Unchained: Big Ideas From The Worlds Of Blockchain And Cryptocurrency

By Laura Shin - Business Journalist Covering Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, ; Forbes Contributor

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 Jul 27, 2018
A female crypto host that isn't annoying!!!! There is a God! Consistent guests from the top of the cryptosphere with hot topics. This is pretty far from buzzword BINGO, dive into the tech and stories of your favorite projects.


Crypto assets and blockchain technology are about to transform every trust-based interaction of our lives, from financial services to identity to the Internet of Things. In this podcast, host Laura Shin, an independent journalist covering all things crypto, talks with industry pioneers about how crypto assets and blockchains will change the way we earn, spend and invest our money. Tune in to find out how Web 3.0, the decentralized web, will revolutionize our world. Disclosure: I'm a nocoiner.

Episode Date
Dfinity's Dominic Williams on How Its Blockchain Nervous System Is Not an AI - Ep.78

Dfinity's Dominic Williams talks about how Dfinity is an internet computer that can host our software and data, instead of it being held by centralized services. He describes the consensus algorithm, threshold relay, and why he believes Dfinity will be much more secure than Bitcoin. We also dive into Dfinity's governance mechanism, the "blockchain nervous system." Williams, who has written about the "AI-managed environment provided by the blockchain nervous system" and talked about how Dfinity upgrades the "code is law paradigm" to "the AI is law paradigm," explains on the show that the blockchain nervous system is not an AI and is manually controlled by users.

Thank you to our sponsors!

StartEngine: https://www.startengine.com/unchained

The Sun Exchange: https://thesunexchange.com

Episode links:

Dfinity: https://www.dfinity.org

Dominic: https://twitter.com/dominic_w?lang=en

Dfinity as decentralized cloud: https://medium.com/dfinity/the-decentralized-cloud-vision-of-the-dfinity-blockchain-f68449c49be2

Dfinity consensus algorithm: https://medium.com/dfinity/dfinity-white-paper-our-consensus-algorithm-a11adc0a054c

Threshold relay: https://dfinity.org/pdf-viewer/pdfs/viewer?file=../library/threshold-relay-blockchain-stanford.pdf

Posts where Dominic has described Dfinity's governance system as an AI:



Phi: https://dfinity.org/pdf-viewer/pdfs/viewer?file=../library/phi-dfinity-extended-v2.pdf

Aug 21, 2018
Harbor and TrustToken on Why They Don't Mind Being Unsexy - Ep.77

Josh Stein, CEO of Harbor, and Danny An, cofounder and CEO of TrustToken, talk about security tokens and tokens backed by real-world assets, often called an unsexy area of crypto. They explain the strategies their teams are using to tackle the tokenization of what currently constitute $250 trillion in assets, what kinds of new behaviors and business opportunities "faster, cheaper, more liquid" assets could open up, and how they'll comply with regulations across all jurisdictions for markets that are global and trade 24/7/365.

Thank you to our sponsors!

StartEngine: https://www.startengine.com/unchained

The Sun Exchange: https://thesunexchange.com

Episode links:

Harbor: https://harbor.com

Trust Token: https://www.trusttoken.com

True USD: https://www.trusttoken.com/trueusd/

An overview of security tokens: https://medium.com/@apompliano/the-official-guide-to-tokenized-securities-44e8342bb24f

More on Harbor and security tokens: http://fortune.com/2018/05/18/security-token-harbor-ce

More on True USD: https://venturebeat.com/2018/07/18/trusttoken-readies-sale-of-more-trueusd-asset-based-tokens/

The PICO: https://medium.com/harborhq/introducing-the-private-ico-pico-3e8b782924c1

Episode with Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson: http://unchainedpodcast.co/episode-74

Aug 14, 2018
Live From Distributed: Amber Baldet, Matthew Roszak and Lily Liu on 'Innovate or Reinvent?' - Ep.76

In July in San Francisco, I moderated a panel at "Distributed 2018: Unlocking the Global Power of Decentralized Business." The title of our discussion was "Innovate or Reinvent?" and the panelists were Amber Baldet, cofounder and CEO of Clovyr, Matt Roszak, cofounder and chairman of Bloq, and Lily Liu, cofounder of Earn.com. We had a wide-ranging discussion, which included topics such as how the "Crypto 50" combined have more budget for blockchain development services than Fortune 50 companies,  how developing in the blockchain space and revolutionize an existing market requires that the new offering be many times better than existing options, and why enterprise needs to wait to get permission rather than ask for forgiveness, which doesn't hinder new projects. We also discussed how government is also a competitor in the space, that building entities don't include only decentralized projects and corporations, and how regulation could affect the development of the space.

Thank you to our sponsors!

DACC: https://www.digitalassetcustody.com

Quantstamp: https://www.quantstamp.com

The Sun Exchange:  https://www.thesunexchange.com

Episode links:

Distributed conference: https://2018.distributed.com

Amber Baldet: https://twitter.com/AmberBaldet

Clovyr: https://clovyr.io

Matt Roszak: https://twitter.com/MatthewRoszak

Bloq: https://www.bloq.com

Lily Liu: https://twitter.com/calilyliu

Earn.com: https://earn.com

Aug 08, 2018
What Makes a CryptoKitty Worth $140,000? - Ep.75

Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, the company behind CryptoKitties, and Benny Giang, Dapper Labs’ head of Asia, describe how employees at venture studio AxiomZen came up with the idea for CryptoKitties, what problems it exposed in crypto (beyond scaling!), and how CryptoKitties can teach people the value of decentralization. They also defend the $140,000 price tag on one kitty, explain how they plan to grow from the current 300 users per day that the blockchain is logging, and surmise that if it weren't for user experience issues, CryptoKitties could have been 100 times bigger. Plus, they talk about the Kittyverse.

Thank you to our sponsors!

DACC: https://www.digitalassetcustody.com

Quantstamp: https://quantstamp.com

The Sun Exchange: https://thesunexchange.com

Episode links:

CryptoKitties: https://www.cryptokitties.co

AxiomZen/Dapper Labs: https://www.axiomzen.co

Roham Gharegozlou: https://www.linkedin.com/in/roham

Benny Giang: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bennygiang/

The $140,000 CryptoKitty: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/style/cryptokitty-auction.html

Fundraising news: https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/20/cryptokitties-raises-12m-from-andreessen-horowitz-and-union-square-ventures/

CryptoKitties on HTC's new phone: http://fortune.com/2018/07/11/cryptokitties-app-htc/

Listen to previous episodes of Unchained with these CryptoKitties investors:

Chris Dixon: http://unchainedpodcast.co/chris-dixon-on-how-trust-is-the-best-lego-block-ep70

Naval Ravikant: http://unchainedpodcast.co/naval-ravikant-on-how-crypto-is-squeezing-vcs-hindering-regulators-and-bringing-users-choice

Bill Tai: http://unchainedpodcast.co/maitai-globals-bill-tai-on-why-blockchain-is-the-6th-wave-of-technology

William Mougayar: http://unchainedpodcast.co/icos-why-people-are-investing-in-this-380-million-phenomenon

"Developers all the way down" -- Unchained episode with Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson: http://unchainedpodcast.co/episode-74

Listen to my previous interview with Arianna Simpson on Unconfirmed about CryptoKitties: http://unconfirmed.libsyn.com/arianna-simpson-of-autonomous-partners-on-privacy-cryptokitties-and-crypto-regulation

Aug 07, 2018
Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson on the Shitcoin Waterfall - Ep.74

In this hilarious skeptics' episode, Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer of CoinShares, and Jill Carlson, an independent consultant, explain why they think crypto needs fewer moral arguments and more empirical evidence, and how there's too much focus on financial engineering, but not enough focus on winning hearts and minds. They also explain why people are not machines where "you put in a token and get out an action," what the "shitcoin waterfall" is, and why cryptoeconomics isn't anything new. Plus, they give their tips for working in the space.

Thank you to our sponsors!

DACC: https://www.digitalassetcustody.com

Preciate: https://preciate.org/recognize/

Quantstamp: https://quantstamp.com

Episode links:

Meltem on Twitter: https://twitter.com/melt_dem

On Medium: https://medium.com/@Melt_Dem

Jill on Twitter: https://twitter.com/_jillruth

AirTM: https://www.airtm.io

Fat protocols thesis: http://www.usv.com/blog/fat-protocols

Amber Baldet's tweet about the finger guns guy: https://twitter.com/amberbaldet/status/1006286345122275331

Meltem's tips on working in crypto: https://medium.com/@Melt_Dem/so-you-want-to-work-in-crypto-57961ca074c4

Jill's tips on working for yourself: https://medium.com/@jillcarlson/working-alone-165ababeafc2

Jul 31, 2018
Kathleen Breitman and Ryan Jesperson of Tezos on Why They Wouldn't Do Its Token Sale Differently - Ep.73

Kathleen Breitman, CEO of Dynamic Ledger Solutions, the company behind the Tezos protocol, and Ryan Jesperson, president of the foundation, discuss the Tezos initial coin offering, which was the largest ICO at the time of sale. Kathleen explains why she wouldn't do anything differently, except for the choice of foundation head, Johann Gevers, with whom Kathleen and her co-creator and husband, Arthur Breitman, ended up in multiple disputes. She muses as to why many people initially praised Gevers and then later revealed that he was not liked or that he'd defrauded them when they'd worked for him. Ryan and Kathleen also explain how they will attempt to help Tezos compete in the competitive smart contract platform space, despite the fact that Tezos is built in less well-known computer languages, and they explain why they've chosen delegated proof of stake as their consensus protocol, despite the criticism that it could create a plutocracy.

Tezos: https://tezos.com

Kathleen Breitman: https://twitter.com/breitwoman

Ryan Jesperson: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryan-jesperson-23b0053a/

Thank you to our sponsors!

Preciate: https://preciate.org

Quantstamp: https://quantstamp.com

The Sun Exchange: https://www.thesunexchange.com

Podcast links:

Wired story on Tezos: https://www.wired.com/story/tezos-blockchain-love-story-horror-story/

Unconfirmed episode with Gideon Lewis-Kraus, author of the Wired cover story: http://unconfirmed.libsyn.com/behind-the-tezos-scandal-conflicts-of-interest-self-dealing-and-bullying-ep024

Unconfirmed with Caitlin Long on Wyoming blockchain laws: http://unconfirmed.libsyn.com/behind-the-tezos-scandal-conflicts-of-interest-self-dealing-and-bullying-ep024

Jul 24, 2018
How Widespread Is Money Laundering in Crypto? - Ep.72

Yaya Fanusie, director of analysis at the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Tom Robinson, chief data officer and cofounder of blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, discuss how common money laundering is in crypto, how jihadist groups are using it, and how privacy coins (really Monero) affect their work. (The reason why the dark markets haven't much used Zcash surprised me.) We also discuss bad state actors using cryptocurrency, such as Venezuela's efforts with the metro and North Korea's alleged Bitcoin ransomware attacks, and how, leaving aside bad state actors, central bank cryptocurrencies would compete with decentralized ones. Plus, we discuss what impact OFAC blocked addresses list will have.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Preciate: https://preciate.org

Quantstamp: https://quantstamp.com

Yaya Fanusie: https://twitter.com/SignCurve

Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies: http://www.defenddemocracy.org/csif

Tom Robinson: https://twitter.com/tomrobin   

Elliptic: http://www.elliptic.co

Yaya and Tom's report on Bitcoin laundering: http://www.defenddemocracy.org/content/uploads/documents/MEMO_Bitcoin_Laundering.pdf

New AML regulations on cryptocurrencies in Europe: https://www.elliptic.co/our-thinking/5th-aml-directive-eu-regulation-cryptocurrency

Money laundering in ICOs: https://www.elliptic.co/our-thinking/ico-risk-why-aml-compliance-matters

Yaya's op-ed on the Venezuelan metro in CoinDesk: https://www.coindesk.com/crypto-investors-stay-away-venezuelas-petro/

Russia's blockchain plans: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/technology/346476-blockchain-technology-may-give-russia-its-next-sputnik-moment

What jihadists are doing with crypto assets: https://www.thecipherbrief.com/article/exclusive/international/terrorist-networks-eye-bitcoin-cryptocurrencys-price-rises


Yaya's essay on self-policing in CoinDesk: https://www.coindesk.com/crypto-community-must-use-blockchain-self-police/

Jul 17, 2018
Circle's Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville on Why Crypto Will Be Bigger Than the Web - Ep.71

Jeremy Allaire, cofounder and CEO of Circle, and Sean Neville, cofounder and president, discuss why they think the internet of value will be even bigger than the internet of information and how all assets will be tokenized. They also talk about why they're launching a stable coin, how their services in payments, exchange and investing will compete against decentralized versions of the same, and how they chose the assets for Circle Invest -- and why XRP didn't make the cut. They also address the investor presentation circulated that claimed the SEC would not pursue enforcement against Poloniex for prior activity and explain why Circle took investment from Bitmain despite negative sentiment against the mining equipment manufacturer. And they explain how Circle could compete once Wall Street incumbents begin to offer competitive services in crypto.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Clarity PR: http://clarity.pr

Preciate: https://preciate.org/recognize/


Circle.com: https://www.circle.com/en/

Circle's plans around a federal banking license and brokerage and trading registration: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-06/circle-in-talks-with-u-s-to-become-licensed-bank-trading-venue

Acquisition of Poloniex: https://blog.circle.com/2018/02/26/circle-acquires-poloniex/

XRP in a screenshot of Circle Invest, but offered after launch: https://www.coindesk.com/circle-adds-monero-crypto-investment-app/

The Circle Asset Framework: https://www.circle.com/marketing/pdfs/en/circle-asset-framework.pdf

Nathaniel Popper's tweet showing the Circle investor deck indicating the SEC won't pursue action against Poloniex: https://twitter.com/nathanielpopper/status/968202570719117313?lang=en

Circle's stable coins + Bitmain investment: https://blog.circle.com/2018/05/15/circle-announces-usd-coin-bitmain-partnership-and-new-strategic-financing/

Unchained episode on stable coins: http://unchainedpodcast.co/why-its-so-hard-to-keep-stablecoins-stable

Unchained episode with David Vorick, which includes some comments on Bitmain: http://unchainedpodcast.co/why-asics-may-be-better-than-gpus-even-if-they-tend-toward-mining-centralization-ep67

Jul 10, 2018
Chris Dixon on How Trust Is the Best Lego Block - Ep.70

Chris Dixon, partner at Andreessen Horowitz, talks about the new $300 million crypto fund he is leading with Kathryn Haun, the new general partner of Andreessen, and how a16z came to hire its first female GP. The long-time crypto entrepreneur also discusses his theory of how crypto will grow -- and why Cryptokitties was one example of how that might happen -- his nights-and-weekend theory of technological change, and his view that writing software and smart contracts is similar to writing a novel. Additionally, he explains how someday, it will seem funny we didn't have concepts of ownership and money in the digital world, why Andreessen is investing almost exclusively in crypto-first projects and why he believes that the ability to create trust software will be the best Lego block for building things like money, finance, digital goods and more.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Blockchain Warehouse: https://www.blockchainwarehouse.com

Clarity PR: http://clarity.pr

Preciate: https://preciate.org


The a16z $300 million crypto fund: https://a16zcrypto.com

Katie Haun's appointment as GP: https://a16z.com/2018/06/25/katie-haun/

My previous interviews with Katie Haun -- Unchained: http://unchainedpodcast.co/federal-prosecutor-kathryn-haun-on-how-criminals-use-bitcoin-and-how-she-catches-them

Unconfirmed: http://unconfirmed.libsyn.com/sxsw-episode-former-doj-prosecutor-kathryn-haun-on-what-the-sec-subpoenas-and-fincen-letter-likely-mean

Chris on decentralization: https://medium.com/@cdixon/why-decentralization-matters-5e3f79f7638e

On how tokens can reverse the centralization of the internet: https://medium.com/@cdixon/crypto-tokens-a-breakthrough-in-open-network-design-e600975be2ef

Chris mentioned Placeholder Ventures -- if you haven't heard my interview with the firm's Joel Monegro, check it out: http://unchainedpodcast.co/placeholders-joel-monegro-on-the-fat-protocols-thesis-today-ep65

Jul 03, 2018
Jimmy Song on Why Bitcoin Will Be the Winning Cryptocurrency - Ep.69

In an episode of strong positions, Blockchain Capital  partner and Bitcoin educator Jimmy Song explains why private blockchains will never work, why smart contracts will never work, and why Bitcoin will be the one and only valuable cryptocurrency. He also gives his definition sound money, describes why Bitcoin is sound money, and talks about how he finds new companies to invest in if he believes Bitcoin is already the winner. Plus, he recounts the story of his buzz-generating debate with ConsenSys's Joe Lubin at the Consensus conference, which ended with a challenge to come up with a bet in Bitcoin, and what terms Jimmy would like to make the bet on. Lubin, it's your move.

Jimmy Song on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jimmysong

Medium: https://medium.com/@jimmysong

Blockchain Capital: http://blockchain.capital/

Programming Blockchain: http://programmingblockchain.com

Off Chain with Jimmy Song on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEFJVYNiPp8xeIUyfaPCPQw

Medium post on smart contracts: https://medium.com/@jimmysong/the-truth-about-smart-contracts-ae825271811f

Jimmy's rebuttal to the responses to his post: https://medium.com/@jimmysong/crypto-keynesian-lunacy-16bb9193a58

Video of Amber Baldet, Joe Lubin and Jimmy's panel at Consensus -- video 31 under Day 1: https://www.coindesk.com/events/consensus-2018/videos/

Thank you to our sponsors!

Blockchain Warehouse: https://www.blockchainwarehouse.com

Clarity PR: http://clarity.pr

Preciate: https://preciate.org/recognize/

Jun 26, 2018
Live From the World Economic Forum Industry Strategy Meeting: Breaking the Blockchain Hype - Ep.68

This is a live recording from a panel I moderated at the World Economic Forum Industry Strategy Meeting. The speakers included Shwetha Shetty Senior Director, Corporate Strategy Group, of SAP, Adam Ludwin, CEO of Chain, Brian Behlendorf, executive director of HyperLedger the Linux Foundation and Sheila Warren, project head of blockchain and distributed ledger technology at the World Economic Forum.We dive into the pros and cons of using blockchains for elections. which types of problems are best-suited to be solved by blockchain, why B2B applications of blockchain might come before B2C products and what kinds of identity-related data might be safe to put on a blockchain. Plus, Adam reveals some entertaining anecdotes about Silicon Valley safaris and how old World’s Fair tickets could have an analog to blockchain systems today.

Episodes I referenced during the discussion in case listeners want to dive more into the elections topic:

Tomicah Tillemann episode on the blockchain voting pilot in West Virginia: http://unconfirmed.libsyn.com/battling-corruption-with-blockchain-technology-tomicah-tillemann-of-the-blockchain-trust-accelerator-ep018

Alex Gladstein episode with more on blockchain-based voting: http://unconfirmed.libsyn.com/alex-gladstein-of-the-human-rights-foundation-on-the-first-crypto-war-ep021

Tweets about blockchain-based voting:

Matt Blaze’s objecton to blockchain-based voting: https://twitter.com/mattblaze/status/1002921011854143488

Vitalik’s response: https://twitter.com/VitalikButerin/status/1004203105611726849

Tomicah Tillemann’s response: https://twitter.com/TomicahTD/status/1004325810252197888

To address the question at the end about blockchain-based passports: 

2 Katie Haun episodes on using blockchain-based systems to solve the problems of "breeder documents" and fraud, waste and abuse:

Fraud, waste and abuse: http://unchainedpodcast.co/live-from-inforum-at-the-commonwealth-club-blockchain-and-cryptocurrency-the-basics-with-kathryn-haun

Breeder documents: http://unchainedpodcast.co/federal-prosecutor-kathryn-haun-on-how-criminals-use-bitcoin-and-how-she-catches-them 

Episode with Vinny Lighal, founder of Civic, which is working on a blockchain-based identity solution: http://unchainedpodcast.co/bitcoin-oracle-vinny-lingham-on-why-bitcoin-is-overpriced 

Thank you to our sponsor!

Blockchain Warehouse: https://www.blockchainwarehouse.com

Jun 20, 2018
Why ASICs May Be Better Than GPUs Even if They Tend Toward Mining Centralization - Ep.67

David Vorick, CEO of Nebulous, which operates Siacoin and a new subsidiary, Obelisk, describes what he's discovered in his exploration of the mining industry, including why he's decided that specialized chips like ASICs are preferable to generalized chips like GPUs, even if they tend to bring out mining centralization. He also describes Obelisk's new service, Launchpad,which secures exclusive deals to create a custom proof-of-work algorithm for a coin and also the mining equipment for it, in exchange for being the only miner on the market at launch or for a period. He explains why he thinks proof of work is the only really viable type of consensus algorithm and doesn't even see any other potentially workable ones on the horizon. Plus, he has some sharp criticisms of Bitmain and claims that several groups were secretly mining Monero, though he can't reveal how he knows.  

David Vorick: https://twitter.com/DavidVorick


Siacoin: http://sia.tech


Obelisk: https://obelisk.tech


David on why Siacoin chose ASICs: https://medium.com/obelisk-blog/choosing-asics-for-sia-4b11695df051

David's long post about the state of cryptocurrency mining: https://blog.sia.tech/the-state-of-cryptocurrency-mining-538004a37f9b

Announcement about Obelisk:


Zooko's recap of his conversation with Jihan Wu, CEO of Bitmain: https://forum.z.cash/t/so-i-had-a-videochat-with-jihan-wu/29379

Bitmain's tweets being transparent (account currently disabled): https://twitter.com/BITMAINtech/status/1001376036985028608

Bitmain's blog post about being transparent: https://blog.bitmain.com/en/antiminer-z9-mini-shipments-experiment-radical-transparency/

Thank you to our sponsors!

Preciate: https://preciate.org/recognize/


Jun 19, 2018
Live From Consensus: What the Media Really Thinks About Crypto - Ep.66

This is a recording of a panel discussion I participated in with a couple other reporters and crypto PR people at Consensus. (It was at the same time as Jack's talk, so it's totally understandable if you missed it. Also, the room was freezing. I was shivering the entire time.) The other panelists were Leigh Cuen of CoinDesk, Avi Salzman of Barron's (and my old classmate from grad school!), Jill Richmond of Spark PR, Trey Ditto of Ditto PR, and the discussion was moderated by Frank Chaparro of Business Insider. We discussed whether or not crypto projects and publications should engage in pay to play (I would have hoped the answer to this would obvious to everyone, but alas), coverage that could cause investors to lose money, whether or not the business model of the media industry drives clickbait headlines and why journalists have a responsibility to include more of the nuances in crypto. We also dish up some practical tips and insider info, like how crypto projects can get media coverage, what factors reporters use in deciding whether or not to write about a project they're pitched, and whether or not crypto teams should hire crypto-specific PR firms.

Apologies that there was no mic for the questions from the audience. I've left the questions in, as you can sometimes hear them faintly. I tried my best to have someone or myself recap each question.

For the question about our favorite stories, these were the articles we named

My favorite of mine: my phone hijacking story: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2016/12/20/hackers-have-stolen-millions-of-dollars-in-bitcoin-using-only-phone-numbers/#464b730d38ba

Leigh liked a series I did exposing fake advisors: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/11/01/alex-tapscotts-crypto-vc-firm-going-public-with-100m-cad-falsely-touted-4-blockchain-stars-as-advisors/#483d3ff31b1f



Leigh's favorite stories: Cryptocurrency in Iran: http://www.ibtimes.com/bitcoin-adoption-rate-iran-surges-despite-censorship-protests-2636607


Cryptocurrency for sex workers: http://www.ibtimes.com/beyond-bitcoin-blockchain-tokens-sex-industry-2601252

Avi's favorite story: https://www.barrons.com/articles/bitcoin-storms-wall-street-1512188427

Thank you to our sponsors!

Keepkey: https://www.keepkey.com

Token Agency: https://tokenagency.com

Jun 13, 2018
Placeholder's Joel Monegro on the Fat Protocols Thesis Today - Ep.65

Joel Monegro, partner at crypto VC firm Placeholder Ventures, describes how well his seminal blog post, "Fat Protocols," is holding up, why he and his partner Chris Burniske opted to found a crypto VC firm as opposed to a hedge fund, and what main factors they think will determine the success of a blockchain. He also describes how crypto and blockchains fit into the evolution of technology, how the business models in the crypto space will be built, and why their first publicly known investment was in Decred. Plus, he reveals why their firm is called Placeholder.

Placeholder: https://www.placeholder.vc

Joel: https://twitter.com/jmonegro

The Placeholder investment thesis: https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmZL4eT1gxnE168Pmw3KyejW6fUfMNzMgeKMgcWJUfYGRj/Placeholder%20Thesis%20Summary.pdf

The Fat Protocols Thesis:


Decred investment thesis: https://www.placeholder.vc/blog/2018/5/12/decred-investment-thesis

Blog post on information technology cycles: https://monegro.org/work/2018/2/20/information-technology-market-cycles-a-brief-history

Joel's blog post on the shared data layer of the blockchain application stack:


and on the blockchain application stack: http://joel.mn/post/103546215249/the-blockchain-application-stack

Two episodes featuring his partner, Chris Burniske:



Another episode that I forgot to mention during the show, the interview with Bill Tai, which contains ideas that overlap quite a bit with Joel's:


Thank you to our sponsors!

Preciate: https://preciate.org/recognize/

Blockchain Warehouse: https://www.blockchainwarehouse.com

Jun 12, 2018
From the Oslo Freedom Forum: Blockchain vs. the Surveillance State - Ep.64

This recording is of Blockchain vs. the Surveillance State, a series of talks and a panel from the Oslo Freedom Forum put on by the Human Rights Foundation. In this session, hear presentations from Ryan Shea of decentralized technology platform Blockstack; Galia Benartzi of smart token platform Bancor; Steve Waterhouse of surveillance-free internet project Orchid; and Arthur Breitman from smart contract platform Tezos. Afterward, I moderate a panel among the four speakers that touches on the ways in which blockchains can be used to curb human rights abuses -- but also how bad actors can also use them for nefarious purposes.

Oslo Freedom Forum: https://oslofreedomforum.com

Human Rights Foundation: https://www.hrf.org

The four presentations:

Ryan Shea https://twitter.com/ryaneshea of Blockstack: https://blockstack.org

(Also check out his interview with cofounder Muneeb Ali on Unchained: http://unchainedpodcast.co/blockstack-on-getting-independence-from-google-facebook-and-amazon)

Galia Benartzi https://twitter.com/galiabenartzi of Bancor https://www.bancor.network/discover

Steve Waterhouse https://twitter.com/deseventral of https://orchid.com

Arthur Breitman https://twitter.com/arthurb of https://tezos.com

Be sure also to listen to the Unconfirmed podcast episode with Alex Gladstein of the Human Rights Foundation -- not to be missed if you're interested in the topics discussed during Blockchain vs. the Surveillance State! http://unconfirmed.libsyn.com/alex-gladstein-of-the-human-rights-foundation-on-the-first-crypto-war-ep021

Thank you to our sponsors!

Blockchain Warehouse: https://www.blockchainwarehouse.com

Keepkey: https://www.keepkey.com

Jun 06, 2018
Arthur Hayes of Bitmex on Why Countries Will Turn to Digital Cash - Ep.63

Arthur Hayes, CEO of Bitmex, describes how traders on his platform can make great gains but experience limited losses, how Asia's crypto markets differ from those in the U.S., and why he makes money whether or not crypto prices go up or down. He also describes why ICOs are crap now but why he fully supports the idea in theory and how they should get back to their roots. He also explains why he believes governments will issue digital cash, and why he believes everyday people will be surveilled through these transactions, but will give up this privacy for the sake of convenience. And where does he see this leaving cryptocurrencies? To become needed to transact privately.

Bitmex: https://www.bitmex.com/

Arthur Hayes: https://www.bitmex.com/app/aboutUs

Bitmex blog, with detailed research reports: https://blog.bitmex.com/

Arthur's Crypto Trader Digest: https://us3.campaign-archive.com/?u=db45c09bdf20e1866bb32123f&id=ac43da8d18

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Jun 05, 2018
How Chainalysis Helps Solve Crimes: Jonathan Levin Tells All - Ep.62

Jonathan Levin, cofounder and chief operating officer for blockchain analytics company Chainalysis, describes how the company was born out of questions he had while a grad student, how they began mapping the Bitcoin blockchain to certain entities, and how their customers, which include government agencies such as the FBI, DEA, IRS, Europol and others, use Chainalysis to help solve Bitcoin crimes. He also reveals what level of detail the software tracks, how privacy coins could affect their work, and what new developments in the technology could decrease current crimes, such as physical extortion of crypto holders. Plus, he answers the question of whether or not Chainalysis's work destroys the fungibility of Bitcoin.

Chainalysis: http://chainalysis.com/

Jonathan Levin: https://twitter.com/jony_levin

Chainalysis report on the changing nature of crypto crime: https://www.chainalysis.com/static/Cryptocrime_Report_V2.pdf

Forbes article on Chainalysis: https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2018/04/05/snooping-on-bitcoin-is-big-business/#234e6792d198

Usage of Chainalysis by IRS: https://www.thedailybeast.com/irs-now-has-a-tool-to-unmask-bitcoin-tax-cheats

Threats of violence against bitcoin and other crypto holders: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/18/technology/virtual-currency-extortion.html

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May 29, 2018
Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, on Drawing a Line With Regulators - Ep.61

Jesse Powell, CEO of crypto asset exchange Kraken, explains why he publicly rejected then-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's request for information from crypto exchanges, why he felt it was a publicity stunt and why Kraken, which stopped serving New York customers after New York's Bitlicense was introduced, doesn't see the market as a top priority. He also talks about why Kraken decided to stop operations in Japan after further regulations were imposed and discusses Kraken's $1 million donation to Coin Center (and its $1 million match). Plus, he gets into why he named the exchange after a Norse sea monster, the dangers of the exchange's margin trading product, and what steps he recommends everyone in crypto take to keep their tokens safe.

Jesse Powell: https://twitter.com/jespow

Kraken: https://www.kraken.com/

Past Unchained episode with Brock Pierce who also had a pre-Bitcoin career involving video game currency (Jesse and Brock were competitors): http://unchainedpodcast.co/this-vc-is-sure-venture-capital-is-about-to-be-disrupted

Kraken's position on regulation (discussion of New York AG request and Japan + guidance for regulators): https://blog.kraken.com/post/1561/krakens-position-on-regulation/

Kraken donation to Coin Center: https://blog.kraken.com/post/1591/kraken-donates-1m-to-coin-center-with-an-additional-1m-matching-during-may/

Kraken down for 40 hours: http://fortune.com/2018/01/12/bitcoin-price-ripple-kraken-down/

Past Unchained episode on taxation of crypto: http://unchainedpodcast.co/the-tax-rules-that-have-crypto-users-aghast

Kraken blog post on phone numbers being hijacked: https://blog.kraken.com/post/219/security-advisory-mobile-phones/

My article on the same topic: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2016/12/20/hackers-have-stolen-millions-of-dollars-in-bitcoin-using-only-phone-numbers/#1d79923338ba

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May 22, 2018
Live From Ethereal: Eep! How Should Ethereum Be Governed? - Ep.60

This recording of a panel I moderated at Ethereal with Ethereum researcher Vlad Zamfir and GovernX founder Nick Dodson covered the topic that it seems everyone in crypto is discussing these days: governance. We talk about how the community should decide whether or not to unlock the funds frozen by bugs, on-chain governance, what role the Ethereum Foundation plays and what it means that nearly all the people who write Ethereum's code are men.

Nick Dodson: https://twitter.com/iamnickdodson

Vlad Zamfir: https://twitter.com/VladZamfir

If you liked this discussion, also be sure to check out my recent episode with Aya Miyaguchi, executive director of the Ethereum Foundation: http://unchainedpodcast.co/aya-miyaguchi-of-the-ethereum-foundation-on-who-makes-the-final-call-ep59

And this Unconfirmed episode on blockchain ethics with Cara LaPointe of Georgetown: http://unconfirmed.libsyn.com/from-the-bellagio-blockchain-summit-blockchain-ethics-with-georgetowns-cara-lapointe-ep016

Thank you to Ethereal for hosting a great event! https://etherealsummit.com/

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May 20, 2018
Aya Miyaguchi, of the Ethereum Foundation, on Who Makes the Final Call - Ep.59

The newly appointed head of the Ethereum Foundation, Aya Miyaguchi, talks about her background as a teacher, at Kraken, helping the Mt. Gox trustee unwind that mess, and the closed process by which she was plucked for her current role. She also describes her goals with the Ethereum Foundation, how the EF believes the Ethereum community should make decisions, how it defines community and more. She also talks about how she hopes to push more financial inclusion with Ethereum, and what she thinks needs to be done to get more women involved in crypto.

Aya Miyaguchi: https://twitter.com/mi_ayako

Ethereum Foundation: https://www.ethereum.org/foundation

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May 15, 2018
Ripple's XRP: Why Its Chances of Success Are Low - Ep.58

In this show, recorded without the participation of Ripple (explanation included in the show), Ryan Selkis, CEO and founder of Messari and Matt Leising, Bloomberg reporter, discuss Ripple's XRP, the third-largest coin by market cap. We go over whether or not it plays an essential role in Ripple's products, why banks are unlikely to adopt it, and why it's centralized. We also discuss whether or not it's an unregistered security (although the class-action lawsuit alleging XRP is an unregistered security being sold in a "never-ending ICO" came out after we recorded -- link below). We also discuss recent attempts by XRP to get it listed on top crypto exchanges, and how, as Selkis puts it, there's a fine line between some of its business activity and bribes. We also ponder the question: If XRP is meant for banks and financial institutions, why should everyday people own XRP?

Ryan Selkis: https://messari.io/


Matt Leising: https://twitter.com/mattleising


Full text of class-action lawsuit against Ripple: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5938711a9de4bb74f63b4059/t/5aebc4112b6a28e0ef4a0381/1525400594617/Coffey+v+Ripple+Labs+Complaint.pdf

Bloomberg article on lawsuit: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-04/ripple-hit-with-class-action-suit-over-never-ending-ico

Matt's article on why big banks have no interest in using XRP: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-25/ripple-wants-xrp-to-be-bitcoin-for-banks-if-only-the-banks-wanted-it

How Ripple tried to buy its way onto crypto exchanges: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-04/ripple-is-said-to-struggle-to-buy-u-s-listing-for-popular-coin

Ryan's post on XRP: https://medium.com/@twobitidiot/i-still-see-you-xrp-815369a539ea

Izabella Kaminska's article on XRP: https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2018/01/05/2197220/the-ripple-effect/

CoinDesk article on XRP: https://www.coindesk.com/ripples-xrp-giving-third-largest-cryptocurrency-second-look/

XRP chat post by David Schwartz: https://www.xrpchat.com/topic/5280-valuation-models-xrp-the-digital-currency-vs-ripple-the-company/?tab=comments#comment-50182 

Another post by David Schwartz on how XRP is not required: https://www.quora.com/Is-XRP-not-required-for-the-Ripple-Swift-replacement/answer/David-Schwartz-9

Bitmex post on XRP: https://blog.bitmex.com/the-ripple-story/

The dueling lawsuits between Ripple and R3 over XRP: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/09/08/blockchain-enterprise-firms-r3-and-ripple-sue-each-other-over-1-billion-of-cryptocurrency/

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May 08, 2018
How Institutional Investors Can Do Due Diligence in the Crypto Space - Ep.57

Here is the second special episode from the Time Summit, a Bridge Alternatives event, on how institutional investors can do operational due diligence. Suna Said, founder and CEO of family office Nima Capital, Eddie Duszlak of Texas Children's Hospital, and Joel Gantcher of Gantcher Family Partners discuss how they invest in the nascent Web 3.0. They discuss why a year of experience in crypto is so valuable, how they determine who the serious players are in the space and why the speed of disruption from the internet revolution gives them motivation to get into the crypto markets.

Thank you to the Time Summit, a Bridge Alternatives event! https://timesummit.org/


Suna Said: https://timesummit.org/2018/04/18/suna-said/

Eddie Duszlak: https://timesummit.org/2018/03/06/eddie-duszlak/

Joel Gantcher: https://timesummit.org/2018/04/19/joel-gantcher/

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May 06, 2018
What Will Make Institutional Players Comfortable Entering Crypto? - Ep.56

This talk is from a panel I led on infrastructure in the crypto space at the Time Summit, by Bridge Alternatives, featuring Kayvon Pirestani of director of institutional sales at GDAX, Tim McCourt, CME Group’s managing director and global head of equity products and alternative investments, Michael Moro, CEO of Genesis Trading and Genesis Capital, and Hu Liang, founder and CEO of Omniex. We discussed what infrastructure tools need to be built to get institutional players comfortable with the space, how custodying a digital asset differs from custodying a traditional asset, why they can see institutional players dealing in stablecoins and trading on decentralized exchanges at some point in the future, and what needs to be built out in terms of trading infrastructure for institutional players. (Hint: it turns out Excel and Google Sheets are the biggest competitors for crypto trading infrastructure services.) We also talk about the challenges of building out infrastructure for trading that can suddenly double or quadruple in volume and for a market that runs 24/7/365.

Thank you to Bridge Alternatives and the Time Summit for the panel!



Kayvon Pirestani: https://timesummit.org/2018/03/19/kayvon-pirestani/

Michael Moro: https://timesummit.org/2018/04/21/michael-moro/

Tim McCourt: https://timesummit.org/2018/03/15/tim-mccourt/

Hu Liang: https://timesummit.org/2018/03/23/hu-liang/

The episode with Mike Belshe where we discuss custodying digital assets and qualified custodians: http://unchainedpodcast.co/mike-belshe-on-what-bitgos-kingdom-trust-acquisition-means-for-crypto-and-how-security-will-develop-in-the-future

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May 05, 2018
Multicoin on the 1 Thing Crypto Teams Miss in Their Quests for Success

Kyle Samani and Tushar Jain, cofounders of Multicoin Capital, dive deeply into their sometimes controversial and unpopular opinions on how the crypto revolution will play out. They describe why they don't think the technology that a team develops early on will play nearly as big a role as some think, why there will be a spectrum of blockchains offering different features with different tradeoffs, and why they're bearish on stablecoins. They discuss why they disagree on whether or not the Lightning Network is revolutionary (and therefore why they disagree on whether Bitcoin is failing). Samani and Jain also explain how they decide whether or not to invest in a token, their strategies for trading and why they don't have to be invested in a project to help out.

Multicoin: https://multicoin.capital/

Kyle Samani: @KyleSamani

Tushar Jain: @TusharJain_

A blog post that came out after we recorded in which Kyle expands on his contention that technical features will matter less in the long-term success of a network than people think: https://multicoin.capital/2018/04/25/good-artists-copy-great-artists-steal/

Kyle's post on the outlook for coins for store of value, utility tokens and stablecoins: https://multicoin.capital/2018/03/15/paths-to-tens-of-trillions/

More Multicoin thinking around stablecoins: https://multicoin.capital/2018/01/17/an-overview-of-stablecoins/

Previous Unchained episode: Why It's So Hard to Keep Stablecoins Stable: http://unchainedpodcast.co/why-its-so-hard-to-keep-stablecoins-stable

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May 01, 2018
Paul Walsh of MetaCert on How Not to Get Scammed Out of Your Crypto

Paul Walsh had long ago predicted that internet scams would migrate from email to private messaging platforms, but it wasn't until crypto mania took off that his thesis was proved right -- in a big way. In the summer of 2017, the founder and CEO of MetaCert discovered many crypto Slack channels were being overrun by scammers capitalizing on FOMO to get people to inadvertently give them their ether and other tokens. Now, the company has several products to help prevent crypto enthusiasts from being scammed and it also decentralizing its work so the whole world can help classify bad links and proven others from being scammed. In this talk, he describes how the scams work, how Metacert tries to keep people from falling victim, and how best you can protect your own crypto.

MetaCert the company: https://metacert.com

MetaCert the protocol: http://metacertprotocol.com/ 

Story on phone hijackings:


Link to episode where Mike Belshe and I discuss physical crimes against crypto people: http://unchainedpodcast.co/mike-belshe-on-what-bitgos-kingdom-trust-acquisition-means-for-crypto-and-how-security-will-develop-in-the-future

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Apr 24, 2018
Trends in Crypto: Marco Santori, Michael Sonnenshein and Barbara Minuzzi on 2017 and What's Next

In this live recording of a panel discussion at the CoinAlts Fund Symposium, Marco Santori, president and chief legal officer of Blockchain, managing director at Grayscale Investments, and Barbara Minuzzi, cofounder and managing partner of Ausum Ventures take stock of the 2017 year and discuss a range of trends they're seeing in the industry. Santori describes what the ICO wave was like from his seat as one of the most in-demand lawyers for ICOs, and why he doesn't actually think that securities (such as a SAFT) can later transform into something that is a non-security. He also talks about how big corporations are thinking about use blockchain technology -- and why we haven't yet seen much activity on that front in the market. We talk about the current clouds over the industry -- custody and regulation -- and Sonnenshein explains why investors choose Grayscale's investment products, such as the Bitcoin Investment Trust, rather that investing in the coin directly, and 

Blockchain.info: https://blockchain.info

Grayscale Investments: https://grayscale.co

Ausum Ventures: https://www.ausum.vc

Thank you to the CoinAlts Fund Symposium for hosting the panel: https://www.coinaltsfundsymposium.com

For more on regulatory issues, check out these past episodes:

Perianne Boring and Amy Kim of the Chamber of Digital Commerce on crypto regulation: http://unchainedpodcast.co/the-chamber-of-digital-commerces-perianne-boring-and-amy-kim-on-why-us-crypto-regulation-is-complicated-and-confusing

The Tax Rules That Have Crypto Investors Aghast: http://unchainedpodcast.co/the-tax-rules-that-have-crypto-users-aghast

How Crypto and Blockchain Technology Should Be Regulated: http://unchainedpodcast.co/how-crypto-and-blockchain-technology-should-be-regulated

Jerry Brito and Peter Van Valkenburgh of Coin Center: http://unchainedpodcast.co/how-coin-center-is-helping-define-the-big-fuzzy-gray-area-of-blockchain-and-cryptocurrency-law

Caitlin Long on How 'Utility Tokens' Are Now Legal in Wyoming: http://unconfirmed.libsyn.com/caitlin-long-on-how-utility-tokens-are-now-legal-in-wyoming

Former DOJ Prosecutor Kathryn Haun on What the SEC Subpoenas and FinCen Letter Likely Mean: http://unconfirmed.libsyn.com/sxsw-episode-former-doj-prosecutor-kathryn-haun-on-what-the-sec-subpoenas-and-fincen-letter-likely-mean

For more on custody issues, check out the episode with Mike Belshe of BitGo and its acquisition of Kingdom Trust: http://unchainedpodcast.co/mike-belshe-on-what-bitgos-kingdom-trust-acquisition-means-for-crypto-and-how-security-will-develop-in-the-future

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Apr 22, 2018
The Chamber of Digital Commerce's Perianne Boring and Amy Kim on Why U.S. Crypto Regulation Is Complicated and Confusing

If U.S. crypto regulation seems incredibly convoluted, this is the episode for you. Perianne Boring, the founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, and its global policy director and general counsel Amy Kim, discuss why U.S. regulation calls crypto assets currency, property, commodities and securities, and how that results in agencies enforcing their own laws without a higher level understanding of the technology. They also discuss what they call the "failure" of the regulatory regime that requires certain types of crypto companies to get licenses from 53 different states and territories and why no firms have so far even gotten close. They also advocate for the technology to be taxed more like currency than property, claiming that the current classification stifles usage of cryptocurrencies as currencies. We also dive into juicy questions like whether ether, which was sold in what we would now call an initial coin offering, is a security and what self-regulation of the crypto space could look like.

Chamber of Digital Commerce: https://digitalchamber.org/

Token Alliance: https://digitalchamber.org/initiatives/token-alliance/

Previous episodes on Unchained and Unconfirmed that touched on regulation:

Live from SXSW: Michael Casey and Paul Vigna, Co-Authors of The Truth Machine, on Why the SEC Has Issued Subpoenas to ICOs


Caitlin Long on How 'Utility Tokens' Are Now Legal In Wyoming


SXSW Episode: Former DOJ Prosecutor Kathryn Haun on What the SEC Subpoenas and FinCen Letter Likely Mean


The Tax Rules That Have Crypto Users Aghast


How Crypto And Blockchain Technology Should Be Regulated


Is The IRS Justified In Demanding Information On Millions Of Bitcoin Users?


Federal Prosecutor Kathryn Haun On How Criminals Use Bitcoin -- And How She Catches Them: http://unchainedpodcast.co/federal-prosecutor-kathryn-haun-on-how-criminals-use-bitcoin-and-how-she-catches-them

How Coin Center Is Helping Define The 'Big Fuzzy Gray Area' Of Blockchain And Cryptocurrency Law


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Apr 17, 2018
Live From Inforum at the Commonwealth Club: Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: The Basics, With Kathryn Haun

Through Inforum at the Commonwealth Club, I recently moderated a sold-out discussion on the basics of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. My guest was Kathryn Haun, a former federal prosecutor who is now teaching a class on cryptocurrency at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and serves on the boards of Coinbase and Hacker One. We go through all the elementary questions most newbies have: what is bitcoin, what is a blockchain, what is Ethereum, what is mining, etc., and give real examples of how this technology could be used. I think it's a perfect primer for people new to crypto -- whether you're listening for tips on how to explain these concepts to your friends and family, or you're a newbie yourself and want a dead-simple explainer. This is the first in a series of talks with Inforum on blockchain and crypto, so stay tuned for future events.

Kathryn Haun: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/faculty/kathryn-haun

Inforum at the Commonwealth Club: http://inforumsf.org/


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Apr 15, 2018
Bitfury on the Ways It Collaborates With Governments and Why It's Partnered With a Public Company

Valery Vavilov and George Kikvadze of Bitcoin mining and blockchain software company Bitfury discuss why the firm has partnered with the publicly traded Hut 8, how it plans to branch out into mining other crypto assets, and how it chooses where to open mining operations. They also explain how low the bitcoin price can go before mining will be unprofitable for them, what their new blockchain analytics tools Crystal can do, and why they often choose people outside the blockchain/crypto industry to attend the Blockchain Summit they co-host on Richard Branson's Necker Island. Vavilov also tells the story of a childhood experience that has influenced Bitfury's decision to work so much with governments and regulators, and he and Kikvadze describe the company's new blockchain analytics tool, Crystal, plus its hand in launching other blockchain-and-government-focused organizations such as the Blockchain Alliance and the Blockchain Trust Accelerator.

Bitfury: http://bitfury.com/

Bitfury's origin story as told by Bill Tai: http://unchainedpodcast.co/maitai-globals-bill-tai-on-why-blockchain-is-the-6th-wave-of-technology 

Hut 8: https://www.hut8mining.com/

Exonum: https://exonum.com/

Necker Blockchain Summit: http://www.neckerblockchainsummit.com/

Blockchain Alliance: http://blockchainalliance.org/

Blockchain Alliance on Unchained: 


Crystal: https://crystalblockchain.com/

Blockchain Trust Accelerator: https://trustaccelerator.org/

Pilot with Coca-Cola and State Department: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-blockchain-coca-cola-labor/coca-cola-u-s-state-dept-to-use-blockchain-to-combat-forced-labor-idUSKCN1GS2PY

Emercoin: https://emercoin.com/en

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Apr 10, 2018
All Things Cryptoeconomics, Pt. 1, With Olaf Carlson-Wee and Ryan Zurrer of Polychain Capital

In an intermittent series on cryptoeconomics, Olaf Carlson-Wee and Ryan Zurrer of crypto hedge fund Polychain Capital describe what cryptoeconomics is, what goals it typically helps networks accomplish and what behaviors token systems might someday incentivize. We discuss when cryptoeconomic models don't make sense, how the type of consensus algorithms a blockchain chooses can affect behavior in that system and which consensus mechanisms excite them now. We also dive into whether or not it's desirable for a cryptoeconomic system to depend on a small number of knowledgeable participants, how to manage on-chain governance so networks don't vote themselves into a "black hole," and what disciplines are helpful in designing smart cryptoeconomic systems.

Polychain Capital http://polychain.capital/

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Apr 03, 2018
Zcash's Zooko Wilcox on Why He Believes Privacy Coins Will Be Used More for Good Than Bad

Zooko Wilcox, the founder and CEO of the Zcash company, explains why he wanted to create the privacy coin Zcash, why he believes privacy is essential to decentralization, and how encryption is the way censorship-resistance can be created on a technical level. We talk about the revelation that the NSA was targeting Bitcoin users by gathering details on their devices and how even Zcash users could be targeted the same way, but why Zooko believes most people are more concerned about other threats. We also delve into the Facebook/Cambridge Analytics news and why people don't see to care about privacy and why so few people choose to transact privately in Zcash. He also describes he would feel if he knew that criminals were using Zcash for horrible crimes.

Zcash company: https://z.cash/

Matthew Green's bitter tweet about Cryptokitties raising $12 million when he had to beg VCs to give Zcash a fraction of that amount: https://twitter.com/matthew_d_green/status/976298627759972353

The transaction that Zooko and I dissect during the episode: https://explorer.zcha.in/transactions/eed1d3993e52863fd33f9961672a22d016ca2a63f1e452b7d27fc41f5a2f2664

The Intercept article about the NSA tracking Bitcoin users: https://theintercept.com/2018/03/20/the-nsa-worked-to-track-down-bitcoin-users-snowden-documents-reveal/

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Mar 27, 2018
Unconfirmed - Ep.008 - Arianna Simpson of Autonomous Partners on Privacy, Cryptokitties and Crypto Regulation

Arianna Simpson, managing partner of investment firm Autonomous Partners, discusses this week's news that Cambridge Analytica had used data from Facebook to perhaps manipulate the 2016 election and whether that could create an opening for blockchain-based decentralized social networks. We also cover the announcement that Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures and top individual investors invested $12 million in Cryptokitties and why Simpson thinks the area of digital collectibles could take off.

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica story: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/17/us/politics/cambridge-analytica-trump-campaign.html

Cryptokitties: https://www.coindesk.com/a16z-leads-12-million-funding-for-ethereum-app-cryptokitties/

Why Arianna isn't worried about the downturn: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-smart-money-isnt-worried-about-the-bitcoin-selloff-2018-03-19?siteid=rss

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Mar 23, 2018
Mike Belshe on What BitGo's Kingdom Trust Acquisition Means for Crypto and How Security Will Develop in the Future

Mike Belshe, the founder and CEO of BitGo, talks about one of the biggest problems facing crypto today: security. We discuss some of the ways BitGo has resolved this issue, whether that still leads to single points of failure, and what the company's recent acquisition of Kingdom Trust (a "qualified custodian" as defined by the 1940 Investment Company Act) means for the space -- hint, it may have to do with ETFs. We also discuss the recent violent crimes against people in crypto and how everyday people should go about protecting their funds.

Mike Belshe: https://twitter.com/mikebelshe

BitGo: https://www.bitgo.com/

A Wired article on the BitGo acquisition of Kingdom Trust: https://www.wired.com/story/why-a-tiny-kentucky-firm-rules-a-corner-of-the-crypto-market/

New York Times article on crimes against crypto holders: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/18/technology/virtual-currency-extortion.html

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Bitwise: https://www.bitwiseinvestments.com/unchained



Mar 20, 2018
Live from SXSW: Michael Casey and Paul Vigna, Co-Authors of The Truth Machine, on Why the SEC Has Issued Subpoenas to ICOs

At the Founders Organization's Initial Taco Offering, an unofficial SXSW event, the co-authors of the recently released Truth Machine, talked about a wide range of regulatory issues from what the SEC subpoenas mean to whether or not the SEC is investigating the SAFT to whether or not the regulators should address crypto on a federal level. We also discuss central bank cryptocurrencies, how the dollar could be knocked off world reserve currency status, rogue governments issuing cryptocurrencies, the Telegram ICO, ways in which blockchain can be applied to problems such as climate change and how the media is covering crypto.

The Truth Machine: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250304964

Michael Casey: http://www.michaeljcasey.com/

Paul Vigna: https://twitter.com/paulvigna

Paul's article on SEC subpoenas: https://www.wsj.com/articles/sec-launches-cryptocurrency-probe-1519856266

Michael's essay on China's desire to end the dollar's global dominance: https://www.coindesk.com/political-china-hates-bitcoin-loves-blockchain/

Thank you to our sponsors:

Preciate: https://preciate.org/, to recognize someone in a future episode, go to https://preciate.org/recognize/  

and Quantstamp: https://quantstamp.com/

Mar 18, 2018
Unconfirmed: Caitlin Long on How 'Utility Tokens' Are Now Legal In Wyoming

Wyoming now has five blockchain-specific laws. Caitlin Long, cofounder of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, describes what these laws are, what they mean, and how our least populous state became a crypto leader. The former chairman and president of Symbiont explains what this could mean for any project that aims to launch a utility token, whether or not ICOs held in Wyoming would only be available to Wyoming residents, and what big issue she thinks remains for the SEC to address.

Caitlin Long: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caitlin-long-/

To read the laws: https://legiscan.com/WY/bill/HB0070/2018

An op-ed Caitlin co-authored with WY House Rep. Tyler Lindholm: https://www.coindesk.com/haven-blockchain-case-wyoming/

Thank you to our sponsors, Onramp http://www.thinkonramp.com/ and Quantstamp: https://quantstamp.com/

Mar 16, 2018
SXSW Episode: Amber Baldet, Blockchain Program Lead at JPMorgan, on the Potential Clash Between Blockchains and the Right to Be Forgotten

Amber Baldet, JPMorgan Chase blockchain program lead, talks about what she was discussing at SXSW with Hyperledger executive director Brian Behlendorf and what themes she heard at the Ethereum Community Conference in Paris. She talks about privacy in financial transactions, how "immutable" blockchains might conflict with a new EU privacy law granting people the "right to be forgotten." And we briefly touch on her work with Jalak Jobanputra's new diversity-focused group Collective Future. 

Privacy on Ethereum: https://www.coindesk.com/progress-hot-ethereum-privacy-projects-cooling-off/

The Collective Future: https://www.wired.com/story/for-women-in-cryptocurrency-a-new-effort-to-grow-their-ranks/


Thank you to our sponsors: Preciate https://preciate.org/ which is seeking suggestions for who to appreciate at https://preciate.org/recognize/

and Quantstamp: https://quantstamp.com/ 

Mar 15, 2018
Unconfirmed: SXSW Episode: Former DOJ Prosecutor Kathryn Haun on What the SEC Subpoenas and FinCen Letter Likely Mean

As a former government official, current board member of Coinbase and professor at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Kathryn Haun has a unique and varied view of the crypto space. She doesn't necessarily see the SEC subpoenas as a reason to be alarmed and compares it to her work as a federal prosecutor. We also discuss the FinCen letter and why her take is different from the fear we've seen in the marketplace.

SEC issues 80 subpoeast: https://www.wsj.com/articles/sec-launches-cryptocurrency-probe-1519856266?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1

The FinCen letter: https://coincenter.org/link/fincen-raises-major-licensing-problem-for-icos-in-new-letter-to-congress

Thank you to our sponsors: Preciate https://preciate.org/ which is seeking suggestions for who to appreciate at https://preciate.org/recognize/

and Quantstamp: https://quantstamp.com/ 

Mar 14, 2018
The Skeptics' Episode: Preston Byrne and Angela Walch on What the Industry and Regulators Get Wrong in Crypto

Preston Byrne, an independent consultant and English lawyer, and Angela Walch, an associate professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law who focuses on blockchain technology, both explain their criticisms of the crypto space, give grades to regulators on their job so far, and how they think major players in the space can improve. They discuss what systemic risks they believe crypto could pose to the wider financial system, how the current activity in the space is accruing "legal debt," and what it's like being a critic in a land of believers.

Preston Byrne: https://prestonbyrne.com/

Angela Walch: https://law.stmarytx.edu/academics/faculty/angela-walch/

Sponsored by Preciate: https://preciate.org/ for https://preciate.org/recognize/ and StartEngine: http://startengine.com/ for https://www.startengine.com/pages/summit  

Mar 13, 2018
Unconfirmed: Spencer Bogart on Bitcoin's Maturation and the SEC Overhang on Crypto

Spencer Bogart, partner at Blockchain Capital, discusses why he think Bitcoin's growing pains are a sign of success, how the SEC regulatory gloom could affect the development of crypto and how a liquidity crunch could affect crypto hedge funds. We also take a peek at the coming platform wars.

Blockchain Capital: http://blockchain.capital/

New crypto hedge funds: https://hackernoon.com/the-fate-of-crypto-hedge-funds-ca5850e8421c

Mar 09, 2018
Will Warren of 0x on Why Decentralized Exchanges Are the Future

Will Warren, cofounder of decentralized exchange protocol 0x, was working on building tokenized derivatives for Ethereum when he and his cofounder realized there would be no place to trade them. They ended up pivoting to create a decentralized exchange protocol, 0x, that enables companies to use that infrastructure to direct fulfill trade orders without worrying about a Mt. Gox- or Bitfinex-type hacking situation, as users would still retain control of their funds. In this conversation, he talks about the problems with centralized exchanges and how decentralized exchanges can overcome some of their own obstacles including liquidity and problems with front running. He also gives answers to some of the criticisms of the 0x project, including why it needs its own token (ZRX) and what the token's purpose is.

Mar 06, 2018
Unconfirmed - Ep.003 - The Gender Imbalance in Crypto: Jalak Jobanputra on Why It's a Problem and Her Effort to Fix It

Future Perfect Ventures' founder and managing partner Jalak Jobanputra and I discuss the New York Times article earlier this week about how few women there are in crypto. We discuss some of the surprising comments we saw from women in the space who wish the story hadn't been written and Jobanputra's new effort to increase diversity in crypto, The Collective Future.

The New York Times article:


Jutta Steiner's tweet: https://twitter.com/jutta_steiner/status/968158503096471553

Meltem Dermirors' tweet: https://twitter.com/Melt_Dem/status/967983438945968130

Elizabeth Stark's tweet: https://twitter.com/starkness/status/968307972597272576

Wired article about The Collective Future: https://www.wired.com/story/for-women-in-cryptocurrency-a-new-effort-to-grow-their-ranks/

Mar 02, 2018
Why It's so Hard to Keep Stablecoins Stable

Rune Christensen of MakerDAO and Philip Rosedale, founder of Second Life and High Fidelity, discuss why stablecoins are called crypto's holy grail, why they may be what's necessary for mainstream adoption, and all the ways a stablecoin can be constructed. Philip brings in his experience with Second Life's Linden dollars, often called the first true virtual currency, to describe how it was constructed and how he's planning to disseminate the cryptocurrency of his new virtual world, High Fidelity. Plus, we talk about why a digital USD wouldn't be a threat to stablecoins and whether collateralized stablecoins resemble fractional reserve banking or not.

Maker DAO: https://makerdao.com/

High Fidelity: https://highfidelity.com/

HFC: https://docs.highfidelity.com/high-fidelity-commerce/basics/hfc

More info on Linden dollars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Second_Life

The Hacker Noon post by Haseeb Qureshi: https://hackernoon.com/stablecoins-designing-a-price-stable-cryptocurrency-6bf24e2689e5

IMF SDRs: http://www.imf.org/en/About/Factsheets/Sheets/2016/08/01/14/51/Special-Drawing-Right-SDR

Episode with Bill Tai: http://unchainedpodcast.co/maitai-globals-bill-tai-on-why-blockchain-is-the-6th-wave-of-technology

Vitalik's post on collateralized debt obligations for issuer-backed tokens: https://ethresear.ch/t/collateralized-debt-obligations-for-issuer-backed-tokens/525

Other stablecoins:

Tether: https://tether.to/

Basecoin: http://www.getbasecoin.com/

Havven: https://havven.io/

Feb 27, 2018
Introducing Unconfirmed - Brian Kelly on Token-Curated Registries, Robinhood Crypto Trading and the Petro - Ep.002

Subscribe to my new show, Unconfirmed! Here's a sample:

Brian Kelly of BKCM talks about token-curated registries, such as the proposal for Messari, by Ryan Selkis, formerly of Digital Currency Group and CoinDesk, and why such TCRs are probably a good idea, but what pitfalls they may face. We also discuss the highly anticipated launch of crypto trading on Robinhood and look behind the scenes at Venezuela's new crypto offering, the petro.

Token curated registries:

Proposal for Messari: https://medium.com/@twobitidiot/a-token-to-self-regulate-tokens-but-really-a61da77e6a7b

TCRs generally: https://medium.com/@ilovebagels/token-curated-registries-1-0-61a232f8dac7

A curated list of resources on TCRs: https://medium.com/@tokencuratedregistry/the-token-curated-registry-whitepaper-bd2fb29299d6

Robinhood launches crypto trading: http://blog.robinhood.com/news/2018/2/21/robinhood-crypto-trading-is-here



A good tweet storm on some of the issues surrounding the petro's launch: https://twitter.com/alemacgo/status/966072887319973891

Some meeting having to do with the petro that Laura found amusing -- the guy's smiles begin around 00:25: https://twitter.com/infrabolivar/status/965777624516759552

Feb 23, 2018
MyCrypto's Taylor Monahan on Why She's Not a Fan of ICOs

The cofounder of MyEtherWallet and CEO of newly launched MyCrypto walks us through the nuts and bolts of how MyCrypto works, how it differs from a company like Coinbase, why the keys you get from the site even enable to work offline -- and how the company makes money. She also describes how the crypto community changed in 2017, her crazy sleeping schedule during that year, and how she responds when users ask questions like whether or not an initial coin offering will really deliver on the returns promised. We also cover what it's like being a CEO when running a company was never in her game plan, how she got into crypto after starting off in film school and what her tips are for not losing your crypto.


Feb 20, 2018
Unconfirmed's First Episode: Olaf Carlson-Wee of Polychain Capital on Governance

Check out the first episode of Unconfirmed, in which Olaf Carlson-Wee, CEO and founder of Polychain Capital, discusses why an issue facing the Ethereum community right now has him thinking about on-chain governance. If you enjoy the episode, subscribe to Unconfirmed today!

Feb 18, 2018
Go Check Out My New Podcast, Unconfirmed!

Unconfirmed: Insights and Analysis From the Top Minds in Crypto drops today! The first guest is Olaf Carlson-Wee, CEO and founder of crypto hedge fund Polychain Capital. We discuss the week's news and what is on Olaf's mind these days. It's available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Spotify, TuneIn and wherever you get your podcasts. Check it out and subscribe today!

Online at: www.unconfirmedpodcast.com

Feb 16, 2018
Shapeshift's Erik Voorhees on How Crypto Will Separate Money and State

Erik Voorhees says the greatest scam perpetrated on mankind is currency debasement -- and that crypto will change all that. In this wide-ranging interview, the CEO of crypto-to-crypto exchange Shapeshift talks about how crypto will take away power from central banks, why he believes "maximalists" -- those who believe one crypto asset will rule them all -- are wrong, and why someday we will look back and see the intertwining of money and state as barbaric and unjust, just as we now see the intertwining of church and state. We also discuss the prospects for Bitcoin in the face of high fees, how regulation will affect the development of crypto and why 2017 was the kind of year he hoped for when he got involved in Bitcoin in 2011.

Shapeshift's products:





Erik's blog: http://moneyandstate.com/

His blog post addressing maximalism: http://moneyandstate.com/no-non-bitcoin-blockchains-are-not-disrespectful-to-satoshi/

Feb 13, 2018
Xapo's Wences Casares on How Bitcoin Makes a Fairer World

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Growing up in Argentina, Wences Casares saw his family lose all their money three times due to actions by the government. The so-called "patient zero" of Bitcoin in Silicon Valley explains why he believes that experience predisposed him to seeing the potential in Bitcoin earlier than most people, why it's so hard to explain Bitcoin to Americans and why the company he founded, Xapo, isn't just a Bitcoin vault and wallet company but his best effort at helping to ensure that Bitcoin succeeds. He talks about why he isn't scared of all the new competitors to his service, including Coinbase Custody, why Xapo hasn't branched out into any other crypto assets, and why he believes there's a more than 50% chance that Bitcoin is worth $1 million in five to ten years. Additionally, he still believes the attempt to accommodate more transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain with the SegWit2x fork, which he backed, was wrong -- even though the fees after its failure skyrocketed to as high as $60. Plus -- he reveals what it would look like if Bitcoin became a global standard of value, and why that vision doesn't threaten governments.

Xapo: https://xapo.com/

Wences's Facebook Live with Dan Schulman of PayPal: https://www.facebook.com/DanSchulmanPayPal/videos/1419329821528449/

Feb 06, 2018
The Tax Rules That Have Crypto Users Aghast

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Tax attorney Tyson Cross and CPA Jason Tyra discuss all things crypto and taxes, including what types of crypto transactions are taxable events, how you'll be taxed on hard forks -- relevant for those who owned Bitcoin last August 1! -- and whether you can deduct a loss if you lose your private keys or exchange loses your coins. Plus, they reveal the top question they get from crypto enthusiasts and their top recommendations for people who love crypto but want to minimize their tax headache.

Tyson Cross: https://www.bitcointaxsolutions.com/

Jason Tyra: https://www.tyracpa.com/

Show notes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2018/01/23/the-tax-rules-that-have-crypto-users-aghast/

Jan 23, 2018
Vitalik Buterin, Creator Of Ethereum, On The Big Guy Vs. The Little Guy

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The 23-year-old whiz dives into who blockchains will someday help, how we transition from Ethereum for digital cats to higher social impact, and why even big companies like JPMorgan, Microsoft and BP are using Ethereum. He also walks through some important technical challenges Ethereum faces with scaling and the shift from a proof-of-work consensus algorithm to proof of stake. And he reveals why he isn't a big believer in on-chain governance. Plus, he talks about his worries and gives us his predictions for 2018.

Show notes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2018/01/09/vitalik-buterin-creator-of-ethereum-on-the-big-guy-vs-the-little-guy/

Some of Vitalik's blog posts that we discussed: On token sales: http://vitalik.ca/general/2017/06/09/sales.html

Interactive coin offerings: https://people.cs.uchicago.edu/~teutsch/papers/ico.pdf

Blockchain governance: http://vitalik.ca/general/2017/12/17/voting.html

Jan 09, 2018
Crypto 101: Everything You Need To Know About Bitcoin, Ethereum, Blockchains, ICOs, And More

Love Unchained? Please take this extremely brief survey to help us obtain more sponsors: https://survey.libsyn.com/unchained 

In this special bonus episode, Laura cover all your basic questions about crypto. What is Bitcoin? What is Ethereum? What is a blockchain? Share this episode with friends, family and anyone who is new to the crypto space and wants to understand what it's all about. Thanks to Elaine Zelby for conducting the interview!

No show notes for this show, but some helpful links:

Phone hijackings: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2016/12/20/hackers-have-stolen-millions-of-dollars-in-bitcoin-using-only-phone-numbers/#1b2acf5a38ba

Bitcoin -- these links are old but the information mostly still applies:









Dec 26, 2017
How Crypto And Blockchain Technology Should Be Regulated

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Marco Santori, who leads the blockchain technology team at Cooley, and Joshua Ashley Klayman, who leads the blockchain and smart contracts group at Morrisson and Forrester, explain why they disagree on how to ensure a token sale won't run afoul of securities laws, how they think regulation around crypto will likely be formed and why the Bitcliense has made New York a crypto innovation backwater.

Show notes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/12/12/how-crypto-and-blockchain-technology-should-be-regulated/

Marco Santori: https://www.cooley.com/people/marco-santori

Joshua Ashley Klayman: https://www.mofo.com/people/joshua-klayman.html

The SAFT white paper: https://saftproject.com/

The Cardozo Blockchain Project SAFT response, "Not So Fast": https://cardozo.yu.edu/sites/default/files/Cardozo%20Blockchain%20Project%20-%20Not%20So%20Fast%20-%20SAFT%20Response_final.pdf

Are ICOs For Utility Tokens Selling Securities? Prominent Crypto Players Say Yes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/10/02/are-icos-for-utility-tokens-selling-securities-prominent-crypto-players-say-yes/#107e96e34fa4

IRS Nabs Big Win Over Coinbase In Bid For Bitcoin Customer Data: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2017/11/29/irs-nabs-big-win-over-coinbase-in-bid-for-bitcoin-customer-data/

Dec 12, 2017
Naval Ravikant On How Crypto Is Squeezing VCs, Hindering Regulators And Bringing Users Choice

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The executive chairman of AngelList and partner at crypto hedge fund MetaStable explains how blockchains are changing the entrepreneurship model, his philosophy for crypto investing, and what kind of threat crypto could someday pose to governments. We also dive into why blockchains represent a new form of governance, his philosophy for investing in tokens and why he believes there will only be five or fewer winners among the money-like tokens.

Show notes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/11/28/naval-ravikant-on-how-crypto-is-squeezing-vcs-hindering-regulators-and-bringing-users-choice/

AngelList: https://angel.co/

MetaStable: http://metastablecapital.com/

CoinList: https://coinlist.co/


Zcash: https://z.cash/

BlockStack: https://blockstack.org/


Bitwise Hold 10: https://www.bitwiseinvestments.com/




Nov 28, 2017
What Bitcoin's History Says About Its Future

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Days after the SegWit2x fork was called off, Nathaniel Popper, New York Times tech reporter and author of the book Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money, put this latest suspenseful chapter in Bitcoin's history into context. He discusses why he thinks Bitcoin has become such a vicious, polarized community, why so many of the early Bitcoiners ended up becoming supporters of big blocks, and what could happen to Bitcoin now that new money is entering the system but transactions are expensive and often backlogged. We also dive into who Satoshi Nakamoto might be, whether there are any viable Bitcoin businesses other than ones buying and selling Bitcoin and where regulation of the space is likely to go.

Show notes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/11/14/what-bitcoins-history-says-about-its-future/

Digital Gold: https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062362490/digital-gold

Nathaniel's story on ICOs: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/27/technology/how-floyd-mayweather-helped-two-young-guys-from-miami-get-rich.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Fnathaniel-popper

His story on who Satoshi Nakamoto may be: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/business/decoding-the-enigma-of-satoshi-nakamoto-and-the-birth-of-bitcoin.html?_r=0

Nov 14, 2017
What Will Happen At The Time Of The Bitcoin Hard Fork?

As Bitcoin faces the biggest test in its nine-year history, two players on opposing sides -- Mike Belshe of BitGo and Bitcoin protocol developer Matt Corallo -- debate how the community got here and what the definition of Bitcoin is -- whether the white paper or price determines it. We also look at how the upcoming hard fork could affect Bitcoin Cash, and debate whether or not censorship on the Bitcoin subreddits has influenced people’s views on the block size debate. Plus, they give their best post-hard fork predictions.

For reference: Will This Battle For the Soul of Bitcoin Destroy It? https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/10/23/will-this-battle-for-the-soul-of-bitcoin-destroy-it/

Show notes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/10/31/what-will-happen-at-the-time-of-the-bitcoin-hard-fork/

Oct 31, 2017
How To Value A Crypto Asset

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Chris Burniske of Placeholder Ventures has recently come out with a new book, "Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investors' Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond" that dives into what crypto assets are, what makes them a new asset class, and how you calculate a valuation for such a network. He applies what is known as the equation of exchange (MV = PQ) to crypto assets and describes why the velocity of crypto assets -- the frequency with which they change hands during a particular time frame -- is likely to be much higher than for traditional assets, and discusses why he gives crypto assets much higher discount rates, which are used to determine what you should pay now for something will be worth more later. Plus, we talk about why the financial incumbents are in for a rude awakening from public blockchains.

Show notes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/10/17/how-to-value-a-crypto-asset/

Book: https://www.bitcoinandbeyond.com/

Chris's Medium post on crypto asset valuations: https://medium.com/@cburniske/cryptoasset-valuations-ac83479ffca7

Oct 17, 2017
How To Explain Cryptocurrencies And Blockchains To The Average Person

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Tired of having your friends and family say cryptocurrencies are a Ponzi scheme, nothing backs them, they're in a bubble and only criminals use them? In this episode, Amanda Gutterman, chief marketing officer of ConsenSys, and Jamie Smith, global chief communications officer of Bitfury, tackle every common misconception of Bitcoin, Ethereum and cryptocurrencies. This is an episode you'll want your friends and family to listen to. Plus: Gutterman and Smith talk about how they did the seemingly impossible: create gender-balanced crypto conferences.

Oct 03, 2017
From Blockchains To Mooncakes: Two Chinese Crypto Founders On The ICO And Bitcoin Exchanges Ban

Da Hongfei of NEO and Patrick Dai of Qtum tell us just how crazy China's ICO craze was getting, with mooncake companies, celebs and Ponzi schemers all jumping on the blockchain train. They also explain what the reaction was to the ICO and bitcoin exchanges ban, how they're refunding investors (if the investors want to be refunded -- a big if) and what the future of crypto is in China.

Show notes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/09/19/from-blockchains-to-mooncakes-two-chinese-crypto-founders-on-the-ico-and-bitcoin-exchanges-ban/

Qtum: https://qtum.org/

NEO: https://neo.org/

Previous episodes mentioned in the podcast:

Interview with Smith & Crown: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/08/22/the-high-speed-world-of-icos-smith-and-crown-discuss-cryptoeconomics-and-the-future-of-tokens/

Interview with Bobby Lee: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/03/21/bobby-lee-ceo-of-btcc-on-why-the-chinese-probably-arent-using-bitcoin-to-evade-capital-controls/

Sep 19, 2017
Blockstack On Getting Independence From Google, Facebook And Amazon

Ryan Shea and Muneeb Ali, the cofounders of Blockstack, on how their tools enable users to control their own data, why the internet should have universal usernames but no company should control that, and why Blockstack’s storage system still allows users to choose centralized options  like Google Drive and Dropbox. They also talk about how other blockchain systems are thinking about scaling wrong, why they launched a developer fund, and why a developer would choose Blockstack over Ethereum.

Show notes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/09/05/blockstack-on-how-to-take-control-from-google-facebook-and-amazon/

BlockStack: https://blockstack.org/

Sep 05, 2017
The High-Speed World Of ICOs: Smith and Crown Discuss Cryptoeconomics And The Future Of Tokens

Brian Lio, CEO of cryptofinance research site Smith and Crown, and head of research Matt Chwierut discuss how they do their research, how they decide which projects to cover in-depth rather than just list and when they provide advisory services for teams. They also discuss how they think the blockchain and crypto space will develop, the best structures for token sales, and why they joke that financial institutions haven't heard anything Smith and Crown has said.

Smith and Crown: https://www.smithandcrown.com/

Show notes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/08/22/the-high-speed-world-of-icos-smith-and-crown-discuss-cryptoeconomics-and-the-future-of-tokens/

Aug 22, 2017
How Bitcoin Solved This Serial Entrepreneur's Problems

Afghan entrepreneur Roya Mahboob has launched numerous companies, but it was a blogging platform that presented her with the problem of how to pay her (mostly female) users, 99% of whom did not have bank accounts. And even if they did get paid, their families would often confiscate the money. She found her solution in Bitcoin, and later launched a new startup, Digital Citizen Fund, that trains girls in blockchain technology and Bitcoin. Mahboob, named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2013, funded the Afghan girls' robotics team that made news recently, and describes what went on behind-the-scenes. She also tells us about her other ventures, EdyEdy, her coffee/tea venture Digital Citizen Brew, and the marketplace for Afghan goods that she is launching -- which will accept Bitcoin or perhaps its own token.


Show notes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/08/08/how-bitcoin-solved-this-serial-entrepreneurs-problems/


Digital Citizen Fund: http://digitalcitizenfund.org/

Roya's Time 100 description, written by Sheryl Sandberg: http://time100.time.com/2013/04/18/time-100/slide/roya-mahboob/

Aug 08, 2017
Why November Will Be The Real Test For Bitcoin

Bitcoin core developer Eric Lombrozo and OB1 CEO Brian Hoffman debate whether SegWit2x is the best path forward, discuss who supported it and why, and whether the potential for a hard fork harms the price. They also discuss what happens to the power of core developers now that a change they didn’t support might get pushed through, what their ideal solutions for increasing transactions on the network are, and how much power miners should have.

Show notes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/07/25/why-november-will-be-the-real-test-for-bitcoin/

Back story referenced in this episode:

The different sides in Bitcoin threatening to cut each other out: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/03/21/is-this-massive-power-struggle-about-to-blow-up-bitcoin/#33e4c5047325

New York agreement: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/05/23/bitcoin-agreement-promises-to-resolve-years-long-impasse/#6ed7d8dd448d

Economic activity moving to other blockchains: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/06/07/bitcoin-is-at-an-all-time-high-but-is-it-about-to-self-destruct/#2c563f8dcb31

Brian's company: https://ob1.io/

Eric's company: https://ciphrex.com/

Jul 25, 2017
Listener Qs: Laura On Ponzi Schemes, Bubbles, Greed And More

In this episode, coming one day after the release of my Forbes cover story online, I answer listener questions, starting with my background, the history of the podcast, whether or not I trade or invest in crypto, and what tokens I think have the strongest real-world application. If you haven't read the cover package, I highly recommend you do so now:
Cover story: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/07/10/the-emperors-new-coins-how-initial-coin-offerings-fueled-a-100-billion-crypto-bubble/
Sidebars: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/07/10/return-of-the-day-traders/

And if you haven't listened to the episode with Olaf Carlson-Wee, I strongly suggest you check that out now as well:
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/why-the-first-employee-of-coinbase-launched-a-hedge-fund/id1123922160?i=1000382301347&mt=2
Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/m/Dg3qrzci54ppzevdqvztwap2yiu?t=Why_The_First_Employee_Of_Coinbase_Launched_A_Hedge_Fund-Unchained_Big_Ideas_From_The_Worlds_Of_Bloc

I also get philosophical, fielding listener questions about whether blockchain is a Ponzi scheme, whether greed will undercut the democratic possibilities offered by blockchain and whether this isn't really a bubble but just a new form of exponential growth.

I also cover security in this episode, and would like to point readers to this story that explains the phone hijacking situation: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2016/12/20/hackers-have-stolen-millions-of-dollars-in-bitcoin-using-only-phone-numbers/
Some tips on how to protect yourself: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2016/12/21/hackers-are-hijacking-phone-numbers-and-breaking-into-email-and-bank-accounts-how-to-protect-yourself/#720a302f4e1b

Other episodes referenced in this podcast are the ones with Coin Center, Kathryn Haun, Michael Casey, Elizabeth Rossiello and Matt Roszak. Please give a listen to those as well if you haven't!

Jul 11, 2017
Why Digital Currency Group's Meltem Demirors Is Concerned About The ICO Craze

The DCG director of development talks about why she thinks identity will be the first tangible application of blockchain technology that consumers experience, why DCG supports Ethereum Classic as an investment vehicle and yet still supports Ethereum as a protocol, and how bitcoin itself as a global currency hasn't taken off as much as she thought when she first got into the industry. She also explains what the top regulatory issue is for blockchain startups and projects -- it's a lot more mundane than you might expect -- and why she doesn't, at this point, have a lot of confidence in crypto hedge funds. Plus, she makes suggestions on how ICOs could improve and reveals her top picks for new tokens.


Show notes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/06/13/why-digital-currency-groups-meltem-demirors-is-concerned-about-the-ico-craze/

The phone hijacking article referenced in the episode: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2016/12/20/hackers-have-stolen-millions-of-dollars-in-bitcoin-using-only-phone-numbers/

DCG: http://dcg.co/

Ethereum Classic Investment Trust: https://grayscale.co/ethereum-classic-investment-trust/


Jun 13, 2017
'Bitcoin Oracle' Vinny Lingham On Why Bitcoin Is Overpriced

The Civic CEO and cofounder explains how his upbringing in South Africa and his experience at former company Gyft led him to launch a startup focused on identity. It was also at Gyft that he realized how enthusiastic the bitcoin and cryptocurrency crowd is and how a business could harness that enthusiasm to grow its user base. We discuss why the ICO craze has only just gotten started and how cultural differences could make the scams and speculation worse than in previous bubbles. Plus, Lingham explains what risks in bitcoin investors aren't pricing in and why he believes the odds of a split in bitcoin are currently greater than 50%.

Don't forget to take the Unchained podcast survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unchained

Civic: https://www.civic.com/

Show notes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/05/30/bitcoin-oracle-vinny-lingham-on-why-bitcoin-is-overpriced/

More on ICOs: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/05/16/icos-why-people-are-investing-in-this-380-million-phenomenon/#ff1983411a18

The risks of a split in Bitcoin: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/03/21/is-this-massive-power-struggle-about-to-blow-up-bitcoin/#5c5658677325

May 30, 2017
ICOs: Why People Are Investing In This $380 Million Phenomenon

Don't forget to take the Unchained podcast survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unchained

Developers of new cryptocurrencies are raising gobs of money with little more than a white paper. Though real advances are likely to emerge from the trend, the bubble could get worse before it gets better. William Mougayar, organizer of the upcoming Token Summit, and Nick Tomaino, cohost, discuss where ICOs are going wrong now, what best practices would help the space mature, and how to separate ICO wheat and chaff.


Show notes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/05/16/icos-why-people-are-investing-in-this-380-million-phenomenon/


Token Summit: http://tokensummit.com/
The Business Blockchain: http://thebusinessblockchain.com/
Startup Mangement: http://startupmanagement.org/
The Control: https://thecontrol.co/
Runa Capital: http://www.runacap.com/

Episodes referenced:
Brock Pierce of Blockchain Capital and Stan Miroshnik of The Argon Group: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/04/18/this-vc-is-sure-venture-capital-is-about-to-be-disrupted/
Olaf Carlson-Wee of Polychain Capital: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/03/07/why-this-hedge-fund-ceo-once-put-most-of-my-meager-life-savings-into-bitcoin/#6c20ccd14e15
Jerry Brito and Peter Van Valkenburgh of Coin Center: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2016/10/18/how-coin-center-is-helping-define-the-big-fuzzy-gray-area-of-blockchain-and-cryptocurrency-law/#11112aa960e6

May 16, 2017
IBM's Jerry Cuomo On Everything From Blockchain Security To Hyperledger To The Internet Of Things

Thanks to all the listeners who've let me know what you want to hear more of, what you like about the show, and who you want to see as guests. If you haven't yet, have a say in the direction of the show -- tell me what you like, what the podcast could do better, and who you are: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unchained

Jerry Cuomo has been at IBM his whole career and says that the emergence of blockchain technology is the second time in his career he has seen a breakthrough that will affect the lives of everyday people. IBM's VP of blockchain technologies talks about the company's work in areas as diverse as food safety in its project with Walmart, how blockchains will interact with Internet of Things devices and how it's approaching its identity work. Plus, he dives into what security for a permissioned blockchain looks like, whether IBM will lock its clients into its software, and what exactly its role is with the Hyperledger Foundation.

Show notes are available here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/05/02/ibms-jerry-cuomo-on-everything-from-blockchain-security-to-hyperledger-to-the-internet-of-things/

IBM blockchain: https://www.ibm.com/blockchain/

We also reference my interview with Kathryn Haun of the Department of Justice: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2016/11/01/federal-prosecutor-kathryn-haun-on-how-criminals-use-bitcoin-and-how-she-catches-them/

May 02, 2017
This VC Is Sure Venture Capital Is About To Be Disrupted

Don't forget to take the Unchained Podcast survey! http://surveymonkey.com/r/unchained 

Blockchain Capital's recent BCAP token offering is a harbinger of things to come in venture capital and private equity, says the firm's managing director Brock Pierce. And Stan Misohnik, the CEO and cofounder of a new investment bank focused on cryptocurrency called The Argon Group, seconds that. Pierce talks about how his career in cryptocurrency started with video games, how Blockchain Capital's three funds have evolved over time, why he is taking the step to disrupt himself, and why his phone number is being handled by the office of T-Mobile's president. And Miroshnik explains how his background in capital markets helped him see the business opportunity and why the BCAP token issuer was based in Singapore.

Show notes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/04/18/this-vc-is-sure-venture-capital-is-about-to-be-disrupted/

Blockchain Capital: http://blockchain.capital/

The Argon Group: https://argongroup.com/

Blockchain Capital III Digital Liquid Venture Fund: https://blockchaincapital.tokenhub.com/

The phone hijacking article Brock and I reference: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2016/12/20/hackers-have-stolen-millions-of-dollars-in-bitcoin-using-only-phone-numbers/

The episode with Jerry Brito and Peter Van Valkenburgh of Coin Center: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2016/10/18/how-coin-center-is-helping-define-the-big-fuzzy-gray-area-of-blockchain-and-cryptocurrency-law/


Apr 18, 2017
Why Bitcoin May Split In Two And How To Prevent It

Please take the Unchained podcast survey! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unchained

The bitcoin community is mired in a civil war. In this episode of the Unchained podcast, supporters of opposing sides -- former Bitcoin Core developer Jeff Garzik and Litecoin creator Charlie Lee -- explain why nuclear options are on the table. The discussion touches on whether high transaction fees are bad for the network or a necessary evil, which would be considered the "true" bitcoin if the currency split in two, and whether the cryptocurrency is already centralized, or controlled by a few. We also discuss why bitcoin can't just look at the playbook of other open source projects to get past this stalemate. And they give advice to current bitcoin owners wondering whether to sell or hold through this bitcoin game of chicken.

Show notes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/04/04/why-bitcoin-may-split-in-two-and-how-to-prevent-it/


Other links:

This episode was sponsored by OnRamp: http://www.thinkonramp.com/

Apr 04, 2017
Bobby Lee, CEO Of BTCC, On Why The Chinese Probably Aren't Using Bitcoin To Evade Capital Controls

Bobby Lee, CEO of BTCC, one of the world's longest-running cryptocurrency exchanges, talks about whether Chinese people are using bitcoin to evade capital controls, how bitcoin trading in China has changed since a government crackdown in early January, and how he came up with the idea for no-fee trading in the early days of bitcoin.

Read the show notes.

Other links:

This episode was sponsored by OnRamp.

Mar 21, 2017
Why The First Employee Of Coinbase Launched A Hedge Fund

Olaf Carlson-Wee is the founder of Polychain Capital, a hedge fund that has invested $15 million into digital assets and has gotten backing from storied venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures. In this episode, Carlson-Wee recounts war stories from the early days of bitcoin, including how he learned about bitcoin before his computer science professors, bought bitcoins with cash and created “the Bitcoin SAT” to make hires at Coinbase. He also describes how to separate cryptocurrency scams from legitimate ventures, how he plays blackjack against a smart contract and why launching a digital asset hedge fund means he can no longer earn and spend mostly in bitcoin.

Read the show notes. 

Other links:

This episode was sponsored by Onramp.

Mar 07, 2017
Why Nasdaq Is Even More Optimistic About Blockchain Than It Was 3 Years Ago

Fredrik Voss, Nasdaq's head of blockchain initiatives, discusses what the company has accomplished with the technology and how his firm evaluates whether potential projects could benefit from a blockchain solution. He also reveals what is likely to really slow adoption of distributed ledgers (hint: not the tech itself) and gives advice to other companies looking to incorporate it.

Read the show notes and my magazine story on Chain and its work with Nasdaq.

 This episode was sponsored by Onramp.

Feb 21, 2017
With Deadline Looming, Will The SEC Approve A Bitcoin ETF?

The SEC will make a decision on a proposed bitcoin ETF by March 11. Will it approve? An optimist and pessimist weigh in, touching upon bitcoin’s liquidity, the impact recent events in China have had on its trading, as well as proposals for bitcoin ETFs by other companies. Plus, they reveal what impact an ETF could have on the bitcoin market.

Read the show notes.

Other links: 

This episode was sponsored by Onramp.


Feb 07, 2017
Is The IRS Justified In Demanding Information On Millions Of Bitcoin Users?

The IRS found three entities using bitcoin to evade taxes and has now demanded the records of millions of users at Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange. An accountant and an attorney specializing in cryptocurrency discuss whether the IRS is overreaching, how this "unprecedented" case differs from previous ones pursued by the IRS, and what they think the ultimate outcome will be.

Read the show notes.

Other links:

This episode was sponsored by Onramp.

Jan 24, 2017
What Is One Of The World's Largest Derivatives Exchanges Doing With Bitcoin?

CME Group handles three billion contracts worth about $1 quadrillion annually. So why is it making a foray into bitcoin, whose market capitalization is a mere $16 billion? Sandra Ro, CME's head of digitization, explains its first cryptocurrency products, the Bitcoin Reference Rate and the Bitcoin Real-Time Index, as well as a forthcoming blockchain-based product, Royal Mint Gold. She also reveals which other cryptocurrencies have piqued her interest and which other physical world assets she thinks could be traded by blockchain.


Read the show notes.


Other links:

Jan 10, 2017
Federal Prosecutor Kathryn Haun On How Criminals Use Bitcoin -- And How She Catches Them

Kathryn Haun put away the DEA and Secret Service agents who tried to make off with more than $800,000 in stolen bitcoin while investigating the darknet Silk Road marketplace. She talks about how the blockchain technology underlying Bitcoin made it possible to uncover their theft, why she believes blockchain will create a lot of good, and what she does when the very people behind tumblers and mixers -- technology that makes her work more difficult -- turn to her when they are the victims of crimes. Along the way, we learn about the habits of cryptocurrency criminals and get a fascinating view into the world of "breeder documents."

Nov 01, 2016
How Coin Center Is Helping Define The 'Big Fuzzy Gray Area' Of Blockchain And Cryptocurrency Law

As blockchains and cryptocurrencies evolve, there are times when the technology outpaces the law. That's when Coin Center steps in. The non-profit, which represents the technology, not the industry, and aims for regulators to keep a mostly hands-off attitude, has already helped shape questions around which types of Bitcoin wallet providers are financial institutions and whether new coins being offered represent securities. And answering these questions has drawn it back into previous cases involving everything from Florida orange groves to Manhattan co-ops to golf club memberships.

Oct 18, 2016
What Does Cornell’s Emin Gun Sirer See As The Main Security Threats In Cryptocurrency? ‘Everything’

Cornell University computer science professor Emin Gun Sirer, an influential figure in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, describes his ideas for improving security in the space, his skepticism about how to scale these networks, and how the last time financial institutions invested in their systems appears to be for Y2K. He also tells us how growing up in an environment where he saw a lot of scams helps him find problems in code, explains why Bitcoin is the “universal bug bounty,” and reveals how two high school students saved burgeoning cryptocurrency network Ethereum “like in the movies — just before the clock was going to expire.”

Oct 04, 2016
Why A Wall Street Journal Currency Reporter Didn't Understand Money Until He Learned About Bitcoin

Michael Casey, senior advisor at MIT's Media Lab and author of the Age of Cryptocurrency, spent 18 years at the Wall Street Journal -- a good portion of that covering currency markets. But he says it wasn't until he learned about Bitcoin that he really understood what money was. In this episode of Unchained, he explains why, plus discusses why he thinks China will play a key role in moving the world to a cryptocurrency- or blockchain-based trade settlement system, what that could mean for the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency and what he thinks is the most cutting-edge work being done in blockchain.

Sep 20, 2016
Why Tyler And Cameron Winklevoss Fell In Love With Bitcoin

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, CEO and President, respectively, of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, talk about the importance of regulation in a sector once associated in popular culture with illicit activity. The twin brothers, who were the first to file with the SEC for a Bitcoin ETF, recount how they went from competing in the Olympics to launching a cryptocurrency company, explain why they believe private blockchains are really just distributed databases, and discuss why we've seen so many hacks of Bitcoin exchanges. They also touch on an emerging trend, app-coins or new cryptographic tokens being used to run, say, peer-to-peer versions of Dropbox or Reddit.

Sep 06, 2016
Blockchain 101 With Andreas Antonopoulos: How Bitcoin Makes Each Of Us As Powerful As A Bank

“Shifting from a perspective of 'only humans control money' to 'machines and software control money' is really radical and it changes a lot of things,” says the popular blockchain and Bitcoin author and speaker Andreas Antonopoulos. Antonopoulos discusses why the real magic of blockchain is decentralization, why criticisms that Bitcoin is a waste of energy are wrong, and why he now charges a 20% premium to be paid by wire transfer instead of bitcoin. And if you're amazed by the idea of a self-driving car, wait until you hear his description of how the taxis of the future might operate.


Read the show notes.

Aug 23, 2016
How The Blockchain Alliance Helps Law Enforcement With Bitcoin Crime And Developments Like The DAO

Jason Weinstein and Alan Cohn, partner and of counsel, respectively at law firm Steptoe & Johnson, discuss their work with the Blockchain Alliance, a coalition of both blockchain and cryptocurrency companies as well as law enforcement agencies including Interpol, the FBI, the SEC, Europol and others. Find out how crime in Bitcoin is similar to all types of crime, what genuinely new questions are being raised, and how various law enforcement agencies might think about even recent developments like the emergence of the DAO and the subsequent DAO hack.

Aug 09, 2016
Chain's Adam Ludwin On Who Is Best Poised To Benefit From Blockchain Technology

As blockchain technology remakes financial services, some companies will be better positioned than others, says Adam Ludwin, CEO of Chain, which has partnered with incumbents like Visa, Citi and Nasdaq. Ludwin describes which types of firms will emerge winners and the mindset of the executives who really get it. He also explains why he is certain central banks will one day issue digital currency.

Jul 26, 2016
Want to Diversify Your Portfolio? Try Bitcoin, Say ARK's Chris Burniske And Coinbase's Adam White

Invest in oil and gold? In this episode, the co-authors of a compelling white paper explain the four reasons why they believe you may soon be investing in digital oil and digital gold instead. Find out why their analysis prompted Burniske to say of bitcoin, "That's an investor's dream," why White mentioned the saying, "On the blockchain, no one knows you're a refrigerator," and how well ARK's investment in bitcoin has performed.

Jul 12, 2016
MaiTai Global's Bill Tai On Why Blockchain Is The 6th Wave Of Technology

Bill Tai, a venture capitalist who got his start as a computer chip designer in the 1980s, places blockchain in the context of the broader technological revolution of the last three decades. He also reveals how Bitfury, a company in which he's an investor and board member, built a more efficient chip though the designers had never been formally trained; what blockchain advocacy group was founded in Sir Richard Branson's hot tub; and how he formed MaiTai Global, a series of kiteboarding-and-tech events in some of the most glamorous destinations around the world.

Jun 28, 2016
Bloq's Matt Roszak on Necker Island: Connecting Multiple Blockchains, China and Tech Cooperatives

Matt Roszak, a venture capitalist for 20 years, discusses how his new company Bloq, cofounded with former Bitcoin core developer Jeff Garzik (from talks they began on Necker Island last year), serves enterprise clients and envisions a multi-chain future in which different blockchains can connect with each other. He also gives his thoughts on business models in a decentralized future and the influence China will play on the development of Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Plus, we find out what happened in his tennis game against Sir Richard Branson.

Jun 14, 2016
BitPesa's Elizabeth Rossiello on Necker Island

Elizabeth Rossiello talks about how she went from being a credit ratings analyst for microfinance investors to heading up an "international mobile money" company for sub-Saharan Africa that uses Bitcoin's rails. Along the way she reveals how convoluted, expensive and unreliable the movement of money into and out of Africa can be -- many people sending money in envelopes via regional buses and even traditional banks having to send money from Africa to Asia via North America. With BitPesa's fast and inexpensive international solution, companies are opening up new markets and people sending remittances no longer have to pay exorbitant charges.

Jun 14, 2016