Partnerships / Acquisitions

Coinbase Scoops Up Cipher Browser

To boost its decentralized mobile browser and Ethereum wallet, Coinbase has acquired Cipher Browser. The terms of the deal were not made public, TechCrunch reported.

Coinbase already has a similar product called Toshi. With the deal, Coinbase plans to merge the Cipher Browser and Toshi teams. Peter Kim, the founder of Cipher Browser, will take the helm as head of engineering at Toshi. Kim will work alongside Sid Coelho-Prabhu, who serves as the company’s product lead for Toshi.

With the deal, Toshi will bring Testnets — a feature which gives developers the ability to experiment with their apps without using real digital currency — to its platform. The Cipher Browser Twitter account revealed the decision after a user asked about the feature.

The news comes as Coinbase has started a new incubator fund called Coinbase Ventures to give cryptocurrency startups and their founders a boost. While the popular cryptocurrency exchange expects the fund’s profits to be small compared to those of its overall business, the fund already has $15 million and is expected to grow, CNBC reported.

Coinbase Ventures is designed to help launch firms and aid founders in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries. And, since Coinbase seeks to foster relationships within those spaces, it could very well invest in companies that may be viewed as competitors.

“You may also see us invest in companies that ostensibly look competitive with Coinbase,” the company wrote in a blog post. “There may be nuance to the way these startups are building out their products. Or, in some cases, we may be comfortable investing in companies that are potentially competitive, because it’s in everyone’s interest to see the ecosystem innovate.”

A few weeks earlier, the popular U.S. cryptocurrency exchange hired LinkedIn’s former VP of Corporate Development. Emilie Choi took the helm as Coinbase’s new VP of Corporate and Business Development, Fortune reported. While at LinkedIn, Choi was involved in more than 40 acquisitions, such as the company’s $1.5 billion purchase of Lynda in 2015.


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