On Wednesday, industry headliner Coinbase finally made its public debut with the largest direct listing in history . While Coinbase is not the first crypto firm to go public or trade on a major exchange such as Nasdaq, the listing had been seen as a watershed moment for the industry. Listed under the ticker COIN, shares started trading on the Nasdaq exchange at about 1:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday and immediately surged to a price of more than $398, eclipsing the $250 reference price set on Tuesday. Coinbase shares closed at a price of roughly $328, up 31% from the reference price and giving Coinbase a market capitalization of about $86 billion. On Friday, COIN closed at $342 per share.
However, now the really hard work for Coinbase begins. The nine-year-old company is facing growing threats to its outsized profits, including competition from brokerages increasingly expanding their crypto service offerings, bitcoin ETFs waiting for approval by the SEC, shrinking fees and, of course, volatility of the broader market.