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Coinbase Sails Toward $100 Billion Valuation on Crypto Frenzy

(Bloomberg) — Looks like Wall Street is about to get 100 billion new reasons to believe in Bitcoin.Coinbase Global Inc., the fast-growing exchange at the center of the speculative frenzy in cryptocurrencies, is expected to go public this week at a staggering valuation of about $100 billion. That’s more than the venerable New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market combined — for a company that didn’t even exist a decade ago.If all goes according to plan, Wednesday’s scheduled direct listing on Nasdaq will cement Coinbase’s position as the Big Board of the U.S. crypto scene and a potent symbol of the risks and rewards of the new era of digital money. Its founders, Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam, own stakes worth $15 billion and $2 billion, respectively, according to Bloomberg estimates.The bottom line at the San Francisco-based exchange would seem to justify the sky-high valuation, at least recently. Coinbase said last week it expects to report first-quarter profit of $730 million to $800 million, more than double what it earned in all of 2020. And revenue in the first three months of 2021 probably surpassed all of the $1.3 billion total for last year. That compares with the $5.6 billion of revenue Nasdaq generated last year.Coinbase has 56 million verified