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Mark Gongloff

Coinbase Made Some Mistakes

Overspending and buying a Super Bowl ad despite signs of a bubble echoed blunders of the dot-com collapse.

Coinbase employees in happier times.

Coinbase employees in happier times.

Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

Crypto has long been sold as the tradition-busting future of finance, but its collapse is following a decades-old script.

Take Coinbase. The crypto exchange went public at $250 a share in April 2021, when Bitcoin was worth more than $63,000, near its all-time high. Now Bitcoin is flirting with $20,000, and Coinbase is trading at less than $50 a share. It’s also laying off 18% of its workforce, roughly the number of people it hired this year.