CoinDesk Podcast Network

CoinDesk Podcast Network

By CoinDesk

The top stories and best shows in the blockchain world, delivered daily from the team at CoinDesk.


BREAKDOWN: The Latest on the Global Economy's Most Contentious Relationship

China and the U.S. trade high-profile sanctions, but the real impact is showing up in banks and on the Hong Kong stock market.This episode is sponsored by, Bitstamp and on the Brief:Grayscale launches national digital asset TV ad campaignRough times for oil as Saudi Aramco sees 73% decline in revenueKodak crashes as government grant paused amid allegations of improprietyOur main conversation is a look at the latest skirmishes between the United States and China, including:U.S. sanctions on Hong Kong leaders including Carrie Lam Retaliatory Chinese sanctions on U.S. politicians The arrest of a pro-democracy Hong Kong media tycoonArrest warrants issued for six foreign Hong Kong democracy advocates President Trump signs executive orders targeting TikTok and WeChatTwitter enters the race to buy TikTok before the Executive Order ban takes effectImpact on banks, the Hong Kong stock market and Huawei
10/08/2019m 34s

BREAKDOWN: How the Purpose of Public Markets Has Changed

Long Reads Sunday features excerpts about public and private markets, the new bitcoin bull market, and DJ Marshmello.This episode is sponsored by, Bitstamp and this week’s Long Reads Sunday, NLW reads three pieces:Public Markets Don’t Matter Like They Used To - Matt Levine in BloombergA look at how public markets are less and less about accessing new capital and more about narrative and liquidity for early investors.Two Reasons Crypto’s Bull Market Is Coming - Anil Lulla on CoinDeskThe next bull market isn’t just about the bitcoin-dollar devaluation narrative but about decentralized finance providing a solid place to redeploy existing crypto capital.The Business Behind Marshmello - Kevin Lee on TwitterThe unlikely story of the world’s second-highest paid DJ, including a bet on anonymity, a viral billboard making fun of Instagram influencers, and a cultural cooking channel on YouTube.
09/08/2021m 23s

BREAKDOWN: The Mounting Evidence of a New Bitcoin Bull Market

From positive price indicators to a new all time high in smallholder addresses, this is the evidence a new bull run might be starting.This episode is sponsored by, Bitstamp and week’s Breakdown Weekly Recap is all about that vibe you’ve been feeling - that inescapable notion a new crypto bull market is afoot. NLW looks at the evidence:Rising gold priceRecirculation of crypto money out of zombie protocols New growth in small holder addressesDemand from emerging market p2p marketsIt’s just possible this new bull market isn’t just starting to be seen in narratives, but is also showing up in numbers.This week on The Breakdown:Monday | Rage Against the Economic Machine: The Best of the Breakdown July 2020Tuesday | Can Social Media Be Redeemed? Feat. Bobby GoodlatteWednesday |Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough on Stagflation, Bitcoin and the Devalued DollarThursday | The History, Present and Future of Central Banks, Feat. George SelginFriday | 11 Numbers That Tell the Story of the Economy Right Now
08/08/2010m 39s

BREAKDOWN: 11 Numbers That Tell the Story of the Economy Right Now

From the price of coffee to the national debt as a percentage of GDP, these 11 numbers provide a picture of a fast changing global economy. This episode is sponsored by, Bitstamp and financial media loves reporting the stock market like it's the only economic indicator that matters. On this episode, NLW breaks down 11 numbers that together tell a much more complete story, including:Record price of goldSquare’s bitcoin revenueNational debt as a percentage of GDPFall of the Turkish lira Price of coffee, sugar and cocoaHousing in auto demandAnti-Chinese sentiment in the U.S.
07/08/2013m 35s

BREAKDOWN: The History, Present and Future of Central Banks, Feat. George Selgin

The Director of the Cato Institute's Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives gives an eye-opening, 200-year history of today’s most powerful economic institution.This episode is sponsored by, Bitstamp and on the Brief:Better news in the jobless claims this weekA new bitcoin adoption cycle?Checking on LebanonOur main conversation is with Dr. George Selgin. Dr. Selgin is a Senior Fellow and director of the Cato Institute's Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives as well as Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Georgia. In this eye-opening conversation, he and NLW go deep on the history, present and future of central banks, including:Why the Scottish and Canadian banking systems in the 19th century show that central banks aren’t a prerequisite for stabilityWhy the U.S. “free banking” system wasn’t free at allWhy the instability in the late 19th century U.S. banking system was caused by regulation, not the lack of a Federal ReserveWhy the Fed’s first decades were a disasterWhy the Fed gets more power when it underperforms The problems with the Fed’s response to 2008What lessons the Fed could have learned (but didn’t) between the Great Financial Crisis and COVID-19 Find our guest online:Website: Alt-M.orgTwitter: @GeorgeSelgin
06/08/201h 19m

BREAKDOWN: Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough on Stagflation, Bitcoin and the Devalued Dollar

One of the realest people in financial media joins for a conversation about where the economy really is and where it’s headed.This episode is sponsored by, Bitstamp and on the Brief:Robinhood doubles quarterly trading revenueSquare did $875 billion in bitcoin revenue in Q2 - up 600% YoYADP report: 167,000 jobs added in July (instead of expected 1.2 million) Our main conversation is with Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough. Before building Hedgeye into a “no-excuses provider of real-time investment research and a premier online financial media company,” Keith worked at hedge funds including Carlyle Blue Wave Partners hedge fund, Magnetar Capital, Falconhenge Partners and Dawson Herman Capital Management.In this conversation, he and NLW discuss:Hedgeye’s “Full Cycle Investing” approach and GIP (Growth, Inflation, Policy) methodology How the economy was in a period of slowing growth and slowing inflation before COVID-19How we’ve moved into a stagflation period in response to the money printing prompted by the crisisWhy bitcoin, gold, emerging market stocks and commodities are likely to thrive in this environment Why most narratives are BS Why the “Old Wall” media distracts rather than educatesCheck out our guest online:Website: Twitter: @KeithMcCullough
05/08/2038m 25s

BREAKDOWN: Can Social Media Be Redeemed? Feat. Bobby Goodlatte

An early Facebook product designer-turned angel investor discusses how social media has changed and whether it can be changed again for the better.This episode is sponsored by, Bitstamp and on the Brief:President Trump wants a cut of the TikTok dealPreviewing this week’s COVID-19 vaccine trade Dave Portnoy breaks into bitcoinOur main conversation is with Bobby Goodlatte. Bobby is the founder of Form Capital, a new seed investment firm that focuses on supporting portfolio companies with value-add design. Bobby was an early employee at Facebook and has been an active angel investor since 2012, with investments that include Coinbase. In this conversation, he and NLW discuss:The early days of FacebookWhy angel investors don’t like new angel investors to get involvedHow Silicon Valley reflects larger questions of equity valuations How social media has changed over the last decadeWhy politics is now “downstream from algorithms” Why there are still possibilities to build new social networksWhy today’s social networks could make different decisions that would be better for the world. Find our guest online:Website: Form Capital Twitter: @rsg
04/08/201h 10m

LEIGH: What People Who Aren’t Bullish On Bitcoin Still Like About It

Working with open source software changes the development process, according to this researcher who interviewed hundreds of technologists across projects. This episode is sponsored by, Bitstamp and are people who understand bitcoin yet aren’t obsessively bullish on it. (I know, it’s weird. Like, how?)Eghbal, a Protocol Labs alum who is familiar with bitcoin, is among them. She described bitcoin as a rare example of a project growing throughout a decade and continuing. Many people measure growth in terms of unique contributors, users or profits. For Eghbal, she said looking at different types of “activity” might offer a better spectrum. “Measuring activity is maybe a better way to think about project health...some projects also don’t need to be as actively developed as others,” Eghbal said. “I was also looking at things like maintainers’ responsiveness.”  In short, are problems promptly fixed before they affect users? The quality of contributions should be evaluated in addition to the sheer number of contributors. Do the people who use the software get unique value from it when they need it?Another useful metric, she said, can be “work done,” including “how many pull requests are being merged or how many issues are being closed.”And, luckily, Eghbal isn’t the only researcher who understands bitcoin without being “active” in the “Bitcoin community.” (To be fair, I use these silly words more than anyone.) Privacy tech legend Claudia Diaz, Nym’s chief technologist, said she believes there could be value in cryptocurrency projects, although that’s not her focus nor passion. “Cryptocurrency offers an option for the people who use the systems to fund them,” Diaz said. “I’m interested in making systems that make sense and self-sustain because everyone has the right incentives.”IncentivesThere are many different types of value people derive from open source software projects. Sometimes they use the software, sometimes they use public work to develop their own personal brand. Eghbal said some of the most widely sought after engineers are “building an active fanbase for whatever they are creating.” She added there are “different types of open source projects” with passionate fandoms, like Rust, plus open source developers have “a lot in common” with other types of online content creators. These public displays can lead to dramatic Twitter feuds and heated rivalries, just like other personality-driven roles like TikTok stars and podcasters. “I’ve been told so many things are definitely, absolutely true, yet are all conflicting with each other,” Eghbal said of her research. “If I’ve learned anything it’s that developers have opinions.”This is why Diaz’s token-funded startup, Nym, is developing a privacy layer comparable to Tor, the latter of which she said is heavily reliant on government funding. In contrast, her startup Nym raised $2.5 million in a private token sale in 2019.“Tor offers different trade-offs,” Diaz said. “We built Nym and the applications on top can be messaging applications or cryptocurrency applications...using the infrastructure to protect their metadata in the sense the network can’t figure out what services you are accessing or what they might be doing with those services.”Motivations Diaz considers herself somewhat of an outsider to the open source developer community, like Eghbal. Their motivations are primarily research-oriented, because research is their job. Nym co-founders like Harry Halpin have more experience in (ideological) open source software development. Even coming from different perspectives, Halpin, Diaz and Eghbal all agreed that collaboration and interdependence are the crux of the open source development process. “Now instead of relying on a couple of other developers’ code you may now be relying on hundreds of thousands of people’s projects and you don’t even know who these people are,” Eghbal said. As such, Halpin said Nym works closely with teams contributing to other open source projects, like Rust, Cosmos and Zcash. In addition, his team often works with independent (quasi-celebrity) developers like Amir Taaki. Sometimes people contribute as a hobbyist or a user with specific needs, other times they are paid. There are many reasons why people work on cryptocurrency projects. “I think it would be great to have an infrastructure that could support privacy in a variety of applications,” Diaz said. “Cryptocurrency offers an option for the people who use the systems to fund them...Privacy technologies have been very difficult to market.”On the other hand, Eghbal described bitcoin as moving more slowly than some other cryptocurrency projects. “Trying to prioritize stability is a very different development style rather than allowing people to have lots and lots of features,” Eghbal said, describing Bitcoin as relatively “stable.” And even if the price of the asset never goes “to the moon,” perhaps continuing to provide reliable software tools can be a metric of success in itself. 
04/08/2025m 16s

BREAKDOWN: Rage Against the Economic Machine... The Best of the Breakdown July 2020

A recap show on wealth inequality, stock markets and taking it back featuring Jill Carlson, Michael Krieger, Daniel Lacalle, George Gammon and more.This episode is sponsored by, Bitstamp and on the Brief:The TikTok-Microsoft DealThe Twitter hacker was 17A changing of the guard for crypto hedge fundsOur main discussion: recapping the best interviews of July 2020Despite a huge variety of perspectives and experiences, one theme shown through in Breakdown conversations in July: the disparity between the stock market and the real economy and a growing unwillingness of people to accept their place in the order. This show features clips from:George Gammon - @GeorgeGammonDaniel Lacalle - @dlacalle_IAGeorge Goncalves - @bondstrategistSahil Bloom - @SahilBloomTyrone Ross - @TR401Tony Greer - @TgMacroJill Carlson - @jillruthcarlsonMichael Krieger - @LibertyBlitzSergey Nazarov - @SergeyNazarov
03/08/2028m 55s

BREAKDOWN: For What Future Are We Building Bitcoin?

A reading of Meltem Demirors new essay “Unintended Architecture” asks some key questions about intention setting for the future of Bitcoin. This episode is sponsored by, Bitstamp and started as a rebellious, anti-establishment technology. In many parts of the world, and for many people, it remains exactly that. At the same time, however, there is a wave of traditionalists and institutional players moving into the space. Are they buying into the revolution, or are they trying to capture value while fitting the disruption into a box that maintains the current power structure they lead? Those are the key questions explored by Meltem Demirors in her new essay “Unintended Architecture.” The piece is our selection for this week’s “Long Reads Sunday.”
02/08/2011m 43s

BREAKDOWN: Previewing the Economic Showdowns Coming This Fall

From the size of a second round of stimulus to COVID-19 litigation to reshoring, last week previewed some key issues for the months to come. This episode is sponsored by, Bitstamp and this week’s edition of The Breakdown Weekly Recap, NLW argues the big story of the week was actually a set of smaller stories that preview the faultlines and economic debates likely to absorb us in the coming months. These include:The Federal Reserve signaling that fiscal stimulus needs to do moreThe beginning of the battles on fiscal stimulusThe introduction of the “not safe to vote” narrative The Big Tech vs. The World fight The beginning of coronavirus lawsuits Back to schoolJobless claims getting worseKodak and reshoringThis week on The Breakdown:Monday | SPACs 101: A Bubble, the Future or Both?Tuesday | How Real Is Bitcoin’s Rally? 8 Interpretations of Bitcoin’s Massive SurgeWednesday | How DeFi Could Disrupt Traditional Finance, Feat. Sergey NazarovThursday | The Bond Market Is the Truth Teller No One Heeds, Feat. George GoncalvesFriday | What a Professional Trader Thinks of the Fed, Robinhood and Real Estate, Feat. Tony Greer
01/08/2010m 34s

LEIGH: Why This Sex Industry Executive Loves Bitcoin

Chaturbate executive Shirely Lara is a sex industry veteran who sees bitcoin as a crucial part of her business. The bitcoin-friendly porn executive talks with CoinDesk reporter Leigh Cuen about bitcoin, sex and feminism. This episode is sponsored by, Bitstamp and COO Shirley Lara, one of the most experienced platform executives in the adult content industry, has been keen on bitcoin’s potential since 2018. “We accept 20 different cryptocurrencies for token purchases. The most popular ones are bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin,” Lara said. Experts, including Lara, estimate there “thousands and thousands” of cam girls working across platforms like OnlyFan and Chaturbate at any given time. That dwarfs the incumbent porn industry. Today, OnlyFans alone is estimated to have 60,000 content creator accounts and millions of registered viewers, despite some criticism from sex workers on Twitter. Many of the leading sex industry corporations, like OnlyFans, Chaturbate and MindGeek, appear to be owned by (relatively secretive) men, who are far removed from the public performers. Lara, who joined Chaturbate in 2011, is one of the rare examples of a woman who worked her way up to the executive level without first creating a personal porn star brand. Her work is primarily technical and operational.  “I don’t think crypto is a trend. I think it’s definitely here to stay,” Lara said, noting the steady incline of bitcoin usage among performers in Colombia and Romania. “They’ll use cryptocurrency as a way to jump on [Chaturbate] and get started while they figure out the banking stuff.”   Meanwhile, her global operations allow performers like Honey Li, in Europe, to stack sats through Chaturbate. Li said a little bit of her earnings, in addition to whatever she needs to pay bills, is set aside as bitcoin savings. For Lara, having this choice was crucial to the platform’s crypto integrations. “You asked if we hold on to bitcoin? We don’t. We cash out. But our broadcasters do (hodl), and I think that is so smart,” Lara said.  With porn production stalled or canceled in hubs like Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the entire sex industry is shifting geographies. More performers are relying on social media to broadcast from home. Bitcoin may now offer a different use case for platform performers versus high-end escorts, for example. The sex industry is hardly a monolith. Tech tools While social porn platforms inspire more mainstream content creators to dabble in adult themes, this further divides in-person service providers and filmmakers. One such provider, Nina Mona, has been using bitcoin in the sex industry for two years. For her, she emphasizes bitcoin privacy tech, which would be irrelevant for users who already submit know-your-customer information to a central platform. She uses bitcoin to accept payments and also to pay advertisers without sharing her credit card information. “I noticed a wave of OnlyFans signups when in-person work became less viable. I considered it, but don’t think the return is worth the workload or risk of exposure for me,” Mona said. “It seems safer to limit myself to a small set of screened clients than to share compromising material with a broader and less invested audience. Every set of eyeballs is an additional threat.”In the United States, Mona said most clients that book sessions with bitcoin resided in the Bay Area, Los Angeles or New York. Now that COVID-19 sparked some domestic migration, it’s unclear how this will impact sex workers who focused on urban hubs. For some, this means more travel and extremely selective bookings. Performers and escorts may both operate their own wallets, even if they use platforms like OnlyFans or Chaturbate, especially to receive gifts and tributes from afar. Plus, Lara said the teledildonics trend, where internet-connected sex toys can be set to vibrate when their accounts receive payments, create new opportunities for clients to incorporate money into their fantasies. “There’s this whole teledildonics spectrum that is growing in popularity,” she said. Li agreed with Lara, especially because there are toys for both genders that can be used in synchronized ways. “I use teledildonic toys for work, basically every shift!” Li said. “They're tip-activated when I work...You can also sync the vibrations up to a spotify account or a voice note sent by your partner.” Slow growthMainstream platforms like Chaturbate and the competitor FanCentro already accept cryptocurrency and have been working with it for years. Usage is niche, yet steady. Many sex workers say a direct transaction and relationship is more profitable than payment facilitated by a platform. Chaturbate, for example, charges nearly half of the performer’s earnings. It provides a valuable service, but clients will need to be willing to pay in bitcoin if the performer aims to graduate to her own independent site. “If we’re headed that way, it’s going to be a long time before we hit that milestone, because of the different governance in each country,” Lara said. One FanCentro user and crypto owner, who goes by the alias WesMan83, said he would be happy to pay a sex worker directly in crypto if she preferred. He finds erotic service-providers that suit him using mainstream platforms like Twitter and OnlyFans, as well as personal recommendations from other clients and providers. “I think it's important for people to understand that sex workers deserve to be paid for what they do and there is nothing wrong with what they do,” WesMan83 said. “They provide an entertainment service and work very hard for what they create. I think it's important that those of us who are proud to pay, help remove the stigma surrounding it.”
01/08/2024m 31s

BREAKDOWN: What a Professional Trader Thinks of the Fed, Robinhood and Real Estate, Feat. Tony Greer

The editor of the Morning Navigator newsletter discusses a variety of macro topics and how to trade against a very strange market.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and on the Brief:The DXY hits a 52-week lowConsumers seeking alternatives to cash Bank of England rebuilds settlement system to work with CBDCsOur main conversation is with trader and analyst Tony Greer. In this conversation, he and NLW discuss:The Federal Reserve’s role in increasing inequality How the Robinhood crowd differs from the 1999 bubbleWhy high-frequency traders might be the real villains when it comes to the retail bubbleWhy gold is surging even though the dollar remains fundamentally sound How to navigate the disparity between markets and the real economyWhy real estate is doing well even as the economy is floundering Find our guest online:Website: tgmacro.comTwitter: @TgMacro
31/07/201h 6m

BREAKDOWN: The Bond Market Is the Truth Teller No One Heeds, Feat. George Goncalves

A veteran bond strategist gives his take on why the bond market has a better read than equities on short-term and long-term macro trends. This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and on the Brief:More bad news from jobless claims and the GDPThe big tech hearing was a whole bunch of nothing; watch TikTok insteadRobinhood dives into Kodak (but so do illegal insider traders)Our main conversation is with independent bond strategist George Goncalves.We discuss:How the bond market watches Federal Reserve meetingsWhat, if anything, was new about this week’s FOMC meetingWhat it means that the bond market and equities market tell different storiesWhy the bond market has been telling a long-term story of slowing growthWhether institutional investors are actually moving away from government debt and into gold Why Judy Shelton should have a place on the Federal ReserveFind our guest online:Twitter: @bondstrategist
30/07/2055m 35s

BREAKDOWN: How DeFi Could Disrupt Traditional Finance, Feat. Sergey Nazarov

Today on the Brief:Big tech goes to WashingtonThe debate on the next COVID-19 relief act heats upMore on institutional investors’ move into gold This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and“Imagine a world without counterparty risk.”That was Chainlink co-founder Sergey Nazarov’s answer when asked to describe the true disruption of decentralized finance to a traditional finance audience. On this episode of The Breakdown, Sergey and NLW discuss:Brand-based contracts vs. math-based contractsThe history of smart contractsWhat it means to build an “abstraction layer” for “universally connected smart contracts”Key moments in the history of smart contract infrastructure Where smart contracts and DeFi are in terms of analogies to the early internet Why Sergey believes traditional finance will inevitably shift to a math-based contract model Find our guest online:Website: ChainlinkTwitter: @SergeyNazarov
29/07/201h 22m

BREAKDOWN: How Real Is Bitcoin’s Rally? 8 Interpretations of Bitcoin's Massive Surge

As bitcoin retraces slightly after reaching a new 2020 high about $11,000, NLW explores what’s driving the rally and how likely it is to continue.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and was a beautiful Monday. Bitcoin crashed through $10,000 and got all the way up to a new yearly high of about $11,000 before retracing slightly. As with any dramatic price action, people were quick to start giving their interpretations of why it happened. In this episode, NLW explains eight of those interpretations, including:Banks stacking due to changes in custody rulesMoney printer go brrrStock to flow modelRobinhood traders piling inDeFi gain recycling Buyers exceeding sellers“Perfect storm”Dollar crash, negative real interest rates and the search for a new reserve currencyUltimately, NLW argues that it is this last factor driving up not only bitcoin but gold and silver.
28/07/2024m 38s

BREAKDOWN: SPACs 101... A Bubble, the Future or Both?

A primer on, and critical look at, one of Wall Street’s hottest trends: special purpose acquisition companies. This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and purpose acquisition companies have been around since the 1990s, but have seen a significant uptick in popularity in recent years. Companies like Virgin Galactic, Draft Kings and Nikola have changed SPAC’s reputation from a tool for second- and third-tier private equity shops to win fees to a legitimate alternative to initial public offerings. In 2020, SPACs have made up roughly 40% of the IPO market.Recently, chatter around SPACs reached a fever pitch with the listing of Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Tontine Holdings - the largest-ever SPAC. In this episode, NLW breaks down:What a SPAC isStandard SPAC terms Why the traditional IPO process has generated growing discontent, especially from Silicon ValleyThe benefits of SPACs for companies and investorsThe downsides of SPACs for companies and investors A number of reasons explaining why SPAC popularity is surging nowHow Robinhood retail traders are creating an important bridge buyer for SPACsWhy Ackman’s Tontine Holdings SPAC could change how we think about SPACs in the future Are SPACs a bubble?Cited resources:SPAC Man Begins - Alex DancoSPACs as a Call Option on Hype - Bryne HobartSPACs: the most ludicrous bubble we’ll ever see… why not $IAC? - Yet Another Value BlogReturn of the SPAC - John Street Capital
27/07/2027m 39s

ANNA: The Future for Unregulated Bitcoin Exchanges

To KYC or not to KYC? In this episode, CoinDesk’s Anna Baydakova talks to Hodl Hodl and Bisq, two non-custodial, no-KYC bitcoin exchanges.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and year ago, the Financial Action Task Force, the global anti-money laundering watchdog, ruled that crypto transactions data should be controllable, and ever since the question has been not if you KYC your users but how you do it.However, not all bitcoiners have surrendered to this norm. Hodl Hodl and Bisq don’t provide centralized custody and don’t check user’s identity. They also don’t employ the blockchain tracing tools to block the “tainted” coins (blacklisted as coming from illicit activities), which became a must for major exchanges these days.What comes with this? A chance to buy and sell bitcoin without revealing your identity, as well as much more responsibility over how you buy and store your crypto. Max Keidun, the CEO of Hodl Hodl, and Steve Jain, contributor to Bisq, dig into why in the times of crypto-compliance people still might need (or maybe just lawfully want) to keep their bitcoin deals to themselves.See also: P2P Exchange Hodl Hodl Takes First Step in Bringing Private Bitcoin Trades to BlueWallet UsersThere are more questions to arise from such an old-school-cypherpunk situation: how can you make sure you don’t get scammed at these p2p platforms? What do you do if you buy “tainted” coins blacklisted by the FATF-abiding exchanges and vendors?Max and Steve share their takes on this, and the main explanation is probably: “everything has a price.” Including freedom from surveillance and data leaks.We also touch the matter of decentralization that is important to both Hodl Hodl and Bisq. Hodl Hodl is planning to open-source itself, so that everyone can clone and run their own p2p bitcoin exchange in case the regulators go after Keidun and his team. And Bisq has gone full decentralized last year when it turned all its decision making over to a DAO.
26/07/2051m 7s

BREAKDOWN: Is this China’s Century or the US’s? Maybe It’s Both

This Long Reads Sunday is a reading of Adam Tooze’ recent review of four books on the growing conflict between the U.S. and China.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and week on Long Reads Sunday, our selection is “Whose Century?” by Adam Tooze in the London Review of Books. Nominally a review of four recent scholarly works on the conflict between the U.S. and China, Tooze main argument is that the central problem with viewing this as a new Cold War is the idea that it is new. Instead, we need to understand that, contra Fukuyama’s famous essay, history didn’t end with the fall of the Berlin Wall – at least not for the Chinese. What’s more, the narrative of having “won” the Cold War fails to take into account the West’s spectacular failures in Asia. Only by reframing our understanding can we make sense of the most important geopolitical conflict of the coming century.
26/07/2024m 51s

LEIGH: What Sex Workers Want To Do With Bitcoin

Beyond Crypto, OnlyFans Star Savannah Solo Talks About Money Sex workers are starting their own businesses and working online, thanks to social media, according to this adult content creator. In this audio interview, CoinDesk’s Leigh Cuen and OnlyFans performer Savannah Solo talk about fintech and the sex industry. From distribution platforms to Twitter and bitcoin, she helps break down what sex workers really need from digital tools.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Solo started her OnlyFans account in January 2020 and within a few months became one of the top earners on the platform in her category. She’s never used bitcoin before because she relies on platforms like OnlyFans and Cash App for regular banking services. She said some performers have been temporarily deplatformed or lost access to their funds, but she’s been lucky so far. She often works a 16-hour day during these first few months of building her business. “The market got super, super saturated during quarantine...they [OnlyFans performers] were having trouble getting any subscribers at all,” Solo said. “In my first month, in January, I only made $80.”There’s a common misconception that sex workers are now making much more money than before the coronavirus crisis. Both Solo and fellow sex worker Honey Li agreed the brief flurry of new customers settled down in the spring and that summer has been a particularly slow season. “Nobody is saying they are making more because of the pandemic,” Li said. “There’s a lot more new models….as for the blue collar guys that tip you, a lot of them have lost their jobs.”Li prefers the camming site Chaturbate, instead of OnlyFans. Chaturbate charges performers nearly half of their earnings to use the site, much higher than the 20% charge from OnlyFans. But Chaturbate offers a feature that Li prefers; customers can pay in cryptocurrency and performers can cash out in bitcoin. The site still acts as a middleman, but at least Li can choose her currency. “My customer base is mostly American, so there are instances where bitcoin is more useful for me, especially when I’m traveling,” said Li, who is based in Europe.  Bitcoin tippersLi said some Chaturbate performers, like her, take a fraction of their earnings in bitcoin if they make extra that month. This is regardless of whether the customer paid in bitcoin, since the payment is to the platform anyway. In addition to cashing out from the performance platform in bitcoin, Li also uses personal wallets to accept money directly from fans. Over the past year four clients tipped her in bitcoin. Yet that minority can have a large impact. “Customers that give money directly tend to be regulars, really big fans...5% of my customers make up 90% of my income,” Li said. “There’s not a lot of people that accept bitcoin from clients directly, but I do know some findommes [financial dominatrix] who do. For a birthday gift, for example, I’ll be like cool here’s my wallet.” Solo said she also earns the majority of her income from a few big tippers, although she hasn’t been offered bitcoin yet. She’s still trying to manage some of the technical basics of running her own business.“The platforms do extremely little work to help you out,” Solo said. “There is no [tech] support.”Tech supportThere are a variety of tech-savvy sex workers creating their own bitcoin-friendly platforms and teaching each other how to use various technologies. For example, an escort booking consultant named Jo, who has been helping sex workers garner and screen clients for two years, said a few women paid her in 2019 to help them use bitcoin. The bitcoin advertising campaign lasted for a few months, on a website that only accepts bitcoin. This is generally uncommon. Jo said it was a hassle.“I think a lot of girls in this industry want to protect their identity. However, it [bitcoin] is not the most user-friendly thing,” Jo said about the returns for time spent using bitcoin. “It was pretty dead for a while [bookings]. Business has come back, but it’s slower than usual.”Solo also noticed the imbalance of supply and demand this summer across the sex industry. She said she usually turns to other performers for tech support and doesn’t know of other consulting options for sex workers. Performers like her generally rely on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, OnlyFans and Chaturbate to advertise their brands. Converting casual tippers into direct customers is the hardest part of the business. Until they do, performers like Solo struggle to deal with refund issues like chargebacks.“That’s a huge issue,” Solo said about chargebacks. “People send sex workers money...then the person can call their bank, have it back-charged, and all of the money comes out of the sex worker’s account.”“That’s such a nightmare and it happens all the time,” she added. “People get free service out of that and it’s super gross.”
25/07/2029m 47s

BREAKDOWN: As Economic Indicators Get Worse, the US Revs Up the Next Multi-Trillion Stimulus

The Breakdown Weekly Recap covers growing US-China tensions, worsening job numbers and the next casual $1T-$3T in stimulus.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and week on the Breakdown Weekly Recap, NLW covers:A terrible week for U.S.-China tensions, with dueling consulate closures and a strikingly hawkish speech from U.S. Secretary of State Mike PompeoWorsening economic indicators, particularly around jobless claims which saw their first weekly rise in four monthsThe likely size of the next U.S. stimulus bill – $1T to $3T.This week on The Breakdown:Monday | What Is GPT-3 and Should We Be Terrified? Tuesday | What’s Behind the Fed’s New Push to Promote Inflation? Wednesday | A Simple Explanation of DeFi and Yield Farming Using Actual Human Words Thursday | Will Big Tech Enable or Destroy Small Business? Feat. Sahil BloomFriday | Could the European Recovery Plan Actually Break Europe Apart? 
25/07/2014m 39s

BREAKDOWN: Could the European Recovery Plan Actually Break Europe Apart?

The EU’s Recovery Plan agreement has been widely hailed, but some argue that it is taking Europe down a dangerous path.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and on the Brief:Which industries are recovering the bestChina retaliates against U.S. after consulate shutdown Dollar heads toward its worst month since 2018Our main discussion features returning guest Tuomas Malinen, CEO of GnS Economics. In this discussion, Tuomas and NLW discuss:An outline of the European Union’s new recovery planThe new debt issuance structure that marks a first for Europe The challenges of currency unions How Europe’s debt crisis changed how Europeans think about economic integrationWhy the current plan amounts to “stealth federalization” Why some member states are in a state of mutiny over the fundFind our guest online:Website: GnS EconomicsTwitter: @mtmalinen
24/07/2032m 21s

BREAKDOWN: Will Big Tech Enable or Destroy Small Business? Feat. Sahil Bloom

More than 50% of COVID-19 related business closures in the US are now permanent. Can tech platforms provide a new avenue for small biz entrepreneurship?This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and on the Brief:Disappointing jobless claim numbers with first increase in 4 monthsUS banks now allows to custody cryptoSenate hears arguments for a digital dollar in the context of US-China economic competitionOur main conversation with Sahil BloomSahil Bloom is an investor with Altamont Capital Partners and a prolific author of financial literacy Twitter threads. In this conversation, he and NLW discuss:Today’s jobless claimsLong term economic impacts from COVID in the travel industry“Forced efficiency realization” How remote work opens white collar professionals to global competition Whether tech platforms are a destructive or enabling force for small business Why financial education is essential and sorely lackingWhy the Robinhood rally crowd represents a positive opportunity for bringing new voices into the marketsFind our guest on Twitter: @sahilbloom
23/07/2051m 58s

BREAKDOWN: A Simple Explanation of DeFi and Yield Farming Using Actual Human Words

A primer on yield farming, liquidity mining, automated market making and all the other terms shaping the brave new world of decentralized finance.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and on the Brief:US Gov’t forces China’s Houston consulate to closeUS previously-owned housing market grows 20.7% May to JuneInsider stock selling reaches record levelsOur main discussion: DeFi 101Today’s episode of The Breakdown is a primer for anyone who has lost track of the terminology surrounding decentralized finance. In it, NLW goes over:DeFi’s background and originsMarket making in a traditional contextAutomated market making How liquidity mining incentives economic participation How decentralized exchanges differ from centralized exchanges What “yield farming” actually meansWhy we shouldn’t be concerned about the Yield Farming bubble
22/07/2027m 7s

BREAKDOWN: What's Behind the Fed's New Push to Promote Inflation?

Why the Fed’s strategy on inflation is changing and why the definition used by America’s central bank may be hurting regular people. This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and on the Brief:EU leaders agree on $2 billion stimulus packageLinkedIn job cuts show weakness in the professional sectorHas DeFi jumped the shark?Our main discussion: The Fed’s changing inflation strategyUniversity of Oregon professor and Bloomberg columnist Tim Duy recently penned a piece called “The Fed Is Setting the Stage for a Major Policy Change” arguing that we’re likely to see more inflation, promoted by the Fed. In this episode, NLW breaks down:Why the Fed is turning away from its traditional inflation forecasting method Why the Fed is likely to let real inflation hit 2% before doing anythingWhy some are calling the move “simply asinine” Why some think the Fed is full of hot air and has no power to actually create inflationWhy the Fed is trapped by its definition of inflationAudio clip featuring Alhambra Investments head of research Jeffrey Snider in an interview with Emil Kalinowski.
21/07/2016m 57s

BREAKDOWN: What Is GPT-3 and Should We Be Terrified?

The internet is alive with demos of what the latest artificial intelligence language model can do. Should we be nervous?This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and on the Brief:Mastercard, Standard Chartered and PayPal all deepen their engagement with cryptoJapan inches closer to a central bank digital currencyThe real estate “doom trade” opens upOur main discussion: GPT-3Generative pertained transformer-3 – or GPT-3 as it’s better known – absolutely took over the internet this weekend. It’s a new AI language model that can do some truly incredible things, from writing poetry to composing business memos to generating functioning code from natural language descriptions.In this episode of the Breakdown, NLW provides a 101-level overview of GPT-3, including:What an AI language model isWhy AI for language is more difficult than image-based AIThe background of OpenAI, the Elon Musk-backed project behind GPT-3Some examples of what GPT-3 can doWhy reasoning and narrative still elude the technologyReference posts:GPT-3 Examples, a Twitter ThreadJonathan Johnson on AI Language ModelsRob Teows: GPT-3 Is Amazing – And Overhyped
20/07/2021m 15s

BREAKDOWN: Are Stablecoins Eurodollars 2.0? Long Reads Sunday

Long Reads Sunday features two essays previously published on CoinDesk that show the trajectory of stablecoins in the global economy in 2020.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and this week’s Long Reads Sunday, we look at two essays about stablecoins previously published on CoinDesk. The first is called “USD Stablecoins Are Surging, but Zero Interest Rates Complicate Business Model” by Hasu and was one of the first pieces to recognize that demand was coming not just from the crypto space but from emerging markets facing crisis time currency pressures. The second is “Hyper-Stablecoinization: From Eurodollars to Crypto-Dollars” from Pascal Hügli. The piece argues that stablecoins are likely to play an increasingly important role in the global economy. In effect, they are a better version of the critical eurodollar system.
19/07/2014m 31s

RESEARCH: The Origins of the World's Oldest Bitcoin Metric, Explained

Bitcoin days destroyed (BDD) was first introduced as a concept back in 2011. At the time, it had only been two years since the creation of the world’s first cryptocurrency, bitcoin. Individuals were already beginning to innovate ways to measure on-chain transaction activity and value. This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and the first cryptocurrency metric to be created, BDD was quickly followed by a plethora of other unique metrics including unspent transaction output (UTXO), market value to realized value (MVRV) and spent output profit ratio (SOPR). Despite the sophistication of cryptocurrency data and analysis since 2011, BDD remains a fundamental metric to understanding and valuing bitcoin. See also: Coin Days Destroyed: Giving Meaning to Transaction Volumes“[BDD] is a metric that reflects the collective action of long-term [BTC] holders,” said CoinDesk senior research analyst Galen Moore on a special podcast episode about the metric. “What’s the psychology of the long-term holder? You can see that in a collective way [through BDD] in a way I don’t think is possible in other asset categories.”Moore interviewed Coin Metrics’ Lucas Nuzzi on Tuesday, July 7, to learn more about the use cases for and limitations against BDD. In a follow-up discussion about the interview recorded Thursday, July 9, Moore noted no other financial asset enables traders and investors to see the activity of long-term asset holders as transparently as bitcoin. To this, CoinDesk research intern Duy Nguyen noted the motivations behind why long-term holders are moving funds at any given time is still largely a guessing game that requires further off-chain analysis beyond the scope of BDD. For more information about BDD, you can watch the 30-minute webinar featuring an exclusive presentation on the metric by Nuzzi on the CoinDesk Research Hub. 
19/07/2029m 14s

BREAKDOWN: Social Media Is Democracy's Faultline... The Breakdown Weekly Recap

From PayPal crypto confirmed to action in central bank digital currencies, these were six themes shaping the week.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and this edition of the Weekly Recap, NLW explores:No-volatility bitcoin and DeFi’s big quarterAn uptick in central bank currency actionPayPal crypto confirmationA China-U.S. rhetoric flare upSocial media as democracy’s fault lineIn Fed World, is the narrative trade the only trade?This week on The Breakdown:Monday | The Real Story Behind Tesla’s Crazy RallyTuesday | Why Are Execs of Bankrupt Companies Being Rewarded With Millions?Wednesday | A Primer on the US and China’s ‘New Cold War’Thursday | No, the Twitter Hack Wasn’t About BitcoinFriday | What If the Too-Strong Dollar Is a Solved Problem? Feat. Jon Turek
18/07/2010m 52s

BREAKDOWN: What If the Too-Strong Dollar Is a Solved Problem? Feat. Jon Turek

Finance writer Jon Turek argues that between Federal Reserve swap lines, Europe stabilization and a few other factors, the strong dollar problem may be (temporarily) solved.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and on the Brief:The latest information in the Twitter hackThailand starts using its central bank digital currencyTreasury Secretary Mnuchin calls on Congress for more funds Our main conversation is with Jon Turek, author of “Cheap Convexity.” In this conversation, he and NLW discuss:Why the dollar has gotten stronger thanks to a savings glut from AsiaHow a too-strong dollar hurts other markets more than the U.S.Why globalization died in 2011 and we just didn’t realize it How the Fed fixed the global dollar plumbing Why there are still questions of actual dollar shortages The detente in U.S.-China financial relations Find our guest online:Website: Cheap Convexity Twitter: @jturek18
17/07/201h 4m

BREAKDOWN: No, the Twitter Hack Wasn't About Bitcoin

The motivations and implications of a hack that had everyone from Coinbase to Kanye shilling a scam for bitcoin. This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and on the Brief:Adjustment to bank profits in anticipation of growing debt delinquency The lowest decrease in jobless claims since March A boost in retail spending Today’s main discussion: The Great Twitter Hack, feat. Dr. Tom Robinson, chief scientist and co-founder of Elliptic Wednesday, at around 2:15 p.m. EDT, prominent Crypto Twitter accounts started sharing a similar message about a bitcoin giveaway. A couple of hours later, Elon Musk and Bill Gates were saying they were feeling generous and wanting to give bitcoin away. A couple more hours and every verified blue check mark account on Twitter was taken down. It was an attack with massive implications, if not much monetary gain. On this episode NLW breaks down:What happenedWhich accounts were impactedHow much BTC was transferred The narrative battle of “bitcoin scam” vs. “Twitter hack”Why it might have been a state-sponsored attackWhy the real intention might have been to discredit Twitter Why the (supposed) revelations about Twitter’s administrative tools could end up in a congressional inquiry Expert commentary provided by Dr. Tom Robinson. Find our guest online:Elliptic website: Twitter: @tomrobin
16/07/2030m 9s

BREAKDOWN: A Primer on the US and China’s 'New Cold War'

No geopolitical relationship will shape the world over the coming decade as much as that of the U.S. and China. This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and day after President Trump signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act enabling sanctions on those that threaten the autonomy of China (and the companies that do business with them) and the UK worked to ban Huawei 5G infrastructure, this episode of the Breakdown looks at the key faultlines and issues that have that relationship in a dangerous downward spiral: Virus blame recriminations Trade war tensions The Hong Kong Security Law Huawei 5G and critical digital infrastructureTikTok India border skirmishSouth China Sea Military ExercisesThe politics of labeling this a “new cold war” 
15/07/2026m 35s

BREAKDOWN: Why Are Execs of Bankrupt Companies Being Rewarded With Millions?

Today on the Brief:A followup on Tesla, corporate earnings and PayPal’s crypto ambitionsNew COVID-19 shutdowns in California Small businesses on the brink This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and main conversation:Bloomberg has reported recently bankrupt companies including J.C. Penney and Hertz had provided executives with more than $131,000,000 in bonuses. On this episode of The Breakdown, NLW examines:The logic behind these bonusesWhy that logic is stupid How this sort of reward for personal failure in the wake of 2008 led to the rise of populism on the right and left Why we should allow companies to fail Why people’s sense that the system is a crony system isn’t wrong
14/07/2023m 3s

BREAKDOWN: The Real Story Behind $TSLA's Rally

Today on the Brief:Wall Street quarterly earnings season opensInvestor flock to higher-yielding Chinese government bondsBitcoin whales go down but other types of HODLers go upThis episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and main conversation: What the hell is going on with $TSLA?Elon Musk is now richer than Warren Buffett. A year ago, Tesla wasn’t as valuable as Ford or GM. Now it’s more than 25% of the value of the auto market as a whole. In this episode, NLW looks at a set of possible explanations:Elon as a Golden God/the cult of personalityTesla as an innovative tech companyBetter-than-expected vehicle deliveryThe mother of all short squeezesRobinhood effectMr. FEDericoNarrative Market MachineIn the end, NLW argues that in a world where 1) the new retail base is willing to engage in narrative and meme warfare and 2) where the Federal Reserve distorts prices, the narrative market machine becomes more of a driver of prices than ever before.
13/07/2022m 47s

BREAKDOWN: Does COVID-19 Have The World Rethinking Dollar Supremacy?

On this episode of Long Reads Sunday, we look at Professor Stephen S. Roach’s piece “The Covid Shock To The Dollar.”This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and it, he argues:Americans have been squandering their savings potential Because of this, we are forced to borrow surplus savings from abroadWe have usually been able to do this on favorable termsThat window may be coming to a closeThere could be a 35% drop in the dollar over the next 2-3 years
12/07/209m 40s

LEIGH: What a Bitcoin Researcher Says About Lightning

In this audio interview, CoinDesk’s Leigh Cuen and Chaincode Labs researcher Clara Shikhelman talk about bitcoin and what attracted them to it. This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and a cofounder of the Israeli Women in Mathematics Association, Shikhelman has been researching complex math problems for nearly a decade. But she said bitcoin offers especially interesting puzzles to solve because this technology may have the potential to change the world. She’s one of many young researchers who identify with the cypherpunk movement. “There are a lot of people like me, their main thing is academic,” Shikhelman said. “They are not the classic cypherpunk people, but …[t]hey believe in privacy, in political change.” Until recently, most people associated with the cypherpunk movement were technologists in the 1980s and 1990s who circulated mailing lists about encryption and other privacy tech topics. The term was created by feminist hackitvist Judith Milhon, although it is widely associated with software engineers such as bitcoin veteran Adam Back. Many of the original cypherpunks are still active in the cryptocurrency space today. However, they’ve also inspired a new generation of self-identified cypherpunks with different skills now also exploring the subculture’s proverb that “cypherpunks build things.” In Shikhelman’s case, she’s focused on mathematical research to make bitcoin’s Lightning Network reliable. Like her predecessors, she shares a love of cypherpunk literature, such as novels by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson. These fantasy worlds help her think outside the box and apply math to ideas with cypherpunk potential, meaning the potential to use privacy tech to promote social change. Such solutions-oriented research is a fundamental part of building technology, just as valuable as adding open source code to a Github repo. Lightning-fast cypherpunks “Let’s talk big. Let’s think huge. Let’s talk about thousands of years in the future, changing humanity,” Shikhelman said. In order to build privacy into the bitcoin ecosystem, technologists first must understand the mathematical aspects of the system. Just as safety equipment works best when it fits the person (an oversized helmet can be more dangerous than none at all), software works best when designed with both the details and holistic value flow in mind. “Lightning will need more than just onion routing for good privacy guarantees going forward,” said cypherpunk journalist Janine Roemer, who writes a newsletter about bitcoin privacy tech. “Lightning is one of many adaptations that will expand Bitcoin's ability to carry larger and larger portions of the global economy.”Similar to Shikhelman, Roemer is a researcher who views herself as part of the broader cypherpunk movement. “A lowercase ‘c’ cypherpunk,” she joked, acknowledging she was never involved with the movement’s founding fathers. This social movement is not preoccupied with overthrowing or altering governments, in stark contrast with Bitcoin Twitter’s anarchist undertones. Instead, Roemer said, rather than seizing power the movement is focused on “working to make things un-take-over-able." In short, unseizable assets, self-sovereign data and other types of independence in a digital world. “I prefer the term ‘informational self-determination,’ which is used in the German constitution,” Roemer said. As for bitcoin, Shikhelman described Bitcoin Core as “pretty much stable and running,” meaning her focus has now turned to privacy-centric usability for the Lightning Network. With regards to bitcoin’s reliability so far, Roemer agreed.“I hope bitcoin will become/keep being something that survives under adversity, and gives the people who use it at least enough privacy that they can escape from whatever preys on them. Whether that's the state, banks, corporations, abusive family or partners,” Roemer concluded.
12/07/2025m 46s

BREAKDOWN: The Mixed Signals Economy on The Breakdown Weekly Recap

On The Breakdown’s Weekly Recap, NLW explores:This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and final tally on the TikTok Doge viral campaign The growing geopolitical tension between China and the US and where it’s manifesting Positive economic indicators in reduced jobless claimsNegative economic indicators in growing COVID-19 cases and deathsWhy bitcoin is sidewaysWhy Treasury yields are downWhy gold is up
11/07/2010m 57s

BREAKDOWN: You Can’t Fight Outrage Culture With More Outrage, Feat. Michael Krieger

Today on the Brief:Hong Kong re-closes schools based on COVID-19 growthCoinbase explores direct U.S. exchange listingChina starts selling stock, easing massive rally This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and main conversation is with Liberty Blitzkrieg creator and editor Michael Krieger. Michael announced just before recording that he is done publishing on the LB site. He and NLW discuss:How Michael became disaffected while working on Wall Street during the Great Financial CrisisHow Zero Hedge amplified Liberty Blitzkrieg and sent Michael on a decade-long writing pathHow Michael discovered bitcoin and the bitcoin community in 2012Why social media platforms need to be regulated with the principles of the First Amendment How all political parties use division to stay in power How outrage culture has become endemic, commodified and co-opted by existing power Why the only option to fight outrage culture is to opt outFind our guest online:Website: libertyblitzkrieg.comTwitter: @LibertyBlitz
10/07/201h 17m

BREAKDOWN: Inequality, Social Chaos, Bankruptcy Rallies: The Best Insights From FinTwit June 2020

Today on the Brief:Slight good news in new and continuing jobless claims Record corporate equity and debt sales during the crisisUSDC freezes $100kThis episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and main conversation: Introducing the Macro Media Index.The Macro Media Index is a monthly summary of the best macroeconomic tweets, essays, podcast and videos from around the internet. In this inaugural edition, NLW looks at a few key themes:The disconnect between the market and the real economyThe role of the Fed and monetary policy in growing wealth inequality and social unrestThe Robinhood Rally and bankruptcy bet that took institutional investors by complete surprise The great inflation vs. deflation debateFeaturing insight from previous Breakdown guests including Luke Gromen, Lyn Alden, Jesse Felder, Preston Pysh and more.
09/07/2025m 22s

BREAKDOWN: TikTok Doge Is Everything About 2020 Finance In One Story

This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and’s old is new again!What happens when you combine a mostly hibernating memecoin with the world’s most powerful (and controversial) meme platform, and throw in a new generation of daytraders that have become convinced that they can drive the price of anything up? The great TikTok Doge pump of 2020, of course. In this episode, NLW breaks down:The history of DogecoinHow TikTok became one of the most popular, influential, and controversial apps in the world Why the r/WallStreetBets, Davey Day Trader Global Global, and Robinhood Rally day trader movement perfectly set up this pump How #TikTokDogecoinChallenge began to trend What has happened to Dogecoin since the trend startedWhy this all makes a weird sort of cynical senseExcerpts/Clips in this episodeRockefeller StreetSavage Love Roses Old Town RoadDave Portnoy talks tradingLet's Get Rich - Doge on TikTokkindashortidiot - More Doge on TikTokVirtualBacon - Doge realism on TikTok
08/07/2022m 27s

BREAKDOWN: Central Banks Cannot Print Jobs: Understanding Real Economic Recovery, Feat. Daniel Lacalle

Today on the Brief:Social media apps get caught in geopolitical tensions Pitchforks around the Paycheck Protection Program Brazil blocks BinanceThis episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and main discussion is with Daniel Lacalle. Daniel is chief economist at Tressis and is the author of numerous books including “Life in the Financial Markets,” “Escape from the Central Bank Trap” and his most recent, “Freedom or Equality.” He has been named one of the 100 most influential economists in the world by Richtopia. In this conversation, he and NLW discuss:Why the recovery will likely be “L” shaped and uneven, not “V” shapedWhy the “bailout of everything” undermines capitalism and promotes zombie companies that can’t service their debtsWhy zombie companies crowd out space for startups and small businesses How government programs can incentivize relationships with government over strong business practices How the current economic crisis could become a banking crisisFind our guest online:Website: dlacalle.comTwitter: @dlacalle_IA
07/07/201h 5m

BREAKDOWN: China Stocks Surge and NYC Real Estate Craters... 5 Stories Shaping Markets Today

The story of the economy as told by five macroeconomic indicators including Chinese stocks, New York City real estate, coronavirus cases and more.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and this extended Brief, NLW tells the story of the economy through five themes:China stocks surge – but how much is it driven by Chinese state-sponsored media hype?A tale of two cities – real estate in New York City and Hong Kong are telling very different storiesA global currency crisis in Lebanon – foodstuffs are up 100% in the last two weeks as the pound continues to falter The COVID-19 ticker – daily cases continue to grow in the U.S. but deaths are declining The cost of the U.S. losing its place in the world - from travelers turned away in Italy to decreasing capital inflows Plus a bonus: what the Nasdaq all-time highs really mean
06/07/2020m 49s

LEIGH: What Artists Love About Crypto

In this audio interview, CoinDesk’s Leigh Cuen and Blockade Games co-founder Marguerite deCourcelle talk about bitcoin’s impact on artistic careers. From collecting unique, interactive pieces to designing video games, Cuen and deCourcelle explore how crypto could redefine modern art.Bitcoin is money but blockchain technology can also be used in a wide variety of art projects. Perhaps the best known variety of blockchain-based visual art is non-fungible tokens (NFTs). For example, Blockade Games co-founder Marguerite deCourcelle said her startup sold $160,000 worth of crypto assets, like NFTs, with most of the profits from two editions of their first game Neon District. “Blockade has minted over 850,000 assets to blockchain game players,” eCourcelle said.She initially broke onto the scene with paintings that included clues to hidden bitcoin prizes, then started creating interactive, digital art coupled with written roleplaying folklore as well. “Instead of the idea of running through the digital treasure hunt and possibly getting bitcoin at the end, the design is now that you start at the beginning, there’s no barriers  to you can just start playing,” she said, describing her video games. “Earning tokens in the background and you’re notified once you’ve created something that’s unique.” In short, the artist can now co-create with the audience in a way that scales individual experiences. Although DeCourcelle still paints, she’s become fascinated with the creative and artistic potential of blockchain technology.Since the first wave of so-called decentralized applications (dapps) in 2017, non-fungible tokens (NFTS) have earned gamers more than $20 million through trading and startups roughly $13.6 million for selling the digital assets, according to blockchain analytics firm Flipside Crypto. Most of that traction was in 2017, when the collectibles game CryptoKitties was the season’s hottest trend and briefly surged to more than 14,000 users. Yet Flipside Crypto CEO David Balter said observers should not dismiss blockchains like Celo and the CryptoKitties creators’ upcoming Flow. Other gaming dapps like Gods Unchained and My Crypto Heroes garnered $4.2 million and $1.5 million, respectively, selling digital assets. “There are a number of chains that are working to establish dapps that are participants on the chain. Celo, for example, is doing a good job,” Balter said, listing the above-mentioned gaming projects as well. “We’re talking about customer acquisition costs and lifetime value...these are real businesses.”Flipside Crypto data scientist Angela Minster added most of these games so far see a surge during the first year then struggle to retain users. In 2020, she expects to see improvement in that department. In addition to niche gaming fans, investors’ interest in NFTs hasn’t wavered yet. The “Bitcoin Billionaire '' twins, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss of the Gemini crypto, are also bullish on NFTs. They acquired the NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway in 2019, which opened for business in March 2020 with digital pieces from artists like doodle-master Jon Burgerman and painter Kenny Scharf. A Nifty Gateway spokesperson said the platform has partnered with 16 brands and artists so far, with one Nifty selling for $1,500.“Kenny Scharf sold out his collection around two and a half minutes,” the spokeswoman added.  Very earlyBarely anybody uses crypto games these days and even Ethereum fans love to diss them, but some aficionados say a few startups show potential. It’s a long shot, to be sure. Critics may argue these efforts are merely a small group of people trading software trinkets between friends. If so, that is also still true of the broader industry.  Balter estimated that by May 2020 roughly 2.13% of bitcoin wallets held 95% of bitcoin in circulation. This is still an industry with thousands of people holding most of the assets, betting broader demand from millions will drive value. “This is actually the lowest concentration of [bitcoin] wealth since March 2016,” Balter said, as a crypto optimist himself. “Developer behavior rating is superb, over the past year the [diversity and contributions] rating has been trending up.” According to a survey of 15,000 crypto fans by the startup, 73% of users believe cryptocurrency needs to be used as a currency to qualify for “mass adoption,” which 92% of respondents said could happen in the next 5 years. To some, this may seem as optimistic as betting on artistic crypto collectibles. Companies like Nifty Gateway are exploring how users might display them IRL, while video game creators like deCourcelle focus on interactive features. “We try to keep a heavy focus on art and [the] story,” she said, speaking to how her characters can involve many interchangeable, tokenized parts. “When you compose them all into this one character, it’s a pretty unique item you’ve created, both in its story and legacy and also in terms of what it can do in the game application itself.” She said she’s excited to explore what it means for a bitcoiner to develop her career as an artist, using software as a medium. If bitcoin is significant, and we accept its slow growing usage after a decade, then perhaps the fact the CryptoKitties trend of 2017 now has less than 100 daily users isn’t enough to dismiss all NFT experiments. Flipside Crypto’s analytics showed the top CryptoKitties user earned $698,887 and the median user earnings hovered around $53. Earning pocket money through relatively short gameplay, compared to Minecraft or Animal Crossing,  may be an attractive factor for some avid gamers. Balter said it’s “still very early.” If a niche app needs around 500,000 daily users to be successful, then there’s still a long way to go before anyone can claim crypto games are a significant niche within the gaming sector. “You will see glimmers of better models and outcomes in 2020,” Balter said. “The more that the user is able to monetize, the more the company will succeed.” 
05/07/2015m 32s

BREAKDOWN: It’s Time for a Revolution in Financial Education, Feat. Tyrone Ross

To decrease wealth inequality, one passionate financial adviser argues why financial education needs different content, from different voices, delivered through different channels. This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and education and financial literacy are at crisis levels in this country. Financial advisers spend billions on advertising but a fraction of that on education. The resources that are available tend to be inaccessible and not designed for the people who need them most. Financial media remains a boring, exclusionary acronym game. The net result of all of this is a population of Americans who don’t have the mental tools to understand, make sense of and make good decisions around their finances. In this passionate conversation with NLW, financial adviser Tyrone Ross argues that all hope is not lost. According to Tyrone:Financial literacy is a cross-cutting crisis not limited to any one demographicEven the resources that do exist aren’t designed for the way their intended targets consume media Despite all the bad things happening, this moment is also providing an inflection point where change is possible Find our guest online:Website: tyroneross.ioTwitter: @TR401
04/07/2034m 47s

BREAKDOWN: Here’s How to Expand Who Contributes to Bitcoin Core

A Bitcoin Core dev and her exchange partner discuss Bitcoin and privacy and how to incentivize more developers to contribute to the protocol. This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and and BitMEX recently came together to provide a $150,000 grant to Bitcoin Core developer Amiti Uttarwar. In this conversation, Amiti and OKCoin CEO Hong Fang discuss:Why OKCoin believes it is essential for companies in the space to support Bitcoin Core developmentHow OKCoin and BitMEX came together around this grantWhy Amiti is focused on the P2P layerWhy Amiti believes bitcoin should be private by default Why Bitcoin Core will better serve more populations if more populations are represented in who is building it Find our guests online:Hong FangWebsite: https://www.okcoin.comTwitter: @hfangcaAmiti UttarwarTwitter: @amizi 
03/07/2032m 51s

BREAKDOWN: Why the Robinhood Revolution Is the Future of Finance, Feat. Jill Carlson

Far from a fly-by-night, uneducated mania, the new day trader class represents a much more significant force for how public markets are changing. This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and before the COVID-19 crisis, Reddit’s WallStreetBets channel was featured on the cover of Bloomberg BusinessWeek as an emerging market force. Since then, between the surge in signups for Robinhood and the wave of followers of Davey Day Trader Global Global, these day traders have taken an even bigger place in the conversation about the stock market. While many finance professionals (and, most certainly, traditional financial media) have treated the movement with skepticism, paternalism or outright derision, Slow Ventures’ Jill Carlson has a very different view. To Jill, this group represents a new wave of investors who are unwilling to wait for permission to play a game that has been largely closed off to most. In this conversation, Jill talks about why the Robinhood revolution is very, very real, and what opportunities for entrepreneurship and investing she sees in terms of financial education, new exchange tools and more. Find our guest online:Website: Twitter: @jillruthcarlson
02/07/2047m 19s

BREAKDOWN: Satoshi’s Unappreciated Marketing Genius, Feat. Dan Held

There is a constant free market competition to define the Bitcoin narrative, and Kraken’s Dan Held argues this is part of what makes the protocol so strong.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Nakamoto is often recognized for his technical genius in solving the double-spending problem. He is also widely revered for his willingness to walk away from the protocol to make it stronger, something no other entrepreneur who has created anything on the scale of Bitcoin has ever done. What people discuss less often is Satoshi’s marketing instincts. In this illuminating conversation, serial bitcoin entrepreneur Dan Held argues: Satoshi had strong instincts about how price would drive bitcoin adoptionThe bitcoin white paper document was a marketing pitch aimed specifically at the cypherpunks The competition between bitcoin narratives is something that gives the protocol strengthThe competition to shape bitcoin's narrative is truly free and open to allFind our guest online:Website: danheld.comTwitter: @danheld
01/07/2039m 15s

BREAKDOWN: ‘It Sure Doesn’t Feel Like the Greatest Economy of All Time,’ Feat. George Gammon

The host of the rapidly growing Rebel Capitalist podcast joins to talk macro, inflation and the almighty battle for ideas.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.What would you do if you were approaching your 40s, burned out and realizing the type of financial success you had been pursuing wasn’t actually serving your true goal of freedom? If you were George Gammon, the answer would be to change everything and start globetrotting in search of new opportunities. George Gammon is the host of the rapidly growing George Gammon YouTube channel and Rebel Capitalist podcast. He is rapidly building one of the most rapid macro and investing fanbases around.In this Free Ideas Festival conversation, he and NLW discuss:The pursuit of personal freedomProducing a home-flipping TV show in Colombia Why inflation is at the heart of people’s economic discontent How crony capitalism is driving young people to Communism Building a rapidly growing podcast and YouTube empire Find our guest online:Website: @GeorgeGammon
30/06/201h 5m

BREAKDOWN: How the Fed Fans the Flame – The Best of The Breakdown June 2020

Guests from the crypto investor Ari Paul to Harvard prof Dr. Vikram Mansharamani discuss bitcoin, the economy and social unrest.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.June 2020 will go down in the history books as an extremely chaotic and confusing period. In this “Best of the Month” retrospective, we look at some of the best guest conversations from The Breakdown, including:Human Rights Foundation CSO Alex Gladstein on the importance of cash for privacyDigiChina Editor-in-Chief Graham Webster on China’s decade-long turn away from liberalism Alhambra Investments lead researcher Jeff Snider on why the Federal Reserve’s power is a mythPopular Front founder Jake Hanrahan on the media’s veneer of objectivityCastle Island Ventures’ Nic Carter on why people should have rights to their social media profilesThe Crypto Dog on mining bitcoin in 2011Independent macro analyst Jesse Felder on the Fed’s role in increasing inequality BlockTower Capital’s Ari Paul on how people lose faith in central banks“Think For Yourself” author Dr. Vikram Mansharamani on the recipe for inflationIndependent oil and trading expert Tracy Shuchart on how easy money enabled the shale revolution Adamant Capital’s Tuur Demeester on historical analogies for seething discontent
29/06/2029m 15s

BREAKDOWN: Welcome to the Groundhog Day Economy (PS, It Sucks)

As states shutter economic activity because of preventable COVID-19 outbreaks, it’s deja vu all over again. This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.This is a movie we’ve seen before:Rise in what could have been preventable COVID-19 casesA call for shutdowns (plus voluntary closures)Rampant politicization of health and economic issues rather than common sense approachesPersistent jobless claims plus new layoffs Wall Street nerves turning into new Federal Reserve and Treasury actionRinse, repeat, economy!This week on The Breakdown:Monday | Macro Investors Sound Off! Featuring Ari Paul, Spencer Bogart and David NageSome of the smartest investors in the crypto space share how they think the larger macro context is shaping interest in bitcoin and digital assets.Tuesday | Oil 101: How Easy Money Enabled the Shale Revolution, Feat. Tracy ShuchartAn oil and commodities expert breaks down how the shale revolution reshaped global energy power and why oil went below $0 earlier this year.Wednesday | Bull vs. Bear: Who Has the Economy Right?From markets to real estate to the dollar to retail, the data on whether the market is recovering or not is hella confused.Thursday | Is Scam Selling Suppressing the Price of Bitcoin?Scam selling, a big win for privacy from Apple, new jobless claims in the “whack-a-mole” economy and the biggest BTC options expiry ever.Friday | How Monopolies Sow the Seeds of Their Own Destruction, Feat. Tuur DemeesterThe managing partner of Adamant Capital joins for a conversation about what the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution can teach us about bitcoin.
27/06/2010m 4s

BREAKDOWN: How Monopolies Sow the Seeds of Their Own Destruction

Today on the Brief:A consumer spending reboundA new crypto regulatory regime in EuropeA bitcoin warning from a famed investorThis episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Our main discussion: Tuur Demeester is the managing partner of Adamant Capital, a bitcoin investment firm that earlier this year published “The Bitcoin Reformation.” In this conversation, he and NLW discuss:The four preconditions for a reformation, and how they apply todayHow hyperinflation contributed to the French RevolutionWhy inflation is becoming a more significant threat todayHow bitcoin memes function like unifying doctrines from past revolutionsWhy millennials could be the Greatest Generation 2.0 Find our guest online:Twitter: @TuurDemeesterOn the web: Adamant Capital
26/06/201h 10m

BREAKDOWN: Is Scam Selling Suppressing the Price of Bitcoin?

Today we also look at a big win for privacy from Apple, new jobless claims in the “whack-a-mole” economy and the biggest BTC options expiry ever.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Today’s edition of The Breakdown is an extended version of the Brief, this time covering five topics.New Jobless claims - sticking stubbornly at ~1.5 million new claims per week, despite economist expectations The “whack-a-mole” economy - Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers predicts as much as 30% of the economy may need to close to get COVID-19 under controlPlusToken scam pressure on BTC price: Has scam selling suppressed the price of bitcoin since early last year? Biggest ever bitcoin option expiry; more than $1 billion in notational value BTC options are set to expire tomorrow, Friday, June 26Apple’s UX privacy triumph: Users will have to opt-in to allow apps to track them across other apps as well 
25/06/2017m 48s

BREAKDOWN: Bull vs. Bear... Who Has the Economy Right?

The economy is nothing if not confounding right now. This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Across every domain, from real estate to oil to retail, there are bull signals and bear signals. In this episode, NLW looks at those signals in the following areas:Markets - strong stock recovery vs. growth in cash depositsEmployment - growth in jobs vs. persistent continuing jobless claimsRetail - growth in foot traffic vs. demand destructionOil - growth in demand (but not in economically productive diesel)Real estate - surge in mortgage applications vs. worst home sales since 2010Dollar - declining confidence vs. there is no alternative COVID-19 - reduced death rates in the U.S. vs. growing caseloadWhat’s the answer? Is this just a narrative mirage recovery? Listen and find out.
24/06/2023m 52s

BREAKDOWN: Oil 101... How Easy Money Enabled the Shale Revolution, Feat. Tracy Shuchart

An oil and commodities expert breaks down how the shale revolution reshaped global energy power and why oil went below $0 earlier this year.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Today on the Brief:PayPal and Venmo reportedly adding crypto buying and sellingTrump executive order temporarily suspends H1-B visa programContinued growth in bitcoin derivativesOur main conversation:Tracy Shuchart is an oil- and commodities-focused trader in the private equity space known for her wide-ranging insights on financial Twitter (FinTwit). In this conversation, she and NLW discuss:Why the shale revolution of the last 10 years shifted the power balance in global energy among the United States, Russia and Saudi ArabiaHow easy money in the wake of the Great Financial Crisis enabled the shale revolution as much as new technologyWhy after the 2014-2016 oil crash it was inexperienced private equity firms that picked up where banks left off with shaleHow a growing focus on dividends and cutting costs was creating structural problems for shale even before the COVID-19 crisisHow COVID-19 coincided with a contentious negotiation between Saudi Arabia and Russia that ultimately sent prices to less than $0 Find our guest online:Twitter: @chigrlOn the web:
23/06/201h 16m

BREAKDOWN: Macro Investors Sound Off! Featuring Ari Paul, Spencer Bogart and David Nage

Some of the smartest investors in the crypto space share how they think the larger macro context is shaping interest in bitcoin and digital assets.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Today on the Brief:New Federal Reserve research suggests reaction to Facebook’s Libra basket approach was overblownItalian Banking Association pushing to test a digital euroU.S. housing has worst month since 2010Our main conversation:Earlier this month, Messari hosted the Mainnet virtual summit. At that event, NLW moderated a session called “Macro Investors Sound Off!” featuring BlockTower Capital’s Ari Paul, Blockchain Capital’s Spencer Bogart and Arca’s David Nage. The discussion included:The evolution of the Fed put and how it shapes the markets How the collision of Bitcoin’s halving and the Fed’s reaction to COVID-19 created a powerful narrative momentWhy the Money Printer Go BRR meme was so effectiveWhy the Paul Tudor Jones letter was hugely influential within Family OfficesWhy these investors expect to see some significant announcements around bitcoin exposure from traditional investors in the months to come Find our guests online:Ari Paul: @AriDavidPaulSpencer Bogart: @CremeDeLaCryptoDavid Nage: @DavidJNageWatch the rest of Messari’s Mainnet 2020 sessions.
22/06/2047m 16s

LTB!: Bitcoin Only Matters Because the Game Is Rigged

The best Sundays are for long reads and deep conversations. Recently the hosts of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show gathered to discuss the big picture problems facing our world which make things like Bitcoin distinctly appealing despite many inefficiencies when compared to traditional, centralized systems.The episode is sponsored by and The Internet of Money Vol. 3On today's show we're going back to basics. While bitcoin and digital bearer assets in general are an incredibly important technology, the reason they're likely to be important to the future has little to do with the token and everything to do with the context surrounding them: The world we live in every day, where government controlled money is abused for the benefit of the few and to the detriment of the many.  * * *"Bitcoin is a way of achieving consensus. And consensus is a way for a bunch of people who may disagree on things to agree to a singular fact that they then execute, so imagine if Congress actually had bipartisan support to unilaterally pass a bill every ten minutes... That's basically what's occurring in Bitcoin. There's nothing more political than money because money affects everything else, and yet Bitcoin works. I think there's a lot of people looking at trying to reform the governance structures of the places that they're in, what they really should be doing is looking at things like Bitcoin and frameworks using blockchains to say "OK, how can we come to consensus over this or that governance issue of which money would be one... But I think the most transformative and phenomenal thing it'll do is, Nakamoto Consensus and then just blockchain governance writ large is a phenomenal way to have self governance. We see these breakdowns and these desires to federate cities and the way decisions are made, [but] maybe rather than turning to a government based political solution, a community based solution using something like a blockchain would be something with a lot greater staying power and impact." - Jonathan MohanTopics:Who is the economy still working for, and who is it not serving?What’s wrong with money that makes alternatives attractive?Why and how is Bitcoin disconnected from the current system?What’s the value in the US and western Europe compared to the value in less developed parts of the world?What role does speculation play in the story of bitcoin?Bitcoin’s been around now for more than ten years. Are we on track to make a difference? What’s the normal adoption curve for disruptive or revolutionary technologies?What IS a disruptive or revolutionary technology? Who is bitcoin potentially disrupting?Does being part of the bitcoin community make you politically affiliated, or represent a distinct political viewpoint?Selected excerpts from this week's discussion:"Money, because it's central to markets, which are central to the ways we organize societies is on of the most powerful technological tools that exists. If you then put the control of that technological tool in the hands of a monopolistic entity of any kind, whether that's facebook libra or the US dollar under the federal reserve or whatever else it is, what happens is that that tool can be used to exert power on the way society is governed and on the way resources are allocated in a non-transparent way that is not subject to political correction or adjustment by democratic means. And when you take a tool that's that powerful and take it out of the oversight and control of democratic institutions, then it attracts the kinds of sociopaths who want to control that lever of power and they use it to distort the market in their favor. And that's the really dangerous aspect of money, because it's not simply neutral fuel for an economy or some forms of it are not neutral fuel for the economy. I've talked about this in the past as 'Money is a system of control in addition to its function of medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value. And when it can be used more effectively as a system of control, then it starts losing it's utility as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and a store of value because it's power as a system of control is so intoxicating and so overpowering that it erases all other uses of it. And that's exactly what we see. Centralized money is no longer offering useful signaling of value, no longe offering using unit of account measurement, it's not serving as a good store of value and increasingly not as an open, free, highly liquid medium of exchange because it's use as a system of control has overridden all those considerations." - Andreas M. Antonopoulos* * *It seems like the past hundred years and the statements made publicly now and in perpetuity is that dollars will always go down and stocks will always go up. So there are fundamentally two types of Americans, those who have their life savings in dollars and those who have it in stocks. And the crazy thing with stocks, unless you're part of the racket every now and then they completely collapse. So even that's a rigged game. What I like about Bitcoin is it's a way to be a part of neither game. I don't get to insider trade like a congressman, and I also don't have all of my life savings stolen from me because that 3% raise I get every year is completely wiped out by money manipulation. - Jonathan Mohan* * * "This entire experiment and civilization [was] founded on the idea that we have a ladder with rungs on it and a reset button. So you fall down the ladder, you hit the reset button and you can start climbing back up it. And every time the government massively overcorrects or disproportionately gives money out into the ecosystem, they're pulling out a rung from the ladder..." - Jonathan Mohan* * * "Capitalism without the risk of failure, isn't..." - Andreas M. Antonopoulos* * *"One of the most phenomenal things that America did was the idea of bankruptcy. This idea that you could fail and that your family wouldn't be debt slaves to try to repay it. This idea of a serial entrepreneur was kind of invented here because the economic concept of a reset button existed here, and what we're seeing is the death of the reset button and the way they're accomplishing that is by pulling up the rungs of the ladder. So it's a failure on two sides at the same time..." - Jonathan MohanCreditsThis episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin features Stephanie Murphy, Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Adam B. Levine and Jonathan Mohan. Music provided by Jared Rubens and Gurty Beats, with editing by Jonas.Photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash
21/06/2044m 46s

BREAKDOWN: A Dozen+ Statistics Proving Millennials Are F%#$&D... The Breakdown Weekly Recap

An economic comparison of where boomers were at the same age as millennials leads to only one conclusion: Millennials are screwed. This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.The big narrative in financial media for the last few weeks has been the insurgent Robinhood rally, led by the AC/DC-blaring Pied Piper Dave Portnoy, owner of Davey Day Trader Global Global (DDTG Global). As people try to make sense of the strange retail trading phenomenon, one perspective is the participants (average age of 31 on Robinhood) are reacting to a market that has left them behind. In this view, they are assaulting the market with otherwise outrageous and ludicrous strategies because, otherwise, how will they get their piece? This week’s Breakdown Weekly Recap looks at this in the context of some surprising (and frankly depressing) stats about the millennial generation’s current wealth, as compared to where boomers were at the same time in their careers. This week on The Breakdown:Monday | Sorry, Bloomberg: Here Are 6 Reasons Why 2020 Is a Great Year for BitcoinA Bloomberg senior editor today argued there were six reasons why 2020 was bad for bitcoin. Here’s the opposite case.Tuesday | From Moral Hazard to Business as Usual, Feat. Jesse FelderA leading independent financial analysis shares thoughts on the “Robinhood rally,” Fed policy and why Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is already here.Wednesday | What Satoshi Understood: Nobody Knows You’re a Dog on Social Media, Feat. The Crypto DogA conversation about pseudo-anonymity, global digital nomadism and the trader’s mindset.Thursday | 6 Things Jobless Claims Tell Us About the State of the Real EconomyPersistent unemployment and fears of further layoffs are the real economic counterpoint to the financial market’s unbridled enthusiasm.Friday | Why Monetary Debasement Is Here to Stay, Feat. Dr. Vikram Mansharamani From technology to aging demographics, some of the most important trends shaping the economy have been deflationary. What happens when that rapidly changes?
20/06/2011m 7s

BREAKDOWN: Why Monetary Debasement Is Here to Stay, Feat. Dr. Vikram Mansharamani

From technology to aging demographics, some of the most important trends shaping the economy have been deflationary. What happens when that rapidly changes?This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Today on the Brief:FTX lists two Compound tokensReddit partners with Ethereum Foundation on Layer 2 scalingBlack-In Freedom Festival reimagines JuneteenthOur main topic: Dr. Vikram Mansharamani is a lecturer at Harvard and author of “Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst” as well as the just released “Think for Yourself: Restoring Common Sense in an Age of Experts and Artificial Intelligence.” In this wide-ranging conversation, he and NLW discuss:Why our relationship with experts and expertise is leading us astrayHow COVID-19 shows the downside of both over-reliance on, and complete rejection of, experts How the economic crisis surrounding COVID-19 is bursting bubbles and moving us from a period defined by deflation to one defined by inflationWhy “monetary debasement is here to stay”Why the U.S.-China relationship is the key backdrop for understanding the next 10 years of global economic reality Why inequality threatens the fabric of our economy and our society, and what might be done about itFind our guest online:Twitter: @mansharamaniWebsite: Vikram Mansharamani | “THINK FOR YOURSELF”
19/06/201h 8m

BREAKDOWN: 6 Things Jobless Claims Tell Us About the State of the Real Economy

Persistent unemployment and fears of further layoffs are the real economic counterpoint to the financial market’s unbridled enthusiasm. This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Today on the Brief: Powell says private companies shouldn’t be involved in Central Bank Digital CurrenciesAccording to former NSA head John Bolton, Trump told Mnuchin to go after BitcoinInterest around Compound driving speculation around a DeFi-driven bull run Our main topic: This week’s U.S. jobless report brought bad news. Whereas economists had expected new claims to fall to 1.29 million from 1.57 million the week before, claims fell just 58,000 to 1.51 million. Continuing claims fared even worse. Economists predicted these claims would fall 600,000+ to 19.9 million. Instead, they fell a tenth of that - 62,000 - to leave total continuing claims at 20.5 million.In this episode, NLW breaks down what we can learn from these numbers when they’re combined with the previously released May jobs report. Mixed signals confusing analysis Economic pain not (only) a short-term shockDemand destruction an open questionWhite-collar jobs may be nextShort-term pain has long-term effects (see: 106 million loans in relief)There is a relationship between unemployment and the markets
18/06/2025m 24s

BREAKDOWN: What Satoshi Understood... Nobody Knows You're a Dog on Social Media, Feat. The Crypto Dog

A conversation about pseudo-anonymity, global digital nomadism and the trader’s mindset.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.On the Brief:Big tech vs. the American political right and leftWhy TikTok users are pretending to love China for cloutDecentralizing venture capital Our main conversation:The Crypto Dog is one of crypto Twitter’s best known characters. In this conversation, he and NLW discuss:Mining bitcoin in 2011The difficulty of hodling across a decadeThe emergence of the crypto trader in the Ethereum eraTrader agnosticism Pseudo-anonymity and social media Developing the character behind the avatar Global nomadism and the acceleration of “work from anywhere” The vibe and feel of Hong Kong todayFind our guest online:Twitter: @TheCryptoDog
17/06/2047m 31s

BREAKDOWN: From Moral Hazard to Business as Usual, Feat. Jesse Felder

A leading independent financial analysis shares thoughts on the “Robinhood rally,” Fed policy and why Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is already here.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Today on The Brief:An unexpectedly good retail sales report drives market confidence Are we in for a second wave of white-collar layoffs? The latest rumblings in central bank digital currenciesOur main conversation:Jesse Felder is an independent financial analyst and one of the best financial curators on Twitter. In this wide ranging conversation, he and NLW discuss:The Robinhood rally and what makes it both alike and different from previous manias The illusion of American recovery and the disconnect between markets and fundamentals The Federal Reserve’s role in increasing economic inequality Why the dollar is significantly overvalued relative to other currencies Why financial assets could be poised for a rough decade Find our guest online:Twitter: @jessefelderWebsite: The Felder Report
16/06/201h 13m

BREAKDOWN: Sorry, Bloomberg: Here Are 6 Reasons Why 2020 Is a Great Year for Bitcoin

A Bloomberg senior editor today argued there were six reasons why 2020 was bad for bitcoin. Here’s the opposite case.Today on the Brief:Stocks down on coronavirus fearsDemand destructionThe looming retirement crisisThis episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Our main theme: Bitcoin is up more than 30% on the year. After a crash alongside equities, it has proved incredibly resilient. There are famous new entrants to the space like Paul Tudor Jones II. So how can a Bloomberg editor argue the year has been bad for bitcoin? In this response podcast, NLW argues that most of the arguments are about narrative, not the underlying fundamentals. He presents six reasons why not only has it not been a bad year, but the exact opposite is true:Demonstrated institutional uptakeDemonstrated resilience New champions Narrative fundamentals  Need in emerging markets End of economic orthodoxy 
15/06/2028m 48s

LTB!: Bootstrapping Mobile Mesh Networks with Bitcoin Lightning

Richard Myers says the future of ad-hoc mesh networks for SMS messages and bitcoin transactions on your smart phone is here, but it needs the lightning network to succeed.The episode is sponsored by and The Internet of Money Vol. 3On today's episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin! you're invited to join Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Adam B. Levine, Stephanie Murpy and special guest Richard Myers for an in-depth look at the past, present and future of 'Mobile Mesh Networking' technology.Just as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin don't rely on static infrastructure and professional providers, mobile mesh networking allows the creation of inexpensive, high range, low bandwidth and power consumption ad-hoc networks that'll let your phone send text messages or even bitcoin lightning network micro-transactions, even in areas with no coverage.According to Richard, Bitcoin's lightning network is a what's needed to make mobile mesh networks catch on by bootstrapping on top of the payment routing infrastructure."...the Lightning Network currently sends payments from A to B to C and then all those intermediate nodes can connect a small fee if the payment is delivered at the end. All we're doing is saying 'Not [can you send] a payment, but [you can send] a small message. In our case it'd be a SMS message. So you sending an SMS message along with a lightning payment from A to B to C to D, and when D receives that message they return proof that it was delivered and that's what flows back through the network. In the lightning sense, that's your pre-image. It's computed from the message, that's how the nodes are able to collect payment even if they lose touch with the original person who sent it."But the way the lightning network uses data isn't ideal for mobile mesh. The open source Lot49 protocol is another layer on top of lightning that Richard says is necessary to make it work at scale while using mesh devices as an extremely low-bandwidth TOR-like privacy layer."In many ways we're not making a new protocol, we're literally using lightning. Lot49 is custom communication protocol that's optimized for mesh. For example, right now there's a 1300 byte onion that's used to route messages over the internet and that's very important because you lose a lot of privacy... you lose all your privacy... if you were to just send messages over the internet without onion routing. We're sending over more or less a physical TOR network since it's going from node to node, not through a central ISP who can associate who you're trying to pay. We're also doing it over a low bandwidth network, so if you were sending 1300 bytes it may not sound like much in the age of the internet but we're talking about devices that [have a maximum data transmission capacity of] about a kilobyte a minute so that's a significant amount of the bandwidth that you have [tied up just in the web's onion routing]So for example with LOT49, we take out the onion and we use the native routing at the mesh device [level] which is optimized for mesh communications. And there's a few other little changes we make like that in order to reduce the bandwidth by chunking up messages... the ultimate goal is to minimize the lightning protocol overhead so that there is more bandwidth available for data... For things like sending an SMS and as bandwidth increases there may be things like internet protocol..."You can learn more about GoTenna Mesh Network Radios at episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin features Stephanie Murphy, Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Adam B. Levine and Richard Myers. Music provided by Jared Rubens and Gurty Beats, with editing by Jonas.Photo by Josep Castells on Unsplash
14/06/2050m 41s

BREAKDOWN: The Chad Index Versus Doomer Internet Money... The Breakdown Weekly Recap

This week, the wildest, most nonsensical, volatile part of the market wasn’t bitcoin, but the “Robinhood Rally” in equities.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.The stock market has long been disconnected from the underlying economy, but much of what happened this week - particularly the pumping of bankrupt company stocks - suggests that something new is afoot. In this episode, NLW breaks down three long-term trends suggested by the so-called Robinhood Rally, including:The “insurgency” aspect of a generation of young professionals who are willing to play the financial game rather than have it be played for themA totally new force in financial media, which could hit like a wrecking ball in one of the stodgiest, traditional media industries An embrace of a certain type of cynicism or nihilism when it comes to the values of financial markets This week on The Breakdown:Monday | Why War Reporting Is the Right Mental Model for Today’s Media, Feat. Jake HanrahanThe founder of Popular Front joins NLW for a discussion about protests, media and how the people being covered tend to not reflect divisive politics.Tuesday | What the Stock Market’s ‘Robinhood Rally’ Means for BitcoinThe largest 50-day rally in stock market history and even shares of bankrupt companies are up more than 100%. What is going on?Wednesday | A Vision for Digital Property Rights, Feat. Nic CarterMost people today look at social platforms like any other private company, but what if we saw them as alternative jurisdictions with a new set of property rights?Thursday | Why the Fed Keeps Denying Its Role in Increasing InequalityThe Federal Reserve expects low inflation, says rates will stay close to zero through 2022 and keeps lying about the role of central banks in increasing inequality.Friday | Bitcoin Is More Than an Inflation Hedge While fears of a “great monetary inflation” have driven the recent bitcoin narrative, other aspects like censorship resistance and peaceful protest matter just as much.
13/06/2011m 19s

LEIGH: How The Porn Industry Changed During Coronavirus, With Performers Wary of Bitcoin

In this audio interview, CoinDesk’s Leigh Cuen and adult content creator Allie Awesome talk about payments and money in the sex industry, especially the trends impacted by the coronavirus crisis. From how porn performers and entrepreneurs deal with Bitcoin Twitter to the ways the pandemic changed our digital sex lives, Cuen and Allie explore what actually drives demand for censorship-resistant systems.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.The biggest problem? Allie and other performers and sex workers basically have their digital advertising and distribution platforms controlled by third parties that aren’t responsible to the workers. For example, OnlyFans briefly froze Allie’s account earlier this year. Although she regained access, her distribution conduits remain at the mercy of tech platforms. This is where peer-to-peer transactions come in. Allie said she knows how to use a cryptocurrency wallet and would gladly do so if more customers wanted to pay her directly. The fact is those customers are few and far between.“To those people who want to come up with a solution, my first question is ‘well, are you paying for porn’?” she said. “I think a lot of people want to make money off of ‘adult’, but they aren’t really willing to invest in ‘adult’”.See also: Why Lightning Payments Aren’t Clicking for Porn Companies (Just Yet)Another major issue according to Allie, is an increase in traffic or visibility doesn’t always translate to profits. Plus, many crypto fans see her industry as something they want to profit from, by building their own tech solutions, rather than contribute to experienced performers. Compared to other bitcoin or ether holders, sex workers are even more likely to rely on social networks like Twitter than exchanges like Coinbase, which deplatforms them just like Paypal. Performers require either a high degree of technical skill, to use decentralized exchange (DEX) platforms like Bisq, or a de facto social liquidity network in order to use cryptocurrency without trusting third parties. Allie shares why she is excited about cryptocurrency, even if it’s a challenge to use it for censorship resistance.
13/06/2023m 28s

BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin Is More Than an Inflation Hedge

While fears of a “great monetary inflation” have driven the recent bitcoin narrative, other aspects like censorship resistance and peaceful protest matter just as much.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Today on the Brief:Why bitcoin sold offA bank-the-unbanked narrative for the digital dollarIt’s Dave Portnoy’s world and we’re all just living in itToday’s main topic: Why inflation isn’t the only bitcoin narrative that matters.When bitcoin’s halving coincided with the most aggressive central bank policy of all time, it set a clear narrative framework for bitcoin as an inflationary hedge. This was captured by people like legendary hedge fund investor Paul Tudor Jones, who warned of a “great monetary inflation.” In this episode, NLW argues 1) that inflation could be a dangerous narrative to focus on too closely due to a number of countervailing deflationary forces, and 2) there are a variety of other narratives that are just as important to bitcoin, including:Censorship resistance Seizure-resistant assetCurrency controls and reshoring Nations looking to escape USD systemIndependent banking Peaceful protest
12/06/2025m 44s

BREAKDOWN: Why the Fed Keeps Denying Its Role in Increasing Inequality

The Federal Reserve expects low inflation, says rates will stay close to zero through 2022 and keeps lying about the role of central banks in increasing inequality.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Today on the Brief:Three Arrows holds more than 6% of Grayscale Bitcoin TrustNew platform for censorship-resistant bloggingCoinbase announces new token potentials as anti-surveillance hodlers flood out Today's main topic: The Fed's inequality problem Some key takeaways from yesterday’s Federal Open Markets Committee meeting:Interest rates are likely to stay near zero through 2022Unemployment anticipated to average between 9% and 10% during last three months of 2020Economy expected to contract 4% to 10% this yearNo specific discussion of yield curve controlInflation expected to be 1.0% this year and 1.5% in 2021, lower than Fed target of 2%According to Chairman Powell, inequality has nothing to do with Fed policyOn this episode, NLW recaps the above and dives deeper on two of the points:Net inflation stats gloss over specifics, including food prices that have been rising at an annual rate of 17.5%The Fed’s pronounced role in exacerbating inequality by propping up artificially high asset prices, effectively locking low and middle income households out of the mechanism for economic advancement
11/06/2026m 50s

BREAKDOWN: A Vision for Digital Property Rights, Feat. Nic Carter

Most people today look at social platforms like any other private company, but what if we saw them as alternative jurisdictions with a new set of property rights?This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Today on the Brief:A record week for peer-to-peer exchanges in the developing worldA digital dollar gets discussed in Congress Previewing the Federal Reserve’s FOMC guidance Our main topic: A brainstorm on digital property rightsHere’s a radical idea. What if by virtue of the fact that you had put so much time and effort into building a following on social media and filling that following with content you had legal claim to and distinct property rights around your corner of social media platforms? It’s wild in the context of today’s terms of service, but has significant legal precedent in the world of physical land. In this new type of deep-dive 20-minute episode we’re calling a “Breakdown Brainstorm,” Castle Island Ventures investor Nic Carter looks at:The two schools of thought around digital property rightsThe historical precedent for squatter’s rightsWhat the specific example of the USA’s Westward Expansion can teach usWhy this type of approach can be highly economically generative, according to economists like De SotoHow John Locke’s theories provide a moral basis for the argument Why today’s platforms are akin to anti-democratic feudal lordsHow bitcoin provides a model and a mechanism for digital rights enforced on the protocol level rather than by a state or other external actor Find our guest online:Twitter: @nic__carterWebsite:
10/06/2033m 45s

BREAKDOWN: What the Stock Market's 'Robinhood Rally' Means for Bitcoin

The largest 50-day rally in stock market history and even stocks of bankrupt companies are up more than 100%. What is going on?This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Today on the Brief:Saudi Arabia injects $13 billion in bank liquidity via blockchain.China’s state TV CCTV says Binance is still allowing crypto trading in China.MakerDAO community greenlights real world collateral. Our main topic: The “Robinhood Revolution.” The next time someone tells you crypto markets are too irrational or volatile, point them to stock markets right now.The largest 50-day rally in historyEvery S&P 500 stock up from 10 weeks agoMultiple bankrupt companies up more than 100% since they declared bankruptcyThis is the “Robinhood Revolution,” as a horde of day traders are outperforming billionaire investors and commanding the stock market narrative. This episode looks at:Who is this new generation of investors Why they’re so active right nowWhat they’re betting will go upWhy they don’t care about earnings, balance sheets or any other fundamentalsFour scenarios for how this rally could have an impact on the bitcoin and crypto industry 
09/06/2032m 25s

BREAKDOWN: Why War Reporting Is the Right Mental Model for Today’s Media, Feat. Jake Hanrahan

The founder of Popular Front joins NLW for a discussion about protests, media and how the people being covered tend to not reflect divisive politics.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.On today’s episode of The Breakdown, we introduce the Breakdown Brief - a look at three key topics in bitcoin and crypto. Today, the Brief covers:Brave browsers auto adding ref links to The disconnect between Wall Street and crypto when it comes to inflation expectationsA 2018 Pentagon war game including bitcoin Our featured interview is with Jake Hanrahan, founder of Popular Front - a podcast and independent media company covering underreported and irregular conflict with “no frills, no elitism.” Jake was previously an embedded reporter with Vice and has covered conflict in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Ukraine and elsewhere. In this conversation, Jake and NLW discuss:Why Jake left Vice and decided to build an independent journalism projectWhy the mainstream media isn’t bad because of some political conspiracy, but because its business model doesn’t allow it to understand how real people are experiencing issues How the protests are being (mis)covered around the worldWhy American protests are going globalWhat he learned covering protests in Hong Kong last year What situations people should be paying attention to around the world that they’re not right nowFind our guest online:Twitter: Jake_HanrahanWebsite:
08/06/201h 17m

LTB!: 'Be Your Own Bank' and the 'Luxury of Apathy'

'The best Sundays are for long reads and deep conversations. Recently the hosts of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show gathered to discuss the systemically important "Be Your Own Bank" Bitcoin narrative and what it means around the world today.The episode is sponsored by and The Internet of Money Vol. 3On today's episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin! you're invited to join Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Adam B. Levine, Jonathan Mohan and Stephanie Murpy for an in-depth discussion about the ups and downs, the good and the bad about being your own bank in the modern world of Bitcoin. The powerful idea and meme at the core of Bitcoin self-sovereignty is incredibly empowering but has an unspoken element that requires persistent competence and at least for some makes it more trouble than it's worth.As the world reels from the response to COVID-19 and disorder seems the trend on the rise, we discuss how although Bitcoin makes it possible for anyone to be their own bank, who actually wants the constant vigilance and anxiety that goes along with it? And what happens when things go wrong and there's no-one to blame but ourselves?"...There is tremendous luxury in having institutions that at least appear to be stable over some period of time where you don't need to worry about the details of how they work and what happens under failure conditions. That luxury is pretty concentrated in just a few places in the world and at some point you can't afford that luxury of apathy. - Andreas M. Antonopoulos, LTB! #437CreditsThis episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin features Stephanie Murphy, Jonathan Mohan, Andreas M. Antonopoulos and Adam B. Levine. Music provided by Jared Rubens, FromEther and Adam B. Levine, with editing by Jonas.Photo by Pathdoc on Shutterstock
07/06/2049m 54s

BREAKDOWN: The Revolution Will Be Retweeted... The Breakdown Weekly Recap

A recap of one of the most significant weeks in recent American political history.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.The Breakdown Weekly Recap looks at the key themes that shaped the week. On this week’s episode, NLW discusses:The modern significance of Tiananmen Square, and why this week’s U.S. protests show why the tools of surveillance need to be applied to states, not citizens.The importance of “narrative violations,” or fighting to see things without falling into popular but often wrong conventional wisdoms.The need to resist attempts from both the left and the right to fit today’s unrest into convenient culture-war frameworks that perpetuate each group’s power.This week on The Breakdown:Monday | The Power and Peril of the 'Bitcoin Fixes This' Meme A look at what role, if any, bitcoin has to play in remaking the world that is being protested around the U.S. (and world) this week.Tuesday | Bitcoin, Cellphones and the Citizen Tools of Anti-Authoritarianism, Feat. Alex GladsteinA look at the anti-authoritarian technology stack, including where non-state money like bitcoin fits in.Wednesday | 5 Numbers That Tell the Story of Markets Right NowFrom the number of U.S. flights from Chinese carriers to S&P 500 growth in the tumultuous year of 1968, these (unexpected) numbers tell the story of today’s markets.Thursday | The Mirage of the Money Printer: Why the Fed Is More PR Than Policy, Feat. Jeffrey P. SniderAn argument that the Fed is actually highly ineffectual due to the presence of the eurodollar shadow-banking system.Friday | The Biggest Realignment in the US-China Relationship Since Nixon, Feat. Graham WebsterA 101-level primer on the history of the U.S.-China relationship, and why today’s bluster represents a fundamental shift. 
06/06/208m 58s

BREAKDOWN: The Biggest Realignment in the US-China Relationship Since Nixon, Feat. Graham Webster

How one of the world’s most important geopolitical relationships came to be what it is in 2020.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.The U.S.-China relationship has an outsized impact on global economics and politics. As that relationship comes even more into focus in the wake of COVID-19, this episode provides a historical primer. Graham Webster is editor-in-chief of the Stanford–New America DigiChina Project at the Stanford University Cyber Policy Center. He’s also a China digital economy fellow at the New America think tank.In this episode, Webster explains:Why the relationship with the U.S. has been at the forefront of Chinese policy since the People’s Republic of China was formed, but has flitted in and out of America’s focus.Why the first most significant period in the U.S.-China relationship came between the late 1960s and 1970s, as the U.S.-China relationship normalized.How Tiananmen Square undermined but didn’t destroy the relationship.Why George W. Bush came into office with an intention to focus on China but got distracted in the wake of 9/11.Why China has spent the last decade becoming increasingly illiberal.How the rise of social media contributed to the shift.Why China and U.S. policy is as much a reflection of domestic self-identity in both countries as it is a bilateral political question. Why China’s human rights abuses present such a challenge.How COVID-19 changes the relationship.Find our guest online:Twitter: gwbstrDigiChina
05/06/201h 27m

BREAKDOWN: The Mirage of the Money Printer... Why the Fed Is More PR Than Policy, Feat. Jeffrey P. Snider

The meme is “money printer go brrr,” but according to this macro expert, central banks have almost no power to actually influence money itself.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.The conventional wisdom is that central banks are the most important economic actors in the world. Markets hang on their every word. Yet, what if that power has less to do with actual monetary policy and more to do with how the performance of that policy creates a self-fulfilling prophecy as market actors respond to media coverage?Jeff Snider is the head of global research at Alhambra Investments. In this conversation, he and NLW explore:How the Fed lost the ability to even determine what the money supply is.How the financialization in the 1980s exacerbated monetary confusion.Why the most important force in the global economy isn’t central banks but the eurodollar and shadow banking system.How the eurodollar and shadow banking sector creates a drag on real economic growth.Why the conventional wisdom and “central bank savior” narrative around 2008 was dead wrong.The problem with “survivor’s euphoria.”Why “money printer go brr” is actually a flood myth.
04/06/201h 4m

DISCUSSION: Decentralization and What Section 230 Really Means for Freedom of Speech

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order last Thursday, seeking to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 prevents social media companies from civil liability for the content posted on them. The order targets Twitter and Facebook after Twitter fact-checked two of the President’s tweets. Today, CoinDesk tackles the topic with Chief Content Officer Michael Casey, Privacy Reporter Benjamin Powers, New York Law School professor and past President of the American Civil Liberties Union Nadine Strossen, and author of the Open Index Protocol Amy JamesThis episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.On this podcast, the CoinDesk team brings listeners up to speed on the leadup to and aftermath of the executive order, discuss the fairness implications of editorializing on social media, the business models that enable and are empowered by all of this, and how decentralized protocols can chart an alternative path forward.First we talk about the first amendment and Section 230 itself, what it does and doesn’t do as it pertains to social media platforms and moderation. Then we talk about fairness and the if you don’t-like-it-leave argument, as well as related topicsWe’ll talk about the business models and assumptions implicit in the current state of dominant social media platforms before turning to alternatives or possible solutions in decentralized protocols and multi-layered approaches to moderation or censorship.Links from the episode:System Override: How Bitcoin, Blockchain, Free Speech and Free Tech Change EverythingOpen Index ProtocolAmy James on Twitter
04/06/2053m 51s

BREAKDOWN: 5 Numbers That Tell the Story of Markets Right Now

Every day that protests continue and the stock market goes up, more people ask what the disconnect between markets and the real economy is. In this episode of The Breakdown, NLW peels back the story of today’s economy by looking at five numbers:This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.The growth of the S&P500 since the March 23 lowCurrent unemployment stats and a Bloomberg Economics estimate of the number of jobs at riskThe performance of the S&P500 in 1968, one of the most tumultuous years in American historyThe total percentage of the world’s debt denominated in dollar termsThe number of flights between the US and China by Chinese airlines going forward
03/06/2014m 49s

BREAKDOWN: Cellphones, Bitcoin and the Citizen Tools of Anti-Authoritarianism, Feat. Alex Gladstein

A conversation with the outspoken pro-bitcoin, anti-surveillance human rights advocate and global power expert.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Alex Gladstein is the chief strategy officer of the Human Rights Foundation. He is a powerful voice for the role of bitcoin in combating authoritarianism around the globe. In today's episode, he and NLW discuss: What the protests tell us about the state of democracy in the U.S.The potential impact of protests and COVID-19 on surveillance norms The potential for a "biological Patriot Act" The implications of China's push to absorb Hong Kong The relevance or irrelevance of China's digital currencyThe role of bitcoin in promoting freedom
02/06/2045m 59s

BREAKDOWN: The Power and Peril of the 'Bitcoin Fixes This' Meme

As the U.S. experiences the most sustained civil disobedience in more than a generation, an exploration of what role bitcoin has to play in building a better system.This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.Cities around the country have been engulfed in protest in the wake of the murder of 46-year-old black man George Floyd. There is an intense battle for the narrative around the protests. Are they legitimate outcries against institutional racism and police brutality? Is the looting covertly being driven by white supremacists on the one hand or ANTIFA on the other? In the Bitcoin community, some have plumbed the “Bitcoin Fixes This” meme to argue that the core underlying issue has to do with a monetary system that structurally creates inequality. Others have clapped back against pushing that meme in this moment. In this episode of The Breakdown, NLW looks at:What bitcoiners are trying to say when they apply the “Bitcoin Fixes This” meme to this moment.Why the current system structurally exacerbates inequality.Why the meme fails to capture additional economic, political and power dimensions of what’s going on.Why the meme in this moment might feel so out of place as to inspire the opposite of its intended effect: turning people away from bitcoin rather than making them want to learn more.Why Satoshi’s “If you don’t get it, I don’t have time to explain it to you” quote is the most misused and abused of his sayings.Why complexity and nuance, not memes, are needed now.
01/06/2025m 34s

LTB!: 'We Need 30 Different Words for Different Kinds of Censorship'

'The best Sundays are for long reads and deep conversations. Recently the hosts of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show gathered to discuss state sponsored propaganda, corporate censorship and how cryptocurrency or decentralization changes the game.The rallying cry of the totalitarian is "He farted first", but if both systems have produced similar outcomes, is there much of a difference? Inspired by a recent article in the Atlantic, in today's wide-ranging discussion the hosts of Let's Talk Bitcoin! dig deeply into the questions of censorship, propaganda and how things are both better and worse than in years past.The episode is sponsored by and The Internet of Money Vol. 3Shownotes:Who are they censoring from and how do we unpack this manipulation?The rallying cry of the totalitarian is always “He farted first”Who gets to decide what is censored?The squeaky wheel of child pornography gets the attention, the much more insidious problem of silencing certain voices, or giving preference to other voices. Propaganda goes hand-in-hand with censorshipPropaganda is harder to detect ‘reverse censorship’Private platform curation have the right to moderate which can be interpreted as censorship.You have to choose if you’re a publisher or a platformWhat if AT&T listened to your phone calls, sold ads against them and disconnected you whenever you say something that would trouble sponsors?Common carriers vs. publishersFOSTA, SESTA and turning platforms into publishers Crony capitalism will always co-opt governmentThe only way to win is not to playThe only way to not be coopted as a protocol is to have it not be owned by anyone.It may be impossible to be a platform if you’re not a protocolInformation overload and compartmentalizationAre the solutions that are being proposed the solution that we need to solve this problem?What kind of side effects does the solution have?It’s one thing to say “there are idiots out there who have not developed critical thinking and are easily swayed and we need to fix this” and a whole other thing to say “And that’s why only the landed gentry should vote”Do tech companies think they’re helping?Benevolent fascism is still fascismThe public school system was never meant for the average person to be able to form their own opinion, “it is for factory men not philosophers”Manufacturing consent with the power to control, censor, frame, set up the base assumptions of belief and then seek to nail them down.A dictatorship of the mind is far more effective than a dictatorship of violence.If Let’s Talk Bitcoin! Were on Youtube, we wouldn’t be able to say the word Covid-19. Avoiding totalitarian controls means missing opportunities presented by big would-be platforms.Government surveillance vs. private surveillance provided to the governmentWhat we learned from Edward SnowdenDoes China commercialize surveillance?If both systems have produced the same outcome, is there much of a difference between them?A virtual prison campSuppression of information does not translate to changing realityBiblical verses in the blockchain and “A platform puts data out but search is editorialism”Phone numbers, the yellow pages, cocaine and liabilityPrivacy, anonymity and another form of censorshipWe need 30 different words for different kinds of censorshipIs it censorship when private companies do it?Where did the word censorship come from and what words should we be using?“The problem with censorship is not the content, it’s the person in which the control is vested”Is this worse because of growing polarization and partisanship?Was the internet free-er when nobody used it?Letters to the editor and platforms that amplifyEven more insidious than censorship are the algorithms choosing what is seen and by who.Geographic boundaries vs. idealogical boundaries and the demise of newspaper monopolies on local discourse5G and Coronavirus: Niche ideas wouldn’t propagate if censorship workedThe Streisand effect, reach and survivor biasThe influence that Google’s page-rank has on congressional primariesA generational divide in social media management skills and critical thinkingMasks, conspiracy theories and narrative controlManipulating the wisdom of the crowds as manipulating the wisdom of societyCensorship by private forces for profit and by government for state control, and the coalition of the two. Censorship as controlling access to the publishing of information vs. controlling what is amplified vs. how much reach it has.A big difference is visible in implementation of severe consequences for speechThe chilling effect of harsh penalties and being “disappeared” for speechOstracism, state punishment or private corporate consequencesWhat are your favorite words or terms for specific kinds of censorship? Send us an email at If you light your brainfarts on fire, is that flaring?CreditsThis episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin features Stephanie Murphy, Jonathan Mohan, Andreas M. Antonopoulos and Adam B. Levine. Music provided by Jared Rubens and Gurty Beats, with editing by Jonas.Photo by Sebastiaan Stam on Unsplash
31/05/2036m 31s

BREAKDOWN: The Battle for the Future of Money, feat. Lawrence Summers, CZ, Michelle Phan, the Winklevoss brothers, The Chainsmokers and more.

As the economic dimension of the COVID-19 crisis comes into clearer view, what have we learned about the battle for the future of money? Does the dollar reign supreme? Are within-the-system competitors like the euro or China’s digital yuan gaining ground? Does an outside the system alternative like bitcoin stand a chance? This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.Over the last month, the “Money Reimagined” series has looked at the battle for the future of money. Episode 1 focused on the dollar and why it is simultaneously stronger and more set up to fail than ever before. Catch up: Why the Dollar Has Never Been Stronger or More Set Up to FailEpisode 2 was all about the obvious contenders to replace the dollar such as the euro or China’s currency, especially as they race towards a digital yuan. It also looked at where Facebook’s Libra might fit in the mix.Catch up: The Rise of the Dollar KillersEpisode 3 looked at one of the most unique features of this modern currency battle - the fact that there are fundamentally new systems like bitcoin in the running. Can a non-sovereign currency actually be more relevant than global fiats? Catch up: Where Bitcoin Fits in the New Monetary OrderThis final episode of the “Money Reimagined” series checks in on each of the previous episodes but brings a new set of voices to the mix. Between May 11 and May 14, CoinDesk hosted Consensus:Distributed, a virtual summit featuring some of the leading lights in crypto, finance, economics and pop culture. In this episode, we hear from those voices, including:Lawrence Summers - former U.S. Treasury SecretaryChristopher Giancarlo - former Chairman of the CFTCMichelle Phan - YouTube innovator and founder of IpsyChaoping Zhao - founder and CEO of Binance The Winklevoss brothers - founders of Gemini The Chainsmokers - Grammy-winning artists Carlota Perez - influential economist
29/05/2048m 17s

BREAKDOWN: The Geopolitical Implications of a Too-Strong Dollar, Feat. Brent Johnson

A macro expert joins to discuss why the U.S. dollar and economy are more broadly poised to suck the liquidity from the entire global economy.This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.You know the meme: Money printer go brrr. It means inflation right? Not necessarily, says Brent Johnson. Since 2016-2017, Johnson has been arguing the big economic issue of our time isn’t inflation of the U.S. dollar due to excess money printing, but the havoc caused by a global system where the dollar keeps getting stronger and sucks up liquidity from the rest of the world. As the dollar has strengthened over the COVID-19 crisis, his ideas look more prescient than ever. In this conversation with NLW, Johnson discusses:What the “Dollar Milkshake Theory” is Why the implications of the theory stress him out, even though he created itWhy everything is relative and no asset can be analyzed in a vacuum Why we could see the dollar, bitcoin and gold rise at the same time Why we can’t discuss macroeconomics without discussing geopolitics and even the military
28/05/201h 4m

BREAKDOWN: Why Innovation Matters (and How Not to Screw It Up), Feat. Matt Ridley

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.Twenty-one different people can reasonably claim to have invented the light bulb, but Thomas Edison is the one we know about. Was it just good PR? According to Matt Ridley, it was because Edison was the progenitor of an “innovation factory” that didn’t just create things but brought them to market in a way no one else did. Innovation is one of the most important forces in the economy, and arguably the most important driver of human prosperity over the last century. Yet, for most of its life, it has been viewed as some strange exogenous force, rather than as a discipline that could be understood. In this conversation with NLW and Ridley discuss:Why it took so long for economists to take the study of innovation seriouslyWhy invention is different from innovationWhy innovation has tended to concentrate in geographically proximate areasWhy free societies produce more innovation than closed societies (including empires)Why China’s innovation production over the last decade may be an exception that proves the rule of innovation thriving in freedomWhy government winner picking is a terrible way to inspire innovationWhy innovation policy led Matt to support BrexitThe rational, optimistic take on the future
27/05/2047m 50s

BREAKDOWN: Deglobalization and Other Narrative Violations, Feat. Geoff Lewis

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.The battle to control narratives is the battle to shape how people understand the world around them. But the traditional gatekeepers of narratives - the media - have never had more competition to shape what is perceived as truth. In this episode, NLW speaks with Bedrock Capital founder Geoff Lewis about what it means to seek out opportunities in “narrative violations.” They also discuss: Why de-globalization and “onshoring” are likely to be among the most important economic drivers in the U.S. in the coming decadeWhy the shift to working from home may be an overblown “narrative mirage” How important questions of institutional decay have been co-opted by the culture war Why independent, individuals in the media have more influence than everWhy we’re in a “narrative mirage recovery”
26/05/2054m 18s

BREAKDOWN: The Shadow of Satoshi's Ghost... Why Bitcoin Mythology Matters

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.On Wednesday, a batch of coins mined just a month after bitcoin’s birth were moved. It was the first time since August 2017 that any bitcoin from early 2009 had been transferred, and the action set Bitcoin Twitter on fire. While a number of bitcoin archaeologists quickly and persuasively argued the tokens were almost assuredly not mined by bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, it was a moment that reinforced the living history in the bitcoin ecosystem. In this episode, NLW looks at what makes the Satoshi mythology powerful: Genuine technical innovation and problem solving that had stymied some brilliant minds for decadesIncredible instincts around narrative and human psychology, as reflected in the “Chancellor on the Brink” message embedded in the Genesis Block and the ceremony around the halvingThe incredible contrariness of a creator withdrawing in a world where entrepreneurs are lionized like no one else in societyAnd while the battles within the bitcoin community around interpretation may look more like the early history of religions than like a business ecosystem, NLW argues that fervor is a key part of what de-risks bitcoin, even for investors who don’t at all care about the mythology.
22/05/2030m 35s

BREAKDOWN: 'Dismantle the Euro to Save Europe' Feat. Tuomas Malinen

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.The European Union and the euro are part of the most ambitious political and economic experiment of the 21st century. The COVID-19 crisis, however, has exacerbated growing questions of political will and political legitimacy and led some to wonder if the eurozone can survive. Tuomas Malinen is the CEO of GnS Economics, a macroeconomic advisory firm, and Adj. Professor of Economics at the University of Helsinki. In this interview, he and NLW discuss:Why the European debt crisis was actually a “morally corrupt bank recapitalization project”Why negative interest rates and quantitative easing made the European banking sector particularly weak even before the pandemic Why the German Constitutional Court’s battle with the European Central Bank has major implications for the entire euro systemWhy European leaders are pushing for deeper integration when citizens want more lightweight integrationWhy European nations would be more likely to support one another in bilateral arrangements rather than through forced solidarity Why the only way to save the European Union might be to let the euro fade away
21/05/2045m 54s

BREAKDOWN: Why a Strong Dollar Is Bad for the US and Bad for the World, Feat. Lyn Alden

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.The dollar has a unique role in the world due to its reserve currency status. For many years that status has created incredible opportunities for the U.S. Increasingly, however, some are wondering if the global standard has outlived its usefulness - not only for the world but for the U.S., too.In this illuminating conversation, one of FinTwit’s brightest minds, Lyn Alden, shares her perspective on:Why we’re at the end of a strong dollar cycleWhy the Federal Reserve is terrified of the global dollar shortageThe difference in creditor vs. debtor nationsThe concept of the Triffin dilemma Why Japan has been able to print money without seeing rampant inflation Why we have inflationary and deflationary forces competing to influence the U.S. economy Why debt is going to matter more than ever What alternatives to the USD system might look like
20/05/2059m 46s

BREAKDOWN: 'Minsky Moments' and the Financial History of Pandemics

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.Jamie Catherwood works at O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, a quantitative long-equity investment firm. More importantly, however, he is the finance history guy on Twitter. His “Financial History: Sunday Reads” curation pieces and longer form articles on his site Investor Amnesia have become required reading for anyone who wants the historical context for current financial issues.On this episode of The Breakdown, Jamie and NLW discuss:Financial lessons from previous pandemics, including the 14th century bubonic plague; an 1892 Cholera outbreak in Hamburg, Germany; and, of course, 1918 Strange parallels between 1918’s Spanish flu and the current Coronavirus crisis, including an increase in the price of oranges The concept of “Minsky Moments,” a key inflection point in bubbles where over-exuberant markets become unwound extremely quickly 
19/05/2035m 16s

BREAKDOWN: USV's Albert Wenger on the World After Capital

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.Albert Wenger is a partner at Union Square Ventures as well as a prolific thinker and writer. His “World After Capital” is an evolving digital book project that looks at a set of megatrend shifts as the world moves between economic paradigms from the Industrial Age to the Knowledge Age. In this wide-ranging conversation, he and NLW discuss: Why attention is at the center of the new Knowledge AgeWhy markets can’t price crucial needs such as pandemic preparednessWhy the new era will be defined by three categories of freedoms: economic freedom, information freedom and psychological freedomWhy universal basic income has an important role to play in economic freedomHow UBI could avoid political capture Why technology is inherently deflationary Why real estate, education and health care should be much cheaper than they areWhy community currencies could be a key innovation from the current crisis 
18/05/201h 2m

BREAKDOWN: Money Reimagined... Where Bitcoin Fits in the New Monetary Order

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.Niall Ferguson has called this moment an “age of experimentation” when it comes to currencies.One of the unique features of this moment is the experiments are not limited to the traditional actors. It is not just nation-states trying to elevate their currencies in the face of the global dominance of the dollar, but non-sovereign monies born of decentralized networks that are plausible contenders in this game of currency thrones.Bitcoin was a byproduct of the last financial crisis. This connection was immortalized in the message embedded in the genesis block: “Jan 03/2009 Chancellor on the brink of a second bailout for banks.” More than a decade on, in our new financial crisis, the size, scale and implications of that bank bailout seem positively quaint in comparison. This episode looks at where bitcoin and other permissionless, non-state cryptocurrencies fit in the battle for the future of money. It starts with a look at the bitcoin narrative in the wake of the market crash. With the most significant stock market correlation of its life, did bitcoin’s digital gold narrative evaporate alongside the S&P 500?From there, we move to an asset that has been massively in demand since the beginning of the crisis: USD stablecoins. We explore whether this is simply an affirmation of the supremacy of the dollar or represents a more disruptive force in the global monetary order.We conclude with a look at the relevance of bitcoin on the other side of the crisis. As the market moves from deflationary to inflationary, there are many who will be looking to hard assets and sound money as a cure. In that context, bitcoin could thrive. 
15/05/2047m 9s

BREAKDOWN: Surveying the Carnage... Movies, Sports and Education in Crisis

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.This is the second in a series of episodes on how the economic crisis is challenging and transforming different industries. NLW looks at:MoviesDirect releases are already making more than box office counterpartsAMC is on the verge of bankruptcy (or buyout by Amazon) Production is on hold and even when it resumes, likely to have strict rules on how it is carried outSportsDepending on your study, between 61% and 72% of people surveyed say they’re unlikely to go to live sporting events even after lockdowns are liftedColleges losing $18B+ in sports related revenue eSports alternatives surging - with conversations on Twitter up 71%AdvertisingIndustry took 8 years to recover from Great Financial CrisisAd spending already down massively in March/April - down 38% in digital, 41% on TV, 45% on Radio, 51% on outdoor. EducationOf public schools, only 22% are offering any live instruction Before crisis, college debt had increased 107% between 2009-2019Since the 80s, cost to attend college had grown 8x the growth in wages Estimates of 15% fewer enrollments and $23B in lost revenue
14/05/2032m 8s

BREAKDOWN: Why Debt Can’t Buy More Growth, Feat. Jeff Booth

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.Two powerful and diametrically opposed forces are shaping the economy. On the one hand is inflationary economic policy, which keeps the price of assets like real estate and stocks rising ever higher, but at the expense of savings as the value of currency depreciates. On the other is technology-wrought deflation. As technology increases its capacity exponentially, it causes everything it touches to be less expensive. Jeff Booth is the author of “The Price of Tomorrow: Why Deflation Is the Key to an Abundant Future.” In this conversation, he and NLW discuss:How today’s system came to be designed Why policy makers are terrified of deflation Why inflationary policy punishes savers and forces them into riskier markets How policy that prioritizes asset holders over savers has significantly exacerbated inequality Why each dollar of debt is producing less real economic growth than ever before Why proposed “solutions” like MMT and UBI paper over the root causes of the problem
13/05/201h 8m

BREAKDOWN: How We Future Now - Live With Kathleen Breitman, Caitlin Long and More

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.There is a shared sense that the world has shifted. Now begins the messy work of figuring out what it means for the future we’re headed into. This live episode of The Breakdown podcast, recorded during Consensus: Distributed with NLW, features four conversations about how the future is shifting before our very eyes. How We Game and Entertain Now - featuring Kathleen Breitman, co-founder of Tezos and founder of blockchain game studio CoaseHow We Identity Now - featuring Muneeb Ali, CEO of Blockstack How We Bank Now - featuring Caitlin Long, founder and CEO of Avanti Financial Group How We Event Now - featuring CoinDesk’s Joon Ian Wong
12/05/201h 3m

BREAKDOWN: The Great Monetary Inflation... Paul Tudor Jones' Complete Case for Bitcoin

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.Last week, investing legend Paul Tudor Jones rocked the world of crypto and traditional markets with his full throated entrance into the bitcoin market via his latest letter to Tudor BVI investors. While the headlines (and the quick price bump on the back of FOMO buying) were great, the story is even more interesting than the soundbite. In this episode, NLW breaks down Paul Tudor Jones complete case for bitcoin, looking at: The context and previous attitudes towards bitcoin of both authors of the letterThe “Great Monetary Inflation” thesis driving a focus on stores of valueHow money supply growth compared to real economic output growth hasn’t been this out of sync since inflationary periods in the 1970s and 1980sThe “Inflation Race” - a list of 8 potential inflation hedgesThe four categories by which a store of value can be judged: purchasing power, trustworthiness, liquidity, portabilityA ranked look at bitcoin, gold, fiat, and financial assets in the context of those four categories.
11/05/2027m 13s

LTB!: Bitcoin Miners, US Energy Producers and Moores Law

Although some believe bitcoin mining is a wasteful activity, on today's show we dig into the relative world of constant fuel production, lumpy demand and bitcoin based load balancing.After years of bitcoin mining domination by china-based miners, some US power producers, both professional and incidental, are beginning to get into the game as a way to be more green. It's a narrative reversal if ever we've seen one and if proven successful by the early players could change the bitcoin mining landscape as we know it.But even without a "Green Bitcoin" narrative in the US, one of China's two major mining advantages has evaporated as Moores Law stretches out the useful lifespan of modern bitcoin miners hardware.Correction: Before installing miners, Greenidge Generation previously shut down during off-peak season, during the episode Adam incorrectly stated that it previously shut down during off-peak hours.Today's episode features Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Stephanie Murphy, Jonathan Mohan and Adam B. LevineThis episode features music by Jared Rubens and Gurty Beats. Today's show is edited by Jonas, and sponsored by eToro.comPhoto by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash
10/05/2030m 45s

LEIGH: Scams, Schemes and Crypto Privacy, Feat. Preston Byrne

CoinDesk reporter Leigh Cuen is joined by attorney Preston Byrne, a partner at the Washington, D.C. office of Anderson Kill, to talk about fraud and constitutional rights. This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.“There is really very little difference, at least in the point of origin...whether something is a scam,” Byrne said, regarding inaccurate blogs and representations of software projects. “Take Ethereum, for example. Ethereum had all manner of promises that were made...the statements coming from the Ethereum Foundation were somewhat more measured.” Regardless of whether any particular project is an attempt at fraud, it’s likely that online money schemes of every variety will become more common during this coronavirus crisis. According to Thomas Papageorge, head of the Consumer Protection Unit at the San Diego District Attorney’s office, there’s a “clear pattern” of more white-collar crimes since the recession began. “The rate of incidents, the amount of fraud, does increase dramatically during an emergency situation like this,” Papageorge said. “I’ve heard about new types of scams that involve cryptocurrency … investment scams and bogus advice about protecting your savings or bitcoin.”Bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos tweeted that fraudsters were impersonating him to offer unemployed people fake jobs, identity thieves looking for personal information. Likewise, CoinDesk impersonators are also targeting people across the sector. According to Carnegie Mellon University economics professor Sevin Yeltekin, the financial stressors people are experiencing today make them “more vulnerable to those scams.” However, there is a silver lining, she said, because businesses that survive the current recession will do so because they reimagined how they operate, including “risk management.”Even tech-savvy people like Lisa Gus, startup investment lead at the Government Blockchain Association and co-founder of the startup WishKnish, can be vulnerable to fraudsters in such stressful times. Gus said she spent several weeks being led on by a scammer impersonating a Binance employee, before her startup’s security solution MetaCert identified a phishing domain behind the fraudster’s email account, “About LinkedIn, I’m not the only one being inundated with fake [investment] offers...the amount of propositions I’ve been getting (is up),” Gus said. “Especially for larger companies, it’s impossible to track profiles that are associated with them.”With regards to this instance, a LinkedIn spokesperson recommended members “take precautions” in these trying times and “report any messages or postings they believe are scams to us so we can investigate."Larger companies often charge early stage blockchain projects for working together, whether it’s cited as marketing costs or listing fees. In Gus’s case, the fraudster had due diligence paperwork and non-disclosure contracts, which made the scammer’s request for a bitcoin deposit less suspicious. As for retail users, ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees has “definitely seen more phishing attempts” since early March. Likewise, a Binance spokesperson said so far in 2020 the company saw an average of 180 scam reports per month, which dwarf the unreported instances. So the exchange offers a public verification tool to check whether websites, phone numbers, emails, Telegram and WeChat handles are actually affiliated with Binance. That’s why the blockchain explorer Etherscan launched the “EthProtect” program in April, to tag wallet addresses reportedly used for fraud. Etherscan CEO Matthew Tan said the company uses internal “circuit breakers” to minimize false positives and aims to provide users with “actionable data” to make “informed choices” about who they transact with. As for the attorney Byrne, he said in some cases cryptocurrency projects may run afoul of consumer protection issues, even if they are not considered unregistered securities or frauds. “There’s a range of representations of things, what you can say about things, that aren’t necessarily true but aren’t fraudulent,” he said. The fact is, cryptocurrency now exists. People will use it unethically, the same way they do with all other forms of money. But there are lawful and constructive ways to use the technology as well. “You can operate a bitcoin business in a regulatory compliant fashion,” Byrne said. “However, it requires a lot of work and advice and design to do that correctly.”  Want more? Read my article about how the University of New Hampshire Law School is capitalizing on demand for blockchain expertise in the legal industry.
09/05/2043m 24s

BREAKDOWN: Money Reimagined... The Global Contenders Trying to Displace the Dollar

“Some of the greatest theorists about money…thought it better to be multiple competing currencies rather than a single global standards, and there were plenty of periods in history where that was the case. Standardization of money came relatively late to the world. One of the lessons of history is that with globalization comes a tendency for a particular currency to become the number one dominant currency for transactions, for trade, for international reserves. A great question to ask is: globalization enters this phase of crisis: will there be some other transition from the dollar to another currency? Or could we see a reversion to a multipolar, multi currency world?” - Niall Ferguson This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.On the first episode of Money Reimagined, we looked at the strange paradox of the US dollar. On the one hand, massive stimulus fueled by money printer go brrr should suggest for inflation. At the same time, however, there is no denying that the dollar is stronger than ever, rising in value compared to other currencies in spite of that inflation potential. There is a sense among many, however, that this strength is relative, temporary, and above all, unsustainable. In a world where a global dollar based monetary system does not serve the interest of the world, what replaces it? This episode is about the sovereign contenders - in other words, the currencies that would work through existing power structures and paradigms, but replace the dollar with something else. We look first at the Euro. Created in the wake of the Cold War to bind a newly reborn Europe in shared identity and economic destiny, it entered the COVID-19 crisis in a beleaguered state. Brexit had taken the most valuable economy out of the union and flagging economies within it created significant fragility. What’s more, Europe simply doesn’t have the monetary tools available to a country like the United States. Peter Zeihan, the geopolitical strategist and author of Disunited Nations, explained it like this: “There’s nothing that the Europeans can do in terms of stimulus spending without raising debt. Even if they decided to do something like QE - which last time took years - they would now have to have the debate over who gets how much. The Europeans are having a hard time raising the capital necessary for dealing with this crisis, whereas the US can just flip a switch.” CoinDesk’s Chief Content Officer Michael Casey pointed out that the EU is also dealing with questions of political validity, with COVID-19 exacerbating a fundamental issue. “The capacity of the EU to act in unison and the common interest the EU is supposed to represent kind of fell apart. All of a sudden, borders got shutdown and it was each nation to him or herself. So the EU’s validity to manage this has been challenged. COVID is a force for decentralizing power. From a currency perspective, the value of these currencies are political questions. Therefore the EU’s political validity is being questions right now. I’m not sure that’s going to be a very positive environment for the Euro.” **The next contender profiled is the Libra project. While much of the initial conversation about the Libra focused on the past transgressions and potential political illegitimacy of its founding organization of Facebook, for economists and system thinkers, the most powerful idea contained in the project was the idea of a global currency standard backed by a basket of the world’s fiat rather than pegged to any single currency. In many ways, this harkened back to John Maynard Keynes’ Bretton Woods proposal for a bancor - separate from the individual currencies of nations around the world. Indeed, in many ways, the most interesting impact of Libra initially was getting global central bankers like Mark Carney to propose their own ‘synthetic hegemonic currencies.’Finally, we look at China’s digital currency or DCEP. Is it an unbelievable surveillance honeypot? An attempt to front run the West on a key technological innovation? A method of extending economic spheres of influence? Or is it all of the above?Music by DJ J-Scrilla "Faith In My Money (Money Printer Go Brrr)" from the new “Sound Money” album.Produced by NLW and Adam B. Levine. Edited, Scored and Announced by Adam B. Levine with production assistance from the rest of the team at CoinDesk.
08/05/2025m 53s

BREAKDOWN: 9 Reasons Why Bitcoin Has Never Been Stronger Going Into a Halving

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.The bitcoin halving is just a few days away and the growing excitement is palpable. On this episode of The Breakdown, NLW argues that the excitement is also legitimate, and looks at nine reasons why bitcoin has never been stronger going into one of its every-four-year issuance reductions:PriceHash rateMining competitionAccessibility and Services InfrastructureInstitutional awareness and participationNarrative relevancePerceived and real resilience Lindy effects Oh, and let’s not forget. Paul Tudor Jones just disclosed that he is invested in bitcoin and sees it as a hedge against ‘great monetary inflation’ 
07/05/2021m 2s

BREAKDOWN: Surveying the Carnage: How Real Estate, Travel and Music Are Faring During the Crisis

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.The second order effects of the COVID-19 crisis are here, and they’re painful. In this episode, NLW looks at how COVID is impacting three industries:Travel and tourism100m lost jobs expected globally $2.7 in lost GDP Airbnb lays of 25% of employees Music & ConcertsFrom a record $12.2B concert year to a loss of $9BExpectations of concert prohibition lasting up to two yearsIndustry organizing to be included in relief Real EstateCommercial real estate expecting 2.5% default rate for 5+ years Negotiations around sales-based payment instead of traditional rent Residential sees cratering demand but home prices remain up year over year
06/05/2025m 24s

BREAKDOWN: Why Crypto Matters for Financial Inclusion, Feat. Celo's Marek Olszewski

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.In a world of centralized mobile money solutions, do decentralized, permissionless currencies matter?Around the world, an estimated 1.7 billion people remain unbanked and lacking access to high quality financial services. Some projects see cryptocurrency as an answer. In this episode of The Breakdown, NLW speaks with Celo co-founder Marek Olszewski about:How Celo was designed differently to address financial inclusion as a primary use case The problems with centralized approaches to mobile money like m-pesa Why true financial inclusions solutions must be permissionless Why technology design isn’t enough and projects that seek to gain adoption require ground up go to market strategiesThe impact of Libra’s launch on the “bank the unbanked” narrative How the COVID-19 crisis has changed the narrative around and demand for stablecoins globally
05/05/2035m 36s

BREAKDOWN: Why Warren Buffett's Bearishness Should End V-Shaped Recovery Talk

This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment Fund.One month after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008, Warren Buffett wrote an Op-Ed saying that he was buying stocks. Yet during the Coronavirus crisis, he is sitting firmly on the sidelines. On Saturday night, the “Oracle of Omaha” spoke for 4.5 hours in the first ever virtual version of the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting - an event which some have called the “Woodstock of Capitalism.”On this episode, NLW examines some of the key topics of the presentation, including: Why Berkshire sold their entire $6.5B stake in the airline industryWhy they were sitting on $137B in cash Why they haven’t made any investments How the Fed gave companies better terms than they were willing toIt was hard not to watch the presentation and conclude that Buffett feels that there are simply too many unknowns in the world going forward to feel comfortable doing much in the market right now.
04/05/2016m 30s

RESEARCH: Bitcoin Halving 2020... How the World's Largest Mining Pool Is Helping Miners 'De-Risk'

F2Pool is the largest bitcoin mining pool in the world controlling 20 percent of the collective computational energy, also called hashrate, on the bitcoin network. On the fifth and final episode of Bitcoin Halving 2020: Miner Perspectives, Heller discussed the economic incentives driving cryptocurrency mining and mining pool operations. This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment FundThough miner revenue has decreased sharply over the last two years from around $0.60 per terahash to $0.10, Heller explained bitcoin mining continues to be profitable due to the release of more efficient hardware and the discovery of cheaper sources of electricity. Positive movements in bitcoin price is also a major factor, albeit a frustratingly unpredictable one. Heller, who operates a slew of his own mining machines, said that without “significant price action” over the next two weeks leading up to bitcoin’s reward reduction, also called the halving, both he and other miners would have no choice but to turn off “older machines.”For more information about the halving event, download the free CoinDesk Research explainer report which features over 30 different charts and additional commentary from bitcoin mining industry experts.
02/05/2029m 25s

BREAKDOWN: Money Reimagined... Why the Dollar Has Never Been Stronger or More Set up to Fail

Two of CoinDesk’s most popular series, NLW’s The Breakdown podcast and the Money Reimagined newsletter by chief content officer Michael Casey, come together for a special podcast microseries in the run up to Consensus: Distributed, our first virtual big-tent event May 11-15. The Breakdown: Money Reimagined builds on themes Casey explores in his newsletter to tell the story of key arenas in the battle for the future of money -- from the incumbent dollar to the aspirational DCEP to the insurgent bitcoin -- in the context of a post-COVID19 world. The four-part podcast features over a dozen voices including Consensus: Distributed speakers Caitlin Long, Matthew Graham and more. New episodes air Fridays starting May 1 on the CoinDesk Podcast Network. Subscribe here.This episode is sponsored by ErisX, The Stellar Development Foundation and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Investment FundEven before COVID-19, 2020 was poised to be a big year in the battle for the future of money. 2019 had seen: Fed intervention in overnight lending markets; the launch of Facebook’s Libra; an acceleration of China’s central bank digital currency; growing acceptance of bitcoin as digital gold and more. When Coronavirus hit, however, it fundamentally altered the context in which this battle for the future of money would take place. In late January, China issued a lockdown for the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province. Over the next few weeks, that lockdown as extended to more than 200 million people. China-based blockchain investor Matthew Graham called living through it “the craziest thing I’d ever seen.” Yet despite such a chaotic blow to the economy of the supply chain capital of the world, US stock markets continued to mint new highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaching an all time high on February 12th and the S&P500 following suit exactly one week later. On Monday, February 24th the damn started to break. Caitlin Long, founder of the crypto bank Avanti and 22 year Wall Street veteran said that COVID-19 was “starting to overwhelm the ability of central banks to solve this…You can’t solve a pandemic with liquidity. It’s just not going to work.” That week would get messier still. By the end of the week, which completed a 10% drop from just 10 days earlier, crypto trader Scott Melker said “This is a historic drop. This is something we haven’t seen since World War II.”By the first week in March, the Fed sprang into action, calling an emergency weekend meeting to announce a 50 bps rate cut. Unfortunately, the market did the opposite of what the Fed might have hoped. Delphi Digital macro analyst Kevin Kelly put it this way: “What last week’s rate cut did was confirm to equity investors what they didn’t want to admit to themselves: that this was a real risk and something the Federal Reserve was watching as a real threat to economic activity.”As true fear crept in to markets, stage was now set for a torrent of action and intervention. In this first episode of Money Reimagined, we look at:Why US markets took so long to reactHow the stock market became a political utilityWhy, even before the crisis, “increasingly exotic forms of quantitative easing” were inevitableWhy the bailouts have some investors accusing our entire market of being cronyism rather than capitalism What unlimited money printing means for the US dollar. The key question explored in this episode is what happens to the US dollar next? On the one hand, monetary stimulus like the world has never seen suggests that at some point, we should anticipate an inflationary environment. On the other, the dollar has done nothing but grow stronger compared to other currencies. How can both of these things be true simultaneously. For that, we turn to insights from Matthew Graham, Caitlin Long, Scott Melker, Kevin Kelly, Ben Hunt, Luke Gromen, Travis Kling, Mark Yusko, Anthony Pompliano, Jared Dillian, Dave Portnoy, Michael Casey, Preston Pysh, Peter ZeihanMusic by DJ J-Scrilla "Faith In My Money (Money Printer Go Brrr)" from the new “Sound Money” album.Produced by NLW and Adam B. Levine. Edited, Scored and Announced by Adam B. Levine with production assistance from the rest of the team at CoinDesk.
01/05/2041m 45s

BREAKDOWN: From Corrupt to Broken... An Insider’s Analysis of the Fed, Feat. Danielle Dimartino Booth

Danielle DiMartino Booth is the CEO and Chief Strategist of Quill Intelligence. Before that, however, after correctly predicting the mortgage meltdown, she was called upon to serve and spent 9 years as an advisor to the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. That experience led her to write “Fed Up: An Insider's Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America.”In this episode, Danielle and NLW discuss:How the Fed went from simply corrupt to corrupt and brokenWhy we’ve been living through the largest experiment in monetary policy historyWhy interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in 5000 yearsWhy COVID-19 was the pin, not the balloon Why current Fed action compromises the Fed’s independence Why the market structure incentivizes consumption and risk investment over savingsWhy risk investments have ceased to be risky because of Fed backstopping Why a key concern going forward is a second wave of COVID-19 layoffs in industries beyond the obviously impacted
30/04/2036m 53s

BREAKDOWN: When Currencies Fail... A Primer on the Dollar Crisis in Lebanon

The Lebanese pound has lost at least 50% of its value against the dollar since last year. 220,000 people have lost their jobs. Food prices are up 58%. An estimated 75% of the population needs assistance of some kind. And over the last two nights, at least a dozen banks have been torched by protesters.   The catalyst? Not coronavirus, but a massive dollar shortage that is destroying an economy that relies on inflows of US dollars to function.In this episode, NLW breaks down how Lebanon models what it looks like for a currency to fail, and why this likely isn’t the last emerging market currency to experience a similar crisis in the months to come. 
29/04/2022m 51s

BREAKDOWN: COVID-19 and the Mass Surveillance Machine, Feat. Maya Zehavi

As the COVID-19 crisis rages, it takes on new economic and political dimensions. The frames for many of the most important questions for the next decade are being set now, in this moment. On this episode of The Breakdown, NLW is joined by Maya Zehavi, a long-time blockchain consultant known for her insightful domain-spanning takes. They discuss: How the COVID-19 health crisis overlapped with a political crisis in Zehavi’s home country of Israel Why governments use times of crisis to take extraordinary powersHow contact tracing apps have become a battleground for mass surveillance Why the shift to localism from globalism creates new challenges How the problems distributing stimulus are shaping the conversation around central bank digital currencies 
28/04/2045m 27s

BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin vs. QE Infinity and the 4 Archetypes of the Halving Debate

The bitcoin halving is just two weeks away. While the COVID-19 crisis pushed attention off the momentous event for a while, the discussion is coming back fast and strong. Google searches for the bitcoin halving already exceeding the 2016 peak, despite almost no mainstream media coverage. In this episode, NLW breaks down 4 archetypes of people within the larger debates around the bitcoin halving:Speculators - those who flock to Twitter to engage in endless rounds of debate around the efficient market hypothesis and whether the halving is priced in or notFundamentals - those who believe that what matters about the halving isn’t the short-term price movement but the fundamental decrease in supplyMiners - those who have to actually figure out how to make their business model work in the context of reduced issuanceSymbologists - those who are focusing on the significance of bitcoin’s issuance reduction coinciding with QE infinity
27/04/2017m 9s

LTB!: Lightning Network Messaging, Political Expediency and What Crisis Has Revealed

On today's show we've got a pair of interviews for you. First we speak with John Cantrell, the author of Juggernaut, a new messaging layer 3 application being built on top of layer 2 lightning network, which is itself built on top of layer one bitcoin. It's a lot of layers, but as a technological concept currently in beta it's a fascinating project, and we talk about it. (Juggernaut on Github)After the break we're joined again by Alex Gladstein of for a discussion on political expediency in the age of pandemic and what crisis has revealed about various governments, and different types of governments around the world. Alex is one of my favorite returning guests, with his global human rights focused work taking him to some of the most interesting and most oppressed places around the world"What's interesting is that citizen journalists I know in Taiwan have pressed the government on this and they've gone to parliament and it's all on record, and they've said 'Have these (...) digital contact tracing or cell phone surveillance things been useful?' And the governments said "Only in one case.... Only in one case was this sort of mass surveillance approach been useful', so they've actually been honest with the people... But at the end of the day it does teach us that even the most progressive governments are going to be lured by the sirens call of using surveillance to tackle problems." - Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer HRF.orgThis episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin is sponsored by and features content from John Cantrell, Alex Gladstein and Adam B. Levine. Todays show features music by Jared Rubens and Gurty Beats with editing by Jonas. Album Art original photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash
26/04/2049m 48s

RESEARCH: Bitcoin Halving 2020 the 'Arms Race' for Miner Efficiency Intensifies

In this episode of the Bitcoin Halving 2020: Miner Perspective podcast series, we take a trip down memory lane back to the early days of bitcoin when miners first began competing for network rewards. “I think the introduction of [Application Specific Integrated Circuits] was a watershed moment in terms of changing the way bitcoin was mined and secured,” said Galen Moore, senior research analyst for CoinDesk. “If you know that a more powerful machine will get you more reward, make your business more profitable, you’ll be looking for the next more powerful machine all the time knowing that your competitors are doing the same.”Dave Carlson who participated as a bitcoin miner in the arms race for more advanced cryptocurrency mining machinery back in 2012 and 2013 admitted that at the time “the Chinese engineering firms and Chinese producers of this technology far surpassed our ability and speed to get something to market.” However, there was a turning point in 2015 and 2016 when mining operations in China started to subside and coalesce in other regions parts of the world such as North America. More efficient power production, Carlson said, was the primary motivation for this shift. In lead-up to the next bitcoin halving event in May, some bitcoin miners are looking at leveraging what Moore and Carlson describe as “surplus energy” to make operations even more cost-effective. Surplus energy is the run-off or waste fuel released by natural gas and hydro power plants that can be repurposed to mine bitcoin for zero cost. This could be a major technological breakthrough for mining if proven to work at a large scale, Carlson said. To download or stream this episode, you can go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocketcasts, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Stitcher, RadioPublica or RSS. For early access to future episodes, be sure to click subscribe on these channels. For more information about the bitcoin halving, download the free CoinDesk Research  explainer report which features over 30 different charts and additional commentary from mining industry experts.
25/04/2039m 0s

BREAKDOWN: Starting a Bitcoin Startup During the COVID-19 Crisis, Feat. Yan Pritzker

Yan Pritzker is the CTO and cofounder of Swan Bitcoin, an automated bitcoin only investing app aiming to be the best onramp to bitcoin. He is also the author of Inventing Bitcoin. On this episode, he and NLW discuss:How immigrating from the Soviet Union taught Yan about capital controls Buying bitcoin at $30 in 2011 Why the type of capital available shapes what type of startups entrepreneurs foundWhy venture capitals focused investments away from bitcoin The emergence of a bitcoin only startup scene Starting a startup during the COVID-19 crisis Why bitcoin’s scarcity is its most important property 
24/04/2052m 5s

BREAKDOWN: We Don’t Need Big Brother to Beat This Virus

One of the key aspects of most plans to reopen the economy is digital contact tracing. This would be an apparatus whereby mobile phones kept track of the other mobile phones they had been physically proximate to, so that if someone were diagnosed with COVID-19, the at-risk people they had been in contact with could be notified. Apple and Google have proposed one plan while a European consortium is working on another. At the center of the issue is whether contact tracing can be done in a way that doesn’t violate privacy and doesn’t open a Pandora’s box of new issues around the data governments have on their citizens. Today’s episode of The Breakdown explores the crypto community’s response to contact tracing and why we don’t need big brother to beat the virus. 
23/04/2019m 17s

AFRICA: Fighting Scams and Preaching Bitcoin in Botswana, Feat. Alakani Itireleng

In this episode Anita speaks with Alakanani Itireleng, who founded the Satoshicentre in Botswana in 2014 and single-handedly built a growing Bitcoin community. She is the heart and center of Bitcoin education there, even the government is relying on her consultancy. This interview was recorded as Anita traveled through southern Africa in February of 2020, just days before the Covid-19 lockdowns went into effect. Her greatest ambition, the organization of a Bitcoin conference in Southern Africa will not come true soon. If you’d like to support her work and the Satoshicentre – please do so, her Twitter handle is @bitcoinlady.“Bitcoin is for everyone, Bitcoin is the currency of love.” – Alakanani Itireleng“Bitcoin is allowing me to use and receive money from anyone and to send it to anyone around the world without discriminating. That’s the most excellent thing about Bitcoin. It’s money for everyone, regardless of where you are coming from, your race or creed or whatever. So it’s the best.” – Alakanani ItirelengThey talk about:How her sons illness and death lead to the first meetupThe internet as “white people’s problem”The high unemployment rate in BotswanaThe cost of internet connectionsPonzi schemes and how they are disturbing bitcoin adoptionBitcoin usecases and regulation in BotswanaExchanging the local currency Pula to BitcoinAfrican countries on the forefront of adoptionHer opinion about Libra and LightningMobile Money in BotswanaThe Future of Bitcoin in BotswanaA message from Anita:If you have a question, feel free to visit the episode page press the appropriate button and record your question.This podcast special and my trip to Africa would not have been possible without my sponsors and supporters.I want to thank my sponsors first: Thank you: a person-to-person bitcoin trading site, Peter McCormack and the whatbitcoindid podcast, Coinfinity and the Card Wallet, SHIFT Cryptosecurity, manufacturer of the hardware wallet BitBox02 and many thanks to several unknown private donors, who sent me Satoshis over the Lightning Network.This special is edited by CoinDesk’s Podcasts Editor Adam B. Levine and published first on the CoinDesk Podcast Network. Thank you very much for supporting the Bitcoin in Africa series with your work.Thanks goes also out to – stakwork is a great project that brings bitcoin into the world through earning. One can do microjobs on stakwork, earning Satoshis and cash them out without even having an understanding about the lightning network or bitcoin. I think we need more projects like that to spread the usage of bitcoin around the world.Thank you also to GoTenna, for donating several GoTenna devices to set up a mesh network in Zimbabwe and to Team Satoshi, the decentralized sports team for supporting my work.This special is also brought to you by the Let’s Talk Bitcoin Network.
23/04/2045m 20s

BREAKDOWN: The History of the Dollar System From Bretton Woods to QE Infinity, Feat. Luke Gromen

QE infinity. Corporate bailouts. Nudgin UBI. The incredible economic phenomena going on now didn’t happen out of the blue. They are the byproducts of a key events spread across the 70 year history of the US dollar led global monetary system. Luke Gromen is the founder of Forest From The Trees, a macro/thematic research firm. In this episode, Luke provides a TL;DR on those key events that got us to where we are today, including: Bretton Woods and why the world went on a USD-based system rather than Keynes idea for a non-sovereign ‘bancor’ world reserve currencyThe move to the Petrodollar in the 1970sThe financialization of commodities that started in the 1980sThe monetary policy vacuum after the Cold War endedHow a shift in executive compensation rules led to many of today’s problems with Wall StreetThe export of Treasury Bills as a business modelThe fallout of 2008 globally and domesticallyThe end of Treasury Bill buying in 2014Why the Fed is the only sugar daddy left
22/04/201h 16m

BREAKDOWN: From Proof of Health to UBI: How Everything Changes Post COVID-19, Feat. Joe McCann

Joe McCann currently works in cloud and AI at Microsoft and has spent decades in tech, crypto, and open source communities. He recently wrote a piece called “A New, New World Order” all about the second and third order effects of Covid-19. In this conversation, Joe and NLW discuss:Localism and the beginning of the end of globalizationThe return of domestic manufacturing The ‘Roaring 20s’ of InflationThe inevitability of Universal Basic Income in response to inflationQE infinity and the US’s nationalization by proxyNational healthcare as national security and why microbes are this decade’s terrorists Proof of health, and why it’s likely to be implemented on a blockchain
21/04/201h 2m

BREAKDOWN: Bearish or Bullish? What Oil, Defi Hacks and Cash Hoarding Tell Us About Markets

It’s hard to look at recent news from both crypto and traditional markets and not feel like we’re getting pretty mixed signals. Stocks have been recovering, but oil is hitting historic lows. DeFi suffers a major hack over the weekend, but Coinbase sees a major spike in $1200 transactions right as $1200 stimulus checks hit. Cash hoarding is giving pretense for eliminating privacy-preserving money, but one of the world’s most successful hedge funds has authorized investment in bitcoin futures. On today’s episode of The Breakdown, NLW separates bullish from bearish signals for the strange in between times. 
20/04/2022m 59s

LEIGH: BitTorrent Creator Bram Cohen on 'a System That Doesn't Suck'

On today’s episode CoinDesk reporter Leigh Cuen sits down with Bram Cohen, author of the BitTorrent protocol and CEO of Chia. In this wide ranging interview they talk Bram’s early interest in “hard problems”, his unexpected ascent from sketchy to celebrity and much more.Leigh and Bram discuss:The real promise and strengths of cryptocurrencyReally interesting problems in cryptocurrencyGetting started in crypto 20 years ago with MojoNation and glorious failure.The origin of BitTorrentSpeculative investment, the dot com boom and where real wealth comes fromThe Bitcoin Wizards IRC channel and Bram’s arrival in cryptoHow the Bitcoin Wizards stance on ASIC resistance led to Bram’s creation of ‘Proofs of Time’ and ‘Proofs of Space’Getting rich as a side effect of making the world a better placeScaling, sharding and unsophisticated engineeringWhy ‘Proof of Stake’ is a step backwards from ‘Proof of Work’A system that doesn’t suck: how engineers try and fail to improve the finance industryUnregulated banking crisis, shadow banking and hiring the smartest minds to obfuscate leverageWhy trusted third parties are the problemSatoshi’s wonderful, horrible idea and the obviousness of proof of work.What Satoshi did surprisingly wellWhy improving proof of work wouldn’t really improve bitcoin.Coherent goals: more decentralized and less wastefulBoth Proof of Work and Proof of Stake have a scary degree of centralization Ethereum’s terrifying improvements to the on-chain programming environmentNew functionality within Chia that helps cryptocurrency feel less like “carrying around hundred dollar bills”Limiting opportunities for theft with user controlled rate and recipient limitingThinking about ecosystems and adoptionWhat is your favorite use case for cars? Is it Tires? Open source software, politics and adoptionWhat is the role of advocacy in making something useful?Why bitcoin gets a bad reputation for things it doesn’t have strong associations with.Why “governance” is such a touchy topicWhy Chia is funded by Venture Capital rather than token offeringsHow Bitcoin is different from what’s come after it“Our technological capacity exceeds our political will to negotiate the terms of that capacity”Why Bram hates the “Fake it til’ you make it” ethosEngineering sticker shockThe “everyone uses cryptocurrency for everything” narrative vs. the “How do we get anyone using Cryptocurrency for anything good?” realityBetter metrics for success than “Getting rich”Great leaders and bullshit artistsBitcoin’s trajectory and the meritocratic history of technologyColored coins, distributed identity, timestamps and censorship resistant valueMinimal functionality, subtle cleanups and simplified transaction formats in the Chia programming environmentAnd more...
19/04/2045m 31s

RESEARCH: The Market Impacts of a Bitcoin Halving Explained

For more information about the bitcoin halving, download the free CoinDesk Research explainer report which features over 30 different charts and additional commentary from mining industry experts. “If price performance following the November 2012 and July 2016 halvings are any indicator, bitcoin’s price should increase significantly over the 10 to 12 month period following the [third] halving.”That’s Ciara Sun, head of global business and markets at cryptocurrency exchange Huobi. Speaking on the third podcast episode of “Bitcoin Halving 2020: Miner Perspectives,” Ciara was joined by Chief Financial Officer at Bitfarm, John Rim. The two shared their insights on the expected market impacts of bitcoin’s third halving event. Sun noted that many crypto investors are expecting a substantial bitcoin price increase in the months following the 50 percent reduction in bitcoin block subsidy rewards. However, Sun also caveated her statement saying the market dynamics leading up to May’s halving event are “more complicated” this time around due to global events such as the COVID-19 outbreak. No matter the impact on bitcoin’s market price, Rim affirmed that miner revenue per terahash would likely readjust and normalize to pre-halving levels as a result of mining difficulty adjustments. “The whole network relies on mining for the validation of transactions and for a self-incentivized system like bitcoin, you need miners to be profitable,” Rim said. To download or stream this episode, you can go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocketcasts, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Stitcher, RadioPublica or RSS. For early access to future episodes, be sure to click subscribe on these channels. Photo by Zbynek Burival on Unsplash
18/04/2038m 18s

BREAKDOWN: Why Money Is Losing Its Meaning, Feat. Jared Dillian

Bitcoiners are particularly sensitive to Fed intervention in markets, but the degree to which the Fed is willing to print to backstop basically all risk is drawing the attention of even normal market participants. On this episode of The Breakdown, NLW is joined by Jared Dillian, market analyst, contrarian, and editor of The Daily Dirt Nap. They discuss:What ‘safe haven’ means in today’s climateHow Jared became a bitcoin believer after being a skeptic Why in an MMT world, taxation policy will be driven by ideology not practicality Why money is losing its meaning 
17/04/2041m 39s

BREAKDOWN: Libra vs. DCEP? The Battle for the Future of Money Heats Up

This week saw the latest salvos in the battle for the future of money. Libra announced that it would be moving away from a single currency that was backed by a basket of national currency to a model of numerous individual fiat-pegged currencies. While the original model was akin to a disruptive implementation of John Maynard Keynes original concept for a global basket currency (which he called a “bancor”), this model seems more to position Libra to help existing central banks digitize their currencies. China meanwhile steamed forward with its digital currency and blockchain plans. Screenshots of an app from the Agricultural Bank of China show how the DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment) is currently being tested, giving us insight into functionality, geographies and players involved. China also announced the 71 members of its National Blockchain Council, as well as went live with their Blockchain Service Network. The BSN in particular has potential significance on a world scale as China tries to build and control a key piece of global digital infrastructure. 
16/04/2018m 58s

AFRICA: Bitcoin Maximalism, Entrepreneurs and COVID-19 in Zimbabwe (Part 5 of a Six-Part Documentary Podcast Series)

In this episode, we'll join Anita Posch in Zimbabwe as she speaks with Tongayi Choto, a software developer, entrepreneur and a bitcoin maximalist. He founded Afriblocks, a Global Pan-African Freelance platform that connects professionals across the world. They talk about the problems young Zimbabweans are facing and Tongayi's approach to make lives better. Later, Anita answers listener questions about the current use of bitcoin, other methods of payment in Zimbabwe and more.Topics:Africa: high potential, but not enough opportunitiesPan-African Freelance networkPayments in cryptocurrenciesThe use of smart contracts for releasing fundsScams like MMM, Onecoin, bitclubThe Volatility of bitcoin being a huge problem for poor peopleThe impact of the Lightning Network in AfricaInternet bundlesListener Questions:What is preventing widespread usage of bitcoin? Tech? Awareness? Laws? Working, cheap alternatives (Ecocash)? Fees?Are there bitcoin OGs in the community and if so are they still actively supporting the newcomers?Not sure if M-Pesa is available in Zimbabwe/Botswana. But if so, why would anybody use Bitcoin instead of already available digital payment solutions such as M-Pesa?Did you hear anything about and Bitcoin?I am interested how well people understand, if their own governments money is good money for them (in terms of purchasing power, inflation etc). What share of people in your impression are asking themselves this question in these countries?Are Zimbabweans living overseas using bitcoin for remittances? If so, how does this channel work? How do bitcoin remittances compare to alternatives like Western Union?A note from Anita:This podcast special and my trip to Africa would not have been possible without my sponsors and supporters. I want to thank my sponsors first: Thank you: a person-to-person bitcoin trading site, Peter McCormack and the whatbitcoindid podcast, Coinfinity and the Card Wallet, SHIFT Cryptosecurity, manufacturer of the hardware wallet BitBox02 and many thanks to several unknown private donors, who sent me Satoshis over the Lightning Network. This special is edited by CoinDesk’s Podcasts Editor Adam B. Levine and published first on the CoinDesk Podcast Network. Thank you very much for supporting the Bitcoin in Africa series with your work. Thanks goes also out to - stakwork is a great project that brings bitcoin into the world through earning. One can do microjobs on stakwork, earning Satoshis and cash them out without even having an understanding about the lightning network or bitcoin. I think we need more projects like that to spread the usage of bitcoin around the world. Thank you also to GoTenna, for donating several GoTenna devices to set up a mesh network in Zimbabwe and to Team Satoshi, the decentralized sports team for supporting my work. This special is also brought to you by the Let's Talk Bitcoin Network.
16/04/2039m 17s

BREAKDOWN: What the Economy Will Look Like 6 Months From Now, Feat. Ryan Selkis

As week (one million, it seems) of the COVID-19 lockdown plods on, many are wondering what the economy will look like on the other side.Ryan Selkis is the CEO and founder of Messari. He was one of the earliest voices in crypto to sound the alarm on the potential impact of COVID-19 not only on the health system but on the economy. In this episode of The Breakdown, Ryan joins @NLW to discuss:Why the markets right now represent an economic and psychological relief rallyWhat it takes to reopen the economy Why voluntary, privacy preserving contact tracing is part of the solution
15/04/2049m 15s

BREAKDOWN: The $20,000 Human IPO and 5 Other Crypto Stories That Have Nothing to Do With COVID-19

Even as the market tries to make sense of everything happen (or ignores it, depending on your perspective), crypto keeps on plugging along. Today on The Breakdown @NLW looks at 5 recent crypto stories that are representative of larger trends, including:Coinbase Custody enabling staking for Polkadot DOTsA Telegram-focused exchange shutting down due to regulatory compliance costsA $20k Human IPO on Ethereum Shapeshift acquires Portis & other crypto M&AA G20 report on the threat of Stablecoins
14/04/2021m 45s

ANNA: Making Sense of the SEC's Case Against Telegram

Telegram, the popular messaging app, has big plans for its blockchain Telegram Open Network, or TON. It also had one of the biggest token sales in history, followed by a huge legal fight over it.The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) sued the company to stop its $1.7 billion private token sale, saying the future tokens for TON, called grams, are unregistered securities. Telegram argued grams were a commodity. A federal court judge in New York issued a preliminary injunction agreeing with the SEC, blocking Telegram from issuing tokens. The court battle has been an interesting one, as is the ruling of the judge. Together with two experienced attorneys, Gabriel Shapiro of BSV Law and Phillip Moustakis of Seward & Kissel, we’re unpacking this process, which is likely to set a precedent for other token sales structured as SAFT, or simple agreement for future tokens – starting with Kik and potentially followed by many more.  SAFTs used to be a popular form of fundraising in crypto – What went wrong for Telegram? Is there still a chance an ambitious proof-of-stake blockchain will still get launched? Is there still a safe way to raise money via a token sale or not? What are the remaining options for Telegram – and for its investors? See also: Judge Halts Telegram Token Issuance in Injunction Requested by SECTelegram Hopes It Can Still Sell Tokens to Non-US Investors After Court RulingBlockchain Association Says Court ‘Erred’ With Decision to Block Telegram’s Token IssuanceDigital Chamber Asks Court to Draw Line Between Investment Contracts and Assets in Telegram CaseAndreessen Horowitz: “Reading Between the Lines: SEC, Telegram, and Rule 144”SEC Settles Securities Registration Charges Against 2 ICO Startups
12/04/2045m 51s

RESEARCH: How Miners are Preparing for Lower Block Rewards

How are bitcoin (BTC) miners strategizing for the upcoming halving event in which block reward subsidies will be cut by 50 percent? On this week’s episode of “Bitcoin Halving 2020: Miner Perspectives,” Kristy-Leigh Minehan and Pavel Moravec give an in-depth explanation of what miners are doing to maximize profits and increase operational efficiency. Since October, Minehan explains, bitcoin mining farms have been getting on “the upgrade train” and purchasing state-of-the-art ASIC machines such as the Antminer S17 and S19. Moravec says bitcoin miners have also been looking at creative ways to cut electricity costs by leveraging surplus energy from certain cities’ power grids. What started primarily as a hobby in 2009 has flourished over the years, gained broader adoption and ultimately evolved into a new, professional industry. “We’ve gotten to a point in bitcoin’s history where the government is paying attention and has started to realize bitcoin isn’t going away. Mining is not going away. And it’s in their best interest to start working with ... miners,” Minehan said.Teaming up with local governments and utility providers is another miner strategy both Minehan and Moravec have seen on the increase in recent years. This is why Minehan believes even the geographic distribution of miners, which was discussed in depth in an earlier podcast episode, may further diversify in future to regions such as North America and Europe. To download or stream this episode, you can go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocketcasts, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Stitcher, RadioPublica or RSS. For early access to future episodes, be sure to click subscribe on these channels. For more information about the bitcoin halving, CoinDesk Research recently published a 30-page explainer report on these events, which features additional commentary from Minehan, Moravec and other mining industry experts. The report is free to download on the CoinDesk website.
11/04/2033m 6s

BREAKDOWN: Quantitative Tightening and 5 Key Questions for Our Changing World

As we wrap up another crazy week - 6.6m more jobless claims, $2.3T more in stimulus - this episode offers a few key themes and questions for bitcoiners and the crypto-minded to think about over the long Easter weekend:Crypto-dollarization: why money is pouring into USD stablecoins and how it could create a future onramp to bitcoin‘Quantitative Tightening’: why a new brand for the bitcoin halving could help us better capture a unique narrative momentWhat it takes to get the economy back to work: beyong the political hemming and hawking, how can we force the real, nuanced conversation of turning the economy back on?What it takes to rebuild as a Resilience Economy - and how can bottoms-up networks get started now? Moments of transition are moments of leverage: what opportunities can each of us take advantage of?
10/04/2016m 35s

BREAKDOWN: Rebuilding the Resilience Economy, Feat. Anthony Pompliano

As host of the Pomp Podcast, author of the daily Off The Chain newsletter, and founder partner at Morgan Creek Digital Assets, Anthony Pompliano is one of the best known media personalities and investors in the crypto industry. In this episode, he and @NLW discuss: The Fed’s just announced $2.3 trillion stimulus package - including the authorization to buy junk bondsWhy media and trust have desiccated to their lowest levels ever The lack of a plan to restart the economy Why Bitcoin was sold in last months larger market sell offWhy smart institutional investors are looking to bitcoin as a hedge when the deflationary environment turns inflationary Why companies have to be allowed to fail to increase resilience Why the best way to build a resilience economy is to put money in the hands of entrepreneurs and small businesses
09/04/2053m 29s

AFRICA: If Bitcoin Works in Zimbabwe, It Works Everywhere (Part 4 of a Six-Part Documentary Podcast Series)

In part 4 of this six-part documentary podcast series about Bitcoin in Africa we'll join Anita as she speaks with a young woman from Harare, Zimbabwe. She calls herself a 'Digipreneur' and also works as a teacher. Working with her organization, they focus on the digitalization of Africa and aim to improve outcomes in Zimbabwe. With the use of Bitcoin outlawed and the state of human rights and free speech being rather poor in Zimbabwe, Anita and the guest agreed to not mention her name. In this episode they discuss:The opportunities for Bitcoin adoptionThe shutdown of Golix, the only Zimbabwean crypto exchangeThe philosophy of Ubuntu and how it relates to BitcoinHyper-inflationThe future of Bitcoin in AfricaHow cryptocurrency feels like luxury in ZimbabweHow to design Bitcoin for use in AfricaHow Libra is a game changerThe most used social media toolsThe need for even more accessibility and ease of use"If I have a Bitcoin, I can send money to my relatives, who are in Malawi or in Namibia or in Ghana. Currently I can't with our own currency. I can't send money out freely and quickly, but if we can sit down as a community and say okay, we need to buy a new borehole and we can do that just by using our phone. That's an amazing thing. You know, if we look at it from a place of development, if you look at it from a place of helping the community and taking care of each other, if it allows us to take care of each other without having to create so many barriers and so much red tape to get stuff done with money, I feel like when you change that narrative, you speak to something very deep within an African." - Teacher and Digipreneur, Zimbabwe"Cryptocurrency feels almost like luxury. It's sad because I don't think that's what it's supposed to be, but it was also bearing in mind cryptocurrency was designed in a functioning environment. It was designed by people who maybe haven't spent 12 hours in a fuel queue?" - Teacher and Digipreneur, Zimbabwe"We need to start having more conversations about the future with the people who are actually affected by the future. Hold workshops under a tree in Binga and have someone who is there who can translate into the local language and have a conversation." - Teacher and Digipreneur, ZimbabweYou can find the full transcript on the episode pageA note from Anita:This podcast special and my trip to Africa would not have been possible without my sponsors and supporters. I want to thank my sponsors first: Thank you: a person-to-person bitcoin trading site, Peter McCormack and the whatbitcoindid podcast, Coinfinity and the Card Wallet, SHIFT Cryptosecurity, manufacturer of the hardware wallet BitBox02 and many thanks to several unknown private donors, who sent me Satoshis over the Lightning Network.This special is edited by CoinDesk’s Podcasts Editor Adam B. Levine and published first on the CoinDesk Podcast Network. Thank you very much for supporting the Bitcoin in Africa series with your work.Thanks goes also out to - stakwork is a great project that brings bitcoin into the world through earning. One can do microjobs on stakwork, earning Satoshis and cash them out without even having an understanding about the lightning network or bitcoin. I think we need more projects like that to spread the usage of bitcoin around the world.Thank you also to GoTenna, for donating several GoTenna devices to set up a mesh network in Zimbabwe and to Team Satoshi, the decentralized sports team for supporting my work. This special is also brought to you by the Let's Talk Bitcoin Network.Credits:Edited by CoinDesk’s Podcasts Editor: Adam B. LevineImage by: Martina Gruber Photography Idea, content and production: Anita Posch Music: "Start with yes" by Delicate beats
09/04/201h 0m

BREAKDOWN: The Questions We're Not Allowed to Ask, Feat. Hidden Forces' Demetri Kofinas

Demetri Kofinas is the host of Hidden Forces, a popular podcast that examines markets through the lens of large patterns of change. On this episode, Demetri and @NLW discuss:How the politicization of the Coronavirus crisis has undermined smart actionHow media incentivizes extreme opinions regardless of underlying expertise What conversations are we not having around Coronavirus - in particular in terms of second order effectsWhy we’ve barely begun to discuss the plan for turning the economy back on
08/04/201h 7m

BREAKDOWN: Exit Plans, Premature Rallies and Frontline Heroes, Feat. Ben Hunt

Epsilon Theory’s Ben Hunt joins for a follow up to our pre-lockdown Covid-19 conversation in early March. In the month since, the markets finally started to take Covid-19 seriously, elected officials stopped calling it just the flu, and big chunks of the world economy shut down. Now, as markets rally on early evidence the curve may be flattening, the question is: is this premature? In this episode, Ben & NLW discuss:How the markets have moved from “denial” to “bargaining” Why this rally has all the hallmarks of a type of bear market rally we’ve seen over the last monthWhy the predictability of corporate bailouts doesn’t make them any less detestableWhy we should be buoyed by an explosion of ground-up, grassroots citizen actionHow Frontline Heroes is creating a p2p PPE purchasing network that gets essential gear into the hands of health professionals without causing additional price pressure for state-led negotiations
07/04/2036m 8s

BREAKDOWN: How Disruption Makes Humanity Stronger, Feat. Emerson Spartz

Second order effects are things that happen as unexpected outcomes of something else happening. These effects can create surprising causal chains. Take this for example: A pandemic makes everyone need to work from home leads to an increase in video calling leads to Walmart reporting that people are buying more shirts, but not pants. Emerson Spartz is one of the world’s foremost thinkers on virality and the internet. He founded Mugglenet - the world’s biggest Harry Potter fan site - as a middle school drop out, and would later found and raise tens of millions for Dose. In the past weeks, Emerson started an open crowdsourced document on the Coronavirus’ second order effects that has, itself, gone viral, especially among venture capitals and other investor circles trying to understand what the world looks like on the other side of this. Emerson brings a surprisingly optimistic perspective on where this could lead a generation of people who are now more fully plugged in to the internet than ever before.
06/04/2056m 36s

LTB!: BitTorrent Creator Bram Cohen on Coronavirus Second Order Effects and Improving on Bitcoin

In Today's discussion we'll briefly talk about some of the knock-on, or second order affects which the coronavirus disruption is having on our world today, and which may continue into the future. Then for the meat of the show we'll dig into specific areas where bitcoin could, or perhaps is being improved with the creator of one of the most impactful peer to peer technologies live in the world today.Shownotes for LTB! #433Topic 1 - Second Order Impacts of Coronavirus LockdownsSocial distancing and the revenge of the HikikomoriCoronavirus second order effectsIt’s an extroverts world but we’re all introverts this monthThe AOL moment for Zoom meetings and arguing the potatoInterpersonal compression, zoomers and enforced quality timeWill overall deaths go down because of pandemic lockdowns?The end of “Bus Mode” for Lyft and UberAutonomous vehicles, grocery deliveries and the last mile problemTampons, cocktail sausages and a very weird monthThis episode is sponsored by eToroA friendly government delivery service?Opportunities in sterilization and social changes that’ll lastAutomated cleansing cycles and Far-UVCInternet infrastructure, Netflix social signaling and the recycling dilemmaMasks, headphones and the changing standard of social isolationTOPIC 2 - How the creator of BitTorrent thinks he’s created a less wasteful, more distributed, more secure approach to Nakamoto ConsensusDecentralized systems and the critical success of BitTorrentNaming projects, vegetables and a list of grainsProof of Space and TimeWarehouses of computers, competitive money burning and Keynesian stimulusProof of Work works and that’s a huge accomplishment, but could be betterCentralization, Nakamoto consensus and Proof of StakeMoats and losing the battle with ASIC-hard consensus algorithms“Grinding attacks” as the competitive strategyFundamental economics, storage capacity and the loopholeAirdrops for something over-resourced and under-provisionedLosing money on buying “farming” hardwareThe early days of bitcoin mining with CPUsPower and CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, and ASICsHard Drives ,hard drives, hard drives and hard drivesStoring data as proof, but not peoples data is like Proof of Work; the work isn’t useful, it’s just a measuring stick that doesn’t need your name or a long term commitmentPrinting lottery tickets with ASICs vs. a hard drive full of bingo cardsProofs of Space need Proofs of TimeLess wasteful by using an underutilized resourceMore distributed because excess hard drive capacity is already distributed and there is no “ASIC” equivalent possible for hard drives. Just better or faster hard drivesMore secure because less wasteful and more distributed equal better security in distributed consensusBreaking, tweaking and proving proofs of time and spaceMiners don’t run data centersUTXOs, message passing on-chain programming environments and walking a fine line between Bitcoin and EthereumRate limiting wallets and reversible paper walletsImproving colored coinsDecentralized exchange doesn’t need decentralized exchangesFarming, pre-farming, farming rewards and trailing emissionsWhy pre-farm?Is it viable to farm with AWS?Carrying hundred dollar bills and Chia’s business model involves loaning Tokens To Large International CompaniesCovenants replicate many banking system benefits without requiring banks or centralizationComplexity, Bitcoin Script and Protocol Level ImprovementsThis episode was sponsored by, with music by Jared Rubens, Gurty Beats and Adam B. Levine.  Today's show featured Bram Cohen, Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Stephanie Murphy, Jonathan Mohan and Adam B. Levine with editing by Jonas.
05/04/201h 3m

RESEARCH: Miner Perspectives on Bitcoin Halving 2020, Part 1 of a New Podcast Series

In about 40 days, the world’s first and largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, bitcoin, will undergo a pre-programmed block reward reduction known as the halving. Roughly every 4 years, bitcoin’s block subsidy rewards are cut by 50 percent in order to prevent currency inflation. Recurring halving events also ensure that total supply over time is capped at 21 million coins. It will take an estimated 64 halving events before the last bitcoin is mined. So far, there have only been two. To commemorate bitcoin’s third halving, CoinDesk Research is launching today a new weekly podcast series about the bitcoin mining industry. Each episode features discussions with leading experts in bitcoin mining hardware, operations and pool management on a variety of topics related to block subsidy reward reductions and their impact on the crypto markets. Hosted by CoinDesk Research Analyst Christine Kim, the first episode of the Bitcoin Halving 2020 podcast series is about the impact of bitcoin’s third halving on the concentration of miners in China. Discussing and debating this topic is Ethan Vera, head of finance at one of North America’s largest cryptocurrency mining pools Luxor Technologies. Also joining Kim and Vera on the show is Wolfie Zhao, a veteran member of the CoinDesk editorial team who specializes in news coverage on the Chinese bitcoin mining industry. For more information about the bitcoin halving, CoinDesk Research has recently published a 30-page explainer report on these events which features additional commentary from Vera and other mining industry experts. The report is free to download on the CoinDesk website.
04/04/2028m 0s

BREAKDOWN: Will DeFi Matter in a Post-Coronavirus World? Feat. Matt Luongo

Matt Luongo got his start in bitcoin in 2013. In 2016, he watched a pivotal moment where the sound money, digital gold narrative subsumed the payments use case for bitcoin. While he agreed, ultimately, with the important of bitcoin as a new reserve asset, he still wanted to build and found his way to Ethereum. Now his company is launching tBTC, a trust-minimized bridge between bitcoin and ethereum. Among other uses, it is a new solution to enabling bitcoin to be used as collateral in DeFi applications. In this conversation, Matt and @NLW discuss these narrative shifts, as well as what the role and narrative for DeFi might be in a post-Covid crisis world.
03/04/2035m 34s

BREAKDOWN: 5 Reasons for Cautious Optimism in Crypto

The economic outlook is grim. The jobless claims keep piling up and even the most intransigent states are shutting down business. There isn’t - yet - a realistic plan - for returning to any sort of economic normalcy. Yet in this bleak view, there are a handful of crypto indicators that suggest for cautious optimism. In this episode, @NLW discusses:The crypto community’s volatility resilience A significant uptick in Stablecoin issuance Proof that bitcoiners have been buying the dip Evidence that new audiences are finding their way to bitcoin (and perhaps with a sound money narrative in mind) Binance’s acquisition of CMC and the power of M&A signals
02/04/2023m 8s

AFRICA: Using Bitcoin in Zimbabwe (Part 3 of a Six-Part Documentary Podcast Series)

After three weeks of listening, recording and talking bitcoin (BTC) in Africa, podcaster Anita Posch is back in part 3 of her six-part documentary podcast series. In the first and second part of this six-part series you heard about the difficult living situation, the hyperinflation and about the multi-currency world that Zimbabweans have to live with since many years. In this - the third part - you will hear from two early bitcoin (BTC)  adopters based in Harare. We speak about the different use cases for bitcoin, how it can be exchanged to U.S. dollar and RTGS [the Zimbabwe dollar], what the obstacles and pros are, about regulation and what the two online entrepreneurs want to tell people outside of Africa.In the third part of the six-part series about Bitcoin in Africa you will hear from two early bitcoin adopters based in Harare. Anita speaks with them about the different use-cases for bitcoin, how it can be exchanged to US Dollar and RTGS, what the obstacles and pros are, about regulation and what the two online entrepreneurs want to tell people outside of Africa.After the interviews Anita answers a listener's question about the possibilities for rural communities to use bitcoin.
02/04/2052m 5s

BREAKDOWN: How Coronavirus Is Accelerating the End of Globalism, Feat. Peter Zeihan

“Some countries just aren’t going to emerge from the Coronavirus.”Peter Zeihan is one of the world’s foremost geopolitical experts. In his new book “Disunited Nations: The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World,” Zeihan argues that we’re at the end of the largest expansionary period in human history. As America withdraws from global leadership, a totally new (and for most parts of the world, more painful) ‘normal’ will emerge. On this episode of The Breakdown, Zeihan joins @NLW to discuss why the Coronavirus crisis is rapidly accelerating the end of the era of globalization. How the American-led global order used the dollar as the tool to keep the world together Why geopolitics and demography are coinciding to end the era of globalization Why Covid-19 will spark a massive return of American manufacturing Why, when it comes to the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency “Never before has the “exorbitant privilege” of being the world’s reserve currency felt more exorbitant or more like a privilege. Why the crisis could spell the end for the Euro Why China isn’t nearly as well positioned in the post globalization era as many assume Why the best positioned countries in the coming era are the US, Japan, Argentina, France and Turkey
01/04/2049m 54s

BREAKDOWN: ‘If You’re Not Radicalized, You’re Not Paying Attention’ Feat. Nic Carter

In this wide-ranging discussion, Castle Island Ventures founding partner and Coin Metrics co-founder Nic Carter joins @NLW to discuss:Why corporations weren’t adequately prepared for any serious economic trouble, much less a global pandemic Why government backstopping the corporations leads to inappropriate risk-taking How stock buybacks became a boogeyman of the current crisis Why the crisis is actually four crises in one: health, economic, financial, and geopoliticalHow Covid-19 could accelerate the US’ withdrawal from the world and China stepping into the void Why the response to the handling of Covid-19 could lead some to authoritarianism How stablecoins are allowing global market exposure to the world’s most in-demand currency: the USD Why stablecoins and central bank digital currencies look the same but are functionally opposite Why a ‘naive safe haven’ narrative was never correct for bitcoinWhy bitcoin was designed for exactly this type of moment.
31/03/2042m 43s

BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin, Stablecoins, DeFi and Privacy: How COVID-19 Is Changing Key Crypto Narratives

On January 28th, Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal tweeted “Notable overlap on here between the most alarmist people tweeting about the virus and those who are obsessed with the size of the Fed balance sheet.” There is no doubt that the bitcoin and crypto community broadly were far earlier in recognizing the potential significance of the Covid-19 crisis than most professional communities. Today , America preps for at least another month of lockdown and social distancing. The markets continue their chaotic swing as investors are simply unable to price in such a once in a lifetime event. A question for the crypto community becomes: how is this impacting narratives about our own industry? In this episode, @NLW looks at the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on narratives around:BitcoinStablecoinsDigital Dollars and Central Bank Digital CurrenciesDeFi Privacy
30/03/2021m 27s

LTB!: How MakerDAO's Stablecoin Survived the Crash, Smart Contract Bugs and Full Decentralization

In the aftermath of the so-called "Black Thursday" crash from several weeks ago, MakerDAO's "DAI" ethereum backed dollar pegged stablecoin came untethered and was, for a time at least, functionally insolvent. In the aftermath, holders of the MKR token which allows holders to participate in governance decisions opted to do a couple of things, including adding the centralized stablecoin USDC to the list of acceptable collateral, which drew both condemnations mostly around centralized risk being added to the system and praise for making the system more robust against sudden ETH collateral price crashes.And now most recently, the Maker Foundation which had held some centralized control over the protocol completed their long-planned exit with all authorities now transferred to the holders of MKR tokens, removing both a point of control which had been used as a safety check and a point of risk in that centralized control can be co-opted and used to disrupt a system as we've seen in other examples.On today's show we're digging into:What is Decentralized Finance (DeFi)?How does decentralized finance differ from traditional banking?Fractional reserve vs over-collateralized loans Liberty Dollars’s missing collateral and USDC’s risky nameMakerDAO, DAI dollar-pegged stablecoins and how this DeFi stablecoin actually worksSDAI (Single Collateral DAI) vs. DAI (Multi Collateral DAI)Smart contract ‘vaults’Lending money to yourself: 150%, 300%, insurance and auctionsWhat happened on ‘Black Thursday’ as the price of Ether dropped more than 50%What happened when transaction fees went through the roofA bug in the collateral auction smart contractA surprising crash: as the system became functionally insolvent the price of the dollar pegged stablecoin actually went vaults are transparent, take a look!Loaning yourself money using your ether (at interest)How MakerDAO’s approach differs from SALT LendingThe other half of the DAI system: saving vault smart contractsDAI Saving Rate (DSR) and the new certificate of depositThe reward for using MKR tokens to administer a good systemCan savings vaults be liquidated?Smart contract risks, consensus risks, systemic risks and response time risksSponsors: and Purse.ioWhat specifically went wrong with the auction smart contracts?Recapitalizing the system by diluting MKR governance stakeholdersEven with bugs, market mechanisms to fill the solvency hole seemed to work better than government bailout equivalents.Completing the transition from foundation-overseen to full tokenized governance.Decentralization transition - A necessary step or a natural one?Single collateral vs. Multi-collateralWhy would a decentralized stablecoin want to allow a centralized stablecoin for collateral?External political risks vs. internal technological risks“Life finds a way” and DeFi’s natural circuit breakers (also Mt.GOX)Whats the point of putting USDC in to get DAI out?How does DeFi insurance work?A modular ecosystem How DeFi and traditional finance are similarDeFi vs. 2nd layer protocols
29/03/2048m 27s

MICHAEL CASEY: Disruption, Money and a World of Change, Feat. Niall Ferguson

"...I think the right lesson to draw from all of this is that a global order needs to be based on a distributed operating system, not on a centralized architecture. And I think that applies not just in the realm of money but also across the board so that there is a greater capacity for local response than we currently have..."CoinDesk's Michael Casey speaks with author, historian and Hoover Institution senior fellow Niall Ferguson about our disrupted world, inevitable crisis and what it could mean for money. Album Art Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash
28/03/2039m 27s

BREAKDOWN: From Corporate Socialism to Dying for the Dow: 7 Themes That Defined the Week

In this episode of The Breakdown, @NLW reflects on the themes that defined an absolutely wild week in global markets and society. Those themes include:Unlimited QE - broad new powers (corporate bond buying anyone?) and an unlimited checkbook for the Fed Digital Dollars - a surprise inclusion of a digital dollar in an early Stimulus draft shifts the Overton windowNarrative Shift to “Grandma Dies For The Dow” - narrative analysis that suggests that the “just the flu” of two weeks has become “business closures will kill more than COVID”Stimulus as Corporate Socialism - a huge bailout for businesses explained away by something that Taleb says is decidedly NOT a Black SwanThe Last Break of Institutional Trust - jobless claims were 4x higher than the previous record on the same day the stock market went bull again - trust in leadership is deadSurveillance - a growing concern with surveillance - such as the new CDC program earmarked in the Stimulus packageBitcoin difficulty adjustment - as Preston Pysh put it “this thing is so resilient it’s almost laughable”
27/03/2021m 47s

BREAKDOWN: How BlackRock Ended Up on Both Sides of the Bailout, Feat. Meltem Demirors

The Senate passed $2T in Stimulus. That includes a one time $1,200 check to impacted individuals and….you guessed it, billions and billions for corporate relief. Included in that are hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate bond buying programs. The Federal Reserve has recruited asset management giant BlackRock to administer three of those programs. Here’s the kicker. As Bloomberg describes it: “under the arrangement [BlackRock] could buy some of its own funds on behalf of the central bank.” Outrage is running rampant, and to help listeners sort through it, @NLW is joined by Meltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares. In this conversation, they discuss:The government mechanics behind the “money printer go brrr” meme The unfathomable failure of US intelligence in seeing the pandemic coming The deficit of leadership across the political spectrum What Blackrock means and why “they’re not even pretending anymore” Why Twitter memes on their own can’t change the worldWhy bitcoin can and should be a gateway and tool for evangelizing more systemic change
26/03/201h 4m

BITCOIN IN AFRICA: Hyperinflation and Zimbabwe's Multi-Currency Reality

In this second part of the “Bitcoin in Africa” podcast documentary series, join Anita as she learns about Zimbabwe and the country's multiple currencies. Combining on-the-ground recordings, interviews and thoughtful narration, she paints a picture of why things are how they are, as well as the state of human rights and free speech.In the first episode we learned about the current living situation of Zimbabweans and the country's political history. Anita helped us understand why things are how they are as well as the state of human rights and free speech. In this episode you'll get to know the multi-currency world, the different forms and usages of money as well as the price fluctuations that Zimbabweans are dealing with day by day. We'll also take a look at the current regulations of cryptocurrencies, the usage of mobile payments and internet connections and the prospects of Bitcoin in Africa.This podcast special and Anita's trip to Africa would not have been possible without her sponsors and supporters.ANITA:I want to thank my sponsors first: Thank you: a person-to-person bitcoin trading site, Peter McCormack and the whatbitcoindid podcast, Coinfinity and the Card Wallet, SHIFT Cryptosecurity, manufacturer of the hardware wallet BitBox02 and many thanks to several unknown private donors, who sent me Satoshis over the Lightning Network.This special is edited by CoinDesk’s Podcasts Editor Adam B. Levine and published first on the CoinDesk Podcast Network. Thank you very much for supporting the Bitcoin in Africa series with your work.Thanks goes also out to – stakwork is a great project that brings bitcoin into the world through earning. One can do microjobs on stakwork, earning Satoshis and cash them out without even having an understanding about the lightning network or bitcoin. I think we need more projects like that to spread the usage of bitcoin around the world.Thank you also to GoTenna, for donating several GoTenna devices to set up a mesh network in Zimbabwe and to Team Satoshi, the decentralized sports team for supporting my work.This special is also brought to you by the Let’s Talk Bitcoin Network.
26/03/2043m 11s

BREAKDOWN: Why the U.S.' $2 Trillion Stimulus, Unlimited QE Will Expose the Monetary System’s Flaws

CoinDesk’s Chief Content Officer Michael Casey and Head of Research Noelle Acheson join for a lively debate about the new $2 trillion stimulus package and era of “unlimited” QE, including:Whether (and on what time scale) fiscal and monetary stimulus might lead to inflationWhether the Fed buying corporate bonds amounts to a nationalization of the bond marketsWhy the appearance of a ‘digital dollar’ in an earlier stimulus proposal was a huge surpriseHow a digital dollar in the form proposed would upset the balance of power between the Fed, commercial banks, and citizens Why trust in governments and financial institutions is likely to achieve new lows in the wake of COVID-19Why people are reevaluating the meaning and purpose of money   
25/03/2033m 24s

BREAKDOWN: Cronyism, Zombie Companies and the True Cost of the Coronavirus, Feat. Morgan Creek's Mark Yusko

Mark Yusko is the founder of Morgan Creek Capital Management. In this wide-ranging conversation, he and @NLW discuss: Why bitcoin has fallen with stocks over the last few weeksWhy price and value are not the same thingWhy stocks have been manipulated An argument for buy backs being illegal Why cronyism is not capitalism Why bailouts and other types of intervention help zombie companies that should perishA debate about whether the “cure is worse than the disease”The costs of a 0-risk tolerance The polarization of health vs. economics Why there should be a market holiday Why bitcoin is the last and only free market Why the big market announcements are always on Sunday Why we’re headed to debt jubilee There is a non-zero probability that Trump tries to cancel the election  Why a lack of leadership is the biggest cause for pessimism today
24/03/201h 3m

BREAKDOWN: Unlimited QE and Why Markets Can't Price in COVID-19

Last October, Ikigai Asset Management’s Travis Kling predicted that Central Banks would have to “juice QE to infinity” in order to save markets from recession. Yesterday on 60 Minutes, Fed President Neel Kashkari said “there is an infinite amount of cash at the Federal Reserve. We will do whatever we need to do to make sure there is enough cash in the financial system.” This was followed this morning by an announcement that the Fed was giving itself effectively unlimited capacity to intervene in markets. Markets were...still not impressed. In less than two hours, an initial gain had entirely retraced. On this episode of The Breakdown, @NLW looks at:Specifics details of the Fed AnnouncementWhy FinTwit and Bitcoin Twitter are focusing on inflation Why some think that this action amounts to a nationalization of marketsHow the ‘money printer go brrr’ meme is taking hold
23/03/2017m 25s

LTB!: Bailouts, Bitcoin, Disruption, Failures and Hope

On today's episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin we're discussing the coming bailout-everything regime in a topic that's both extremely timely but is also what originally forced many long-term bitcoin enthusiasts to learn about money and become interested in cryptocurrency originally. As much of the world on an almost uniform and bipartisan basis shuts down to slow the spread of COVID19 and prepares to bail out first financial markets and now basically everything that can't work on a fully remote basis, we're talking about crisis, bailouts, the limits of monetary policy and the real possibility that it's not a straw that breaks the back of our money but rather the whole world suddenly jumping on.This episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin is sponsored by eToro.comOn today's show we'll discuss:The growing bipartisan and global shutdown then bailout everything movementThe alternative to the bailout path we're onThe inability of even extraordinary monetary policy to resolve these issues and the markets growing cognitive dissonanceThe revival of the "system is breaking and when it does we'll need something new that doesn't share the same problems of being vulnerable to politically expedient over-reactions" narrative that, frankly, drove my initial interest in bitcoin in the first place.And more...
22/03/201h 5m

LEIGH: How Bitcoiners Can Protect Their Mental Health During The Coronavirus Crisis

CoinDesk reporter Leigh Cuen is joined by cognitive economist Leigh Caldwell, author of “The Psychology of Price,” to talk about mental health and cryptocurrency in a time of coronavirus crisis. People who struggle with anxiety, gambling addiction, and a wide array of other other mental health issues may want to develop healthy habits for engaging with financial tools like cryptocurrency.Most American researchers agree these days that roughly 2 percent of the population is estimated to be at high risk for gambling addiction. Case and point, when Texas Tech University assistant professor Devin Mills surveyed 876 people who had gambled within the previous month, more than half of the respondents traded cryptocurrency. “Our data suggests that around 40 percent of regular gamblers who traded cryptocurrencies in the past year reported elevated levels of either depression or anxiety, or both,” Mills said. However, the frequency with which the respondent traded cryptocurrencies was positively associated with most other types of gambling. The data doesn’t suggest bitcoin uniquely causes a gambling addiction, online harassment, or other mental health risks. It may simply be that people who already face these challenges are more likely to trade.“There is a good Russian saying: The pig will find the dirt,” said New York therapist Yevgenia Mastyayeva, who specializes in gambling addiction. “The technology and society shape your addiction, give it a particular form, but it is you who are predisposed or not to develop addiction in the first place.”There are also other mental health risks associated with cryptocurrency communities, namely habits that exacerbate anxiety disorders or expose users to anxiety-inducing harassment. Psychiatrist turned crypto entrepreneur Prash Puspanathan said financial distress can fuel some people’s pre-existing anxiety disorders, which could contribute to suicides. And, regardless of whether someone has an anxiety disorder, routine online harassment is stressful. Puspanathan also described online harassment related to “women sexually shamed... with occasionally devastating consequences.” According to a Pew Research Center survey in 2017, nearly 20 percent of Americans reported that online harassment damaged their relationships at home, work, or school, sometimes making it more difficult to find housing or employment.In short, a healthy bitcoiner should strive to find a balance of habits, minimized exposure to online harassers, and watch out for signs of erratic or addictive behavior. Some people might prefer to keep a separate budget for crypto investments versus household spending, plus use multisig wallets for long-term holdings, Mills said.Mastyayeva agreed bitcoin custody setups and trading platforms that simplify “realization of the impulse” might not be the best choice for those who display signs of addictive behavior. Limiting screen time can be helpful. What else do doctors suggest? Sleep. According to cognitive economist Leigh Caldwell, author of “The Psychology of Price,” it also might be prudent for people to avoid financial choices based mainly on Crypto Twitter.
21/03/2016m 12s

BREAKDOWN: State Power After Coronavirus, Feat. Peter McCormack

Peter McCormack is the host of What Bitcoin Did and the Defiance podcast. He recently returned from travel to a number of countries in South America including Venezuela and Colombia as well as the Turkey-Greece border. In this off-the-cuff and wide ranging conversation, Peter and @NLW discussBitcoiner politics and the bitcoin community’s reaction to the potential for increased state power in the wake of CoronavirusWhich types of state power growth we should be most concerned with How to push governments to retract power growth on the other side of crisis How travel around the world has informed Peter’s perspective on bitcoin and politicsWhy nuance is both disincentivized and sorely needed in times of crisis
20/03/201h 14m

BITCOIN IN AFRICA: The Ubuntu Way (Zimbabwe)

In this 1st part of the “Bitcoin in Africa” podcast documentary series, join Anita as she learns about the current living situation of Zimbabweans and the country's political history. Combining on-the-ground recordings, interviews and thoughtful narration, she paints a picture of why things are how they are, as well as the state of human rights and free speech.Recorded February 2020 in the run-up to the growing quarantine movement and coronavirus travel restrictions Anita travelled to Zimbabwe and Botswana to listen, learned and record about the usage of Bitcoin in these countries. In the world of bitcoin countries like Zimbabwe and Venezuela are frequently mentioned as places where Bitcoin could or perhaps should be making a difference. Where they can really help the people's economic situations."I wanted to see by myself, if this is true and in how far Bitcoin is known and used there." said Anita PoschYou can find travel pictures, videos, credits and a full transcript here
19/03/2048m 24s

BREAKDOWN: Can Open Source Networks Address Medical Shortages? Feat. Bruce Fenton

In his daily Coronavirus press briefing today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said “our main scramble now is ventilators.” The state anticipates that within 45 days, it could need 37,000 ventilators. It currently has 3000. Bruce Fenton was one of the early crypto community canaries in the coal mine warning of the impending threat of Coronavirus. As the world has caught up to the warning, he has shifted his attention to helping coordinate an open source network that is trying to address that exact problem. On this episode of The Breakdown, Bruce joins to discuss:Where the US is in its awareness cycle Why bitcoiners are worried about the long-term economic ramifications of massive stimulusWhat a voluntarist alternative to government intervention might look likeHow an open source network is trying to solve the ventilator shortage What regular people can do to contribute to the fight against Coronavirus
18/03/2040m 30s

BREAKDOWN: Why Bitcoin Is the Only Truly Free Market, Feat. Dan Tapiero

President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced a significant slate of upcoming stimulus measures, including deferred taxes and direct payments to Americans (although those details remain to be seen). On this episode of The Breakdown, 10T holdings CEO Dan Tapiero joins to discuss:How this forthcoming stimulus might impact the bitcoin narrativeWhy some traditional safe havens like bonds might not fair well in the coming markets while others like gold are poised to thrive Why markets could be positioning for a major bounce backWhy the Fed has more tools in its toolkit than popular media and opinion are suggesting Why the dollar’s global strength is a major concern Why bitcoin is the only truly free market in the world
17/03/2041m 16s

BREAKDOWN: Can $700B in Quantitative Easing Calm the Markets? CoinDesk's Michael Casey and Noelle Acheson Discuss

Over the weekend, the Fed decided it couldn’t wait for Wednesday’s planned meeting to act, cutting interest rates to nearly 0%. It also announced $700 billion of direct capital injection through the purchase of Treasury securities and mortgage-backed debt. The question is whether this action can actually calm markets? So far, it’s not looking great. Within minutes, emergency circuit breakers were triggered again. Markets are down more than 9% on the day. In this episode, @NLW chats with CoinDesk’s Chief Content Officer Michael Casey and director of research Noelle Acheson about:Why the market isn’t impressed with Fed actionWhy no Fed response will be enough on its own to solve the health crisis and the resulting economic dislocationWhy we’re going to see more conversations in the coming weeks about UBI, MMT and other direct citizen stimulus
16/03/2024m 39s

LTB!: Consensus Oracles and 'Anything That Can Be Decentralized Will Be Decentralized' 6 Years Later

The best Sundays are for long reads and deep conversations. Last week the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show gathered to discuss a new consensus driven approach to DeFi oracles and to revisit Johnston's Law (anything that can be decentralized will be decentralized) with the man who coined the phrase so many years ago.Listen/subscribe to the CoinDesk Podcast feed for unique perspectives and fresh daily insight with Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocketcasts, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Stitcher, RadioPublica, IHeartRadio or RSS.On today's podcast we're joined by early investor and entrepeneur David Johnston to discuss:A new "consensus based" alternative to "reserve based", "game theory based", or trusted oracle based StablecoinsThe growing relevance of DeFi even for those who aren't using itJohnston's Law six years later, how far we've come and real reasons for optimism on the decentralized evolution of everything.Credits for LTB#429 - Coronavirus Impacts on Bitcoin (And the IRS's Dumb Singularity)This episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin! is sponsored by and episode featured Stephanie Murphy, Jonathan Mohan, David Johnston and Adam B. LevineToday's episode was produced by Adam B. Levine, edited by Jonas with music provided by Jared Rubens and Adam B. LevineWould you like to Sponsor a future episode of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! show? Do you have any questions or comments? Email
15/03/2034m 39s

LEIGH: Udi Wetheimer on Real Bitcoin Use and Cyperpunk Myths

The cypherpunk movement has expanded far beyond the 2,000 people who subscribed to mailing lists in the 1990s. In 2018, Entrepreneur reported there are more than 8,000 posts on Bitcointalk every day, while Coinbase garnered millions of user accounts. Such experimental technology is no longer the realm of just a few thousand geeks.However, across the board, even in 2020 cypherpunk projects rarely exceed a few dozen regular contributors. For example, Exiledsurfer, an event organizer and hacker space co-founder from the Parallele Polis collective, said his space in Vienna was inspired by a collective in Prague that collects roughly $5,000 a month in cryptocurrency from members to share a venue. Likewise, the Vienna chapter accepts dues in DAI, monero and bitcoin, just to name a few. “We’re a crypto pure organization,” Exiledsurfer said. “This will be an alternative asset class or, in a hundred years, there will by three guys in a garage in Topeka, Kansas, tweaking on a 2020 computer to keep the chain alive, just like people tweak on old cars.”The cypherpunk movement appears to be growing, albeit slowly. “I still get people every week, young people and programmers who say they want to give their lives to this thing,” cypherpunk icon Amir Taaki said, underscoring why he believes the movement will only succeed through groups with “structured” training methods. “There’s a yearning need for this...we can build our own financial networks outside of the control of the state,” Taaki said of the academy he plans to launch in Barcelona. “How do all of these pieces that we’re working on fit together to serve a higher goal? What’s our narrative?” Taaki said. Yet, even as a cypherpunk technology aficionado, Wertheimer disagrees with such collectivist views of “our” narrative or “pure” projects. “I don’t think we need bitcoin evangelists,” Wertheimer said. We’ll talk about why he views the ideological movement as divorced from user groups that may now utilize cypherpunk technology. Want more? Read my article about how bitcoin compares to the early days of the internet.
14/03/2059m 40s

BREAKDOWN: What Happens When Currencies Fail? Feat. Preston Pysh

Massive and novel government intervention in markets is now a foregone conclusion, but what happens to bitcoin as the dust settles? Description Yesterday, the Federal Reserve announced more than a trillion dollars in liquidity injections into the market. In the coming weeks, many observers expect trillions of more in stimulus in a variety of exotic new intervention tactics. While this will (hopefully) stem the still emerging economic fallout from the pandemic, it creates its own new set of problems. In this episode of The Breakdown, @NLW is joined by “We Study Billionaires” host Preston Pysh to discuss:How bond markets will react to the wave of stimulus The challenge of global coordination for a new Bretton WoodsWhy in the wake of stimulus some governments might turn to bitcoin The three factors that lead to currency failure
13/03/201h 7m

BREAKDOWN: 6 Good Reasons for Bitcoin HODLers to Stay Calm

The Coronavirus got really extra real today for markets. A two and a half week selloff was tipped to the next level by a major ratcheting up of action from the US government (which still seemed clearly to be not enough to calm markets). In bitcoin, this meant a drop from around $8000 yesterday to under $6000 today - a head-spinning dump, especially for those who are more recent to crypto. Still, in this episode, @NLW argues that there are 7 good reasons to keep calm and HODL on:It’s not just bitcoin Correlation means infiltrationPeak fear Asia on the upswing Buy order behavior Bitcoin’s been dead before  And a bonus: this environment is exactly what bitcoin was built for
12/03/2016m 6s

BREAKDOWN: Ben Hunt on Markets and Narratives in the Age of Coronavirus

The week of February 12, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was reaching new all time highs. Meanwhile, China’s quarantine of the 11 million people in Wuhan was three weeks old and expanding to other parts of the country. While the global equities markets have finally started to catch up to the fear of a global pandemic, the Coronavirus has been one a profound case study in the power of narratives to shape behavior. Even now, those seeking to contain the spread in the US are fighting against narratives from leadership that range from “it’s just the flu” to “it’s a hoax from the media.” On today’s episode of The Breakdown, NLW speaks with Epsilon Theory co-founder and market theorist Ben Hunt, who makes it his business to understand how narratives are shape and shaped by the world around us. Since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, Ben has been a clarion voice in the chaos. This episode is no exception. 
11/03/2058m 15s

BREAKDOWN: Crypto Fundraising and a Nothing-Is-Safe Haven

Whatever you thought of the uncorrelated or safe haven narratives a few weeks ago, it’s hard to deny that bitcoin and crypto are moving in lock step with equities - even mirroring a small bounce in the morning that retreated in the early afternoon. On this episode of The Breakdown, NLW looks at hot takes on the narrative from Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal and crypto investor Ari David Paul. Not all the news is bleak, however. Also on this episode, we break down recent financings for Argent’s de-fi friendly wallet Horizon Games’ blockchain-based Hearthstone/MtG style game SkyWeaverFutureswap’s decentralized futures exchange and more
10/03/2014m 13s

BREAKDOWN: What the Market Crash Means for Bitcoin, Feat. Delphi's Kevin Kelly

Bitcoin’s price has cratered, but it’s nothing compared to the broader market havoc. From the Coronavirus scare to an oil price war, a confluence of factors is aligning to make it a very rough Monday. On this episode of The Breakdown, @nlw is joined by Delphi Digital’s Kevin Kelly to discuss:Why the stock market is just catching up to what the bond markets have been sayingWhy the bond markets have been a better reflection of potential economic pain Why we need to pay attention to what happens in the credit markets The role of the oil price war in today’s market drop What the declining bitcoin price means for the safe haven and uncorrelated asset narrativesWhich assets are actually acting like safe havens
09/03/2033m 43s

LEIGH: Leader to Watch: Elena Giralt Talks Zcash and Feminism

CoinDesk reporter Leigh Cuen is joined by Elena Giralt, the Electric Coin Company’s product marketing associate known for her research on cryptocurrency usage in Latin America, to talk about how digital assets can subvert power dynamics. According to the Brookings Institute, roughly 4.6 million Venezuelans have fled the country so far, which the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees called the largest exodus in the region’s recent history. Many such refugees and diaspora Venezuelans use cryptocurrency for remittances or to earn freelance income. But, as Giralt pointed out, the industry at-large has a long way to go to improve ethical marketing in the region. “Adoption has been overstated by companies that have a vested interest,” she said. “If you’re going to promote a certain solution or initiative in a vulnerable population, there’s really a higher bar for disclosures and informed consent.” Consent is, from Giralt’s perspective, the underlying principle of cypherpunk technology. Later, we'll discuss how financial privacy is crucial to women’s rights and free, easy ways for people to empower women in their local communities.Want more? Leigh also has an article about Venezuelans using cryptocurrency.
07/03/2023m 50s

BREAKDOWN: FluffyPony on Encryption, Clearview and How Coronavirus Could Impact Privacy

As the Coronavirus took hold in China, officials in the Hubei province tracked potential patients by examining purchase records for cough and flu medicine for the previous month. Welcome to the new frontiers of privacy. In this wide-ranging episode, @NLW chats with former lead maintainer of Monero and Tari co-founder Riccardo Spagni - aka @FluffyPony on Twitter - about privacy in the context of:The recent arrest of DropBit CEO Larry Harmon surrounding bitcoin mixer technology being used for illicit purposes The US govt’s battle against end-to-end encryption Central bank digital currencies At home devices like Alexa and Google home Clearview AI and facial recognitionChina’s response to Coronavirus Why individual apathy is the greatest threat to privacy in the world 
06/03/2031m 42s

LEIGH: Binance US and Stellar CEOs Debunk Myths for International Women’s Day

CoinDesk reporter Leigh Cuen is joined by Binance US CEO Catherine Coley and Stellar Development Foundation CEO Denelle Dixon to debunk myths about gender for International Women’s Day. There’s a common myth that women are less likely to be interested in bitcoin than men. The reality is people with higher income levels have a greater propensity for cryptocurrency and women still earn significantly less than men. Sexism isn’t only a problem in the so-called third world. A 2010 report by the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed roughly 11 percent of reports from women in abusive relationships came from upper-middle-class or wealthy households. Globally, women still have fewer inheritance rights than men as well. And, according to the World Development Report in 2012, it was common for 5-45 percent of women respondents in any given jurisdiction to say they don’t have control over their own income. Since financial abuse happens across income levels, two of the leading women executives in Silicon Valley share career advice and management tips.  Later, we'll discuss how crypto startups can recruit diverse women and recognize untapped talent. Want more? Leigh also has an article about women in the blockchain industry.
06/03/2029m 45s

BREAKDOWN: Why Bitcoin Mining Might Be the New Business Model for US Power Plants

It was another good day for global crypto, as South Korea votes to formally integrate the industry into the existing financial system, opening the market to new players and potentially improving services for crypto companies. In New York state, meanwhile, a recently renovated power plant is taking advantage of low cost energy with 7000 bitcoin miners. This is part of a larger trend of US-based mining in 2020. In a very different part of the industry, a new partnership between ConsenSys, EY and Microsoft suggests the intranet era of enterprise blockchain might be coming to a close. Finally, the new governor of the Bank of England says be prepared to lose money if you buy bitcoin.
05/03/2015m 52s

BREAKDOWN: Libra Plus? A New Global Digital Currency Strategy for Facebook

Yesterday, The Information reported that Facebook’s Calibra wallet would be abandoning the backed-by-a-basket-of-currencies Libra for a set of fiat-backed digital currencies for different regions. The company quickly amended that while they would be launching those fiat-based digital currencies, they weren’t abandoning Libra. In this episode, @NLW argues that these fiat digital currencies could be more readily adopted initially than Libra among Facebook’s existing user base. Also on this episode, huge news out of India, as the Supreme Court reverses a decision by the Reserve Bank of India from 2018 to ban crypto banking. The move could breath life into an industry which has largely shuttered in India since the initial ban. Finally, a news roundup including a lawsuit against Twitter around de-platforming and a new router from HTC that can also run a bitcoin full node. 
04/03/2015m 59s

BREAKDOWN: Super Tuesday Special: What Us Election Outcome Is Best for Bitcoin?

Today is Super Tuesday - the biggest day of the US primary election season. Increasingly, prediction markets and pollsters suggest it’s a two person race between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders (although Mike Bloomberg has insisted he’s staying in). In this episode, NLW breaks down each candidate in the context of their positions vis a vis cryptocurrency, as well as looking at the possible role of three other fallen contenders in the rest of the campaign. As Bernie leads the Twitter poll, the question arises: do people think Bernie will be good for bitcoin because he shares the same values of prioritizing the little guy over big banks, or because they think his programs will demand so much QE it will send bitcoin to the moon? Listen and find out. 
03/03/2024m 55s

BREAKDOWN: The View From China: Crypto, Crisis and Digital Currencies Feat. Matthew Graham

When everyone wrote their 2020 crypto prediction pieces, China featured prominently in everything from the exchange business to enterprise blockchain to the potential impact of a forthcoming digital yuan. Coronavirus erased those issues from focus. On this episode of The Breakdown, @NLW is joined by Matthew Graham, CEO of Sino Global Capital. For the past 7 years, Matthew has lived in China and for the past several years, his exclusive focus has been on crypto and blockchain. In this episode, they discuss:What Chinese crypto and blockchain investors were focused on before CoronavirusThe shift in the crypto and blockchain narrative in China post-Libra What living through the Coronavirus has actually been live (and how it differs from the media narrative in the US) Why enterprise blockchain is poised to be one of the most dominant focuses for China-centric investors this year 
02/03/2025m 19s

LTB!: Coronavirus Impacts on Bitcoin (And the IRS's Dumb Singularity)

The best Sundays are for long reads and deep conversations. Earlier this week the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show gathered to discuss Coronavirus and its potential impacts or disruptions to the decentralized world of bitcoin.Later, we hear from correspondent George Ettinger about the indications of a "Dumb Currency Singularity" taking place at the IRS right now (also presented in full text below).Listen/subscribe to the CoinDesk Podcast feed for unique perspectives and fresh daily insight with Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocketcasts, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Stitcher, RadioPublica, IHeartRadio or RSS.On today's podcast we discuss Coronavirus and:The bitcoin mining industry and the slowing rate of hash-rate increases in the run-up to the 2020 halvingSafe haven, uncorrelated and risk asset narratives as the price of bitcoin bounces defies expectationsThe potential for shifts in how society thinks about money in the wake of a highly transmissible global diseasePlus a brief primer on virus families (skip to 13 minutes for blockchain only content if you're already up to speed)Credits for LTB#429 - Coronavirus Impacts on Bitcoin (And the IRS's Dumb Singularity)This episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin! is sponsored by and episode featured Stephanie Murphy, Andreas M. Antonopoulos, George Ettinger and Adam B. LevineToday's episode was produced by Adam B. Levine, edited by Adam B. Levine with music provided by Jared Rubens and Adam B. LevineWould you like to Sponsor a future episode of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! show? Do you have any questions or comments? Email adam@ltbshow.comThe Dumb Singularity: Crypto Currencies and Game Currencies are Overdue for a CollisionSo. It has come to this.One of the biggest barriers to entry for a disruptive technology is the incompetence of the average consumer. On the other hand, simply preying on the illiteracy of consumers can be a boon for some truly terrible inventions. It is in the clash of these two ideologies that we have reached the Dumb Currency Singularity.Digital currency has been on course for the Dumb Singularity for well over a decade, and we finally passed the event horizon late last year. At the end of 2019, the IRS quietly published a set of virtual currency guidelines that broadly lumped together mainstream cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and Ethereum with honest-to-god Fortnite V-Bucks and Roblox Money.I have just been informed that the legal term for Roblox currency is "Robux." That seems... fair.My point, however roundabout it may be, is that somebody in a position of some influence at the United States Internal Revenue Service saw their grandkid beg for a Roblox card in the Walgreens checkout line and thought, "MY GOD, THE BIT-COINS HAVE COME FOR THE CHILDREN." And then, when he put his horror to print, enough a phalanx of fellow IRS employees looked it over and thought "yes, that sounds right" that it was greenlit for public consumption. That advisement (to which the IRS claimed players of Fortnite and Roblox must report any purchases of "Bucks", whether "V"- or "Ro"-) stood monolithically for nearly three months before it was escorted off the stage just as quietly as it had arrived. In a fit of Streisanding, this change caught more attention than the addition had garnered to begin with, and the IRS gave a formal explanation. "The IRS recognizes that the language on our page potentially caused concern for some taxpayers," they said. "We have changed the language in order to lessen any confusion. Transacting in virtual currencies as part of a game that do not leave the game environment (virtual currencies that are not convertible) would not require a taxpayer to indicate this on their tax return."This is, surprisingly, rather huge. Huge in that they got this follow-up explanation relatively right, and huge in that they still persist in getting so-called "virtual currency" wrong. You see, the IRS has been caught flat-footed over and over with every passing year that crypto currency has spread. They were slow enough recognizing the growing importance of Bitcoin that it wasn't until 2013 that they designated a team to begin planning for how to handle the currency… and they still haven't figured out how to handle it. Yet, dating back even earlier than this, the IRS has ALSO been blindsided at every turn by non-crypto "gaming" digital currencies. Their official language conflating the two isn't just a red flag- it’s a canary in the coal mine.Game Currencies- for simplicity, hereafter referred to as, uh, "Game Currencies"- run a wide gamut but the majority is exactly what the IRS failed to recognize in Fortnite and Roblox: a non-convertible, non-transferrable currency that cannot reasonably leave the confines of its game. Your Fortnite V-Bucks and Apex Legends Coins and… [SIGH].. Ro-Bux… are just an interstitial medium between your real money and the gameplay. You do not trade these with other players, nor do you have the options to take these chips up to the casino counter and cash them back out: once your USD enters the game, it cannot leave it in any reasonable form. After the original point-of-sale a Game Currency is no different from Sonic's rings.So, for as correct as the IRS eventually got it, they've still been handling Game Currencies wrong, and it has informed the ways they still get Crypto wrong. Many game currencies ARE transferrable and ARE dangerously viable mediums for exchange and laundering, and they have been around longer than Bitcoin. It's absolutely no secret that World of Warcraft gold is player-transferrable: it's the entire reason "gold farming" remains a legitimate source of income for so many. Though less ubiquitous than Warcraft, the seminal Supply Chain Actuary Simulator EVE Online notoriously monetized its monthly subscription cards into a consumable ingame item. For those unfamiliar, this means that when you buy a month of game time, it isn't simply added to your account: it becomes an item in your game inventory that can either be USED to extend your subscription, or TRADED with other players as a dollar-pegged commodity. Now, the truly fantastical economic tales of money laundering, actual virtual space piracy, and actual-million-actual-dollar banking deals in Eve Online can and HAS filled several books, so I will not go into detail here.The point is, simply, that player-exchangeable cash-value items have been a massive grey market for years and continued to slip under the IRS's nose. They didn't bat an eye at the horrifying headlines of Diablo 3's aborted real-cash auction house fiasco, yet now in 2020 they're fumbling to grasp onto its legacy. That fumbling is part-and-parcel with their fumbling of Bitcoin, and the timeline tells a story. A recent Government Accountability Office review of IRS virtual currency policies painted a somewhat scathing picture of a bureaucracy that was slow to notice and even slower to adapt. The IRS initiative in 2013 was a kneejerk response to the first truly landmark year of Bitcoin cash trading, where dollar parity was suddenly blown aside by hundred dollar parity. The impetus is obvious: disruptive changes to currency don't matter to the IRS until they see it on the "Wacky Stories" segment of their local station news. The financial establishments that stood to gain from digital currencies were quick on the uptake, but the groups tasked with oversight were responding to changing conditions and new developments with the grace of a grandparent still giftwrapping cabbage patch dolls for the kids' 35th birthdays. The GAO points out that, across three years, the IRS was trying to garner clues from the 900 people that had self-reported Bitcoin capital gains. That's right- from 2013 to 2015, nearly a thousand god-fearing Americans had the saintly humility to self-report their Bitcoin earnings to the feds, and it took three years of analysis for those feds to deduce that there might be more out there going unreported. Kudos, by the way, to those 900 honorable people who attempted to watch out for the watchmen while the watchmen weren't even watching.In these years since, the spectrum of cryptocurrencies has exploded and the applications of game currencies has become strangely homogenized. Convertible game currencies like Warcraft gold persist, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Publishers have found that stifling a cross-player economy gives them a better control over the experience and far less accountability for what is done with that money. Fortnite follows this modern standard; real currency is an aggressively-optimized one-way flow from player to publisher, with no convertible gains to tax. The IRS has long since missed the boat on game currencies.Why, then, did they so recently and so awkwardly collide with cryptocurrencies in the revenue service's jumbled mind? This, my friend, is the beginning of the Dumb Singularity: desperation and technological-illiteracy have finally boiled over, and the bureau is trying to play catch-up on the years that have passed it by. They may have smoothed over the initial blunder, but this is indicative of their intent to move forward with a more active hand, and the broad use the phrase "virtual currency" means that more blunders lie ahead. The GAO excoriated them for their slowness, vagueness, and all-around wishy-washiness in these regards, but to some extent it was not the IRS's fault. The organization has struggled under budget cuts and a dangerous lack of new blood, and yes, you may read that as younger-and-more-savvy blood. It was that same old blood that struggled to make any headway with their internal Virtual Currency Issues Team in 2013 and still wasn't seriously analyzing self-reported data from major crypto exchanges even into 2016. Some gentle flame finally reached their backsides sometime after, because by 2018 they were beginning to proactively reach out to users with obvious crypto gains and attempting to secure accurate reporting.Now, with the end of tax year 2019 upon us, they are finally facing the ontological conundrum at the center of the Dumb Singularity: What is the Enforceable Definition of "Virtual Currency?" What will distinguish between play money and dangerous money? While they dragged their feet comprehending the question, the answers have gotten only more muddled as technology blazed trails forward with no policy guidance. This year, game currencies are completely surpassing retail purchases as the primary source of publisher revenue and most of them aren't convertible or taxable; most, but not all. The IRS's complacency left it with a massive ecosystem to sift through and a lack of reliable, literate talent to do it. If their random grab at the most obvious game currencies they could think of was any indication, there will be more broad and clumsy strokes before there are any real answers. The IRS has the unenviable task of writing a perfect definition in a language it can't seem to speak, all because they never got around the asking the question that I accidentally stumbled on twenty years ago. When my 13-year-old self spent 10 bucks on eBay for a wealth of obviously-hacked Phantasy Star Online loot, I wondered: what laws can actually apply to the man who Game-Genies' his paychecks?
01/03/2053m 11s

BREAKDOWN: Understanding This Week's Market Whiplash, Feat. Scott Melker

After weeks of not reacting to Coronavirus, the markets took a profound turn for the worse this week, leading ultimately to the fastest correction - i.e. loss of 10% - in recorded history. In this episode of The Breakdown, @NLW is joined by crypto trader, DJ, and broad market thinker Scott Melker to discuss:What the crypto markets demonstrated this weekWhat recent price action suggests about the bitcoin as a safe haven narrativeWhy it’s insane that just two weeks ago, despite tens (or hundreds) of millions of people being quarantined in the supply chain capital of the world, stock markets were printing all time highsHow we went from those ATHs to the fastest correction (10% drop) in recorded historyWhat the correction suggests for the fundamentals of our economy Why central bankers have fewer options than ever to fight economic turmoil
28/02/2024m 2s

BREAKDOWN: A 101 Guide to Ethereum's ProgPOW Controversy

Last Friday on Ethereum’s core developer call, the devs agreed to push forward a controversial anti-ASICs consensus algorithm switch known as ProgPoW. The broader Ethereum community was not pleased, and has spent the last week debating both ProgPoW itself as well as the way decisions in the community get made. In this 101-guide to the controversy, @nlw breaks down:What is ProgPoWThe history of the debateArguments for and againstWho falls on what side and why The implications of ProgPoW for DeFi
27/02/2025m 11s

BREAKDOWN: Is Bitcoin a Safe Haven or 'Schmuck Insurance'?

Bitcoin is having a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day. Many are using the dump - which from a timing perspective aligns with a broader market selloff among Coronavirus fears - as a way to diminish the “bitcoin as a safe haven” narrative. In this episode, @nlw revisits that narrative and argues that it is uncomfortably bunched up with the uncorrelated asset narrative, or, as Chamath Palihapitiya calls it “schmuck insurance.”This episode also covers:Central bank digital currency (CBDC) news: Canada says it doesn’t see the need right now but that could change if private cryptos get more traction, while China’s work on a digital yuan is paused due to Coronavirus shutdowns. The six year anniversary of Mt. Gox’s lost 750,000 BTC coming to light. 
26/02/2019m 22s


In the pantheon of crypto hacks, “SIM jacking” is one of the worst. The hack, which is less a hack and more social engineering, is basically a form of identity theft, with the attacker swapping a victim's sim card remotely, usually with the help of your cell phone carrier, and then breaking into their email, crypto, bank accounts, basically all the stuff you definitely don’t want someone to break into. It's audacious but it’s also preventable with a little awareness. And the consequences can be dire, it’s also netted attackers tens of millions in loot over the past few years.In this episode of CoinDesk Explains, CoinDesk Editors Adam B. Levine and John Biggs explain the attack, what it could mean for you, how it works, and what you can do to prevent it in a way that even your grandpa could understand.
26/02/206m 22s

BREAKDOWN: 6 Explanations for Crypto's Fascination With Coronavirus

The spread of Coronavirus has dominated the news cycle across industries, but the discussion has been particularly fierce in both the finance and tech worlds, with crypto right in the lead. For a month or more, prominent crypto voices have been discussing the event in terms of skepticism of reported government cases, questions of market impact, and plans for personal preparation. NLW surveyed more than 1500 people on Crypto Twitter to ask why crypto was so interested in the Coronavirus. These were their top answers. This episode of The Breakdown also features an excerpt from Hidden Forces Ep 123: Market Nihilism: Price Discovery in a World Where Nothing Matters | Ben Hunt & Grant Williams
25/02/2022m 56s

BREAKDOWN: Caitlin Long on Coronavirus, Crypto Custody and Building a Bank

An incredible amount of work has gone into convincing institutional investors that bitcoin and crypto should be on their radar. Now that many are convinced, however, they face some significant limitations in the infrastructure. A new crypto bank out of Wyoming is designed to address those problems. Founded by Caitlin Long, Avanti is apply for a special purpose depository institution (SPDI) charter and already has 8 products in its pipeline not currently available to US investors. In this interview, Caitlin and @nlw discuss:Why Avanti is neededWhy Avanti will have 100% of assets in reserve at all timesWhy the right model for crypto custody is more akin to valeting a car than current financial market models Why building a crypto bank is important in the context of macro market turmoilHow Coronavirus is exposing pre-existing problems in the global economy
24/02/2019m 59s

LTB!: Decentralization Philosophy Part 2 - Does Crypto Still Need Catalysts?

The best Sundays are for long reads and deep conversations. Earlier this week the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show gathered to discuss catalysts and CEOS in the world of blockchain projects, the organizational and organic structures of decentralization and to wonder whether crypto even needs Satoshi-like catalysts now that the fire of blockchain burns bright.On today's podcast we continue the discussion, applying concepts and stories from "The Spider and the Starfish: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations", a formational book on pre-blockchain decentralization written in the early 2000's, as the centralized US military struggled to effectively dispatch a much smaller decentralized force in Afghanistan. While the battlefield is different, the insight is perhaps even more relevant to the world of blockchain projects, their decentralized origins and ambitions.Want more? Catch up on 7 years of Let's Talk Bitcoin!This episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin! is sponsored by and Photo by Krzysztof Niewolny on UnsplashThis episode featured Stephanie Murphy, Andreas M. Antonopoulos and Jonathan MohanMusic for today's episode was provided by Jared Rubens, From Ether Music and general fuzz, with editing by Jonas. Would you like to Sponsor a future episode of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! show? Do you have any questions or comments? Email
23/02/2053m 51s

LEIGH: 'Pandora's Box, but for Freedom': Author Isaiah Jackson on Bitcoin's Impact

Coindesk reporter Leigh Cuen is joined by Isaiah Jackson, author of “Bitcoin and Black America '' and co-founder of KRBE Digital Assets group, to talk about financial discrimination in the United States and the unique value bitcoin can offer minority communities. According to a survey of 5,126 Americans conducted by Coinbase and Qriously, “twice as many Black Americans have been negatively impacted by the current financial system” compared to their white peers. As such, the survey suggested, they are much more likely to be curious about bitcoin. This finding is supported by broader evidence. For example, The National Bureau of Economic Research also found in 2019 that black mortgage borrowers were charged higher interest rates than white borrowers and were denied mortgages that would have been approved for white applicants.Later, we'll discuss the cultural aspects of bitcoin and how someone’s background impacts his unique experience in the bitcoin community.Want more? Leigh also has an article about how black entrepreneurs use cryptocurrency to fundraise.
22/02/2017m 7s

BREAKDOWN: Why Today's Crypto Exchange Leaders Are Powerful, but Not Inevitable

After settling in to the $10,000 price level, BTC suddenly and rapidly dipped more than 5% in an hour on Wednesday. As the market discusses possible explanations, some floated the unexpected simultaneous downtime of Binance and Coinbase as a causal factor. In this episode of The Breakdown, we discuss the power exchanges wield - both in terms of market liquidity as well as the ability to shape news cycles. The good news is that new funding for insurgent exchanges suggest that power today is not inevitable. Lastly, we discuss the latest in central bank digital currencies, with Sweden launching an e-krona pilot; a former head of China’s national bank saying Coronavirus could accelerate efforts; and a new member of the Libra Association.
21/02/2012m 48s

BREAKDOWN: Why We Should Stop Thinking of ‘Crypto’ as a Single Industry

The ‘crypto’ industry is having a hard time fitting everything that’s happening inside that one monolithic term. On this episode, @nlw looks at current news stories from across at least 5 different categories - DeFi, enterprise blockchain, central bank digital currencies, digital collectibles and bitcoin - to ask whether they really all belong lumped in in the same category. The episode also looks at:Four reasons these increasingly different categories remain bunched together Why turning other parts of the industry into an enemy is rewarded in the public sphereWhy letting individual parts of the industry evolve individually is likely to bring more, not fewer resources into the space. 
20/02/2015m 53s

BREAKDOWN: Chainlink's Sergey Nazarov on What DeFi Can Learn From Early Exchange Hacks

The DeFi world continues to dissect the recent attacks on bZx. To most, the amount lost in the attacks is far less relevant than what the attacks suggest about how DeFi applications need to be designed. Within that, one key topic of conversation is the role of price oracles - the systems by which DeFi applications check the prices of assets that dictate what happens in a given smart contract. Since asset price manipulation was at the core of the recent attacks, this is a particularly pertinent area of inquiry. Yesterday, Chainlink announced that it would be helping bZx upgrade their systems taking advantage of Chainlink’s recently-launched “meta oracle.” On this episode of The Breakdown, Chainlink founder Sergey Nazarov discusses:The role of price oracles in DeFiHow price oracles were targeted in the recent attacksWhat the DeFi industry can learn from early crypto exchange hacks
19/02/2034m 53s

BREAKDOWN: Is It Exploitation Season for DeFi?

Part of what makes DeFi interesting to people is how it takes advantage of open source protocols to enable types of transactions never before available. The problem, however, is that financial structures mean new financial vulnerabilities.In the last few days, two attacks on bZx have used a similar strategy of manipulating the price of synthetic assets in the context of a new instrument called 'flashloans'. On this episode of @nlw breaks down exactly How the attacks were carried out How the community is responding What the larger ramifications for DeFi might be
18/02/2017m 42s

LEIGH: How Bitcoin Is Used To Promote Human Rights, Feat. Stories from Activists and Refugees

CoinDesk reporter Leigh Cuen is joined by the Human Rights Foundation’s Alex Gladstein and Syrian entrepreneur Moe Ghashim to discuss how cultural context shapes the way people view bitcoin, including stories from the Middle East.Many bitcoiners see cryptocurrency as a cypherpunk tool that enhances personal freedoms, with cypherpunk meaning “using privacy tech to promote social change.” There are diverse users around the world gaining this type of value from bitcoin, but they rarely give interviews or are seen on stage at conferences. Later we’ll explore the risks of governments impacting the bitcoin ecosystem, through regulatory enforcement, censorship and market manipulation. Then we’ll dive into what everyone can do to enhance bitcoin’s usability through education.Want more? Leigh has several articles exploring such use cases, everything from why protesters in Lebanon are turning to bitcoin to the possibility that dictators may also participate in the crypto ecosystem
17/02/2039m 6s

LTB!: Mainstream Moments and the CompuServe of Crypto

The best Sundays are for long reads and deep conversations. With the price of bitcoin headed up again, the idea of blockchains and digital currencies has never been more palatable to the mainstream. We've seen this cycle before, but could this time be different? This episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin! is sponsored by and Today's discussion features Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Stephanie Murphy and Adam B. LevineEditing by Jonas, featuring music by Jared Rubens and Gurty BeatsToday's episode features audio clips from CNBC, C-SPAN and
16/02/2055m 52s

RESEARCH: We Think 10-Minute Settlement Is Slow, but That's Crazy, Feat. CoinDesk Research's Noelle Acheson

CoinDesk's Head of Research Noelle Acheson joins Ophelia (Amun's co-founder and president) and Lanre (Amun's researcher) to discuss the advantages, disadvantages and eccentricities of crypto markets, exchanges, settlement and more.The group discusses the differences in the market microstructure between the crypto asset industry and traditional capital markets. The guests drew from their experience within capital markets understand the intricacies of the crypto market.AlbumPhoto by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
15/02/2035m 3s

BREAKDOWN: The Top Narratives Driving Crypto Market Growth, feat. Travis Kling

There’s no denying that 2020 is off to a roaring start. From prices to volume to social media, sentiment is up up up. But what’s driving it? On this special Valentine’s Day episode, @nlw reacts to listeners votes about which narratives are most driving the shift in energy, discussing: The BTC halvingCoronavirus and volatilityFed actionCentral bank digital currency intrigueEthereum and DeFiPrice reflexivity and Lindy effects The episode finishes up with some hot takes on what is driving the markets and what we should be most concerned about and most excited for with Ikigai Asset Management’s Travis Kling.
14/02/2018m 19s

INTERVIEW: US DOJ Calls Bitcoin Mixing ‘a Crime’ in Arrest of Software Developer

We're joined by CoinDesk senior reporter Leigh Cuen to discuss developments and implications in the case alleged against Larry Dean Harmon.
14/02/205m 32s

BREAKDOWN: The US Government's Mixed Signals on Digital Currency Privacy

To look at the US Government, it is the best of times and the worst of times for personal financial privacy. On the one hand, in comments before the Senate Financial Services Committee, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that FINCEN is planning more strict regulations around anti-money laundering and crypto. At the same time, the CEO of DropBit was arrested on money laundering charges around a bitcoin mixing service he allegedly ran between 2014 and 2017. In this new enforcement regime, one of the government’s major partners is Chainalysis, who have seen more than $10m in Federal agency contracts since 2015. Yet privacy advocates are also surprisingly enthused by comments from Fed chair Jerome Powell, who suggested in testimony to Congress that any potential US digital dollar would need to be privacy preserving.
13/02/2021m 15s

BREAKDOWN: Puppets, Pundits and Partnerships: Why Crypto Sentiment and Prices Are Soaring

With blockchain puppets (we really mean it) on TV, CNBC pushing the bitcoin-as-gold narrative and The Guardian seeing connections between coronavirus and bitcoin's recent rally, we've got a lot to talk about on today's episode of The Breakdown.After Monday’s quick retrace, bitcoin and the rest of the market went green again. In this episode, @nlw breaks down the shifting sentiment, looking at:How a partnership between Hedara Hashgraph and Google Cloud pumped HBAR more than 50% - featuring commentary from Hedara CEO Mance Harmon Why Figure is launching a TV campaign to educate people about blockchainCNBC Fast Money actively (and convincingly) promoting the narrative of bitcoin as a safe haven asset.
12/02/2018m 31s

BREAKDOWN: Muneeb Ali Explains Blockstack's Big Bet on Bitcoin

Last week, Blockstack announced a new proposal through which node operators would be rewarded in bitcoin. The concept behind Proof of Transfer is that, for the cryptoasset ecosystem to run, electricity should only have to be converted into digital scarcity once. In this interview with @nlw, Blockstack CEO Muneeb Ali explains how, by tying the security of Blockstack’s Stacks blockchain to bitcoin, and allowing miners to be rewarded with BTC, Blockstack might be setting a new precedent for how the crypto ecosystem looks to bitcoin as a base layer. 
11/02/2032m 40s

BREAKDOWN: On the Frontlines of the SEC Safe Harbor Proposal With CoinList CoFounder Andy Bromberg

Last week, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce proposed Rule 195 to give token projects a 3 year safe harbor. This proposed period would allow them to distribute tokens without fear of violating securities law so long as they achieve certain standards of decentralization in that time.Coinlist is a platform for compliant token sales. On this episode of The Breakdown, Coinlist CEO Andy Bromberg and @nlw discuss:The cost of regulatory clarity in the US, including projects leaving US shoresHistoric approaches to “compliant” token sales and what problems they still leaveWhat Commissioner Hester Peirce’s proposed Rule 195 includes The potential implications for the US crypto markets The chances that Rule 195 comes to pass
10/02/2023m 17s

LTB!: US Crypto Taxes Are a Nightmare. Could These Proposals Help?

The best Sundays are for long reads and deep conversations. Earlier this week, the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show gathered to discuss the US tax treatment of "Virtual Currencies" and how scams find a home wherever opportunity exists, at least for a while.Subscribe to the new CoinDesk Podcast Network for fresh, insightful episodes nearly every day of the weekThis episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin! is sponsored by, and our first segment, we'll discuss:Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act of 2020: The proposed legislation would exempt capital gains taxes if any individual transaction results in a capital gain of $200 or less.  Previous versions of the bill proposed a $600 cap. If passed, it would take effect in the 2020 tax year. Link -  H.R. 5635The IRS has a question for you: Tax filers in the U.S. are being asked if At any time during 2019, did you receive, sell, send, exchange, or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency? Link -IRS Form 1040Yang proposes "Digital Asset Regulation": U.S. Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang wants to Clarify the tax implications of owning, selling, and trading digital assets.    Yang says clear policy will allow businesses to invest and innovate in the area without fear of a regulatory shift. Link - Yang 2020Later on, we'll dig into the "why" of scams as we begin a longer conversation on the topic. Three main points on scams:Ponzi schemes thrive in disrupted spaces with uncertainty, poor credentialing, and poorly understood complexity The crypto currency space has these attributes The underlying appeal of ponzi scams (and bitcoin) comes from the mythology of redemption, getting something from nothing, the genie in the bottle, etcLinks:How MLMs Use the Psychology of InfluenceThe Cult Psychology Behind MLMsThis episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin! is sponsored by, and by Fernando Venzano on UnsplashThis episode was produced by AP's Don and Ned. It featured discussion by Adam B. Levine, Stephanie Murphy, and Jonathan Mohan.Music for today's episode was provided by Jared Rubens, From Ether and Gurty Beats, with editing by Jonas. Would you like to Sponsor a future episode of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! show? Do you have any questions or comments? Email
09/02/2052m 34s

BREAKDOWN: Kraken’s Dan Held on What’s Different About Bitcoin at $10K This Time

Bitcoin is on a 7 week upward trend. Having already smashed through its $9,000 Vegeta memes, it is now inching closer towards $10k. On this episode, @nlw is joined by Kraken’s Dan Held to discuss how bitcoin has changed in a number of ways since the last time we were at the $10,000 price level last year. They look at:Narrative - Speculation around bitcoin as a safe haven and the role of the halvening continue to shape the conversationInfrastructure - The tools for how people can interact with bitcoin - from lending to derivatives - have never been broader Audience - Institutions are no longer just around the corner but actively participating in the market
07/02/2025m 36s

BREAKDOWN: The Federal Reserve Has Its ‘Come to Satoshi’ Moment

That’s the way Meltem Demirors described Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard’s remarks at Stanford yesterday. For the first time, the Fed has said that it is actively researching and experimenting around digital currencies and distributed ledger technologies. This is a change in tone from a Fed that, when asked previously, has more or less dismissed digital currencies. On this episode, @nlw looks at Brainard’s speech, along with: the latest from Japanese lawmakers proposing a digital currency to counteract the influence of a forthcoming Chinese digital yuan; a Bank for International Settlements digital currency working group with 6 major central banks; and the potential implications of CBDCs on bitcoin. 
06/02/2017m 22s

BREAKDOWN: What All These VC Deals and Acquisitions Say About the State of the Crypto Markets

If venture investments and acquisitions provide a window into the sentiment in markets, boy did we get a big dose of information today. Today we look at investments in the world’s best known developer of the Lightning Network; a new prominent corporate investor for a tokenized securities platform; and Square’s investment in a real-time payments company. We also look at a set of acquisitions, including a ConsenSys acquisition poised to get them in the $3.8T municipal bond space; a Bakkt acquisition poised to get them ready for a consumer app that includes more than just cryptocurrencies; and an attempt by Bakkt-parent ICE to buy eBay for north of $30b. 
05/02/2020m 21s

Handshake's Uncensorable Web Domains Go Live on Mainnet

As claims of election tampering, fraud, and other dubious activities fly around the botched Democratic Caucus in Iowa, trust in our public institutions continues to crater. The question of trust and censorship are at the heart of our episode today. Handshake is a new protocol for uncensorable web domains. The goal is to create a new blockchain-based Top Level Domain system that governments can’t censor or block. To explain why Handshake (HNS) matters, @nlw is joined by Tieshun Roquerre, the CEO of Namebase, a next-generation domain registrar for HNS. In this interview, they discuss: What Handshake is How a HNS domain is different from a standard web domain Why uncensorable web domains are the next great blockchain killer app How Roquerre became interested in the spaceHow Namebase works
04/02/2022m 15s

Bitcoin and the Sex Industry

Bitcoin and porn go hand-in-hand in this interview with Spankchain community manager Allie Eve Knox.
04/02/2025m 15s

BREAKDOWN: Deplatforming, Ethereum Marketing and Whether Brexit Matters for Crypto

Much of the Crypto Twitter conversation this weekend was dominated by talk of Twitter’s suspension of ZeroHedge. @nlw explores why the specifics of the infraction or the quality of the publication aren’t the important part of the conversation, and why he thinks we’ll see arguments for social media platforms to be turned into public utilities in the years ahead. Also on this episode:Debates around Ethereum marketing. Does the community need to spend more resources telling the story and recruiting new users or should the tech speak for itself? What Brexit means for the crypto community - practically and metaphorically. The last section features comments from Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier. 
03/02/2021m 1s

Libre Not Libra – Thinking Critically About Facebook’s Blockchain Project

In “Libre Not Libra: Facebook’s Blockchain Project,” Andreas answers the burning question… Has he tried haggis? Just kidding… He shares his thoughts on the recently released Libra whitepaper, as part of a permissioned blockchain project spearheaded by Facebook.Subscribe to the new CoinDesk Podcast Network for fresh, insightful episodes nearly every day of the weekThis episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin! is sponsored by and eToro.comYears of jokes about “FaceCoin” and “ZuckBucks” have finally come to life – sort of. In a previous episode, he talked about how some venture capitalists are monkeying around by downplaying the killer applications of open blockchains in favor of… bananas. Now he makes us wonder whether Libra will even survive to become a production network. Is Silicon Valley coming for banking? Will Libra’s challenges have any impact on open public blockchains?This talk took place on June 19th 2019 at the Scottish Blockchain Meetup in Edinburgh, Scotland.Follow Andreas on Twitter: @aantonopAndreas's website:'s live talks released in podcast formEpisode Credits:Today’s show featured Andreas M. Antonopoulos, with a little narration by Stephanie Murphy and Adam B. Levine, as well as the live crowd and that guy with the great laugh about three quarters through. Original Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina Food Photographer/Stylist on UnsplashThis episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin! is sponsored by and eToro.comThis episode featured music by Jared Rubens, Orfan and general fuzz. Production support was provided by Erica and Jessica, with sound editing by Dimitris of Sampi Media. Want to hear more of Andreas’s Live talks? Check out new episodes every week on Unscrypted, or just head over to . Have any questions or comments? Email me at Subscribe to the new CoinDesk Podcast Network for fresh, insightful episodes nearly every day of the week
02/02/2047m 17s

The Founders of Synthetix and Chainlink on DeFi, Derivatives and 25 New Decentralized Price Feeds

On this special interview episode, @nlw talks with Sergey Nazarov and Kain Warwick, the founders of Chainlink and Synthetix respectively about: The evolution and goals of Synthetix, a novel type of derivatives exchange where users can interact with any asset with a price feed. The challenge Synthetix faced around spinning up their own oracles around price feedsThe history of their collaboration and how Synthetix came to work with ChainlinkChainlink approach to building decentralized oracles for data such as price feedsChainlink’s announcement yesterday about the new published price reference data for 25 oracle networksThe state of the idea of decentralization, and how what was previously a concept is becoming operationalizedOne thing that gives them pause or scares them about DeFi and crypto and one thing that makes them excited for the future 
31/01/2051m 54s

BREAKDOWN: The Unsolved Mystery of How to Fund Public Protocols

The best way to fund open source projects remains a question, and one that - in the context of crypto protocols - has never had higher stakes. Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen live action experiments in a number of different approaches. Gitcoin grants used a quadratic funding program to match grants to technology builders and media creators in Ethereum After months and months of concerted community debate and conversation, Zcash will implement a new Dev Fund of 20% of the block rewards after the Founders Reward runs out in November, splitting it between the Electric Coin Co (7%), Zcash Foundation (5%) and 3rd party developers (8%)A consortium (cartel?) of the 4 largest BCH mining pools tried to insist upon a 12.5% block reward diversion to a new dev fund, with a threat to orphan blocks that didn’t comply. The plan ran into a barrier when Roger Ver’s backed away. Also in this episode, @nlw looks at the latest in CBDCs - including Japan’s continued hedging that they’re preparing for the possibility of needing to move quickly and Cambodia’s announcement that they will be implementing a CBDC this quarter. Finally, Andrew Yang took a few minutes yesterday to talk about cryptocurrencies and why regulation with the intent to stop them would be doomed to fail.
30/01/2021m 31s

BREAKDOWN: Binance US CEO Catherine Coley Explains Why Crypto Exchanges Are Rushing Into Staking

The competition around staking is heating up, and the latest entrant is Binance.US, who will begin to offer staking on two assets with plans to roll out more in the future. On this episode of The Breakdown, Catherine talks with NLW about:How the company prioritizes both new features and which audiences to build forWhy staking is important both for allowing people to do more with their crypto assets as well as help build and secure the networks those assets run on How staking is part of a much larger mission around education, financial literacy and lowering the barriers to entry for participation in crypto. Listen now or read more about the news.
29/01/2022m 48s

BREAKDOWN: The Future of Crypto FUD

We’re over $9,000! That means a lot of good things, of course. But any price increase brings with it increased scrutiny and, yes, increased FUD. The question for this time around is whether the FUD is the same old same old or something new. In this episode, @nlw looks at three emergent (and continued) areas of FUD, including: 1) accusations that the bitcoin community is rooting for calamity as the safe haven narrative takes hold; 2) an updated “crypto is for criminals” narrative with more emphasis on state-level enemies; 3) a new, more economically vindictive green/energy waste narrative. Importantly, the question isn’t so much whether these new categories of FUD will come to fruition, but what can be done about them.
28/01/2022m 0s

DISCUSSION: What Are Lightning Wallets Doing to Help Onboard New Users?

The best Sundays are for long reads and deep conversations. Earlier this week, the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show (Adam B. Levine, Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Jonathan Mohan and Stephanie Murphy) gathered to discuss Lightning Network technology and two innovative approaches at the wallet level which simplify the new-user experience at a tangible, but seemingly minimal cost. On today's podcast we zero in on the challenge of "Channel Management", an until-recently-mandatory part of connecting to and utilizing the still-nascent Lightning Network.Until recently, the way Andreas sends a payment to Stephanie through Lightning is either through a direct channel to her or through a route of hops that can eventually reach Stephanie.But if a user is brand new to the Lightning network, how do they go about receiving their first payment? - This question has been answered by both ZAP wallet and Phoenix wallet, using different techniques.Phoenix wallet is made by ACINQ, the makers of Eclair wallet. Eclair offers more advanced/technical users a deeper look behind the hood of the inner workings with channel management being a manual operation.With Phoenix, ACINQ has taken this away, with the aim of it being a more user friendly wallet for the end user - A more Mom and Pop style wallet. When Stephanie, a new user of Phoenix wants to be paid by Andreas, she will create an invoice on her phone, just like any other wallet. Andreas will then scan that QR code, send the payment, and it will look just like any other Lightning transaction to Andreas.If Stephanie currently has channels open with enough inbound capacity - Then it will complete successfully. But what happens when there is not enough inbound capacity, or no channels at all?This is where Phoenix differs. Phoenix wallet offers no channel management to the end user, it is all done under the hood. The wallet ONLY connects to the ACINQ node, initially through a ‘fake channel’ and when an incoming payment is detected by ACINQ, the ‘routing hint’ that was contained in the QR code points to Stephanie’s wallet through this fake channel.[Andreas → Node X → Node Y → ACINQ Node -*-*-> Stephanie]Stephanie will then get notified that she has an incoming payment and be asked if she would like ACINQ to open a channel with her and push her the balance due (Turbo Channel). This comes at a cost though, 0.5% of the amount received. [Phoenix state that this is to cover the cost of opening the channel and allocating additional liquidity on their side]POINTS OF INTERESTIs the ease of use factor worth the cost involved?If only connecting to the ACINQ node, will this create centralisation?What if ACINQ node goes down?Cheaper than using a Bitrefill Thor Turbo Channels?NOTESPhoenix is non-custodialPhoenix claims to be “trust-minimized, but not trustless”Lightning node runs directly on the phonePhoenix offers no on-chain balance. All monies on the wallet are contained in channels.There is also the ability to send and receive on-chain bitcoin using swaps (this also comes with a fee)ZAP takes a different approach to onboarding new users. Their aim is for users to be able to use their debit card to have bitcoin sent to them on the Lightning Network, even when they have a fresh wallet with no channels. Then the user has the ability to make payments on the Lightning Network.The creator of ZAP, Jack Mallers has started a new services which he calls OLYMPUS. This service is standalone and can be implemented by other Lightning wallets, with there being no requirement for the Lightning wallet used to be ZAP.Quoting from the Zap blog on what Olympus is:“Olympus is an external service that clients make requests to. The service is responsible for the hard parts: onboarding users, processing payments, managing market risk, streaming quotes, and delivering bitcoins.”Once payment has been received by Olympus, it will then open a Turbo channel to the user, with the pushed amount that they have just purchased with their debit card. With the use of a Turbo channel, the user is able to spend straight away. Jack Mallers has also stated that in the future Olympus will not only push the amount to the user but will also have some funds on their end of the channel. The amount to be staked by Olympus will vary depending on the users usage. Currently Olympus is in Beta and available to only a few select users in the United States with a plan to roll out publicly and eventually to other countries POINTS OF INTERESTOlympus requires KYC/AMLIf you are a business using the Olympus service will this mean that when the channel is opened to you, Olympus will open a channel with much higher funds on their end as opposed to if you are only an individual?NOTESZAP is non-custodialZAP is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and mobile (iOS and Android)ZAP can connect through a remote node on Mobile - On Desktop offers remote node and own neutrino node.Using ZAP wallet does not require KYC/AML - But using Olympus doesZAP has the ability to offer a version of their wallet that doesn’t contain the Olympus feature\Want more? Catch up on 7 years of Let's Talk Bitcoin!This episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin! is sponsored by, and Stairs Photo by Joshua Earle on UnsplashLightning Photo by Dominik QN on UnsplashThis episode was produced by James and featured Adam B. Levine, Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Stephanie Murphy, and Jonathan MohanMusic for today's episode was provided by Jared Rubens, and Gurty Beats, with editing by Jonas. Would you like to Sponsor a future episode of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! show? Do you have any questions or comments? Email
26/01/2058m 35s

BREAKDOWN: Davos, CBDCs, and the Rise of Bitcoin Art

That’s a wrap! The World Economic Forum is over, and the key ideas coming out of Davos for our industry are: 1) a continued ‘blockchain, not crypto’ narrative; 2) a believe in the inevitability of cashless futures (without much concern about the negative implications); and 3) the rise of CBDCs. On the CBDC front, the WEF put out a toolkit for governments that are considering their own currency; Japan announced a project to explore a digital currency as a counterweight to the influence a digital yuan might bring China; and a BIS study says 1 in 10 governments anticipate having a digital currency within 3 years. Finally, we close asking prolific bitcoiner and artist Brekkie von Bitcoin about the state of bitcoin art and why even the hardcore financially-minded folks in the space should care. Topics DiscussedThe WEF wraps up and it’s all ‘blockchain not crypto’ and cashless futures in 10 central banks planning CBDCs in the next 3 years floats idea of digital currency to counteract influence of China’s Bitcoin Art Newsletter
24/01/2020m 45s

BREAKDOWN: Will Mass Adoption Be More PayPal or Pornhub?

There is an ongoing debate in the crypto community about where mainstream adoption. One point of view is that it will be the slow steady acceptance of digital assets. On that front, Bakkt president Adam White said in Davos yesterday that the company is on track to launch their app this year. Another perspective is that the main use case of crypto is to enable otherwise censored transactions. Lending credence to this perspective is the case of Pornhub, which saw payouts to its more than 100,000 performers blocked unexpectedly by PayPal in November, and which announced cash outs via Tether (USDT) today. In this episode, @nlw breaks down these two arguments and asks whether they’re mutually exclusive. Also discussed is the new BCH mining group (cartel?) insisting on a 12.5% block reward dev fund, as well as interesting insights and data from research from CoinDesk and The Block today. Topics discussed Bakkt's consumer app is coming in 2020, and it'll look more like PayPal than CoinbasePornhub Now Lets Models Get Paid With the Tether StablecoinBitcoin Cash Miners Propose Controversial Soft Fork for Zcash-Style Development FundCoinDesk Q4 2019 Review: A Year in Suspended AnimationResearch report - employment trends in the digital asset industry commissioned by the Blockchain Association
23/01/2019m 45s

BREAKDOWN: Why High-Profile Defections Aren’t Libra’s Biggest Challenge

News broke yesterday that the Libra Association had seen it’s eighth high-profile defection, this time from the telecom giant Vodafone. In today’s episode of The Breakdown, @nlw argues that Association members are far less of a factor in Libra’s success than key regulatory questions around domiciling, the value peg and the US’s fear of a Chinese digital currency.Also in this episode, Square Crypto announces its plans for a 'Lightning Development Kit' while Square also announced a new patent that could make crypto easier to use. In regulatory battles, meanwhile, both the Blockchain Association and the Chamber of Digital Commerce have filed amicus briefs around the SEC-Telegram lawsuit. Topics DiscussedVodafone Is the Latest Big Company to Quit Facebook-Founded Libra AssociationSquare Crypto Is Creating a 'Lightning Development Kit' for Bitcoin WalletsJack Dorsey's Square Wins Patent for Fiat-to-Crypto Payments NetworkBlockchain Association Sides With Telegram Against SEC, Says Grams Are Not Securities
22/01/2018m 5s

BREAKDOWN: Kevin Owocki on Gitcoin, Controversy and the Future of Open-Source Funding

Ever since announcing their fourth round of grants, Gitcoin has been a major subject of conversation across the Twittersphere. In addition to all the excited buzz from both technical projects and media creators vying for grants matched based on E. Glen Weyl and Vitalik Buterin’s quadratic funding model, there has been controversy. Some of that controversy has been from outside the Ethereum community, pointing to Consensys and Ethereum Foundation support as an example of centralization. Some of the controversy has come from within, as debates rage about what is or isn’t an acceptable use of “public” resources. No matter what one’s position, it’s hard to deny that Gitcoin is one of the most interesting experiments in open source funding to date. Listen as @nlw askes the projects founder Kevin Owocki about the history of the project, the controversy, and what makes this round of grants such a big jump forward.
21/01/2027m 41s

Decentralization Philosophy Part 1 – From Buddha to the Conquistadors

The best Sundays are for long reads and deep conversations. Earlier this week, the Let's Talk Bitcoin! Show gathered to discuss decentralization in blockchain projects, the historical context of decentralized organizations, the robustness it conveys but also the difficulties it engenders.On today's podcast we apply concepts and stories from "The Spider and the Starfish: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations", a formational book on pre-blockchain decentralization written in the early 2000's, as the centralized US military struggled to effectively dispatch a much smaller decentralized force in Afghanistan. While the battlefield is different, the insight is perhaps even more relevant to the world of blockchain projects, their decentralized origins and ambitions.Later, we discuss the similarities between decentralized organizations and the Buddha's concept of self.Want more? Catch up on 7 years of Let's Talk Bitcoin!This episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin! is sponsored by and Photo by Ubaidhulla Adam on UnsplashThis episode featured Adam B. Levine, Stephanie Murphy, and Jonathan MohanMusic for today's episode was provided by Jared Rubens, and general fuzz, with editing by Jonas. Would you like to Sponsor a future episode of the Let's Talk Bitcoin! show? Do you have any questions or comments? Email
19/01/2041m 29s

BREAKDOWN: Tyrone Ross on Why Financial Advisors Are Taking Notice Of DeFi

One man. Three piping hot takes. In this special interview episode of The Breakdown, financial advisor and crypto advocate Tyrone Ross shares his thoughts on:Why Financial Advisors are the key to bringing in the next wave of crypto investorsWhy DeFi is an even bigger deal than you think - and not just to the hackers and entrepreneurs building on itWhy Square’s CashApp - not Binance, not Coinbase, not any one else - is the most important company in Crypto
17/01/2028m 20s

BREAKDOWN: Why 'Crypto Dad' Is Building the Digital Dollar Foundation

As Libra continues to spur discussions among regulators around the world, and China’s digital yuan comes ever closer to fruition, the U.S. Federal Reserve seems disinclined to look seriously at a digital dollar. Ex-CFTC Chair Chris Giancarlo - aka “Crypto Dad” - isn’t waiting around. He has teamed with Accenture to launch the nonprofit Digital Dollar Foundation.As crypto continues to evolve, it does so in sometimes divergent directions. Gemini announced a new insurance company designed to make big institutions more comfortable with the space. Zcash, meanwhile, released an updated SDK to make it easier to shield transactions via mobile. Can the privacy-preserving side of crypto co-exist, ultimately, with the sanguine institutional side? Finally, we revisit our discussion of personal tokens and ISAs, as well as look at the latest research from Coinmetrics on whether bitcoin is behaving like a safe haven asset. Topics discussed:Former CFTC head Giancarlo launches Digital Dollar Foundation Gemini creates an insurance company with $200m limit to protect clientsCoinmetrics examines bitcoin safe haven narrative
16/01/2016m 4s

BREAKDOWN: Why Crypto's 'Rogue State' Narrative is a Risk to the Industry

Crypto tokens weren’t the only thing that saw a major pump yesterday. The total value locked in DeFi ascended to new heights. While part of this can be explained simply by the rise in ETH price, it also reflected traders turning to DeFi platforms as a way to get more exposure to the market action without selling their core assets. For all the exciting price action, not everything is pointing in a positive direction. These market moves don’t seem to reflect new market participants, for example, and anecdotally, times remain tough for projects trying to fundraise. In our final segment, we look at a blockchain conference in North Korea that the UN suggests simply attending may violate international sanctions, an Iran-focused hedge fund that uses cryptocurrency to work around international restrictions, and ask whether this sort of activity presents a narrative risk to the industry as a whole?
15/01/2016m 8s

BREAKDOWN: Mati Greenspan on the Technical and Macro Roots of Bitcoin’s Price Surge | January 14th, 2020

Bitcoin is up more than 8% in the last 24 hours. BSV, meanwhile, is up nearly a whopping 100%. The question is, of course, why? Is it some larger macro context? A pump-and-dump? Or just the crypto markets being as crazy as they are. The Breakdown invited guest Mati Greenspan, former e-Toro analyst and now founder of Quantum Economics to give his take. We also look at two stories around the growing crypto derivative markets: the launch of the CME’s options on bitcoin futures and CFTC Chair Heath Tarbert’s comments yesterday that regulated derivatives will bring legitimacy to the space. Finally, we look at a just-released Investor Alert from the SEC on IEOs.
14/01/2018m 6s

Narrative Watch: The Hunt for Crypto's Killer App | January 13th 2020

Starting today, accredited investors will be able to part of $13.5m in tokenized bonds connected to the contract of Brooklyn Nets Point Guard Spencer Dinwiddie. The first-of-its-kind offering took months of negotiation with the NBA but marks a seminal moment for both crypto and the larger idea of Income Share Agreements. In this podcast, we discuss how big a deal Dinwiddie’s offering is and whether Income Share Agreements could be a breakout use case for crypto. We also discuss other contenders for “crypto killer app,” including undercollateralized DeFi loans and NFT-based games. Finally, we discuss whether crypto’s actual killer app has already arrived - in the form of using bitcoin to escape local political and economic controls. Topics Discussed:Spencer Dinwiddie tokenizes $13.5m NBA contractWhat Income Share Agreements have to do with crypto Bitcoin’s mainstream use case isn’t mainstream
13/01/2020m 57s

'The Internet Was Illegal' and Other Early Stories With Zooko Wilcox

The best Sundays are for long reads and deep conversations. Earlier this week, the Let's Talk Bitcoin! show enlisted CoinDesk reporter Leigh Cuen and early cypherpunk Zooko Wilcox for a conversation on the history, challenges and long term development path of early, formative technologies. which we often hear modern blockchain movements compared against. From the pre-internet days, through the free/open source movement, linux's successes and challenges on the desktop, the peer-to-peer movement, cypherpunks, linux maximalism, fundamentalism as a concept as well as some brief excursions through some history and politics of the time... Later, we'll discuss how AI and lawyers have more in common than you'd think, and what kind of protections we may need as autonomous agents become ubiquitous. This episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin! is sponsored by,, and   Original Photo by Museums Victoria on Unsplash. This episode featured CoinDesk Reporter Leigh Cuen and Zooko Wilcox. Music for todays episode was provided by Jared Rubens, and general fuzz, with editing by Jonas.  Have any questions or comments? Email  - And with luck we’ll be back next week with full host discussions.
12/01/2055m 46s

BREAKDOWN: The Global Game of Coins Heats Up | January 10th, 2020

China’s digital currency project continues to move ahead aggressively, with a new paper from the People’s Bank of China suggesting that a core design is complete. Whatever stage of development the currency actually is, it’s clear that China wants the world to see it as ahead of the curve in the digital currency race. In other parts of the world, crypto companies face a never-ending game of regulatory arbitrage. Derebit has moved from the Netherlands to Panama, citing a new burden from AMLD5 compliance. In the U.S., New York wants to give its crypto regulators (even) more teeth while Illinois recognizes the legality of blockchain-based contracts. Topics Discussed:PBoC paper claims “top-level” design of crypto currency complete. leaves out Libra in Faceboook 2030 vision leaves the Netherlands for Panama due to AMLD5 compliance concerns Cuomo wants to give NYFDS more teeth recognizes legality of blockchain-based contracts
10/01/2016m 31s

NARRATIVE WATCH: Will DAOs Break Out In 2020? | January 9th, 2020

The aftershock of the 2016 The DAO hack meant that DAOs weren’t nearly as hyped as ICOs and later some other aspects of the web3 movement. In 2019, however, DAOs came roaring back and start 2020 with the wind at their sails. In this episode, we look at the 2019 DAO tale of the tape - what people thought would happen and what actually did happen, including the launch of Moloch, MetaCartel, Ethereum’s MarketingDAO and more than 1000 DAOs on Aragon. We also hear from Aragon founder Luis Cuende who discusses 1) why the newly launched Aragon courts expand what DAOs can do; 2) examples of the need for subjective human intervention in DAOs; and 3) why 2020 is poised to be DAOs best year yet. RELATED STORY: Aragon courts begin recruiting jurors DAO Platform Aragon Begins Recruiting Jurors for Tokenized 'Court'RELATED STORY: Ryan Zurrer’s new for profit DAOFormer Polychain Partner Ryan Zurrer Is Leaving Web3 to Start a DAO
09/01/2020m 18s

BREAKDOWN: Travis Kling on Bitcoin as a Safe Haven Asset | January 8th, 2019

The conversation about whether bitcoin is a safe haven asset continues in the wake of Iranian missile strikes, which saw the price of BTC both surge and retrace in parallel with crude and gold. To help explain what’s going on, we feature comments from Ikigai Asset Management’s Travis Kling. Also in today’s episode, we look at newly published priorities from the SEC around crypto including investor suitability, trading practices, and compliance program effectiveness. We also discuss former Bakkt CEO and now Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler’s appointment to the committee that oversees the CFTC. Is it a conflict of interest, something good for the crypto industry, or both? Topics discussed:Bitcoin as a safe haven asset as it follows crude and gold after Iran missile strikesRelated Story: Bitcoin Hits New 2020 High Above $8,400 After Iranian Missile AttackSEC publishes 2020 crypto priorities Related Story: Former Bakkt CEO to Help Oversee CFTC in CongressKelly Loefller appointed to committee overseeing CFTCRelated Story: SEC Examination Office Gets Specific About Crypto Priorities in 2020
08/01/2016m 3s

BREAKDOWN: Hamstringing an Industry With Compliance Costs | January 7th, 2020

In their annual transparency report, Kraken reported seeing a 50% increase in regulatory inquiries as compared to 2018, which CEO Jesse Powell later revealed cost the exchange more than $1m. Between this and stories like the $2m it cost Blockstack to raise $23m in an SEC compliant token sale (8.7% of the raise), it begs the question: will compliance costs fundamentally limit innovation by demanding big war chests to play? Will the most successful companies be those who (like Block One) simply raise enough to pay off the regulators on the back end? We also look at new mining interests in Texas and what it means for American mining and bitcoin mining in the lead up to the halving more broadly, as well as dissect an op-ed from the IMF’s chief economist on the strength of the dollar over digital alternatives. Topics discussed Kraken annual transparency report shows off growing regulatory inquiries and increasing cost of complianceRelated Article: Law Enforcement Data Requests Rose by Almost 50 Percent in 2019, Says KrakenNew global interests in giant Texas-based bitcoin mining operationRelated Article: SBI, GMO to Rent Capacity at Massive Bitcoin Mine in Texas: ReportThe IMF’s chief economist on why digital currencies don’t threaten the dollar’s global reserve currency statusRelated Article: Digital Currencies Won't Replace US Dollar Any Time Soon: IMF Chief Economist
07/01/2017m 50s

BREAKDOWN: Taking the TON out of Telegram | January 6th 2020

Last week, the US government took out a key Iranian military leader. As the world - and the markets - reacts to the news, some are asking what happens with bitcoin. With global instability on the rise, will more people turn to bitcoin as a safe haven asset? Will speculators drive the price up on that narrative even if it doesn’t bear out in reality? If Iranians use crypto, will that draw the attention and ire of regulators? In a different area of the industry, Telegram has released updated information about their forthcoming crypto token TON. Most notable was the bombshell that the token would not be integrated into Telegram Messenger - which was, of course, the predominant logic behind the more than $1.7B that was invested in the TON presale. Finally, we discuss the dust up around, a new crypto journal that was almost immediately accused of affinity scamming and censorship. Is it a case of overzealous bitcoin defenders or does the critique hold merit? Topics discussed:The implications of Iran and geopolitical instability for bitcoin updates expectations around TON ahead of SEC deposition crypto journal stirs controversy
06/01/2017m 59s

YouTube, Tron and the Dream of Decentralization | January 3rd, 2019

The past few weeks have seen multiple instances of large, centralized tech giants censoring crypto related content and activity. Noticed in the context of the Coinbase Wallet, Apple is pushing back against apps that have anything to do with Dapps. YouTube caused even more of a stir when it took down hundreds of crypto-related videos from prominent influencers without any warning. It later reversed the action, claiming an error, but it was enough to get many to ask: are decentralized alternatives possible? As if on cue, Justin Sun popped up to announce that TRON had struck a deal through which decentralized Twitch competitor and streaming service DLive would be moving to the TRON Blockchain and integrating with BitTorrent’s BLive streaming service. For many, however, TRON’s involvement makes DLive more likely to end up a centralized tool than a disruptive decentralized social network alternative.Episode Topics and LinksYouTube (temporarily) takes down crypto content Apple pushes back on Dapps in the app store Crypto community calls for decentralized alternatives to big techDLive moves to TRON Blockchain
03/01/2012m 47s

BREAKDOWN: Taylor Monahan on Crypto’s Divergent Possibilities in 2020

Taylor Monahan is the founder and CEO of MyCrypto. In this interview as part of The Breakdown’s end of year coverage, she argues that the level of discourse in crypto matured in 2019, with more focus on things that actually matter. That’s important, because in 2020, she predicts a major fork-in-the-road moment, where the industry as a whole could either stay on the path set out in its cypherpunk roots, or be significantly co-opted and corrupted by the entrance of corporate and government actors into the space.
01/01/2017m 8s

BREAKDOWN: Tom Shaughnessy & Jordan Clifford on Layer 1 Wars, Token Economics and a Shift to Applications

Tom Shaughnessy is a co-founder at Delphi Digital as well as the host of the Chain Reaction podcast. Jordan Clifford is managing director of Scalar Capital. In this end of year interview for The Breakdown, Tom argues that the big story of 2019 was actually the fact that it was all about quiet building. When it comes to 2020, however, watch out for fireworks. Tom predicts we’ll see a major increase in the layer 1 smart contract platform wars, as well as an increased in the perceived importance of token economic design. Jordan meanwhile argues that we’re likely to see a shift back to development at the application layer. 
31/12/1925m 1s

BREAKDOWN: Katherine Wu on DeFi and the Inevitability of the Digital Yuan

Katherine Wu was a founding team member at Messari before moving into a VC role at Notation Capital, but is perhaps best known in crypto for her epic annotations of key regulatory enforcement actions. In this end of year interview with The Breakdown, Katherine argues that decentralized finance is the narrative of 2019, but also that when it comes to 2020, the emergence of a Chinese digital yuan is likely to have a huge impact on the crypto space. 
30/12/1916m 40s

BREAKDOWN: Camila Russo and David Hoffman on the 2020 DeFi Outlook

Sometimes things are clear, and to both Camila Russo (write of The Defiant newsletter) and David Hoffman (co-host of the Crypto POV podcast), it couldn’t be clearer that the essential narrative of 2019 was the rise of DeFi as a true market force. In individual interviews as part of The Breakdown’s end of year coverage, each also makes a 2020 DeFi prediction. For David, it’s all about increased attention on the space and the power of composability, while for Camila, it’s a bet that we’ll start to see the first under-collateralized DeFi loans.
27/12/1924m 45s

BREAKDOWN: Marty Bent on the Macro Fires on the Horizon

Marty Bent is the author of one of the most popular daily Bitcoin newsletters and co-host of Tales From The Crypt. In this end of year interview with The Breakdown, he talks about the macro context - from trade wars to pressure on the fed to continue and expand the QE experiment to global instability - and how it is painting in stark colors the need for tools like bitcoin. 
26/12/1914m 56s

BREAKDOWN: Rob ‘Crypto Bobby’ Paone and Preethi Kasireddy on Fundraising, Halvings, and the Long Steady Slog of Crypto

Rob Paone, aka Crypto Bobby, got his start as a popular crypto YouTuber and has gone on to help build a number of crypto companies before launching his own technical recruitment firm. Preethi Kasireddy is the founder of the TruStory debate platform. In two individual interviews as part of The Breakdown’s end of year extra, both argue that a big part of the 2019 story was the slow, steady slog of building, and that, in some ways, 2020 may be poised for more of the same.
25/12/1922m 30s

BREAKDOWN: Meltem Demirors on Government Digital Currencies and Why ‘The Halvening’ Gets Weird

One of CoinDesk’s ten most influential people of 2019, Melem Demirors is a crypto renaissance woman, known best for investing, operating as CSO of CoinShares, and for explaining ‘shitcoins’ to Congress. In this end of year Breakdown, Meltem argues explains why the entrance of governments to the digital asset game is the most significant story of 2019, as well as suggesting that the presence of an entirely new financial infrastructure around bitcoin means the halvening is likely to be unlike what anyone thinks.
24/12/1910m 2s

BREAKDOWN: Peter McCormack On A Defiant New Era For Bitcoin

 Peter McCormack is one of the most prominent podcasters in the space. In 2019, he added a new podcast called “Defiance” and focused on the intersection of bitcoin, human rights, and political activism to complement his “What Bitcoin Did” podcast. In this special end of year episode of The Breakdown, Peter discusses why the past year represents an inflection point for citizen action and sovereign protest around the world, and why 2020 is likely to see a continued bloodletting among non-bitcoin cryptoassets. 
23/12/1917m 44s

BREAKDOWN: Art Haus Ethereum Meets Bitcoin Financialization

One of the most important (yet somehow quiet) narratives of 2019 has been the financialization of bitcoin and the emergence of a robust market for derivative products. That was reinforced today as Binance announced a significant investment in derivatives exchange FTX. How will key events coming up in 2020 like the bitcoin halving be impacted by the presence of derivatives? At the same time, not all crypto projects are trying to change money. Some, like the Saint Fame DAO, a fashion house-slash-human coordination experiment, are simply trying to do interesting things that people think are cool. Topics discussed:Binance invests in crypto derivatives exchange FTX derivative products help miners hedge against volatility Fame brings the DAO model and bonding curves to fashion.
20/12/1914m 14s

BREAKDOWN: Should the Government Have a Say in Where Can Invest?

Accredited investor laws block most of the US out of technology and other types of early stage risk investing, but as the ICO boom showed, not being allowed to do something doesn’t mean that people don’t want to do it.The SEC announced prospective changes to those laws that could expand accredited status. In the world of DeFi, a number of different projects including Synthetix (with an assist from Chainlink) and Kyber are looking to more fully decentralized heading into 2020.And finally a quick review of the CoinDesk 2019 most influential list, including why Hodlonaut is the best selection.Topics DiscussedThe SEC has announced a set of potential modifications to contentious accredited investor rules. and Synthetix look to move certain governance functions to DAOs and Synthetix teams up with Chainlink for decentralized price oracles. has published its annual most influential list.
19/12/1921m 18s

'Stacking Sats' vs. 'ETH is Money' - The Memes That Shaped 2019

From “digital gold” to “stacking sats” to “ETH is money,” 2019 was a year of narrative battlegrounds and meme warfare. And when every narrative is competing for scarce resources and attention, things are sure to get contentious. This special episode breaks down Ryan Selkis’ recent list of top ten crypto narratives and adds a few more worthy of note. Does “The Revolution Need Rules?” Is “Dissident Tech” the newest important area of focus. Topics CoveredThe most important memes and narratives of 2019
18/12/1923m 31s

BREAKDOWN: The Productization of Bitcoin Maximalism

Welcome to The Breakdown: A daily analysis show distributed by CoinDesk, featuring @NLWOn this episode...More crypto businesses are transitioning to or choosing to focus exclusively on bitcoin only from the beginning, in some ways representing a productization of bitcoin maximalism. In China, however, the government is cracking down fiercly on resurgent crypto businesses that have taking President Xi’s positive comments about blockchain as an excuse to operate more openly. Interestingly, the attitude of many US financial firms seems to be shifting from a version of “blockchain not crypto” to “digital assets not blockchain” as they begin to adapt to demand from customers. 
17/12/1918m 37s

Announcing: The Road to Consensus! (link in shownotes)

Subscribe to Road to Consensus here:'ve launched a new podcast featuring interviews with leaders of the blockchain industry. If you like this first episode, please subscribe at the link above! And if you want more info about Consensus in New York on May 13, visit
11/03/1930m 42s

800k Bitcoin Miners Recently Shut Down

F2pool, believes that anywhere from 600k to 800k bitcoin miners have shut down since mid-November as the bitcoin network’s hashrate - and the cryptocurrency’s price - have declined.Ripple has released the latest version of its most popular product, xCurrent. Porn startup SpankChain raised $6 million in an initial coin offering in 2017.Ohio has officially become the first US state to accept bitcoin for taxes.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production. For more information, visit
26/11/187m 7s

Giga Watt Declares Bankruptcy

The U.S-based crypto mining firm Giga Watt filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy this past Monday, but it still owes creditors some $7 million.Insurance coverage in the crypto space totals about $6 billion, a mere drop in the bucket for a market cap of $140 billion.Six days after the bitcoin cash hard fork, it appears that the chains will be permanently split.Silvergate Bank has 483 crypto startups as its clients, according to a filing it made as part of an initial public offering.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production.For more information, visit
21/11/186m 59s

Bakkt delays its launch until next year

The ICE’s bitcoin futures trading platform Bakkt is delaying its product launch. The U.K.’s FCA is considering a ban on some cryptocurrency-based derivatives, a senior executive has said.The Alabama Securities Commission is taking a hard stance on would-be ICO frauds.The U.S. Department of Justice is increasingly focusing a months-long investigation into crypto market manipulation on the tether stablecoin.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production.For more information, visit
20/11/186m 55s

Bitcoin drops below $5K

Bitcoin’s price fell below $5,000 for the first time since October 12, 2017, dropping more than $500 to hit $4,981 earlier today.Despite the falling crypto prices, developers and entrepreneurs are still moving into the crypto space.Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is calling on Interpol’s member nations to cooperate in preventing cryptocurrencies from being used for illicit purposes. The U.S. Federal Election Commission may allow people to mine cryptocurrencies to support political candidates - but some restrictions will apply.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production.For more information, visit
19/11/185m 2s

Bitcoin, the Evil Spawn

A European Central Bank executive board member said this week that blockchain is promising – but that bitcoin is “the evil spawn of the financial crisis.”Two cryptocurrency startups have agreed to register their initial coin offering tokens as securities after settling charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.Interest from both employers and job seekers in blockchain and cryptocurrency-related jobs has declined in the past year, new data indicates.After yesterday’s split of the Bitcoin Cash blockchain, several top exchanges have already accommodated the resulting two tokens.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production.For more information, visit
16/11/185m 10s

Bitcoin Cash War Begins

Bitcoin cash's contentious hard fork happened today around 1 pm eastern time. Notable consumer bitcoin mining pioneer Baliji Srinivasan is backing a startup seeking to take another stab at popularizing in-home crypto mining.Police in Tokyo have arrested eight men alleged to have run a cryptocurrency pyramid scheme that collected 7.8 billion yen (almost $69 million) from thousands of victims across the country.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production.For more information, visit
15/11/186m 16s

SPECIAL: MarketWatch & CoinDesk Survey Results

Bitcoin fell to its lowest price in over 12 months on Wednesday amid a broader cryptocurrency market sell-off.A new BitLicense has been issued by the New York State Department of Financial ServicesMessenger app maker Kik is quitting Ethereum for good as it continues to develop its own cryptocurrency.One of the bitcoin community’s most beloved veterans just got a promotion.SPECIAL on today's episode: CoinDesk's Nolan Baurle and MarketWatch's Andrew Neary discuss the results of a study comparing the two publications' audiences. How do crypto fans stack up against traditional investors? The results are fascinating.Our study was made possible with the help of Zion Trades.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production.For more information, visit
14/11/181h 4m

Oil is the New Data

It's increasingly looking like Bitcoin Cash mining pools will run a version of the software called Bitcoin SV.An ongoing legal battle between XRP investors and payments startup Ripple is entering its next phase.Japanese IT giant GMO has reported a loss of about $5.6 million for its cryptocurrency mining business in the third quarter of 2018.Oil industry giants Shell and BP are among a group of firms planning to launch a blockchain platform to automate post-trade processes in the energy industry by the end of 2018.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production. For more information, visit
13/11/185m 24s

Banned From Trading Forever

Ironic? A fractious divide in the Bitcoin Cash community has raised fears that the cryptocurrency – the fourth largest by market cap – could split into two.The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the country's stock exchange, Singapore Exchange (SGX), have developed a settlement system for tokenized assets that can work across different blockchains.Global professional services giant Accenture has rolled out a new software license management application built with tech from distributed ledger startup Digital Asset.The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has jailed a bitcoin trader and fined him over $1 million for running a fraudulent bitcoin and litecoin scheme.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production.For more information, visit
12/11/187m 17s

Egg Freezing

07/11/185m 23s

"The Largest Crypto Giveaway in History"

Bitmain is launching two new Antminer models targeting the bitcoin mining industry. U.S. elections drama may be dragging Augur out of the doldrums. Crypto wallet provider Blockchain says it's about to stage what it's calling the "largest crypto giveaway in history." Cryptocurrency mining technology firm Bitfury Group has just closed an $80 million funding round led by venture capital firm Korelya Capital. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production. For more information, visit
06/11/186m 15s

ICO Guidance in "Plain English"

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to clarify when and how cryptocurrencies may be classified as securities, and will do so in "plain English."The chairman of Deltec Bank & Trust says a widely scrutinized letter about stablecoin issuer Tether's account at the Bahamas-based institution is "authentic." Switzerland's Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is giving tough guidance to banks wanting to trade in crypto assets. A little-known ethereum project called Lition is quietly helping real German citizens find cheaper energy. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production. For more information, visit
05/11/185m 23s

Kik Growth

02/11/185m 59s

Tether's Scribble

Tether, the company behind the controversial stablecoin of the same name, published a letter purporting to be from Deltec Bank and Trust Limited today, confirming that it has about $1.8 billion in its account as of October 31. However, the letter - dated November 1 - does not have a name attached to it, and the signature is essentially a curve.Coinbase’s head of trading, Hunter Merghart, has resigned after just six months on the job, according to individuals familiar with the situation.Dapper Labs, the company behind the development of the ethereum-based Crypto Kitties, just raised another $15 million from Google Ventures, SamsungNEXT and Andreessen Horowitz, as well as some groups not usually associated with venture investing such as William Morris Endeavour and aXiomatic. The New York Department of Financial Services has just issued its 12th BitLicense, this time to a bitcoin ATM operator called CoinSource. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production. For more information, visit
01/11/186m 30s

Lost Crypto?

The world's largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance has frozen accounts that received more than 93,000 ether from two wallets indirectly linked to the troubled Russian exchange WEX.Former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen has been gifted a small amount of bitcoin.The Indian government is considering imposing a ban on what it calls "private cryptocurrencies" in the country.The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) has teamed up with distributed ledger startup Digital Asset to develop a blockchain platform for post-trade processing.A cryptocurrency ticker application called CoinTicker appears to be installing two backdoors on computers made by Apple, cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes warned Monday.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production. For more information, visit
31/10/187m 43s

Jail Time

U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has just announced $300 million in new fundingThe developer that formalized the code underlying most initial coin offerings (ICOs) – ethereum's ERC-20 token standard – has proposed a new approach in a bid to make the funding schemes more safe for would-be investorsA 21-year-old bitcoin trader from California has pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed money transmission business and now faces a maximum of five years in prison.Bitcoin's (BTC) downside break of the recent narrow trading range may have opened the doors for a drop to key support at $6,100, technical charts indicate.Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, Pantheon is a suite of ethereum-based services built by PegaSys, a 50-strong engineering team at the ethereum design studio ConsenSyLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production.For more information, visit
30/10/186m 2s

Bitstamp Acquired

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp has been acquired by NXMH, an investment firm based in Belgium and owned by South Korean conglomerate NXCThe Korean government made waves last year when it moved to ban initial coin offerings from taking place in the country.Blockchain payments startup Ripple Labs has hired former Google executive Amir Sarhangi as its vice president of products.After nearly two weeks stagnating at around $6,400, bitcoin has finally made a move – to the downside. Cryptography startup StarkWare just closed a $30 million equity funding round led by Paradigm and featuring a number of other major investors, according to an announcement made Monday. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production.For more information, visit
29/10/186m 17s

Bitcoin Backed

In January, a new token is being launched on the ethereum blockchain that will be backed one-for-one by bitcoin. An advisory committee to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) believes the agency should provide clearer guidelines on how cryptocurrency transactions may be taxed. An arbitration body in China has ruled that despite the country's central bank ban on cryptocurrency trading, bitcoin should still be legally protected as a property with economic values. Shipping giant Maersk and tech provider IBM are wrestling with this problem with TradeLens, their distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform for supply chains. The four biggest agricultural corporations in the world plan to utilize tech such as blockchain and AI to bring the global grain trade into the digital age. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production. For more information, visit
26/10/185m 47s

Bitmain's IPO Woes

Parties solicited to invest in the pre-initial public offering (IPO) funding round for Bitmain Technologies, Ltd., the leading maker of cryptocurrency mining software and hardware, received pitch decks falsely suggesting the company had secured financial backing from Digital Sky Technologies Global and GIC Private Limited.One of the oldest software wallet providers in the cryptocurrency industry is launching its first hardware product. Announced Thursday, Blockchain has partnered with hardware wallet maker Ledger and started taking orders for a new handheld device called Lockbox. The first batch of shipments will go out in November.Distributed ledger tech startup Ripple saw revenue from the sale of the digital asset XRP more than double this past quarter compared to the second quarter of 2018. The U.K. Royal Mint has suspended a long-running plan to create a crypto asset representing physical gold holdings. Deutsche Bundesbank, Germany's central bank, and Deutsche Börse, owner of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, have completed a blockchain trial investigating the technology's potential in securities settlement. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production.For more information, visit
25/10/187m 48s

A Freshman 51% Attack

Police in the Indian city of Bangalore have seized an ATM just weeks after it was set up by local cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin. A college freshman is coming after your cryptocurrency – but not to steal your coins, just to prove that someone could do so pretty easily. The Financial Services Agency, also known as the FSA, Japan's finance regulator, has formally approved a cryptocurrency exchange association as a self-regulating industry body. Over a million dollars' worth of bitcoin has been hidden in a digital picture – and there's still some left to be found, despite attention from cyber-sleuths.The U.K.-based settlement infrastructure provider Setl has been granted a license from France's securities regulator to operate a central securities depository system using blockchain tech.
24/10/186m 36s

Coinbase supports Circle

Crypto exchange Coinbase announced support for the Circle-issued stablecoin Tuesday.The newest commissioner with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission met with representatives from money manager VanEck and blockchain startup SolidX earlier this month to discuss a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF). A decade after launching its first Android device, global consumer tech giant HTC is officially releasing its first blockchain-enabled phone. Months after its debut, the cryptocurrency being launched by the estate of the late Wu-Tang Clan member Ol' Dirty Bastard (ODB) is moving ahead – starting with a public pre-sale that begins this week.Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, published a mysterious tweet on Monday about bitcoin that's whipping up speculation across social media and the cryptocurrency community that it may be more than just a joke. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production.For more information, visit
23/10/186m 46s

Hello Regulator, Please Give Me Number Nine

Transaction fees on monero have fallen sharply after last Thursday's system-wide software update.An Australian securities regulator shuts down an ICO project planning to raise as much as $50 million.Not to be outdone, the U.S. SEC has suspended the trading of shares for a company which claimed to be offering an ICO that was registered with the regulator.Accenture says it has created an "interoperability node" that houses the rules of four major enterprise platforms.San Francisco-based smart contract security startup Synthetic Minds has raised $5.5 million for its bid to roll out a technology that analyses blockchain networks for coding bugs.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production.For more information, visit
22/10/186m 59s

North Korea's Half-Billion-Dollar Hacks

A new report indicates that an infamous North Korean hacking group has managed to steal over half a billion dollars in cryptocurrencies.Ethereum's next hard fork will be postponed until early 2019, developers said Friday. Binance looks to add more stablecoins.The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) might make it easier for fintech startups to navigate legal waters.A global money-laundering watchdog will begin publishing rules for international cryptocurrency regulation by next summer. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production. For more information, visit
19/10/186m 7s

Rupees for Stablecoins

A clampdown on cryptocurrency by Indian regulators is forcing one exchange in that country to go to great lengths to do business.The U.S. Marshals have announced a plan to auction off nearly $4.3 million worth of bitcoin next month. Clients of the defunct crypto exchange Mt. Gox must submit claims for trapped funds by October 22. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has partnered with blockchain startup Coil as part of its mission to provide payment services for the unbanked. A U.S. cryptocurrency exchange is reporting a significant increase in trades between tether (USDT) and a newer alternative called TrueUSD. For more information, visit
18/10/185m 55s

Just $7 Million Short

Trading bots appear to have gamed a big token announcement from Coinbase.Binance teams up with Chainalysis to monitor cryptocurrency transactions in real-time.A senior U.S. official made a big statement on blockchain-based smart contracts this week. Amazon Web Services' China division is partnering with public blockchain project Qtum.The ICO for Civil’s blockchain-for-journalism has officially failed. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production.For more information, visit
17/10/185m 49s

Stablecoins Gone Wild

The Gemini dollar (GUSD) soared above $1 to a high of $1.19 Tuesday, just a day after competing stablecoin Tether (USDT) dropped to an 18-month low.Crypto exchange Bitfinex announced a new process for depositing fiat currency, a move that came after the platform halted the service in recent days.Singapore-based crypto exchange Huobi will list 4 US dollar-pegged coins some time this week.A new startup called the Paradigm Foundation has secured $1 million in equity seed as it hopes to unite all the decentralized exchanges in a single order book.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
16/10/184m 0s

Fidelity Goes Crypto

Financial services provider Fidelity Investments is launching a cryptocurrency trading and storage platform.The price of the tether stablecoin (USDT) fell to an 18-month low Monday, and rumors are swirling.But it's not all bad news for stablecoins: Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has announced that it is adding four U.S. dollar-pegged cryptocurrencies to its platform for trading. Blockchain startup Adhara has secured $15 million in new funding from Consensys, the ethereum design studio. Good news for its all-star team of former banking innovators.Sony has developed a new blockchain-based digital rights management system that may see commercial rollout. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
15/10/185m 36s

Ex-Trump Advisor Joins Blockchain Startup

Bithumb, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea by trading volume, has been sold.Ethereum's next system-wide upgrade is on track for November release, according to coders.Gary Cohn, once the chief economic advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, has just joined a blockchain startup called Spring Labs.U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair J. Christopher Giancarlo says that an influx of institutional investors to the cryptocurrency markets may help the space "mature.”Crypto exchange Coinbase is shutting down its institutional-investor focused index fund product, a spokesperson told CoinDesk.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
12/10/187m 1s

Twitter Promotes an Elon Impostor

Coinbase will add the 0x protocol token to its professional trading platform, Coinbase Pro. It's the first ERC-20 token to get a place on the platform.A region in Northern Syria is looking to cryptocurrency as a way to overcome economic sanctions.Crypto giveaway scams featuring Elon Musk impostors are common on Twitter, but on Thursday they went to new heights, with a promoted tweet from a verified account.The Securities and Exchange Commission moves against an initial coin offering and its organizer who allegedly claimed to have received approval from the agency. Know any Mandarin-speaking blockchain experts? The People's Bank of China is hiring as it continues development of its central bank digital currency. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
11/10/185m 55s

Life in the Sidechain

Three years in the making, bitcoin's first sidechain, called "Liquid", is now live. The Financial Stability Board says that cryptocurrencies and digital assets are not currently a threat to global financial stability. The Securities and Exchange Commission goes after an alleged pump-and-dump scheme involving a $100 million ICO. Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini hires another Wall street executive Blockchain finance firm Clearmatics Technologies raises over $12 million in a Series A funding round. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
10/10/186m 10s

Spanked By Hackers

The Persian Gulf may get its first cryptocurrency exchange licensed by a central bank.A cryptocurrency investment fund in Switzerland receives a license from the nation's financial markets regulator.Blockchain startup Bitwala is aiming to launch Germany's first "blockchain bank account."SpankChain, a cryptocurrency project focused on the adult industry, has suffered a breach that saw almost $40,000 in ethereum (ETH) stolen.Japanese IT giant GMO Internet is jumping into the race to launch a successful stablecoin, planning the launch of a yen-pegged cryptocurrency in 2019.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
09/10/187m 5s

Crypto: Don’t Leave Venezuela Without It

French supermarket giant Carrefour joins an IBM Blockchain program.An ICO on bitcoin? If start-up RSK has its way, it could happen.Controversial exchange Bitfinex attempts to disprove rumors of insolvency. Stealth startup Good Money plans to launch of crypto wallet with the help of "mega-bloggers." Hope Floyd's available!Venezuelan citizens must now purchase passports using the Petro, the nation's oil-backed cryptocurrency. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
08/10/185m 18s

Yale Going Crypto?

Yale University reportedly invested $400 million in crypto fund. SEC is looking for more comments on rejected bitcoin ETFs.Miner making multi-million bet on Ethereum staying Proof-of-Work.Celsius has over 10,000 users earning interest on crypto. Fortnite Cheat has bitcoin-targeting malware.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.
05/10/185m 57s

Spies and Bribes

The EOS community is having its first voting fraud scandal. The U.S. Department of Justice charged seven alleged Russian intelligence agents with using cryptocurrencies to fund undercover operations across the world. An ICE official says that his agency tracks cryptocurrency conversions in its investigations.The co-organizer of the first-ever Crypto Springs conference says, “nothing is decentralized”.A French start-up receives $1.7 million to develop the Lightning Network. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
04/10/187m 4s

Gemini Gets Insured

A critical exploit originally found in bitcoin’s code was patched last month before criminals could act on it. But it now appears there were some victims.IBM claims to have found a way to reduce the energy consumption needed on proof-of-work blockchains.This week RIpple was out in full force at its Swell conference.Crypto exchange Gemini announced that from now on the digital assets it holds in custody will be covered by the insurance company Aon.A new Congressional bill dubbed Blockchain Promotion Act of 2018 was recently introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives.Host Pete Rizzo has the latest.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
03/10/185m 13s

Diplomas and Decentralization

CoinDesk has released a list of the top universities that offer courses on blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Former president Bill Clinton spoke at Ripple’s Swell conference in San Francisco on Monday. Clinton expressed concern about "disparity of access" to new technologies like blockchain. A new marketplace for crypto collectibles offers to sell them in bundles.Venture capitalist invested almost four times more in blockchain projects this year.CoinDesk researcher Peter Ryan discusses a new report on the top universities in blockchain education. Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
02/10/1812m 23s

Hyperledger + EEA = ?

Hyperledger and Enterprise Ethereum Alliance join forces.--Three companies are now using Ripple’s xRapid in real life.--Researchers say that Ether’s price plunge didn’t hit ICOs.--Blockchain is praised at the U.N. General Assembly.--Montana nearly banned crypto mining in a single county. Host Marc Hochstein has the latest.Late Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
01/10/186m 46s

Regulators, Dapps, and $1 Trillion

BitGo CEO Mike Belshe looks ahead to the the problem of securing a trillion dollar cryptocurrency wallet.—Decentralized exchange Everbloom is looking to become a certified broker-dealer in the U.S.—U.S. regulators brought charges against securities swap platform 1broker and its CEO Patrick Brunner for violating federal law.—Shares in the publicly listed blockchain tech and consultancy firm DigitalX have slumped after it revealed it is facing a legal claim in an Australian court.—Messaging giant LINE has announced the first five decentralized apps, or dapps, on its custom blockchain platform. Host Bailey Reutzel has the latest from CoinDesk. Recorded September 28, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
28/09/186m 26s

Bitmain Sails High

Bitmain’s IPO filing reveals that it’s doing well despite the bear market.-AND-If you bet that the SEC would delay its bitcoin ETF decision again, you’re a winner. -ALSO-In a biting op-ed on, former EY employee Angus Champion de Crespigny writes that permissioned blockchains may have no real business benefit.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk editor Marc Hochstein investor Jalak Jobanputra on blockchain's progress in the developing world and advancing women's participation in the industry.Host Pete Rizzo has the rest. Recorded September 27, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
27/09/1815m 24s

Coinbase Rolls Out the Welcome Mat

Coinbase is gearing up to rapidly expand the range of crypto assets it lists.-AND-A new Ethereum scaling solution is out, and will be ready sooner than any other technologies aimed at scaling the second largest blockchain so far.-ALSO-Mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain has officially filed for an IPO, providing new business details in the process.-ADDITIONALLY-Cryptocurrency representatives mingled with at least one Congressman at a D.C. event on Tuesday. But regulatory clarity is still a long ways off.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk editor Marc Hochstein interviews attorney Preston Byrne on the legal issues around ICOs, ether and XRP and whether stablecoins can really work.Host Bailey Reutzel has the rest.Recorded September 26, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
26/09/1820m 36s

Do You Really Need a Blockchain for That? Concordia Annual Summit Special - Part 2

We traveled to the Concordia Annual Summit in New York City and spoke to four leading voices in the blockchain world, asking each one: how useful is a blockchain, anyway? Hear answers from investor Jalak Jobanputra, Microsoft's Yorke Rhodes, attorney Preston Byrne, and Hyperledger's Brian Behlendorf in conversation with host Marc Hochstein. Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more, visit
25/09/1819m 57s

Concordia Annual Summit Special - Part 1

On a special episode of Late Confirmation, we visit the Concordia Annual Summit in New York City, where a broad range of thinkers and creators from different fields gather alongside the UN General Assembly. In this episode, we sit down with four notable attendees from the blockchain sphere and ask them each one question: Where is blockchain tech on the hype cycle?The Gartner hype cycle, for those who don’t know, tracks the expectations of a new technology over time. Developing technology can hit the Peak of Inflated Expectations before falling into the Trough of Disillusionment, from which –– if successful –– it will emerge onto the Slope of Enlightenment. As a subjective measuring tool, the hype cycle can be useful thought experiment for thinking about discussions of blockchain technology.Our interviewees in this episode include Hyperledger’s Brian Behlendorf, attorney Preston Byrne, Microsoft’s Blockchain Engineering team Project Manager Yorke Rhodes, and Jalak Jobanputra, founding partner of Future/Perfect Ventures.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
24/09/1817m 15s

Cody Wilson Arrested in Taiwan

A new research paper claims that tether has had no meaningful impact on the price of bitcoin.-AND-Bitmain unveils another ASIC, but it’s light on detailed specifications.-ALSO-3D-printed gun creator and bitcoin advocate Cody Wilson has been arrested in Taiwan following charges from U.S. police that he paid for sex with a minor.-ADDITIONALLY-Independent software developer Alexey Ak-who-nov has built a new tech solution for ethereum that may use significantly less disk space.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk reporter Nikhilesh De joins host Bailey Reutzel to discuss new deadlines for SEC decisions on bitcoin ETFs.Recorded September 21, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
21/09/188m 34s

The Cypherpunk’s Elixxir

Cryptocurrency exchanges react furiously to a new report from the New York Attorney General’s office.-AND-Another Japanese exchange loses millions of dollars to hackers.-ALSO-Cypherpunk veteran David Chaum has a new coin: Elixxir.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk research analyst Peter Ryan joins host Marc Hochstein to discuss the latest statistics on blockchain venture capital and ICOs.Recorded September 20, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
20/09/1814m 1s

New York, the Jealous Ex?

Banking giant PNC has adopted Ripple’s technology for cross border payments-AND-Leaders at R3 believe that enterprise blockchain industry will soon see consolidation.-ALSO-Binance says it will launch a cryptocurrency exchange on (almost) every continent. -DON’T MISS-CoinDesk editor Stan Higgins joins host Bailey Reutzel to discuss a newly released report from the New York Attorney General’s office following an inquiry into the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchanges.Recorded September 19, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
19/09/188m 36s

Bitcoin in Palestine

Another stablecoin?! Yes, believe it or not. This time, it’s a token anchored to the Japanese yen. -AND-Kyber Network is adapting the technology beneath its decentralized exchange to allow merchants to accept payments in any ethereum token. -DON’T MISS-CoinDesk reporter Leigh Cuen joins host Bailey Reutzel to discuss the use of bitcoin by Palestinians, and the remaining hurdles to cryptocurrency adoption in the Palestinian Territories. Recorded September 18, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
18/09/189m 38s

Court Hodls Lambo

Cloudflare says it's made it easier to access the InterPlanetary File System or IPFS.-AND-Bancor partners with EOS for a new cross-chain product.-ALSO-A U.S. district court ruled to seize the assets and property of Alexandre Cazes, the deceased Canadian who allegedly was behind the darknet marketplace AlphaBay. Among that property? A 2013 Lamborhini Aventador. -DON’T MISS-MIT Media Lab’s Michael Casey joins host Marc Hochstein to discuss the inverse relationship between the price of ether and the value of the Ethereum network.Recorded September 17, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
17/09/1815m 31s

Blockchain Convict, Shard Time

IBM and Hacera launch a crypto “yellow pages.”-AND-R3’s CordaCon event draws big crowds as rumors swirl about the company’s cash crunch. -ALSO-GAW Miners founder Josh Garza has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to a wire fraud charge.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Rachel Rose O’Leary joins host Marc Hochstein to discuss recent developments on ethereum’s road to becoming scalable. Recorded September 14, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
14/09/1813m 42s

Wall Street <3 Crypto?

FOAM’s decentralized world map is now live.-AND-BitGo just launched its own regulated custodian for crypto assets.-ALSO-10 years after Lehman: Bitcoin and wall street are closer than ever.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Christine Kim joins host Bailey Reutzel to discuss ethereum's next major upgrade, Constantinople.Recorded September 13, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
13/09/1810m 41s

Get Out of Jail Free Token

A bitcoin mining company called Bitewei is being hailed as a new rival to Bitmain.-AND-Yet another stablecoin has been unveiled, this time from blockchain startup Carbon. -ALSO-The CEO of OKCoin has been released from police custody after speaking with investigators regarding alleged bitcoin futures manipulation.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Leigh Cuen joins host Stan Higgins to discuss the launch of new crypto wallet Jaxx.Recorded September 12, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
12/09/189m 34s

Soccer Team Gets Crypto, SEC Doles Out Penalties

The SEC hits crypto asset fund and “ICO superstore” with penalties in a double whammy.-AND-Ethereum developers are hard at work on new ways to fend off ASICs.-ALSO-Le crypto is coming for French sports fans in the form of a new cryptocurrency for a major Parisian soccer team.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s editor-in-chief Pete Rizzo joins host Marc Hochstein to discuss the week’s biggest news: the combination of Stellar and Chain to form Interstellar. Recorded September 11, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
11/09/1813m 28s

WeChat vs. Bitmain

Interstellar is born. The long-awaited union of Chain and has delivered a new company.-AND-The WeChat crackdown on cryptocurrency-related accounts continues! This week’s victim: mining giant Bitmain.-ALSO-More stablecoins! No fewer than two companies announced new crypto tokens pegged to the US dollar.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Brady Dale joins host Bailey Reutzel to discuss new information about BitTorrent’s acquisition by Tron founder Justin Sun.Recorded September 10, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
10/09/1812m 13s

The End of the ICO Era

The era of big ticket ICOs may be over, at least according to some cryptocurrency industry observers.-AND-The pioneer of the proof-of-stake consensus system wants to get into… hardware?-ALSO-Crypto payments firm Wyre has acquired a smart contract startup originally backed by investor Tim Draper. -DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Nikhilesh De joins host Marc Hochstein to discuss new developments in the EOS network that may be welcome news for developers.Recorded September 7, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
07/09/1811m 54s

Blood in the Water

Officials in China want to use blockchain to track the movements of paroled convicts. Maybe Chinese ICO backers will get to use blockchain after all?-AND-IBM is working with a blockchain organization that believes personal data ownership is a human right.-ALSO-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told Congress this week that the social media platform is looking at blockchain technology for potential fraud prevention.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk researcher Peter Ryan joins host Stan Higgins to discuss the steep market downturn and its potential causes. One mysterious Silk Road-linked wallet has everyone guessing...Recorded September 6, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
06/09/1810m 39s


Good news out of China? The People’s Bank of China’s digital currency researchers are expanding.-AND-Ripio is expanding its crypto-powered loan offering across South America.-ALSO-R3’s attempt to take over a “settlement coin” project didn’t quite work out.-TODAY'S GUEST-CoinDesk’s Brady Dale joins host Marc Hochstein to discuss a $43 million plan by Civic to boost its user base.Recorded September 5, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
05/09/1812m 43s

NEO Wanted BitTorrent

A new paper co-authored by Vitalik Buterin proposes to solve the network’s “free rider” problem.-AND-The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has pushed back the launch of a blockchain replacement for the decades-old CHESS clearing and settlement system.-ALSO-EOS developers are shelling out big bucks to pay for network resources.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Annaliese Milano joins host Bailey Reutzel to discuss new details about BitTorrent’s acquisition by Tron founder Justin Sun, and a competing bid from blockchain project NEO.Recorded September 4, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
04/09/189m 33s

An Apple a Day Keeps the War Riders Away

Developers move to change the economics of the Ethereum blockchain.-AND-Messaging giant LINE launches a live blockchain and plans to issue 1 billion of its own tokens.-ALSO-Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten will buy cryptocurrency exchange Everybody’s Bitcoin, and its plans don’t end there.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Brady Dale joins host Bailey Reutzel to discuss a decision by Coinbase to remove the crypto collectible game War Riders from its iOS app. Do Apple’s rules ban non-fungible tokens? Recorded August 31, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
31/08/1810m 12s

If You Give A Mouse a Bitcoin...

Ethereum’s biggest test is fast approaching, and an important decision regarding issuance is up in the air.-AND-Secret contracts provider Enigma has signed eight partners to test its service at launch.-ALSO-Bitcoin mining juggernaut Bitmain is coming to Ethereum, and possibly other blockchains.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk researcher Peter Ryan joins host Nikhilesh De to discuss forks, airdrops, and the five possible forks heading for Bitcoin Cash.Recorded August 30, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
30/08/1810m 3s

Blintzes on the Blockchain

Binance backs $32 million funding for a new stablecoin from the creator of a billion-dollar Korean online commerce site.-AND-After the acquisition of BitTorrent, Tron’s founder Justin Sun also acquired a share in the Chia Network, a new protocol developed by a BitTorrent co-founder.-ALSO-Hong Kong is tweaking its immigration policies to attract blockchain professionals from all over the world.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Anna Baydakoba joins host Stan Higgins to discuss how the Russian capital of Moscow is using blockchain to improve public services.Recorded August 29, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
29/08/189m 14s

Officer, I'd Like To Report An ICO

Lloyd's of London, the centuries-old insurance marketplace, is quietly providing cover against the theft of cryptocurrencies.-AND-China is encouraging its citizens to report illegal token sales. -ALSO-Crypto exchange Huobi wants to buy a public company.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk researcher Peter Ryan joins host Nikhilesh De to discuss Bitcoin’s changing fees and what it means for the future of the cryptocurrency.Recorded August 28, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
28/08/188m 5s

EOS The World Turns

A blockchain project spearheaded by NEX Group is facing questions over its future.-AND-One of the biggest airlines in Russia has piloted a blockchain system for collecting data on plane refueling.-ALSO-Chinese search giant Baidu moves to censor some of the crypto discussions taking place on its Reddit-like platform.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s David Floyd joins host Stan Higgins to discuss EOS’s long-promised voting system, which could determine the fate of an account worth $35 million.Recorded August 27, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
27/08/1811m 4s

Changin’ On The Telephone

A feud between Bitcoin Cash’s developers could split the year-old cryptocurrency in two.-AND-Mt Gox’s former creditors can now submit proof of their claims in a newly-approved rehabilitation process. No word on whether they’ll get their Thicket Basilisk back, though.-ALSO-Ethereum must tackle challenging questions before an October upgrade, but an important phone call earlier today failed to produce any immediate results.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Brady Dale joins host Nikhilesh De to discuss the practice of crypto startups burning their coins.Recorded August 24, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
24/08/1810m 50s

SEC-ya later

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued rejections to nine bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETFs) proposals.-AND-Crypto startups are destroying millions of their own token supply to generate value for investors.-ALSO-A Chinese regulatory agency may block access to more than 100 overseas crypto trading platforms. -DON’T MISS-CoinDesk research analyst Peter Ryan joins host Stan Higgins to discuss new discoveries on the state of litecoin.Recorded August 23, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
23/08/1811m 44s

Crypto Black Lotus

The central bank in Thailand said it will launch its own digital currency by next year.-AND-New rules imposed by the Chinese government have led to a crackdown on blockchain and cryptocurrency media accounts on WeChat.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk reporter David Floyd joins host Stan Higgins to discuss a collectible playing card that sold for more than $60,000. The twist? It’s a crypto card, from a game that hasn’t even launched yet.Recorded August 22, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
22/08/189m 13s

Insane in the Bitmain

Two investing giants say they’re not involved in pre-IPO funding for Bitmain, despite reports to the contrary. -AND-Proposed changes to the $200 million Siacoin blockchain would ice out Bitmain’s mining rigs, but concerns around the changes are growing.-ALSO-After being acquired by Tron founder Justin Sun, several employees at BitTorrent have left.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk researcher Peter Ryan joins host Nikhilesh De to discuss the difference between transactions and payments.Recorded August 21, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
21/08/189m 23s


A U.S. bitcoin trader has been indicted for alleged money laundering -AND-The SEC is going to decide the fate of yet another bitcoin ETF this week.-ALSO-Lightning Network is getting its own hacker camp.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk reporter Brady Dale joins host Stan Higgins to discuss the strangest collectible tokens you could imagine. Recorded August 20, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
20/08/189m 49s

Is Overstock a Bitcoin Price Index?

Accusations of a cloned app mean that Ethereum’s gambling problem is only getting worse.-AND-Coinbase wins a patent for a secure bitcoin payments system.-ALSO-Chinese e-commerce giant rolls out blockchain platform with its first app.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk market analyst Sam Ouimet joins host Stan Higgins to discuss the uncanny correlation between the price of Overstock’s stock and the price of bitcoin.Recorded August 17, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
17/08/1810m 22s

Intel’s New Vulnerability Foreshadows Big Trouble

Ripple gives its blessing to a set of crypto exchanges for its xRapid service. -AND-Airbnb Co-Founder Backs $22 Million in Funding for Crypto Dealer SFOX.-ALSO-A newly-disclosed vulnerability in Intel chips could have far-reaching effects on cryptocurrency security. -DON’T MISS-CoinDesk researcher Adam Hart joins host Stan Higgins to discuss investments in blockchain and cryptocurrency education being made by American universities and institutions.Recorded August 16, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
16/08/1811m 7s

The Custody Race ETHs Up

The code for an anonymous Lightning Network is now live.-AND-Bitcoin’s Taproot privacy tech is ready – but there’s a big catch. -ALSO-Prime Trust enters the cryptocurrency custody race and says it will hold ‘any’ Ether.CoinDesk’s Nikhilesh De joins host Stan Higgins to discuss a $10 million token venture fund from messaging giant LINE.Recorded August 15 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
15/08/189m 0s


The AirSwap decentralized exchange is upgrading its tech to handle any-size Ethereum trades.-AND-You can now get paid for using bitcoin’s Lightning Network, but don’t quit your day job. -ALSO-Coders are making new efforts to fork mining giant Bitmain off the Siacoin blockchain.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk researcher Peter Ryan joins host Bailey Reutzel to discuss how bitcoin has maintained dominance in the recent down market.Recorded August 14 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
14/08/1812m 28s

Greetings from Bitstanbul

A Russian team with big aspirations plans to build a cargo drone fleet connected via blockchain.-AND-Long-term thinking? In a rare move, ICO founders will delay crypto paydays for a decade. -DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Leigh Cuen joins host Nikhilesh De to discuss the Turkish fiat crisis and a recent spike in trading volume on Turkish cryptocurrency exchanges.Recorded August 13, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
13/08/1811m 59s

EOS Is Forking and Forking and Forking

Micropayment applications are taking off on bitcoin's Lightning Network.-AND-Facebook’s David Marcus is stepping down from the Coinbase board of directors.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s David Floyd joins host Bailey Reutzel to discuss the upcoming forks of what was one of the most highly anticipated ICO projects of all time – EOS.Recorded August 10, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
10/08/1814m 11s

Tezos Is Doing OK For Once

The SEC will decide on 9 proposals in the coming months, not counting the one they just delayed.-AND-IBM and Maersk have 94 companies signed up to their supply chain platform.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Brady Dale joins host Marc Hochstein to discuss the latest developments in Tezos. Just one year ago, the blockchain was held up as the prime example of ICO gluttony. But today, things appear to be going a bit smoother.Recorded August 9, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
09/08/1814m 12s

Augur’s Unpredictable Drop

State Street is looking to adopt blockchain technology for securities lending – that's if internally they can all get on the same page. -AND-The SEC’s Bitcoin ETF decision has been postponed until September. -DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s David Floyd joins host Bailey Reutzel to discuss the precipitous drop in users on Augur. The much-anticipated decentralized predictions market is seeing as little as 24 users per day following an impressive launch. Where is everybody?Recorded August 8, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
08/08/1814m 25s

Will the SEC Answer a Billion-Dollar Question?

A 17th century principle is finding use in 21st century tech. We’ll talk about blockchain insurance.-AND-Another U.S. state will start to recognize blockchain data. Rock and roll!-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Christine Kim joins host Stan Higgins to discuss a proposed bitcoin ETF from investment management firm VanEck that’s put all eyes on the SEC. Again.Recorded August 7, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
07/08/1812m 1s

Smartdrops Keep Fallin' On My Head...

Digital Asset is ready to spread wings and fly — the startup’s CEO Blythe Masters tells CoinDesk about the project’s new ambitions.-AND-Economist and investor Tuur Demeester doesn’t expect bitcoin to soar in 2018.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Annaliese Milano joins host Pete Rizzo to discuss smartdrops, a potentially better method to distribute tokens that’s gaining steam.Recorded August 6, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
06/08/188m 47s

Mt. Gox's Creditors Come Calling

The New York Stock Exchange’s parent company plans to launch a digital assets platform and a bitcoin futures product.-AND-Setting sun? It turns out that US dollars are dominating the bitcoin trading, not Japanese yen.-ALSO-A group of Mt Gox’s creditors are ready to claim for bitcoin and bitcoin cash repayments. Recorded August 3, 2018 in New Paltz, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
03/08/185m 3s

Is Bitcoin Mining Profitable?

A company previously only known for a crazy party with palm readings and something called “moon oil mining” has finally been formally revealed… and they’re trying to rebuild the internet. We'll look at Handshake.-AND-Should have stayed with the iced tea! The company formerly known as Long Island Iced Tea – now Long Blockchain – has been subpoenaed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.-ALSO-A new bitcoin mining calculator aims to tell the ‘truth' about profitability. We’ll look at the new product from RandomCrypto. -DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Peter Ryan joins host Bailey Reutzel to discuss key performance indicators of BCH vs. BTC.Recorded August 2, 2018 in New Paltz, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
02/08/1814m 53s

Crypto Mama and SEC Drama

A newly released transcript shines a light on a heated debate over crypto happening inside the SEC.-AND-Bitcoin cash celebrated its first birthday yesterday. Long the subject of criticism, BCH is said to have seen an influx of new projects, including social media and tipping methods, taking advantage of its blockchain.-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Stan Higgins joins host Marc Hochstein to discuss SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce – aka Crypto Mom – and her dissent from a recent decision rejecting a bitcoin-tied exchange-traded fund backed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.Recorded August 1, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
01/08/1814m 25s

The Return of Sirius

Spanish bank giant BBVA can't hold crypto – and that's a problem. -AND-The NFL is the latest sports league to enter the world of crypto as the players union announced a deal with a blockchain startup.-ALSO-Martti 'Sirius' Malmi, also known as the first coder to work alongside bitcoin's pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, is launching a new cryptocurrency with ambitious goals.
-DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Sam Ouimet joins host Stan Higgins to discuss BTC's price drop.Recorded July 31, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
31/07/188m 42s

Your Job On the Blockchain

The first major app on Blockstack, launched today, is promising to disrupt future models of employment, bringing it more in line with a decentralized ethos. -AND-A blockchain “app store,” backed by IBM, aims to help connect banks and fintech and software vendors.-ALSO-A public blockchain project has raised over $20 million from institutional investors in a combined token and equity sale. -DON’T MISS-Speaking of institutional investors, CoinDesk’s Adam Hart joins host Pete Rizzo to discuss the quarterly State of Blockchain report. Hart’s finding suggest that large institutions may be betting against retail investors on the Bitcoin futures market. Recorded July 30 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
30/07/1812m 6s

Crashing the Party

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejects a request from the Winklevoss twins for a Bitcoin ETF… again.-AND-Are Know-Your-Customer regulations a scam? At least one CEO thinks so.-ALSO-Hope your burner phone has a camera! This crypto wallet is replacing private keys with encrypted QR codes. -DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Peter Ryan joins host Bailey Reutzel to discuss the surprising results of a new survey looking at the political leanings of the crypto community.Recorded July 27 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
27/07/1814m 38s

Notes On a Swatting

Bitcoin engineer Jameson Lopp reflects on an incident last year that saw armed police descend on his home.-AND-Bitcoin’s cutting-edge ‘Coin Selection’ tech gets its first major integration.-ALSO-Decentralized exchange Waves scored a $6 million debut. But trouble wasn’t far behind. -DON’T MISS-CoinDesk’s Nolan Bauerle joins host Marc Hochstein to discuss new insights into quarterly cryptocurrency project funding.Recorded July 26 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Said Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
26/07/1817m 57s

The Wrong Kind of Attention

The first Augur assassination markets have arrived.-AND-What scams? Ethereum’s vision for decentralized apps is only growing bolder.-ALSO-Bitcoin's price is nearing $10K on a single, troubled exchange. CoinDesk’s Anna Baydakova joins Editor-in-Chief Pete Rizzo to discuss the mysteries around WEX.Recorded July 25, 2018 in New York, NY.Thanks to our sponsors!Saïd Business School, University of OxfordOxford Fintech ProgrammeOxford Blockchain Strategy ProgrammeLate Confirmation is a CoinDesk production made in collaboration with The Podglomerate.For more information, visit
25/07/1812m 32s

Coming Soon from CoinDesk: Late Confirmation

Coming July 25! CoinDesk is thrilled to announce the launch of Late Confirmation, a daily podcast looking at the top stories in the blockchain world. We’ll be breaking down crypto's biggest stories about markets, technology, currencies, or anything else with CoinDesk reporters and figuring out what it all means. Don't miss out. Subscribe today!
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