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Coinbase is going public. Here’s what you need to know

Coinbase going public is a big moment for cryptocurrency. Here’s why it matters

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The mobile phone icon for the Coinbase app is shown in this photo, in New York.

The mobile phone icon for the Coinbase app is shown in this photo, in New York, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Coinbase is going public at a time when chatter about cryptocurrencies is everywhere, even at the United States Federal Reserve.

Richard Drew, Associated Press

Coinbase— an app that allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrency — made its public debut on Wall Street Wednesday.

  • The company will be listed as COIN on the stock exchange.

What is Coinbase?

Coinbase remains one of the few ways people can buy cryptocurrency directly, according to MarketWatch. The company offers the ability to buy crypto for free as well. Though there is a fee for each transaction.

  • The company has primarily focused on bitcoin and ethereum, which are two types of cryptocurrency people can purchase.

Coinbase had about 43 million users in 2020, according to The Associated Press. About 2.8 million of those users made transactions every month.

  • The company also doubled its revenue to $1.14 billion in 2020, earning a profit of $322.2 million “after losing tens of millions in 2019,” according to The Associated Press.

Why is Coinbase going public a big deal?

This is a big moment for the cryptocurrency industry, as Coinbase allows people to buy cryptocurrency for free. The decision thrusts cryptocurrency right into the national spotlight and gives people a chance to invest in the company’s future.

Per The New York Times, the company’s ability to rise from a simple app to something on Wall Street shows the staying power of cryptocurrency, too.

  • “Cryptocurrency advocates — many of whom expect the technology to upend the global financial system — are celebrating the watershed as vindication of their long-held belief in their cause’s potential,” according to The New York Times.

Expert opinion on Coinbase IPO:

  • Leeor Shimron, analyst at FundStrat Global Advisors, told MarketWatch: “Coinbase’s direct listing is a watershed moment for the crypto industry.”
  • Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told MarketWatch: “Coinbase is a foundational piece of the crypto ecosystem and is a barometer for the growing mainstream adoption of bitcoin and crypto for the coming years in our opinion.”