The COO and President of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, Assif Hirji, says that the company is not going to go public “anytime soon” in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
$8 billion valuation
This is news because an internet search of the words ‘Coinbase’ and ‘IPO’ reveals a long list of headlines speculating about exactly this. The rumours were sparked by the following post by a well-known CNBC cryptocurrency journalist:
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CNBC Cryptotrader exposes details of the Coinbase IPO raise tomorrow on a Cryptotrader exclusive. pic.twitter.com/YG4UOP3ju8
— Ran NeuNer (@cryptomanran) October 25, 2018
The information became more tasty when Coinbase took in $300 million in a funding drive which was completed yesterday (Tuesday). The main investor was Tiger Global Management, a New York hedge fund established in 1980.
The company is now valued at $8 billion.
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Courting Wall Street
Coinbase Pro, the exchange operated by San Francisco-based Coinbase, is the primary cryptocurrency exchange of the US. It handled $57.8 million worth of cryptocurrency trades in the last 24 hours, according to coinmarketcap.com.
In the latter half of 2018 it has been moving away from the traditional market for cryptocurrency – the general public – and making moves to court Wall Street. These moves include setting up a custody service for big money investors, hiring no fewer than four executives with institutional experience, and planning a Bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund with a massive investment corporation.
It has also been expanding internationally, opening a branch in Dublin to ensure continued access to the EU after Brexit (its foreign headquarters are in London). It operates in 23 countries in Europe.
However, when asked, Hirji told Bloomberg: “There’s not going to be an IPO anytime soon, we have so much to do. At some point yes we will go public but that’s not even close to the top of the list of things we’re worried about right now. ”
He said that the firm is now focusing on “diversifying our revnue streams” because the company’s income is “100 percent transactional”. High valuation aside, trading on the exchange has declined by 83 percent since January of 2018, so this seems logical. CEO Brian Armstrong has indicated that firm intends to list hundreds of new tokens, apparently in an effort to mitigate the effect of the relative stability of the bigger ones on its profit.
Hirji was also asked about the company’s failed attempt at an index fund. Hirji responded: “I wouldn’t say it didn’t work out.” He explained that the fund had been focused on big investors, but found the regulatory environment was too difficult. It decided to change focus to offer something simpler and more small-scale.