Balaji Srinivasan 

By Shreya Bhattacharya
6 Min Read

When we started learning about the cryptocurrency industry, we started following some prominent personalities in the field instead of losing our minds over the complex terms, concepts, and protocols. One of them was Balaji Srinivasan, the Chief Technology Officer of Coinbase. Learning about his journey helped us gain practical knowledge about the ecosystem. He also encouraged us to take a step toward our goal. However, we recently learned that some of our readers are not aware of Srinivasan’s contribution to crypto. So, let’s take a sneak peek at his journey. 

Early Life of Balaji Srinivasan 

The crypto legend spent his childhood in Plainview in New York. Srinivasan also proved his brilliance in his academic life by pursuing BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. 

Before Entering The Crypto World 

Balaji Srinivasan started his career in 2007 when he co-founded Counsyl, a genetic testing company. The firm used to provide tests to prospective parents for Mendelian diseases. In 2018, Myriad Genetics acquired Counsyl for $375 million. 

Then in 2013, he started further exploring the business world and joined a venture capital firm named Andreessen Horowitz and took the position of a general partner. His new journey was inspiring as Balaji Srinivasan started a Bitcoin mining startup named 21 Inc. He even raised $120 million, but a business needs more than a couple million dollars as that venture didn’t take off. But, it was not the end of 21 Inc’s journey; it later took the form of, a company that allowed its users to pay people in cryptocurrencies to reply to emails. 

Balaji Srinivasan further dived into the business sector and co-founded another company, Teleport, in 2014. The firm’s primary purpose was to help people find jobs that match their portfolios. But there’s more to the story, which we will discuss in the next section. 

More About Balaji Srinivasan 

Starting from where we left off, Srinivasan’s was acquired in 2018 by Coinbase. It then became Coinbase Earn, and he was chosen as the company’s first CTO. But his tenure was short as he was at Coinbase for only a year. Coinbase Earn was also shut down the same year. But, it was not the end of Balaji Srinivasan’s journey. 

Source: Coinbase

We recommend you read this article to learn more about Balaji Srinivasan’s venture, Coinbase. 

Throughout his career, he has proven his potential and was recognized for the same. In 2013, he got on the list of ‘Innovators Under 35,’ in 2018, he was on the list of ‘The Ledger 40 Under 40.’ Balaji Srinivasan’s fame skyrocketed after he gave a speech at a startup school, which received applause from big names like Bloomberg, Wired, Reason, etc. 

However, the crypto legend is not only known for his achievements. He has also been in the limelight for his empathy. Balaji Srinivasan donated $50,000 in digital tokens to help Indians suffering during Covid-19. Not only this, he started an exciting initiative as he promised that every time his tweets get retweeted, he would donate $50 to the cause. 

Balaji Srinivasan’s Advice 

Learning from the likes of Balaji Srinivasan is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but thanks to him, the man never shies away from sharing his knowledge with others. Very few people know that he is a writer. Thus, he always prioritizes reading books. 

Regarding crypto, the man believes that we all are betting on several things. However, he also mentions that the scenario is not different from physical assets. He even says that investing in gold is similar to investing in Bitcoin. We consider this advice of Srinijvasan as a holy grail as we have seen some crypto bros think that we are at war with the CeFi ecosystem. Some even have a misconception that banning physical assets is the ultimate goal of DeFi.

However, while highlighting some of the benefits of the crypto community, he gave the example of Ethereum and mentioned it is better than other physical assets in terms of uptime. Srinivasan further explained that if you are betting on traditional stocks, you get only 40 hours weekly. But, in DeFi, you get 168 hours as you can trade 24/7, which gives the crypto community a huge opportunity to build on our leverage. 

To understand how DeFi works, we recommend you read this article.


When we started learning about Balaji Srinivasan’s journey in the crypto industry, it took us some time to understand the true meaning behind his principles or notions. It could happen to you as he has a unique yet practical view of the ecosystem. He doesn’t discuss crypto as a magical adventure but highlights how it is generic yet essential to the finance sector. This notion will help cryptocurrencies go mainstream real soon.