The leading US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase made its debut on Nasdaq this week, with shares closing at just over $328 on the first day of trading. Coinbase opened at $381 a share, which was significantly higher than the $250 reference price set by Nasdaq.
Following in the footsteps of other Silicon Valley start-ups, Coinbase went public by listing its stock directly, which gives traditional investors an avenue to buy into the market. The company, which enables individuals and businesses to buy and sell various digital currencies, is now valued at $85.7 billion.
Coinbase announced its plans to go public on April 1 after receiving regulatory clearance from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC’s approval is a vital step for all the cryptocurrency promoters as this medium of exchange was only recently accepted by institutional investors and traditional banks.
The company says that it has more than 43 million users who trade digital assets, including the popular Bitcoin and Ether, across more than 100 countries. During the past year, Bitcoin soared about 800%, and Coinbase became one of the most valued emissaries in the broader crypto-economy.
This is the first big cryptocurrency exchange in the US to go public, marking a landmark moment for the entire digital currency industry.