In an effort to strengthen its ever-expanding role in the cryptocurrency space, Coinbase has acquired Cipher browser – a competitor to its in-house Ethereum wallet, app browser and secure messaging service.
Toshi + Cipher
On April 13, popular San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced its acquisition Cipher Browser, a free mobile Ethereum wallet, and web3 dapp browser.
— Coinbase (@coinbase) April 13, 2018
The move by Coinbase has primarily been made strengthen its own similar product, Toshi — though the exact terms of the deal have not been revealed.
Introduced last year, Toshi is a free API toolkit for bitcoin app developers that runs on a full bitcoin node backed by a SQL database. Toshi users can also utilize the platform as a wallet for Ethereum while browsing Ethereum apps and sending secure messages — almost exactly like as on Cipher. Thus, the move may be interpreted as a strategic acquisition to remove competition.
As noted by TechCrunch, Coinbase plans on integrating the Toshi and Cipher Browser teams — which will be a fairly simple process, given the fact that Cypher was created by one person, Pete Kim. Kim is slated to become Toshi’s head of engineering as Coinbase combines the two platforms into Toshi. Kim will also work alongside the Toshi’s product lead, Sid Coelho-Prabhu.
Rachel Horwitz, Coinbase’s vice president for communications, explained in a statement:
[Coinbase is] always looking to acquire the best teams and technologies in the crypto spaces. Given the similarity of our product visions, we’re happy to be joining forces with Pete, who will become head of engineering for Toshi along side Sid Coelho-Prabhu, Coinbase’s product lead for Toshi. In coming weeks, we’ll merge certain features of Cipher into Toshi.
On the same day, Cipher Browser tweeted that the addition of testnets would be one of the first features introduced to Toshi.
Yes that will be one of the first features we will be bringing to @Toshi.
— Cipher Browser for Ethereum (@CipherBrowser) April 13, 2018
The announcement of Cipher’s acquisition comes after a slew of expansionary moves from Coinbase.
Last month, the company officially hired former LinkedIn executive Emilie Choi as its new vice president of corporate and business development.
This month, Coinbase announced that they are planning on adding support for upcoming Bitcoin hard forks. For the time being, this support is expected to only take form in withdrawals, and the exact date of this support has not been noted. The company also announced a fund for blockchain and cryptocurrency startups, which is still in the early stages of development, called Coinbase Ventures.
Additionally, Coinbase is currently holding discussions with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about potentially registering as an officially licensed broker.
What do you think about Coinbase’s acquisition of Cipher browser? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of CNBC, Twitter/@coinbase, Twitter/@CipherBrowser.