Coinbase bonds dragged lower as crypto market slumps

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Coinbase Global’s bonds have fallen heavily, and its shares have hit record lows, as investors ditched crypto following rival FTX’s collapse earlier this month.

The crypto exchange’s note due 2031 was trading at 51 cents on the dollar on Tuesday, down from its August peak of 68.50, with yields – that trade inversely to price – jumping to 13.1 per cent, according to Refinitiv data.

At the start of 2022, those notes were trading closer to 93 cents on the dollar.

By comparison, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond was trading around 3.806 per cent.

The spike in Coinbase yield and its the increasing premium over the corresponding 10-year U.S. Treasury yield indicated investors are growing increasingly concerned about the crypto exchange’s creditworthiness.

The yield on Coinbase’s notes due 2026 was at 15.52 per cent, after touching a record high at 15.78 per cent on Friday.

Moody’s Investors Service said on Monday it had placed Coinbase’s corporate family rating, currently at Ba3, on review for downgrade.

A rating of Baa3 and lower is considered “junk” territory and highly speculative. Coinbase is rated one notch below.

Moody’s said the collapse of FTX has heightened the level of uncertainty in the crypto industry, raising challenges for all those operating within the sector.

The crypto exchange is likely to see “an increasing possibility of sustained reductions in trading volumes and client engagement, that are important factors for Coinbase’s revenue” said Moody’s Vice President and Senior Analyst Fadi Abdel Massih.

Shares of Coinbase have lost nearly 38 per cent in value this month and closed at a record low at $41.23 on Monday. Their value is about a tenth of the level when they listed publicly to much funfare in New York in April 2021.

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