Coinbase President Hints at Listing New Currencies, IPO

In an interview on CNBC[1]Coinbase[2] president Asiff Hirji provided some veiled clues as to what is coming for the cryptocurrency[3] exchange in the future. He also gave insights about recent happenings.

Hirji did not reveal much in the way of specifics, but did comment on a number of matters, including what type of investors are opening new accounts[4], how other cryptocurrencies will be added to the exchange and whether the company will go public.

Account growth

First, the president indicated that trade volume was up thirty times year-over-year and that the exchange is adding new accounts under management[5] at the rate of tens of thousands per day. When asked about what type of account holders these were, he said:

“These are the same kind of people that you would imagine would have accounts at brokerages and want to invest in cryptocurrency…As the asset class has matured, I think there are a lot of people who are adding it just like any other asset class to their portfolio.”

New asset additions?

The interview also included two ‘burning questions’ for the exchange regarding how the future will unfold. The first was whether the site would begin supporting other cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin Cash[6].

Hirji was not forthcoming with specifics, but did indicate that companies have been given roadmaps for how to apply to join the exchange. He said:

“So we have published a digital asset framework which outlines the criteria we look at for any particular asset before we list it…You need to pass those exams before we would ever list the asset…suffice to say that we have a framework out there and we have a lot of people campaigning for new assets.”

Going public

After other discussions, including the addition of Bitcoin futures and how the market will respond to the new contracts, the interview turned to the question of taking the company public as an IPO[7].

The potential of either another exchange purchasing the company or a future public offering was not completely rejected by the president. He said:

“We would be quite expensive for any exchange to look at. That being said, it is certainly in the interest of our investors…and the most obvious path of Coinbase is to go public at some point, but there’s a lot for us to do between now and then, whenever that date is.”