The leading US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase may be gearing up to launch its own token.
In a new interview on the Unchained podcast, Fortune senior reporter Jeff Roberts says news that the high profile Bitcoin (BTC) exchange is preparing for a listing on the stock market is not surprising. He’s more interested in the possibility that the firm may issue a token offering alongside an initial public offering (IPO).
“I know when I talked to Fred Ehrsam recently, one of the co-founders of Coinbase, he hinted strongly this could be some sort of token issuance. So I think it could be America’s first combo ICO and IPO, which would be super cool.
So that’s what I’m waiting to hear about, you know, in terms of whether they’re going public. Yeah, of course they are, but I think that part of the story is what’s most interesting to me.”
An IPO and an initial coin offering (ICO) will likely pose some regulatory challenges to Coinbase, says Roberts.
“It would be sort of lame if they just did a, you know, garden-variety IPO, but in terms of the regulatory part, that’s hard. I mean are they gonna sell tokens to accredited investors and then, you know, sell general shares to the public? Or can they get the SEC to bless some sort of token issuance…
You can obviously see them trying to put the political lobbying push on to kind of get a blessing for this and since you’re the most mainstream crypto company, you know, who knows maybe they will get, you know, they will get a blessing to do a token offering, but I’m pretty sure whatever’s going on, they’re gonna hold it really tightly because leaking this stuff is just gonna piss off the regulators and could imperil a token listing.”
Coinbase is reportedly looking to become the first crypto exchange to go public as early as this year.
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