Crypto Exchange Coinbase Acquires Ethereum Startup Cipher Browser

Announcements, Mergers | April 16, 2018 By:

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has acquired Cipher Browser to boost its decentralized mobile browser and ethereum wallet. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Cipher Browser is a mobile Web 3 decentralized applications (DApp) browser and wallet for the ethereum blockchain. It allows users to interact with Web 3 DApps powered by ethereum on their mobile device, and to securely store, send, and receive ether and ERC-20 tokens.

Coinbase already has a similar product called Toshi, which also offers a Web 3 decentralized app and is available for both iOS and Android devices. Cipher said it would further merge many of its features with Toshi. In addition, Peter Kim, the founder of Cipher Browser, will take the helm as head of engineering at Toshi. Sid Coelho-Prabhu, the Product Lead for Toshi will also work closely with Kim.

“We’ll be merging many features of Cipher into Toshi. We’re committed to building the best Web 3 experience on mobile,” Cipher Browser said on Twitter, adding that testnets would become one of the first features introduced to Toshi after the merger is completed.

Rachel Horwitz, Coinbase’s vice president for communications, said that Coinbase is always hunting to acquire the best teams and technologies in the crypto space and that they are happy to join hands with Kim considering the similarity of their product visions.

“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,” said Horwitz. “In coming weeks, we’ll merge certain features of Cipher into Toshi.”

The news about the acquisition came after Coinbase hired former LinkedIn executive Emilie Choi as its new vice president of corporate and business development. At LinkedIn, Choi oversaw more than 40 acquisitions, including its $1.5 billion purchase of Lynda, an online education startup, in 2015. She is said to be a fan of “acqhiring,” a strategy whereby a firm buys out another company primarily for the staff and their expertise.