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