The high reported positive rate in this serosurvey may be explained by the false positive rate of the test and/or by sample recruitment issues.

A new Stanford preprint was released earlier today (PDF, SI). The authors claim that the true population prevalence of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County is 50–85X higher than the number of confirmed cases. They base their reasoning on a serosurvey of 3330 participants.

If true, this would actually be good news for society. It would mean that the virus had already widely spread, and thus had a lower fatality rate than previously expected, so the disease…

You may not have heard of it. It’s now on version 7. You should read it.


Perhaps the most important document in the world right now is the Chinese National Health Commission’s official guide to how they are diagnosing & treating the novel coronavirus. The Chinese state has been dealing with COVID-19 since January and their guide is now on version 7. It is worthwhile reading for everyone, so we don’t reinvent the wheel.

Yet for some reason it hasn’t been widely circulated in the West. This post is an attempt to remedy that.

What does the document cover? It describes physical characteristics of the virus, strategies for disinfecting surfaces, specific drugs and treatments they’ve found…

Instead of covering tech used to fight the novel coronavirus, Recode covered handshakes. Unfortunately, they messed that up too.


On February 7, a Recode journalist reached out with a request for comment that immediately raised my eyebrows.

  • I had context, and called it out on Twitter in advance here
  • Some back and forth ensued.
  • Here was the subsequent article (archive link).
  • And here was my response as a series of tweets.

Twitter didn’t have space to include citation links for each tweet in the response, so I’m doing that below.

Tweet 1

Tweet 2

How we dug out of an $80 million hole, turned it into, built it into a fast-growing business with millions in revenue, and sold it to Coinbase.

In May 2015, I became CEO of a company that was in a very difficult situation. had been started as 21E6, a bitcoin mining company with a sizable data center footprint and a monthly bill to match. The company was set up to return mined bitcoin to its shareholders and generated tens of millions in revenue during its first calendar year of operation. …

Moments likely has >92M monthly uniques — more than CNN, the New York Times, or the Washington Post.

Twitter Moments is a bit of a paradox. It’s Twitter’s in-house news service, and because of recent feature changes, it’s become one of the most visited news outlets in the world. Specifically, mobile Twitter users in many countries now see Moments every time they go to search. Given conservative estimates of monthly uniques that we detail below, this means Twitter Moments probably has a captive audience that’s larger than CNN, the New York Times, or the Washington Post.

Yet surprisingly few people know it by name. …

We must be able to measure blockchain decentralization before we can improve it.

By Balaji S. Srinivasan and Leland Lee

The primary advantage of Bitcoin and Ethereum over their legacy alternatives is widely understood to be decentralization. However, despite the widely acknowledged importance of this property, most discussion on the topic lacks quantification. If we could agree upon a quantitative measure, it would allow us to:

  • Measure the extent of a given system’s decentralization
  • Determine how much a given system modification improves or reduces decentralization
  • Design optimization algorithms and architectures to maximize decentralization

In this post we propose the minimum Nakamoto coefficient as a simple, quantitative measure of a system’s decentralization, motivated by…

Tokens are early today, but will transform technology tomorrow.

The exponential rise of non-Bitcoin tokens prior to the coming correction. Data from

In 2014, we wrote that “Bitcoin is more than money, and more than a protocol. It’s a model and platform for true crowdfunding — open, distributed, and liquid all the way.”

That new model is here, and it’s based on the idea of an appcoin or token: a scarce digital asset based on underlying technology inspired by Bitcoin. While indisputably frothy, as of this writing the token sector sits at a combined market cap in the tens of billions. These new “fat protocols” may eventually create and capture more value than the last generation of Internet companies.

Here we discuss…

Balaji S. Srinivasan

MIT TR35, Stanford PhD, papers in clinical/microbial genomics. Cofounder/CTO of diagnostics co sold for $375M. Former CTO of Coinbase, GP Andreessen Horowitz.

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