Coinbase’s Q3 Crypto Trading Volumes to Be Key for Investors, Analysts Say

The largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange has said investors should expect lower trading volume in the third quarter, given the decline in crypto prices during that period.

AccessTimeIconNov 8, 2021 at 8:29 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:06 p.m. UTC
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Coinbase Global Inc.’s (COIN) trading volumes and revenue will likely be the focus of investor attention as the cryptocurrency exchange gets set to report third quarter financial results Tuesday after the market close.

“Coinbase’s platform trading volumes are a key metric given the majority of company revenue comes from retail and institutional trading fees,” John Todaro, a research analyst at New York-based Needham & Co. who has a buy recommendation on the stock, told clients in a note.

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  • Coinbase posted trading volume of $462 billion in the second quarter, its second ever as a public company, up from $335 billion in the first quarter. Mizuho Securities expects that figure to fall to about $315 billion in the third quarter.

    Coinbase warned in last quarter’s earnings report that monthly transacting users and trading volume would be lower in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, citing lower volume levels stemming from a drop in crypto asset prices in the quarter. “August month-to-date, retail [monthly transacting users] and trading volume levels have slightly improved compared to July levels but remain lower than earlier in the year,” Coinbase wrote. The company also slightly lowered its yearly forecast range for monthly active users to 5.5 million to 8 million from the previous range of 5.5 million to 9 million.

    What’s next?

    The recent jump in the price of bitcoin could aid Coinbase’s commissions, though Wall Street remains divided on Coinbase’s prospects moving forward. Mizuho Securities analyst Dan Dolev wrote recently that Coinbase’s “over-reliance” on trading commissions leaves the firm exposed to long-term take rate compression and industry competition. Still, about two weeks ago, Dolev boosted his overall revenue estimates for Coinbase’s third quarter, citing higher bitcoin prices and increased volatility. Mizuho has a neutral recommendation on the shares.

    At least one analyst is urging investors to overlook quarterly trading fluctuations and focus on the larger industry trends.

    “Some of the near-term themes have similarities to HOOD [Robinhood] as trading engagement slowed in the quarter from a record first half, deflating some of the first-half enthusiasm,” JMP Securities’ Devin Ryan told clients in an early October research note. “This near-term focus misses the bigger story around the ongoing rapid evolution of the crypto economy, growing use cases for crypto and Coinbase’s value proposition,” Ryan added.

    Meanwhile, Coinbase said last week it was testing a no-fee trading subscription service for users, which could be discussed more on this quarter’s conference call as rivals, including Robinhood, offer commission-free crypto trading.

    Overall, analysts are calling for Coinbase to report $1.57 billion in revenues for the third quarter, down from $2.23 billion in the second quarter, and adjusted earnings per share of $1.73, down from $6.42 in the second quarter, according to FactSet.

    Coinbase shares were up about 5% to $354 on Monday and are up more than 40% from their reference price of $250. But they are still down from their opening trading price of $381.

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    Michael Bellusci is CoinDesk's crypto reporter focused on public companies and digital asset firms.


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