In Going Public, Coinbase Will Bring Bitcoin Exchanges To The Big Leagues

Following a momenumentous S1 filing, the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase appears poised to shift the public perception of exchanges at large.Coinbase’s recent S1 filing has been hailed as something of a watershed moment.What might be most incredible is that private markets value the company at about $100 billion, putting it ahead of the most-established traditional exchanges. And that’s by quite a margin! If we look at traditional exchanges, one of the more robust has been Hong Kong’s HKEX, which was strong enough to attempt a takeover of the London Stock Exchange last year. As of now, it’s market cap comes to a mere 75 percent of Coinbase’s pre-IPO price.Even cryptocurrency enthusiasts may be wondering if that number is a little overstated. The short answer is, that like much else in the digital asset and fintech space, this valuation is largely based on forward-looking factors. However, when looking at the S1 filing, the numbers aren’t actually that unrealistic.Coinbase’s 2020 revenue of $1.3 billion puts it ahead of Nasdaq’s “Market Services” segment and at a half of HKEX. What’s eye-popping is the 240 percent growth in revenue year-over-year. Even with continued liberalization of Chinese Markets, HKEX is unlikely to improve exponentially on it’s already-impressive 18 percent year-over-year growth, for instance. And that is almost certainly what’s driving the bull case for Coinbase. Cryptocurrency is still a nascent market, driven in large part by retail customers. In terms of margins, Coinbase doesn’t fare too …
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