Coinbase bitcoin exchange co-founders Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam and its top executives Emily Choi and Surojit Chatterjee combined to sell $1.2 billion worth of stock between the IPO and February of this year. The Wall Street Journal did the calculations.
The reporters analyzed reports for the SEC. The largest share of sales fell on the first day of trading. The market entry was through a direct listing, which explicitly involves the sale of shares by its founders and team.
Sales of securities ranged from $189 to $422. The opening price on IPO day was $381. Coinbase shares ended trading at $69.87 on May 26.
“Coinbase executives are retaining large blocks of securities, reflecting their commitment to our long-term opportunities,” a Coinbase spokesman said.
Brian Armstrong holds 59.5% of the voting shares. He raised $292 million during the period under review. Emily Choi and Surojit Chatterjee sold $226 million and $110 million worth of shares, respectively.
Fred Hersam, who left Coinbase, became richer by almost $0.5 billion. On behalf of the venture company Paradigm, which he headed, he later bought $75 million worth of Coinbase shares.
The securities of the bitcoin exchange fell by 72.3% since the beginning of the year and by 81.7% since the IPO.