195 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

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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.

    Why The Travel Rule Is One Of The Most Significant Regulations In Crypto

    Why The Travel Rule Is One Of The Most Significant Regulations In Crypto

    Dave Jevans, CEO of CipherTrace, and Siân Jones, Senior Partner at XReg Consulting, give the lowdown on the Financial Action Task Force’s travel rule and how it applies to businesses in the crypto space. They discuss:
    their background and journey into crypto what the travel rule is the consequences for countries that are not compliant whether the regulation will apply to staking providers in the future the type of companies and transactions that will be covered under the travel rule the type of information that has to be provided  how banks comply with the travel rule and whether crypto companies can use the same system the different open standards available for sharing information how the information will get shared between entities who use different travel rule solution providers the “sunrise problem” in which different companies implement their compliance systems at different times the security of user data being shared between different entities how it applies to central bank digital currencies and centralized stablecoins how the rule would affect privacy coins the inherent contradiction between the cypherpunk philosophy and regulatory compliance unintended consequences of the travel rule how the travel rule may play out in the coming years A glossary of terms discussed in the episode: 
    FATF: Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organization that develops policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing
    VASP: virtual asset service providers, who are custodial entities that run fiat-to-crypto or crypto-to-crypto exchanges, or run businesses related to transfer and safekeeping of virtual assets and financial services.
    FinCEN: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the United States federal bureau that analyzes information about financial transactions in order to fight money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes
    FCA: Financial Conduct Authority, the financial regulatory body of the UK
     
    Thank you to our sponsors! 
    Crypto.com: https://www.crypto.com 
    Tezos: https://tquorum.com/
     
    Episode links: 
    Dave Jevans: https://twitter.com/davejevans
    CipherTrace: https://ciphertrace.com/
    Sian Jones: https://twitter.com/COINSULT
    XReg Consulting: https://www.xreg.consulting/
    Financial Action Task Force (FATF): https://www.fatf-gafi.org/
     
    The Osaka conference where crypto got serious about FATF’s travel rule: https://www.coindesk.com/inside-the-osaka-conference-where-crypto-got-serious-about-fatfs-travel-rule
     
    Will Osaka be crypto’s Bretton Woods moment? https://forkast.news/will-osaka-be-cryptos-bretton-woods-moment/
     
    InterVASP Messaging Standard: https://intervasp.org
    OpenVASP: https://openvasp.org
    OpenVASP white paper: https://openvasp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/OpenVasp_Whitepaper.pdf?cache=1
     
    FATF report on “so-called stablecoins”: http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/recommendations/Virtual-Assets-FATF-Report-G20-So-Called-Stablecoins.pdf
     
    OKEx’s Korea arm delisted privacy coins: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/39724/okex-korea-delisting-all-privacy-coins-including-monero-zcash-and-dash-as-these-violate-fatfs-travel-rule
     
    Some of the potential FATF compliance solutions: 
    Travel Rule Information Sharing Alliance (TRISA): https://trisa.io/
    Coinbase’s messaging board solution: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/daily/72293/coinbase-exchanges-fatf-travel-rule-solution
    CoolBitX: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/56853/coolbitx-raises-16-75m-series-b-to-help-crypto-exchanges-comply-with-fatfs-travel-rule
    Notabene: https://www.coindesk.com/crypto-identity-startup-notabene-launches-trust-framework-for-fatf-travel-rule
    ING: https://www.coindesk.com/in-banking-first-ing-develops-fatf-friendly-protocol-for-tracking-crypto-transfers
    https://blog.chainalysis.com/reports/fatf-12-month-virtual-asset-review

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Vitalik Buterin on Ethereum's Five-Year Anniversary

    Vitalik Buterin on Ethereum's Five-Year Anniversary

    Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, shares his thoughts on the five-year anniversary of Ethereum, challenges with ETH 2.0 and criticisms about DeFi. We discuss:
    his thoughts and feelings ahead of Ethereum’s five-year anniversary how to address the high gas fees on the Ethereum network whether the complexity of Ethereum 2.0 creates a risk for the security of the network whether staking will lead to a higher focus on ETH price and issues such as monetary policy  how he looks at the ETH price with its significance for security in Ethereum 2.0 how proof of stake systems can be more democratic whether staking lends itself to the kind of securitization that looks similar to mortgage-backed securities his concerns about DeFi the most optimal way for DeFi projects to distribute their tokens his thoughts about Bitcoin on Ethereum inherent risks to Ethereum users connected to China’s Blockchain Service Network (BSN) his views on DCEP, other CBDCs and Libra the indictment of Ethereum Foundation staff member Virgil Griffith for allegedly helping North Korea to circumvent sanctions how he plans to make the Ethereum Foundation more transparent whether lack of diversity would impact the success of Ethereum in the long term where he would like to see Ethereum in the next five years Thank you to our sponsors! 
    Crypto.com: https://www.crypto.com 
    Tezos: https://tquorum.com/
     
    Episode links: 
    Vitalik Buterin: https://twitter.com/VitalikButerin
    Ethereum: https://ethereum.org/en/
    Vitalik’s blog: https://vitalik.ca
     
    Median gas price: https://blockchair.com/ethereum/charts/median-gas-price
    Average gas price: https://blockchair.com/ethereum/charts/average-gas-price
     
    Solutions to gas price problem: https://www.coindesk.com/ethereum-developers-consider-new-fee-model-as-gas-costs-climb
     
    Reddit AMA with the Ethereum 2.0 Research team, including Vitalik: https://old.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/ho2zpt/ama_we_are_the_efs_eth_20_research_team_pt_4_10/
     
    Paper on how DeFi lending could undermine security in a POS system: https://arxiv.org/abs/2001.00919
     
    Vitalik tweet on yield farming: https://twitter.com/VitalikButerin/status/1278337657194655744
     
    Abra settlement with SEC and CFTC: https://www.coindesk.com/sec-cftc-hit-crypto-app-abra-with-300k-in-penalties-over-illegal-swaps
     
    Maya Zehavi’s comments on what this could mean for DeFi: https://twitter.com/mayazi/status/1282696180741414918
     
    China’s BSN using public chains, including Ethereum: https://www.coindesk.com/chinas-blockchain-infrastructure-to-extend-global-reach-with-six-public-chains
     
    Unchained interview about DCEP: https://unchainedpodcast.com/why-china-aims-to-replace-cash-with-the-digital-yuan/
     
    Charges against Virgil Griffith: https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/manhattan-us-attorney-announces-arrest-united-states-citizen-assisting-north-korea
     
    More on Virgil Griffith case: https://www.coindesk.com/usa-v-virgil-griffith-what-we-know-and-dont-in-the-bombshell-crypto-sanctions-case
     
    Unchained interview with human rights activist Yeonmi Park on what life is like in North Korea: https://unchainedpodcast.com/yeonmi-park-on-why-doing-business-with-north-korea-is-like-buying-a-ticket-to-a-concentration-camp/
     
    Unchained interview on why North Korea is interested in cryptocurrency: https://unchainedpodcast.com/why-north-korea-is-interested-in-cryptocurrency/
     
    Case against Steven Nerayoff: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/two-arrested-extortion-startup-cryptocurrency-company

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Camila Russo on the Most Pivotal Moments in Ethereum's History

    Camila Russo on the Most Pivotal Moments in Ethereum's History

    Camila Russo, founder of The Defiant and author of a new book on Ethereum, "The Infinite Machine," speaks about how currency controls in Argentina got her interested in crypto and explains why she chose to tell the Ethereum story. She discusses:
    how she started covering the crypto space what it was like living through currency controls in Argentina why she started focusing on Ethereum instead of Bitcoin what’s in her new book, The Infinite Machine the most pivotal moments in Ethereum’s history possible risks to Ethereum 2.0 because of delays whether competing protocols could take market share away from Ethereum the most surprising aspect of the Ethereum story starting her own DeFi-focused media platform, The Defiant why she launched ‘CAMI’ tokens and how they are used the significance of ERC-20 tokens having a higher market cap than ETH her predictions about trends and promising projects in the DeFi space  
    Thank you to our sponsors! 
    Crypto.com: https://www.crypto.com 
    Tezos: https://tquorum.com/
     
    Episode links: 
    Camila Russo: https://twitter.com/CamiRusso
    The Infinite Machine: https://www.harpercollins.com/products/the-infinite-machine-camila-russo
    The Defiant: https://thedefiant.substack.com/
     
    Excerpt from The Infinite Machine on CoinDesk: https://www.coindesk.com/sale-of-the-century-the-inside-story-of-ethereums-2014-premine
     
    Decrypt review: https://decrypt.co/35466/the-incredible-story-of-ethereum-the-infinite-machine
     
    Camila on what Ethereum has accomplished in five years: https://www.coindesk.com/five-years-on-ethereum-really-is-the-minecraft-of-crypto-finance
     
    Hidden Forces podcast with Camila:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/rise-ethereum-future-defi-transformation-crypto-media/id1205359334?i=1000484635053
     
    Camila in the Keen On podcast: https://lithub.com/camila-russo-on-ethereum-and-the-future-of-the-internet/

    Ethereum 2.0 phase 0 may not go live until 2021: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/linked/71155/eth-2-phase-0-ama-2021

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Why Bitcoin Now: Michael Casey and Niall Ferguson on How Bitcoin Fits in the History of Money

    Why Bitcoin Now: Michael Casey and Niall Ferguson on How Bitcoin Fits in the History of Money

    Niall Ferguson, Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and the author of numerous books including The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World and most recently, the Square and the Tower: Networks and Power from the Freemasons to Facebook, and Michael Casey, chief content officer at CoinDesk and coauthor of two books on crypto, The Age of Cryptocurrency and The Truth Machine, discuss the history of money and the macro environment for Bitcoin. We cover:
    how they became involved in crypto historically, what has made things money, or how people have decided that something is money the difficulty of managing fiat currency modern monetary theory and the role of the state in the financial system Satoshi’s message in BTC’s genesis block and what that indicates about Satoshi's intentions with Bitcoin  whether a more transparent, blockchain-based financial system could eventually lead to a new financial order how Bitcoin behaves like an option on digital gold, and when it will behave like digital gold whether Bitcoin is simply a reversion to previous forms of money that weren’t controlled by the state how crypto/blockchain and fintech innovation from startups and the Chinese government will affect the USD how a hypothetical war between the US and China would affect the dollar's dominance how China's DCEP could disintermediate banks  how Bitcoin fits into all of the different macro conditions facing the global economy whether Libra is going to be the initial gateway getting people into our digital currency world how well the recovery from coronavirus will go, and how it will affect the development of the crypto space in the near-term  
    Thank you to our sponsors!
     
    Crypto.com: https://crypto.com
     
    Tezos: https://tquorum.com/
     
    Episode links: 
     
    Niall Ferguson: http://www.niallferguson.com
     
    The Ascent of Money: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/302900/the-ascent-of-money-by-niall-ferguson/
     
    Michael Casey: https://www.michaeljcasey.com
     
    Money Reimagined: https://www.coindesk.com/tag/money-reimagined



    The Age of Cryptocurrency: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250081551
     
    The first episode in the Why Bitcoin Now series: Mike Novogratz and Raoul Pal on 'the Single Greatest Brand' ofo the Last 10 Years:  https://unchainedpodcast.com/why-bitcoin-now-mike-novogratz-and-raoul-pal-on-the-single-greatest-brand-of-the-last-10-years/
     
    How Niall got into Bitcoin:
    http://www.niallferguson.com/journalism/finance-economics/bitcoin-may-go-pop-but-its-revolution-will-go-on
     
    Niall and Michael at Consensus: https://www.coindesk.com/disruption-money-and-a-world-of-change-feat-niall-ferguson
     
    Unchained interview with Chamath Palihapitiya, who believes Bitcoin is a hedge on everything blowing up: https://unchainedpodcast.com/chamath-palihapitiya-why-bitcoin-will-be-the-category-winner/
     
    Carlota Perez at CoinDesk's Consensus: https://www.coindesk.com/video/carlota-perez-on-blockchains-and-technological-revolutions
     
    Unchained interview about the DCEP: https://unchainedpodcast.com/why-china-aims-to-replace-cash-with-the-digital-yuan/
     
    Unchained interview with Christopher Giancarlo about a digital dollar: https://unchainedpodcast.com/christopher-giancarlo-why-the-us-needs-to-have-a-digital-dollar/
     
    Unconfirmed episode with Michael about Libra: https://unchainedpodcast.com/why-it-would-be-good-if-libra-rivaled-the-us-dollar/

    Unchained episode with a co-creator of Libra: https://unchainedpodcast.com/a-libra-co-creator-on-how-facebook-will-make-money-from-calibra/

    • 1 hr 25 min
    DeFi Yield Farming: Why It's All the Rage But Risky

    DeFi Yield Farming: Why It's All the Rage But Risky

    Dan Elitzer, investor at IDEO CoLab Ventures, and Will Price, data scientist at Flipside Crypto, discuss the yield farming craze. In this episode, we cover:
    the goals of protocols offering liquidity mining the goals of users yield farming right now whether users of Compound will have much awareness of COMP in the future how Compound is trying to dampen inorganic activity and properly align incentives  how incentives in one DeFi protocol can screw up another's such as changes in Compound's liquidity mining program causing Dai to lose its peg whether the activity created by liquidity mining is sustainable and how whether Compound is overvalued and how to determine valuations for DeFi tokens the security risks that come with trying yield farming how teams can keep their protocols safe given the composability of DeFi and the growing number of developments in the space whether the yield farming craze will cause the price of ETH to rise and why the prevalence of stablecoins might prevent that whether new DeFi tokens could push flagging layer 1s out of the top 10 what will happen if even more Bitcoin comes to DeFi how the next big thing in DeFi might be trying to stack yield across protocols and eventually prime brokerage protocols Thank you to our sponsor!
    Crypto.com: https://www.crypto.com
     
    Episode links: 
    Dan Elitzer: https://twitter.com/delitzer
    IDEO CoLab Ventures: https://www.ideocolab.com/ventures/
    Will Price: https://twitter.com/will__price
    Flipside Crypto: https://flipsidecrypto.com
     
    Total value locked in Compound: https://defipulse.com/compound
     
    What liquidity bootstrapping pools are: https://medium.com/balancer-protocol/building-liquidity-into-token-distribution-a49d4286e0d4 
     
    Dan on earning more from borrowing USDT than lending it on Compound: https://twitter.com/delitzer/status/1272642107128164354 
     
    Tony Sheng on how yield farming works and how much you can earn from it: https://twitter.com/tonysheng/status/1274393189231689728
     
    And his followup on the risks of yield farming: https://twitter.com/tonysheng/status/1274780457729617920
     
    The purpose of COMP for governance: https://medium.com/compound-finance/compound-community-ownership-ee0ed1252cc3 
    https://medium.com/compound-finance/expanding-compound-governance-ce13fcd4fe36
     
    Risks of so much BAT being held in Compound: https://twitter.com/spencernoon/status/1276897377446776832?s=20
    https://twitter.com/defiprime/status/1277026665952980992?s=20
    https://twitter.com/devops199fan/status/1274732220192829441?s=20
     
    Cyrus of MakerDAO concerned about the risks COMP poses to the Dai peg: https://forum.makerdao.com/t/upcoming-comp-farming-change-could-impact-the-dai-peg/2965
     
    Dan Guido and Taylor Monahan on Unchained discussing DeFi security: https://unchainedpodcast.com/defi-security-with-so-many-hacks-will-it-ever-be-safe/
     
    Twitter discussion on whether ETH price will rise due to yield farming: https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1274781676875452421
     
    What will happen to other Layer 1s? https://twitter.com/Shaughnessy119/status/1274376237239189504?s=20 

    Aquaponic yield farming: https://bankless.substack.com/p/aquaponic-yield-farming

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Why Bitcoin Now: Mike Novogratz and Raoul Pal on 'the Single Greatest Brand' of the Last 10 Years

    Why Bitcoin Now: Mike Novogratz and Raoul Pal on 'the Single Greatest Brand' of the Last 10 Years

    This episode is the first in a series, Why Bitcoin Now, that takes a deeper dive into Bitcoin and the history of money in the macroeconomic environment of the coronavirus. Mike Novogratz, founder, CEO and chairman of Galaxy Digital, and Raoul Pal, founder and CEO of Global Macro Investor and Real Vision Group, tell us where they think Bitcoin is going amidst this macro uncertainty and the global crisis due to the coronavirus. We discuss: 
    why Bitcoin’s price hasn't risen in price due to the global turmoil, and instead fell with the rest of the market on Black Thursday  why quantitative easing is the catalyst for institutional investors to turn to Bitcoin, but why that takes time, and why registered investment advisors may be on the cusp why they think retail investors will continue to buy Bitcoin despite record unemployment why Bitcoin will benefit from social unrest why any particular country's success in dealing with the coronavirus won’t really lessen the economic impact there whether China's first-mover advantage with the DCEP and its comprehensive enterprise blockchain initiatives will undermine the global dominance of the US dollar  why they believe there will ultimately be a dollar-based stablecoin  why they believe Libra will be a strong player in the future of stablecoins  how election outcomes, and in particular a potential movement to break up Big Tech, could affect Bitcoin and the vision for Web3 whether Ethereum, and staking, will see more adoption from institutional investors  why they believe yield farming is ultimately not sustainable, but still profitable the impact the Bitcoin halving will have in this macroeconomic environment Unchained is hiring! 
    Check out our job listing for a remote editorial assistant here!
    Thank you to our sponsors! 
    Crypto.com: https://crypto.com
    Kelman Law: https://crypto.law 
    Stellar: https://www.stellar.org 
    Episode links: 
    Mike Novogratz: https://twitter.com/novogratz
    Galaxy Digital: https://www.galaxydigital.io
    Raoul Pal: https://twitter.com/RaoulGMI
    Real Vision: https://www.realvision.com
    Unchained interview with Kyle Samani on what happened in the crypto markets on Black Thursday: https://unchainedpodcast.com/teetering-on-the-edge-how-black-thursday-exposed-the-flaws-in-the-crypto-markets/
    Unconfirmed interview with Antoine Le Calvez on what happened on BitMEX during Black thursday: https://unchainedpodcast.com/what-happened-on-bitmex-during-black-thursday/
    Unchained interview with Chamath Palihapitiya on Bitcoin: https://unchainedpodcast.com/chamath-palihapitiya-why-bitcoin-will-be-the-category-winner/
    Brian Armstrong tweet about deposits to Coinbase the same size as the $1,200 stimulus check: https://twitter.com/brian_armstrong/status/1250907110730170370?s=20
    China's DCEP and blockchain initiative: https://unchainedpodcast.com/why-china-aims-to-replace-cash-with-the-digital-yuan/
    Unchained interview on Libra: https://unchainedpodcast.com/a-libra-co-creator-on-how-facebook-will-make-money-from-calibra/
    Unconfirmed interview with the Libra Association's Dante Disparte: https://unchainedpodcast.com/libras-dante-disparte-on-why-we-should-trust-a-financial-system-designed-by-facebook/
    Unconfirmed interview with Michael Casey on why it would it would be good if Libra rivaled the USD: https://unchainedpodcast.com/why-it-would-be-good-if-libra-rivaled-the-us-dollar/
    Christopher Giancarlo's digital dollar project: https://unchainedpodcast.com/christopher-giancarlo-why-the-us-needs-to-have-a-digital-dollar/
    Ethereum 2.0 staking: https://www.coindesk.com/3-ways-staking-will-upend-the-economics-of-ethereum
    Unconfirmed with Kain Warwick on COMP's launch: https://unchainedpodcast.com/why-comp-5xed-on-day-1-and-what-this-means-for-a-defi-bull-market/
    Unconfirmed interview with Tony Sheng on yield farming: https://unchainedpodcast.com/h

    • 1 hr 10 min

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