Coinbase Acquires Earn.com, Appoints Founder as CTO

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has acquired Blockchain-based paid-email ‎service Earn.com, the companies announced on Monday.‎

In addition, Earn.com’s co-founder and CEO Balaji Srinivasan will take ‎on the title of the first chief technology officer (CTO) at the San ‎Francisco startup, according to the announcement.‎

It’s the fifth acquisition Coinbase has made to date and the second since poaching LinkedIn’s ‎mergers and acquisitions boss Emilie Choi.‎

Blockchain-focused media outlets gave different estimates of the acquisition ‎price. Techcrunch said Earn was sold in a deal worth more than $120 ‎million including the total value of cash, cryptocurrency, stock and management earn-outs. ‎Earn has already raised the same value over multiple funding rounds ‎since its founding nearly five years ago.

Founded in 2013, Earn originally was developing chips and hardware for ‎cryptocurrency ‎mining. The startup had rebranded in 2017 from 21.co with the launch of its ‎eponymous paid messaging platform, which allows senders to pay users in cryptocurrency to reply ‎to emails and complete tasks.‎

It has since pivoted to crypto-based ‎messaging technology, which ‎some believe the ultimate goal was to decentralize its network allowing each person to ‎join the ‎project and earn digital currencies for their micro-tasks.‎

Brian Armstrong, Co-Founder and CEO at Coinbase, 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.”‎

Commenting on the new CTO appointment, he added: “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.‎”

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