679 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.

    Why Spot Ether ETFs Are Now Likely to Be Approved on Thursday

    Why Spot Ether ETFs Are Now Likely to Be Approved on Thursday

    Just when everyone thought that spot Ether ETFs were going to be denied on Thursday, news broke Monday that they are now likely to be approved, with Bloomberg analysts tripling their odds to a 75% chance of approval. 
    Eric Balchunas, senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, and Matt Hougan, CIO at Bitwise Asset Management, say this reversal definitely has to do with politics, citing the fight of Staff Accounting Bulletin 121, a rule that was unfriendly to financial institutions wanting to engage with crypto. 
    Plus, they delve into the reasons why Michael Sonnenshein stepped down as CEO of Grayscale after 10 years (hint: it has to do with GBTC), what the 13F filings revealed about who’s been buying the spot bitcoin ETFs since the beginning of the year, and what Vanguard’s incoming CEO, Salim Ramji, who was instrumental to getting BlackRock to launch its Bitcoin ETF, could mean for crypto’s future at the asset management firm.
    Show highlights:

    Why Eric believes the ether ETFs will be approved

    Why Matt thinks the Bitcoin ETFs set off a "complete sea change in Washington around crypto"

    Whether the spot Ether ETFs will be approved with or without staking

    Who the authorized participants and other behind-the-scenes players in the ether ETFs will be

    When the ETH ETFs could start trading and why Eric believes they won't be as successful as Bitcoin ETFs

    What the 13F filings revealed about the spot Bitcoin ETFs buyers and why their identities are "stunning"

    Why Michael Sonnenshein stepped down as CEO of Grayscale

    Grayscale’s new mini ETF, BTC

    Whether Vanguard's new CEO appointment could mean a change in attitude by the asset management firm towards crypto

    What a buffered ETF is and why they could be significant

    Matt's prediction for the BTC price

    Their outlook on the future of ETFs and developments in the space

    Visit our website for breaking news, analysis, op-eds, articles to learn about crypto, and much more: unchainedcrypto.com
    Thank you to our sponsors!

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    Guests:


    Matt Hougan, Chief Investment Officer at Bitwise Asset Management

    Previous appearances on Unchained: 

    How Small Bitcoin ETF Issuers Will Compete With the Likes of BlackRock

    Why a Spot Bitcoin ETF Will Probably Launch No Later Than January 10


    Eric Balchunas, Senior ETF Analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence

    Previous appearances on Unchained:

    How, in 7 Weeks, Bitcoin ETFs Reached Inflows That Took Gold ETFs 3 Years

    Why Spot Bitcoin ETFs Are Likely to Finally Start Trading on Thursday

    Will a Spot Bitcoin ETF Finally Get Approved?


    Links
    Ether ETFs

    Unchained: Analysts Up Odds of Spot Ether ETF to 75% as Prometheum Launches Product That Treats ETH as a Security


    CoinDesk: Ether ETFs Filing Process Sees Abrupt Progress, Though Approval Not Guaranteed: Sources


    The Block: Fidelity files amended S-1 registration statement, removing staking rewards from prospective Ethereum ETF




    SAB 121

    Bloomberg: As Bitcoin Rallies, Banks Are Pushing US Regulators to Change Crypto Guidance 

    Unchained: Senate Votes to Kill SAB 121 Custody Bill: How Crypto Became So Political


    13F Filings
    Unchained: Large Institutions Betting Big on Bitcoin ETFs Revealed in SEC Filings

    Leadership changes

    CoinDesk: Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein Steps Down, to Be Replaced by TradFi Veteran


    WSJ: Meet Salim Ramji, Who Is Going to Oversee the Retirement Assets of Tens of Millions of Americans




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    • 51 min
    Why the DOJ Doesn’t Want These MEV Exploiters to Get Away With It

    Why the DOJ Doesn’t Want These MEV Exploiters to Get Away With It

    In this episode, Evan Zinaman, founder and principal at Trailbreak, delves into the first-of-its-kind case of the Bueno brothers, who face Department of Justice charges for exploiting Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) in a cryptocurrency scheme. Accused of manipulating transaction ordering to create an arbitrage opportunity, the brothers are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud as well as wire fraud itself. 
    Zinaman explores the broader implications of MEV exploitation, addresses critics who say that the MEV exploiters just got a taste of their own medicine, and the need for block building participants to consider their legal and compliance responsibilities.
    Show highlights:

    What the charges against the Bueno brothers are about

    How block building works on Ethereum and how the relay was manipulated by the Bueno brothers

    The different types of MEV and which ones are acceptable 

    Why these charges could be seen as a "vanilla fraud," according to Evan

    Whether the benefits of MEV outweigh the cons of it

    The lack of terms of service in the MEV space

    How the regulators' attention to the space has changed over time

    Visit our website for breaking news, analysis, op-eds, articles to learn about crypto, and much more: unchainedcrypto.com
    First Bits + Bips episode: Bits + Bips: Does Macroeconomics Point to a Potential Crypto Supercycle?
    Thank you to our sponsors!

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    Guest


    Evan Zinaman, Founder & Principal at Trailbreak


    Where the Rubber Meets the Road: A MEV-Aware, Functionalist Review of OFAC Risk "on the Base Layer"

    Links

    Previous coverage on Unchained of MEV:

    Why MEV Will Always Be Controversial

    The Chopping Block: Why the Once-Taboo MEV Is Now a Core Part of Ethereum

    The Mango Markets Attacker on Whether His 'Trade' Was Ethical or Not

    The Chopping Block: ‘Code Is Law’ Is ‘Obviously Not How Anything Works Ever’

    The Case:
    Unchained: DOJ Alleges Two Brothers Stole $25 Million From MEV Bots Last Year

    Research:

    Blockchain Transaction Ordering as Market Manipulation by Mikolaj et al
    Learn more: 

    What Are Sandwich Attacks in Crypto? A Beginner's Guide

    What Is MEV in Crypto?


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    • 48 min
    The Chopping Block: Crypto in US Politics & Roaring Kitty is back!

    The Chopping Block: Crypto in US Politics & Roaring Kitty is back!

    Welcome to The Chopping Block – where crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Robert Leshner, and special guest Laura Shin explore the latest trends in the crypto world. In this episode, we touch on how Donald Trump's pro-crypto statements influence voter behavior in the upcoming U.S. elections. We ask ourselves, is voting based solely on crypto policy a legitimate strategy? What are the implications of the Biden administration's stance on crypto regulations for future electoral outcomes? Following the political discussion, we unpack the recent GameStop and AMC pump and dissect the viability of their business models. We bring to light the broader implications for memestocks and whether the increased capital really saves these companies. Tune in for a detailed exploration of these critical questions affecting the interplay of politics, finance, and cryptocurrency.
    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
    🔹 Crypto's Role in U.S. Politics: Trump's pro-crypto stance at a recent gala and its potential implications for voter behavior are examined.
    🔹 Single Issue Voting on Crypto: The legitimacy of voting based solely on crypto policy is debated, with insights into how this could impact the political landscape.
    🔹 Opinions on Financial Regulations: The various aspects of financial regulation, including the Biden's administration's stance on crypto, and predictions on how this might influence future electoral outcomes.
    🔹 Roaring Kitty’s resurgence and its impact on GameStop's stock prices are discussed, analyzing the ongoing influence of meme stocks in the market.
    🔹 Retail's Impact on Financial Markets and the broader implications of retail investment behaviors.

    Hosts
    ⭐️Haseeb Qureshi, Managing Partner at Dragonfly 
    ⭐️Tom Schmidt, General Partner at Dragonfly
    ⭐️Robert Leshner, CEO & Co-founder of Superstate
    ⭐️Laura Shin, journalist, author of ‘The Cryptopians,’ founder and CEO of Unchained

    Disclosures
    Links
    Blockworks article: https://blockworks.co/news/only-a-fool-would-vote-on-crypto-alone 
    Trump’s 2019 Tweet: https://x.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1149472282584072192 
    SAB121: https://financialservices.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=409250 
    Roaring Kitty Tweet: https://x.com/TheRoaringKitty/status/1789807772542067105 

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    • 50 min
    Erik Voorhees' New Venture: Why AI Desperately Needs Privacy and Uncensorability

    Erik Voorhees' New Venture: Why AI Desperately Needs Privacy and Uncensorability

    Erik Voorhees, a crypto OG, has launched Venice, a private, uncensorable, open-source competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Anthropic’s Claude, powered by a decentralized crypto network. 
    In the episode, Erik and Venice’s COO Teana Baker-Taylor delve into the problems with censorship and data in current AI agents, including how they create honeypots of information about users’ search history for hackers, or that they can be absurdly politically correct, such as refusing to create images of Caucasian people. As they point out, there’s also the risk that the companies managing them could be censoring the models to please the Chinese government, in order to access the market in that country. They talk about their plan for Venice to gain market share, considering that DuckDuckGo, a privacy-preserving competitor to Google, has a much smaller market share. And they explain why they intend for Venice to eventually use the compute of Morpheus, or other decentralized crypto-powered compute networks. 
    They also critique the SEC’s current regulatory approach to crypto, calling it “a joke.” Additionally, they explore the concept of AI agents using cryptocurrencies as their primary currency.
    Show highlights:

    Why Erik decided to move into artificial intelligence and merge it with crypto

    What problems decentralized AI would solve and why it's hard to solve sexist and racist views in LLMs

    The differences between ChatGPT and other similar products and Venice AI

    Why privacy is so important for users, according to Erik, and how Venice doesn't store the users' information

    How central governments could manipulate information to their own benefit and how to avoid it

    Whether people will shift from using search engines to LLMs

    What Morpheus is and its goal to provide decentralized computation for AI

    How Erik and Teana believe crypto and AI will continue to work together 

    Erik's and Teana's thoughts on some of the recent government actions against founders of crypto privacy services such as Samourai Wallet andTornado Cash

    Why Erik believes that the SEC has become a joke


    Visit our website for breaking news, analysis, op-eds, articles to learn about crypto, and much more: unchainedcrypto.com
    First Bits + Bips episode: Bits + Bips: Does Macroeconomics Point to a Potential Crypto Supercycle?
    Thank you to our sponsors!

    Polkadot

    VaultCraft

    Guests:


    Erik Voorhees, Founder and CEO of Venice AI

    Previous appearances on Unchained:

    Erik Voorhees and Cobie on Why FTX Loaned Out Customers’ Assets

    Why ShapeShift’s Erik Voorhees Thinks Toxic Bitcoin Maximalism Is B******t

    Shapeshift’s Erik Voorhees on How Crypto Will Separate Money and State


    Teana Baker-Taylor, COO at Venice AI

    Links
    Previous coverage on Unchained of crypto/AI:

    When AI and Blockchain Meet, How Can Each Technology Benefit?

    The Chopping Block: Why AI Will Change the Course of History in Crypto

    5 Use Cases of AI in Blockchain

    A Beginner's Guide to AI Tokens


    Venice AI:

    Erik’s thread announcing Venice 

    The Separation of Mind and State

    Architecture:

    About Morpheus.Network

    Messari: What is Akash Network?


    LLMs:

    MIT Technology Review: LLMs become more covertly racist with human intervention


    China Talk: Censorship’s Impact on China’s Chatbots - by Nicholas Welch


    Recent cases on privacy:

    CoinDesk: Samourai Wallet Founders Arrested and Charged With Money Laundering


    Cointelegraph: DOJ’s Tornado Cash arguments show ‘obvious disdain for privacy’ — Lawyer


    CNBC: North Korea crypto hacking activity soars to record high in 2023, new report shows


    Reuters: Exclusive: UN experts investigate 58 cyberattacks worth $3 bln by North Korea


    Erik’s post on the right to have privacy


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    • 1 hr 18 min
    The Chopping Block: EigenLayer Airdrop, LayerZero's Sybil Strategy, and Robinhood vs. SEC – What’s Shaping Crypto’s Future?

    The Chopping Block: EigenLayer Airdrop, LayerZero's Sybil Strategy, and Robinhood vs. SEC – What’s Shaping Crypto’s Future?

    Welcome to The Chopping Block – where crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Tarun Chitra, and special guest Avichal Garg from Electric Capital dissect the latest trends in the crypto world. This episode dives deep into the buzz around EigenLayer’s airdrop: What sparked the controversy and how did EigenLayer respond to community backlash? We then explore LayerZero’s unique self-reporting strategy to combat Sybil farmers and analyze Friend.Tech’s bold, no-VC token launch. The discussion heats up with a look at ConsenSys’ proactive lawsuit against the SEC, setting the stage for a showdown over regulatory clarity. We also delve into Robinhood’s decision to challenge the SEC’s Wells Notice amidst soaring earnings, and tackle the ongoing debate between VC-backed tokens and memecoins: Which is captivating the market? Finally, we predict the future of SocialFi and its potential to revolutionize the crypto landscape. Join us for an insightful exploration of these pivotal topics shaping the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
    Show highlights
    🔹 Breaking down the EigenLayer airdrop controversy and its impact on the community.
    🔹 Exploring LayerZero's self-reporting mechanism to combat Sybil attacks.
    🔹 Assessing Fantasy Top's growth and its significance in the NFT trading landscape.
    🔹 Predicting the trajectory of SocialFi and its potential to reshape the crypto landscape.
    🔹 Detailing Consensys’ proactive lawsuit against the SEC over regulatory clarity.
    🔹 Robinhood's SEC Challenge and analyzing Robinhood's decision to fight the SEC’s Wells Notice amid record earnings.
    🔹 VC Coins vs. Memecoins: Exploring the ongoing debate about the dominance and appeal of VC-backed tokens versus memecoins.
    🔹 The Future of SocialFi: Predicting the trajectory of SocialFi and its potential to reshape the crypto landscape.


    Hosts
    ⭐️Haseeb Qureshi, Managing Partner at Dragonfly 
    ⭐️Tom Schmidt, General Partner at Dragonfly 
    ⭐️Tarun Chitra, Managing Partner at Robot Ventures

    Guest
    ⭐️ Avichal Garg, Co-Founder and General Partner at Electric Capital.

    Disclosures
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    • 1 hr 8 min
    How the Top One-Third of FTX Creditors Are Boosting the Payouts for Everyone Else

    How the Top One-Third of FTX Creditors Are Boosting the Payouts for Everyone Else

    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.
    Thomas Braziel, managing partner at 117 Partners, dives into the draft FTX bankruptcy plan, which was praised for paying out at more than 100% in dollar terms, but has a number of intricacies that are drawing criticisms from creditors—including a group that is urging creditors to vote not. 
    The episode delves into the nuances of the proposed payout, explaining how the estate was able to pay back more than 100% than the dollar value of the claims, why some creditors are being pitted against each other, and why it might get approved even “over the kicking and screaming” of some creditors. 
    Braziel gives his insights into the the rapid formation of this plan, the controversial role of Sullivan and Cromwell, and the logistical challenges posed by what may end up being paper check payouts. 

    Show highlights:

    Why the plan that was filed this week is such big news

    How it was never even possible for creditors to be made whole in crypto asset terms

    How the majority of depositors actually had stablecoins on the FTX platform

    Why there are “inter-creditor” disputes

    What a "cramdown" is and why it's significant in this case

    Criticisms of the plan, and why larger investors, especially with crypto holdings, are having their gains socialized

    Whether the FTX estate made mistakes by selling some of its positions before they 10x’ed

    Why FTX didn't reboot its platform 

    What conflicts of interest might arise from law firm Sullivan and Cromwell

    The tax implications for creditors who are non-US taxpayers

    How the claims are going to be distributed

    Whether the creditors will favor the proposal and the next steps 

    Thank you to our sponsors!

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    Guest


    Thomas Braziel, Managing Partner at 117 Partners


    Previous appearances on Unchained:

    Why FTX Might Try to Claw Back Funds From Retail Customers

    Will FTX Reboot? Here’s John Ray’s Internal Deadline for Making a Decision

    Will FTX Customers Ever Recover Their Assets? Two Insolvency Experts Weigh In

    Will Celsius Survive the Bankruptcy Process?

    How Crypto Bankruptcy Claims Buyers Will Profit From the Collapse of FTX

    Links

    Previous coverage on Unchained of the FTX bankruptcy:

    Jesse Powell and Kevin Zhou on How FTX and Alameda Lost $10 Billion

    Did the Bahamian Government Direct SBF and Gary Wang to Hack FTX?

    The Chopping Block: Why Lenders Didn’t Liquidate Alameda When It Was Underwater 

    Erik Voorhees and Cobie on Why FTX Loaned Out Customers’ Assets

    The Chopping Block: FTX: The Biggest Collapse in the History of Crypto?


    Creditors plan:

    Unchained: 98% of FTX Creditors to Receive 118% Claims Payout


    Thomas’ summary of the plan


    Dollarization: 
    Unchained: Is it Fair That Crypto Bankruptcies Are Denominated in Dollars? Here’s a Solution to Dollarization

    Criticism of the plan:

    Nicholas Hall’s thread 

    Sunil Kavuri’s opinion on X

    Zach Guzman on the sale of Anthropic


    Taxes:

    Thomas’ thread on the taxes for creditors


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    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
1.2K Ratings

1.2K Ratings

F.Hayek1913 ,

Request

Hello - Would it be possible to link to the cases and opinions discussed on the pod? Like the Debt Box case, if it was linked that would be so sweet and go so far to credibility and for those who want to verify! Thank you!

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

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