The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage platform made the announcement on Friday, just weeks after revealing that it intended to work to ensure that its products were compatible with ERC20 tokens.
Coinbase already has its own mobile ethereum wallet and DApp browser, Toshi, which is available for both iOS and Android devices. In addition to letting mobile users access DApps like CryptoKitties, the app also has a built-in messaging system, which uses the Signal protocol to offer end-to-end encrypted chats.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the company did reveal that Peter Kim, Cipher’s creator, would join Coinbase as Toshi’s new head of engineering and work to integrate many of Cipher’s features into Toshi.
One of those features will be support for testnets, which allow developers to test their apps in a sandbox that mimics real-world implementation without having to risk actual funds. The lack of testnet support in Toshi had been a sticking point for DApp developers.
That Kim will immediately transition to developing Toshi is not surprising, as Emilie Choi — Coinbase’s new vice president of corporate and business development — is a fan of “acqhiring,” a strategy whereby a firm buys out another company primarily for the staff and their expertise.
As BlockExplorer reported, Coinbase is also rumored to be in discussions to acquire Earn.com, a paid messaging platform that rewards users with cryptocurrency for replying to emails and completing other microtasks.
Coinbase also recently launched a venture capital fund, which will provide cryptocurrency startups with seed funding. The fund will open with $15 million, and the company said this number will grow along with Coinbase itself.
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