Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange operator, is nearing a deal that would give it a valuation of around $8 billion, reported Recode. The report, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Coinbase is in discussions with Tiger Global and existing shareholders for an investment as high as $500 million. Some of the investment will be used to buy out some of its existing shareholders.
According to Recode, as of last summer, Coinbase — the leading crypto trading marketplace — was valued at around $1.5 billion. With cryptocurrencies facing a steep decline in values this year, the core business at Coinbase has suffered. CEO Brian Armstrong said the company isn't focused on the movements of trading volume, but rather “building an open financial system for the world,” reports said.
Coinbase said it is profitable and has been having talks with investors for most of this year. Those talks, noted the report, included a secondary stock sale that would let investors cash out without the need to raise new money. The interest was so high that the company told dealmakers to back off. A final deal for a secondary sale was never inked.
Talks about an investment comes as Coinbase tries to move cryptocurrency into the mainstream. In August, it announced the rollout of a new plug-in that allows eCommerce merchants to accept cryptocurrency from buyers. The software works with online stores that use the WooCommerce platform, which, The Next Web reported, is behind more than 28 percent of all eCommerce stores.
“When customers send money from their cryptocurrency wallet, it’s sent directly to a merchant-controlled cryptocurrency address and processed on-chain by the respective blockchain,” Coinbase said in a release. “This means merchants never have to pay transaction fees to accept payments and always remain in complete control over their funds.”
The plug-in fits into Coinbase’s “open financial system,” which is a peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto network. The idea is that customers pay sellers directly through their wallets so web stores can avoid merchant fees. As of now, merchants can only accept bitcoin and litecoin, but Coinbase said that bitcoin cash and Ethereum support is on the way.