112 episodes

Welcome to The Scoop, The Block's flagship podcast that digs into the finance and technology industries through unmatched interviews with top thought leaders and industry veterans. The Block’s Director of News Frank Chaparro hosts new guests every week, diving into topics ranging from Facebook's Libra to the impact of tokenization on market structure to Universal Basic Income. Download via Apple Podcasts, Sticher, and Spotify and join in on the fun, informative conversations.

The Scoo‪p‬ The Block

    • Investing

Welcome to The Scoop, The Block's flagship podcast that digs into the finance and technology industries through unmatched interviews with top thought leaders and industry veterans. The Block’s Director of News Frank Chaparro hosts new guests every week, diving into topics ranging from Facebook's Libra to the impact of tokenization on market structure to Universal Basic Income. Download via Apple Podcasts, Sticher, and Spotify and join in on the fun, informative conversations.

    An executive at Bridgewater, the world's largest hedge fund, unpacks bitcoin's role in the macro picture

    An executive at Bridgewater, the world's largest hedge fund, unpacks bitcoin's role in the macro picture

    Bridgewater, the world's largest hedge fund, isn't convinced by the bitcoin narrative yet, but it's listening.
    On this week's episode of The Scoop, Bridgewater's director of portfolio strategy Jim Haskel said he's not surprised by the growing institutional interest.
    Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio previously said he didn't see bitcoin's merits as a currency, but he amended his statements in a newsletter published earlier this year. 
    "I believe Bitcoin is one hell of an invention," Dalio wrote at the time.
    Haskel said Bridgewater remains skeptical but also recognizes bitcoin's "fantastic" attributes. Though the cryptocurrency's price remains volatile and lacks some of the characteristics of traditional wealth from Bridgewater's point of view, Haskel says he sees potential.
    "What I would say is that we certainly have not rejected it as a potential store hold of wealth," Haskel remarked. "We just wouldn’t use it in big size yet."
    On this week's episode, Haskell talked about Bridgewater's unfolding bitcoin strategy as well as:

    If it's still possible for funds to have access to unsustainable levels of leverage

    Whether the inflation alarmists are justified

    What the impact of continued recovery will be on assets and how that affects alternative allocations

    How Bridgewater started considering bitcoin as an inflation hedge.


    This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Bakkt and Kraken.
    Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information
    Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.

    • 50 min
    Miami is collaborating with Ethereum developers to put city services on the blockchain

    Miami is collaborating with Ethereum developers to put city services on the blockchain

    Miami Mayor Francis Suarez turned heads earlier this year when he said he wanted the Florida city to add bitcoin to its treasury. 
    Now, Suarez is pushing a commitment for the city to explore crypto by turning his attention to Ethereum. According to a new episode of The Scoop, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin and Suarez announced that they have embarked on a new collaborative project focused on city services.
    To be sure, it's early days for the initiative, but the two have met on two occasions now and talks about the scope of the initiative continue.
    "We're trying to come up with a project that goes through the foundation and directly with Ethereum that we can do with the city," said Suarez. "We want the city directly involved in a way that demonstrates the applicability of the software so that we can continue to provide better services for our residents."
    There's a bit of history underpinning the developments: it was in Miami that Buterin, in 2014, first unveiled Ethereum to the world during a presentation at the Bitcoin Miami conference. 
    According to Suarez, decentralized information systems are becoming a priority for Miami, especially with looming security concerns like the upcoming hurricane season.
    During this week's episode, Suarez and Buterin, along with Cryptex founders Preston Van Loon and Joe Sticco, also discussed:

    How the Ethereum ecosystem can help create jobs in Miami

    The ways in which decentralized systems would benefit the city, like the transfer of title records for real estate

    Why now is the time to start building a project like this despite Ethereum's scalability issues

    How Florida is trying to join Wyoming in becoming the next regulatory bastion for crypto.


    This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Bakkt and Kraken.
    Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information
    Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.

    • 29 min
    A Washington DC insider lays out her vision for the bitcoin market's first self-regulatory organization

    A Washington DC insider lays out her vision for the bitcoin market's first self-regulatory organization

    Michelle Bond has been focused on financial regulation for decades, and a turn to crypto policy a few years ago led her to take the helm at the Association for Digital Assets Markets by the end of 2020.
    ADAM is a trade association for crypto markets, featuring a code of conduct that requires its members to commit to operating with certain requirements of transparency and speed.
    "ADAM is 100% a standards-setting body," Bond said during the most recent episode of The Scoop. 
    ADAM's membership includes such industry players as Anchorage, Paxos and Genesis and the group functions as a collective voice for its members. The group's ultimate goal is to provide for the crypto market what FINRA is to securities brokerages: an industry-spearheading body for self-regulation.
    "We would like to, one day, become a self-regulatory organization. We believe that that is not something that is decreed, that is earned. At the current moment, we're setting the standards," said Bond.
    Among major issues of the day, Bond noted that industry participants are awaiting a response from the Treasury's FinCEN office on the recently closed comments on its proposal to monitor rules. 
    Less publicized but still critical is custody. Financial regulators in Washington, Bond said, "are 1,000% asking questions and grappling with custody."
    As always, writing up such policies for crypto finance entails a combination of technological and legal savvy. This is where self-regulation comes in. Though Bond, like much of the industry, lamented the lack of coherent frameworks from financial watchdogs like her former workplace, the SEC, she identified the situation as fairly standard:
    "Regulators will never come right out and endorse anything. That will never happen. And that makes sense; that's not their job."But by presenting a code for how to operate in today's fast-moving crypto market, ADAM aims to accomplish what regulators have not. 
    This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Bakkt and Kraken.
    Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information
    Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.

    • 42 min
    A deep dive into Uniswap v3 with The Block's Mika Honkasalo

    A deep dive into Uniswap v3 with The Block's Mika Honkasalo

    After much anticipation, Uniswap v3 — the latest upgrade to the Ethereum-based decentralized exchange — was announced Tuesday.
    On this episode of The Scoop, The Block Research's Mika Honkasalo walked through the designed upgrade, explaining the significance of Uniswap's adoption of "concentrated liquidity" which aims to make trading on the platform more capital efficient. 
    In Honkasalo's view, this move will help with the adoption of Uniswap among traders and perhaps serve as a tailwind for the broader DeFi market. 
    "I think this is why Uniswap really had nowhere to go in their design except move towards this sort of active liquidity provision because that’s something that works with traditional markets,” he said, adding:
    "I think what this unlocks next is the possibility to support just more volumes, especially in combination with the L2 launch, which hopefully comes very quickly after the L1 launch is to really start competing against centralized exchanges."Uniswap v3 — set to be implemented in May — will also include Uniswap's adoption of scaling solution Optimism, which aims to reduce gas fees.

    This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Bakkt and Kraken
    Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information
    Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.

    • 29 min
    This NFT artist is exploring what a real-world gallery would look like for digital art

    This NFT artist is exploring what a real-world gallery would look like for digital art

    Digital artist Beeple sold his collection of 5000 daily works for a whopping $69 million in a Christie's auction last week. That's the third-highest auction price on record for a living artist, but the sale was record breaking for another reason — it was sold as a non-fungible token (NFT).
    In recent weeks, NFTs have soared in popularity, and that's created opportunities for big and small artists alike to generate value for their work. The Block's Saniya More sat down with Cory Van Lew, an artist who's been tokenizing his work on SuperRare, with some pieces going for tens of thousands of dollars. 
    He's taken a lot of that profit and reinvested it in the NFT market by supporting other artists, but he has even bigger aspirations — he's just started the process of creating his own NFT gallery in the physical world. On this week's episode of The Scoop, he talked about what a merged digital and reality gallery would look like, as well as:

    How Van Lew began his career as an artist and how that led him to tokenizing his work.

    The nuts and bolts of turning a creation into an NFT.

    Why holding NFTs creates different value than say holding a print of an artwork.

    His take on the energy use conversations surrounding NFTs.

    Why the NFT community is a supportive space for creators and collectors.


    This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Bakkt and Kraken
    Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information
    Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.

    • 30 min
    Bitcoin is drawing in the banking world's core customers, Fidelity exec says

    Bitcoin is drawing in the banking world's core customers, Fidelity exec says

    Fidelity Digital Assets — the cryptocurrency division of multi-trillion asset manager Fidelity — is among the several firms riding the institutional bitcoin wave. 
    FDA, which launched amid a bitcoin bear market in 2018, offers trading and custody services to a wide range of institutional firms. On this episode of The Scoop, Fidelity's Christine Sandler — a veteran of the trading world — walked through the breakneck growth of the crypto market in the past six months and explained how Fidelity has positioned itself during this period. 
    Sandler, who previously held positions at Coinbase, New York Stock Exchange, and Barclays, said Fidelity's crypto unit experienced 4x growth during 2020 and is currently working with hedge funds, corporates, family offices, and registered investment advisers.
    "Our overall account growth was absolutely phenomenal," Sandler said. "We saw participation across all segments. So whether it was corporations adopting it and putting assets on their balance sheet, or hedge funds beginning to approach this from a strategic perspective, registered investment advisors, family offices, ultra-high net worth individuals."
    Fidelity also works with large banks on sub-custody, according to Sandler. She said that these banks have sought out partners as they look to enter the market.
    "They’re starting to see more of their core customers adopt either strategies or maybe think about launching an asset management business in the space and perhaps this creates this opportunity that it’s not this fledgling business anymore," she said. "It is potentially much more viable."
    Sandler also discusses the growth of the crypto credit market, women in the crypto market, and rich crypto valuations during this episode of The Scoop.
    This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Bakkt and Kraken
    Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information
    Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.

    • 36 min

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