462 Interactions, 4 today
Following an edict to stay “mission focused,” Coinbase executives have amassed a fortune.
Insider trading records for Coinbase’s COIN shares show that a number of early founders and executives sell billions of dollars in equity soon after COIN’s direct listing. Although the filings initially revealed that several executives sold a significant portion of their interest in the firm, a Coinbase spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the sellers retain significant ownership positions.
Data from Capital Market Laboratories, verified by filings on Coinbase’s Investor Relations website, reveal that insiders sold a total of 12,965,079 shares, valued at more than $4.6 billion at COIN’s Friday close of $344.38 per share.
Notable trades include Coinbase CFO Alesia Haas selling 255,500 shares for $388.73 (though her Form 4 notes that she holds options), and CEO Brian Armstrong selling 749,999 shares in three transactions for a total of $291,827,966.
Armstrong owns 300,001 shares worth more than $1 billion since the transaction, according to his Form 4 filing. However, in a filing prior to the direct listing, he was confirmed to have 36,851,833 shares, showing that he sold slightly more than 2% of his interest in the firm.
this is making the rounds and is so misleading – details matter!
each of these execs have tons of unvested options that account for the majority of their holdings – in reality they’ve each sold less than 10% of their total shares https://t.co/LP4uKK1Nuq
— Meltem Demirors (@Melt_Dem) April 17, 2021
The details from Capital Market Laboratories did not show that any directors or insiders bought additional shares, only that they sold them. OpenInsider’s SEC Form 4 screener also shows the sales.
According to a Coinbase official, these information services do not correctly report each executive’s percentage equity stake, and the transactions represent just a portion of the executive and insider holdings.
The stories sparked laughter and jeers on social media, with many critics comparing the transactions to a stereotypical “pump and dump,” in which insiders and team members dump tokens into retail liquidity immediately after a listing.
Though early investors and executives sought to cash out, at least a few big buyers emerged. Cathie Wood, a hedge fund trader, has made a large gamble on the exchange, purchasing over $350 million in shares for three competing Ark ETFs.
Similarly, several Coinbase workers now have an interest in the firm, as the company gave each of 1,700 Coinbase employees 100 shares as a “thank you.”
Earlier this year, Coinbase was the subject of a slew of controversial news related to CEO Brian Armstrong’s handling of a new strategy that limited attention on political and social problems at work. Armstrong demanded that the organisation remain “mission focused,” with a vision of being “the leading global brand for helping people convert digital currency into and out of their local currency.”