Unchained

Unchained

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.... Show More

Episodes

October 20, 2020 64 min

Magistrate judge Zia Faruqui, and Jessi Brooks, assistant U.S. attorney in the national security section at the United States Attorney’s Office, have prosecuted several cryptocurrency-related cases, many of them amongst the most well-known. In this episode, they talk about:

  • how they came to be involved in the prosecution of so many cases involving cryptocurrency
  • the nature of civil forfeiture cases
  • the Al-Qassam Brigades case, which ...
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    Hester Peirce, AKA “Crypto Mom,” was just confirmed to a second term as SEC Commissioner of the Securities Exchange Commission in August. In this episode, she talks about:

  • the reasons for her dissent in the Unikrn Settlement and what she believes would have been a proper penalty
  • the current status of her token safe harbor proposal
  • her thoughts on fair launch projects as opposed to traditional VC-backed tokens
  • her view on how the SEC s...
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    Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of FTX and Alameda Research,  and Anatoly Yakovenko,  the co-founder and CEO of Solana Labs, discuss the Project Serum ecosystem that they are building on the Solana blockchain, and the unique approach to scaling the Solana blockchain is taking.

    In this episode, they talk about:

  • their backgrounds, and how they became involved in crypto
  • why Solana takes a different approach to scaling and how it is implemen...
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    Andreas M. Antonopoulos, speaker, educator, and the author of Mastering Bitcoin, Mastering Ethereum, and The Internet of Money, Volumes 1, 2, and 3, and Dan Held,  growth lead at Kraken Digital Asset Exchange, discuss the core features of Bitcoin's monetary policy, including how it differs from traditional central bank monetary policy, what gives it value and yet how it seems to have derived value from thin air. Plus, we talk a...

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    Matthew Leising, a reporter at Bloomberg who began covering crypto in 2015, is out with a new book Out of the Ether: The Amazing Story of Ethereum and the $55 Million Heist that Almost Destroyed It All. In this episode, he discusses:

  • the catalyst that led to him writing his new book, which covers the early history of Ethereum and the DAO attack of 2016
  • why he thought the story of the DAO hack was compelling enough to make a book, an...
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    Andre Cronje, the developer of yearn.finance, talks about all things DeFi and the past, present, and future of yEarn. In this episode, he discusses:  

  • what Yearn Finance is, and what led him to develop it and eventually open it to the public
  • his history and background, leading up to the development of Yearn
  • the processes and mechanisms involved in yEarn v1 and yEarn v2
  • why he decided to do a "fair launch" of the YFI token, des...
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    Olaf Carlson-Wee, the founder and CEO of Polychain Capital, goes deep into yield farming, fair launches and how decentralization will upend the traditional notion of the corporation. In this episode, he talks about:

  • when it makes sense for a team to introduce a liquidity mining scheme, and when it doesn't
  • the difference between yield farming and ICOs when it comes to investing
  • his thoughts on YFI, as well as YAM, and the pace at ...
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    Haseeb Qureshi, managing partner at Dragonfly Capital, and Dan Robinson, research partner at Paradigm, discuss the explosion in decentralized exchange activity on automated market makers from $1 billion earlier this year to more than $10 billion in August. 

  • Why trading in automated market makers has 8xed in a few months
  • how automated market makers work, and how specific dexes can specialize for the assets being traded on them
  • why tra...
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    Saifedean Ammous is an economist and the author of The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking, which has been translated into 20 languages. In this episode, he discusses:

  • the basic tenets of Austrian economics and why it is the only school where Bitcoin is possible
  • historical examples of currencies and how they lost their monetary value
  • the stock-to-flow model and how Bitcoin fits into that model
  • the three ...
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    David Chaum, the inventor of eCash and CEO of xx network, and Adam Back, the inventor of Hashcash and the cofounder and CEO of Blockstream, discuss their involvement in digital currency well before Bitcoin existed. In this episode, they discuss:

  • how they each became enamored with the idea of digital currency years before such an idea was widely discussed
  • the crypto wars of the 1990s and the U.S. government’s attempts to control acce...
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    Aaron van Wirdum is the technical editor at Bitcoin Magazine. Finn Brunton is the author of “Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Utopians, and Technologists Who Created Cryptocurrency.” In this episode, they tackle the history of digital currency. Topics include:

  • the motivations behind the earliest attempts to create digital currencies, and who was behind those attempts
  • the Extropian philosophy and how digital curre...
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    Dave Jevans, CEO of CipherTrace, and Siân Jones, Senior Partner at XReg Consulting, give the lowdown on the Financial Action Task Force’s travel rule and how it applies to businesses in the crypto space. They discuss:

  • their background and journey into crypto
  • what the travel rule is
  • the consequences for countries that are not compliant
  • whether the regulation will apply to staking providers in the future
  • the type of companies and transac...
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    Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, shares his thoughts on the five-year anniversary of Ethereum, challenges with ETH 2.0 and criticisms about DeFi. We discuss:

  • his thoughts and feelings ahead of Ethereum’s five-year anniversary
  • how to address the high gas fees on the Ethereum network
  • whether the complexity of Ethereum 2.0 creates a risk for the security of the network
  • whether staking will lead to a higher focus on ETH price and ...
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    Camila Russo, founder of The Defiant and author of a new book on Ethereum, "The Infinite Machine," speaks about how currency controls in Argentina got her interested in crypto and explains why she chose to tell the Ethereum story. She discusses:

  • how she started covering the crypto space
  • what it was like living through currency controls in Argentina
  • why she started focusing on Ethereum instead of Bitcoin
  • what’s in her new book,...
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    Niall Ferguson, Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and the author of numerous books including The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World and most recently, the Square and the Tower: Networks and Power from the Freemasons to Facebook, and Michael Casey, chief content officer at CoinDesk and coauthor of two books on crypto, The Age of Cryptocurrency and The Truth Machine, discuss...

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    Dan Elitzer, investor at IDEO CoLab Ventures, and Will Price, data scientist at Flipside Crypto, discuss the yield farming craze. In this episode, we cover:

  • the goals of protocols offering liquidity mining
  • the goals of users yield farming right now
  • whether users of Compound will have much awareness of COMP in the future
  • how Compound is trying to dampen inorganic activity and properly align incentives 
  • how incentives in one DeFi protoco...
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    This episode is the first in a series, Why Bitcoin Now, that takes a deeper dive into Bitcoin and the history of money in the macroeconomic environment of the coronavirus. Mike Novogratz, founder, CEO and chairman of Galaxy Digital, and Raoul Pal, founder and CEO of Global Macro Investor and Real Vision Group, tell us where they think Bitcoin is going amidst this macro uncertainty and the global crisis due to the coronavirus. We di...

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    Chamath Palihapitiya, the CEO of Social Capital and chairman of Virgin Galactic, talks about a wide range of issues, including Bitcoin, COVID, civil unrest, and broad economic trends and forecasts. We discuss:

  • Whether his economic forecasts have shifted throughout COVID
  • Why he believes a debt crisis will occur
  • How he views the success of BTC as a hedge against the ruling class
  • How the economic pendulum will swing back toward consumers
  • ...
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    At an event at the NYU Stern School of Business, Christopher Giancarlo, former CFTC Chairman and co-founder of the Digital Dollar Foundation, discusses his proposal for a US central bank digital currency (CBDC), and how that fits into the broader geopolitical environment. We cover:

  • Why he has focused on pushing for a US digital dollar after leaving the CFTC
  • How a US CBDC would be different from other stablecoins
  • How the proposal is d...
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    U.S. House Representative, Warren Davidson, contextualizes the state of crypto legislation in terms of widespread civil unrest, COVID-19, and global shifts in power. He explains where crypto plays a role in these paradigm shifts and talks about:

  • Why he believes in crypto, and how he came into the space
  • How his Token Taxonomy Act creates regulatory clarity for token issuers
  • What four conditions tokens would have to meet to not be cons...
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