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Crypto VC Paradigm buys Coinbase shares worth $50 million

Companies • May 12, 2023, 3:50PM EDT The Block

Quick Take

  • Paradigm has doubled down on Coinbase, buying more shares in the exchange operator worth around $50 million.
  • The crypto VC firm bought 810,000 shares of Coinbase at an average price of $61 earlier this week.

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Crypto venture capital firm Paradigm, an existing investor in Coinbase, bought more shares in the exchange operator earlier this week worth around $50 million.

The share purchase was reported by Paradigm co-founder Fred Ehrsam to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, according to a regulatory filing. Ehrsam was also co-founder of Coinbase from 2012 to 2017 and is currently a board director at the company.

Specifically, Paradigm’s entity Paradigm One LP bought 810,000 Coinbase shares at an average price of $61 on Tuesday and Wednesday. After the transactions, two Paradigm entities — Paradigm One LP and Paradigm Fund LP — now hold a total of 4.5 million Coinbase shares, per the filing. Ehrsam also owns 1.1 million shares of Coinbase via the Frederick Ernest Ehrsam III Living Trust.

Paradigm is investing further into the company amid Coinbase’s ongoing battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Earlier this week, Paradigm filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit filed by Coinbase against the SEC last month that seeks to compel it to respond to a request for rulemaking for the crypto industry.

“Paradigm, and the entrepreneurs it backs, have a strong interest in ensuring that the SEC be held to account for its delay in responding to Coinbase’s rulemaking petition,” the VC firm said in its filing, saying that the delay has left the industry in a state of uncertainty.

The SEC has been ordered by a court to respond to Coinbase’s complaint over how it applies securities laws to digital assets by next week. 

COIN performance

Shares of Coinbase are up around 65% so far in 2023, according to MarketWatch data. But the stock is down 84% from a high in 2021, when bitcoin also hit a record. Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest is also continuing to buy COIN.

For the first quarter, Coinbase reported earnings that exceeded analyst expectations. The company reported revenue of $736 million, above the $658 million estimate of analysts surveyed by FactSet. Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, or EBITDA, came in at $284 million, better than the negative $36 million that had been estimated.