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Two things of interest to the cryptocurrent community happened yesterday. First, crypto exchange/masturbatory trading platform/customer service specialist Coinbase finally went public and was briefly worth as much as Goldman Sachs.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. soared above a $112 billion valuation in its trading debut Wednesday…. Coinbase shares closed at $328.28, down 14% from the $381 opening price on Nasdaq after earlier climbing as high as $429.54. At the closing price, the company’s valuation on a fully diluted basis is about $86 billion.

Which is still more than FedEx or PNC or Capital One or Blackstone or Ford or leading toilet paper provider Kimberly-Clark, all of which seems insane to at least one person.

"I think it's [Coinbase] worth closer to $5 billion or $10 billion as opposed to $100 billion," [New Constructs CEO David] Trainer tells Yahoo Finance Live. "Look, this is the brokerage industry — it's not new. Coinbase is not reinventing the wheel here in any way. They are just trading a new product. There is no reason that the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq couldn't also potentially trade crypto."

Trainer points out several red flags on Coinbase, including the inevitable new competitors likely looking to get in on the crypto action (see investment banks) and the potential for current rivals to cut transaction fees to zero.

The question is, does someone else also think it’s insane? Someone who knows a thing or two about the blockchain? Someone who is the subject of the aforementioned second thing of interest?

Gary Gensler will lead the Securities and Exchange Commission after the Senate voted 53-45 on Wednesday to confirm his nomination to head the nation’s top financial regulator…. Progressives expect the 63-year-old to follow through on his promises to look into a range of topics, including digital currencies, the GameStop trading mania and how corporate America prioritizes environmental, social and governance issues.

It’s that other stuff that’s really sticking in Pat Toomey’s craw.

“I’m concerned he will cause the SEC to use its regulatory powers to advance a liberal social agenda focused on issues such as global warming, political spending disclosures, and racial inequality and diversity,” the Pennsylvania Republican said in a statement.

“Nothing Mr. Gensler said at his hearing—or since—has alleviated my concerns,” he added.

Nor in his long career before picking himself to lead the SEC, Pat. That’s the point.

Gary Gensler confirmed by Senate to lead the SEC, Wall Street’s top regulator [CNBC]
Coinbase’s Whipsaw Debut Takes It Past $100 Billion, Then Back [Bloomberg]
Coinbase is really worth $5 billion, not $100 billion: strategist [Yahoo! Finance]

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By US government [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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