Coinbase Just Bought Earn.com For Over $100 Million

Coinbase just announced their acquisition of Earn.com, the company’s most significant M&A to date.

(Credit: Earn.com)

Coinbase, one of the largest U.S. cryptocurrency trading platforms, just acquired Earn.com in a deal slightly more than $100 million. It includes payments in cash, stock, and cryptocurrency assets.

Founded in 2013, the US startup allows senders to pay users in digital currency for replying to emails and completing tasks. It also lets companies preparing to hold an ICO to airdrop tokens to its users in exchange for feedback. The company started as a hardware maker for bitcoin mining and was originally known as 21.co.

The deal also put Earn.com co-founder and CEO Balaji Srinivasan as Coinbase’s first CTO. This is a huge part of the deal’s appeal as Srinivasan is a highly valued individual in Silicon Valley. He was a former Andreessen Horowitz partner and an early cryptocurrency advocate.

“With Coinbase’s user base and distribution muscle, I think it could hit $100 million in ARR in a few months,” Srinivasan told TechCrunch. He adds that he is excited about the road ahead with the partnership.

Earn also announced the partnership in their website. “Paid email is already one of the first truly useful applications of the blockchain. With Coinbase, we think we can prove that at scale.”

The deal doesn’t come as a complete surprise as Coindesk reported last month that Coinbase and Earn.com were in talks over a deal.

 

The Robot Revolution: Transforming Labor and Elevating Customer Experience

You’ve seen humanoid robots in Star Wars, Terminator, Robocop, AI, and a host of genre movies that define our relationship with the bot. Now, they’re everywhere and come in all sizes and shapes, impacting our lives in many ways. In a classic case of art imitating life, smart bots are securely in our future because business and industry have them in place to do tasks faster, better, more efficiently, and cheaper. They go without sleep, don’t complain, have no social security, don’t go on medical leave or vacays, are totally fine with doing dirty jobs, and never ask for a raise. But more importantly, working-class bots can provide the necessary “manpower” in aging economies where dwindling numbers and a protectionist policy against immigrant workers can threaten business operations.

Japan’s population is predicted to be 1/3 of current numbers by 2065 with 40% over the age of 65 – a trend that is pretty much in the future of the U.S., China, and Europe. Because of that crucial need to sustain future operations profitably in the face of a shrinking labor force, robots are now in every facet of modern life, in its different forms, shapes, functions, and integrations.

For over two years now, robots have been assisting travelers at Haneda Airport, a progressive domestic airport in Japan with baggage loading and check-ins. It also has a multi-lingual roving robot that helps guests find their way and other bots that carry your bags, clean-up and even sell you a sim! In Japan, the customer is king so it even has a customer service robot providing concierge services. Go ahead and ask this shiny bot where you are, the best places to go, and the best buys – it has all the answers, and it speaks perfect English too! In San Jose (USA) airport, they have rolled-out pioneering “lady bots” called Amelia that have touchscreen menus. As a bonus, it can even take selfies and mail these to you. The combination of utilitarian and the frivolous is a charming combination in this bot that was developed in Silicon Valley.

These past two years, prototype models were developed and tested in anticipation of language and service needs for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.  Other airports like Narita and another in South Korea have robots customized for their needs.

Japan’s biggest names in business and manufacturing are into robots – in a big way! As early as 2008, Japanese robotics Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro developed the ‘Geminoid’ – an android that was practically his clone. In 2014, Honda, a leading name in car manufacturing introduced the humanoid Asimo, a bar-tending robot that can even communicate using sign language. In development for over 30 years, it would be right at home in a Star Wars movie. Not to be outdone, NASA also produced Valkyrie, also known as a Superhero Robot and Tempest produced Edi, a robot designed to work closely with humans with its sensing technology and smooth movements. China in a battle for human-looking bots came out with Jia Jia, a remarkably realistic-looking robot cable of microexpressions. Since then we’ve had Sophia and Erica, lifelike robots that have fascinated the world because of their intelligent speech and interactiveness. According to their manufacturers, these bots have myriad uses such in customer service and can even be on network television as newscasters. Even Amazon, the world’s biggest shopping mall has robot assistants fielded in warehouses – no wonder you get products in a snap!

Since then, IoT and AI have spewed robots for the home and the workplace. They make life easy by automating chores and are so good at it that they can even “run” hotels and can communicate and store information in the cloud. We are also looking at a future were taxibots and other Avatar-like bots will be mainstreamed. In the last decade, robots performed intricate tasks in manufacturing plants on the operating table. Today they can also be made to faultlessly forage for information even in the most dangerous environments. In fact, Toshiba is now using submersible robots to probe the damaged nuclear reactor in Fukushima. Truly they can go where humans fear to tread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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