Coinbase acquires Earn.com, brings CEO Balaji Srinivasan onboard as first-ever CTO
Coinbase is one of the world’s leading digital and cryptocurrency exchanges, allowing users to exchange Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum with the fiat currencies of over 30 countries around the world. The company has seen amazing growth in recent months, and in the latest feather to its cap, has announced the acquisition of Earn.com, the well-known service that lets users earn digital currency in exchange for completing tasks like answering emails or taking surveys. As part of the deal, Balaji Srinivasan, Co-founder and CEO of Earn.com, will join the crypto-exchange as its first-ever Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
In a blog post about the acquisition, Brian Armstrong, CEO, Coinbase, wrote, “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...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.”
Balaji’s addition is the latest in a string of high-profile executive hiring decisions at the crypto-exchange. In the last few months alone, the company has brought in Asiff Hirji, formerly of Hewlett Packard and TD Ameritrade, as Chief Operations Officer, LinkedIn’s Emilie Choi as Vice President of Corporate and Business Development, Twitter’s Tina Bhatnagar as Vice President of Operations and Technology, Facebook’s Rachael Horwitz as Vice President of Communications, and Eric Scro, a former New York Stock Exchange executive, as Vice President of Finance. In an interview to Fortune, Balaji said, “Everyone is aligning behind Coinbase as the winner of blockchain in the US...As you’ve seen and continue to see, it has become a magnetic node. A lot of talented people are coming here.”
Coinbase has also been expanding operations rapidly – just last Friday, April 13, it announced the acquisition of Ethereum-based mobile app browser and wallet Cipher Browser. The company also announced the setup of Coinbase Ventures, an early-stage venture fund aimed at cryptocurrency startups, earlier in April. The Earn.com deal is the company’s fifth acquisition till date.
Neither Earn.com nor Coinbase revealed the value of the deal, but according to a report by ZDNet, it is believed to be around the $100 million mark. Notably, the bigger takeaway from the deal, as far as the crypto-exchange is concerned, is having Balaji on board. Balaji is also a board member of leading VC firm Andreessen Horowitz and is one of the world’s leading evangelists of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. However, having Earn.com’s established product and network as part of its ecosystem will also be good news. As Brian wrote in his blog, “In addition to welcoming Balaji, we’re also very pleased to welcome the Earn.com team to Coinbase...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.”