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Opinion

Coinbase shares are a cheap way to bet on crypto

By listing on Nasdaq, Coinbase may undermine itself, giving investors an easy way to bet on bitcoin without paying its own high fees.

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On April 14, shares in Coinbase, the world’s largest crypto exchange, began trading on Nasdaq after a direct listing. On its first day as a public company it set a market capitalization of $86 billion.

That is roughly the same as HSBC and bigger than any European bank: ahead of BNP Paribas at $65 billion, UBS at $57 billion and Santander at $50 billion.

Credit Suisse, which has been in the news recently and is one of the world’s largest wealth managers with $1.7 trillion of assets under management, has a market capitalization of just $25 billion.

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Brian Armstrong, Coinbase

The Swiss bank was founded in 1856. Coinbase was founded in 2012.

The numbers are staggering.

In a trading update at the start of April, Coinbase revealed it had 56 million verified users. Anyone with a smart phone can go through Coinbase to buy, sell and hold crypto: that’s a total addressable market of 3.5 billion people. And while they won’t all buy bitcoin, an increasing number of individuals and institutions are being drawn in.

Coinbase’s


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