292 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 • 1K 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.

    Unconfirmed: What Is the Role of Investors in a Decentralized World?

    Unconfirmed: What Is the Role of Investors in a Decentralized World?

    Four investors talk about the decentralized web, explain how the crypto industry is improving upon Web 2, and discuss what can be done to increase diversity and financial inclusion within Web 3. Featuring Rik Willard, founder of Agentic Group, Thomas France, co-founder of Cygni Capital, Dylan Hixon, president of Arden Road Investments, and Nick Grossman,general partner at Union Square Ventures . Show highlights:
    how funding rounds for decentralized protocols differ from investing in traditional companies what VC investors can do to 1) participate in the protocols they invest in, and 2) not take advantage of whale holdings in governance voting how Web 3 has the potential to displace the “plantation economy” the difference between crypto idealism (i.e., banking the unbanked) versus what has actually played out (i.e., Salvadorans being mandated to accept BTC) what area of blockchain is delivering on the promise of financial inclusion how to bring diversity to the blockchain + crypto industry what can be done to solve the gender imbalance in crypto how investors are navigating the murky waters of US regulations regarding crypto projects how institutions fit into the Web 3 landscape what I think about the state of sexism within the crypto industry  
    Thank you to our sponsors!
    Crypto.com: https://crypto.onelink.me/J9Lg/unconfirmedcardearnfeb2021
    Nodle: https://bit.ly/3AXGydJ
    Episode Links
    Original Link: https://vimeo.com/showcase/8884996/video/614236078
    Rik Willard
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/rik_willard?lang=en Agentic Group: https://www.agenticgroup.com/  
    Nick Grossman
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/nickgrossman?lang=en Website: https://www.nickgrossman.xyz/ Union Square Ventures: https://twitter.com/usv  
    Dylan Hixon
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dylan-hixon-1887803 Arden Road Investments: https://www.ardenrd.com/  
    Thomas France
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/totofrance?lang=en LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasfrance/  
    Topics mentioned
    Fereshteh Forough on Unchained https://unchainedpodcast.com/crypto-actually-fixes-this-how-code-to-inspire-uses-crypto-in-afghanistan/ Discussing crypto’s gender disparity on Unchained https://unchainedpodcast.com/cryptos-gender-disparity-what-can-be-done-about-it-4-women-weigh-in/ she256 https://she256.org/ El Salvador and BTC https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2021/09/24/why-el-salvador-is-botching-its-bitcoin-experiment/  

    • 58 min
    Visa Is Building Infrastructure for NFTs, Smart Contracts, and L2s. Why?

    Visa Is Building Infrastructure for NFTs, Smart Contracts, and L2s. Why?

    Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto, discusses Visa’s crypto game plan, stablecoin regulation, NFTs, and more. Show highlights:
    Cuy’s background and his journey down the crypto rabbit hole how Visa and cryptocurrency can coexist why crypto companies and fintech companies are similar what Visa is trying to solve for consumers regarding cryptocurrencies how cross-chain payment infrastructure would work why Visa requires enhanced diligence for crypto companies what countries can learn from stablecoins when building CBDCs why Visa is creating a universal payment channel for CBDCs and other cryptocurrencies why Visa chose USDC to begin making payments with the two main reasons why stablecoins are used (hint: it’s not for buying cups of coffee) how cryptocurrency is changing financial education and inclusion how crypto’s open-source ethos is helping underserved and emerging markets build financial infrastructure why NFTs are Cuy’s favorite topic how NFTs level the playing field for black artists (and artists in general) why Visa purchased a CryptoPunk and how other businesses could leverage NFTs Thank you to our sponsors!
    Crypto.com: https://crypto.onelink.me/J9Lg/unconfirmedcardearnfeb2021      
    Nodle: https://bit.ly/3AXGydJ  

    Cuy Sheffield
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/cuysheffield LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cuy-sheffield-72082126/ NFT collection: https://tryshowtime.com/csheffield   
    Medium https://medium.com/@cuysheffield  Tweets Thoughts on payroll deposits https://twitter.com/cuysheffield/status/1442571326447767554  DAOs as chaotic organizations https://twitter.com/cuysheffield/status/1441536551016534019  
    Visa Crypto Plays
    CryptoPunk purchase https://usa.visa.com/visa-everywhere/blog/bdp/2021/08/18/nfts-mark-a-1629328216374.html  First smart contract on Ropsten https://ropsten.etherscan.io/address/0xadb1f7e78a3ac3d0a006961f95d96bbb0ec14326#code NFT research report https://usa.visa.com/content/dam/VCOM/regional/na/us/Solutions/documents/visa-nft-whitepaper.pdf  Cross-chain Interoperability https://usa.visa.com/visa-everywhere/blog/bdp/2021/09/29/making-digital-currency-1632954547520.html https://arxiv.org/pdf/2109.12194v2.pdf  Visa + USDC https://usa.visa.com/about-visa/newsroom/press-releases.releaseId.17821.html  https://www.forbes.com/sites/ninabambysheva/2021/03/29/visa-to-start-settling-transactions-with-bitcoin-partners-in-usdc/  Digital currency whitepaper https://usa.visa.com/content/dam/VCOM/regional/na/us/Solutions/documents/visa-digital-currency-overview.pdf 

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Unconfirmed: Why It Doesn’t Make Sense to Compare Lightning to DeFi

    Unconfirmed: Why It Doesn’t Make Sense to Compare Lightning to DeFi

    Ryan Gentry, business development lead at Lightning Labs, discusses the latest updates on the Lightning Network, the layer 2 solution for Bitcoin. Highlights:
    how Lightning Network is bringing Bitcoin to the masses through partnerships with Twitter, Substack, and Paxful what the significance of El Salvador adopting Bitcoin means for the Lightning Network how many nodes are running Lightning Network nodes why the capacity on the Lightning Network has grown rapidly how Ryan has seen interest in Lightning has changed since the El Salvador announcement earlier this year what stage of adoption Ryan thinks the Lightning Network is why Lightning Network total-value-locked should not be compared to Ethereum L2s or other DeFi protocols  how Lightning Network differs from DeFi what metric Ryan believes is the best way to measure adoption on Lightning Network how El Salvador has changed the types of transactions being made on Lightning Network what’s next for Lightning Network and how Lightning micropayments could affect how podcasts (like Unchained!) are distributed Thank you to our sponsors!
    Crypto.com: https://crypto.onelink.me/J9Lg/unconfirmedcardearnfeb2021        
    Nodle: https://bit.ly/3AXGydJ  
    Sorare: https://sorare.com         
    Episode Links
    Ryan Gentry
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ryanthegentry  
    The Summer of Lightning: Reaching the Tipping Point
    Lightning Labs
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/lightning Website: https://lightning.engineering/   
    Lightning Enabled Tips
    Twitter: https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/product/2021/bringing-tips-to-everyone  Substack: https://decrypt.co/79215/substack-accept-bitcoin-payments-lightning-network  
    Paxful Integration
    Arcane Research Paper
    Paper: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/60377b34e7791c1277aaae97/t/615cb9aeaab8c63e1a732771/1633466815710/The+State+of+Lightning.pdf Tweet thread: https://twitter.com/ArcaneResearch/status/1445749299703205894  
    Lightning Network stats
    https://studio.glassnode.com/metrics?a=BTC&c=native&category=Lightning&chartStyle=column&contractExpiration=1640908800&ema=0&m=lightning.NetworkCapacitySum&mAvg=0&mMedian=0&resolution=24h&zoom=all https://1ml.com/statistics  
    Lightning Network Resources
    Preston Pysh episode with BTC Sessions

    • 36 min
    How the Greatest Decentralizing Force for Crypto Projects Is the SEC

    How the Greatest Decentralizing Force for Crypto Projects Is the SEC

    How does the SEC determine if a token is a security? Why is DeFi particularly hard to regulate? What will regulators do about stablecoins? On Unchained, Greg Xethalis, chief compliance officer at Multicoin Capital, and Collins Belton, founding partner at Brookwood P.C., dive into crypto regulation, discussing securities laws, DeFi regulation, and why the US should be promoting stablecoins rather than trying to shut them down. Highlights:
    why the SEC and CFTC have not announced bigger crypto enforcement news at the end of their fiscal years why the SEC is going after DINO (decentralized in name only) companies what the Howey and Reves tests areand how the SEC uses themto determine whether an asset is a security or not why Collins and Greg think the SEC has recently begun been applying Reves more often why they think centralized crypto lending products should not be considered securities under the Howey test whether new legislation needs to be written for cryptocurrency-based products what makes Collins think the SEC is being “disingenuous” regarding the SEC registration process for crypto companies, like Coinbase how regulators will end up handling DeFi and why both Greg and Collins are long-term optimistic how the US government has a “great history” of respecting privacy and encryption why regulatory pressure is likely to build up around centralized crypto exchanges and what we can learn from the EtherDelta case why Collins thinks most cryptocurrency companies should be regulated  why the SEC is the best motivator for forcing protocols to fully decentralize how smart contracts could theoretically be used to standardize SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce’s Safe Harbor proposal how blockchain data makes cryptocurrency companies more transparent and easier to regulate than centralized entities what Collins and Greg think will happen with stablecoin regulation going forward why the US should be pushing to make dollar-pegged stablecoins more prominent  
    Take the Unchained survey!
    Have idea son how we can improve at Unchained? Let us know. This is the last week in which you can take the Unchained survey and be entered to win a BTC Candle. Be sure to end by EOD Friday. We'll be announcing the winners in next week's show.  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unchained2021 
    Thank you to our sponsors!
    Crypto.com: https://crypto.onelink.me/J9Lg/unconfirmedcardearnfeb2021     
    Nodle: https://bit.ly/3AXGydJ 
    Episode Links
    Greg Xethalis
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/xethalis  LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/xethalis/   
    Collins Belton
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/collins_belton  LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/collins-belton-10226283/  
    Cases Mentioned
    SEC charged DeFi Money Market  https://www.coindesk.com/markets/2021/08/06/sec-charges-so-called-defi-company-for-allegedly-fraudulent-30m-offering/  SEC charged EtherDelta https://www.coindesk.com/markets/2018/11/08/sec-charges-etherdelta-founder-over-unregistered-securities-exchange/  Howey Test and Reves Test https://securities-law-blog.com/2014/11/25/what-is-a-security-the-howey-test-and-reves-test/ https://skrypto.sewkis.com/howeys-cousin-reves-may-be-another-way-for-the-sec-to-argue-that-tokens-are-securities  https://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/2021/09/coinbase-and-the-sec-.html  DINO https://twitter.com/hesterpeirce/status/1423637816492318722?lang=en   
    Regulatory Stories
    SEC Chair Gary Gensler indicated that crypto lending and staking platforms most likely fall under US securities law https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/117675/crypto-lending-staking-custody-gensler-sec  Gensler noted that Coinbase lists “dozens of tokens that might be securities.”  https://decrypt.co/80924/gensler-coinbase-sec-securities  Gensler thinks crypto exchanges need to register with SEC https://www.theblockcrypto.com/linked/117524/before-senate-chair-gensler-will-argue-that-many-

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Unconfirmed: People Expected a Big SEC Enforcement Action This Week. What Happened? Days

    Unconfirmed: People Expected a Big SEC Enforcement Action This Week. What Happened? Days

    Stephen Palley, partner at Anderson Kill, discusses a few hot-button crypto regulatory issues like lending products, whether DeFi protocols fall under the SEC’s purview, and more. Show highlights:
    why Stephen thinks the SEC and CFTC did not announce more extensive crypto enforcement news this week what areas the SEC Chair Gary Gensler and the SEC as a whole are focused on regulating what Stephen has heard about whether stablecoins that are not fully-backed are securities why Coinbase decided to drop its Lend product why Stephen is skeptical that decentralized protocols should be regulated under existing securities laws how securities law is contrary to consumer protection in light of DeFi protocols and airdrops why DeFi AMMs should be regulated differently than centralized market books whether companies running a front-end for a DeFi protocol should be considered an exchange why crypto devs are “going Satoshi” because of US securities laws  
    Thank you to our sponsors!
    Crypto.com: https://crypto.onelink.me/J9Lg/unconfirmedcardearnfeb2021       
    Nodle: https://bit.ly/3AXGydJ 
    Sorare: https://sorare.com        

    Episode Links
    Stephen Palley
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/stephendpalley Unchained podcast appearance speaking about Ripple: https://unchainedpodcast.com/the-secs-lawsuit-against-ripple-and-2-execs-what-you-need-to-know/   
    Topics Covered
    Lending Products
    Coinbase blogs regarding Lend https://blog.coinbase.com/the-sec-has-told-us-it-wants-to-sue-us-over-lend-we-have-no-idea-why-a3a1b6507009  https://blog.coinbase.com/sign-up-to-earn-4-apy-on-usd-coin-with-coinbase-cdad79e5f5eb Lend overview: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/a-september-to-remember-coinbase-avoids-7608131/  Brian Armstrong angry tweet storm https://twitter.com/brian_armstrong/status/1435439291715358721 BlockFi and Celsius overview https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2021/09/17/3-states-alabama-securities-commission-also-claims-celsius-violated-securities-laws/   
    SEC + Gary Gensler
    How SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s Views on Crypto Have Changed Since His MIT Days https://unchainedpodcast.com/how-sec-chair-gary-genslers-views-on-crypto-have-changed-since-his-mit-days/ SEC Chair Gary Gensler Washington Post Q&A https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live/2021/09/21/transcript-path-forward-cryptocurrency-with-gary-gensler/  Gary Gensler + Elizabeth Warren letters https://www.warren.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/warren-releases-response-from-sec-chair-gensler-affirming-need-to-regulate-cryptocurrency-exchanges-and-protect-investors-and-our-financial-system  Other
    Uniswap delisting certain tokens through its front end https://www.theblockcrypto.com/linked/112399/uniswap-labs-culls-synthetic-stock-and-derivatives-citing-evolving-regulatory-landscape 

    • 35 min
    Crypto Actually Fixes This: How Code to Inspire Uses Crypto in Afghanistan

    Crypto Actually Fixes This: How Code to Inspire Uses Crypto in Afghanistan

    Fereshteh Forough is the founder and CEO of Code to Inspire, a coding school for girls in Afghanistan. She discusses her background as a refugee, how she uses crypto to fund the school and pay students, and how the US military’s departure has affected student life. Topics include:
    Fereshteh’s journey from refugee to computer science professor to founder and CEO of Code to Inspire what Code to Inspire offers to young Afghan women and what risks they take by getting an education how Code to Inspire success stories are changing the attitudes of student’s families and communities the importance of Afghan Hero Girl, a video game created by Code to Inspire students why crypto payments are a better alternative to PayPal and Western Union for Code to Inspire and its students how Code to Inspire and its students exchange crypto to fiat what the perception of crypto is in Afghanistan how the Taliban is stifling the education of women and how Code to Inspire is attempting to continue its curriculum how crypto companies can offer assistance to Code to Inspire what features and products Fereshteh thinks would the crypto industry actually bank the unbanked how listeners can help Code to Inspire and where to find more information on Fereshteh

    Thank you to our sponsors!
    Ledger: ​https://www.ledger.com/start-your-crypto-journey/?utm_source=Unchained&utm_medium=Partnership_Podcast&utm_campaign=14-09-Ledger-US-Brand-Paid&utm_content=subj_Global__msg_brand_convenience__targ_Crypto 
    Crypto.com: https://crypto.onelink.me/J9Lg/unconfirmedcardearnfeb2021  
    Digital Asset Research: https://www.digitalassetresearch.com/    
    Episode Links
    Fereshteh Forough
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/f_forough LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fereshtehforough/   
    Code to Inspire
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/codetoinspire/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/CodeToInspire  Website: https://www.codetoinspire.org/  Donating crypto: https://www.codetoinspire.org/donate-crypto/  Services offered: https://www.codetoinspire.org/hire-a-cti-graduate/   
    Code to Inspire Coverage
    Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenehrlich/2021/08/17/taliban-resurgence-could-threaten-afghan-school-teaching-women-to-code-and-build-ethereum-apps/?sh=465a8208197d The Giving Block https://thegivingblock.com/donate/Code-to-Inspire/ Code to Inspire students are coding at home https://cointelegraph.com/news/amid-taliban-takeover-aspiring-crypto-miner-flees-afghanistan  CoinDesk on Code to Inspire + ETH https://www.coindesk.com/markets/2018/06/12/forget-prices-ethereum-is-offering-a-different-value-in-afghanistan/  Coinbase https://blog.coinbase.com/fereshteh-forough-interview-1e73a684788f Inverse https://www.inverse.com/innovation/57129-fereshteh-forough-afghanistan-bitcoin Afghan Hero Girls https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-04-19-code-to-inspire-is-creating-afghan-hero-girls-through-education  
    US Military leaving Afghanistan
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/afghanistan-withdrawal-united-states-troops-pentagon/ https://www.wsj.com/articles/last-u-s-troops-leave-afghanistan-after-nearly-20-years-11630355853 

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
1K Ratings

1K Ratings

EricaBushwell ,

Awesome podcast!

Laura, host of the Unchained podcast, highlights all aspects of business, investing and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

cryptorocks ,

Livni Never Again!

I generally really like Laura’s podcasts. Her guests are usually well informed and very educational. But that Livni guest from The NY Times was horrible! I could not stand to listen to her! What brainless, liberal hack! Please never ask her back onto your show Laura. Your listeners hated her.

JoshCrist ,

Empowering, insightful and actionable! 🙌

Whether you’re well established as someone who can translate creative energy into the impact you want to have on the crypto community, or just getting started as a catalyst for change - this is a must-listen podcast for you! Laura does an incredible job leading conversations that cover a huge breadth of topics related to the ins and outs of navigating the constantly shifting industry landscape - while highlighting what you truly need to know - with leaders who’ve actually walked the path. Highly recommend listening and subscribing!

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