Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase’s revenue soared more than 800% year on year in the first quarter, the company revealed on Tuesday, but said the crypto market is too volatile to provide solid financial forecasts.
Coinbase, which is set to directly list on the Nasdaq exchange on April 14, estimated that its first-quarter revenue for 2021 came in at $1.8 billion. That was up around 844% from $190.6 million in the same quarter a year earlier.
The exchange’s chief financial officer Alesia Haas said: “2021 is off to a strong start. We have seen all-time high crypto asset prices drive elevated levels of user activity and trading volume on our platform.”
But Haas said Coinbase’s revenue is “highly correlated with the price of bitcoin and crypto asset price volatility.” The company said it expects “meaningful growth” but Haas said it is “very difficult to accurately forecast our revenues.”
To get around the problem, Coinbase provided 3 different scenarios based on monthly transacting users, which it said are highly correlated to revenue.
Under the best scenario, crypto prices keep rising and monthly transacting users rise to an average of 7 million in 2021 from 6.1 million in the first quarter.
But if crypto markets stay flat, monthly transacting users could fall to 5.5 million on average in 2021. And if there’s a significant fall in crypto prices, average MTUs could slide sharply to 4 million.
Cryptocurrencies have been on a bull run since the final months of 2020, with bitcoin roughly doubling in 2021 to $57,600 on Wednesday morning. The total capitalization of the crypto market reached $2 trillion on Monday.
The company said its first-quarter net income was between $730 million and $800 million, up dramatically from $32 million in the first 3 months of 2020. It said it had 56 million verified users and assets on platform of $223 billion, an 11% share of the crypto asset market.
Coinbase plans to directly list on the Nasdaq exchange on 14 April, and in March said private market transactions valued the company at about $68 billion.
In a direct listing, a company does not sell new stock but lets current investors sell shares on the market.