Coinbase Uses Crypto Winter to Expand – Acquires Decentralized Wallet Startup
Crypto winter? What crypto winter! The exchange arguably most responsible for onboarding bitcoin investors, Coinbase, has not allowed sour price levels to keep them complacent, conservative. Instead, they’ve maintained a breakneck pace, forming a venture capital fund, hiring top executive talent, and now they’re gobbling up competitors such as Cipher Browser.
Depressed prices force weak hands out, and ill-prepared businesses begin the sorrowful process of inevitable decline, issuing layoffs and regimes of belt tightening. Such is not the case for San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. The billion-plus in revenues, and climbing, company continues to expand its position. Business press has quoted its executive team as patterning itself after Google, including the possibility of going public, and acquiring competitors.
Just this year alone, barely out of the first quarter, they’ve created Coinbase Ventures. Emilie Choi, head of corporate business development and operations for Coinbase, explains, “We’ll be providing financing to promising early stage companies that have the teams and ideas that can move the space forward in a positive, meaningful way.” The fund is already $15 million strong. Also, key management positions are being filled by the likes of Ms. Choi, formerly of Linkedin, Asiff Hirji, former COO at TD Ameritrade, now Coinbase COO and President, and Facebook/Twitter veteran Rachael Horwitz as Vice President of Communications. And this week, the company announced an intriguing buy of the open source, decentralized application and wallet, Cipher Browser.
Toshi Gets Upgraded
Though terms of the Cipher deal haven’t been made public, it’s pretty clear it’ll be wrapped into the existing Ethereum-based dapp browser, Toshi. Customers used the app for searching Ethereum’s network but also as an ethereum wallet, along with sending relatively secure messages. Cipher seems somewhat duplicative, but what Coinbase also gains is Cipher’s creator, Peter Kim. Mr. Kim will now head the engineering team at Toshi.
At the very least this seems to cement the exchange’s commitment to the ERC20 token platform, as well as working-in testnets on the browser, allowing developers to experiment without using live ammunition.
Do you think Coinbase can keep up this pace? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coin Dance.
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