U.S.-based digital currency exchange Coinbase is reportedly looking to become a publicly-traded company, but not through an initial public offering (IPO).
Three people with knowledge on the matter were quoted by Reuters saying that Coinbase is gearing up for a direct listing. Rather than finding an underwriter and releasing new shares into the market, a direct listing allows a company to release existing shares of the company into the market themselves.
The benefit of a direct listing is that it is a low-cost way to go public, and a direct listing does not make the company that’s selling shares subject to a lock-up period. On the downside, a direct listing does not come with some of the advantages that an IPO typically comes with, such as the guarantee of long-term shareholders as well as the promotion of the IPO.
Coinbase has not registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yet but has allegedly been in talks with investment banks and law firms in regard to this matter. If Coinbase does receive the green light from the SEC once they file to go public, this would make Coinbase the first U.S.-based digital currency exchange to become publicly traded.
Coinbase is expected to pursue its listing on a U.S. stock exchange as early as late 2020 or early 2021. Before Coinbase attempts to go public, they should first allow their customers to trade the real Bitcoin using the ticker symbol BSV.
Meanwhile, reports also surfaced that DeFi platform BlockFi is looking to go public in the United States. Recently, BlockFi posted a job listing in which they were looking for a Chief Financial Officer. In their description, BlockFi said that they were looking for an individual to guide and position the finance team for late-stage investment, acquisition, and/or IPO.
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