Top officials at American crypto giant Coinbase have reportedly sold company stock worth over $2.6 million in a single day. The move comes following a lawsuit filed by a shareholder against the crypto exchange’s CEO and investors for selling the company’s shares to avoid a potential billion-dollar loss in 2021. Crypto sleuth Bitfinexed took to Twitter to reveal the details of the stock sales, which include the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Chief Legal Officer, Chief People Officer, and Chief Financial Officer.
According to the Form 4 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on May 20, 2023, the combined value of the shares sold by the executives exceeded $2.6 million. President and COO Choi Emilie sold over 19,000 shares worth $1.08 million. Chief People Officer Brock Lawrence sold 12,737 shares worth nearly a quarter million dollars. Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal sold 9,451 shares worth $536,000. It is important to note that these were employee stock options that were vested. Some Twitter users suggested that the sales may be to pay for the tax obligations that arise from the vesting.
The alleged stock dumps occurred just days after a Coinbase shareholder sued CEO Brian Armstrong and board member Marc Andreessen for selling company stock shortly after its initial public offering in 2021. The lawsuit claimed that the executives sold the stock to avoid a potential $1 billion loss.
Coinbase, which went public in April 2021, has seen its stock price fluctuate significantly in recent months. The company’s shares were trading at around $230 in February 2021 but fell to around $200 by mid-March. The stock price then climbed to over $300 by May 2021 before falling to around $200 again in August of the same year. As of May 2023, Coinbase’s shares were trading at around $250.
Despite the recent stock sales by its top officials, Coinbase has been making headlines for its growing user base and expanding product offerings. In April 2023, the company announced that it had surpassed 100 million registered users, a significant milestone for the crypto exchange. Coinbase has also been expanding its product offerings, with plans to launch a debit card that will enable users to spend their crypto holdings at millions of merchants worldwide.
While the recent stock sales by Coinbase officials may raise some concerns among investors, it is important to note that the sales were made in accordance with SEC regulations and were likely part of the executives’ overall financial planning. Nonetheless, the move may be seen as a lack of confidence in the company’s future prospects, which could impact its stock price in the short term. Only time will tell how these developments will affect Coinbase’s position in the crypto market.