Coinbase in Talks to Acquire Earn.com, Its Biggest Acquisition Ever: Report

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Cryptocurrency broker Coinbase is preparing to make the biggest acquisition in its almost seven-year history, sources close to the situation say.

Citing people «directly involved with the discussions,» CoinDesk reports that Coinbase is in talks to acquire Earn.com, a platform which enables users to make cryptocurrency by responding to emails and finishing other micro tasks such as registering for token airdrops or completing surveys.

At the moment, Earn.com pays users in Bitcoin, but the company plans to develop its own cryptocurrency, the «Earnable Token,» though it doesn't plan to hold an initial coin offering (ICO).

In 2015, Earn.com — previously called 21 Inc. — raised $116 million in a series of funding rounds, setting a then-record for cryptocurrency-related startups.

Sources told the book that Earn.com is now in discussions with several potential customers along with the San Francisco-based Coinbase and that the company could bring a whole compensation package north of $120 million, even though some gave figures as low as $30 million.

Coinbase has not been active in the merger and acquisition (M&A) space during the majority of its history, but observers have expected this to change ever since former LinkedIn dealmaker Emilie Choi joined Coinbase earlier this month as vice president of corporate and business development.

Choi oversaw more than 40 M&As during her tenure at the professional networking company, so her hiring immediately sent the rumor mill grinding.

If implemented, the deal would likely see Earn.com CEO Balaji Srinivasan join Coinbase, a development that's in keeping with Choi's said proclivity for «acqhiring.»

Coinbase's rumored talks with Earn.com come as the cryptocurrency industry at large is entering a period in which multi-hundred million dollar mergers and acquisitions could happen with regularity.

As CCN reported, Goldman Sachs-backed biotech startup Circle recently acquired cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex. The deal's terms weren't made public, but Circle supposedly paid roughly $400 million to the US exchange operator.

Europe-based Bitstamp, one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges, is also rumored to be considering a sale to a group of South Korean investors in a deal that would also be worth $400 million.

Coinbase didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.