A $500 Million Mega Mansion

Here’s a video tour

https://geardiary.com/2021/04/23/the-one-mega-mansion-tour/

I just read a story on a friend’s tech website, called Gear Diary, about the largest home on the planet, 105,000 sq. ft. Of course, it’s located in Bel Air, California. You have to see this house. Click above to read Julie Lipsett’s story. Posted April 23, 2021

The mega mansion features 21 bedrooms, 42 bathrooms, enormous indoor and outdoor kitchens, multiple living and dining areas, a glass-encased wine cellar, a vintage Playboy cover paneled cigar room, a 50-car garage, 7 water features and swimming pools combined, a four-lane bowling alley, an outdoor jogging track, an enormous state-of-the-art home theater, a huge sky deck complete with putting green, artworks created just for the house sprinkled throughout, a candy room, a hair salon, dry sauna, wet sauna, gym, art galleries, a tennis court, a 3-bedroom guest house with pool, staff rooms with views, plus so much more.

Here’s the link again.

https://geardiary.com/2021/04/23/the-one-mega-mansion-tour/

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Jewish Humor

LITTLE-KNOWN FACT IS THAT WHILE JEWS MAKE UP ABOUT 2% OF THE U.S. POPULATION,

THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THEY MADE UP ~50% OF THE FAMOUS COMEDIANS (ACCORDING TO A UC BERKELEY PROFESSOR WHO STUDIES HUMOR)


You may remember the old Jewish Catskill Comics of Vaudeville days:

Shecky Greene, Red Buttons,
Totie Fields, Joey Bishop,
Milton Berle, Jan Murray,
Danny Kaye, Henny Youngman,
Buddy Hackett, Sid Caesar,
Groucho Marx, Jackie Mason,
Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce,
George Burns, Allan Sherman,
Jerry Lewis, Carl Reiner,
Shelley Berman, Gene Wilder,
George Jessel, Alan King,
Mel Brooks, Phil Silvers,
Jack Carter, Rodney Dangerfield,
Don Rickles, Jack Benny
Mansel Rubenstein
and so many others.

There was not one single swear word in their comedy.

Here are a few examples:

* I just got back from a pleasure trip.
I took my mother-in-law to the airport.

* I’ve been in love with the same woman for 49 years!
If my wife ever finds out, she’ll kill me!

* What are three words a woman never wants to hear when she’s making love?
“Honey, I’m home!”

* Someone stole all my credit cards, but I won’t be reporting it.
The thief spends less than my wife did.

* We always hold hands.
If I let go, she shops.

* My wife and I went back to the hotel where we spent our wedding night.
Only this time I stayed in the bathroom and cried.

* My wife and I went to a hotel where we got a waterbed.
My wife called it the Dead Sea.

* She was at the beauty shop for two hours.
That was only for the estimate.

She got a mudpack and looked great for two days.
Then the mud fell off.

* The Doctor gave a man six months to live.
The man couldn’t pay his bill, so the doctor gave him another six months.

* The Doctor called Mrs. Cohen saying, “Mrs. Cohen, your check came back.”
Mrs. Cohen answered, “So did my arthritis!”

* Doctor: “You’ll live to be 60!”
Patient: “I am 60!”
Doctor: “See! What did I tell you?”

* Patient: “I have a ringing in my ears.”
Doctor: “Don’t answer it!”


* A drunk was in front of a judge.
The judge says, “You’ve been brought here for drinking.”
The drunk says “Okay, let’s get started.”

* Why do Jewish divorces cost so much?
They’re worth it.

* The Harvard School of Medicine did a study of why Jewish women like
Chinese food so much.
The study revealed that this is due to the fact that Won Ton spelled
backward is Not Now.

*There is a big controversy on the Jewish view of when life begins.
In Jewish tradition, the fetus is not considered viable until it
graduates from medical school.

Q: Why don’t Jewish mothers drink?
A: Alcohol interferes with their suffering.

Q: Why do Jewish mothers make great parole officers?
A: They never let anyone finish a sentence!

A man called his mother in Florida, “Mom, how are you?”
“Not too good,” said the mother. “I’ve been very weak.”
The son said, “Why are you so weak?”
She said, “Because I haven’t eaten in 38 days.”
The son said, “That’s terrible. Why haven’t you eaten in 38 days?”
The mother answered, “Because I didn’t want my mouth to be filled with
food if you should call.”

A Jewish boy comes home from school and tells his mother he has a part
in the play.
She asks, “What part is it?”
The boy says, “I play the part of the Jewish husband.”
The mother scowls and says, “Go back and tell the teacher you want a
speaking part.”

Q: How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: (Sigh) “Don’t bother. I’ll sit in the dark. I don’t want to be a nuisance to anybody.”

Did you hear about the bum who walked up to a Jewish mother on the
street and said, “Lady, I haven’t eaten in three days.”
“Force yourself,” she replied.

Q: What’s the difference between a Rottweiler and a Jewish mother?
A: Eventually, the Rottweiler lets go.

Q: Why are Jewish men circumcised?
A: Because Jewish women don’t like anything that isn’t 20% off.

A-a-h! Memories of the good ole days!

Everything You Wanted To Know About Art But Were Afraid To Ask

My good friend Ray, is the founder and editor-in-chief of the much applauded art publication for FIU. He is very well known in the art world so he was the perfect person to video interview Kathryn Mikesell of The Fountainhead Residency. Kathryn is going to explain how she got involved in art and why you should too. You don’t have to know much about art to love it, and make it a part of your life. Watch the videos. This will help you instantly become a meaningful member of the art community.


Here is a direct link to the INSPICIO video interview with KATHRYN MIKESELL, co-founder of Fountainhead Residency and Fountainhead Studios.


You can also link to the interview from the INSPICIO website home page: http://inspicio.fiu.edu/


INSPICIO (founded in 2015) is an arts publication platform sponsored by The College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) at Florida International University (FIU). INSPICIO provides high-quality, in-depth insights into all arts disciplines, with a focus on Miami and South Florida.


The heart and soul of INSPICIO is its 200+ video interviews with prominent people in the arts — Pulitzer Prize Recipients; U.S. Poet Laureates; Academy, Grammy, Tony, Emmy Award winners and more.


INSPICIO is available as a website (http://inspicio.fiu.edu/); as an e-Magazine for iPads and iPhones — go to the APP Store and search for “inspicio;” and on DigitalCommons, a global archival network (http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/inspicio/)


You can also register for a complimentary subscription to INSPICIO at http://inspicio.fiu.edu/complimentary-subscription/

Happy 50th Birthday Kathryn Mikesell

One of the leading forces in the world of art celebrated her 50th birthday Wednesday night with 50 of her closest friends. Kathryn Mikesell and her husband Dan, co-founders of Fountainhead Residency, put this party together in less than 24 hours. I didn’t get to photograph everyone because people who love art like to talk, and I did my fair share of it. One quote that will stick with me for a long time came from one of the most well known and respected gallerists in Miami, Mindy Solomon. “Serious collectors are buying art in Miami. We are becoming a major force.”

Want To Join Is This Saturday Afternoon?


I hope you will join us to meet March’s artists-in-residence at Fountainhead. Join us virtually Thursday at 1:00pm or in-person this Saturday.

Minia Biabiany GuadelopeWebsite: www.miniabiabiany.comInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/minia_biabiany/

In her practice Minia Biabiany uses the deconstruction of narratives in installations, videos and drawings, by building up efimeral poetics of forms in relation with colonial presences, past or present. Her work proceeds from an investigation on the perception of space an dof the paradigm of weaving in language. She initiated the artistic and pedagogical collective project semillero Caribe in 2016 in Mexico City and continue to explore the deconstruction of narratives with the body and concepts from Caribbean authors with the experimental platform Doukou. Minia Biabiany works and lives between Mexico city and Guadeloupe.Her work has been shown in the Xth Biennale de Berlin, TEOR/éTica in Costa Rica, Witte de Wite in Rotterdam, Cràter Invertido and Bikini Wax in Mexico, Prix Sc Po 2019 in Paris, SIGNAL in Malmö.

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Muna Malik Los Angeles, CAWebsite: www.themunamalik.com/ Instagram: @themunamalik

Muna Malik is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, CA. Her work has been featured in such exhibits and publications as The New York Times, Vogue, MCAD, and MOCA. Using interactive installations, sculpture, and photography, she creates bold and poetic narratives that abstract from contemporary issues, particularly those concerning, race, gender, and xenophobia. She also explores the complexities and entanglements between individuals and communities. The two core interrelated strands to her practice are using abstraction to explore the variations and nuances of identity, and the second is creating platforms for community connection through interactive installations, sculpture, and photography.
Her work has also been exhibited at Northern Spark Arts Festival, MCAD, Artworks Chicago, and The Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She has been a billboard artist in the “For Freedoms 50 State Initiative” and “2020 Awakening.” She recently completed exhibitions at the Band of Vices Gallery LA, Annenberg Space for Photography LA with Photoville, the International Center for Photography with “For Freedoms”, Somaal House of Art in MN, and MOCA Geffen in Los Angeles. Her work has also been featured in ArtForum and i-D Magazine. She’s recently unveiled a new large scale interactive sculpture in Battery Park City, NYC that has made its way to Governor’s Island.

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Fatma Shanan Tel Aviv, Israel Website: http://www.fatmashanan.com/. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fatmashanan/

As a Druze Israeli artist, I explore the symbolic meaning and domestic function of rugs, which are an essential part of my autobiography and my cultural background. Within the cultural aspect, the rug is related to nomadism: it goes alongside the traveler, its four defined edges create a specific territory – a space that can be placed anywhere, anytime. It can create order and a sense of location, and facilitate a heterotopic zone. This zone is established through a subversive act, which deprives the rug from its traditional, symbolic status: As I take the rug out of its original social context and place it in new surroundings, it creates a personal space, through which I examine the ideas of borders, limits, territory, and colonization. My paintings are based on photographic documentation of installations I make with rugs in different locations.


My paintings examine the affects which social norms and codes of conduct have on the individual’s physical body. Whether they are placed in an open landscape and harness the scene around them, or filling in the whole canvas, the rugs in my paintings create a mental leeway: a private sphere where I can inquire my own mental and physical limits, my own borders as a woman and as a female artist.


Kathryn Mikesell
(305) 776-8198


Co-founder and Executive Director
Fountainhead
www.fountainheadresidency.com

Empowering artists to build a better future.

For us all.
Support our mission https://www.fountainheadresidency.com/support/


Stay informed https://www.fountainheadresidency.com/contact-us


Follow us on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/fountainheadresidency/?hl=en

Eliot Explains Monocle Man By Jayda Knight

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Two Very Interesting Stories

Art of the Dealer: Paula Cooper Shores Up Her Legacy. Art Galleries Are Opening There.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/16/arts/design/paula-cooper-gallery.html?referringSource=articleShare

She opened the first gallery in SoHo and was a part of Chelsea’s initial wave. Now, at 83, the dean of ‘tough art’ will bring in new partners and start a year-round branch in Palm Beach.

Paula Cooper, who helped transform Chelsea into an art scene, at her gallery on West 21st Street.Paula Cooper, who helped transform Chelsea into an art scene, at her gallery on West 21st Street.Credit…Sabrina Santiago for The New York Times
Ted Loos

By Ted Loos

In her first show at Paula Cooper Gallery in Chelsea, the painter Cecily Brown showed a large triptych, “A Day! Help! Help! Another Day!” (2016). The 33-foot-wide work, which draws its title from an Emily Dickinson poem, was an energetic field of colorful marks typical of Brown’s expressionistic style.

According to her usual preference, it was placed relatively high up on the wall. But the process was redirected by Cooper herself, an art world veteran who has had her own gallery for 53 years.

“Paula walked in and said, ‘No, no, it’s got to go lower. One has to be immersed in the painting,’” Brown recalled. “She was so right. Now I hang them lower, so you can step into them.”

Cooper’s eye — and her ability to convince others that she’s right, firmly herding artists along the way — are among the reasons that Brown, after a stint at Gagosian and then a brief interval with no dealer, signed up to work with Cooper, whom she called a “female legend.”

 Cecily Brown’s “A Day! Help! Help! Another Day!” at the Paula Cooper Gallery. Cecily Brown’s “A Day! Help! Help! Another Day!” at the Paula Cooper Gallery.Credit…Cecily Brown and Paula Cooper Gallery; Steven Probert

The legend turned 83 in March, and this month Cooper is announcing four new partners in her gallery: Steve Henry, its director, tapped as senior partner; her son Lucas Cooper, a former record executive who will be a managing partner; and two longtime employees, Alexis Johnson and Anthony Allen.

At the same time, the gallery intends to turn a Palm Beach, Fla., seasonal pop-up into a year-round branch, which would be its first outside New York at a time when some galleries have many outlets. The expansion shows the influence of Henry, who has been spearheading the project.

Last month, Cooper was relaxed and candid as she talked about these decisions in a back room of her temporary gallery on West 26th Street. She has two permanent spaces on West 21st Street: her flagship, established in 1996, currently shuttered for construction, and another that has reopened after a fire.

Cooper, seated inside her gallery on West 26th Street, is making a carefully considered handoff to her partners, from left: Steve Henry (seated), Anthony Allen, Alexis Johnson and her son, Lucas Cooper.Cooper, seated inside her gallery on West 26th Street, is making a carefully considered handoff to her partners, from left: Steve Henry (seated), Anthony Allen, Alexis Johnson and her son, Lucas Cooper.Credit…Sabrina Santiago for The New York Times

“I’m tired, and I’ve never loved the social part,” Cooper said, while emphasizing that she is stepping back but not retiring. “I gradually stopped doing certain things.” She added that the evolution of the partnerships was “organic,” a natural development from the way she has been working with these four people for years.

Though she had a mild bout of Covid in December, which she said she mostly “slept through,” Cooper added that she’s in good health now and has received a vaccine; so has her husband, the editor and publisher Jack Macrae. (The couple opened a bookstore, 192 Books, on 10th Avenue in Chelsea, in 2003.)

Her interests are twofold from here: “Working with artists and installing.” She added, “Installing shows is my great love.” She favors letting the works have some air around them — no crowding on the walls.

Few dealers have been at it as long. Cooper opened the first gallery in SoHo in 1968, helping make it the legendary art neighborhood of the 1970s and ’80s; then she did the same thing to Chelsea in the mid-90s.

The Paula Cooper Gallery at 155 Wooster Street, in SoHo, in 1973. It was her second location and helped make the neighborhood an art hub.The Paula Cooper Gallery at 155 Wooster Street, in SoHo, in 1973. It was her second location and helped make the neighborhood an art hub.Credit…Mates and Katz, via Paula Cooper Gallery

Now Cooper has chosen to make a carefully considered handoff instead of just calling it quits. The direction of her gallery, not mega-sized but large in stature, is a telling data point for the state of the art world, especially given the recent announcement by Metro Pictures, on West 24th Street, that it would close after more than 40 years.

“I’m very sorry that Metro is closing,” Cooper said. “They have been such a fine, strong, straight gallery — no fooling around. It’s the end of an era.”

Cooper has a reputation of not suffering fools. “I’m so judgmental,” she said, laughing. Her son Lucas, who joined the gallery in 2013, put it this way: “I don’t know if she’s tough.” He paused. “But I wouldn’t mess with her.”

The Metro Pictures’ closing raises questions, Cooper said, about the future of “the midsize gallery that has been able to flourish.”

From the beginning, “I didn’t want to be a big business,” she said. “The long-term strategy was to remain ‘a gentleman art dealer.’” The mega gallery was never her model. “If I wanted to be a mega-something, I would not choose art,” she said, noting that she toyed with opening a Paris branch around 1980, but decided against it because of the challenging logistics.

Cooper made her name showing, and also selling, Minimalist and Conceptual art, when those movements were just getting going; she was one of the pioneers who taught collectors that the ideafor a work — like a set of Sol LeWitt’s instructions for his wall drawings, with the execution carried out by someone else — had value, not just the physical object. It revolutionized art in the 1960s and ’70s.

Her now more varied roster still has a strong Conceptual strain. Adam D. Weinberg, the director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, said that Ms. Cooper’s lineup has a “cerebral cast of mind, but not aridly so.”

It includes Christian Marclay, famed for his 24-hour-long film montage “The Clock,” as well as the sculptor Carl Andre, and the estates of LeWitt and the photographers Hilla and Bernd Becher, known for their austere water tower pictures.

“I think we show tough stuff,” Cooper said. “That means people have to take time and think about it.” The show opening April 24, “No More Than Three Other Times,” features three generations of conceptual artists: Douglas Huebler, Sherrie Levine and Walid Raad.

Walid Raad, with a work from the Atlas Group, featured in a show opening April 24. His project documented the contemporary history of his native Lebanon with audio, visual and literary documents.Walid Raad, with a work from the Atlas Group, featured in a show opening April 24. His project documented the contemporary history of his native Lebanon with audio, visual and literary documents.Credit…Walid Raad and Paula Cooper Gallery

Weinberg recalled going to her gallery in SoHo in his 1970s college days. “It was through her that I fell in love with Minimal and Conceptual work,” the director said. “It was the first time I ever saw Sol LeWitt’s work.”

As Weinberg put it, “She has curated her successors as carefully as she has curated her shows.”

Henry has been a director since 1998, after getting to know Cooper when he worked for the Los Angeles gallerist Margo Leavin, with whom Cooper shared artists. He said that the fact that he and Johnson, two of the four new partners, are Black, was “quite significant,” given that “there were, like, five Black people in the art world when I started.”

He added, “I think it’s changed remarkably since then. There’s a much more powerful presence of people of color in the art world now.”

Henry said he was happy Cooper “took a chance on a fresh young Black kid”; they bonded from the start over their appreciation of the artists Marclay and Rudolf Stingel. He has put his own stamp on the gallery by suggesting the addition of the filmmaker Ja’Tovia Gary, among others.

“The idea of the radical is in our DNA,” Henry said.

Cooper, born Paula Johnson and raised in Massachusetts, got her first New York gallery job in 1959. In 1964, she opened her own space briefly, but it was short-lived. So, too, was a first marriage. “My first husband didn’t allow me to work, so I stopped being married,” she told the Times in 2016. (She married again, to Neil Cooper, a music producer and record label founder, and they divorced in the ’80s).

Cooper, right, with the collector Vera List in the studio of Alan Shields, an artist Cooper represented, circa 1969. Cooper, right, with the collector Vera List in the studio of Alan Shields, an artist Cooper represented, circa 1969. Credit…Alan Shields, via Paula Cooper Gallery

From 1965 to 1967, she had a job that epitomized the loose spirit of the era, directing Park Place Gallery, a cooperative. Her bosses were 10 artists including the sculptors Robert Grosvenor and Mark di Suvero, both of whom she now shows.

“They call it ‘taste,’ di Suvero said. “But it’s responding to work, and Paula has a great capacity for that.”

The hardheaded quality needed to succeed in business was in evidence, too. Di Suvero said, “She was able to keep this crazy group of artists together, which wasn’t easy.” In particular, she found some financial backers, which helped, given that di Suvero said there were “practically no sales.”

Finally in 1968, Cooper opened the gallery that still bears her name on Prince Street (later it moved to Wooster Street). In that era, a woman dealer wasn’t a unicorn — Bertha Schaefer, Martha Jackson, Betty Parsons and Joan Washburn were active — but “people treated you so condescendingly,” she said. “A woman couldn’t be a major dealer, she was second tier.” The dealer Dick Bellamy, she recalled, “used to pat me on the head.” This, despite the fact that she was 30 with two children when she opened her doors.

And to those outside the art world, gallerist was a socially acceptable profession for a woman. “The arts were ‘clean hands,’” she said. “Ladies could concern themselves with such things.”

Cooper’s political cast of mind quickly put to rest the idea that she’d show demure art. Her initial exhibition was explicitly anti-Vietnam.

“I had friends who wouldn’t talk to me, I was so against the war,” she recalled. She also didn’t take any of the proceeds for herself, splitting them between the artists and antiwar causes. She has given first or early shows to Jennifer Bartlett, Lynda Benglis, Jonathan Borofsky, Elizabeth Murray, Joel Shapiro and Robert Gober. Other dealers have picked off her successes. Cooper lost Gober and Tony Smith’s estate to Matthew Marks; and she lost Murray and Donald Judd to Pace (which then subsequently watched them go elsewhere).

Cooper holding a wax painting by Lynda Benglis with artworks by Gary Kuehn in the background, 1971.Cooper holding a wax painting by Lynda Benglis with artworks by Gary Kuehn in the background, 1971.Credit…Paula Cooper Gallery

“Artists only get stolen when they’re doing well,” she said.

Cooper’s lack of interest in expanding the gallery may have been a factor in some departures, though she “never, ever” had regrets about her path.

And the losses hurt: Gober’s move left “my heart broken,” she said, noting that she “doesn’t hold it against” the artists or the other dealers. “Sometimes, they just want a different experience,” Cooper said. She added that “sometimes they come back, too.”

Rachel Uffner, a younger dealer who opened her gallery in 2008, said that she saw something significant in the fact that Cecily Brown and the multimedia maker Tauba Auerbach have joined Paula Cooper in the past decade.

“These are strong female artists who seem to have sought this relationship as a kind of refuge from the market,” said Uffner.

Arne Glimcher, Pace’s founder, also 83, is perhaps the only person with similar longevity in the art business. A famous 1970 group photo in Vogue, intended to showcase New York’s up-and-coming dealers, included him and Cooper, the only woman in the bunch.

Taking the long view, Glimcher praised Cooper’s adaptability, after having made her name with Minimal and Conceptual works. “She has been much more open to other styles in the later half of her career,” he said.

Musing on her own track record in the business, Cooper said, “I can’t think of any artists I’ve stolen.”

But she smiled when she added, “Maybe that will change.”

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Just In Case You Were Thinking Of Investing

Coinbase Global issued stock at an ideal moment—the value of the cryptocurrency market has doubled in just the past two months, Bitcoin is booming, and institutional investors are scrambling to get in.

The stock made its market debut on Wednesday with a market capitalization of almost exactly $100 billion—or 80 times its latest annual revenue. That is typically a big red flag for longer-term investors.

Coinbase (ticker: COIN) is the real deal, however. It’s a novel company with competitive advantages that have enabled it to increase market share despite fierce rivals.

The stock may falter in the next crypto downturn, but its current valuation does not look unreasonable. In fact, there is good reason to believe the stock could rise significantly. Coinbase belongs in an elite league of multifaceted platform companies, not traditional brokers or exchanges. If it moves beyond relying on retail-trading transaction revenue—and there’s every reason to think it will—its potential and financial results can grow as quickly as the larger cryptocurrency market.

That promise justifies a lofty multiple of future sales. MoffettNathanson analyst Lisa Ellis thinks the stock is worth $600, up from a recent $342. That is based on her belief that the shares should trade at 18 times 2023 sales, the same as Shopify’s (SHOP) multiple and ahead of Square’s (SQ) 11 times.

“If you’re looking at [Coinbase] as a cryptocurrency technology company and taking a longer-term view, it’s hard not to be bullish,” she says. “They are definitively the market leader in a very disruptive technology that by now has critical mass momentum behind it.”

If Coinbase was just a broker, or just an exchange, it might fetch a multiple between six and eight times, or somewhere between Charles Schwab (SCHW) and Nasdaq (NDAQ). But Coinbase is already more than that.

Sure, anyone can buy Bitcoin from a brokerage like Robinhood, but in most cases they can’t use it as a token within a cryptocurrency system, earn interest off it, or move it off the platform. Coinbase has burgeoning operations in areas like staking, which allows crypto holders to lend their crypto holdings and earn interest.

And a recent acquisition of a blockchain infrastructure company called Bison Trails could put Coinbase “on a path to becoming the Microsoft Azure of blockchain,” Ellis says.

W hen Coinbase was founded in 2012, CEO Brian Armstrong was taking a leap into the unknown. There was no regulation or market structure in the crypto world and handling it involved legal and reputational risks. Two years later, its chief rival imploded. Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based exchange that once handled as much as 70% of Bitcoin trading volume, suddenly lost 850,000 of its clients’ Bitcoin.

In contrast, Coinbase developed more slowly than unregulated exchanges, taking a more traditional route by raising money from venture capitalists and making sure to check off regulatory boxes as it grew. Customers sometimes gripe about the amount of time it takes to verify their documents before they can trade crypto. But the effort has paid off.

“I think the fact that Coinbase was a U.S.-based venture-backed start-up, put it on a different trajectory, which was one of being a well-lit venue, that’s well-regulated, and in constant dialogue with regulators and lawmakers,” Tom Loverro, a Coinbase investor, tells Barron’s. “This was set up to be a corporation.” Loverro is a partner at venture-capital firm IVP, which led a funding round for Coinbase in 2017.

That often-onerous regulatory process—culminating in approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission for the public listing—is now a competitive advantage that will be hard for others to surmount, says R.A. Farrokhnia, a professor at Columbia Business School who has been teaching crypto and blockchain for years. At the time, the strategy stood out because so many others “felt it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.”

There are several bear cases on Coinbase stock. Regulation is sure to get more strict in some areas of cryptocurrency. Regulators have already raised questions about Coinbase’s activities; the Commodity Futures Trading Commission found that the company delivered “reckless false, misleading, or inaccurate reporting” about trades between 2015 and 2018, leading to a settlement where Coinbase agreed to pay $6.5 million without admitting or denying the claims.

The most compelling bear argument may be that Coinbase is dependent on transaction fees, and financial transaction fees have a history of deflating as competition increases. Yet that is a narrow way to look at its business.

“I think the narrative of pricing pressure is mostly based on an analog to stocks, which doesn’t apply here, because it’s a different bundle of services you’re buying,” Loverro says. A similar argument was made against Square and PayPal Holdings (PYPL) after their debuts, and that argument now seems quaint given all the areas those companies have entered, MoffettNathanson’s Ellis notes.

Providing trading and custody services for cryptocurrencies is very different from facilitating stock-trading. The trade-off between security and liquidity is a precarious balancing act; crypto is safest when it’s in “cold storage” unconnected to the internet. But it can’t trade without the internet. Coinbase has so far walked that tightrope like an acrobat, even as other exchanges have failed.

For investors, the chief difference is that businesses focused on other financial assets are not growing with nearly the ferocity of Coinbase. The company’s estimated $1.8 billion of revenue in the first quarter of 2021 was 40% higher than its revenue in all of 2020. Its market share of global crypto assets has grown to 11.3% from 4.8% in 2018, according to BTIG.

Bitcoin will swing lower at some point. Yet Coinbase should be able to tap a number of revenue streams, thanks to its central position in the U.S. crypto-ecosystem. Look for its stock to mint digital gold.

Luisa Beltran contributed reporting

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