- Coinbase’s rumored $100 billion valuation is “far too high,” said New Constructs CEO David Trainer.
- The cryptocurrency exchange is set to go public via direct listing in the near future.
- Trainer said increasing competition in the crypto exchange market will weigh on Coinbase’s lofty valuation.
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Coinbase could go public via a direct listing as early as March, but New Constructs CEO David Trainer says investors should not buy the stock if the valuation is anywhere close to current expectations.
The cryptocurrency exchange platform has a rumored valuation of roughly $100 billion, which is “far too high” given the increasing competition in the market, Trainer said in a recent note.
Although the company achieved profitability in 2020, the current expected valuation implies that Coinbase will become the largest exchange in the world by revenue, which isn’t guaranteed given the existence of competitors like Gemini, Kraken, and Binance, he added.
In 2020, transaction revenue represented over 96% of Coinbase’s net revenue, according to Coinbase filings. Trainer points out that the exchange’s transaction revenue as a percent of trading volume is 57 times higher than the Intercontinental Exchange, which runs the New York Stock Exchange.
Competitors will likely emulate Coinbase’s high margins, and the exchange’s “competitive position will inevitably deteriorate,” Trainer said.
“…if stock trading fees are any indicator for crypto trading fees, we should expect them to quickly go lower if not to zero,” said the research analyst. “Competitors such as Gemini, Bitstamp, Kraken, Binance, and others will likely offer lower or zero trading fees as a strategy to take market share, which would start the same “race to the bottom” that we saw with stock trading fees in late 2019.”
“The likelihood of Coinbase maintaining such high fees is very low in a mature market,” he added.
With an expected valuation of $100 billion, Coinbase would earn a “neutral” rating from New Constructs.
Last week, D.A. Davidson initiated coverage of Coinbase with a “buy” rating and price target of $195. However, the analysts said it’s too early to tell if Coinbase will become the “Amazon of crypto” or the failing Netscape.