It look me a little while to parse what earn.com actually is. It seems as though it has been many things (including a bitcoin mine) during its years of operation. What it is now though, at root, seems to be something very similar to Google Surveys, but paying out in Bitcoin, rather than Play Store credit.
Over the last several years, the primary way most people have obtained cryptocurrency is through buying it, with many of these transactions facilitated by Coinbase. With this acquisition, we allow users to also earn crypto by doing things they already know how to do — like replying to emails and filling out surveys.
It seems as though Coinbase is trying to kickstart a bitcoin based services market. The former CEO of Earn.com is also becoming the CTO of Coinbase as part of the deal. So Coinbase must have quite a bit of faith in this deal.
But still, it’s not entirely clear to me what advantages Earn.com has over similar services which pay out in fiat currency.