Coinbase valuation spikes to $68 billion

Coinbase Global revealed an eye-popping valuation on Wednesday, reflecting the craze over cryptocurrencies.

The largest U.S. digital currency exchange said private transactions valued the company at around $68 billion ahead of a planned stock market listing. That represents a nearly 13-fold jump in its valuation in the space of a few months and underscores how the perceived value of Coinbase has rallied in lock-step with the surge in the price of bitcoin.

A successful listing by Coinbase, whose business is primarily focused on digital currencies, would represent a landmark victory for cryptocurrency advocates vying for endorsement for a sector that has struggled to win the trust of mainstream investors, regulators and the general public.

It could also be seen as a tacit regulatory approval of assets traded on Coinbase's platform.

And that platform is global: the company boasts more than 43 million users in more than 100 countries.