Balance is an App for Your Money
We build products for protocols, and the first thing we're doing is a wallet aggregation app that is like Mint for cryptocurrency.
Banks, credit cards, investment accounts, online wallets. Paypal. Schwab. Fidelity. Chase. 9,000 others.
Always in Sync
Balance updates accounts throughout the day, so there’s never any waiting involved.
Quickly search through all transactions with powerful filters.
Private and Secure
User data is synced to your device through our secure data provider, Plaid. We never store it.
How We Got Started
We started building Balance for ourselves more than 18 months ago.
Apple & Ethereum
I met Ben Baron in 2014 when I got back from a run and opened the door to a hackers’ warehouse I was living in. We were surrounded by nerds, startup types, structural engineers, bitcoin evangelists, incredible programmers, total beginners, and a lot of dreamers. It was a place for poor and ambitious people to get their start.
Both of us were searching for something fun to work on. Someone at Apple saw Ben’s code on GitHub and asked him to come for an interview. He joined them to work on Photos for Mac.
I met the team behind Ethereum and flew back to England to work for them. Ben and I stayed in touch over the next couple of years and became great friends.
git init bal
In the summer of 2015, I was preparing for an interview with Plaid, a company that makes a unified Application Programming Interface (API) for banking data. I started hacking on a menubar app to display my banks’ balances.
My friend Christian Baroni, a talented designer I knew from my time at Stripe, was staying with me in San Francisco. We started collaborating on a design for Balance while on a surf trip to Indonesia.
We spent a few weeks prototyping and developing a basic working version of the app. Some of the best work was done on a pirate ship which we took from Sumbawa to Bali.
Ben left Apple in early 2016 to travel the world, learn Spanish, and work on fun projects. I had been showing Ben our progress on Balance. He started to get more interested in the project because it was a well-designed app for macOS that was written in Swift, Apple’s brand new programming language for apps on its platform.
All three of us started collaborating over the internet to make Balance the best place for people to view and interact with their banking data. The app began as a side project but soon started to consume more of our time.
When the app started to take shape we registered a company, Balanced Software, Inc. and a domain, balancemy.money.
Launching Balance for macOS
Balance went live in the U.S. Mac App Store in February 2017. Apple were kind enough to feature the app on the homepage of the store for 3 weeks. The next month was a whirlwind of crazy work. We soon had thousands of downloads and hundreds of paying customers.
We worked hard to fix bugs, respond to customer emails quickly, and spread the word about the app. The app was covered by journalists at MacStories and Lifehacker, which helped enormously.
Our customers loved the app and we soon had a five star rating and lots of lovely customer feedback.
The Blockchain Bubble
A month after the app launched, the price of Ether started to skyrocket. My one month of work for the Ethereum foundation was making more money each day than I used to make in a year.
Around the same time, Christian’s roommate, Jesse Clayburgh, invited us both to the Caribbean to meet the team behind Filecoin. After I read the whitepaper and watched all of the videos of the founder speaking, I jumped on a few planes to try and understand what they were doing.
Both of us were blown away by the ambition of the team at Protocol Labs. When Juan Benet spoke, it felt like he had come back in a time machine to let us know how things were about to play out.
Banks and Blockchains
We started to realise that there is a huge opportunity for our company. Balance could become the best place to view all of your balances, whether they are in a bank or on a blockchain.
Thousands of banks around the world are opening up their data to developers. At the same time, thousands of teams are launching new blockchains powered by digital tokens. There is going to be an explosion in the number of ways people can create and transfer value. We want Balance to be the best place for people and businesses to visualise and interact with that value.
We launched Balance Open, an open source menubar app for viewing your Coinbase data as a first step down this path.
How We Will Make Money
See & Convert
Our short term roadmap is focussed on giving people and businesses the ability to see and convert any balance from one form to another. Whether you hold Great British Pounds and Golem Network tokens, we will help keep track of it all and convert it.
We want people to be able to see their traditional and digital balances side by side. This requires us to integrate with the most popular traditional banks and digital currency exchanges.
We want people to be able to convert their traditional balances into digital balances quickly and cheaply. To do this, we will be integrating deeply with services like Coinbase, Transferwise and ShapeShift.
See for free, convert for a fee
Balance will become a free and open source app. If we get the data for free, we will allow our customers to see it for free. If the data costs us money, we will charge to cover that cost.
We currently think our revenue growth will come from allowing people and businesses to convert any balance from one form to another. All of the services we will use to do this will pay us a small commission. We will be totally open and transparent about the costs and our fee.
This freemium model will allow us to grow our userbase and customerbase quickly.
Who We Will Integrate With
Our Hopes for the Future
A Billion Blockchains
The Internet emerged from the website and the hyperlink. The Interchain will emerge from the block and the chainlink. Web standards defined Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) and the Hyperlink. Chain standards will emerge for blocks and chainlinks. The core verb of the Internet is a request; the core verb of the Interchain is a transaction.
As the cost of building a blockchain drops to zero, the number of blockchains will increase exponentially. Billions of people will use applications powered by blockchains every day. Our hope is that Balance is the best place for people to make use of these blockchains. We want to help accelerate the shift of balances from private databases to public blockchains.
An Interchain Browser
In the early days of the Internet, normal people were shut out from the benefits because there was no easy way to navigate to websites. Then the Mosaic browser came along and everything changed. People could see the benefits of the Internet and they wanted to participate. We hope that the same thing is about to happen for the Interchain. Today, blockchains are incredibly hard to use. Even the best engineers and cryptographers find them hard to work with.
In the long term, we view Balance as an Interchain Browser on every major platform, from macOS to Android. Chrome helps you navigate the Internet; Balance will help you navigate the Interchain.
How You Can Help Us
Download, test, suggest, request
If you are familiar with GitHub, you can watch the project, download the latest builds, and submit issues. We really appreciate it when people beta test our apps thoroughly. When users and customers of our apps suggest new features we are really responsive. If you are an engineer and want to submit a pull request, we would love to have you contribute.
There are lots of plans to reward our most active contributors in the future. We do not want people to give us their time for free. We will talk more about this in the near future.
In the meantime, see you on GitHub, Gitter and Twitter!
Invest in us
If you can spare $100 to invest in our WeFunder campaign, we would love to welcome you as a crowdfunder. If you are a more experienced investor and can commit $25,000, we would love to have you aboard as a full investor with pro-rata rights.
We want to build a sustainable company that will help accelerate the shift to an Open Source financial system. That will take a long time, a lot of talented people, and a significant amount of capital.
We know what we want to ship in the next 3 months. We have crazy ideas about we might be able to do in the future. As a team, we plan in quarters and dream in quarter centuries. Please join us!
What We Will Do With Our Money
Grow the team
We have lots of ideas about how to improve the state of blockchain software. With almost no capital and a few people, we have shipped a bunch of great work. Now we want to grow our team so we can massively increase our output.
Your money would help pay for these people. We are all taking just enough money to survive. We want Balance to succeed and so we try to only spend money on tools, travel and people.
There is an amazing set of people who are ready to join us full time when we can afford to pay them. Your money will help us do that so we can grow Balance.
Ship more software
With a great team of experienced designers, engineers and operators, we know we can ship a lot more software with the influx of capital.
There are so many sources of data to integrate and platforms to support. We want to appeal to a large userbase with our free apps and offer a set of premium services that people and businesses will pay for.
We want to do a lot more. Your money will help us do that. We want to raise a sensible sum of money and deliver an enormous amount of useful software. We will make something people want.
A Conversation with the Founder of Balance
Let's Make Blockchains Easy to Use
July 27, 2017
A few years ago I went to a talk from Gavin Wood and heard him talk about Ethereum. He spoke about creating a global supercomputer that could power distributed applications and reshape the internet. Although I barely understood what he was saying, I was inspired by his vision. After the talk, I went up to him and asked if I could help out as a designer. We connected over Skype and he shared his vision for an App Store for the distributed web. I met Vitalik Buterin and some of the other folk involved in the Ethereum Foundation. We hung out at a few meet-ups, slept at hacker houses, and discussed the potential of the blockchain.
When I returned to England, I worked for a month to design a few of mockups of what an Ethereum browser would look like. I had only just started designing software and I did my best to help them visualise these incredibly complicated ideas. Eventually I ran out of money and moved on from the Ethereum Foundation to an agency in Brighton that could pay me in pounds. The Ethereum Foundation promised to send me some Ether. Those tokens changed my life.
When I was working on the designs for the Ethereum Foundation, one of the team said to me: ”Richard, you do realise you can redesign the internet, right?”. At the time, I thought he was absolutely nuts. Today, I see that there is a much bigger opportunity: we want to design the interface for the interchain. The interchain will emerge all of the blockchains are connected. The internet emerged when all of the intranets were connected.
Mosaic made websites easy to browse. Balance will make blockchains easy to use. We want to create a fast, free, open-source interchain browser that will help billions of people use blockchains in their daily lives. The majority of the world interacts with the internet using Chrome. We hope that the majority of the world will interact with the interchain using Balance.
Let’s make blockchains easy to use by building an interchain browser together.