105 episodes

Empire features interviews with top crypto founders to get the real stories that aren’t shared elsewhere. Empire is your look behind the curtain of the crypto industry.
We release two episodes per week: guest interviews on Monday and a weekly roundup on Friday.

Empire Jason Yanowitz & Santiago Santos | Blockworks

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 91 Ratings

Empire features interviews with top crypto founders to get the real stories that aren’t shared elsewhere. Empire is your look behind the curtain of the crypto industry.
We release two episodes per week: guest interviews on Monday and a weekly roundup on Friday.

    Patients, Not Profits, Should Drive Drug Discovery | Vibe Bio, Alok Tayi

    Patients, Not Profits, Should Drive Drug Discovery | Vibe Bio, Alok Tayi

    In this episode of Empire, Santi is joined by Alok Tayi, scientist and founder of Vibe Bio. Alok started Vibe Bio because the biggest obstacle in treating patients with overlooked diseases isn’t finding potential treatments — it’s funding them.
    Vibe Bio is leveraging crypto's economic and coordination tools to fund the research and development that the legacy biotech industry ignores. Don't miss this fascinating conversation!

    We discuss:
    - Vibe Bio's origin story
    - How Vibe Bio works
    - Big pharma's dilemma
    - Why these diseases don't receive funding today
    - How to prioritize projects
    - Crypto's unique advantages
    - The $VIBE token
    - How to grow & leverage Vibe's community
    - Diseases don't care about interest rates
    - Biggest challenges

    - -
    Follow Alok: https://twitter.com/aloktayi
    Follow Santi: https://twitter.com/santiagoroel
    Follow Empire: https://twitter.com/theempirepod

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/4fdhhb2j
    Subscribe on Apple: https://tinyurl.com/mv4frfv7 
    Subscribe on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/wbaypprw
    - -
    ParaSwap:
    If you want to make a swap at the best price across the DeFi market, check out paraswap.io. ParaSwap’s state-of-the-art algorithm beats the market price across all major DEXs and brings you the most optimized swaps with the best prices and lowest slippage.
    Visit paraswap.io/beta to learn more about Paraswap's new app.
    - -
    Get top market insights and the latest in crypto news. Subscribe to Blockworks Daily Newsletter: https://blockworks.co/newsletter/
    --
    (00:00) Introduction
    (02:27) Official Vibe Bio Launch
    (03:50) The Origin Story
    (06:32) How Funding Works in Biotech
    (12:15) Vibe Bio's Gameplan
    (14:50) Community Inspiration
    (17:48) Big Pharma's Dilemma
    (19:42) How Has The Community Responded?
    (22:25) Why Now?
    (24:58) How To Prioritize
    (30:42) Paraswap Ad
    (31:51) Is There An Adverse Selection Problem
    (36:50) Two Key Milestones
    (42:17) The Biggest Risks
    (45:15) The $Vibe token
    (48:18) Does IP matter?
    (51:47) Help The Mission
    --
    Disclaimer: Nothing said on Empire is a recommendation to buy or sell securities or tokens. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and any views expressed by anyone on the show are solely our opinions, not financial advice. Santiago, Jason, and our guests may hold positions in the companies, funds, or projects discussed.

    • 59 min
    SBF Saves CeFi | DeFi Yields Crash | Voyager, BlockFi & 3AC | Solend | Worst Case Scenario

    SBF Saves CeFi | DeFi Yields Crash | Voyager, BlockFi & 3AC | Solend | Worst Case Scenario

    In this episode of Empire's Weekly Roundup, Jason and Santi discuss CeFi's contagion risk and the fragility in the crypto market.
    Prices are crashing, and multiple companies appear to be on the verge of bankruptcy. Is SBF saving the industry? What questions should we all be asking right now? Tune in to find out!
    Highlights include:
    - What's going on in the markets
    - Crypto is transparent but not perfect
    - What is crypto's worst-case scenario
    - Crypto is transparent but not perfect
    - Will 3AC survive
    - Voyager joins the illiquidity party
    - BlockFi continues to be in pain
    - SBF & Alameda swoop in
    - Are low DeFi yields existential
    - What happened with Solend
    - Is it okay if applications are centralized
    - -
    Follow Santi: https://twitter.com/santiagoroel
    Follow Jason: https://twitter.com/JasonYanowitz
    Follow Empire: https://twitter.com/theempirepod

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/4fdhhb2j
    Subscribe on Apple: https://tinyurl.com/mv4frfv7
    Subscribe on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/wbaypprw
    - -
    Referenced in the show:

    Jason's tweet on 3 phases of a bear market
    https://twitter.com/JasonYanowitz/status/1536365738906202112

    Episode with Qiao from Alliance DAO
    https://tinyurl.com/4wrkuakz
    --
    BitMEX is back and better than ever. Sign up for BitmEX's new Spot Exchange for a chance to win a piece of $500,000 in BTC (new users).

    Learn more about them at https://www.bitmex.com/
    --
    Get top market insights and the latest in crypto news. Subscribe to Blockworks Daily Newsletter: https://blockworks.co/newsletter/
    --
    (00:00) Introduction
    (01:41) Market Update
    (04:34) Today's Risk Factors
    (08:37) 3AC Crises Update
    (13:17) Celsius & sETH Update
    (13:45) Voyager & Risk Mgmt
    (17:56) How Bad Are Low Yields For DeFi?
    (20:16) Bitmex Ad
    (21:16) The Question You Should Be Asking
    (27:27) When Markets Go Quiet
    (29:02) SBF Saves CeFi
    (35:04) A Daisy Chain of Yields
    (31:02) Solend & Centralization1
    (41:33) Topics For Next Week
    --

    Disclaimer: Nothing said on Empire is a recommendation to buy or sell securities or tokens. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and any views expressed by anyone on the show are solely our opinions, not financial advice. Santiago, Jason, and our guests may hold positions in the companies, funds, or projects discussed.

    • 43 min
    The Crypto Renaissance Has Begun | Josh Rosenthal

    The Crypto Renaissance Has Begun | Josh Rosenthal

    In this episode of Empire, Jason is joined by Josh Rosenthal - a former historian turned serial entrepreneur and crypto VC. Josh's encyclopedic knowledge of history - from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and beyond - and ability to draw a throughline between historical events, Web3 and our world today is truly fascinating.

    Josh contends that we are living through the greatest Renaissance in history. How will historians look back on today? Tune in to find out.

    We discuss:
    - medieval life
    - what defines a Renaissance
    - the advent of a dynamic identity
    - signs of a reformation
    - what drives history
    - layering ownership into communication
    - the pendulum between aggregation and decentralization
    - how Web3 brings the missing element to the internet
    - why we are living through THE greatest Renaissance
    - how will society be impacted
    - -
    Follow Josh: https://twitter.com/JoshuaRosenthal
    Follow Jason: https://twitter.com/JasonYanowitz
    Follow Empire: https://twitter.com/theempirepod

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/4fdhhb2j
    Subscribe on Apple: https://tinyurl.com/mv4frfv7
    Subscribe on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/wbaypprw
    --
    Get top market insights and the latest in crypto news. Subscribe to Blockworks Daily Newsletter: https://blockworks.co/newsletter/
    - -
    ParaSwap:
    If you want to make a swap at the best price across the DeFi market, check out paraswap.io. ParaSwap’s state-of-the-art algorithm beats the market price across all major DEXs and brings you the most optimized swaps with the best prices and lowest slippage.
    - -
    (00:00) Introduction
    (04:07) Medieval You
    (10:30) Taking the Red Pill
    (17:45) Self-Generating Demand
    (21:16)The New Reformation
    (27:42) A Recreation of Society
    (32:15) Crypto Is A Counterweight To Aggregation
    (37:18) Paraswap Ad
    (38:26) Choosing Your Identity
    (41:59) Synthetic Worlds and Chaotic Change
    (46:51) Distinguishing the Institution From The Ideology
    (53:37) Zoom Out
    (56:46) Our Questions Affect the Outcomes
    (57:51) Have We Lost Our Ingenuity?
    (1:06:09) Institutions Eventually Give In
    (1:07:10) Embracing Pluralism
    (1:11:36) What Will the World Look Like?
    (1:15:08) Crypto's Impact on the Middle Class
    (1:21:18) New Jobs and Opportunities
    --
    Disclaimer: Nothing said on Empire is a recommendation to buy or sell securities or tokens. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and any views expressed by anyone on the show are solely our opinions, not financial advice. Santiago, Jason, and our guests may hold positions in the companies, funds, or projects discussed.

    • 1 hr 26 min
    Market Contagion | stETH fallout | Celsius & 3AC Liquidity Crises | Santi's Investment Strategy

    Market Contagion | stETH fallout | Celsius & 3AC Liquidity Crises | Santi's Investment Strategy

    In this episode of Empire's Weekly Roundup, Jason and Santi reflect on what might have been the most dramatic week in crypto's history. They explore the market contagion, the fallout, and debate if we've hit rock bottom.
    Santi is back in the studio with perfect timing. How is Santi approaching this volatility, is he buying, and what is his updated investment strategy? Tune in to find out.

    Highlights include:
    - How did this all start
    - The effects of quantitative tightening
    - Why stETH is causing waves across crypto
    - A bank run at Celsius
    - Do CeFi companies need more regulation
    - Three Arrows Capital insolvency rumors
    - Santi's #1 takeaway from this week's drama
    - Tether FUD
    - The downside of on-chain transparency
    - Are Santi and Jason buying back in
    - Santi's updated investment strategy
    - How to maximize the bear market
    - -
    Follow Santi: https://twitter.com/santiagoroel
    Follow Jason: https://twitter.com/JasonYanowitz
    Follow Empire: https://twitter.com/theempirepod

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/4fdhhb2j
    Subscribe on Apple: https://tinyurl.com/mv4frfv7
    Subscribe on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/wbaypprw
    - -
    Referenced in the show:

    degentrading Twitter thread on 3AC's liquidity crises
    https://tinyurl.com/4xer8dzn

    Jason's tweet on 3 phases of a bear market
    https://twitter.com/JasonYanowitz/status/1536365738906202112
    --
    BitMEX is back and better than ever. Sign up for BitmEX's new Spot Exchange for a chance to win a piece of $500,000 in BTC (new users).

    Learn more about them at https://www.bitmex.com/
    --
    Get top market insights and the latest in crypto news. Subscribe to Blockworks Daily Newsletter: https://blockworks.co/newsletter/
    --
    (00:00) Introduction
    (03:26) How Did We Get Here?
    (07:02) A Sudden and Brutal Bear Market
    (13:15) Thesis vs Fear Driven
    (15:14) Balancing Optimism With Rational Valuation
    (18:42) What Is Happening With sETH?
    (25:12) Why Celsisus Is In A Liquidity Crunch?
    (34:52) Should CeFi Companies Be Regulated Like Banks?
    (39:04) Bitmex Ad
    (40:05) What's Next For Celsius?
    (44:04) Three Arrows Capital is treading water
    (51:12) Margin calls, 3AC and risk mgmt.
    (55:19) Santi's #1 Takeaway
    (1:01:36) Contagion
    (1:07:12) Tether FUD
    (1:09:47) Negative Consequences of Transparency
    (1:13:25) Is This Rock Bottom?
    (1:18:32) Santi's Current Strategy
    (1:27:52) Patience and Staying In The Game
    (1:41:00) Blockworks and Building in a Bear
    --

    Disclaimer: Nothing said on Empire is a recommendation to buy or sell securities or tokens. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and any views expressed by anyone on the show are solely our opinions, not financial advice. Santiago, Jason, and our guests may hold positions in the companies, funds, or projects discussed.

    • 1 hr 45 min
    Can Crypto Find a New Narrative? | Haseeb Qureshi & Tom Schmidt

    Can Crypto Find a New Narrative? | Haseeb Qureshi & Tom Schmidt

    In this episode of Empire, Jason is joined by Haseeb Qureshi and Tom Schmidt from Dragonfly Capital. Haseeb and Tom are top venture capitalists with unique insights into crypto's current trends, new innovations and market sentiment. If you want expert advice on the market, these are two people you ask.

    We discuss:
    - the venture capital landscape
    - power is shifting to investors
    - being long crypto while fighting the Fed
    - supercharged crowdfunding
    - convertible bonds & debt financing
    - the changing meta
    - how projects choose where to build
    - the end of airdrops
    - market outlook
    - -
    Follow Haseeb: https://twitter.com/hosseeb
    Follow Tom: https://twitter.com/tomhschmidt
    Follow Jason: https://twitter.com/JasonYanowitz
    Follow Empire: https://twitter.com/theempirepod

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/4fdhhb2j
    Subscribe on Apple: https://tinyurl.com/mv4frfv7
    Subscribe on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/wbaypprw
    - -
    Referenced in the show:

    Dragonfly's letter to founders
    https://tinyurl.com/493vrmpp

    Tom's tweet on Porter Finance
    https://twitter.com/tomhschmidt/status/1533779269851176960
    - -
    ParaSwap:

    If you want to make a swap at the best price across the DeFi market, check out paraswap.io. ParaSwap’s state-of-the-art algorithm beats the market price across all major DEXs and brings you the most optimized swaps with the best prices and lowest slippage.
    - -
    (00:00) Introduction
    (01:33) Today's Narrative
    (05:25) A venture capitalist perspective
    (08:17) Rising interest rates and available capital
    (16:15) The big outstanding problems
    (21:29) Utilizing debt financing
    (27:35) The changing meta
    (31:49) Paraswap Ad
    (32:58) The layer one wars
    (36:00) How projects "shop around" protocols
    (39:10) Where should new projects build?
    (42:22) The end of airdrops
    (47:28) How founders should approach growth
    (51:25) Advice on down rounds
    (59:32) Public vs Private markets
    (1:02:47) How long will the bear market last?
    --

    Disclaimer: Nothing said on Empire is a recommendation to buy or sell securities or tokens. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and any views expressed by anyone on the show are solely our opinions, not financial advice. Santiago, Jason, and our guests may hold positions in the companies, funds, or projects discussed.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Roundup: BlockFi Down Round | DAOs Scrambling | Cynthia Lummis Bill | FTX vs Coinbase

    Roundup: BlockFi Down Round | DAOs Scrambling | Cynthia Lummis Bill | FTX vs Coinbase

    In this episode of Empire's Weekly Roundup, Jason and Mike discuss the current state of crypto. It's officially a bear market, so how are companies and DAOs responding? What are the stories that you need to know? Tune in to find out.

    Highlights include:

    Did companies overhire

    What happens in a down round

    Why we need to separate investors from traders

    DAOs look to stables and the need for debt financing

    The Coinbase vs FTX strategy debate

    Is the Lummis bill good for crypto

    Enterprise blockchains are back

    Optimism loses 20M OP tokens

    ApeCoin DAO sides with Ethereum


    - -
    Follow Mike: https://twitter.com/MikeIppolito_
    Follow Jason: https://twitter.com/JasonYanowitz
    Follow Empire: https://twitter.com/theempirepod

    Subscribe on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/4fdhhb2j
    Subscribe on Apple: https://tinyurl.com/mv4frfv7
    Subscribe on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/wbaypprw
    - -

    Referenced in the show:

    BlockFi down round
    https://tinyurl.com/2tej9jyf

    Novogratz says 2/3 of crypto funds will fail
    https://tinyurl.com/yh4x2jsu

    Lido, FEI and Frax proposals
    https://research.lido.fi/t/lido-to-prepare-for-the-bear-market/2318/5
    https://tribe.fei.money/t/tip-110-simplify-pcv/4323
    https://gov.frax.finance/t/fip-77-20m-fxs-buyback-program-using-twamm/1523

    SBF on Empire
    https://tinyurl.com/23wp5uza

    SBF on Invest Like The Best
    https://tinyurl.com/2p8wsdfe

    FTX surpasses Coinbase in BTC & ETH spot trading
    https://coinmetrics.substack.com/p/state-of-the-network-issue-158?s=r

    Coinbase job portal
    https://coda.io/@coinbase-talent/coinbase-talent-hub/

    Richard Burton article on how crypto is like building hardware
    https://tinyurl.com/ytww6ap7

    Tim Beiko on Bankless
    https://tinyurl.com/2vxmcdux
    --
    BitMEX is back and better than ever. Sign up for BitmEX's new Spot Exchange for a chance to win a piece of $500,000 in BTC (new users).

    Learn more about them at https://www.bitmex.com/
    --
    Timestamps
    (00:00) Introduction
    (02:45) Down Rounds, Layoffs and Hiring Freezes
    (16:40) An Investor Reckoning?
    (18:20) Separating Investors vs Traders
    (20:05) Frothy Private Markets
    (23:50) DAO Treasuries and Debt Financing
    (27:53) Questioning Token Buybacks
    (32:30) Bitmex Ad
    (33:33) FTX Surpassing Coinbase
    (40:15) Cynthia Lummis Bill
    (45:15) Are Tokens Securities?
    (48:21) Salesforce and Enterprise Blockchains
    (56:15) Optimism loses $20M OP tokens
    (59:45) APE DAO votes on Ethereum
    (1:03:40) When ETH merge
    --
    Disclaimer: Nothing said on Empire is a recommendation to buy or sell securities or tokens. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and any views expressed by anyone on the show are solely our opinions, not financial advice. Santiago, Jason, and our guests may hold positions in the companies, funds, or projects discussed.

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
91 Ratings

91 Ratings

M Ostrom ,

Love the show

Great pod, love the Friday reviews guys. Please do interview Edan Yago from Sovyrn, it’s a very cool project for Defi on Btc, very ambitious goals and plans. He’s a great interview as well. Thanks and keep up the great work.

brooksjordan ,

Listen Twice

Sometimes you have to listen to a podcast twice to get all of the big implications and small, delicious details from it.

I’ve found myself doing that more than once with an Empire episode.

stickstacks ,

My new favorite crypto pod

This was always a great pod, but now with Santiago on board it’s the absolute best IMO. Getting weekly insights from a guy with his VC background is simply invaluable. So happy to have this content available, it’s going to be a good 2022 :)

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