Coinbase releases estimated Q1 earnings and 2021 outlook ahead of direct listing

Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange aiming to go public by direct listing by April 14th, has released a set of quarterly numbers and projections that may help inform how it will perform on the public markets.

Here are the highlights for Q1 2021 (the three months ending on March 31, 2021) with QoQ performance where applicable:

  • 56 million verified users, a 30% increase over Q4 2020 (43 million verified users).
  • 6.1 monthly transacting users, a nearly 118% increase over Q4 2020 (2.8 million MTUs).
  • $223 billion assets on platform, a nearly 145% increase over Q4 2020 results ($90 billion assets on platform).
  • ~$1.8 billion in in total revenue.

While the growth is incredibly impressive, it’s worth noting that Coinbase seems to be greatly impacted by booms and busts. In terms of monthly transacting users, the second best quarter was in Q4 2020 with 2.8 million MTUS, barely beating Q4 2018’s result of 2.7 million MTUs.

However, Coinbase does seem to be expressing quite a bit of confidence in its ability to increase its average yearly MTUs. Here’s what it projects based on three scenarios:

  • High. 7 million average MTUs.
  • Mid. 5.5 million average MTUs.
  • Low. 4 million average MTUS.

The MTU average for 2020, based on the average of Coinbase’s reported quarterly MTUs in its S-1, was 1.9 million. So in any of the scenarios outlined by the company, Coinbase expects MTU growth in 2021—even if MTUs dip precipitously over the year as they did in 2018.


The company is also reporting an estimated Q1 revenue of $1.8 billion, an eye-boggling amount when compared to just last quarter when the company pulled in only $585 million in revenue.

As Coinbase heads towards its direct listing date, it’s looking more likely than ever it will be able to uphold its private valuation standing at $68 billion. However, Coinbase’s fortunes are inextricably tied to Bitcoin’s performance—a tumultuous relationship that could make public investors squeamish.

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