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Coinbase's Public Listing Is a Cryptocurrency Coming-Out Party


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Cryptocurrency circling the globe

Coinbase, a start-up that allows people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, went public Wednesday.

Credit: Timo Lenzen

Digital currency, once mocked as a tool for criminals and reckless speculators, is sliding into the mainstream.

Traditional banks are helping investors put their money into cryptocurrency funds. Companies like Tesla and Square are hoarding Bitcoin. And celebrities are leading the way in a digital-art spending spree using a technology called an NFT.

On Wednesday, digital or cryptocurrencies took their biggest step yet toward wider acceptance when Coinbase, a start-up that allows people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, went public. Coinbase shares began trading at $381 each, up 52 percent from a reference price of $250, eventually closing at $328.28. That gave the company a valuation of $85.7 billion based on all its outstanding shares, more than 10 times higher than Coinbase's last private valuation.

Call it crypto's coming-out party. Coinbase, based in San Francisco, is the first major cryptocurrency start-up to go public on a U.S. stock market. It did so at a valuation that rivaled that of Airbnb and Facebook when they went public.

 

From The New York Times
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