May 12, 2022 - Economy

Coinbase CFO says "bankruptcy" note was about regulation, not solvency

Coinbase CFO Alesia Haas

Coinbase CFO Alesia Haas. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Coinbase on Wednesday for the first time detailed what would happen to user assets were the company to go bankrupt, a disclosure that helped drive Coinbase’s share price to new lows.

Behind the scenes: Coinbase CFO Alesia Haas tells Axios that the disclosure was prompted by new SEC guidance, not because of any solvency concerns at Coinbase.

  • She acknowledges the company could have done a better job communicating the reason for the disclosure, particularly given that it showed up as a "risk factor" in the midst of a crypto market rout.
  • Haas added that there are no plans to amend the disclosure's language.

The crypto exec didn't take the bait on questions about stock buybacks or take-private considerations, even though Coinbase clearly believes its shares are now undervalued. Were there to be a takeover effort, it's worth remembering that CEO Brian Armstrong holds voting control.

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