An Historic Moment for Cryptocurrency – the Coinbase Nasdaq Debut

The moment the world was waiting for finally arrived a few hours later than the official opening of the Nasdaq, but nobody was disappointed at what transpired from that moment on.

Basically, Coinbase killed it, coming in at an opening price of $381 per share, some 52% higher than the nominal $250 per share originally referenced by Nasdaq. At one point during the day’s trading, Coinbase shares hit a high of $429.54, eventually closing at a very respectable $328.28.

Coinbase also bucked the trend by going for a direct listing rather than the bank-backed IPO that everyone expected. This is a fairly radical move away from the security blanket offered by having underwriters provide verification of share value to potential investors.

Why the Nasdaq?

Other companies that have opted for a direct listing like Slack Technologies and Roblox have always listed on the NYSE. However, the Nasdaq won the day for Coinbase with chief financial officer Alesia Haas simply stating that the coveted COIN ticker “… wasn’t a part of NYSE’s pitch.”

Cryptocurrency given respectability?

Of course, companies are floated regularly with little or no special interest, but this is a first, Coinbase being the only crypto exchange to take this route.

Trading experts have various takes on the first day’s trading, some predicting that the company’s value will sky rocket, along with the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are its bread and butter currencies.

An easy ride is not on the cards either, predicts Lisa Ellis, financial analyst for Moffatt Nathanson. Lisa has taken a very bullish stance and firmly believes that Coinbase shares will reach the $600 mark, if investors are prepared to sit tight and maintain their holding as a long-term investment.

Also onside with Coinbase is Barry Schuler, a former board member and now co-owner of DJF Growth who described Coinbase as heading towards being “… a crypto version of a Goldman Sachs or a Morgan Stanley.”

Others are a little more sceptical and are simply waiting for the crypto bubble to explode. One of those is Yves Lamoureux, president of Montreal-based economic research firm Lamoureux who expressed his concerns in a recent interview, by asking the question “Can you find out there anyone with a bearish viewpoint?” which he answered himself with “A resounding no!”

Minor controversy

The only thing that slightly marred the day was a small whinge about the Coinbase stock ticker. Malcolm Palle, chairman of London-based Coinsilium, a blockchain investment company, expressed his “surprise” that Coinbase had been able to claim the much-coveted COIN ticker via Nasdaq.

Apparently, Coinsilium originally used the COIN ticker as far back as 2014, trading on the UK’s Aquis exchange, but when it entered the US market in 2020 its shares were cross-traded under the ticker CINGF, which hardly has the same ring to it.

Despite the upset, Coinsilium has not been slow to cash in and is busily pumping out company news using #COIN. Interestingly, both Nasdaq and Coinbase declined to comment on this development.

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