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How Coinbase's impending direct listing could impact ETFs

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Published on Apr 12, 2021
Matt Hougan of Bitwise Asset Management, Christian Magoon of Amplify ETFs and Tim Seymour of Seymour Asset Management talk Coinbase's impending IPO and its impact on ETFs with CNBC's Bob Pisani. Subscribe to CNBC PRO for access to investor and analyst insights on crypto and more: https://cnb.cx/2BT2E7y

The pending Coinbase direct listing, scheduled for Wednesday on the Nasdaq under the symbol COIN, is exciting a broad base of the investment community outside the usual cryptocurrency crowd.

“Coinbase is going to blow people’s minds,” said Matt Hougan, chief investment officer at Bitwise Asset Management, which pioneered the first cryptocurrency index fund. “I think it’s going to force traditional finance to wrestle with the phenomenal growth that is taking place in crypto.”

It’s not hard to understand why. Coinbase is likely the biggest beneficiary of the cryptocurrency revival. It had 56 million verified users, with $1.8 billion in revenues in the first quarter alone, and a value that could be anywhere from $50 billion to $100 billion.

That is an extraordinary valuation for an exchange of any type. By contrast, Intercontinental Exchange, which runs the New York Stock Exchange, has a market cap of $65 billion, while Nasdaq has a market cap of $25 billion.

That kind of valuation is getting the investment community — and particularly exchange-traded fund investors — very excited.

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