As matters stand right now, the Bitcoin payment processor market is primarily split between two titans: Coinbase and BitPay. Both have important clients and large capitalizations, and both are poised for runaway growth. The question is, which one can muster that growth faster? Which one can turn a small lead into eventual market dominance?
Yesterday, Coinbase announced on its blog that it had acquired Blockr.io, a popular blockchain visualizer and explorer, intended to allow users to see statistics about the blockchains of a number of cryptocurrencies in real time, including up-to-date information about individual transactions. The point of the service is to try to render the sometimes puzzling activities of the cryptocurrency market into something transparent that lay users can see and understand.
BitPay has had their own solution to this problem for a while, in the form of their branded Insight platform, which offers a very similar service. Until recently, Coinbase had nothing to compete with. Presumably, this is Coinbase’s way of closing the analytics gap.
The terms of the acquisition include the hiring of two engineers from the Blockr team, notably Sašo Matejina and Samo Drol, originally based in Slovenia. The new employees will be moving to San Francisco to join the Coinbase staff of 40 full time. Given the commoditization of Blockchain explorers, it’s entirely possible that hiring the two engineers was the primary purpose of the acquisition, although it’s hard to say for sure.
The Blockr.io service will remain operational for the forseeable future, although Coinbase says they may rebrand it.
Coinbase image via file
BitPay image via file
Blockr.io image via their press kit