665 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

    • News
    • 4.6 • 1.2K 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.

    After the Bitcoin Halving, Will the Runes Protocol Live Up to the Hype?

    After the Bitcoin Halving, Will the Runes Protocol Live Up to the Hype?

    Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pods, Fountain, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.
    Not only will April 20 (or 19, depending on which part of the world you are) mark the fourth Bitcoin halving, but also the launch of a new primitive on Bitcoin called Runes Protocol. 
    Charlie Spears, co-founder of Blockspace Media, joined Unchained to talk about all things Runes, which is a messaging protocol that allows for the creation of fungible tokens on Bitcoin. It is designed to fix some of the issues with the BRC-20 token standard, such as inefficiency and proliferation of unspent transaction outputs. Charlie believes that the launch of Runes will increase demand for Bitcoin's blockspace and potentially lead to higher transaction fees. He also discusses the potential for Runes to interact with Bitcoin covenants and layer two solutions.
    Show highlights:

    What Runes is and why Charlie believes that it is the hottest thing since Ordinals

    The differences between Runes and BRC-20 fungible tokens 

    Runes’ unique features, with Charlie pointing out that this is “what the degens really want”

    Whether the Runes Protocol will create a “burst of demand” and have a positive impact on miners 

    Whether the launch of Runes will be successful in the long-term and how Bitcoin’s blockspace could become more attractive

    Whether Bitcoin L2s will help clear Bitcoin’s mempool, and why Charlie believes that they won’t reduce fee pressure on the base layer

    The coolest things that Runes Protocol will enable, according to Charlie

    How Taproot Assets and RGB differ from Runes and why they have not taken off

    Why Casey, the founder of Runes, will claim the first inscription with Uncommon Goods

    Thank you to our sponsors!

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    Guest

    Charlie Spears, cofounder of Blockspace Media
    Links
    Recent coverage on Unchained of the Bitcoin halving: Arthur Hayes and Will Clemente on How This Bitcoin Halving Is Different

    Runes

    Unchained: What Are Runes? A Guide to the New Fungible Token Protocol on Bitcoin



    Bitcoin Runes Explainer by Charlie Spears

    BRC-20s and Ordinals:

    Unchained:

    What Are BRC-20 Tokens? A Brief Introduction

    Bitcoin’s BRC-20 Mania: Is It Sustainable?

    How to Create a Bitcoin Ordinal

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

    Halving

    Unchained: 

    Bitcoin Halving: What Is It & How Is It Determined?

    Here’s Why No One Agrees Exactly When The Bitcoin Halving Will Happen

    Bitcoin Miners Diversify Their Revenue Streams as Halving Nears

    Bitcoin L2s

    Unchained: 

    Stacks’ Muneeb Ali On Why Bitcoin Is Exciting Once Again


    Citrea: An Ethereum-Like Experience Built on Bitcoin?


    How Botanix Aims to Enable Smart Contracts on Bitcoin


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    • 42 min
    Arthur Hayes and Will Clemente on How This Bitcoin Halving Is Different

    Arthur Hayes and Will Clemente on How This Bitcoin Halving Is Different

    Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Fountain, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.
    The Bitcoin halving is just around the corner, expected to be on April 19 or April 20. 
    Arthur Hayes, CIO of Maelstrom, and Will Clemente, co-founder of Reflexivity Research discuss the rise in Bitcoin prices ahead of the halving, the impact of the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US, and the potential effects of the halving on the price trajectory post-halving. They also discuss the potential impact of a new class of investors on Bitcoin's price, volatility, and decentralization. 
    Learn more: Bitcoin Halving: What Is It & How Is It Determined?
    Moreover, they dive into the impact of the macroeconomics, geopolitical, and demographic conditions for the crypto asset industry, the potential for L2s on Bitcoin, and their price predictions for bitcoin by year-end. 
    Show highlights:

    How the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs altered the price trajectory of BTC before the halving

    Whether the introduction of spot Bitcoin ETFs impacts Bitcoin's decentralization and price volatility

    Whether this cycle could be the "last cycle" or the "supercycle"

    Why Arthur predicts a 90% drawdown in the future and how they determine when the markets are nearing the top of the cycle

    The effect of high inflation, the election, and the termination of the bank term funding program on Bitcoin

    How artificial intelligence is expected to trigger a productivity boom, according to Will

    Why Will considers Coinbase to be mispriced

    Whether Bitcoin L2s have a future and if security budgets are a concern

    Their views on Bitcoin Ordinals and the Runes Protocol launch

    Why Will views DOGE as a purer commodity than ETH

    Arthur's rebuttal to claims that Ethena could follow in Terra/Luna’s footsteps

    Arthur's and Will’s Bitcoin price projections for the end of the year and the cycle

    Thank you to our sponsors!
    Polkadot
    Guest:


    Arthur Hayes, CIO of Maelstrom.

    Previous appearances on Unchained:

    Arthur Hayes on Why Bitcoin Is Money and ETH Is a Shitcoin He Loves

    Arthur Hayes, Former Ethereum Skeptic, on Why the Merge Makes Him Bullish on ETH 

    Arthur Hayes of Bitmex on Why Countries Will Turn to Digital

    The Chopping Block: Arthur Hayes on Why Crypto Needs to Ditch the Banks

    How Crypto and Blockchain Technology Could Change Financial Services


    Will Clemente, Co-founder of Reflexivity Research

    Previous appearance on Unchained: Strong Hands Aren't Selling Bitcoin. So Who Is? 


    Links

    This cycle

    Naval’s tweet: “The narrative for this cycle is ‘this is the last cycle.’”

    Unchained: 

    Here’s Why No One Agrees Exactly When The Bitcoin Halving Will Happen

    Bitcoin Miners Diversify Their Revenue Streams as Halving Nears


    Heatwave by Arthur Hayes


    Dissecting Bitcoin's “4 Year Cycle,” guest post by Will Clemente on The Pomp Letter

    Bitcoin ETFs:

    Unchained: 

    The Best Spot Bitcoin ETFs for Different Types of Investors

    Who Is Buying Into Spot Bitcoin ETFs? We'll Soon Start to Get an Idea

    Bitcoin ETFs Explained: What Are They & How Do They Work? 

    Macroeconomic conditions

    CNBC: Consumer prices rose 3.5% from a year ago in March, more than expected


    FT: Investors lose hope of rapid US interest rate cuts this year


    Block size wars
    Bloomberg: The Block War Is Still a Sore Subject for ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ 

    Bitcoin L2s
    Unchained: Stacks’ Muneeb Ali On Why Bitcoin Is Exciting Once Again 

    Runes
    Decrypt: Bitcoin Runes Launch at the Halving: Here's Everything You Need to Know

    Ethena

    Hayes’ tweet on Ethena

    Unchained: 

    ENA Surges 20% to New All-Time High as Ethena Rolls Out Reward Boosts

    Ethena’s USDe Grew to $2 Billion in 7 Weeks. Is It Safe?

    What Is Ethena's USDe Synethic Dollar?


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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Gary Gensler’s Case Against Uniswap: Does the SEC Even Stand a Chance?

    Gary Gensler’s Case Against Uniswap: Does the SEC Even Stand a Chance?

    Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Fountain, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.
    On Wednesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a Wells notice to Uniswap Labs, the team behind the prominent decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap, signaling a forthcoming enforcement action.
    Amanda Tuminelli, Chief Legal Officer at the DeFi Education Fund, joined Unchained to unpack what the case could mean for Uniswap and the overall decentralized finance (DeFi) industry.
    Amanda also talks about the DeFi Education Fund's recent lawsuit against the SEC over its airdrop policies and the industry’s need for a proactive counteroffensive approach in dealing with the SEC.
    Show highlights:

    Why Amanda thinks that the SEC is going to take a “kitchen sink approach” to their charges

    How the SEC could make a case that some of the tokens traded via Uniswap are securities

    What the next steps are in the case, with a lawsuit possibly coming soon

    Whether there’s an inconsistency between the SEC’s position and Judge Failla’s rejection of the motion to dismiss the Coinbase lawsuit

    How the different components of Uniswap make it hard to prove that Uniswap Labs is responsible for everything that happens on the protocol

    Why the DeFi Education Fund recently filed a lawsuit against the SEC

    Why Amanda believes in a “proactive counteroffensive strategy” with the SEC

    How Amanda would like legislation to be implemented in the U.S.

    Why the Tornado Cash developers are not liable for the actions of third parties such as North Korean hackers, according to Amanda

    Why Amanda thinks Uniswap will ultimately win against the SEC

    Thank you to our sponsors!

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    Guest


    Amanda Tuminelli, Chief Legal Officer at DeFi Education Fund


    Previous appearance on Unchained: Is This the End of DeFi? Why the US Government Is Going After Tornado Cash



    You’ve got a friend in me: How amicus briefs are helping the crypto industry win over the courts, Amanda’s op-ed for Fortune

    Links
    Wells Notice

    Unchained: SEC Puts DeFi in Its Sights With Potential Uniswap Suit


    Unchained: UNI Drops 16% as SEC Targets Uniswap Labs


    Uniswap Blog Post on the Wells notice

    Marvin Ammori Thread on Wells notice

    Other cases:

    Fortune: Don't blame Uniswap for crypto scams, judge rules—and she's right


    The Block: Three crypto advocacy groups file amicus briefs in Tornado Cash developer Roman Storm's case


    The DeFiant: SEC Faces Lawsuit Seeking To Exempt Airdrops From Securities Classification


    Unchained: Court Rejects Coinbase's Bid to Dismiss SEC Charges Against It


    Social media commentary:

    Paul Grewal’s tweet on the potential inconsistencies with the Coinbase case.

    Gabriel Shapiro’s tweet on how Uniswap AMM smart contracts are not run by the Uniswap company


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    • 41 min
    The Chopping Block: The EVM Parallelization Dilemma, Solana's Network Congestion, and Avi Eisenberg's Legal Battle

    The Chopping Block: The EVM Parallelization Dilemma, Solana's Network Congestion, and Avi Eisenberg's Legal Battle

    Welcome to The Chopping Block, where Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, and Robert Leshner dive into the crypto universe's hottest topics. In this episode, we have the CEO/Co-Founder of Monad to explore the fascinating world of Monad and its ambitious endeavor to revolutionize EVM scalability through innovative parallelization techniques. The discussion shifts gears to the recent turmoil in Solana, dissecting the network's congestion issues and the broader implications for blockchain efficiency and scalability challenges. As the conversation deepens, we pivot to the gripping courtroom drama surrounding Avi Eisenberg, challenging the foundational crypto principle of 'code is law' and sparking debate over the legality of smart contract exploitation. Through these discussions, we untangle the complex interplay between technological innovation, regulatory frameworks, and the ethical considerations that define the crypto industry. Join us as we navigate the intricate dynamics shaping the future of blockchain technology, providing insightful analysis on the strategic developments and moral dilemmas at the heart of the digital age. Tune in for a compelling journey through the strategic and ethical battlegrounds that are forging the path forward for crypto and blockchain.
    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
    🔹 Dive into Monad’s efforts to revolutionize Ethereum with parallelization for higher transaction throughput and efficiency.
    🔹 Discussion on Solana's congestion issue, its impact on network performance, and lessons for future scalability.
    🔹 Examination of Avi Eisenberg's courtroom saga, challenging the boundaries between legal systems and blockchain autonomy.
    🔹 Insight into the scalability challenges facing blockchains and the innovative solutions proposed by new projects.
    🔹 Analyzing the ethical considerations in exploiting blockchain vulnerabilities and the responsibility of the crypto community.
    🔹 Debate on the future of smart contracts in light of legal challenges and the evolving concept of 'code is law'.
    🔹 Perspectives on the balance between innovation and user protection in the rapidly evolving landscape of decentralized finance.

    Special guest
    ⭐️ Keone Hon, Cofounder/CEO at Monad Labs 
    Hosts
    ⭐️Haseeb Qureshi, Managing Partner at Dragonfly 
    ⭐️Tom Schmidt, General Partner at Dragonfly 
    ⭐️Robert Leshner, Founder of Compound

    Disclosures
    Links
    The Mango Markets Attacker on Whether His 'Trade' Was Ethical or Not - Ep. 413
    https://unchainedcrypto.com/podcast/the-mango-markets-attacker-on-whether-his-trade-was-ethical-or-not-ep-413/ 

    Nickel Blowup Made a Lot of Trouble by Matt Levine
    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-03-14/nickel-blowup-made-a-lot-of-trouble 
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    Polygon’s AggLayer Wants to Be a Hub for Ethereum Layer 2s. Can It Succeed?

    Polygon’s AggLayer Wants to Be a Hub for Ethereum Layer 2s. Can It Succeed?

    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.
    Polygon Labs CEO Marc Boiron and co-founder Brendan Farmer discussed everything about the AggLayer, a decentralized protocol built by Polygon that enables fast, secure cross-chain interactions and allows different chains to use the same native bridge. This allows users to seamlessly move assets across chains in the AggLayer ecosystem. 
    The AggLayer aims to unify blockspace so that it feels like a single chain, improving user experience. Boiron and Farmer also discussed the potential for Layer 2 solutions to scale Ethereum, the benefits of zero-knowledge technology, and the future of Polygon's proof-of-stake chain.
    Learn more: What Are Zero-Knowledge Proofs?
    Show highlights:

    Background of Brendan and Marc and how they joined Polygon

    A brief description of what Polygon is overall

    What the AggLayer is and how it aims to enable the best of monolithic and modular blockchains

    How Brendan differentiates the AggLayer from its competitors, such as Optimism's Superchain or Cosmos and why he believes that zk-technology is such a game changer

    How the interoperability experience gets better in such a system, according to Marc and Brendan, and what will become possible that's not now

    Which chains can use the AggLayer and how it works to improve security across chains

    The tradeoffs between the various types of zkEVM provers 

    How projects should decide their architecture and when it would make sense to tap the AggLayer

    Why projects should build on the AggLayer, including layer 1s, according to Marc

    How Layer 1s can still join the AggLayer and retain their own consensus and sovereignty 

    Why Polygon believes that zk-technology is the future of blockchain architecture

    Why the Polgyon zkEVM suffered an outage on March 30

    Whether Layer 3s are needed to scale the Ethereum ecosystem

    Why Brendan believes that EigenLayer is not a good fit for rollups to use

    The transition of the Polygon PoS chain to become an Ethereum L2 using the AggLayer

    When EIP-4844/Dencun will go live on Polygon

    Thank you to our sponsors!
    Polkadot
    Guests:


    Marc Boiron, CEO of Polygon Labs

    Previous appearances on Unchained:

    Gary Gensler vs. Crypto: What Will the SEC Attack Next?

    The Chopping Block: The SEC Is Attacking Crypto – Will Gary Gensler Succeed?


    Brendan Farmer, co-founder of Polygon and co-lead of Polygon Zero

    Links
    AggLayer

    Polygon: Aggregated Blockchains: A New Thesis


    More technical Agglayer explainer

    CoinDesk: 

    Polygon Lands Astar Network as First User of New 'AggLayer’


    Cosmos-Based Canto Blockchain Reverses Course on Polygon Layer-2 Plans, Unveils New Roadmap 

    Zaki on the comparisons with Cosmos



    zk-Technology

    Polygon: Upgrading Every EVM Chain to ZK: Introducing the Type 1 Prover



    The different types of ZK-EVMs by Vitalik

    Unchained: Why Zero-Knowledge Proofs Are Critical to Ethereum’s Future


    Polygon zkEVM

    Unchained: Polygon zkEVM Chain Goes Down for 10 Hours


    Blockworks: Polygon unpacks zkEVM outage and ‘emergency’ upgrade


    Layer 3s

    Unchained: Layer 3s Only Exist to Take Value Away From Ethereum: Polygon Labs CEO


    0xCygaar on L3s and L2s


    Potuz on the benefit of L3s



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    • 1 hr 11 min
    Ethena’s USDe Grew to $2 Billion in 7 Weeks. Is It Safe?

    Ethena’s USDe Grew to $2 Billion in 7 Weeks. Is It Safe?

    Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Fountain, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.
    This week, Ethena was in the spotlight after the airdrop of ENA, its new governance token. Ethena’s flagship product, the “synthetic dollar” USDe has amassed a $2 billion market cap in less than two months. Meanwhile, ENA’s market capitalization sits around $1.4 billion, with a fully diluted valuation of $15.5 billion. 
    In this episode, Guy Young, founder of Ethena Labs, discusses the risks associated with Ethena, including custodial risks and counterparty risks to exchanges. Young also talks about the use cases of Ethena's governance token, and discusses the potential for Ethena to be integrated with DeFi and CeFi.
    Show highlights:

    An introduction to what Ethena is and how USDe works

    Why the team doesn't want to refer to USDe as a stablecoin, and prefers to use the term "synthetic dollar"

    What the risks of USDe are, including custody, counterparties, and smart contracts

    Why Guy is "pleased" with how the ENA airdrop went through

    How ENA will be used and what its role will be in the governance of Ethena

    Why Ethena is now onboarding Bitcoin as collateral

    Why Guy thinks that there's been an "exaggeration" regarding the situation with Maker and Aave

    Guy's response to the critics who say that Ethena is essentially Terra/Luna

    Whether USDe would only work in a bull market

    How the Ethena insurance fund works and what it aims to accomplish

    What's next for Ethena after onboarding Bitcoin, with Solana potentially being the next asset

    Thank you to our sponsors!

    Polkadot

    iTrustCapital

    Guest


    Guy Young, founder of Ethena Labs. 

    Previous appearance on Unchained: How Ethena's USDe Challenges Traditional Stablecoin Models


    Links
    Ethena: 

    Unchained: What Is Ethena’s USDe Synethic Dollar? A Beginner’s Guide


    Decrypt: Ethena Just Launched to a $1.2 Billion Market Cap: Here’s What You Need to Know 



    Dust on Crust by Arthur Hayes

    Airdrop:

    Unchained: Airdrops From Wormhole and Ethena Labs Set to Inject $2.4 Billion Into Crypto Market This Week 


    Cointelegraph: Ethena will become highest revenue-generating crypto project — Delphi Labs CEO



    ENA Airdrop and Season 2: Sats Campaign 

    Learn more: What Is a Crypto Airdrop? A Beginner’s Guide


    MakerDAO/Aave controversy: 

    The Block: MakerDAO proposes allocating $600 million worth of DAI into USDe and sUSDe


    The Defiant: DeFi Projects Clash After MakerDAO Adds Ethena’s USDe As Collateral, 

    Comparisons to Terra’s UST: 

    The Defiant: Ethena Stablecoin’s 27% Yield is Triggering Terra-Induced PTSD


    Andre Cronje’s thoughts on USDe

    Cointelegraph: Ethena Labs founder clarifies USDe stability amid high yield worries



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    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
1.2K Ratings

1.2K Ratings

nbvc75432$@& ,

Best Pod on SBF trial

Thanks for sharing the details in a way that makes me feel like I’m in the courtroom! And thanks for the interviews - you ask questions that help me understand what is happening behind the scenes.

darce_holliday ,

Chopping block is terrible

Love Laura but chopping block is a bunch of midwits shilling their own projects and trashing decentralized projects with no vc allocation

.s.s.harveydudemuffin ,

👍🏼👍🏼

I don’t know much about crypto, but want to know literally everything about crypto people going rogue in crypto - Laura you’re my new fav podcast esp because you talk like me and make me laugh as these WILD details unfold! Thank you!

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