Bitcoin Debit Card May Be Behind 40 Percent Rally in Recent IPO

(Bloomberg) -- While this year’s IPOs widely failed to keep pace with the broader market, Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. has risen nearly 40 percent since last month’s listing. The commercial bank’s outperformance may be thanks to a bitcoin debit card called Shift Card.

Metropolitan is the issuing bank for the Shift Card, which lets users spend bitcoin anywhere that accepts Visa. The card works by exchanging a customer’s bitcoin for U.S. dollars at the going rate whenever a sale is processed. This setup lets investors play the growth of bitcoin transactions without forcing the bank to hold the volatile cryptocurrency on its balance sheet.

Of the 36 U.S. listings since Nov. 1, only Stitch Fix Inc. has gained more than the New York-based Metropolitan Bank, excluding IPOs below $20 million. This class of IPOs has returned 5.7 percent on average, weighted by offering size.

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