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Coinbase insiders dump nearly $5 billion in COIN stock shortly after listing

After an edict to remain “mission focused,” Coinbase executives have succeeded in making themselves a fortune.

Insider activity reports for Coinbase’s COIN stock indicate that multiple early investors and executives dumped billions in equity shortly after COIN’s direct listing, with at least one C-suite director cashing out their current stake in the cryptocurrency exchange entirely. 

Data from Capital Market Laboratories and confirmed by filings on Coinbase’s Investor Relations website shows a total of 12,965,079 shares sold by insiders, worth over $4.6 billion at COIN’s $344.38 per share Friday close.

Notable transactions include Coinbase CFO Alesia Haas selling all of her 255,500 shares at a price of $388.73, while CEO Brian Armstrong sold 749,999 shares in three transactions at various prices, netting a total of $291,827,966. He currently retains 300,001 shares worth over $1 billion. 

Capital Market Laboratories’ data did not indicate that any directors or insiders purchased additional shares, only sold. The sales can also be seen on OpenInsider’s SEC Form 4 screener. 

The sales prompted jeering and amusement on social media, with many observers likening the sales to a classic “pump and dump” in which insiders and team members dump tokens into retail liquidity shortly after a listing.

While early investors and executives looked to cash in, there are at least a handful of major buyers. Hedge fund manager Cathie Wood is placing a big bet on the exchange, having purchased over $350 million in shares for three different Ark ETFs. 

Likewise, many Coinbase employees now have stake in the company, as 1,700 Coinbase staff were gifted 100 shares each as a “thank you” from the company.

Earlier this year, Coinbase was embroiled in a string of negative headlines relating to CEO Brian Armstrong’s handling of a new policy that restricted focus on political and social issues at work. Armstrong insisted that the company remain “mission focused,” and the company’s mission includes a goal of becoming “the leading global brand for helping people convert digital currency into and out of their local currency.”

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