What does the Coinbase listing mean for the crypto economy?
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase went public this week with a valuation of nearly $100 billion — a huge coming-out party for digital assets that catapulted CEO Brian Armstrong into the class of global mega-billionaires. I’ve likened this watershed moment to the Netscape IPO in 1995, which opened the floodgates of the dot-com boom of the late 90s. In the same way that Netscape’s stunning debut introduced the world wide web to millions of people, I believe that Coinbase’s impressive showing this week will illuminate the potential and promise of cryptocurrency to the world.
Unlike many who talk about the .COM boom years, I did not just live through it but built one of these early internet unicorns which ended up going public and becoming the best performing debut IPO of 2004. So, I view this event as someone who “has seen this movie before” just that this time the movie is running about 50% faster because crypto/DeFi is a 24/7/365 business.
Let’s face it — if you want to be cool these days, you have to have crypto. Digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum are being taken seriously by vaunted financial institutions, retailers, corporations, and individual investors alike. Digital assets are here to stay, and the blockchain will greatly impact our economy.
What does Coinbase do?
In basic terms, Coinbase allows people to buy digital assets (cryptocurrencies) with fiat currency, and trade those digital assets on its platform. It acts as a “bridge,” an onboarding platform for anyone who wants to come from traditional, centralized finance into the decentralized financial ecosystem. (Check out my recent blog for a brief explainer on CeFi and DeFi)
How will the public listing affect the cryptocurrency ecosystem?
In the short term, we’re going to see many people onboarding into decentralized finance via Coinbase. This is good! Because of this, we’ll likely see continued heightened interest in the more popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
I also expect Coinbase’s rising tide to lift all boats in the crypto sector, Celsius included, over the long term. Our membership has grown to over 600,000 users in recent months, who trust us with over $15 billion in community assets. With more people entering the cryptocurrency economy following the Coinbase listing, I expect more people to want to earn with Celsius at 10.5% interest, instead of relying on the paltry 0.5% returns offered by traditional finance. Our whole thing is yield!
Why Does The Public Listing Matter?
Coinbase took a major step this week in legitimizing and bringing respect to the crypto industry. But the industry as a whole should stay committed to how we can bring the next 100 million people into crypto and help more people achieve financial freedom.
Coinbase has more users and more revenues than many of the largest Wall Street players and is more profitable than any major exchange. I look at the Coinbase listing as an additional validation of the space, a watershed moment for investors, and a major PR opportunity for the entire industry to shine as the future of finance.
While Coinbase is doing a great job for their old and new shareholders by charging fees from all newcomers who want to buy Bitcoin, Celsius is focused on its community and on ways to create yields for them and not charge them fees.
Our mission is to Unbank the Banked and then Bank the Unbanked. And we will do that by first doing good and then doing well.