Coinbase Files With SEC For 2021 IPO

U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO), according to a report from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

This makes Coinbase the first major bitcoin company to go for the public markets, WSJ reported. It is the largest crypto exchange in the U.S.

There are other crypto companies that trade publicly in the U.S., although none are as large as Coinbase, which was recently valued at $8 billion. The company’s goal is to meld its crypto focus with the existing financial system and to make bitcoin more accessible to more people, WSJ reported.

The IPO, which is set to be a major one for 2021, signals the wider acceptance of bitcoin. WSJ reported that investors include Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller, and companies such as Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., or MassMutual, have disclosed bitcoin holdings as of late. Companies like Square, PayPal and Robinhood have made crypto trading possible on their platforms. All of this has helped bitcoin become one of the best-performing assets this year.

The IPO filing marks the endpoint of Coinbase’s years of development, coming a long way from its 2012 debut to now host around 35 million users. But the filing also shows how the crypto industry has evolved from what WSJ terms “an anarchist experiment in alternative money” to become a more mainstream-accepted form backed by hedge funds and mobile-money providers.

In August, Coinbase debuted a new feature to offer bitcoin-backed cash loans, PYMNTS reported. Customers in 17 states were given the option to join a waitlist and borrow up to 30 percent of their bitcoin holdings. Thorsten Jaeckel, product manager for Coinbase, said the idea was to give customers “even more control” over their holdings, and the company said it wanted to allow people to access funds for things they needed without having to sell their cryptocurrency too early.