San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase today announced plans to go public via a direct listing.

The company, which first announced plans to become a publicly traded company last month, shared the news in a blog post:

"Coinbase Global, Inc. today announced its intent to become a publicly-traded company pursuant to a proposed direct listing of its Class A common stock. Such proposed listing is expected to be pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”)."


Crucially, a direct listing is not an IPO—where an IPO involves creating new shares, direct listings are limited to existing shares.

Back in December, Coinbase said it submitted a draft of its Form S-1 with the SEC; crypto analysis firm Messari valued the company at $28 billion at the time.

If the regulator approves the filing, Coinbase will become the first publicly tradable cryptocurrency exchange.

Intentionally or not, the announcement coincides with chaos in the traditional markets, as an army of Reddit-incited retail investors continues to pump the price of GameStop stock. Some have interpreted the turmoil as an endorsement for decentralization.


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