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Blockchain.com exec hits back at Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood after swipe

Blockchain.com exec hits back at Ark Invest's Cathie Wood after swipe

Nicholas Curry, co-founder of Blockchain.com, hit back at Cathy Wood after an investor criticized his crypto business by questioning its valuation and management.

“If you look at others like Blockchain.com, its valuation has tripled over the past year while Coinbase in our wallets is down 40%. That doesn’t make sense,” Wood, CEO of Ark Invest, told CNBC on Tuesday.

“Coinbase is a much better company that is well diversified, isn’t it? I’d argue a better managed company.”

Blockchain.com is a cryptocurrency exchange and wallet platform, as well as a direct competitor to Coinbase. Blockchain.com is still a private company. Cathy Wood’s Ark Invest funds own shares in US-listed Coinbase. Coinbase shares have fallen more than 50% over the past year.

Wood’s comments came in the context of a response to technology stock valuations as interest rates rose. I talked about the difference between public and private market valuations of tech companies.

“This (Blockchain.com) has tripled in one year and Coinbase is down 40%. Does that make sense to you? I think the private market has more of this right than the public markets. And the reasons for the lack of public markets are efficiency,” Wood said. They do not conduct research.

Curry, co-founder and vice president of Blockchain.com, responded to Wood’s comments.

“Well, there is definitely a difference between private and public markets and Kathy’s position has taken a very big haircut. I think what’s interesting to note is yes, our company’s valuation has tripled, and that was in the context of a global pandemic,” Curry told CNBC in an interview on Wednesday. A collapse in tech stocks and the outbreak of a ground war in Europe.

“Coinbase is not very well understood in the market… in the long run although I think the two companies have a lot of upside, our new investors are very excited about our future. We have worked hard to build a revenue combination that delivers better quarterly results.”

When pressed to respond to Wood’s specific comments on the management of Blockchain.com, Curry said, “I think the market is pretty clear – her position is down 50% and ours is 3x so…”

Carey said that Blockchain.com is taking a “patient approach” to getting it public and that it is currently “well-capitalised.”

“Tech stocks have obviously been bombed, Cathy’s attitudes are down all over the place, we are going to take our time with her. We need to see the crypto markets better understood by the public markets,” said Carey.

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