Coinbase to Launch Standalone Ethereum Messaging App Token

Coinbase is introducing a house built messaging service it says is “inspired” by Chinese tools such as WeChat.

Token, as the project is officially called, is designed to consist of three main functions: a “private and secure” app for messaging, an Ethereum wallet and a browser for Ethereum apps.

“We were inspired by apps like WeChat that are driving a large volume of digital payments in China. We wanted to build something for the rest of the world that works on open protocols,” the company wrote in a blog post about the release Tuesday.

Unveiling further details on Twitter, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said that Token would operate in a similar vein to the company’s GDAX platform - as a separate entity under the Coinbase umbrella.

“Our plan is to build it out as a separate legal entity and brand, separate from Coinbase. Similar to what we're doing with GDAX,” he commented.

Token is “architected to be similar to a web browser,” with use cases including the ability for users to send ETH micropayments within the messaging system.

Explaining its motivation to build the tool, Coinbase hinted at a humanitarian perspective, citing the Gates Foundation’s report that worldwide over 2.5 bln adults are excluded from financial institutions.

“We believe that everyone in the world should have access to financial services, and with smartphones becoming ubiquitous, digital currency can make that happen,” the blog post continues.

Earlier this month, Coinbase announced it would being adding Litecoin to GDAX on the back of strong trading volumes.