Coinbase Acquires Earn.com and Adds Key Executive

Coinbase announced Monday that it acquired Earn.com, a cryptocurrency reward website, and placed Earn’s co-founder as Coinbase’s first-ever Chief Technology Officer. 

Earn.com allows individuals to fill out surveys and complete reviews sent out by companies, and rewards users with small cryptocurrency bonuses that range between $1-10.  According to Earn.com, companies that send out surveys get 30-70% response rates due to the incentives, which is significantly higher than the typical 1.7% response rate from cold emailing customers.

The blockchain is a key part of Earn’s business model, as it allows for senders to recruit users from all countries and all walks of life; even the unbanked can provide feedback to companies.  

Earn.com CEO and co-founder, Balaji Srinivasan, is a Stanford Graduate and holds multiple degrees in electrical and chemical engineering.  He has also taught several courses in blockchain and other fields at Stanford.

"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," Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said Monday.

News of the acquisition of Earn comes just a few days after Coinbase announced that they would be acquiring Cipher Browser, a mobile app browser and wallet for the Ethereum Blockchain. 

In early April, Coinbase announced that they would be launching an incubator fund for early-stage start-ups.  The fund, dubbed Coinbase Ventures, would provide financial investments to early stage companies working on blockchain and cryptocurrency related technologies.  

Although it is unconfirmed, Recode reported that the deal was worth over $100 million.  This is a significant evaluation considering Earn.com was founded in 2013 under a different name and rebranded as Earn less than a year ago in 2017.

Earn was originally backed by Andreessen Horowitz as well as Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and will continue to grow under Coinbase.  With regards to the new ownership, Earn.com said in a statement that:

“Everything will continue as before in the short term, with one exception: we’ve put our token launch on the back burner and will instead focus on integrating with Coinbase’s infrastructure and scaling up our service. You might be able to guess what this will enable but stay tuned anyway as you might be surprised! Over the next few weeks, as we integrate and ship new features, we will make announcements as we do so.”