Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s comments ahead of the direct listing

Written by: Wajeeh Khan
April 14, 2021
  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s comments ahead of the direct listing.
  • Brian Armstrong sees regulation as a prominent risk to the crypto space.
  • Coinbase CEO says the U.S. should have a central bank digital currency.

Coinbase is scheduled for a direct listing on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange on Wednesday, becoming the first notable cryptocurrency exchange platform to go public in the United States. A day before its direct listing on Tuesday, Nasdaq gave Coinbase a reference per-share price of £181.45. On a fully diluted basis, this translates to a valuation of roughly £47.50 billion for the crypto company.

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced on Wednesday that it intends to list the Coinbase Stock Token (COIN) after Coinbase goes public on Nasdaq.

Coinbase CEO elaborates on why he opted for a direct listing

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In an interview with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong elaborated on the choice to go public through a direct listing. Armstrong said:

“I think SPACs and the traditional IPO and direct listing are all reasonable ways to go public. There’s not really a wrong way to do it. I wanted there to be just a true market on day one that set the price, not something that was set behind closed doors.”

Regulation as a prominent risk to cryptocurrency space

The CEO went on to highlight that he saw regulation as a prominent risk to the cryptocurrency business.

“It’s right up there with cybersecurity. And especially now that Coinbase is a public company, we’re going to increasingly be having scrutiny about what we’re doing, and people want to understand the implications of it. And so, we’re very happy to engage, just as we have been over the last 10, you know, nine years really since the start of the company, with everybody in D.C. and really lawmakers, policy folks around the world, because of course, Coinbase is in many different countries now, about how we can most thoughtfully build this industry and this company.”

U.S. should have a central bank digital currency

In a recent comment, billionaire Peter Thiel called Bitcoin a Chinese financial weapon. Responding to his remarks in his interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Armstrong said:

“China has really embraced cryptocurrency and blockchain in a big way – starting from about six years ago or so. China has a central bank digital currency that is live, people are actually using it. They’re substantially far ahead.”

“The U.S. should also have a central bank digital currency based on the dollar, and I believe other countries around the world should as well. Every major country is probably going to have a central bank digital currency in the near future, is my prediction.”