Coinbase Rated Underperform in New Coverage on Lack of ‘Crypto Innovation’

Autonomous Research gave COIN a $160 price target in contrast to the much more bullish estimates from other firms.

Oct 13, 2021 at 8:04 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 13, 2021 at 8:37 p.m. UTC

Josh Fineman is CoinDesk's Senior Wall Street Reporter, covering the intersection of crypto and traditional finance.

Coinbase Global (Nasdaq: COIN) was rated at underperform with a $160 price target at Autonomous Research, which cited the exchange’s lack of crypto innovation. Shares of the crypto exchange closed Wednesday trading at $246.78, down 1%.

Coinbase is “rapidly” losing market share and seeing “significant take rate compression” as competition from other exchanges such as Binance, FTX and Robinhood intensifies, Autonomous Research analyst Christian Bolu wrote in a note.

Bolu said what’s most concerning is that Coinbase appears to be “lagging on almost every crypto innovation (including altcoins, derivatives, NFTs).” If that trend continues, he said, the crypto exchange could rapidly lose relevance the way Netscape did in the early internet era.

On Tuesday, Coinbase announced it’s launching a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace that will allow its users to buy and sell Ethereum-based digital collectibles by year’s end. In September, Coinbase added dogecoin rival SHIB to its trading platform after the “meme coin” surged in popularity. Also, last month, the exchange took some steps toward listing crypto futures products, filing to become a member of the National Futures Association and register as a futures commission merchant.

Autonomous Research’s appraisal of Coinbase’s prospects contrasts sharply with some other recent coverage of the exchange, including JMP Securities, which initiated Coinbase with an outperform rating and a $300 price target late last month. And last week, Oppenheimer analyst Owen Lau, who has a $440 price target, predicted the company would beat Wall Street’s estimates for trading volume and revenue for the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Bolu started coverage of Robinhood (Nasdaq: HOOD) with an outperform rating and $55 price target (38% upside from the current price), citing the trading app’s increased monetization of crypto and lending.


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Josh Fineman is CoinDesk's Senior Wall Street Reporter, covering the intersection of crypto and traditional finance.

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Josh Fineman is CoinDesk's Senior Wall Street Reporter, covering the intersection of crypto and traditional finance.

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