By Paul Vigna 

Coinbase Global Inc.'s profit surged in the first quarter, driven by a manic rally in bitcoin and other digital assets, the cryptocurrency exchange said in its first earnings report as a public company.

It earned $771 million, or $3.05 a share, in the quarter, up from $32 million a year earlier. Total revenue surged to $1.8 billion from $191 million. The top and bottom-line figures represent records for the company, which was founded in 2012 and is the largest bitcoin exchange in the U.S.

In early April, the company projected earnings of $730 million to $800 million on revenue of $1.8 billion.

Coinbase's revenue and profit have largely been driven by the explosion in the popularity of bitcoin and other digital currencies. The price of bitcoin rose to nearly $59,000 by the end of the first quarter, from about $7,300 at the beginning of 2020. It hit a record high of $64,802 on April 14 -- the same day Coinbase went public.

Those outsize gains attracted a new crowd of buyers. Some were high-profile hedge-fund managers like Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller and companies like MicroStrategy Inc., Square Inc. and Tesla Inc. Others were individual investors and day traders, introduced to crypto through trading apps like Coinbase and Robinhood.

Coinbase's stock price has struggled since its debut. It opened at $381 following the company's direct listing and has since fallen steadily. On Thursday, shares closed down 6.5% at $265.10.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 13, 2021 16:30 ET (20:30 GMT)

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