Coinbase, which operates the largest exchange for Bitcoin and other digital currencies, has achieved a market value of about $ 100 billion on the stock market list.
The company’s shares were offered for the first time on the stock exchange at a price of $ 381 a share.
The latest valuation puts Coinbase ahead of many well-known companies, including the British oil giant BP and other trading platforms.
This news is the latest evidence that digital currencies are gaining wider acceptance among traditional investors.
The price of Bitcoin rose by more than 300 percent last year – and rose to even higher levels during 2021 – as companies including Tesla, MasterCard and BlackRock unveiled plans to integrate digital currencies into their businesses.
Bitcoin hit a record high of more than $ 63,000 on Tuesday, before Coinbase was listed.
Lesser-known cryptocurrencies also gained ground with Dodgecoin, which was initially created as a joke, rising more than 70 percent to more than 13 cents.
The US-based Coinbase, which is mainly making money by charging fees for transactions on its platform, has benefited from the surge in demand.
Founded in 2012, Coinbase had more than 56 million users in more than 100 countries and had about $ 223 billion in user assets at the end of March.
It recorded $ 1.8 billion in estimated revenue in the first three months of 2021 – more than total revenue for the whole of 2020 – as interest in Bitcoin and other digital currencies boomed.
The company has grown in value more than tenfold since 2018, when investors estimated it was worth $ 8 billion.
The latest listing is set to make Brian Armstrong, CEO of Queenbase, one of the richest people in the world.
The 38-year-old, a former software engineer at Airbnb, owns about 21 percent of the company.
For outside investors, buying Coinbases is seen as a less risky way to capitalize on activity in the cryptocurrency market, without investing directly in Bitcoin or other digital currencies.
“There appears to be a somewhat slow march towards acceptance,” said Jane Foley, chief currency analyst at Rabobank.
She added, “There is a lot of concern that the regulators and central banks, at some point, may say (well no) which makes it more difficult and at this point a lot of people could lose a lot of money.”
Last year, Coinbase revenue was $ 1.3 billion, more than double the revenue in 2019. Profit was $ 322 million, compared to a loss of more than $ 30 million in 2019.
Executives said the company’s performance will vary amid fluctuations in digital currencies known to be volatile, but in the long term it is viable.
Emily Choi, president of Coinbase, told the BBC: “There will be ups and downs with new technologies and associated companies. It’s okay. This is an advantage, not a mistake.”
“If you believe in the long-term idea of digital value and what digital assets can create, you will think about it in the long term,” she added.