21 with Balaji Srinivasan

Bitcoin is underappreciated even to this day. The public focus is usually on the speculative value, but Bitcoin has functional value as a technology platform.

If I want to make 100 transactions with my bank for 1 cent, the bank won’t allow it. Our current financial infrastructure is not set up for micropayments. Bitcoin is built with micropayments in mind. As Bitcoin works through its governance issues and its scalability problems, we will see gradual improvement in financial liquidity between people and machines.

21 is a company that has raised $120M to make Bitcoin useful to developers. This is a long term project, and the first step of that project is to get Bitcoin in the hands of users. To fulfill that end, 21 is developing services that encourage people to make small digital transactions.

The first service is the 21 messaging service, where users can pay to send messages to people who are unlikely to respond to an unsolicited email otherwise. For example, if I want to send an email to a venture capitalist pitching my company, I am more likely to get a response if I pay that venture capitalist $20 to read my message through 21, rather than if I sent a cold email from my email address.

Balaji Srinivasan is the CEO of 21, and he joins me for a conversation about the potential of Bitcoin and the objectives of the company he is building.

Software Engineering Daily is having our third Meetup, Wednesday May 3rd at Galvanize in San Francisco. The theme of this Meetup is Fraud and Risk in Software. We will have great food, engaging speakers, and a friendly, intellectual atmosphere. To find out more, go to softwareengineeringdaily.com/meetup.


Transcript provided by We Edit Podcasts. Software Engineering Daily listeners can go to weeditpodcasts.com/sed to get 20% off the first two months of audio editing and transcription services. Thanks to We Edit Podcasts for partnering with SE Daily. Please click here to view or download the transcript for this show.


It’s never been easier to hit the ground running: MongoDB Atlas is the only database as a service from the engineers who built MongoDB. With continuous backup, VPC peering, monitoring, and security features, MongoDB Atlas gives you everything you need from MongoDB in an easy-to-use service. And even if you’re already running MongoDB in the cloud, Atlas makes migrating your deployment from another cloud service provider trivial, with its Live Import feature. Get started with a free, 3 node replica set: no credit card required. As an exclusive offer for Software Engineering Daily listeners, use code SEDaily for $10 dollars of credit for when you’re ready to scale up at mongoDB.com/sedailyMongoDB World is where the world’s fastest growing database community comes to connect, explore, and learn. Join the team that builds MongoDB in Chicago on June 20-21, 2017 for hands-on and deep-dive technical sessions, giving you the tools you need to build and deploy your giant ideas. Use code SEDaily to get $100 off tickets!

Software engineers know that saving time means saving money. Save time on your accounting solution — use FreshBooks cloud accounting software. FreshBooks makes easy accounting software with a friendly UI that transforms how entrepreneurs and small business owners deal with day-to-day paperwork. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive and organized, and most importantly, get paid quickly. FreshBooks is offering a 30-day, unrestricted free trial to Software Engineering Daily listeners. To claim it, just go to FreshBooks.com/SED and enter SOFTWARE ENGINEERING DAILY in the “How Did You Hear About Us?” section.

Have you been thinking you’d be happier at a new job? If you’re dreaming about a new job and have been waiting for the right time to make a move, go to hired.com/sedaily. Hired makes finding work enjoyable. Hired uses an algorithmic job-matching tool in combination with a talent advocate who will walk you through the process of finding a better job. Check out hired.com/sedaily to get a special offer for Software Engineering Daily listeners–a $600 signing bonus from Hired when you find that great job that gives you the respect and salary that you deserve as a talented engineer.

Software Weekly

Software Weekly

Subscribe to Software Weekly, a curated weekly newsletter featuring the best and newest from the software engineering community.