Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase (COIN) continues to have a “bull thesis” even amid a crypto market sell-off, according to Owen Lau, Oppenheimer executive director and senior analyst.
“The bull thesis is the long-term crypto adoption,” Lau said this week. “[That’s] number one thing the market has not given Coinbase credit, it’s on the crypto adoption longer term.”
According to FactSet, stocks of crypto-focused companies are 60% off their highs so far this year, as Coinbase is down 40% year to date.
Still— Lau is bullish on the stock, calling the digital trading platform “one of the most disruptive companies.”
“If you look at a longer horizon, like 3, 5, 10 years from that perspective, if you ask me, do I think more or less people with own digital assets or use digital assets? I would say it would be more,” he said.
Data from CoinMarketCap shows that the entire crypto market has fallen 19% this year, while bitcoin (BTC) is also down 11% signaling some investors to become bearish on the stock. Lau pinpointed two reasons in particular for this sentiment.
“First of all, the bitcoin price has not been helpful to the stock,” he said. “There’s a high correlation. I think based on our analysis, there’s still an 80-90% correlation between the bitcoin price and also the Coinbase price.”
Secondly, according to Lau “many people talk about the fee compression,” which he said is “one of the most talk about like race to the bottom bear thesis against traditional exchanges, e-brokers and also now Coinbase.”
Last year, Coinbase President and COO Emilie Choi said the company was gearing towards a trading fee compression as a way to diversify from trading fees and increasingly rely on revenue.
Trading fees represent the majority of the exchange’s revenue, but the high price volatility that is inherent to most cryptocurrencies makes such fees an unstable source of the income.
On top of that, Lau alluded to several other bearish factors, including “the low trading volume, and then Coinbase has not been quick enough to launch on many initiatives like the derivatives platform and also NFT.”
In a blog post on Wednesday, Coinbase stated it has its non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace up and running in beta mode. Once it launches fully, users will be able to buy or sell NFTs with cryptocurrency and other forms of payment.
“I think the bear thesis and the sale of it is overblown,” Lau said. “We believe longer term, this is a great entry point for investors.”