Nasdaq has offered a reference price of $250 for Coinbase’s COIN, hours ahead of the highly-anticipated direct listing on the stock exchange. This price is beneath the current FTX pre-trading price of $600.
The exchange will go public through a direct listing instead of an IPO, which means that the reference price doesn’t actually represent the market cap of the company. This only implies a valuation of $65 billion, one that is still beneath the typical estimates of $68 – $120 billion.
The Nasdaq announcement mentions that the reference price was created due to the fact that “COIN has not had recent sustained trading in a private placement market.” It also stated that:
“Please note that the reference price is NOT an offering price and nobody has purchased or sold shares at that price. The opening public price will be determined based on buy and sell orders in the opening auction on Nasdaq.”
This represents the first significant direct listing to take place on the Nasdaq.
CNBC mentions that “the five significant direct listings that have taken place on the New York Stock Exchange — Spotify, Slack, Palantir, Asana, and Roblox — the opening price was on average about 37% above the reference price.” If we take into consideration this trend, the opening price for Coinbase could grow to more than $340 with a valuation of close to $90 billion.
The trading price may grow even more as the Coinbase pre-listing contrast is now trading at close to the $600 level, which represents a 140% premium above the reference price. The Q1 2021 financial statement also indicates that a strong first day is in store.
As the day for the Nasdaq listing was approaching, Coinbase decided to surprise its 1,700 employees by offering all of them 100 shares each, worth $25,000 at the current reference price. The gift is a no-strings-attached grant, which means that they have the possibility of selling them just as the listing goes public.
In the past, Coinbase has also offered 105,510 share options to its employees of the Irish division.