Coinbase gifted shares worth $56 million to its 1,700 employees ahead of its public listing | Currency News | Financial and Business News
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- Coinbase gifted each of its 1,700 employees 100 shares ahead of its public listing on Wednesday.
- The shares were worth almost $56 million in total at the end of Coinbase’s first trading day.
- The crypto exchange exceeded its $250 reference price and closed at $328.28.
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Crypto exchange Coinbase gave each of its 1,700 employees 100 shares ahead of its public listing on the Nasdaq on Wednesday. At the end of Coinbase’s first trading day, those shares were worth almost $56 million – or around $32,828 each.
Upon its launch, Coinbase exceeded its $250 reference price, which would have secured each employee $25,000 worth of shares. After opening at $381, the share price spiked to $429.54 at its highest point and then to a low of $310, before settling at $328.28 at the close.
Brian Armstrong, the co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, now has stakes worth approximately $13 billion of his company. His fellow co-founder Fred Ehrsam owns shares totalling around $6.7 billion.
Coinbase was initially valued at $99.5 billion – compared to an expected $65.3 billion valuation. This catapulted the crypto exchange straight into the top 100 most valuable companies in the US. At its share price peak on Wednesday, the company was worth more than established giants including Target and AirBnb.
Coinbase’s outperformance was not surprising to cryptocurrency traders, Edward Moya, senior markets analyst at OANDA, said.
“Bitcoin has survived years of skepticism and today’s Coinbase debut is an exclamation point that cryptocurrencies are here to stay,” he said.
Coinbase shares were trading at up to $338.24, up around 3.2% in regular trading on Thursday morning.
The company launched onto the Nasdaq through a public listing rather than a traditional IPO and is now trading under the COIN symbol.
The public listing approach meant that existing shareholders, including Coinbase employees, were able to offer their shares to investors instead of the company offering them to the public through an intermediary. This approach cuts out the middle man – usually investment banks – required for an IPO, saving the company money and time.
Coinbase had grown significantly in the last year alongside cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether. In the leadup to Coinbase’s public listing, various cryptocurrencies had rallied. Bitcoin hit a new all time high of $64,870 on Wednesday, ether followed suit on Thursday as its value increased to $2,487.
Coinbase’s recently announced first-quarter earnings showed the company had net income of up to $800 million in the first three months of the year.
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