Hosts Matt Walsh and Nic Carter of Castle Island Ventures explore the political, ethical, and economic significance of Bitcoin and other public blockchains and talk to some of the leading experts in the industry. Learn more and stay up to date at CastleIsland.vc and follow on twitter @CastleIslandVC
Matt and Nic return for the news and deals in another tumultuous week. Matt is snubbed by Coin Metrics Nic gets sort of cancelled on Twitter by the Bitcoin hardliners Nic is not a Bitcoin Maximalist Is there a positive, non-maximalist vision of Bitcoin? BlockFi update Our case for wallet-based passwordless authentication CIV's 3AC takes from last week start to be independently confirmed What trade kicked off 3AC's issues? We reminisce over the stolen bike saga BVI and Singapore regulators act on 3AC Coinflex loses money on Roger Ver's BCH trades Matt's Roger Ver story Matt's prior Up In the Air career Grayscale's GBTC ETF application is denied Grayscale sues the SEC Compass mining leadership departs Solana launches a phone North Korean hackers allegedly hack the Harmony bridge for $100m Razzlekhan may have actually hacked Bitfinex The Crypto Queen is on the FBI most wanted Content mentioned: Nic on Medium, Setting the Record Straight Sponsor notes: Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
Blake King, power markets engineer at Galaxy, formerly of Oak Ridge national lab and ERCOT, joins us to talk about how changing grids are accommodating an influx of load from Bitcoin miners. In this episode: Why the grid is undergoing a radical transformation today Blake's background in electrical engineering, power system modeling, and renewable development The origin of Blake's papers on bitcoin mining and the grid Bitcoiner misconceptions about mining? Why Bitcoin is not a battery Why you can't just arbitrarily add load to the grid Why Bitcoin mining does not generally increase energy prices during scarcity or peak load Why rational actors curtail or sell power during scarcity events Are grid planning models correctly estimating the risk of furloughing thermal generation? Is it possible to make the green energy transition as currently envisioned? Why renewable generation requires more transmission How renewable generation costs are increasingly upfront as compared to thermal generation Are bitcoiners overrating the importance of controllable load? Why Bitcoin miners may be over ambitious in terms of modeling ancillary service payments Are ancillary markets going to increase in size with more renewable generation? Economic demand response versus formal ancillary services Different types of ancillary services products Why load resources are able to bid out thermal generation in ancillary services markets How exactly Bitcoin miners get signals to curtail their load during scarcity events Does being a load resource imply ‘voluntary' curtailment? Why miners owe it to the grid operator to be transparent in their breakeven price and operating plans How weather in Texas could affect block arrival times in Bitcoin Why the commodification of ASICs would increase the integration of the renewable energy sector and bitcoin mining Why ERCOT hit the pause button on the addition of new mining loads ERCOTs level of sophistication around Bitcoin mining Will miners toggle between Bitcoin, green hydrogen, and other location-agnostic uses of power? Do the economics of green hydrogen make sense relative to BTC mining? Content mentioned in this episode: Bitcoin Mining and the Grid, Part I and Part II Intro and outro used with permission: Ocarina #968
Matt Walsh sits down with BlockFi CEO Zac Prince to cover turmoil in the crypto lending markets and how BlockFi is handling the crisis. In this episode: Is the contagion among lenders over? Was Three Arrows excessive risk taking or fraudulent? BlockFi's relationship with Three Arrows Does BlockFi still have 3AC exposure? BlockFi's plan to maintain all of their products and keep them operational What differentiates BlockFi's risk management from Celsius Asset liability matching Duration management The duration of BlockFi's loans The structure of the interest account product and why withdrawal periods are up to 7 days Did regulation work to stem any of the risk in the crypto markets? Shift from a borrower's market to a lender's market The effect of capital destruction on interest rates in crypto Why crypto interest rates are going up BlockFi's deal with FTX How the crypto lending market will change Zac's message to BlockFi clients and to the industry Content mentioned in this episode BlockFi's risk management disclosures BlockFi fee schedule FT: Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows fails to meet lender margin calls
Matt and Nic return for a fiery episode of deals and news. In this episode: Is miner selling backed up by the on-chain data? Is Massachusetts open to pro-crypto legislation? FTX provides credit support to embattled crypto lenders Why private market transactions do not constitute bailouts in the pejorative sense Was 3 Arrows just a case of too much leverage and bad trades, or was it fraud? Does the 3AC situation stray into criminal territory? There were significant harms stemming from the 3AC scheme Kyle's infamous On The Brink appearance and his special request Did GBTC bring down 3AC? Are we entering the PvP era of crypto twitter? The story behind 3AC's yacht Solend requisitions user funds Wartime versus peacetime governance in DeFi South Korea puts a travel ban on Terraform labs employees DYDX is leaving Ethereum and moving to their own chain The relationship between lender balance sheets and GBTC Is there a case to be made for winding down GBTC? How to think about the GBTC trade today How the 3AC GBTC trade is like LTCM How to think about the "macro" Is the 'crypto hedge fund that also does VC' obsolete? Sponsor notes: Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
In this episode, host Ria sits down with the co-founders of Starkware, Eli Ben-Sasson and Uri Kolodny to discuss how the team is leveraging STARKs, or validity proofs, to unlock a magnitude increase in scalability. We discuss: The differences between Starkex and Starknet and how the two will converge Enabling functions and applications that cannot be built on monolithic layer 1s Why data availability is important to zk rollups and the trade offs of different approaches Simultaneously solving for computational integrity and inclusive accountability To learn more about Starkware, visit their website. Intro and outro used with permission: Collage #346 by Daniel Allan
Nic and Matt are back for a truly chaotic week in the markets. In this episode: Is DeFi's transparency a vice? We reconsider the need for a lender of last resort? We debrief on Consensus How will the Celsius situation resolve? Fidelity doubles down on digital assets Is the Fed trapped by inflation? Was the Celsius situation foreseeable? Where does the next marginal buyer come from? Another crypto lender goes down Class action lawsuit launched against Binance US Circle is launching Euro coin Bill Gates dances on our grave Content mentioned in this episode: All Falls Down, by Nic Carter and Allen Farrington [pdf] On Impossible Things Before Breakfast, by Nic Carter, Allen Farrington, and Ross Stevens Sponsor notes: Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
Nic and Matt are back for news and deals of the week. In this episode: Greetings from a very hot Consensus in Austin Our takeaways from the Lummis/Gillibrand bill What the NY state mining moratorium means for miners The Central African Republic lays out its plans for Project Sango Custodia Bank is suing the Fed for sitting on their master account application Binance fires back at Reuters We break down a NY Times article on early bitcoin mining NYDFS issues new standards for NY-regulated stablecoins Were the inflation truthers correct about CPI metrics? Sponsor notes: Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
The original roundup cast return for a covid-stricken episode. In this roundup: The boys are laid low with Covid (again!) Nic recounts his visit to Norwegian parliament Nic recaps the Oslo Freedom Forum Are we on the brink of L2 summer? Former Opensea PM is arrested on wire fraud/insider trading charges Is there an insider trading standard for non-securities? Korean prosecutors summon all Terraform Labs staff Biden admin looks to lower the emissions footprint of Bitcoin Two ways for the US Government to lower the emissions of Bitcoin Does banning an asset make it worth less? Do we need net neutrality for power? OneRiver's ETF application is denied How the SEC can unlock $6b worth of value to Bitcoin investors Crypto firms settle in for winter Fidelity Digital Assets is doubling their headcount Nic's affiliate merch scandal Sponsor notes: Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
Andrew Cahill and Saurabh Deshpande of The Block join the show. In this episode we discuss: The Ethereum L2 ecosystem The varying scaling solutions and views on the communities with traction Views on native tokens being launched on these platforms in 2022 Optimistic rollups ZK rollups Learn more by reading the report, “Layer-2 Scaling Solutions: A Framework for Comparison”
Matt returns with CMS Holdings' Dan Matuszewski, filling in for Nic, covering deals and news of the week. In this episode: Bitcoiners brief Norwegian policymakers History of the BitLicense Circle's physical BitLicense a16z raises a massive $4.5b fund The effect of VC dry powder on crypto startups Can crypto catch a bid until macro calms down Adam Neumann is back with a blockchain startup FTX attends a heated CFTC roundtable Arthur Hayes gets house arrest and probation Why certain Tether holders will never redeem An unlikely winner from Tether concerns Does shorting Tether make sense? Fallout from Terra's collapse Are algostables going to exist forever CMS's Super Pac and reflections on conversations in Washington SBF announces his intention to spend $1B on the 2024 election Scott Minerd is very bearish on Bitcoin What on earth is HEX ETH Merge concerns Sponsor notes: Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
Ric Edelman, the founder of Edelman Financial Services and the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals joins the show. In this episode we discuss: Ric's new book The Truth About Crypto His journey in the digital assets industry The current macro backdrop and how cryptoassets should be considered in a portfolio Views on the RIA market and how the crypto discussion is evolving The regulatory landscape, including views on the DoL, SEC and Elizabeth Warren How the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals is evolving Links mentioned on the show: The Truth About Crypto on Amazon DACFP Twitter: @ricedelman (Ric); @thedacfp (DACFP);
Matt and Nic return for another week of news and deals. In this episode: Was UST/Terra a ponzi or not? Fintech apps put client deposits into Anchor Tradfi yields are competitive with DeFi yields The GBTC discount reaches its highest ever level at -31% MSM crypto hate reaches a fever pitch The World Bank publishes a new paper on crypto adoption The Warren staff have a dossier of mean tweets Will generalist VCs lose interest in web3? El Salvador hosts a Bitcoin summit for a number of central banks Nic's secret origin story Is eSwatini a dark horse candidate for the next Bitcoin Nation? The Biden admin suggests segregating client deposits at exchanges TradFi thinks Tether is about to collapse Why no stablecoins are able to secure audits Tether receives a new assurance opinion showing $39b of treasuries How many outflows can Tether accommodate? Differences in redemption between USDC and USDT What does a crackdown in offshore assets by the CCP have to do with Tether? Cloudflare's wall of lava lamps Is it time for a new batch of FUD dice? We assess the quality of the Terra mea culpas Content mentioned in this episode: World Bank, The ascent of crypto assets: Evolution and macro-financial drivers Sponsor notes: Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
Jon Kol and Asa Oines, cofounders of Abacus join the show to talk about the state of the art in cross chain interoperability. In this episode: Career trajectories and why Jon and Asa decided to start Abacus The three eras of interoperability Asset interoperability vs app based interoperability Why asset interoperability might just be a transitional phase Why asset interoperability is more about the creation of derivatives than true portability Application parallelization or duplication versus native cross chain applications Why duplicating applications across chain is inefficient The advantages of building natively cross chain for developers How blockchains can be made to communicate with each other Key assumptions you need to rely on to trust that Abacus will work How Abacus is distinguished from other interoperability protocols Why speed matters in cross chain How Abacus differs from Layer0 and Axelar Which blockchains Abacus is linking together Learn more about Abacus
Matt and Nic cover news and deals of the week. In this episode: The CIV hat snafu Was synthetic USD on Bitmex the first stablecoin? Remembering Mastercoin and seigniorage shares stablecoins Does the Fed have a shadow third mandate? We break down the Luna situation and why it was destined to fail Why the subsidized yields on Anchor were the biggest mistake Likely fallout from the Luna collapse The Terra blockchain is halted Do we actually need algorithmic stablecoins? SBF acquires a stake in Robinhood Is the Twitter sale to Elon under threat? Sponsor notes: Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
Mark Lamb, co-founder and CEO of CoinFLEX joins the show. In this episode we discuss: Mark's entrepreneurial path in the cryptocurrency industry and the insight behind starting CoinFLEX The history and market landscape for crypto derivatives platforms The state of the stablecoin market and how flexUSD is positioning for USA launch The regulatory environment and how this is impacting trading venues and stablecoin issuers. To learn more visit coinflex.com and follow Mark on Twitter
Nic and Matt return for news and deals of the week. In this episode: Matt's takeaways from the Medici conference The rapid growth of ZKPs We review Brink Nation posts on GM We look back at the history of the FUD dice Are tungsten dice possible? Big thunderstorm in Miami Is the crypto industry sitting out the recession? We consider the merits of virtual real estate Does proximity matter in the metaverse? Metaverse land rights and NIMBYism The Bitcoin Mining Council letter to the EPA and what motivated it Ohio's primary yields an entirely pro-crypto field CBOE acquires ErisX Goldman takes out a Bitcoin-collateralized USD loan Jane Street dives into DeFi The SEC doubles the size of its cyber unit CA issues an EO on the crypto industry The Dept. of Labor criticizes Fidelity for their Bitcoin 401k product The IMF criticizes the Central African Republic's adoption of Bitcoin The divergence between public and private valuations in crypto and equities, and why they can't always be arbitraged away Content mentioned: Prominent Bitcoiners' letter to the EPA to respond to Rep. Huffman's letter Sponsor notes: Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
TeraWulf cofounder and CEO Paul Prager joins us to talk about his experience building a vertically-integrated, zero carbon Bitcoin miner. In this installment of the mining miniseries we cover: Paul's career trajectory from coal trading to energy infrastructure to Bitcoin Beowulf's deal with Marathon and their entry into Bitcoin How TeraWulf distinguishes itself from other Bitcoin miners Why TeraWulf has an explicit ESG focus Zero carbon and how that differs from ‘carbon neutral' The importance of being vertically integrated How Paul thinks about the halvings and how that affects their business TeraWulf's facility in upstate NY Paul's views on NY State's approach to Bitcoin mining How the Bitcoin mining industry struggles with proactive messaging TeraWulf's 300 MW nuclear-powered facility in Pennsylvania Why Bitcoin is synergistic with nuclear power The prospects for nuclear bitcoin mining TeraWulf's zero-carbon approach and how that manages risk TeraWulf's plans for growing their hashrate under management The characteristics that TeraWulf looks for in new sites Will Bitcoin miners develop better transparency around emissions data? Why mining is so useful for decarbonization through curtailment programs The convergence between the energy sector and Bitcoin mining Why vertical integration and zero carbon will prevail in Bitcoin mining long term Trends in consolidation Paul expects Why vertical integration allows you to manage your risk better than a hosting model What public market analysts should be doing when they evaluate miners Follow Paul on Twitter and learn more about TeraWulf.
Matt and Nic are back with news and deals of the week, joined by Dave Grey, Head of Workplace Retirement Offerings and Platforms at Fidelity Investments, who joins us to talk about Fidelity's new Bitcoin 401(k) product. In this episode: Are airdrops taxable? CheckTemplateVerify drama in Bitcoin Central African Republic apparently adopts Bitcoin as legal tender NY State Assembly passes a bill banning Bitcoin mining with fossil fuels Fidelity adds Bitcoin to 401ks Will deep deplatforming on the internet influence Twitter? Can you actually open source the Twitter algorithm? Is the Twitter purchase an indirect way for Musk to liquidate his Tesla position? Learn more about Fidelity's 401(k) plans here Sponsor notes: Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
Longtime Bitcoiner Bruce Fenton re-joins the show. In this episode we discuss: Bruce's career and the events that led him to discovering Bitcoin Bitcoin's social layer and how Bruce has managed to stay close to the project through so many chapters of the journey His view on the tokenization of securities and why he is so optimistic on this technology Why Bruce decided to run for Senate and what issues he is fighting for Views on big tech, the future of the U.S. dollar and more His outlook for Bitcoin friendly regulation See Bruce's prior episode here. To learn more about Bruce visit brucefenton.com and visit Bruce on Twitter @BruceFenton
Pat Larsen, founder and CEO of crypto tax prep company ZenLedger, joins the show for a timely discussion on how investors should be thinking about taxes this tax season. In this episode: The outlook for crypto taxes in 2022 Tax accounting for specific transactions Clarifications and improvements to tax regulation ZenLedger provides a platform that makes it easy for users to aggregate transactions across centralized and decentralized venues and measure their crypto tax impact. The team published a helpful guide on nft related taxes.
Matt and Nic return for another week of news and deals. In this episode: The OTB music debate rages on Nic survives Covid Should we bring back dueling? Ancient altcoin dramas Coinbase launches NFTs Elon has financing to buy Twitter Product suggestions for Twitter The US sanctions Russian miners BitRiver Is Russia remonetizing gold? Australia gets a spot BTC ETF North Korean hackers are active in crypto Sponsor notes: Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
Adam Jackson, co-founder and CEO of Braintrust, a web3 talent network joins the show. In this episode we discuss: Marketplace business models and how web3 models will improve on web2 dynamics How Adam came to the insight to launch Braintrust and how the platform works The regulatory environment in the United States and how Adam sees web3 evolving over time Other marketplace categories where Adam sees opportunities for community owned networks Adam's view on the venture landscape and how that has evolved over time. To learn more about Braintrust visit usebraintrust.com and follow Adam on Twitter @AdamJacksonSF
We sit down with Ohio Senate Candidate Josh Mandel to cover his race, platform, and Bitcoin advocacy. Josh's political origins and why he is running for Senate in Ohio Josh's time as Ohio state treasurer and his Ohio state checkbook initiative Why Josh pioneered Ohio's acceptance of Bitcoin for tax payments How Bitcoin values mirror American values Why Bitcoin support ought to stay nonpartisan The state of the Ohio primary and Josh's prospects The political prudence of making Bitcoin such a key cornerstone of Josh's platform Learn more about Josh Mandel's platform at joshmandel.com.
Matt and Nic return for a post-conference episode. This week we cover: The FDIC asks banks to go slow on crypto integrations Blackrock is studying cryptoassets and invests in USDC Blockchain.com partners with the Dallas Cowboys Virginia will allow state chartered banks to custody cryptocurrency Balaji's decentralization inflation index winner is announced Why this current CPI print is misleading Blockstream Block and Tesla are mining Bitcoin with solar Celcius shuts down their retail-facing lending product in the US Is Peter Thiel wrong on Ethereum valuation? Will Elon be able to buy Twitter? Takeaways from Bitcoin 2022 Sponsor notes: Fireblocks is an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Learn more at fireblocks.com Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
In the second episode in our modular blockchain mini-series, we sat down with John Adler, the inventor of optimistic rollups and co-founder of Fuel and Celestia. Fuel is the fastest execution layer for the modular blockchain stack. The technology enables parallel transaction execution and offers flexible throughput and the highest security required to scale. FuelVM offers developers a superior experience and the ability to go beyond limitations faced by the EVM and other virtual machines. In our conversation, we discuss: The importance of data availability for maintaining censorship resistance Fuel as a modular execution layer with configurable consensus, data availability, and settlement Why Fuel Labs is building the entire blockchain stack to offer the best possible developer and user experience How FuelVM supports parallel transaction execution and other notable improvements over EVM To learn more about some of the concepts we cover, here are a few incremental resources John mentions in the episode. John Adler: Wait, it's all resource pricing? John Adler: Secure Off-chain Data Availability for Rollups John Adler: FuelVM Bootcamp Follow John on twitter and Fuel on Github Intro/outro track: OmgKirby #664 (used with permission)
Socket Supply Co founder and CEO Paolo Fragomeni joins the show to discuss what web3 is and isn't – and what it should be. In this episode: Paolo's start writing modem software and BBS in the pre-modern web days What delineated web 1.0 from web 2.0 The single request that really made web 2.0 possible How today's web is limited by incumbents When did web 3.0 really emerge? What distinguishes it from 2.0? Best definitions of web3? State of the web in terms of centralization and prospects from here How the internet has flip flopped between centralization and decentralization What will push users towards web3? Moxie's comments on web3 and whether they have any merit What Paolo is building at Socket Supply Why p2p is so fundamental How to get started with Socket Supply Read about Socket Supply in Coindesk and on their website. Intro/outro music: Ocarina #986 (used with permission)
Andrew Myers and Brock Petersen of Satoshi Energy join the show to cover how Bitcoin mining monetizes renewables. In this episode we cover: Andrew and Brock's origin story How Satoshi Energy develops sites and infrastructure for miners Is Satoshi Energy explicitly renewable focused? How mining with intermittent renewables can be economical How Bitcoin mining improves the economics of renewables The merits of the behind the meter approach How using Bitcoin as an offtake improves the economics of renewable generation assets The role of demand response as renewables account for more generation Does Bitcoin actually incentivize renewable generation? Is the future of Bitcoin mining vertically integrated? What does the interconnection queue tell us about the future of renewables? Book recommendations Sponsor notes: Compass Mining is the world's first and largest online marketplace for bitcoin mining hardware, hosting, and ASIC reselling. Start mining your own bitcoin by visiting compassmining.io
Nic and Matt return for another week of news and deals. In this episode: Mora et al rears its head again Chris Larsen and Greenpeace team up to try and eliminate PoW from Bitcoin Who is the protagonist in the Ripple vs SEC lawsuit? Rep. Stephen Lynch introduces the ECASH Act Axie Infinity suffers a $625m hack Is there any debate remaining about the utility of Bitcoin? Circle selects BNY Mellon to custody their own assets Grayscale mulls a lawsuit against the SEC over their continued ETF disapproval Can the government create a truly private CBDC? Rep. Tom Emmer and Sen. Ted Cruz look to ban CBDC creation Is the SEC obliquely regulating AMM LPs out of existence? When will Bitcoin be sovereign scale? Seed stage bets on aspiring members of congress Content mentioned: Martin Wolf in FT, A New World of Currency Disorder Looms Bloomberg, Ukraine's Crypto Banker Describes how the War is Changing His Life Bloomberg, Crypto Miners in Texas Face Approval to Energize Hurdle Sponsor notes: Fireblocks is an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Learn more at fireblocks.com Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
Ben Gagnon, the Chief Mining Officer at Bitfarms, joins the show. In this episode we cover: Bitfarms' journey to the public markets in the US Ben's early efforts in flared gas mining How immersion cooling could provide operational efficiencies Bitfarms' site selection methodology How Bitfarms secures power originally built for now-departed industries How Quebec overbuilt electrical infrastructure The benefit of miners locating themselves in Quebec and scooping up stranded power How Bitfarms took over a shuttered hockey stick factory Why Bitfarms is so keen on stranded hydro How Bitfarms curtails their power usage – and why curtailment makes sense Finding excess power in Argentina and Paraguay Does Bitfarms have a low carbon intensity mandate? Why being pro-renewable is a good business decision Why Bitfarms isn't focusing on Texas right now How Bitcoin is the most efficient way to monetize stranded energy assets Bitfarms' criteria for compelling energy resources The progress of the Bitcoin Mining Council and the bettering of transparency in the mining space Where Ben sees room for improvement in the mining sector The lack of standardization in reporting and valuation around mining firms The flaws in Digiconomist's estimates of Bitcoin's energy consumption Issues with academic claims that Bitcoin miners produce significant quantities of e-waste Why Bitcoin ASICs are more recyclable and have long lifespans The academia and press to policy pipeline Content mentioned: Ben in Bitcoin Magazine: We Need to Talk About the Not Science Behind Digiconomist Ben in Bitcoin Magazine: We Need to Talk About the Climate Problem in Bitcoin Mining Sponsor notes: Compass Mining is the world's first and largest online marketplace for bitcoin mining hardware, hosting, and ASIC reselling. Start mining your own bitcoin by visiting compassmining.io
Michael Sonnenshein and Craig Salm of Grayscale Investments join the show. In this episode we discuss: Grayscale's filing to convert GBTC to an ETF and their advocacy campaign. The comment process (details at: www.grayscale.com/comment) Reactions to the Biden Executive Order. Grayscale's product lineup and the future of active vs. passive crypto products. The metaverse, NFTs and other areas of interest for crypto asset managers. To learn more about Grayscale visit www.grayscale.com
Matt and Nic return for more deals and news. In this episode: Brink Nation is officially moving to GM.xyz Did blockchains 2.0 make fundamental scaling improvements? Is ESG over? Nic surrenders his eyeball sovereignty to Clear A secret trick to get through the Miami airport Bloomberg analysts think a spot ETF could be approved summer 2023... pending SEC developments Would the SEC have to gain control over crypto exchanges to approve an ETF? Florida will accept corporate taxes in BTC Terra is buying up to $10b in Bitcoin Will seigniorage shares stablecoins ever work? The USD is the unit of account for 99% of all stablecoins Are the Democrats fracturing along crypto lines? Russia mentions accepting Bitcoin for energy payments The NYT repeats the misleading per-transaction energy cost analysis Sponsor notes: Fireblocks is an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Learn more at fireblocks.com Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
Jon Birnbaum, COO of Domain Money, a new investment platform, joins the show. In this episode, we discuss: History and launch of Domain Money Jon's path into fintech and then the digital asset industry Dimension of access to investing for the retail market Domain's product offering across crypto and equities Developing new metrics to help consumers think through investing Learn about Domain Money here.
Celestia Labs COO, Nick White, joins us on the show to kick off our modular blockchain mini-series. Celestia is the first modular blockchain network, which decouples consensus and data availability from execution and settlement. Celestia implements a novel design to unlock key properties such as scalability, interoperability, and sovereignty while preserving decentralization. We cover: Why scaling and decentralization have historically been at odds How Celestia creates a modular system to reimagine traditional monolithic blockchain architecture Leveraging data availability sampling to unlock scalability How Celestia intends to be the engine that powers sovereign communities Learn more about Celestia here.
Matt and Nic return for more news and deals of the week. In this episode: Too much Tom Brady content? Can Roman Abramovich sell Chelsea? Former skeptics coming around on Bitcoin Arbitraging tungsten cube NFTs? Why isn't physical tungsten rallying? Facebook's Diem is back from the dead Takeaways from Laura Shin's book The Cryptopians Tom Emmer's letter to the SEC Details of Sen. Lummis' bill start to come out The EU almost bans PoW cryptocurrencies Instagram announces plans to add NFTs Ukraine legalizes cryptoassets The story behind Nic's Tucker appearance Bitcoiners growing beards Content mentioned in the episode: Rep. Tom Emmer's letter to the SEC Decrypt, Bill From 'Bitcoin Senator' Lummis Would Alter Capital Gains Landscape for Crypto Coindesk, Ukraine's Zelenskyy Signs Virtual Assets Bill Into Law, Legalizing Crypto Sponsor notes: Compass Mining is the world's first and largest online marketplace for bitcoin mining hardware, hosting, and ASIC reselling. Start mining your own bitcoin by visiting compassmining.io Subscribe to the Coin Metrics State of the Network newsletter
Brett Harrison, the CEO of FTX.US joins the show. In this episode we discuss: Brett's pre-crypto career and the path to leading FTX.US How FTX is evolving on their derivatives product offering Perspectives on crypto market structure in the US will evolve How equity markets may come to be impacted by innovations in the crypto world How FTX is pursuing NFTs and gaming To learn more visit FTX.us and follow Brett on Twitter
Former FT Alphaville Editor and founder of The Blind Spot, Izabella Kaminska joins the show. In this episode: Izabella's pre-FT career Izabella's Polish ancestry and how that informed her monetary worldview Why Izabella was a skeptic about Bitcoin – and why she revisited her stance Izabella's interest in anacyclosis and cyclicality in political systems Jeremy Bentham and his views on utilitarianism Consequentialism and its influence on contemporary elite ideology What Covid-19 policies revealed about freedoms in the West The flaws inherent in bureaucracy Izabella's changing view on the politicization of finance The failure of AML/KYC rules in the West Reflections on the FT's Wirecard story Izabella's view on stablecoins and why she first compared them to Eurodollars Why stablecoins are mini central banks The paradoxes of Web3 and DeFi and the veil of decentralization Do crypto systems end up inherently recentralizing Why Central Banking is so obscure and difficult to penetrate Bitcoin narratives in the context of Bitcoin's apparent failure to be a real rates hedge Is gold genuinely a good inflation hedge? Are there Bitcoiners Izy pays attention to? Izabella's thoughts on Bitcoin ESG questions Is Bitcoin security worth paying for? Why Izabella is leaving the FT and starting the Blind Spot Learn about The Blind Spot and follow Izabella on twitter. Sponsor notes: Compass Mining is the world's first and largest online marketplace for bitcoin mining hardware, hosting, and ASIC reselling. Start mining your own bitcoin by visiting compassmining.io
Nic and Matt return for more deals and news of the week. In this episode: The fallout from the seizure of the Russian fx reserves Did America default on its obligations? How are Chinese interests served by the US weaponizing the dollar? Can Bitcoin become an inter-state settlement asset and sovereign-scale SoV? Zoltan Pozsar declares an end to Bretton Woods We digest Biden's executive order The White House calls for 14 studies on crypto and CBDCs A pro-crypto candidate wins the Korean presidential election BNY Mellon gets into MPC crypto custody Stripe now supports crypto payments The Verge profiles Justin Sun Does insider trading apply to commodities? Coinbase blocks 25k Russian users from the platform Content mentioned: Nic in Coindesk, America's Quiet Default The Verge, The Many Escapes of Justin Sun Sponsor notes: Fireblocks is an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Learn more at fireblocks.com
Singer and songwriter, VÉRITÉ (Kelsey Byrne), and artist manager, Vanessa Magos have been leading the charge for artists and their teams to learn about and experiment in web3. In our third episode in the web3 music mini-series, they joined us to talk about: Artists as CEOs who bootstrap their business and put themselves in positions of power and ownership Artists being locked into the arbitrary fixed price imposed on music by the industry A future where artists have access to their fans free of paywalls, algorithms, and third parties The role music DAOs can play in restructuring artist teams You can find VERITE and Vanessa on Twitter @verite and @vanessamagos, respectively.
Sohrob Farudi, the founder and CEO of Fan Controlled Football joins the show. In this episode we discuss: Sohrob's entrepreneurial journey and the insights that led to him founding Fan Controlled Football. How FCF works and how fans engage with the league, all the way to calling the plays. How Sohrob came to be interested in cryptocurrency and how NFTs have crossed into FCF. Longer term opportunities for cryptocurrencies and tokenized securities in the context of FCF. The upcoming season and what fans can expect. To learn more visit FCF.IO and follow the league on Twitter Sponsor notes Compass Mining is the world's first and largest online marketplace for bitcoin mining hardware, hosting, and ASIC reselling. Start mining your own bitcoin by visiting compassmining.io
Nic and Matt return for another wild week. In this episode: OTB theme music controversy Is Bitcoin a risk off asset Ukraine raises crypto to fund the war effort Why Ukrainians were better positioned to deal with a banking sector failure The U.S. cuts Russia out of SWIFT (mostly) Can the U.S. pull the SWIFT deplatforming again? Will gold be remonetized? Metamask, Infura, and Opensea are banned in Iran and Venezuela Why the cost of running a full node matters Can NFTs be securities? Is Russia evading sanctions with crypto? Powell's comment on multiple reserve currencies Content mentioned: JP Schnapper-Casteras in the New Atlanticist, Here's why crypto won't save the Kremlin from sanctions Jon Sindreu in the WSJ, If Russian Currency Reserves Aren't Really Money, the World Is in for a Shock Sponsor notes: Fireblocks is an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Learn more at fireblocks.com
We sit down with Blake Masters, COO at Thiel Capital, coauthor of Zero to One, and 2022 candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona. Why Blake is running for Senate in Arizona Blake's experience running Thiel Capital and what led him to politics today Does Congress need more business expertise? Where Blake falls on the spectrum of being pro vs anti crypto Where Blake gets his info regarding the crypto industry USA vs Chinese policy on Bitcoin Should the US pursue a strategic Bitcoin reserve? Does cryptocurrency impair the US' sanctions-making ability? Will the government maintain its sanctions-making ability in perpetuity? How crypto and Bitcoin could shore up the U.S. dollar Can the Fed solve climate or racial equity issues? Are the MMTers in power? Is the U.S. facing a genuine risk of default? Leftist explanations for inflation and why they are unsatisfying Where the Covid-related stimulus payments warranted? Dealing with Big Tech deplatforming and whether Section 230 is sufficient Can decentralized internet applications compete with Big Tech platforms? Are legislative solutions sufficient to Big Tech oligarchies? Blake's view on stablecoins and how they should be regulated Should the government be following China's lead on CBDCs? Learn about Blake's platform.
Meow CEO Brandon Arvanaghi and CTO Bryce Crawford join the show to cover crypto yields and how they make them accessible to corporate treasuries. In this episode: The origins of the name Bryce and Brandon's backgrounds The purpose of getting access to crypto yields while staying in dollars How Meow manages risks in DeFi protocols Are crypto yields fundamentally mispriced? Where crypto yields ultimately come from? The risk free rate of crypto yields The relationship between fragmented exchange environments and the cost of capital in crypto Why smart contract risk differs between chains and its effect on yields Why yields compressing will be a sign of the institutionalization of crypto The emergence of undercollateralized lending on DeFi, and which protocols the Meow leadership is most excited about Do DeFi yields face the risk from declining subsidies from token issuance Why institutional tooling is still lacking in DeFi The emergence of the crypto scene in Miami Projections for the future of DeFi Visions for the future of Meow Sponsor notes: Compass Mining is the world's first and largest online marketplace for bitcoin mining hardware, hosting, and ASIC reselling. Start mining your own bitcoin by visiting compassmining.io
Matt and Nic return for another insane week of news and deals. Russia invades Ukraine Will Russia get kicked off SWIFT? Are there alternatives to SWIFT? Laura Shin identifies the alleged DAO hacker Is Bitcoin's privacy fundamentally broken? Chainalysis demixes Wasabi transactions Was the DAO hacker even guilty of a crime? Should blockchains be private at the base layer? Wyoming introduces a state stablecoin Miami grapples with the fallout of Miamicoin Do turkeys hibernate? Sponsor notes: Fireblocks is an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Learn more at fireblocks.com
Leo Lucisano of Decentral Park Capital joins the show. In this episode we discuss: Leo's regulatory predictions for 2022 and the beliefs that informed his blog post. Views on how DeFi would evolve in the face of a harsher treatment from the SEC. The emerging crypto lobby and how this will shape future elections and also policy. Lending, derivatives and other financial products in a central and decentralized context. How Decentral Park Capital is investing across the landscape. To learn more about Decentral Park visit their website.
Co-chairman of Stronghold Digital Mining Bill Spence and CEO Gregory Beard join the show. Stronghold is a vertically integrated Bitcoin miner that uses waste coal to power their operations – while also remediating this environmentally damaging product. We dive into this fascinating, and counter-intuitive story. In this episode: Backgrounds of the co-chairmen and how they found the intersection of Bitcoin mining and coal waste mitigation Bill's personal commitment to the mitigation of coal waste Why coal waste has been accumulating in PA since the late 1700s The immense scale of the coal waste and how it continue to affect PA, even though mining no longer occurs How unremediated coal waste can be understood as a form of class warfare Why coal waste exists in the first place Why developments in power plant technology meant that coal waste could be safely combusted Why aboveground coal waste oxidizes and releases CO2 anyway - as well as other harmful particulates Why growing grass over the coal waste doesn't solve the problem Why 2 billion tons of coal waste can't just be moved into landfills How there are 800 sites in PA and 70 of them are currently on fire Why Stronghold is vertically integrated, and the advantage this grants them in mining Bitcoin How Stronghold sends power to the grid in the case of a shortage Has Stronghold evaluated other high energy intensity loads aside from just Bitcoin Why Bitcoin is a more suitable load for their energy resources than others How Bitcoin allows Stronghold to keep their power available at short notice Stronghold's reaction to criticism in the press and from Washington Why nothing had been done about the coal waste for 100 years before Stronghold came along Is the future of Bitcoin mining vertical integration? Sponsor notes: Compass Mining is the world's first and largest online marketplace for bitcoin mining hardware, hosting, and ASIC reselling. Start mining your own bitcoin by visiting compassmining.io
Matt and Nic return for a huge week of news and a big CIV announcement. In this episode: Matt scans the Coinbase QR code ad The post-Superbowl backlash against crypto ads Is there any hope for music NFTs Castle Island announces a third fund Binance buys a stake in Forbes Is Circle a bet on interest rates? Our thoughts on BlockFi's settlement with the SEC Does the SEC's BlockFi settlement create a regulatory moat for larger lenders? What happens to DeFi in the wake of the BlockFi settlement? Canada weaponizes all financial services against truckers and donors Miners are once again active in Inner Mongolia – with a catch The etymology of tantalizing Content mentioned in this episode: Bloomberg, Castle Island announces Third Fund CIV on Medium, Announcing Castle Island Ventures III Hester Peirce, Statement on Settlement with BlockFi Lending LLC Sponsor notes: Fireblocks is an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Learn more at fireblocks.com Intro and outro track credit: OmgKirby Genesis #326
In our second episode in the web3 music mini-series, we spoke with Matthew Chaim, musician and founder of Songcamp and other projects at the intersection of music and web3. We cover how Matthew thinks about: Helping artists gain control over their creative output Collective creation and re-imagining the role of fans Optimizing for resonance versus reach with music NFTs Discoverability in music NFTs and ways to democratize curation And much more. We also recommend reading Matthew's writing on these topics at chaim.mirror.xyz. Intro and outro track: OmgKirby Genesis #326
Mash founder Jared Nusinoff joins the show to explain how internet monetization is broken and how lightning-based payments fixes it. In this episode: Jared's professional history and how he came to work on Bitcoin Going from an adventure guide to bitcoin Jared's early entrepreneurial work Jared's early history sharing music prior to torrents Why Jared quite Google to found an adventure guide company How Jared thinks of Bitcoin's MoE/SoV debate Why internet monetization models are flawed today - and the missing middle How the technology of payments online directly affects the quality of internet experiences How Lightning uniquely solves the monetization of quality content online Jared's view of Lightning's maturity and momentum as a payments infrastructure How Lightning provides completely novel business models on the internet How Mash could change the game for internet ‘miniapps' Get started on Mash here and follow Mash on Twitter. Sponsor notes: Compass Mining is the world's first and largest online marketplace for bitcoin mining hardware, hosting, and ASIC reselling. Start mining your own bitcoin by visiting compassmining.io
Matt and Nic return for another week of deals and news. In this episode: Kraken brings back PoR Bitfinex hack money launderers are arrested The long history of Bitfinex, hacks, Recovery rights, Tether, and LEO Who is entitled to the recovered BTC from the Bitfinex hack? The NY Fed attacks stablecoins, and private banknote issuance Ottawa truckers are banned from Gofundme Are US Treasuries backing stablecoins stranded liquidity? Why central bankers attack stablecoins to promote CBDCs Content mentioned: NY Fed, The Future of Payments is not Stablecoins Sponsor notes: Fireblocks is an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Learn more at fireblocks.com
In this episode, Kraken chief product officer Jeremy Welch joins the show to cover Kraken's newly announced Proof of Reserve procedure. In this episode: Why bring back PoR? What distinguishes today's proof of reserve from the procedure Kraken undertook back in 2015 Why haven't exchanges done PoR historically? What Kraken's PoR actually proves to depositors The role of Armanino in Kraken's PoR What happens when a depositor verifies their PoR How Kraken protects user privacy in PoR The trustlessness of the PoR procedure What regulators can gain from a PoR How Kraken clients can benefit from PoR How Jeremy expects other exchanges to react Sponsor notes: Compass Mining is the world's first and largest online marketplace for bitcoin mining hardware, hosting, and ASIC reselling. Start mining your own bitcoin by visiting compassmining.io See more on Kraken's PoR here
Tom Brady retires to focus on NFTs Was Satoshi interested in altcoins? Our thoughts on startups raising 69.420m The Solana-Ethereum bridge is hacked for over $300m– and then bailed out by Jump Capital Was Vitalik's warning about cross-chain interoperability prophetic? Is the cross-chain vision dead? Kraken revives their Proof of Reserve – after 7 years Why do exchanges avoid Proof of Reserves? Bitcoin developers at the MIT DCI are building the Boston Fed's CBDC pilot program How whaling was the predecessor to venture capital Gamestop launches an NFT marketplace Content mentioned in this episode: MIT News, MIT experts test technical research for a hypothetical central bank digital currency Bloomberg, Biggest Texas Bitcoin Miner Shuts Down Ahead of Cold Blast Bloomberg Quicktake, This State is Becoming America's Crypto Capital Kraken, Proof of Reserves Sponsor notes: Fireblocks is an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Learn more at fireblocks.com