Coinbase has acquired Earn.com, a crypto startup company that enables users to monetize their email messaging with digital currency, for an undisclosed amount rumored to be north of $100 million. With the acquisition, Earn.com CEO Balaji Srinivasan will join Coinbase as its first-ever chief technology officer.
“Balaji has become one of the most respected technologists in the crypto field and is considered one of the technology industry’s few true ‘originalists,’” said Brian Armstrong, Coinbase’s co-founder and CEO, in a blog post announcing the news. Coinbase plans on continuing to run Earn.com, further expanding on its recent move to support blockchain projects conducting Ethereum-based token airdrops.
Earn.com, formerly known as 21.co until rebranding late last year, was founded in 2013 and raised as much as $120 million since that time, the most of any bitcoin-related startup to date. Coinbase and Earn.com are both backed by Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm where Srinivasan was a former general partner until 2015 and continues to serve as a board partner.
Earn.com initially planned to conduct its own ICO to launch a token to function across its platform but has since placed that plan on hold due to the upcoming integration with Coinbase, according to the announcement.
“If you’re an existing Earn.com user or sender, 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! Over the next few weeks, as we integrate and ship new features, we will make announcements as we do so.”
The acquisition is the second major move by Coinbase in as many weeks. They recently announced Coinbase Ventures, an early-stage venture fund designed to support young blockchain-based startups.
Got a nice announcement for you today in three parts. First, Earn is joining Coinbase! Read all about it here: https://t.co/6oIbrP1Vg7
— Balaji S. Srinivasan (@balajis) April 16, 2018