Coinbase reveals direct listing application with SEC

FILE PHOTO: A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this picture illustration taken Dec. 8, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Illustration

(Reuters) – Coinbase Inc on Thursday disclosed its regulatory filing to go public, setting the stage for a landmark stock market listing for the U.S. cryptocurrency exchange.

Coinbase said in December that it had confidentially applied with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to go public.

The procedural step of making its filing with U.S. regulators public brings Coinbase a step closer to listing its shares on the Nasdaq stock exchange, which would represent a landmark victory for cryptocurrency advocates vying for mainstream endorsement.

Many cryptocurrencies have struggled to win the trust of mainstream investors and the general public due to their speculative nature and potential for money laundering.

Coinbase’s listing would come after the price of bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, ended 2020 up more than 300% and earlier this month hit a record high of $58,354 with a market capitalization above $1 trillion.

Bitcoin has come off its recent highs this week as investors grew nervous at sky-high valuations.

Coinbase is eschewing a traditional initial public offering where a company raises money by selling new shares, opting instead to go public through a direct listing where no new stock is sold and existing shareholders can sell stock.

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