Coinbase to offer secondary market for private shares ahead of public stock listing

Coinbase — the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. — alerted shareholders that the firm would launch a secondary market for its private stock on Nasdaq Private Market. 

The move comes ahead of the firm's much-anticipated public market debut. Coinbase, which filed a confidential S-1 in mid-December, said that it would provide further details to shareholders on Monday about the secondary market launch.

"On Monday, January 25 at noon PT you will receive an email from the Nasdaq Private Market with details, including how you can access the market, what shares are eligible for trading, and how the market will function," the message explained.

The move will likely allow current and former employees with vested equity in the firm to sell shares. Nasdaq Private Market offers services for companies ahead of an IPO, including "controlled liquidity programs for pre-IPO companies looking to raise secondary capital for shareholders and investors."

It is expected that Coinbase will tap the public markets via a direct listing rather than a standard IPO. The debut is anticipated to draw significant interest — pre-IPO contracts are trading on FTX valuing the Silicon Valley unicorn at more than $70 billion, according to data compiled by The Block.