Coinbase Rakes In $1.9B in Transaction Revenue in Q2, Beating Estimates

The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. warned, however, that its number of monthly transacting users and trading volume would be lower in the third quarter.

AccessTimeIconAug 10, 2021 at 8:17 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:22 a.m. UTC

Coinbase posted $1.9 billion in transaction revenue in the second quarter, in its second-ever earnings report as a public company. Analysts had estimated the exchange would post $1.57 billion in transaction revenue.

The U.S.’ largest cryptocurrency exchange grew to 8.8 million monthly transacting users (MTUs) and 68 million total users in the quarter, versus analyst estimates for 6.7 million monthly users and 62.8 million total users. The exchange's take rate – or retail trading revenue divided by retail trading volumes – was 1.24%, up from 1.21% last quarter.

The company did note that MTUs in July had declined significantly to 6.3 million and trading volume was only $57 billion in the month. While August's numbers were slightly higher than this, Coinbase warned that MTUs and trading volume would be lower in Q3 compared to Q2.

The exchange also slightly lowered its yearly forecast range for active users, a key metric, from a range of 5.5 million to 9 million by the end of the year, to a range of 5.5 million to 8 million. 

Coinbase reported that more than 9,000 financial institutions are now using the exchange to create their own crypto products. The exchange publicly named PNC Bank as a partner for the first time, and it also named Elon Musk, SpaceX, Tesla, Third Point LLC and WisdomTree Investments as partners.

For Q2, Coinbase reported:

  • Net income of $1.6 billion, including a tax benefit of $737 million mostly related to stock-based compensation awards tied to the company's direct listing in April. That's up from the first quarter's $771.5 million. It wasn't immediately clear if the figure was comparable to analysts' expectations for net income of $569 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $1.12 billion, down slightly from last quarter's $1.15 billion.
  • Revenue of $2.2 billion, with $1.9 billion from transaction revenue and $103 million from subscriptions and services revenue. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.78 billion.
  • Retail transaction revenue of $1.8 billion, up 26% from Q1.
  • Institutional transaction revenue of $102.4 million, up 20% compared to Q1.
  • Custodial fee revenue of $31.7 million, a 35% increase from Q1.
  • Trading volume was $462 billion, up 72.5% from $335 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Total assets on Coinbase's platform decreased in value along with the decrease in the price of bitcoin: $180 billion compared to $223 billion in Q1.
  • Total operating expenses were $1.4 billion, led by $335 million in transaction expenses, $292 million in technology and development expenses and $248 million in general and administrative expenses. That compared to total operating expenses in Q1 of $813 million.
  • The firm added 450 employees, ending the quarter with a total of 2,176 employees.

Coinbase also noted that for the first time, ether was traded more than bitcoin on its platform in Q2, with 26% of trading volume denominated in ether, 24% in bitcoin and 50% in other crypto assets.

Shares of Coinbase initially rose after-hours on Tuesday following the release of the report, but were recently trading down 1% to $266.98. Coinbase shares are up about 7% from their reference price of $250, but down around 30% from their opening trading price of $381.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

UPDATE (August 10, 20:33 UTC): Updated with additional results as reported by Coinbase.

UPDATE (August 10, 20:57 UTC): Updated with analyst estimates from FactSet.

UPDATE (August 10, 21:34 UTC): Updated with additional results reported by Coinbase.

UPDATE (August 11, 00:16 UTC): Updated with Q2 tax benefit.


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