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Coinbase Exceeds $100 Billion in Market Capitalization, Setting a New Standard for Cryptocurrency.

Coinbase Global Inc., a cryptocurrency exchange, crossed a $105 billion valuation in its trading debut Wednesday, as Bitcoin hit a record high and investors bet on digital currencies becoming mainstream.

After opening at $381, the company's stock climbed as high as $405.05 in New York trade. At 1:31 p.m., the stock reached $403.68, surpassing the $105 billion valuation, which includes employee stock options, restricted stock units, and the Class A shares currently traded on Nasdaq.

Coinbase joins a number of other companies in opting for a direct listing over a conventional initial public offering, including Slack Technologies Inc., Palantir Technologies Inc., and most recently, Roblox Corp.

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Nasdaq set a reference price of $250 per share for Coinbase's listing on Tuesday, a figure that is needed before the stock can begin trading. Unlike the offer price of an initial public offering, it serves as a reference for investors and does not affect how shares trade.

Coinbase is going public as Bitcoin, along with Ethereum, accounted for 56% of its 2020 trading volume. The token broke through the $64,000 barrier for the first time Wednesday, surpassing the previous day's high. Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, reached a new high, while Bitcoin Cash increased by more than 10% at one stage.