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Coinbase IPO: Here's What You Need To Know – Forbes

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Updated: Apr 14, 2021, 10:20am
Today is the day you’ll be able to buy the company that helps you buy Bitcoin.
Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S., becomes a public company today with the ticker COIN. The company has eschewed a traditional initial public offering (IPO). Instead, it plans to post its shares straight on the Nasdaq stock exchange via a so-called direct listing, a technique pioneered by big names like Spotify (SPOT) and Palantir (PLTR) in recent years.
Today is a big milestone for Coinbase and an even bigger milestone for crypto. Thank you to our employees and customers for getting us here. Together, we can build the cryptoeconomy and create economic freedom for all. Join us for today's events at https://t.co/kki68arv3O $COIN pic.twitter.com/Bvcu9R0otq
— Coinbase (@coinbase) April 14, 2021

This nontraditional yet trendy choice makes a certain amount of sense for the Coinbase narrative, given that the company has aided and abetted the similarly non-establishment cryptocurrency craze over the past decade. Whether Bitcoin itself actually replaces dollars or develops further as a speculative asset remains to be seen.
Related: Buy and sell cryptocurrency via Coinbase
Let’s say you want to buy Bitcoin. You’ve got two options: Deploy sophisticated, powerful computers to mine Bitcoin by solving complicated math problems or buy it on an exchange. The former is insanely costly and demands a ton of technical know-how while the latter requires nothing more than opening an account with said exchange.
That’s why most people end up buying Bitcoin, instead of mining it, and that’s where Coinbase comes in.
For many crypto enthusiasts, Coinbase operates as a straightforward online exchange, allowing retail buyers and sellers to meet in the middle and find a price. For more experienced users, Coinbase offers a robust trading platform—called Coinbase Pro—with a full set of features and charts to help you plumb the depths of the crypto market. It also offers a free wallet service that allows users to safely store their cryptocurrencies.
Coinbase has succeeded not only by performing these tasks efficiently but also by keeping its users’ personal data secure. Numerous similar crypto exchanges have come and gone, and many have failed the test of securing their users’ accounts.
One of the most spectacular failures was the 2014 hacking of Japanese exchange Mt. Gox, which resulted in the company’s bankruptcy and the loss of billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin. There have been others.
In a July 2020 report, Coinbase disclosed that it had more than 35 million users, including both retail clients and institutional firms, up 5 million users from a year earlier.
Coinbase doesn’t charge you to store your cryptocurrency in its popular wallet service. Instead, it earns fees and commissions when you actually buy and sell cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin and Ethereum. These include:
Coinbase has several other lines of business in addition to its exchange services.
According to a recent SEC filing, Coinbase took in about $1.3 billion in revenue in 2020, more than twice as much as the year earlier.
Valuing start-ups can be challenging. As private companies, we only get a view into the valuation of a start-up when they accept new outside investments. Coinbase’s last formal valuation was in 2018, when it accepted $300 million in new financing. According to Cruchbase, at that time the company was worth $8 billion.
Until Coinbase releases fresh financial information after going public, we won’t know how profitable the business really is or what kind of revenue it’s pulling in each year. Don’t be surprised if Coinbase ends its first day as a public company well north of that number. The popularity of Bitcoin has risen dramatically since 2018, delivering outstanding returns to investors—and to Coinbase.
But Bitcoin’s popularity has meant more competitors for Coinbase. The commission-free trading platform Robinhood, for instance, allows investors in most states to purchase cryptocurrency as have PayPal and Square. Investment giant Fidelity is even offering wealthier customers a Bitcoin index fund.
Recent reports peg Coinbase as worth well north of its 2018 valuation. A report from Axios found that the company was valued at $100 billion when it sold shares on the private market. What its market cap will be when Coinbase is open to the public still remains unknown.
An initial public offering is how Wall Street describes the process by which a private company makes its debut on the public stock market.
With an IPO, a company hires big investment banks to help it sell shares of stock to the public. The bankers don’t come cheap, but they do help a private company navigate unfamiliar waters and set a viable IPO price per share.
With a direct listing, companies can skip the expensive investment bankers and their fees and simply list the stock on an exchange. The current owners of the company convert their shares to stock, and then investors can buy shares on the exchange.
Notably, in an IPO, a company going public typically issues new shares of stock to raise new capital. In a direct listing, a company isn’t looking to raise additional capital—its employees and investors are selling their existing shares of stock to the public.
There are a bunch of cryptocurrencies, but Bitcoin has captured the greatest share of public attention. The reason is simple: Its value has risen dramatically.
One Bitcoin was valued at around $1,000 at the beginning of 2017, and as of Feb. 26,  that same Bitcoin is now worth more than $47,000. When Coinbase first announced its intentions to go public in late 2020, Bitcoin was worth almost half that amount
But it’s worth noting that the interest and discussion around Bitcoin have strayed over the past decade. Back in 2013, the slogan at the top of Coinbase’s website read “Welcome to the Future of Money.” As of 2017, this had changed to “Buy and Sell Digital Currency.” There’s more to this change than marketing.
Bitcoin gained notoriety as a possible replacement for the U.S. dollar as the main means of exchange and payment. In some future world, the idea went, you’d get paid in Bitcoin and pay your mortgage in Bitcoin. This would be enabled by blockchain technology, which would account for all transactions and keep everything secure.
Why would you choose Bitcoin? Its value wouldn’t be secured or managed by a central authority, like when the Federal Reserve, which sets interest rates. Bitcoin as a replacement for governmental currency was the future Coinbase was talking about back in 2013.
But by 2017, those dreams had dimmed. Bitcoin had not become the primary means of exchange in the economy but rather an investment asset, like gold. People referred to its “market cap,” which makes no sense for a currency but is the term people use to describe a company’s size and clout. This suggests Bitcoin has become more of an investment than anything else. Investors would flock to it when they had an appetite for risk, rather than use it as a direct form of money.
Bitcoin has no intrinsic value, but then again neither does gold, and investors remain perpetually obsessed with that yellow metal. This prospect of a digital gold has helped drive Bitcoin’s recent rise, especially with more institutional investors buying up Bitcoin.
A bet on Coinbase is, at least right now, a bet that Bitcoin will continue its rise as a speculative asset rather than a replacement for the almighty dollar. Don’t fight the Fed, indeed.

Taylor is an award-winning journalist who has covered a range of personal finance topics in the New York Times, Newsweek, Fortune, Money magazine, Bloomberg, and NPR. He lives in Dripping Springs, TX with his wife and kids and welcomes bbq tips.

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Aggregate Bitcoin Price Has Increased By $87 Billion In Last Five Months – Bitcoin Magazine

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The realized market capitalization of bitcoin, or aggregate price paid for every coin on the network, increased by $87 billion since last August.
The below is from a recent edition of the Deep Dive, Bitcoin Magazine's premium markets newsletter. To be among the first to receive these insights and other on-chain bitcoin market analysis straight to your inbox, subscribe now.
In recent weeks, much of our analysis has been focused on the consolidation period currently occurring in the bitcoin market, with a particular focus on realized price as an indicator of lackluster capital flow. As shown by the chart below, the realized market capitalization of bitcoin, which can otherwise be thought of as an aggregate price paid for every coin on the network, has increased by $87 billion since the beginning of August. 
While significant in absolute terms, given that the realized market capitalization of bitcoin was a mere $90 billion at its peak following the 2017 bull market, in relative terms realized cap has not meaningfully increased since early fall of 2021.
A look at the 30-day rate of change of realized price gives additional context to this dynamic. 
To dig deeper into the dynamic of price and realized price, we can examine the Delta Gradient indicator. The metric gauges market momentum relative to capital inflows.
As per Glassnode,
“The momentum of a market can be considered by assessing the rate of change of price, or the verticality over some period. The simplest example is a parabolic advance, whereby the rate of price appreciation increases in magnitude as a result of market momentum.
“The Realized Price reflects the aggregate price at which each coin in the supply last moved. Steeper increases in the Realized Price indicates a true and organic capital inflow is occurring, as every coin that is spent on-chain and sold, has a buyer with fresh capital. The steepness of this curve therefore represents a rational baseline for sustainable value growth.
“The Delta Gradient is calculated as the difference between the gradient of the spot Price, and the gradient of the Realized Price. This metric therefore measures the relative change in momentum between speculative value, and true organic capital inflows.
“Statistical normalization is then applied to bring historical values, and log-scale price changes into a consistent scale.”

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Crypto Podcast: Markets Dip and a Closer Look at the Metaverse – Coindesk

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With crypto markets slightly dipping and a look at why we need rules if we want our virtual worlds to be free and open, CoinDesk’s Markets Daily is back with the latest news roundup.
Adam B. Levine
Adrian Blust
This episode is sponsored by Kava.
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European stocks slip after declines on Wall Street | Financial Times
Stock Futures Edge Up Ahead of Bank Earnings – WSJ
Central banks start turning off the cash taps | Reuters
North Korean Hackers Stole $400M in 2021, Mostly in Ether
Pakistan Plans to Ban Cryptocurrencies as Stance Hardens
House of Lords Committee Sees ‘No Convincing Case’ for UK CBDC
Crypto Exchange FTX Establishes $2B Fund to Invest in Crypto Startups
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Nike and Adidas Are Dipping Toes Into the NFT Market. The Sneakerheads Are Into It
Axie Infinity’s Gaming Sidechain Is Bigger Than Many Major Layer 1s by Volume: Nansen
Featured Story: The Metaverse Needs a Constitution
This episode was edited and produced by Adrian Blust.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
@2021 CoinDesk

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Tim Cook said Apple is looking at cryptocurrency – Here’s what the company is likely to do – 9to5Mac

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December 28, 2021
Bradley Chambers
– Dec. 28th 2021 6:00 am PT


A few weeks ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook made headlines when he said he personally owns cryptocurrency while mentioning that Apple is looking at it from a technology perspective, but not from a treasury decision. What will Apple do with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency?

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It’s something we are looking at, it’s not something we have immediate plans to do. I would characterize it as there are things that I would not do like our cash balance. I would not go and invest that in crypto not because I would not invest my own money in crypto, but because I don’t think people buy Apple stock to get exposure to crypto. So if they want to do that, they can, you know, invest directly in crypto through other means. And so I would not do that. I’m not planning to in the immediate future to take crypto for our products. As a mane of tender, but there are other things that we are definitely looking at.
During the interview, Cook revealed that he owns cryptocurrency, saying “it’s reasonable to own it as a part of a diversified portfolio,” while also noting that he’s “not giving anybody investment advice.” However, Cook didn’t mention if he owns Bitcoin or another particular type of cryptocurrency.
Apple has plans for its retail financial arm. Its Apple Pay service allows people to send money in particular jurisdictions over iMessage. It also has its Apple Wallet app and associated Apple Pay services for mobile payments. Apple wants to grow its services business, and siphoning off banking services is an ideal way to do it. What does this have to do with cryptocurrency?
I believe that Apple will build a Bitcoin wallet directly into Apple Wallet shortly while also allowing for a low-cost way to purchase Bitcoin on iPhone.
With Bitcoin wallets – where you maintain full control of your bitcoin and move it off an exchange like Coinbase –you are responsible for securing your wallet with a seed phrase. I personally reccomend using a couple of Trezor, Ledger, or Coldcard hardware wallets with a multisig vault with a company like Unchained Capital to eliminate single points of failure with your Bitcoin wallets. I also recommend using a steel wallet like billfodl or SEEDPLATE for securing your seed phrase in case of hardware failure.
For newcomers to Bitcoin, this whole process might seem overwhelming, which is why I think Apple might approach it in a couple of ways:
If Apple operates as a Bitcoin exchange, they’ll let you buy bitcoin directly in the Apple Wallet app using whatever payment methods you have on file. They’ll allow you to store your holdings in Apple Wallet while Apple itself will retain the keys. It’ll look a lot like what Cash App or Coinbase does, where you can send, receive, and store Bitcoin without needing to store your seed phrase.
If Apple sets up a software wallet directly on iPhone, it’ll likely look similar to BlueWallet, where you take self custody of your Bitcoin with a seed phrase backup. You’ll own the keys to your Bitcoin directly on your iPhone and be responsible for backing up the seed phrase. If Apple goes this route, I suspect they’ll build in an encrypted iCloud backup of your seed phrase that’s tied to multi factor authentication in such a way where only you can decrypt it. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.
Finally, Strike is a company I could see Apple partnering with for global Apple Pay Cash transactions. Twitter is already working with the company for its tipping service. Strike does a couple of things that could be of interest to Apple:
It accomplishes the global payment system using Bitcoin as the transaction medium. If I want to send someone in another country money, I input dollars, it converts it to Bitcoin and converts it back to local currency when received. It sounds simple, but it’s a pretty revolutionary way to process payments globally for free.
I just published Announcing the Strike API
Today, @Twitter enables free, instant, global payments for their users with their integration of the Strike API.
What the internet did for communication, #Bitcoin + the Lightning Network is doing for money.https://t.co/jHkY6knXkP pic.twitter.com/FXujknG7sM
— Jack Mallers (@jackmallers) September 23, 2021

Ultimately, Bitcoin is becoming a significant force to be reckoned with in our world. With a finite supply, decentralization, and digitization of our financial system, it’s likely to continue to play a significant role as digital gold and global settlement network. Apple doesn’t want to miss a massive shift in technology as it seeks to drive services revenue and become a significant player in the financial services industry.
It’s also possible Apple will use Bitcoin as a transaction layer with its online store when the company is concerned about the stability of the local currency as we saw recently in Turkey.
Bitcoin’s energy usage is a common discussion among its critics. While there is a lot to unpack here, I’ve found the video I’ve embedded below to be a great resource to explain how there’s more to the discussion about Bitcoin and energy usage than most people would lead you to believe.
TL;DW: The Bitcoin network uses less energy than the use of Christmas lights in the US.
What do you think Apple will do with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency? Leave a comment below! Interested in learning how to buy Bitcoin? We’ve put together a detailed guide on the best apps for buying Bitcoin on your iPhone
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.
Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:
Breaking news from Cupertino. We’ll give you the latest from Apple headquarters and decipher fact from fiction from the rumor mill.


Bradley lives in Chattanooga, TN.
Tips, feedback, corrections and questions can be sent to Bradley@9to5mac.com.
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