Coinbase picks Goldman Sachs to lead listing plans -source

FILE PHOTO: The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company's space on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) - Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc to lead preparations for its planned stock market listing, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.

San Francisco-based Coinbase had said on Thursday it had confidentially applied with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to go public. It would be the first major U.S. crypto exchange to list on the stock market.

Coinbase did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reuters reported in July that Coinbase had started plans for a stock-market listing and was exploring going public via a direct listing instead of a traditional initial public offering (IPO).

Coinbase has not specified publicly whether it will pursue an IPO or a direct listing.

Goldman Sachs has been more open to exploring crypto as an asset class than other banks, even setting up their own digital currency desk in 2018.

News of Goldman Sachs’ hiring was reported earlier by Business Insider.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin in Miami; Additional reporting by Lauren La Capra; editing by Jonathan Oatis