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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase made big headlines yesterday, after a Recode report that it's closing in on a $500 million investment led by Tiger Global at an $8 billion valuation.

Why it matters: This means that Coinbase would effectively quintuple its valuation from a round just 14 months ago. It's a huge validation for the company and the broader digital token market. But, as Axios has also learned, Coinbase's valuation increase could have been even larger, but instead was negatively affected by the 2018 price deterioration of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

The backdrop: Talk of a new Coinbase funding began in the first half of 2018, with sources telling us that firms like Sequoia Capital expressed interest at an expected valuation in the $6 billion to $8 billion range. But Coinbase wasn't enthusiastic. Not so much because it didn't like the suitors, but because it had an offer from Vy Capital at a $12 billion valuation. There also may have been other superior term sheets.

  • At the same time, cryptocurrency prices were sagging. Bitcoin had experienced a massive drop between January and February, and never recovered. By the end of June, it was 67% off its highs the prior December.
  • "Their performance right now is pretty tightly correlated to the price of bitcoin," an early Coinbase investor explains.

Vy Capital then pulled the offer, leading Coinbase to entertain the price it had earlier rebuffed (this time with Tiger).

  • Sources says that the Tiger deal isn't finalized yet, but they expect it to be soon. The final close could occur later this month or in November.
  • Reps from Coinbase, Vy Capital and Sequoia Capital all either declined or didn't return requests for comment.

Go deeper

Updated 39 mins ago - World

U.S. threatens to cut aid to Sudan after military takeover

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

The latest: The head of the military faction of the Sudanese government, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, said in a statement that he is announcing a state of emergency, suspending several parts of the interim constitution and dissolving the civilian government and interim sovereignty council — the highest governing body in the country.

Facebook's pivotal week

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

They're battening down the hatches at Facebook headquarters this week as the company faces a trifecta of tumult: a continuing wave of negative press coverage fueled by document leaks, a critical earnings report Monday and a reported name change looming.

The big picture: All this is unfolding as Mark Zuckerberg tries to transform Facebook from a social network into the prime mover behind a new "metaverse" of VR- and AR-driven remote work and play.

3D-printed houses seem poised to go mainstream

A rendering of a planned 3D-printed, net-zero-energy community in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Photo: Mighty Buildings

3D-printed cement houses are about to take off, offering a cheaper, more efficient way to provide homes for those who need them — as long as they can be built in ways that don't worsen climate change.

Why it matters: Developers of 3D-printed homes think they can take on multiple challenges: the affordable housing crisis, the shortage of skilled labor and rising material costs.