinbase’s profitability.
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