Thomas Farley said traditional Wall Street banks made the Coinbase stock listing and innovations in crypto possible by largely ignoring the industry.
Thomas Farley, president of the New York Stock Exchange, said the world of finance was “past the point of no return” on crypto following Coinbase’s public listing last week.
In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box on Thursday, Farley said he was excited to talk about developments in the crypto space such as Coinbase’s COIN listing on stock exchanges and decentralized finance, or DeFi. The New York Stock Exchange president said he had invested $10 million in the crypto exchange on behalf of the NYSE back in 2013.
“I think the crypto space is amazing right now,” said Farley. “It’s the best-kept secret in the world, and maybe the history of the financial markets. Coinbase today is the eighth-largest exchange in the world.”
“DeFi exchanges are doing as much volume if not more than Coinbase today. This space has taken off, but the traditional competitors — the Wall Street banks who for a century or multiple centuries had made markets in every asset all around the world — have just ignored this, abdicated their role and allowed Coinbase to become an $80 billion company.”
Coinbase, one of the largest crypto firms in the United States, made headlines last week as the company became the first major exchange to have a direct listing on Nasdaq. In the run-up to the stock’s debut, COIN’s reference price was set at $250, with the price surging to roughly $430 after the shares began trading on April 14. At the time of publication, COIN’s value is $308, having fallen 1.1% in the last 24 hours.
DeFi projects have experienced significant growth in 2021 as well. Earlier this month, the ecosystem surpassed $100 billion in total value locked for the first time. That metric now sits at $112.7 billion, according to decentralized finance ecosystem tracker Defi Llama, having risen more than 12% in the last two weeks.