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What Bitcoin Did


Sep 13, 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.

So, what was life like at Coinbase for Balaji?

Coinbase has often felt the wrath of Bitcoiners, many arguing that they were on the wrong side of history regarding the New York Agreement. Add to this delay in implementing Segwit and supporting other contentious forks, does Coinbase hate Bitcoin?

In Part 2 of my interview with Balaji, we explore the world of Bitcoin, altcoins and Coinbase. Is it irresponsible for Coinbase, an entry-level Bitcoin onramp, to list an ever-growing list of questionable altcoins? Is the earn.com integration encouraging risky token investments?

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

  • The Earn.com acquisition

  • Whether daily active users is a flawed metric for cryptocurrency

  • ICO’s, scams and founders dumping on retail investors

  • Whether Earn.com should be teaching risk management 

  • Democratising investment

  • The lack of adoption for many cryptocurrencies