The digital currency exchange company is the latest mega-startup that may approach the public markets, which could happen as early as this year. The listing would need the SEC's blessing, and were the watchdog to greenlight it, it would represent a landmark victory for cryptocurrency advocates vying for mainstream endorsement.
One of the sources said that Coinbase, which was valued at more than $8 billion in its latest private fundraising round in 2018, is exploring going public via a direct listing instead of a traditional initial public offering (IPO). Coinbase is perhaps archetypal for the sort of company that might consider a direct listing. It’s wealthy, having raised north of $500 million during its life as a private company, and highly valued. Coinbase’s most recent private financing of $300 million valued it at $8.0 billion, according to Crunchbase data. A high valuation and the possibility of ample cash reserves are what previous direct listings Slack, and Spotify had as well.