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.


May 19, 2022 69 min

Welcome to The Chopping Block! Crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, and Tarun Chitra chop it up about the latest news in the digital asset industry. On this episode, Kevin Zhou, the CEO of Galois Capital and long-time critic of UST, also joined the conversation. Show topics:

  • the UST depeg and Terra collapse 
  • Kevin on what it was like being one of the earliest naysayers of LUNA
  • why Kevin believes that UST initially depegged an...
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    Nic Carter, general partner at Castle Island Venture, Eric Wall, former Chief Investment Officer of Arcane Assets, and Erik Voorhees, founder of ShapeShift, discuss what happened with the TerraUSD (UST) and LUNA fiasco, Do Kwon’s responsibility, the impact on the crypto ecosystem, and much more. Show highlights: 

  • how Erik used to feel that algo stablecoins were impossible and why he changed his mind
  • why Eric considers that the deman...
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    Jon Wu, head of growth at Aztec Network, recaps a historically chaotic week in the Terra ecosystem that saw $UST depeg, Anchor depositors flee, and $LUNA fall 99%. Show highlights:

  • how $UST, $LUNA, Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), and Anchor Protocol are supposed to work
  • why Jon compares the Terra blockchain with VISA, LFG with the Fed, and Do Kwon with Jerome Powell
  • how a previous $UST de-peg foreshadowed this week’s dystopian price act...
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    Kain Warwick, founder of Synthetix, and Ben Jones, cofounder and chief scientist at Optimism Foundation, discuss the current state of Ethereum Layer 2s, Optimism’s new governance structure, why Synthetix chose to build on Optimism, and more. Show topics:

  • what Optimism and Synthetix are
  • how zero-knowledge rollups differ from optimistic rollups
  • why Synthetix decided to build on Optimism
  • what makes L2s more enticing to build on than othe...
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    Eric Golden, the owner of BAYC #7560 and host of Web3 Breakdowns, discusses the Otherdeed NFT drop that stalled Ethereum and burned over $150 million worth of ether. Show topics:

  • what the Otherdeed mint is 
  • Why Yuga Labs had buyers undergo a know-your-customer process in order to mint the NFTs
  • why Eric was pretty certain a gas war was imminent in the hours leading up to the mint
  • how KYC’d addresses played into the Otherdeed mint
  • what E...
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    Welcome to The Chopping Block! Crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Robert Leshner, and Tarun Chitra chop it up about the latest news in the digital asset industry. On this episode, Andre Cronje, the recently retired (sort of) DeFi developer, also joined the conversation. Show topics:

  • why being doxxed led to Andre retiring (sort of) from crypto
  • Andre’s response to Robert who calledl his departure from DeFi “an epic rug pull”...
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    André Allen Anjos, who is better known as the crypto-friendly artist RAC, and David Greenstein, co-founder of Sound.xyz, a web3 music platform, analyze the current state of the web3 music scene and discuss how artists can leverage web3 tools to get paid at fair market value for their art. 

    Show highlights:

    RAC’s experience in the traditional music industry

    why David believes music is the most undervalued sector in the world – and h...

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    Chris Perkins, president of CoinFund, a web3 investment firm, discusses his experience at the Crypto Bahamas conference before diving into an FTX.US proposal that would allow for direct trading of crypto derivatives in the US – which appears to be rocking the boat of certain regulators in D.C. Show topics:

  • Chris’s two biggest takeaways from his Crypto Bahamas experience
  • how Chris’s experience at Lehman Brothers and Citi prepared him...
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    Amy Wu, head of FTX ventures and gaming initiatives, discusses her role at FTX, what problems need to be addressed in the web3 gaming world, and her thoughts on APE and Yuga Labs as a board member of Apecoin DAO and investor in Yuga Labs. Show highlights:

  • what Amy does at FTX
  • how her background investing in gaming prepared her for her role at FTX
  • Amy’s vision for FTX’s gaming studio
  • how FTX is helping gaming studios get into web3 and ...
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    Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at Coin Center, discusses a proposed rule by the US Securities and Exchange Commission that has massive implications for the free-speech rights of crypto software developers in the US. Show highlights:

  • why an SEC proposal changing the definition of “exchange” could violate the right to free speech of US crypto developers
  • whether the SEC is going after DeFi on purpose – as its 200+ page...
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    Welcome to The Chopping Block! Crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, and Tarun Chitra chop it up about the latest news in the digital asset industry. On this episode, Laura Shin, the host of Unchained and author of The Cryptopians, also joined the conversation. Show topics:

  • how people have responded to The Cryptopians
  • why traditional publishers were reticent to publish the story revealing the alleged DAO attacker’s identity
  • wh...
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    Two policy experts, Chris Lehane, chief strategy officer at Haun Ventures, and Niki Christoff, the founder of Christoff and Co., discuss how the crypto industry has performed in Washington and how it can better educate more regulators and politicians about the technology. Show highlights: 

  • Niki and Chris’ background
  • how Niki and Chris would grade the performance of crypto companies in Washington
  • what parallels Chris can draw between ...
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    Tim Beiko, the Ethereum Foundation coordinator for core developers, discusses his recent estimation that Ethereum’s merge, where the network transitions from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, will be delayed until the second half of 2022. Show topics:

  • what the Ethereum merge is 
  • why an upcoming difficulty bomb could force developers to delay the merge
  • what shadow forks are and how they affect the decision to go forward with the merge
  • h...
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    Stuart Levi, co-head of the Technology Transaction and Intellectual Property Group at Skadden Arps, and Marta Belcher, general counsel and Head of Policy at Protocol Labs, break down the legal issues surrounding NFTs specifically in the context of Yuga Labs’ recent purchase of CryptoPunks and Meebits IP rights. Show highlights:

  • the definitions and differences between copyrights, trademarks, and rights of publicity (name, image, lik...
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    Kevin Zhou, co-founder of Galois Capital, discusses a crazy week in the world of algorithmic stablecoins that saw USDN de-peg from the dollar and Terra unveil plans to create a new liquidity pool on Curve to strengthen UST. Show highlights:

  • how USDN and Waves works
  • what made USD de-peg
  • why Kevin thinks algorithmic stablecoins fail so often
  • what Kevin thinks about backing UST with BTC
  • how 4pool works in the context of Curve Finance, 3po...
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    Welcome to The Chopping Block! Crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Tarun Chitra, and Robert Leshner chop it up about the latest news in the digital asset industry. Show topics:

  • how social engineering was used in the $600 million+ Ronin bridge hack
  • what bridge infrastructure needs to be built (note: if someone wants to build a cross-chain Etherscan, it sounds like Tarun would fund it)
  • why the Inverse Finance hack impresse...
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    Mike Brock, general manager of TBD at Block, discusses how TBD’s yet-to-be-released DEX is structured, explains why he thinks decentralized solutions do not necessarily need blockchains, and tells the humorous story about how Jack Dorsey convinced him to start working on a Bitcoin project. Show highlights:

  • what TBD is and what its relation to Block (formerly Square) is
  • how TBD differs from Spiral, another Block-based Bitcoin firm
  • how...
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    Arjun Bhuptani, founder of Connext and bridging expert, breaks down the Ronin bridge exploit that led to a hacker stealing $600 million+ and discusses different bridge designs that could limit future attacks. Show highlights:

  • how a hacker was able to drain more than $600 million from Ronin bridge
  • the difference between DeFi hacks and the Ronin bridge exploit, which was a social-engineering based attack
  • why multisig bridges are su...
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    Do Kwon is the CEO of Terraform Labs and a director at Luna Foundation Guard. On Unchained, he explains why LFG is spearheading a plan to partially back Terra’s $15 billion stablecoin UST with Bitcoin. He also dives into another project idea that would transform developer salaries into financial assets that, as far as I can tell, he has not yet spoken about publicly.


    Part 1: Everything you need to know about Terra, UST, and BTC.

  • ...
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    Andy Beal, head of ecosystem development at Forta and author of the 30,000 Feet newsletter, discusses the dramatic governance proposal on Juno Network, a Cosmos-based project, where Juno holders are voting to confiscate millions of dollars in tokens from a whale who allegedly gamed the Juno airdrop. Show topics:

  • how the Juno airdrop worked 
  • how the whale was able to amass more JUNO tokens than the team wanted
  • why the Juno Network com...
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