- Coinbase, a platform widely used to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrency, filed a confidential draft registration on Form S-1 with the SEC on Thursday, the first step toward an initial public offering.
- The news comes as Bitcoin hit a record high, bolstering other cryptocurrencies.
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The major cryptocurrency platform Coinbase confidentially filed IPO paperwork to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company announced Thursday, officially setting off the process to go public in the future.
The company has been preparing for an initial public offering since July, according to Reuters. Coinbase would be the first major US Cryptocurrency exchange to go public.
Coinbase was founded in 2012 by current CEO and board director Brian Armstrong and board director Fred Ehrsam. The company has raised $525 million to date and was last valued at $8 billion, according to Pitchbook.
The news comes as Bitcoin hits record highs, with a price of $23,770.85 on Thursday, bolstering the price of other cryptocurrencies. Coinbase’s filing comes after a string of other IPOs and IPO filings. Multiple startups, including DoorDash, Airbnb, Affirm, Roblox, and Wish, have filed to go public or gone public this year.
Amid the crypto surge, Armstrong cautioned newcomers to cryptocurrency in a blog post published Wednesday.
“While it’s great to see market rallies and see news organizations turn attention to this emerging asset class in a new way, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to understand that investing in crypto is not without risk,” he wrote.
In recent months, the CEO has also faced backlash from employees over company policies. In June, Armstrong declined to say “Black Lives Matter” in a meeting, deeming the statement “divisive.”
And in September, Armstrong told employees that he wanted the company to be “laser-focused” on its mission to expand access to Cryptocurrencies and implied that activism was a distraction in the workplace.
In the wake of the memo, 60 employees, about 5% of the startup’s workforce, voluntarily resigned from the company.
And in November, former employees, who are Black, told The New York Times that they were “tokenized” at work. Some said they were subject to racist comments. Others told The Times that white employees were promoted over Black workers, despite having less experience.