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Coinbase’s “Disappointing” Debut

Apr 21, 2021 · 11 min read

By Kevin Kelly, CFA

Coinbase announces its direct listing date. Hype starts to build. Crypto advocates and speculators alike start buying ahead of COIN’s big debut. Many people lever up to get even more exposure. Open interest for BTC futures reaches new heights as the king of crypto breaks to a fresh all-time high. Coinbase goes public, its stock price spikes at the open, then proceeds to fall back down to earth in a similar fashion to past direct listings that came before it. Price weakness translates to skepticism as the euphoria around crypto’s “watershed moment” slowly dies down; safe to say it’s been quite a week since Coinbase went public.

To quickly recap, COIN’s reference price pre-trading on the Nasdaq was set at $250 but the stock wound up opening at $381, marking a 52% jump at the open; this initial price pop was larger than average compared to other prominent direct listings in recent years.

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