The National Pension Service of South Korea Acquires Coinbase Shares
The National Pension Service (NPS), one of the largest pension funds in the world, has made a significant investment in the global cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. According to a stock holdings report filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the NPS acquired over 280,000 shares of Coinbase in the third quarter of this year.
The investment has proven to be profitable, with a 39% increase in value since the purchase. Based on Coinbase’s last recorded closing price, the investment is worth $27.7 million. The NPS acquired its batch of Coinbase shares for about $19.9 million, resulting in a profit of $7 million.
This investment by South Korea’s public pension fund is notable because it marks the first time the NPS has bought Coinbase stock. Previously, the fund had a policy of not investing directly in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin due to their volatility.
In 2021, the NPS faced criticism from South Korea’s National Assembly for its investment in a crypto-related business. However, the NPS defended its decision by stating that it had only invested in the exchange, not in cryptocurrencies themselves.
Coinbase’s stock has seen significant growth in 2023, reaching a high of $110 per share in July. Year-to-date, COIN shares have gained close to 170% in value. Despite this growth, the stock is still 74% down from its all-time highs in September 2021.
It’s worth noting that Coinbase has been facing legal challenges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC filed a lawsuit in June 2023, alleging that Coinbase violated securities laws by offering certain cryptocurrencies as unregistered securities. In October, Coinbase disputed the SEC’s authority in the crypto space, arguing that the regulator’s definition of security was too broad.
Overall, the NPS’s investment in Coinbase demonstrates the growing interest and acceptance of cryptocurrencies in traditional financial institutions. As one of the world’s largest pension funds, the NPS’s decision to invest in Coinbase is a significant development in the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.