Earlier this month, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase went public. As pretty much everyone on Wall Street expected, the stock (listed on Nasdaq) shot up on its first day, reaching as high as $429.54 and giving the company a market cap of roughly $85 billion.
In place of a traditional IPO, Coinbase decided to directly list its stock. In doing so, it followed other tech stocks such as Spotify and Palantir that also opted for a direct listing; it also allowed Coinbase employees to instantly begin selling their own shares on the market. Some of those employees have become very rich, very quickly.
Given Coinbase’s recent market debut, it’s worth examining how much money its software engineers make. For an answer, we turn to levels.fyi, which crowdsources compensation data on many of tech’s biggest companies. While there’s always an element of uncertainty to the accuracy of crowdsourced information, we generally trust what levels.fyi produces, since its numbers tend to align with those presented on other compensation-tracking sites (such as Glassdoor).
With that in mind, here’s the compensation breakdown for Coinbase’s software engineering ranks:
It’s not surprising that Coinbase pays such high compensation; startups must fight for talent, which often means offering higher salaries, bonuses, and stock options than competitors, especially well-established ones (Coinbase’s entry-level engineers make quite a bit more than their equivalents at Visa and Capital One, according to levels.fyi).
As with other tech companies, compensation at Coinbase also hinges on stock price, especially for more senior engineers. Thanks to Coinbase’s big market debut, those engineers with quite a bit of stock are no doubt feeling pretty good (and possibly eyeing a brand-new Tesla or some other extravagance); but keep in mind that stock prices can also go down, impacting annual compensation and net worth.