Your favorite cryptocurrency trading platform is going public, but not through an IPO. In a blog post on Thursday (how millennial of them), Coinbase announced it had confidentially filed an S-1 with the SEC. Coinbase made clear it is opting for a direct listing rather than following the traditional IPO process.
The decision to go public via a direct listing will allow Coinbase to skip a lot of the cost and heavy lifting involved in the IPO process. Rather than working with an underwriter to facilitate the IPO process, direct listing allows companies to sell their shares directly to the public. While cheaper and simpler, this method doesn’t offer the safety net of ensuring the sale of the shares (perhaps Coinbase already has a long waitlist in its back pocket).
Coinbase was founded in 2012 to allow traders to buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Since then, the platform has raised over $500m in private funding and became the largest, most popular crypto exchange.