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If you have an internet connection, you’ve probably read that the price of bitcoin has surged in recent weeks. Instead of quoting percentage moves, here are a few colorful anecdotes to help paint the picture:

  • The owner of two popular New York City bars has listed the watering holes with an asking price of twenty-five bitcoin (roughly $1.4 million).
  • Tesla has notched $1 billion of paper gains after disclosing a $1.5 billion bitcoin stake just two weeks ago.

But it’s not just the coins themselves that are minting millionaires. Coinbase, the largest digital currency exchange, has hit a $100 billion valuation in the secondary markets ahead of its planned public listing.

Riding Bitcoin’s Wave
Founded in 2012, Coinbase is the largest crypto exchange in the U.S. as measured by trading volume. In the first nine months of 2020, Coinbase notched $141 million in net income off $691 million revenue from trading fees and commissions.

Mirroring the hyperbolic moves in bitcoin itself, the value of Coinbase shares trading on the secondary market has doubled in recent weeks, and on Friday eclipsed the $100 billion mark.

Expensive As Zuck: The mammoth valuation feels even larger when put into context:

  • The last U.S. company to go public with a higher valuation was Facebook, at $104 billion.
  • Nasdaq Inc., the well-known exchange operator, has a market cap of roughly $25 billion. ICE, which owns the NYSE and many other prominent exchanges, is worth $64 billion.

The Takeaway: No date has been announced for the public listing, but investors are, clearly, clamoring.

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