Coinbase is shutting down the startup Earn.com which it acquired for an estimated $100 million last year. The email service allowed senders to pay users in digital currency for replying to commercial messages or completing tasks.
Eighteen months after its reported $100M acquisition of micro-task platform Earn.com, Coinbase has announced via an email to customers that the exchange will be “sunsetting Earn.com to focus exclusively on Coinbase Earn.”
San Francisco-based cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase has reportedly decided to shut down Earn.com (formerly known as 21 Inc). The exchange notified clients of the decision via email, explaining that it is “sunsetting Earn.com to focus exclusively on Coinbase Earn,”
As reported by a crypto news outlet, users of the service were given about two months’ notice until they have withdraw all their funds.
Concentrating More on Business
The company also added that it plans on “scaling Coinbase Earn even further by adding more campaigns to the platform, to connect more blockchain networks with engaged crypto users.” Coinbase Earn is a service meant to incentive people to learn more about new cryptocurrencies.
The educational platform rewards users with tokens for completing various tasks such as watching videos and taking quizzes on crypto-related content.
Coinbase Earn enables users to earn cryptocurrencies by completing educational tasks. This year the platform taught users how to open MakerDAO CDPs, how to use the Brave browser, and how various blockchain platforms work. According to Coinbase, the Coinbase Earn product “has allowed nearly a million unique users in 115+ countries to earn their share of hundreds of millions of dollars in crypto.”
Earn.com users have until February 20, 2020, to withdraw their balances on Earn.com. In 2020, Coinbase states that it will be “scaling Coinbase Earn even further by adding more campaigns to the platform, to connect more blockchain networks with engaged crypto users.”
Going Back in Time
The idea behind Earn.com was allowing senders to pay users in digital currency for replying to emails and completing tasks, which is meant to benefit both normal email users and large-scale senders of commercial emails.
A normal email user could earn crypto by replying to emails and also use the price of inbound emails as a signal to rank them by importance. Senders of commercial email could use Earn.com to pay users to get them to reply to messages regrading subjects such as recruiting, fundraising, and marketing which most users just filter as spam under normal circumstances.
Coinbase only announced that it had acquired Earn.com in April 2018. The two sides have not revealed the financial details of the deal but it wa estimated at the time to be just above $100 million. This was considerably lower than previous valuations for the startup and caused a push-back from investors according to Silicon Valley media reports.
A Good Business Deal
As part of the acquisition, Earn’s co-founder and CEO Balaji Srinivasan joined Coinbase as the company’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Earn.com promised its users at the time that it was not ”going down” or drastically changing. In fact, the company claimed that the product was only going to get “bigger and better” as a consequence of this deal.