Company spotlight: Coinbase
Given the prominence and success of the cryptocurrency market over the past a couple
years the debut on public markets of Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the
U.S., has been highly anticipated with shares rising to as much as $429.54 in the minutes
towards the end of their first day of trading at $328.28 apiece, below their opening price of
Coinbase makes most of its money through transaction fees from trades on its platform by
retail and institutional users. After suffering a net loss of $30.4 million in 2019, Coinbase has
come back strong with now more than 43 million retail users and 7,000 institutions using the
Coinbase platform. As a result, the company made a profit of $322.3 million across 2020 and
this is likely to increase exponentially going forward with Meltem Demirors, chief strategy
officer at digital asset investment firm CoinShares claiming the company will soon be worth
more than Goldman Sachs. Whether this will be the case remains to be seen as Coinbase’s
growth opportunities are strongly intertwined with the demand for Bitcoin whose own growth
is subject to volatility.
The past week has been filled with optimism for London’s leading share index as stocks in
banking, mining and industry rose as a result of economies begin to show signs of recovery
across the globe. This was accompanied by an increase in vaccine rollouts over the past
couple of weeks and increased spending support from various national governments in order to bring its economy back on its feet. Furthermore, the gains made in the mining sector could
also be attributed to strong economic data from China and rising oil prices. The banking
stocks Barclays and Natwest experience the greatest increase alongside British Airways
owner International Airlines Group.
On Friday, the blue-chip index rose above the 7,000 mark for the first time since the very start of the coronavirus pandemic in March last year. It currently stands 40% higher than at that low
point where it fell below 5,000 once the country was plunged into a lockdown.
This positive note was echoed across the channel with the S&P 500 crossing the 4,000
threshold on Thursday due to the announcement of the new President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan. The plan includes roughly $2 trillion in spending across eight years and a
rise of 28% in the corporate tax rate would fund it. The index has seen its best month, since
November, with shares increasing by 4.3%.
The plan includes expenditure on roads, bridges, green energy and water system upgrades
and it marks the second major spending proposal for Biden after he signed a $1.9 trillion
relief and stimulus bill on March 11.
Stock indexes across Asia also had a fairly positive week with Hong Kong stocks climbing on
Friday as a result of strong GDP growth data for the first quarter of the year indicating at long
last there is a steady recovery in the Chinese economy. The Hang Seng index was up 176.57 points whilst the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index increased by 1.12%. This being said Chinese stocks did outperform the rest of Asia with other emerging countries in the region experiencing a mixed week. Indian shares did however close on a high on Friday with Wipro rising by 9% due to promising quarterly economic data. The NSE Nifty 50 index
closed 0.25% higher while the S&P BSE Sensex remained flat.