Coinbase Q1 earnings surpass 2020 record

The US-based crypto giant earned $1.8 billion in revenues in Q1, compared with $1.3 billion for all of 2020, per BusinessWire. The announcement comes just a week before its April 14 IPO. Coinbase offers a wide range of crypto products, including trading and custody services for both consumers and institutions, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, and a payment solution that lets merchants accept cryptos.

The record-breaking quarter coincides with cryptocurrencies’ exploding popularity among retail and institutional investors. Driven by relentless trading activity, the cryptocurrency sector has hit record after record, with the sector’s total market cap surging to $2 trillion for the first time earlier this week after taking a decade to hit $1 trillion in January. Coinbase raked in a large share of the growing demand: Assets on the platform reached $223 billion in Q1, representing 11.3% of the total crypto market. And more than half came from institutions, at $122 billion—more than double the $45 billion worth of institutional assets held on Coinbase at the end of 2020.

The announcement could convince investors that crypto firms have revenue-generating potential despite crypto market volatility, encouraging others to go public as well.

  • Coinbase can’t share specific revenue guidance because its growth is closely linked to the crypto market’s inherent volatility. The exchange raised eyebrows among stock analysts for being reportedly valued at $100 billion ahead of its IPO. However, its latest earnings does suggest significant revenue-generating opportunities in the exploding crypto sector. Coinbase’s main concern is convincing investors it can secure this growth trajectory in the highly volatile crypto market. “Trading volume, and therefore transaction revenue currently fluctuate, potentially materially, with Bitcoin price and crypto asset volatility. This revenue unpredictability, in turn, impacts our profitability on a quarter-to-quarter basis,” the exchange acknowledged. A cryptocurrency market crash akin to the bubble burst in 2018 could, in a worst-case scenario, lead to a mass exodus of trading activity on crypto exchanges, harming Coinbase’s revenue.
  • If investors nevertheless rally to Coinbase, other crypto firms will likely launch IPOs this year. The crypto trading frenzy has also driven valuations for Coinbase’s peers, with BlockFi and hitting $3 billion and $5.2 billion valuations, respectively, following mega-rounds in the past month. These players, whose successes are also tied to crypto volatility, could be encouraged by Coinbase’s IPO to go public as well—BlockFi is already looking at a SPAC within the next year, while is weighing its public-market options.