Coinbase heads for $91 bln valuation in Nasdaq debut

Updates indicative price, adds background

April 13 (Reuters)Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc COIN.O was set to be valued at more than $91 billion in a stock market debut on Wednesday that marked another big milestone in the development of bitcoin and other digital assets.

At 10:21 a.m. ET, the company’s stock was indicated to open at $350, up 40% from a reference price of $250 per share, making its implied value more than three times that of exchange operator Nasdaq.

The listing, launched directly to investors instead of through a traditional IPO process run by banks, marks a victory for digital currency advocates in a year that has seen a clutch of mainstream, top-tier firms dive into the space.

The San Francisco-based firm’s value has surged in line with bitcoin’sBTC=BTSPown huge gains: the world’s best known digital currency hit a record of $62,741 on Tuesday.

In a direct listing, no shares are sold ahead of the debut and the company lists directly on the exchange. U.S. gaming platform Roblox Corp RBLX.N also went public through a direct listing last month.

Coinbase had confidentially filed paperwork to go public in December.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Patrick Graham)

((Niket.Nishant@thomsonreuters.com;))

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