In brief

  • Unbound Securities uses a new type of security called multi-party computation technology.
  • The companies did not disclose a price for the deal.

Coinbase announced on Tuesday that it has acquired Unbound Security, a Tel Aviv firm that uses a new type of cryptography to store digital assets.

The companies did not disclose a price for the acquisition, but Unbound has raised $40 million since it was founded in 2017, which means Coinbase likely paid significantly more than that to acquire it.

The acquisition comes at a time when hackers continue to pose a major threat to crypto companies, and after Coinbase disclosed that more than 6,000 of its customers fell victim to an elaborate phishing scam involving SIM cards.

While Coinbase already invests heavily in security for its custody operations, the Unbound acquisition will give the company new technology in the form of secure multi-party computation (MPC), which purports to be both very secure and easy to use.

"MPC will deliver ... 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," said Coinbase in a blog post describing the acquisition.

The post also noted that the MPC technology will be deployed across all of Coinbase's services, including consumer and institutional ones.

In announcing the deal, which has yet to be finalized, Coinbase also said it is establishing a new research center in Israel that will concentrate on the intersection of blockchain and security, and members of Unbound will form the initial nucleus of the center.

The Unbound deal is just the latest in a flurry of recent acquisitions by Coinbase. These include the purchase this month of a machine-learning startup called Agara, as well as that of data service Skew and infrastructure provider Bison Trails earlier this year.