Coinbase Will Benefit From Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval: Wedbush

The crypto exchange has a dominant role in all but one of the approved ETFs, acting as an issuer or custodian, the report said.

AccessTimeIconJan 11, 2024 at 4:07 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 1:44 a.m. UTC
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Crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) is set to benefit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) approval of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds, investment firm Wedbush said in a report on Thursday.

Wedbush maintained its outperform rating on Coinbase, and raised its price target on the stock to $180 from $110. Coinbase shares were trading 3% lower at $146.61 at time of publication.

“COIN’s future results are bound to benefit from the SEC’s bitcoin ETF approvals, given the company’s dominant role in these ETFs, ETFs facilitation/unlocking of increment institutional investing in crypto assets (now under 10%), as well as recent legal/financial woes impacting COIN’s peers (re. Binance),” analysts led by Moshe Katri wrote.

Coinbase has a dominant role in all but one of the approved ETFs, acting as an issuer or custodian, the report said, and revenue generation will come from custodian fees as well as ancillary services. Other benefits include the opportunity to unlock institutional investors, as less than 10% of hedge funds invest in digital assets, and for the number of Coinbase's active institutional accounts to grow, the report added.

Mizuho Securities, with an underperform rating on Coinbase shares and a $54 price target, said spot ETF approval is a “pyrrhic victory for COIN,” and potential upside to revenue from bitcoin ETFs may be more muted than thought.

The investment bank said “deeper cannibalization of high-margin spot bitcoin trading and/or share loss to brokers offering ETFs could offset future benefits,” and warned that fundamentals are expected to “serve as a painful reality check in coming quarters.”

Edited by Sheldon Reback.

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Will Canny is CoinDesk's finance reporter.


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