Security Experts:

Coinbase to Acquire Cryptography Firm Unbound Security

Cryptocurrency trading powerhouse Coinbase on Tuesday announced plans to acquire Unbound Security, an Israeli startup that provides protection for cryptographic keys and credentials.

Financial terms of the planned acquisition were not released but reports out of Israel peg the price tag in the range of $150 million. 

Unbound Security raised approximately $35 million over three venture capital funding rounds.  The company’s backers include Evolution Equity Partners, Citi Ventures, GS Growth and Innovation Endeavors.

According to Coinbase, the Unbound Security technology will expand the company’s multi-party computational (MPC) capabilities.  Coinbase is touting Unbound Security as a pioneer in MPC, a subset of cryptography that allows multiple parties to carry out distributed computing tasks in a secure manner and without exposing private data.

[ READ: U.S. Sanctions Crypto Exchange in Anti-Ransomware Crackdown ]

“Crypto can’t grow without strong cryptography and strong security, but it also needs to be user friendly. Secure multi-party computation is an application of advanced mathematics to enable crypto assets to be stored, transferred and deployed more securely, easily and flexibly than ever before,” Coinbase said in a statement announcing the transaction.

With early crypto-economy speculation around DeFi, DAOs and NFTs, Coinbase believes it will be important to provide technology plumbing to allow participants to safely manage their crypto private keys. 

“Technologies such as MPC will enable these groundbreaking use cases to come to life safely, securely and in a way that’s user friendly. MPC will deliver on this by protecting our customers’ assets with a technique that provides the virtually impenetrable nature of cold, offline storage, with the frictionless convenience of hot, online wallets,” Coinbase added.

Coinbase, which has a market cap of $68 billion, said it plans to establish a tech center in Israel with the Unbound Security team tasked with forming the nucleus of the new research facility.

Related: Coinbase Users Face Ongoing Phishing Attacks

Related: Firefox Zero-Day Exploited to Deliver Malware to Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Related: Hackers Stole Cryptocurrency From Thousands of Coinbase Accounts

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Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. Ryan is a veteran cybersecurity strategist who has built security engagement programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and Kaspersky GReAT. He is a co-founder of Threatpost and the global SAS conference series. Ryan's past career as a security journalist included bylines at major technology publications including Ziff Davis eWEEK, CBS Interactive's ZDNet, PCMag and PC World. Ryan is a director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, an advisor to early-stage entrepreneurs, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.