Coinbase continues its growing process through a deal to acquire Earn.com and the appointing of its Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Balaji Srinivasan, 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,” wrote Brian Armstrong, Co-Founder, and CEO of Coinbase, in a blog post announcing the acquisition. “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.”
The acquisition of a crypto startup in order to hire talent within its founders is one of the tools in the toolbox of the recently appointed Coinbase VP of Corporate and Business Development, Emilie Choi, who said to Recode, just after his hiring, that Coinbase is actually in a position to do a lot of mergers and acquisitions.
One of the first movements of Choi was the acquisition of the mobile Ethereum wallet Cipher Browser. That buy enabled Coinbase to appoint Peter Kim, founder of Cipher Browser, as the new head of engineering at Toshi, the decentralized mobile browser launched by Coinbase. Through this movement, Toshi will be merging some of its features with Cipher Browser.
The amount of the Earn.com deal wasn’t disclosed, but a source cited by Coindesk’s Wolfie Zhao put it around $120 million, a price tag that many Cipher Browser early investors didn’t like because it was under the company’s funding (at $310 million, according to Recode).
In Coinbase, Earn.com will play a major role in developing a network around its core product and in the future of the platform as a whole. “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,” said Coinbase.