Love it or hate it crypto exchange Coinbase is raking it in. Known for some of the highest fees in the industry the company made over a billion dollars in revenue last year. This has caused an unusual problem in too many investors wanting a slice of the burgeoning Coinbase pie.
Silicon Valley tech news website Recode has revealed that the six year old company earned in excess of a billion dollars in revenue in 2017. This is really no surprise considering the thousands of complaints that regularly crop up across social media platforms. These usually involve the exchange’s excessive fees and commissions for transactions, or the total outages it has suffered under high demand. Coinbase is slow, expensive and has virtually non existent customer support but obviously that has not affected its capacity to make a fortune.
Beating the rest
As of September last year the company was only expected to make $600 million in revenue. However the surge in crypto prices and interest towards the end of the year has provided a boost to the firm’s figures. Its bumper revenue suggests it is the most used broker for Bitcoin and crypto exchanges. By comparison South Korean exchange Bithumb only made $280 million last year according to local press.
The company has been so successful that shareholders have been approached by venture capitalists and private brokers asking them if they would consider selling their Coinbase shares. The firm issued a warning to its own shareholders at the weekend;
“As a private company, Coinbase does not allow trading of stock on secondary markets for a variety of reasons, including the fact that there is not full and equal information available to the market. We will take appropriate action if we find people have sold Coinbase shares in violation of our agreements not to do so.”
Fees and commissions
Coinbase does not make money on the price fluctuations of Bitcoin. It charges for every transaction through its system so volume of trades makes a big difference. It charges both the buyer and the seller between 0.25% and 1% commission on the total transaction size thus working as both an exchange and a broker. In addition to this there are fees as high as 4% for fiat deposits and withdrawals.
For many they have little choice but to use Coinbase as their primary exchange due to limitations within their own country. The company offers fiat to crypto exchanges in 32 countries across the globe and has over 13 million registered users. At one stage it had the most popular app in Apple’s App Store and has more brokerage accounts than trading giant Charles Schwab. Coinbase’s killing is set to continue as crypto mania shows no signs of slowing down.