Cramer calls Coinbase the 'real deal,' but warns investors to brace for a bumpy ride with the stock

  • CNBC's Jim Cramer recommended buying Coinbase shares at the right price when it opens for trading on Wednesday.
  • "I think Coinbase is the real deal — the numbers are incredible — but I hate the timing," the "Mad Money" host said.
  • Investors should start a position in Coinbase below $475 and double down on the stock on a decline, he said.

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  • COIN

CNBC's Jim Cramer endorsed buying Coinbase in its public debut Wednesday, saying he's impressed by the popular cryptocurrency exchange's business model and leadership team.

Should the stock rally hard out the gate, however, investors must be disciplined not to chase because it will likely trade volatile after listing directly on the Nasdaq, he said.

"If you, like me, [are] a big believer in cryptocurrency … you'll want to own Coinbase for the long-haul," the "Mad Money" host said.

"What matters to me is that there's a tremendous appetite for this new asset class and it's not going away. You don't have to be a believer in crypto the concept to believe in crypto the investment," he said.

Coinbase, the hottest stock to come to market so far this year, could be a victim of bad timing in the near term, Cramer said. The market's appetite for the new entrant may lead to pressure in other tech stocks as some investors trim holdings in growth names to raise cash for Coinbase.

"I think Coinbase is the real deal — the numbers are incredible — but I hate the timing," he said. "One of my biggest fears right now is that we have a growth stock glut, just too many of these things, especially in tech."

One appeal of Coinbase is that the exchange is connected to the strong-performing Bitcoin, Cramer said. Bitcoin, which is the poster child of crypto assets, hit new highs above $63,000 on Tuesday. Coinbase, which was founded in 2012, supports trading in a wide range of cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Litecoin, while making money on commissions.

One cause for concern is that too much initial demand may carry shares of Coinbase to extreme levels, Cramer said. In that scenario, a great buying opportunity could open up if early investors move to dump shares and take profit, inducing a big sell-off, he said.

"I say buy some tomorrow, ideally at less than $475, but I accept that some has to be bought," Cramer advised. "Then wait to buy more on weakness and get ready for the bumpiest ride of your financial life, a ride I expect to be lucrative over the long haul."

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