71 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.

    A retail brokerage veteran breaks down why crypto IPOs are good for bitcoin

    A retail brokerage veteran breaks down why crypto IPOs are good for bitcoin

    During this week's episode of The Scoop, Ehrlich broke down what he shares on those calls. Voyager conducted its initial public offering (IPO) through a reverse merger, listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange and trading in over-the-counter (OTC) markets. While an IPO calls for extensive regulatory filings and investment bank backing, a reverse merger sees private company investors acquire shares of a public but inactive corporation. In Voyager's case, it acquired the shell company UC Resources Ltd., which was publicly listed on the Canadian TSX Venture Exchange.
    Voyager was an early addition to the IPO party, though Mike Novogratz's Galaxy Digital had already gone public on TSX in August 2018. Now, there's growing interest in crypto IPOs, with rumblings of Coinbase and BlockFi looking to take the plunge. While crypto touts transparency, IPOs put a firm's inner workings on display, opening the door for merger and acquisition activity, according to Ehrlich.
    "You go public and it's right there in front of everybody: what you're worth, what your stock's worth, the financials of the company, the metrics of your company. It's there and it's a currency now to go make acquisitions," he said.
    Ehrlich discussed the different approaches to crypto IPOs and which firms are right for which routes on This Week's episode. He also discussed:

    How his early days at E*Trade prepared him for the current retail mania, and how 2020 parallels the late 90s

    What Coinbase needs to consider before it makes moves to go public

    Why the current brokerage rush won't end well for most

    To what degree the fintech space is looking to leverage crypto and why it means widespread adoption is coming — just on a longer timeline.

    • 43 min
    CMS Holdings co-founders say DeFi claimed trader attention before bitcoin's volatility spike

    CMS Holdings co-founders say DeFi claimed trader attention before bitcoin's volatility spike

    In this week's episode, Cho and Matuszewski give the trader perspective on bitcoin and the DeFi scene, including:  

    How Circle Trade went from making an "ungodly" amount of money to being sold off to Kraken

    Whether the market is at "peakFi"

    Why big news events are having less of an impact on bitcoin price swings

    An overview of the crypto brokerage wars, and how crypto firms will get "more violent" with each other over time.

    • 53 min
    Larry Cermak breaks down why the Twitter hackers appear to be amateurs

    Larry Cermak breaks down why the Twitter hackers appear to be amateurs

    On this week's episode of The Scoop, Cermak explained out how The Block first picked up on the biggest Twitter hack in history, and what the early hours of information gathering looked like. He also touched on:

    The details that indicate the hack was either unplanned or executed by amateurs

    What a front page BTC scam means for bitcoin adoption

    The debate over Coinbase's move to block the addresses at the height of the hack

    Where the stolen funds are now

    • 45 min
    An inside look at how CoinFLEX is trying to create a repo market for crypto

    An inside look at how CoinFLEX is trying to create a repo market for crypto

    CoinFLEX emerged in 2019 as one of the first marketplaces for physically-delivered crypto futures. Now, the Hong Kong-based firm has relaunched its platform to build out a repurchase market for digital assets.
    Mark Lamb, CEO of CoinFLEX, sat down with The Scoop this week to talk about the plan.
    In the traditional context, a repurchase market or "repo market" allows large clearing banks to exchange assets for short bursts, providing a quick way to finance other activities. Trillions of dollars a day move in the repo market. But in crypto, it's much smaller. No more than $50 million in repurchase transactions occur each day. There's also no counterpart to the traditional clearing bank, so most deals are done directly between two parties.
    CoinFLEX plans to be that intermediary, launching the CoinFLEX Repo Market in addition to adding spot and perpetual contracts to its current futures market. Lamb outlined how CoinFLEX plans to stake its claim as one of the first repo markets in crypto — similar to how it did that for physically-delivered futures. He also touched on:

    How a plan to create a physical perpetual swap became a plan to create an entirely new type of instrument 

    The pros and cons of CoinFLEX's original platform, and how the firm aims to improve with the second iteration

    Why institutional clients on the exchange want leverage that’s even higher than 100x or 250x

    How CoinFLEX will be part of crypto's move to democratize access to high-leveraged finance and interest yield collection.


    This episode of The Scoop is brought to you by Bitstamp, the original global cryptocurrency exchange. Since 2011, Bitstamp has been a cornerstone of the industry, earning the trust of over four million individuals and top financial institutions looking for a reliable trading venue.
    Whether you’re trading on our web platform, mobile app or industry-leading APIs, Bitstamp gives you the professional-grade tools you need to execute your strategy. Download the Bitstamp app or visit Bitstamp.net/Pro to learn more and start trading today!

    • 43 min
    Former Goldman CFO breaks down why the digital dollar is better than bitcoin and stablecoins

    Former Goldman CFO breaks down why the digital dollar is better than bitcoin and stablecoins

    R. Martin Chavez left his Goldman Sachs office in December after decades of work bringing new technology to Wall Street, most recently as Goldman's CFO, though his career began in Silicon Valley. Now, he's returned to the tech world, where he serves on the boards of health technology firms and has gotten involved in the conversation around the "digital dollar."
    On this week's episode of The Scoop, Chavez broke down some of the changes that have occurred at the intersection of health and technology due to the global pandemic. For instance, a world in quarantine has breathed new life into the field of telemedicine. He also explained why although he sees bitcoin as "an amazing research project," it doesn't quite qualify as money in his view.
    Chavez compared the coronavirus pandemic to the 2008 financial crisis, in that they are both wake up calls for policymakers. He said the pandemic has been a moment to examine how to build better systems, particularly in the health tech and industrial fields.
    Meanwhile, it's also illuminated the potential role of a U.S. central bank digital currency as a mechanism for stimulus delivery. While Chavez advocated for a blockchain-based digital dollar, he doesn't think private stablecoins are a suitable stand-in. "Stablecoins are stable right up until the instant that they're not stable," he said. 
    Here are some of the more specific topics featured in the episode:

    The themes and trends emerging in the health technology space that will be salient in a post COVID-19 world

    How the pandemic illuminated the need for resilience in industrial companies and how technology can play a role in reform

    What legislation is needed to reform industries that were hit hard, and how to prepare a more resilient supply chain

    Why the former Wall Streeter and long time tech advocate says bitcoin isn't money

    His view on central bank digital currencies and why stablecoins alone won't do the job of a digital dollar.


    This episode of The Scoop is brought to you by Bitstamp, the original global cryptocurrency exchange. Since 2011, Bitstamp has been a cornerstone of the industry, earning the trust of over four million individuals and top financial institutions looking for a reliable trading venue.
    Whether you’re trading on our web platform, mobile app or industry-leading APIs, Bitstamp gives you the professional-grade tools you need to execute your strategy. Download the Bitstamp app or visit Bitstamp.net/Pro to learn more and start trading today!
     

    • 57 min
    Zane Tackett has seen some of the crypto space's biggest events — here's what he's learned

    Zane Tackett has seen some of the crypto space's biggest events — here's what he's learned

    Zane Tackett has witnessed some of the crypto industry's biggest moments. And he recently took a post as a sales and business development executive at FTX, giving him a first-hand look at growth occurring in the derivatives market today.
    It comes as a notable time for that particular corner of the crypto space, given that more that 100,000 bitcoin options contracts – a historic number totaling over $900 million – is slated to expire this Friday. Tackett will have a front row seat, and he talked about the growth factors for the derivatives market on this week's episode of The Scoop.
    He also touched on his history in the space, stretching back to his role in helping found the international team at OKCoin, now OKEx, an early mover in crypto futures.
    Tackett moved from OKEx to become director of community and product development at Bitfinex. He was at the forefront of the exchange's response to the 2016 hack in which 119,756 BTC were stolen.
    "It was the worst period of my life," he said. "I think the initial 48 hours, I went 40 hours without sleeping, got two or three hours of sleep and was back at it. And you know, pretty much everyone on the team was the exact same way."
    After his time at Bitfinex, Tackett became head of OTC sales at B2C2 before moving to FTX this year.
    In this week's episode, Tackett discussed how each of these experiences informed his understanding of the market, as well as:

    How crypto businesses can cater to both retail and institutional traders

    Why a more standard user experience has been a key reason for growth in the space

    Why bitcoin resiliency is a sign of growing maturity for the crypto space despite concerns about volatility

    The firewalls in place between Alameda and FTX to mitigate concerns around conflicts of interest

    Why the prime brokerage space is heating up in the U.S. compared to other regions

    Tackett's experience working at Bitfinex during the exchange's biggest hack and what he learned.


    Episode 25 of Season 2 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Zane Tackett, a sales and business development executive at crypto derivatives exchange FTX.
    Listen below, and subscribe to The Scoop on Apple, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Email feedback and revision requests to podcast@theblockcrypto.com.
    This episode of The Scoop is brought to you by Bitstamp, the original global cryptocurrency exchange. Since 2011, Bitstamp has been a cornerstone of the industry, earning the trust of over four million individuals and top financial institutions looking for a reliable trading venue.
    Whether you’re trading on our web platform, mobile app or industry-leading APIs, Bitstamp gives you the professional-grade tools you need to execute your strategy. Download the Bitstamp app or visit Bitstamp.net/Pro to learn more and start trading today!

    • 56 min

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