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Coinbase goes public… but Jerome Powell calls cryptocurrencies 'vehicles for speculation'
Updated: 2021-04-15 14:06:55 KST
Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, went public on Wednesday, U.S. Eastern time, on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
It went public through a direct listing, which does not involve issuing new shares, and opened at 381 U.S. dollars per share, over 50 percent higher than its reference price of 250 dollars set by Nasdaq as a benchmark.
The stock closed at 328 dollars, but before that, it soared to a high of 429.54 dollars, making Coinbase Global's valuation hit 112 billion dollars.
Market watchers view Coinbase's debut on the public market as a breakthrough for digital currencies to be accepted by mainstream finance.

"What it represents is a validation of this nascent market sector.
It really confirms that this industry sector is here to stay, but it also concretely demonstrates consumer-level confidence in crypto-currencies."

However, on the same day that Coinbase went public, Jerome Powell defined cryptocurrencies as speculative assets.
He also said, in an interview with the Economic Club of New York, that digital assets are not "being actively used as payments".
Bitcoin hit a record high of nearly 65-thousand dollars ahead of Coinbase going public, but the figure dropped to around 62-thousand dollars after Powell's remarks.
On Thursday, South Korea's central bank governor Lee Ju-yeol also said many difficulties exist when it comes to using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.
Seo Eunkyung, Arirang News.
Reporter : ekseo@arirang.com