Coinbase Executives Have Sold Over $1B in Shares Since February: WSJ

Key Takeaways

  • Four Coinbase executives sold off approximately $1.2 billion of shares in a series of sales beginning this February.
  • Those executives include co-founder Fred Ehrsam, CEO Brian Armstrong, COO Emilie Choi, and CPO Surojit Chatterjee.
  • Coinbase’s stock fell in value this month, seemingly due to lost profits in a weakening cryptocurrency market.

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Four of Coinbase’s leading executives have sold over $1 billion in shares, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal.

Executives Sold Stocks for $1.2 Billion

The Wall Street Journal has analyzed regulatory recent filings from Coinbase and found that four of the company’s leading executives have earned $1.2 billion from stock sales since February.

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According to the report, Co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong and his living trust sold shares for $292 million. COO Emilie Choi exercised options at a cost of $9.7 million and sold her shares for $226 million. Co-founder Fred Ehrsam sold the most stock, earning nearly $500 million from his shares. Finally, CPO Surojit Chatterjee exercised options at a cost of $6 million and earned $110 million by selling shares.

It seems that each individual still owns shares of the company’s stock. A Coinbase representative told the Wall Street Journal that the executives “maintain large positions in the company, reflecting their commitment to our long-term opportunities.” Ehrsam, notably, bought back $75 million of Coinbase’s stock this month, even as prices plunged downward.

Will Coinbase Stock Recover?

The value of Coinbase’s stock (COIN) is $75.32 as of Wednesday, May 26. That price is close to its earlier low this month of $53.72.

Though executive sales took place when the stock had a somewhat higher value, it seems that declining prices motivated at least some of the sales. The company’s stock opened at $381 in April 2021, and Coinbase executives sold at prices between $189 to $422.

Coinbase’s declining stock value is likely the result of a weak crypto market. Bitcoin is now worth $28,900—its lowest value since December 2020. Poor market conditions caused Coinbase’s year-over-year revenue to drop by 27% this month.

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Despite these issues, Coinbase’s stock has a promising outlook according to some analysts. One Cowen analyst suggests that COIN has a 27% upside and target of $85, based mainly on Coinbase’s approaches to security and regulatory compliance.

Coinbase was also added to the Fortune 500 list this week; it is the first cryptocurrency exchange to earn that status.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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