"Coinbase is ushering in the third wave of the internet," said Ian Balina, CEO and founder of cryptocurrency investment research firm Token Metrics.
Balina notes that Amazon (AMZN) and Google owner Alphabet (GOOGL) in the late 1990s and early 2000s marked the first wave of online commerce and advertising; the rise of Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and Snapchat (SNAP) in the 2010s helped launch the second big digital thrust via social media.
And he says Coinbase represents the next internet revolution: decentralized finance.
To that end, eToro — an online broker that competes with Robinhood and has a big crypto-trading arm — has already announced plans to go public through a blank check merger. Balina expects Coinbase rival Kraken may look to go public too.
He added that he's not worried about Coinbase's eye-popping valuation of nearly $100 billion on its first day of trading, comparing naysayers to those who doubted the market potential for Tesla (TSLA). He thinks Coinbase is "undervalued for the long-term."
Anton Chaschin, managing partner of prime trading with cryptocurrency exchange CEX.IO, agreed that the Coinbase direct listing is a "big validation" for the industry — and that more crypto stocks will likely follow Coinbase to Wall Street.