Bitcoin surged to a fresh record high of more than $63,000 on Tuesday, as investors awaited the highly-anticipated stock market debut of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
The price of bitcoin climbed 5% in the last 24 hours to hit $63,171, according to data from Coin Metrics, before easing slightly to around $62,653. Ether, the second-most valuable digital coin after bitcoin, also set a fresh record, climbing to $2,222.
Coinbase is set to go public on Wednesday through a direct listing that could value the company at as much as $100 billion — more than major trading venue operators like Intercontinental Exchange, owner of the New York Stock Exchange. Crypto investors are hailing the company’s stock market debut as a major milestone for the industry after years of skepticism from Wall Street and regulators.
“This is really good and really important for the industry,” Marcus Swanepoel, CEO and co-founder of London-based cryptocurrency platform Luno, told CNBC. “It’s going to increase the trust and transparency in our industry.”
“There’s still a bit of distrust in the industry and I think having a company of that size be public is going to help a lot of people realize that this is not just an asset class to take seriously but also a business to take seriously.”
Coinbase, founded in 2012, is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. It’s seen surging revenues this year thanks to a climb in the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The company reported estimated revenues of $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2021, a nine-fold increase from the same period a year earlier, while profits grew to between $730 million and $800 million.
Bitcoin has more than doubled in price since the start of this year, as mainstream investors jumped into cryptocurrencies. Tesla recently made a $1.5 billion bet on bitcoin and now accepts the digital currency as a method of payment for its cars. Meanwhile, Wall Street giants like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are looking to offer their wealthy clients some exposure to bitcoin.