Fais Khan, writing in a blog post: First, Coinbase is like the New York Stock Exchange of crypto — a listing there is a huge deal, and usually leads to massive profits for everyone involved. But unlike the NYSE or NASDAQ, Coinbase gets to choose whatever assets they want, using their own process. Second, a16z and Coinbase’s own returns are particularly interesting, given a16z is supposedly the best investor in this space, and there’s a potential for conflict of interest. Is the game rigged? Third, Coinbase pivoted its strategy last year to go from being cautious to listing as many coins as they can. That raises the ante even higher for them and their users.
So I started to dig in, and what I found surprised me: most coins underperformed, returns got worse over time, and VC-backed coins did worst of all. But I was able to do one better – for the last few years, Coinbase put out the names of coins they were thinking to list, but never did. I analyzed those coins – and found they did even better than the ones that made it, and the VC-backed ones didn’t show any of the same underperformance. Let’s dig in. For years, being listed for trading on Coinbase has been the holy grail of crypto – the equivalent of an IPO on Wall Street. And like an IPO, that seems to come up with a “pop” — Messari, a crypto research firm, documented in a report that the average Coinbase listing leads to a 91% gain in 5 days, on average.