644 episodes

Crypto assets and blockchain technology are about to transform every trust-based interaction of our lives, from financial services to identity to the Internet of Things. In this podcast, host Laura Shin, an independent journalist covering all things crypto, talks with industry pioneers about how crypto assets and blockchains will change the way we earn, spend and invest our money. Tune in to find out how Web 3.0, the decentralized web, will revolutionize our world. Disclosure: I'm a nocoiner.

Unchained Laura Shin

    • Noticias
    • 5.0 • 9 Ratings

Crypto assets and blockchain technology are about to transform every trust-based interaction of our lives, from financial services to identity to the Internet of Things. In this podcast, host Laura Shin, an independent journalist covering all things crypto, talks with industry pioneers about how crypto assets and blockchains will change the way we earn, spend and invest our money. Tune in to find out how Web 3.0, the decentralized web, will revolutionize our world. Disclosure: I'm a nocoiner.

    Famed White Hat Hacker Samczsun on How to Improve Crypto Security

    Famed White Hat Hacker Samczsun on How to Improve Crypto Security

    Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Fountain, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Pandora, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.
    Well-known white hat hacker and head of security at Paradigm samczsun recently took the wraps off a new security organization called the Security Alliance (SEAL) that offers a 911 hotline for immediate response to security threats, runs war games to simulate potential security incidents, and provides a safe harbor agreement to protect white hat hackers from legal liabilities.
    He joined Unchained to discuss why he and his fellow white hat hackers decided to start the Security Alliance and how it operates, how the safe harbor agreement works, the measures he takes to maintain his anonymity and why, the top security measures people in crypto should take to protect themselves, and what attack areas in crypto Sam still considers “scary.”   
    Show highlights:

    How samczsun got into white hat hacking

    The most memorable saves and rescues sam was able to perform 

    Whether there's a reason why sam is so good at noticing bugs in crypto

    The origin of his samczsun handle

    What the Security Alliance is and why it was formed

    How SEAL would approach a bug or a hack

    Whether black hat hackers are trying to exploit open groups

    Why the work in the group is volunteered, not paid, and whether that's sustainable

    How the SEAL War Games help in training on how to respond to an incident in Web3

    What the Safe Harbor Agreement is and what it aims to accomplish for white hat hackers

    How sam protects his identity and whether his coworkers know what he looks like

    The top security measures people working in crypto should take

    How projects should approach the audit for their smart contracts given it's an expensive endeavor 

    What attack vectors still scare sam

    What is ‘White Hat Hacking’?
    White hat hacking, often referred to as ethical hacking, is a cybersecurity practice where skilled computer experts use their knowledge for good, employing the same methods as malicious hackers (black hat hackers) but with a significant difference: they do so with permission and for a constructive purpose. These ethical hackers identify vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, or applications before malicious attackers can exploit them. By detecting and resolving these security weaknesses, white hat hackers help organizations strengthen their defenses against cyber threats. 
    Thank you to our sponsors!

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    Guest:


    Samczsun, CEO of Security Alliance (SEAL) and Head of Security at Paradigm

    Previous appearances on Unchained: The Chopping Block: Top White Hat Hacker Samczsun Discusses the State of Crypto Security


    Links

    Introducing the Security Alliance

    Bloomberg: Paradigm’s Famed ‘White-Hat’ Hacker Unites Peers Against Crypto Attacks, 

    White Hat Safe Harbor [Github]

    Chainalysis: Funds Stolen from Crypto Platforms Fall More Than 50% in 2023, but Hacking Remains a Significant Threat as Number of Incidents Rises


    sam’s tweet on security practices 

    Halborn: Explained: The Nomad Hack (August 2022)



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    • 1 hr
    Stacks’ Muneeb Ali On Why Bitcoin Is Exciting Once Again

    Stacks’ Muneeb Ali On Why Bitcoin Is Exciting Once Again

    Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Fountain, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Pandora, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.
    Fifteen years after the birth of Bitcoin, the network is now entering an era of remarkable innovation and change, according to Stacks' co-creator Muneeb Ali.
    On this episode of Unchained recorded at the Bitcoin Builders conference, Muneeb explores the complexities and advancements within Bitcoin's Layer 1 and Layer 2. He shares his perspectives on what's fueling innovation in Bitcoin's Layer 1 and discusses the implications of Ordinal Inscriptions amid criticism of it by core developers. 
    He delves into the various scaling solutions within Bitcoin, highlighting how trust assumptions vary among them, and how BitVM could be a 'game changer'. He goes over the advantages of integrating smart contracts on Bitcoin, and why he considers BTC the only true form of monetary asset. 
    Show highlights:

    What's driving innovation in Bitcoin’s L1 

    How Muneeb feels about Ordinals Inscriptions in Bitcoin, considering the criticism from some core developers

    How, in the recent years, research and development in crypto happened outside of Bitcoin, and how that's changing now, according to Muneeb

    The different types of scaling solutions in Bitcoin and how the trust assumptions differ in each of them

    Why he feels like BitVM is a 'game changer' and what it enables

    What the Nakamoto upgrade is on Stacks

    The advantages of having smart contracts on Bitcoin, according to Muneeb

    Why he says that BTC is the only asset that is money

    The challenges to having privacy in Bitcoin

    Thank you to our sponsors!

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    Guest


    Muneeb Ali, co-creator of Stacks

    Previous appearances on Unchained: 

    Bitcoin Ordinal NFTs Are Hot and Getting Hotter. What's the Hype About? - NFT Crypto

    Blockstack On Getting Independence From Google, Facebook And Amazon

    Links
    Recent news:

    Unchained: 

    Stacks, a Bitcoin Layer 2 Protocol, Sees All-Time High in Total Value Locked

    A New Era for Bitcoin Is Here, Whether Bitcoin Maximalists Like It Or Not

    Bitcoin Passes the $1 Trillion Market Cap Mark; All Cryptos Combined Reach $2 Trillion

    Bitcoin L2s:

    Unchained: 

    Are Layer 2s on Bitcoin Having a Moment?

    How Botanix Aims to Enable Smart Contracts on Bitcoin

    An Ethereum-Like Experience Built on Bitcoin?

    Learn more:

    What Are Opcodes in Bitcoin? A Beginner's Guide

    What Are BRC-20 Tokens? 

    What Are ORC-20 Tokens? 

    How to Create a Bitcoin Ordinal


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    • 46 min
    The Chopping Block: Starknet's Airdrop, Founder Challenges, and Ethena's Mainnet

    The Chopping Block: Starknet's Airdrop, Founder Challenges, and Ethena's Mainnet

    Welcome to The Chopping Block, where crypto experts Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Tarun Chitra, and Robert Leshner bring you inside perspectives on critical topics in the crypto world. This week the boys dive deep into Starknet's airdrop controversies, the psychological toll of internet backlash on founders, and the groundbreaking Ethena project inspired by Arthur Hayes. This episode questions the effectiveness of airdrop strategies in user engagement, the resilience founders must muster against online criticism, and Ethena's potential to revolutionize crypto finance with its tokenized cash and carry trade. We also tackle the security threats on platforms like GitHub, the balance between egalitarian distribution versus market dynamics, and the transparency required in token economics. What legal challenges arise from token vesting schedules, and how does Ethena innovate in crypto finance inspired by traditional models? Join us for an insightful exploration of these critical topics, aiming to enrich our understanding of cryptocurrency airdrops, founder resilience, and Ethena's ambitious financial mechanisms within the evolving cryptocurrency ecosystem.
    Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Pandora, Castbox, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.
    Show Highlights
    🔹 Starknet Airdrop Controversy: Exploring the backlash and debates over its distribution mechanics.
    🔹 The Psychology of Founders Facing Internet Critique: Discussing the impact of public scrutiny on creators.
    🔹 Innovation in Airdrop Strategies: Highlighting the need for creativity to engage and retain users.
    🔹 GitHub and Security Risks: Addressing the increase in phishing attacks and noise on developer platforms.
    🔹 Efficacy of Airdrops in User Engagement: Evaluating how airdrops influence community involvement and loyalty.
    🔹 Egalitarianism vs. Market Dynamics: Debating the balance between fair distribution and economic incentives.
    🔹 The Complexities of Vesting Periods: Unpacking the discussions around token unlock schedules.
    🔹 Legal Nuances of Crypto Vesting: Exploring the regulatory implications and challenges.
    🔹 Transparency in Token Economics: The importance of clear policies for investor confidence.
    🔹 The Inspiration Behind Ethena: Tracing the origins and motivations for its creation.
    🔹 Cash and Carry Trade Basics: Simplifying the concept and its significance in crypto finance.
    🔹 Analyzing Ethena’s Yield Mechanisms: Delving into the strategies and risks of yield generation.
    🔹 Risk Mitigation in Ethena’s Protocol: Investigating novel approaches to safeguarding assets.
    🔹 The Potential Ripple Effects of Ethena: Speculating on the impact of layered financial products.

    Hosts
    ⭐️Haseeb Qureshi, Managing Partner at Dragonfly 
    ⭐️Tom Schmidt, General Partner at Dragonfly 
    ⭐️Tarun Chitra, Managing Partner at Robot Ventures
    ⭐️Robert Leshner, Founder of Compound

    Disclosures
    Links

    “Is the Short Team Lockup for STRK ‘Misaligned’? No, Says Starkware CEO - Ep. 609”: https://youtu.be/0D0Qyw9TeoY 

    The Uniswap Airdrop - Lessons for the Industry by jhackworth: https://dune.com/blog/uni-airdrop-analysis 

    “Dust on Crust” by Arthur Hayes: https://ehandbook.com/dust-on-crust-300d4b5cf3ec 


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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Why the Celestia Team Sees a Future With 10,000 Roll-Ups

    Why the Celestia Team Sees a Future With 10,000 Roll-Ups

    Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Fountain, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Pandora, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.
    Celestia, a data availability layer for blockchains, was launched last October to much fanfare. The platform takes a modular approach to blockchains, allowing developers to post data onto it without the need for smart contracts or execution. This makes it extremely useful for scaling roll-ups and other layer two technologies. 
    Celestia co-founder Mustafa Al-Bassam and COO Nick White join Unchained to discuss what Celestia is and how it works, how data availability sampling allows for more scalability, how Celestia compares with other data availability layers, whether Celestia could become a data availability layer for Bitcoin, and comparisons between Celestia and Solana. 
    Show highlights:

    Mustafa’s background and how his project called Lazy Ledger ended up becoming Celestia

    Nick’s vision for modular blockchains

    Why Mustafa believes in the “10,000 roll-up” endgame

    Why Mustafa thinks that gaming and NFT chains work better on a modular blockchain

    What Celestia is and how it resembles the publication of an article in a newspaper

    What data availability sampling (DAS) is and how it works to ensure that the data is available and accurate for validators

    How DAS allows for more scalability

    What types of applications can be built with this type of modular architecture

    Mustafa’s explanation of the concept of Blob stream and blob space

    How a roll-up can be an independent or sovereign layer, not just a layer 2 to a layer 1

    How Celestia competes with other DA layers, like the future EigenDA

    The role of the TIA token in the Celestia ecosystem 

    How Mufasa hacked the CIA when he was 16 years old and how he transitioned into crypto

    Whether Celestia could become a DA layer for Bitcoin layer 2 roll-ups

    Whether Solana could end up becoming an Ethereum layer 2 using Celestia for data availability 

    The proposal to extend the functionality of Celestia without smart contracts in the base layer 

    Thank you to our sponsors!

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    Guests:


    Nick White, COO at Celestia Labs

    Previous appearances on Unchained: Three Crypto Pioneers on Crypto’s Monolithic vs. Modular Debate



    Mustafa Al-Bassam, cofounder and CEO at Celestia Labs

    Links
    Modular vs. monolithic

    Alchemy: Modular vs. Monolithic Blockchains


    Visa: Monolithic vs. modular blockchain


    Chris Burniske’s tweet on modular vs monolithic


    “The horrific inefficiencies of monolithic blockchains” by polynya

    Blockworks: A spicy salvo launched in the monolithic vs modular debate


    Unchained: What Is the Blockchain Trilemma?


    Celestia

    Celestia’s explanation of modular blockchains

    Data availability

    Data availability sampling

    An introduction to sovereign roll-ups


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    • 1 hr 12 min
    Is the Short Team Lockup for STRK ‘Misaligned’? No, Says Starkware CEO

    Is the Short Team Lockup for STRK ‘Misaligned’? No, Says Starkware CEO

    Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Fountain, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Pandora, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.
    Starknet made news this week for announcing what will be the largest initial airdrop by number of eligible addresses ever. But it faced heavy criticism online for many of the details of the airdrop, from the fact that Ethereum solo takers received almost 22% of the distribution to eligibility requirements that users held at least 0.005 ETH in their wallets as of Nov. 15, 2023 to the fact that the token generation event took place almost two years before the unlock date.
    Starkware CEO Eli Ben-Sasson joined Unchained to respond to the multiple critiques of the airdrop and discuss why he and the Starknet Foundation decided on the details that they did.  
    Show highlights:

    What the airdrop criteria was and why they decided to make it that way

    Why they allocated so much $STRK to Ethereum solo stakers

    Eli’s response to the criticism about how little Starknet network participants got in the airdrop

    Why the STRK Token Generation Event (TGE) was done in 2022, only to be airdropped two years later

    Why Eli believes that even if the unlock of tokens is in two months, it does not indicate misalignment of incentives

    Whether Eli will sell his tokens when they become unvested

    Thank you to our sponsors!

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    Guest

    Eli Ben-Sasson, CEO of Starkware
    Links

    Recent coverage of Unchained on airdrops: Jupiter Founder Meow to Critics of JUP Airdrop: ‘Give Me a Break’


    Unchained: 

    Starknet’s Airdrop Plan Sparks Some Praise but Also Outrage

    Starknet’s First Token Distribution Will Be Available to Nearly 1.3 Million Addresses

    The Defiant: Starknet Faces Backlash Over Airdrop and Team Unlocks


    Loomdart’s tweet on the TGE


    Learn more:

    Do You Have to Pay Taxes on a Crypto Airdrop?

    What Is a Crypto Airdrop? A Beginner's Guide 


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    • 44 min
    The Chopping Block: Navigating the New Era of Crypto Social Media with Farcaster's Insights!

    The Chopping Block: Navigating the New Era of Crypto Social Media with Farcaster's Insights!

    Welcome to The Chopping Block – where crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Tarun Chitra, and special guest Dan Romero, co-founder of Farcaster, engage in a riveting discussion on decentralized social media and the burgeoning meme coin trend within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. This episode offers an in-depth analysis of Farcaster's innovative mechanisms for user engagement and its significant role in shaping the future of social interactions in the crypto domain. We delve into the mechanics behind meme coins, examining their influence on community dynamics, market behavior, and the broader implications for digital asset valuation. Our conversation navigates through the intricacies of decentralized platforms like Farcaster, probing into their potential to disrupt conventional social media models and foster a new era of user-centric, blockchain-enabled online communities. Join us for a comprehensive exploration of these pivotal developments, enriched with Dan Romero's firsthand insights, as we dissect the evolving landscape of social media in the crypto age and the captivating allure of meme coins, all aimed at providing a deeper understanding of their impact on the global cryptocurrency market.
    Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Pandora, Castbox, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.

    Show Highlights
    🔹 Decentralized Social Media Evolution: Exploring the growth and challenges of platforms like Farcaster in the decentralized web landscape.
    🔹 User Empowerment in Crypto: Analyzing how crypto-native features on platforms empower users through economic incentives and community building.
    🔹 The Rise of Social Tokens: Delving into the emergence of social tokens and their role in fostering online communities and creator economies.
    🔹 Interactive Crypto Features: Investigating innovative features like Farcaster's frames and their impact on user engagement and content sharing.
    🔹 Sustainable Tokenomics: Discussing the sustainability of token models in social platforms and the potential for long-term value creation.
    🔹 Behavioral Economics in Crypto: Understanding the psychological factors driving the speculative nature of meme coins and their market dynamics.
    🔹 Decentralization vs. Centralization: Debating the balance between decentralized ethos and the need for centralized governance in crypto platforms.
    🔹 The Future of Online Identity: Discussing the evolution of online identities in the context of decentralized platforms and blockchain technology.
    🔹 Celebrity and Crypto Synergies: Speculating on the future of celebrity involvement in crypto through personalized tokens and endorsements.
    🔹 Cross-Platform Crypto Integration: Exploring the possibilities and challenges of integrating crypto-native features across various social and digital platforms.
    🔹 Ethical Considerations in Crypto: Delving into the ethical implications of rapid token creation, distribution strategies, and their impact on unsuspecting users.
    Hosts
    ⭐️Haseeb Qureshi, Managing partner at Dragonfly 
    ⭐️Tom Schmidt, General Partner at Dragonfly 
    ⭐️Tarun Chitra, Managing Partner at Robot Ventures

    Guest
    ⭐️ Dan Romero, Farcaster Co-Founder

    Disclosures
    Links

    Eugene Wei’s “Status as a Service (StaaS)”: https://www.eugenewei.com/blog/2019/2/19/status-as-a-service 

    Vitalik Buterin’s forum post on DAICOs: https://ethresear.ch/t/explanation-of-daicos/465/1 


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    • 1 hr 11 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

Lewis Santh ,

Tuned in

Great to have a journalist so business focused and well connected. Amazing guests and amazing contents.

Great to have you now once a week.

elPableras6s ,

Geniales entrevistas

Me encanta poder escuchar las opiniones de tantas personalidades del mundillo de las criptodivisas.

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