Coinbase is reported to have acquired paid messaging service Earn for a figure of around $100 million earlier this month. Earn’s investors were said to have been paid in cash for the acquisition, with some managers taking payment in the form of stock packages.
Earn began life as a Bitcoin mining operation before pivoting to a paid messaging service that pays cryptocurrency to prominent people who are willing to reply to unsolicited messages. Backers of the platform include Data Collective, Andreessen Horowitz, and the Winklevoss twins.
The offer to Earn speaks on Coinbase’s ambitious internal valuation mechanism. The exchange, which functions as one of the largest crypto-fiat transfer platforms, has enjoyed staggering growth over the last year.
The increase in valuation is largely a consequence of the explosion of interest in crypto that set the world into a bitcoin frenzy during the final months of 2017. Although the markets still haven’t returned to their December crescendo, bullish momentum has returned, and Coinbase reported $1 billion in profits for the year.
As one of the most popular platforms for buying and selling bitcoin and ethereum among others, Coinbase has made its name as the first port of call for newcomers to the cryptocurrency space.
Coinbase’s is a profitable position to be in, and naturally, competition is steadily growing. Other applications with similarly user-friendly interfaces are now offering Coinbase the healthy incentive to improve. Despite being popular with beginners, the exchange struggled to accommodate the onslaught of buyers during the December boom and earnt itself a reputation for both high fees and appalling customer service.
New apps, with equally easy interfaces, are challenging Coinbase’s dominion. Revolut and Robinhood are just two of an emerging group of newcomers offering an alternative route to investing in cryptocurrency.
However, Coinbase continues to improve its offering – and has recently unveiled a host of new products and services, including Coinbase Custody, Coinbase Ventures, and Coinbase Asset Management. A final valuation of the firm will only be confirmed when the company completes a 409a valuation.