Coinbase has confidentially filed Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which suggests the firm is preparing to sell a publicly-traded stock via an IPO.
Coinbase Announces SEC Registration
The San Francisco-based exchange announced the update via its blog today. The note reads:
Coinbase Global, Inc. today announced that it has confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The Form S-1 is expected to become effective after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.
The news was also announced on Coinbase’s Twitter profile, where the company more explicitly confirms that it is preparing to complete an Initial Public Offering (IPO) after regulatory review.
We expect the Form S-1 to become effective and for Coinbase to complete a public offering after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.
— Coinbase (@coinbase) December 17, 2020
The idea of an IPO from Coinbase has been rumored since the summer, so the latest update could mean that a sale is just over the horizon. Though Coinbase has not announced a date for the offering, the SEC asks public companies to submit Form S-1 before they can list shares on any exchange.
If the SEC rejects Coinbase’s submission, it is still possible that the exchange will launch an IPO. Fortune notes that the company could seek a “direct listing in which it sells shares directly to the public.”
Other Crypto IPOs
Coinbase is not the first blockchain company to run a public offering. So far, the fundraising strategy has mainly been popular with mining firms such as Canaan and Marathon. However, a number of other crypto companies are considering the fundraising strategy—most notably the crypto settlements company Ripple.
Regardless, IPOs are far less common than Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in the blockchain sector. Though traditional IPOs may work for some companies, the approach is far from widespread.
At the time of this writing this author held ETH, UNI, ADA, BAT, IOTA, and other altcoins.