Coinbase CEO To Sell 2% of His COIN To ‘Fund Scientific Research’

Analysts give the exchange a moderate buy rating with a price target of $149 per share, more than double its current value

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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong | blockworks exclusive art by axel rangel

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key takeaways

  • Coinbase went public via direct listing in April 2021 — since then, its shares have tumbled close to 80%
  • “For the avoidance of doubt, I intend to be CEO of Coinbase for a very long time,” Armstrong tweeted

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong intends to sell 2% of his stake in the cryptocurrency exchange to “fund scientific research and companies,” he announced on Twitter

Per Coinbase’s 2022 proxy statement released in April, Armstrong owns 16% of the exchange and controls 59.5% of its voting shares. 

“It is not unusual for executives or founding members of a public company to cash out shares, thus Brian Armstrong’s 2% sale is not necessarily a foreboding indicator for Coinbase’s future share price,” said Clara Medalie, head of research at Kaiko.  

Armstrong mentioned two specific companies he would like to fund: NewLimit, a California-based biotech startup working on expanding the human lifespan, and Research Hub, a public platform for research publication. The CEO did not specify whether “funding” these companies would be a venture capital investment. 

“For the avoidance of doubt, I intend to be CEO of Coinbase for a very long time and I remain super bullish on crypto and Coinbase,” Armstrong tweeted. “I’m fully dedicated to growing our business and advancing our mission, but I am also excited to contribute in a different way.” 

Coinbase went public via direct listing in April 2021 — since then, its shares have tumbled close to 80%. COIN mirrored the Nasdaq and edged higher Monday, the first trading session since Armstrong’s announcement, before falling back into the red Tuesday. 

“Bearish cryptocurrency markets have caused a general downturn in trading activity, which directly impacts revenues earned from trading fees for exchanges,” Medalie said. “Armstrong’s announcement comes amid a prolonged downturn in crypto prices and trading activity, thus the sale could be correlated to Coinbase’s future share price, should the bear market continue, while not directly impacting it.”

Analysts surveyed by Market Beat gave the exchange a moderate buy rating with a price target of $149 per share, more than double its value at time of publication. Coinbase is set to report its earnings for the third quarter of 2022 next month.


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