Coinbase has acquired Earn.com, a social network that lets people earn and spend Bitcoin. The company also announced it has hired the startup’s CEO, Balaji Srinivasan, as its first-ever chief technology officer. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The price tag was rumored, however, to be in the ballpark of $100 million—around the same amount 21.co raised during its last private funding round in 2015—according to recent reports by Coindesk. Earn.com allows senders to pay users in digital currency for replying to emails and completing tasks. Relative to the status quo, the introduction of payments benefits both normal email users and large-scale senders of commercial emails.
In a blog post, Brian Armstrong, Coinbase’s cofounder and CEO, said”Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Coinbase has acquired Earn.com, and as part of the acquisition, Earn’s co-founder and CEO, Balaji Srinivasan, will join Coinbase as the company’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO). “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 cofounder and CEO, in a blog post announcing the news. He said that Coinbase would continue to run Earn, which he described as “arguably one of the earliest practical blockchain applications to achieve meaningful traction.”
In a separate blog post, Earn.com said: “As of today, Earn.com is being acquired by Coinbase! The Earn.com product is going to get bigger and better as a consequence of this deal. You can read more about the acquisition here and the history of the company here. In this post, we want to first briefly introduce Earn.com for new audiences and then explain what this means for our existing users and senders.”
Earn.com plans to continue its service for existing users and senders in the short term, except for the originally planned token launch which is now the back burner. Earn.com will instead focus on integrating with Coinbase’s infrastructure and scaling up their service anmd new features.
Founded in 2012, the San Francisco, California-based Coinbase is a digital currency wallet and platform where merchants and consumers can transact with new digital currencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Coinbase is a digital currency exchange. The startup broker exchanges of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin with fiat currencies in around 32 countries, and bitcoin transactions and storage in 190 countries worldwide. It was founded by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. Coinbase launched the services to buy and sell bitcoin through bank transfers in October 2012. In May 2013, the company raised a US$5 million Series A investment. The funding round was led by Fred Wilson from the venture capital firm Union Square Ventures. In December 2013, the company raised another US$25 million investment, from the venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures (USV) and Ribbit Capital.