On Thursday, the largest U.S. based cryptocurrency exchange – Coinbase – announced that it had earned $2.49 billion in net revenue and $840 million in net income, which is the same thing as profit, during the fourth quarter of 2021. For the full year, it earned $7.35 billion in net revenue with $3.62 billion in net income – marking a 49% profit for Coinbase in 2021.
Also of note, the company reported $278 billion in assets stored on its platform, marking a 300% increase over the same time last year. Additionally, Coinbase had 11.4 million monthly transaction users by the end of 2021, compared to only 2.8 in 2020 which represents four-fold growth year-over-year. This last number is critically important because more users drive more profits.
"In 2021, millions of new users joined the crypto-economy through Coinbase; we generated $7.4 billion in net revenue – including $2.5 billion in the fourth quarter; we became the first publicly traded crypto asset trading platform; and we made substantial progress in building a best-in-class infrastructure to enable easy, safe and secure on-ramps and access into the global crypto-economy," the company stated in its earnings announcement.
The statement attributed most of its growth to strong utilization of crypto from popular use cases that included non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi) adoption, decentralized applications, play-to-earn gaming, and metaverse-related opportunities. Coinbase users also flocked to the site due to a number of new coins and tokens added for trading in 2021.
"As part of our strategy to serve as the primary crypto account and give our customers the greatest amount of choice, we want to list all legal assets. Over the course of 2021, we accelerated our asset listing efforts. In Q4, we added custody and trading support for 14 and 36 assets, respectively. We ended 2021 with support for 172 assets for custody and 139 assets for trading," the firm added.
The company statement mentioned in passing its pending NFT Marketplace, which has more speculation surrounding it than actual facts from Coinbase. The firm has a waitlist for its NFT Marketplace, which as the time of writing, had more than 2 million people signed up although no definitive date has been set for launch.