Coinbase’s monster Q1 in context



In the first quarter of 2021, American consumer cryptocurrency trading giant Coinbase grew sharply, generating strong profits at the same time.

For Coinbase, the disclosure of its preliminary Q1 2021 results comes a week ahead of its direct listing, an event that will see the company begin to trade publicly. As it is both cash rich and well known, Coinbase is foregoing a traditional IPO in favor of the more exotic method of going public.

In its release, Coinbase disclosed the following metrics, which TechCrunch has compared to metrics from its S-1 filing:

  • Monthly transacting users (MTUs) of 6.1 million, up from 2.8 million at the end of 2020.
  • Platform assets of $223 billion, up from $90.3 billion at the end of 2020.
  • Trading volume of $335 billion, up from $193.1 billion at the end of 2020.
  • Revenue of $1.8 billion, up from $585.1 million in Q4 2020.
  • Net income of “approximately $730 million to $800 million,” up from $178.8 million in Q4 2020.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of “approximately $1.1 billion,” up from $287.7 million in Q4 2020.

The growth of Coinbase from Q4 2020 to Q1 2021 is so extreme that the company’s year-over-year comparisons are farcical. For example, in Q1 2020 Coinbase’s revenues were $190.6 million, or just under 11% of its Q1 2021 top line. The company’s adjusted profits alone in Q1 2021 were more than five times its year-ago revenues.

The new numbers may help solidify some valuation marks that the company has been discussed as (Read more...)