Over the crypto mania of the last year, the U.S-based cryptocurrency exchange ‘Coinbase’ emerged as one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange of the globe with nearly 14 million registered users and a billion dollar revenue, as of 2017 year’s end. The cryptocurrency exchange is now seen flexing its muscles by venturing into several crypto-related products and services.
In the latest announcement on Monday, April 16, Coinbase has confirmed the acquisition of the crypto social network and two-sided marketplace Earn.com. This puts an end to the last month’s rumor when the crypto exchange was supposedly in talks with Earn, formerly known as 21 Inc, charting out plans for the acquisition.
Earn.com is basically a two-sided marketplace which rewards the users, in cryptocurrency, for accomplishing microtasks like filling out surveys, labeling images, quickly replying to emails and referring new users to the platform. Following the acquisition, Coinbase CEO – Brian Armstrong in an official blog post said:
“We’re going to be doubling down on the Earn business within Coinbase, as they have built a paid email product that is arguably one of the earliest practical blockchain applications to achieve meaningful traction. We will keep Earn’s business running because it’s showing a lot of promise and potential.”
Although the terms of the deal have not been explicitly mentioned, TechCrunch reported a whopping $120 million, making it the biggest acquisition by Coinbase, till date. This will be the fifth acquisition by Coinbase. TechCrunch also says that the total deal could be even more while considering cash, stock, cryptocurrency and management earn-outs. Earn is said to have raised a total of $120 million during several funding rounds ever since it has been founded five years back.
Earn initially started back in 2013 as a company developing hardware and chips for cryptocurrency mining, and was then known as 21 Inc. Last year, it rebranded itself to Earn.com by launching itself as a paid messaging platform.
In the latest acquisition of Earn.com, the company CEO and co-founder Balaji Srinivasan has been absorbed by Coinbase making him as the first Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of the cryptocurrency exchange. Commenting on his new role, Coinbase CEO Armstrong said:
“As CTO of Coinbase, Balaji will serve an important role as the technological evangelist for the company. Balaji will evangelize for both crypto and for Coinbase, educating the world and recruiting crypto-first talent to the company.”
Coinbase has said that the team of Earn.com will be completely integrated into Coinbase’s operations while its existing business will continue. Earn has also assured its users that they are not changing anything drastically yet and that its product will just get better with time as a consequence of the deal. The team wrote:
“Everything will continue as before in the short term, with one exception: we’ve put our token launch on the back burner and will instead focus on integrating with Coinbase’s infrastructure and scaling up our service. You might be able to guess what this will enable, but stay tuned anyway as you might be surprised!”
After having a phenomenal end to 2017, Coinbase is seen on an aggressive spree of expanding its services by launching new products and making some important acquisitions. Last Friday, on April 13, Coinbase also acquired Ethereum Wallet Startup ‘cipher Browser’ which is a popular Web 3 decentralized app (Dapp) browser and further said that it would merge its features with the exchange’s own decentralized browser ‘Toshi’.
Last month in March, Coinbase launched a New Crypto Index Fund which will highlight all the major trends and shifts in the digital currency market. Earlier this month, the exchange also announced the launch of Coinbase Ventures which is an early-stage venture capital fund for the financing of companies working in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space.