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Cryptocurrency exchange provider Coinbase Global Inc. plans to launch its upcoming direct listing on April 14 under the ticker symbol “COIN.”

The direct listing will be held on the Nasdaq stock exchange, the company announced Thursday.

Founded in 2012, Coinbase operates a popular cryptocurrency exchange that enables its more than 43 million users to buy, sell and store digital assets such as bitcoin. The company generated a profit of $322 million on $1.3 billion in revenue last year. That was up from a $30.4 loss million and $533.7 million in revenue during 2019.

Coinbase will continue to invest heavily in driving sales growth following the listing. One way the company plans to boost its top line as a publicly traded firm is by expanding adoption of its subscription offerings. “We are committed to growing more stable revenue from subscription products and services, and expect that they will contribute a larger portion of our total revenue over time as our customers connect with the broader cryptoeconomy,” the company stated in the prospectus for the listing. 

Other major tech firms that have opted to go public via a direct listing in recent years, such as Spotify Technology SA and Palantir Technologies Inc., chose to float their shares on the NYSE. Coinbase’s planned debut on the Nasdaq is set to mark the first major direct listing for the tech-heavy stock exchange.

It could also be one of the largest of the year overall: Coinbase disclosed in its prospectus that it has reached an implied private valuation of $68 billion.

The $68 billion figure was calculated based on private stock transactions made in the three months ended March 15, during which Coinbase shareholders sold shares at a weighted average price of $343.58 apiece. CNBC reported that Nasdaq officials will use those private transactions as the basis of the reference price they’ll set for the direct listing.

The use of a reference price is one of several details that distinguish a direct listing from traditional initial public offerings. Another difference is that there’s no formal financial roadshow, the part of the IPO process where underwriters assemble a group of institutional investors to buy shares and thereby guarantee initial demand. A direct listing skips this step, which allows the company going public to avoid the often considerable expense of  hiring underwriters.

The direct listing route also has advantages for a company’s existing shareholders. Unlike in an IPO, no new shares have to be issued, which means the value of existing shareholders’ stock isn’t diluted.

Coinbase plans to put about 114.8 million shares up for grabs in its forthcoming direct listing. The company is scheduled to publish its latest earnings data on April 6, eight days before its Nasdaq debut.

Image: Unsplash

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