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How Bitcoin Enables a Machine Payable Web

Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Wed, October 26, 2016 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

First, we had the World Wide Web, a web of links between documents. Then we had the Social Web, a social network of relationships between people. We believe the third web will be the Machine-Payable Web, where each node in the network is a machine and each edge is a micropayment between machines. Towards this end, we’ve developed open source software called 21 that makes it easy to perform Bitcoin micropayments over HTTP.

The software allows you to get digital currency onto any machine headlessly, set up web services that accept and transmit bitcoin over HTTP, and discover other machines with similar services to autonomously trade with. The overall effect is to turn digital currency into a scarce system resource on par with CPU, RAM, and hard drive space. That is, just as one can create a database index that spends disk space to save time, we show that one can instead spends digital currency to outsource a computation to save time. To illustrate the applications, we conclude with several working examples: bitcoin-aware intelligent agents, APIs that implement autonomous surge pricing, and the development of a market data structure as an alternative in many situations to the well known queue.

The talk will be followed by a hackathon to code your own machine-payable web apps. Please bring your laptop (and Python knowledge) and join! You can read more about 21.co’s platform here.

 

About the speaker:
Balaji S. Srinivasan is the CEO & cofounder of 21.co and a Board Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to taking the role of CEO at 21, Dr. Srinivasan was a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. He was named to the MIT TR35, was the cofounder and CTO of Founders Fund-backed Counsyl, and taught a MOOC with 200k+ students at startup.stanford.edu. He holds a BS, MS, and PhD in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University.

 

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