Coinbase plans to go public through a direct listing

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The Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange application seen on the screen of an iPhone.

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Digital currency exchange Coinbase announced Thursday that it’s seeking to go public through a direct listing, skirting the traditional IPO route.

Founded in 2012, Coinbase has grown to become the largest digital currency exchange in the U.S., and is hitting the public market amid renewed investor interest in cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is trading over $32,000, up over 260% in the past year.

Coinbase is jumping on the trend of companies choosing direct listings rather than IPOs to avoid diluting their existing shareholders and handing over cheap stock to new investors. Spotify was the first significant tech company to go that route, in 2018. Since then, Slack, Palantir and Asana have followed, and game company Roblox expects to pursue a direct listing next month.

Coinbase announced its original intent to go public in mid-December.



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