Coinbase grows Bitcoin talent and tools with acquisition of Blockr.io

Coinbase_Logo_2013Coinbase, Bitcoin wallet and merchant payment processing company, just publicized another talent acquisition today with the announcement of the buy of blockchain explorer Blockr.io.

As part of the acquisition two talented engineers from Blockr.io will join the Coinbase team: software engineer Sašo Matejina and designer Samo Drole. The two engineers will be working to extend the Coinbase API (and by extension developer tools) and work on building out Coinbase’s own Bitcoin node.

“We primarily wanted it because they were really talented,” said Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. The acquisition is cited as one to pull in the talent more so than the product.

Blockr.io is a popular blockchain explorer, which allows people to search and visualize the public ledger of all bitcoin transactions.

As a block explorer and charting service, Blockr.io provides an intuitive view of current activity on the bitcoin network with a sleek UI. This includes current bitcoin trade prices across several bitcoin exchanges and a search engine that allows visitors to view information from the Bitcoin blockchain based on block height, Bitcoin address, block hash, and transaction hash.

This acquisition by Coinbase builds on the continuing expansion of developer-outreach by Bitcoin-related companies, especially in terms of releasing APIs. In June, Coinsetter opened up an API for developers and charting services to draw information about trades; and in July the Winklevoss Bitcoin Index also released an API for accessing its historical data.

Perhaps an update to Coinbase’s API will lead to the site being listed on BitcoinAverage, a weighted global bitcoin price index, where Coinbase has been excluded for some time for not publishing trade volume data.

Blockr.io also includes block views and charts for altcoins such as Litecoin, Digitalcoin, Quark, Peercoin and Megacoin.

Armstrong says that Blockr.io will operate as normal as the two engineers transition to working with the company. It is unclear, however, what the long term plans may be, which made include rebranding Blockr.io under Coinbase.

About Kyt Dotson

Technology and civilization walk hand in hand and civilization is nothing without the skin of society, brushing up against itself, speaking strange nothings across dimly lit avenues and computer screens. If we're going to understand ourselves in this digital era, it will be through watching the adoption of technology by people to express themselves as people. I am an anthropologist and an author of science fiction and fantasy--and with my technology, I hope to open up new and exciting worlds that will not just enlighten the humanity of my friends and fans but also educate and enhance the expression of their own personhood. Find more of my work on Google+; send tips to @kytsune.