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What Bitcoin Did


Sep 10, 2019

Location: San Francisco
Date: Tuesday, 3rd September
Project: balajis.com
Role: Angel Investor & Entrepreneur

A little over a year ago Coinbase announced the acquisition of Earn.com in a $120 million deal. Earn.com allows users to earn cryptocurrency by replying to emails or completing tasks.

As a vital part of the acquisition, Balaji Srinivasan the CEO and Co-founder moved into the role of CTO at Coinbase where he oversaw the integration of Earn.com into the exchange and the launch of the controversial Coinbase Earn. This allowed users to earn several cryptocurrencies directly from the Coinbase website by merely answering a few questions to aid the education of the exchange users.

After just a year as Coinbase CTO, Balaji has recently departed the company. It was a mixed year for Coinbase with reports of infighting with regards to the direction of the business. Still, they managed to raise $300m, at $7.7bn valuation, navigate a brutal bear market and build out an entirely new infrastructure to support multiple crypto assets.

In Part 1 of this interview, Balaji and I take a deep dive into the world of virtual reality and gaming, the integration of AI into our daily lives, politics and state surveillance. These are not unfamiliar subjects for the podcast, but the questions and ideas Balaji raised undoubtedly were.

Could migrant workers use virtual reality to work remotely without the need for a visa? Could your local coffee shop barista become a simulated ‘non-player role’?  Will humans one day emigrate not to a particular country but geographically, based on a belief system? 

Balaji Srinivasan joined me in San Francisco to discuss this and lots more. As well as:

  • Solving San Francisco’s drug and homeless problems

  • Virtual worlds and AI

  • VR remote working

  • A geographical free market where the currency is your belief system

  • Software CEO’s becoming de-facto heads of state

  • Separating money and state

  • Is the U.S surveilling as much as or more than China