Analyst Dan Dolev at Mizuho broke ranks with his Wall Street peers, as he became the first to initiate coverage of Coinbase Global Inc. with something other than the equivalent of a buy rating. Dolev set a neutral rating for the cryptocurrency exchange, and a stock price target of $285, which was 6.6% below current levels. The stock fell 2.2% in midday trading toward a four-day losing streak. Dolev said that while Coinbase was a “major share gainer,” the risk of pricing pressure offsets opportunities surrounding the stock. “Over time, COIN’s fees may face downward pressure from competing platforms following the footsteps of zero-commission stock trading, because platforms like PayPal and Cash App primarily use crypto trading products as engagement tools,” Dolev wrote in a note to clients. “In contrast, COIN relies on commissions for the vast majority of its revenue.” He said a survey of several hundred bitcoin traders showed “significant user overlap” among Coinbase, PayPal Holdings Inc. and Square Inc.’s Cash App, and 55% of those surveyed consider “low transaction fees” as the second-most important quality of crypto trading app platforms, behind just “security.” Coinbase’s stock has lost 10.8% this week, while bitcoin has declined 10.6% and the S&P 500 has slipped 0.2%.
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