On Wednesday, the US saw its first major cryptocurrency exchange go public as Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) made its highly anticipated debut through a direct listing on Nasdaq, representing a major milestone in the digital asset space.
Coinbase, the largest digital currency exchange in the US, was valued at a total of $99.6B USD including options and other stock-based awards, placing the company within the top 120 most valuable public companies in the country.
Shares opened at $381 on Wednesday, up from its initial $250 per share reference price, and hit an intraday high of $429.54. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum had also been trading at record high prices, hovering at around $63,400 and $2,400 levels respectively.
Coinbase has seen tremendous growth in the past few months resulting from the strong recent adoption of several cryptocurrencies. In Q1, Coinbase saw $1.8B in revenue and $1.1B in EBITDA, representing a 840% YoY jump and a higher profitability than most major exchanges.
Many see this successful debut as additional validation of the cryptocurrency space, as investors seem to be building in high expectations. However, the company remains in hot competition with other competitors such as Gemini, Kraken, and Binance.