Coinbase, the $1.6 billion cryptocurrency exchange announced Monday that it had acquired Earn.com, a crypto company founded by Balaji Srinivasan, a former general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Srinivasan will join Coinbase as its first chief technology officer, Coinbase said on it’s blog.
Last week, Coinbase said it acquired Cipher Browser, a cryptocurrency-wallet company that lets users store tokens based in the Ethereum blockchain.
CoinDesk’s Pete Rizzo reported last month that Earn.com was in talks with Coinbase. Earn.com, which rebranded from 21.co at the end of last year, provides a platform that allows users to earn cryptocurrency by answering emails.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Recode reported that Coinbase offered a little over $100 million for Earn.com.
Coinbase said in its blog post:
“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,”
Business Insider’s Becky Peterson has reported on the mergers-and-acquisitions ambitions of Coinbase, which hired its first M&A boss in March to lead a new push for acquisitions and partnerships to expand its opportunities in the booming market.
However, some market observers think Coinbase is biting off more than it can chew. The founder of CoinRoutes, Dave Weisberger, said that Coinbase should focus its resources on understanding markets and regulations and developing its trading technology, which is not at the same level as more established exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq.
“They have failed to consider the implications of these topics, along with understanding institutional needs, including how and why dark pools evolved, and the nature of fragmentation in displayed markets,”
Coinbase’s institutional-grade exchange, GDAX, is working on more mature offerings such as advanced order types and products tied to market data. It’s also looking to hire a head of market structure according to a recently posted job ad:
“develop marketplace improvements such as new order types, liquidity incentive programs, and market safeguards,”