In the past two months, as bitcoin prices have fallen about 37%, Coinbase stock has followed suit. Predictably, Wall Street analysts are doubling down on buy recommendations. Most point to Coinbase’s valuation, as measured by the standard metric of its price compared to its annual sales, which is lower than that of stock exchange operators such as Nasdaq Inc. and high-growth fintech companies.
But there’s another way of thinking about Coinbase’s valuation that suggests the stock is way overvalued. Consider this: Coinbase’s market capitalization is currently about 2.4% of the market cap of all cryptocurrencies, while the market cap of Nasdaq Inc. is currently about 0.07% of the value of all U.S. equities. Stock brokerage giant Charles Schwab’s market cap, similarly, is 0.38% of all U.S. equities.
That’s a big gulf, although it’s one that will inevitably narrow as the crypto market matures. That implies Coinbase’s stock won’t keep pace with the long-term growth of cryptocurrencies’ market cap.