Soon you’ll be able to buy the company that helps you buy Bitcoin.
Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S., has announced plans to go public—but it will eschew the traditional initial public offering (IPO) process of hiring investment banks to drum up interest and finance the deal.
This nontraditional yet trendy choice makes a certain amount of sense for the Coinbase narrative, given that the company has aided and abetted the similarly non-establishment cryptocurrency craze over the past decade. Whether Bitcoin itself actually replaces dollars or develops further as a speculative asset remains to be seen.
What Does Coinbase Actually Do?
Let’s say you want to buy Bitcoin. You’ve got two options: Deploy sophisticated, powerful computers to mine Bitcoin by solving complicated math problems or buy it on an exchange. The former is insanely costly and demands a ton of technical know-how while the latter requires nothing more than opening an account with said exchange.
That’s why most people end up buying Bitcoin, instead of mining it, and that’s where Coinbase comes in.
For many crypto enthusiasts, Coinbase operates as a straightforward online exchange, allowing retail buyers and sellers…