Coinbase files to go public

The largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange has submitted a public offering proposal to the SEC amid a surge in the value of Bitcoin, which surpassed the US$23,000 mark today. The crypto company was most recently valued at US$8 billion. (The Logic, The Wall Street Journal)

Talking point: Coinbase’s prospective IPO makes it the first prominent Bitcoin-focused company to attempt to raise money on the American public markets, allowing investors to gain exposure to digital currency without owning the digital asset per se. In Canada, there are three publicly listed crypto funds, all of which were listed this year—3iQ’s The Bitcoin Fund and The Ether Fund, as well as the newly public CI Digital Galaxy Fund. These funds were only allowed to list after 3iQ won approval from the Ontario Securities Commission in October 2019. Coinbase’s intent to go public comes just weeks after the company was embroiled in controversy over its allegedly discriminatory treatment of Black employees, the subject of a New York Times article. Just three per cent of Coinbase’s employees are Black, according to the Times.