The price of Coinbase shares (COIN), which were previously rated “perform”, rose to $160 on Friday, after Oppenheimer upgraded the stock’s rating from “perform”. They argued that the company was strong and the management team was tough.

The stock was subjected to intense scrutiny during the crypto winter. COIN has fought for its business and industry while many of its peers have failed. We think the company is more resilient than people realize and that the management is much stronger than investors believe,” Owen Lau, an analyst at Owen Lau & Co. wrote in a recent note.

The upgrade is based on multiple factors, including a “good chance” that Coinbase will win its legal%20re=Coin%20/

This upgrade comes after JPMorgan had downgraded the stock to an underweight earlier in the week, citing a disappointing Bitcoin ETF catalyst.

Lau does not believe that investors who trade on crypto exchanges will be swayed by the low trading fees of ETFs. Some ETFs have 0% trading fees for the first 6 months or until a fund reaches certain assets. Lau said the majority of retail investors will keep their money in the exchange because it allows them the opportunity to use blockchain for other purposes.

Lau noted that Coinbase’s trading volume has increased since the beginning of the year. He predicts volume will increase in the coming two years, as the Federal Reserve looks to reduce interest rates this year. The industry is also awaiting the halving of bitcoins scheduled for April. Lau stated that trading volume could rise by as much as 66% from year to year.

The shares of Coinbase rose by more than 400% in 2018, driven by the recovery of the crypto market after a turbulent 2022. The stock has fallen more than 20% in the past year, underperforming a broader crypto market. The coinDesk 20 Index is a Benchmark which tracks the 20 biggest crypto assets. It shows a drop of approximately 11% in year-to date.

Lau estimates a 25% year-over year growth for Coinbase in the coming year.

Aoyon A. Ashraf is the editor.