The Nasdaq set a reference price of US$250 for the direct listing of Coinbase Global Inc., the cryptocurrency exchange that will start trading Wednesday via a direct listing.

The exchange disclosed the price in a statement Tuesday.

Setting a reference price is a requirement for trading in the stock to begin. Unlike the share price in a standard IPO, it isn’t a direct indicator of the company’s potential market capitalization. Investors will have a better sense of valuation when shares start trading Wednesday.

Coinbase shares changed hands at a roughly US$90 billion value in early March, Bloomberg News reported at the time, in what was one of the last chances for investors to trade its private stock before the company goes public. That valuation was based on US$350 a share, the price the stock was trading at on the Nasdaq Private Market auction.

The offering will be the first major direct listing, an alternative to a traditional IPO, to take place on the Nasdaq. All such previous listings were on the New York Stock Exchange, including those by Roblox Corp., Spotify Technology SA, Slack Technologies Inc., Asana Inc. and Palantir Technologies Inc.

Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong started Coinbase with Fred Ehrsam in 2012, at a time when few people had even heard of Bitcoin, and many crypto exchanges were run by amateurs from their garages and homes. Unlike most rivals, Coinbase’s founders envisioned strict regulatory compliance as a cornerstone of the operation, which has helped the exchange to grow in the U.S., where many early Bitcoin traders and investors were located.