Coinbase Stock Slides 7% on Mizuho Downgrade Over NFT Hype



Coinbase stock (NASDAQ:COIN) fell by 7% in Tuesday stock trading after Mizuho Financial lowered its price target on COIN with doubts over the Crypto company’s foray into NFTs.

Coinbase shares took a plunge from $190 per share at market open Tuesday to around $177 as markets closed. Competitors that often track with COIN on the stock charts also fell over the day.

Additionally, the Bitcoin price retraced some Tuesday from gains over the past five days. So Coinbase, whose fortunes are closely intertwined with cryptocurrency price movements, had a headwind from the day’s crypto trading.

Mizuho Downgrade

Writing for SeekingAlpha, Max Gottlich reported the stock got a price target adjustment downward from Mizuho Financial Group.

Mizuho’s Dan Dolev, a senior analyst in fintech equity holdings for the Japanese bank holding company (with some $1.849 trillion in assets), explained the downgrade in a note to clients: “we question the strategic rationale of chasing NFTs… especially as the NFT hype seems to wane.”

Dolev also advised clients that if Coinbase performs at the lower end of the guidance range in its financial reporting, it could face $500M in EBITDA-adjusted losses for 2022.

Stock Price Reflecting More than NFT Ambitions in 2022

While Coinbase has a marketplace for non-fungible tokens in the works (its NFT team announced mid-March that the launch will be soon), the exchange is also in the middle of a busy roadmap of other crypto projects, including expansion into India and Brazil, and Coinbase Pay, a Web3 upgrade to its non-custodial wallet launched last month.

Although Coinbase is already available in Brazil, the company is reportedly close to finalizing a deal to acquire 2TM, the parent company of Mercado Bitcoin. Mercado is the largest cryptocurrency exchange operating in Brazil and all of Latin America. (Neither company has yet commented publicly on the purported acquisition.)

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Coinbase is also on the move in India— backing two local crypto unicorns CoinDCX and Coinswitch Kuber, infusing $150 million in capital to homebrew crypto and Web3 fintech startups, and opening an office with 300 new employees in Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India. The exchange plans to onboard 1,000 employees in the Coinbase India hub this year.

Is The Non-Fungible Token Business Really Winding Down This Year?

Dolev wrote in his note to investors that “interest in NFTs appears to be dwindling.” Are NFTs really heading into a bear market in 2022? One that would imperil Coinbase stock even with the help of “The Official Bill Murray NFT 1000 collection” to debut on the Coinbase NFT exchange?

The near-term bear case for the non-fungible token market would include last month’s near 50% decline in transaction volume on OpenSea, the leading exchange for non-fungibles. But that’s not the entire picture. The precipitous decline was one of those hard pullbacks from a flash bubble that veteran crypto investors are quite used to by this decade.

In January, OpenSea had reached its highest transaction volume ever by far—  around $5 billion. And users continued to mint new NFTs like crazy amid the exchange volume rout. Meanwhile, many popular non-fungible token projects also reached eye-popping ATH values for their tokens even as overall trade volume fell.

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