150 episodes

Welcome to The Scoop, The Block's flagship podcast covering finance and technology industries through unmatched interviews with top thought leaders, cultural icons and industry veterans. The Block’s Director of News Frank Chaparro hosts new guests every week, diving into breaking news and topics ranging from NFTs, to the impact of DeFi on Wall Street, to Bitcoin's role in the economy and beyond.

The Scoop The Block

    • Business

Welcome to The Scoop, The Block's flagship podcast covering finance and technology industries through unmatched interviews with top thought leaders, cultural icons and industry veterans. The Block’s Director of News Frank Chaparro hosts new guests every week, diving into breaking news and topics ranging from NFTs, to the impact of DeFi on Wall Street, to Bitcoin's role in the economy and beyond.

    Okcoin is launching SATs mode as part of wider retail push

    Okcoin is launching SATs mode as part of wider retail push

     
    Okcoin, which was founded in 2013, is doing something different in a crowded field of crypto exchanges: it's going to allow clients to denominate trades in bitcoin in units of satoshi, rather than BTC. 
    On this episode of The Scoop, Okcoin CEO Hong Fang joined host Frank Chaparro for a discussion on Okcoin's rapid retail product launches and the hiring growth they've undergone in an effort to compete in the space. She also explained the reasoning for the launch of Satoshi dominated trades. 
    “Our focus and area of kind of innovation driven product efforts on the retail side continue to drive our product offerings. Some of those will also evolve into institutional offerings.” Said Fang.
    Okcoin announced on The Scoop that they will be launching a “SATs Mode” in an effort to cater to retail client demand for Bitcoin. That SATs mode will mean an ability to package and sell Satoshis, or 1,000th of a bitcoin. Since bitcoin holders often hold only a portion of a bitcoin in decimals, Okcoin wants to make clients feel comfortable with Sats in order to make transactions easier to understand. This announcement comes on the heels of Okcoin's integration of Lightning, the layer 2 micropayment protocol used for for sending small amounts of Bitcoin. Okcoin is expecting to use this retail lead offering as an opportunity to test the waters for such a product for institutional grade clients.
    In an attempt to capture more DeFi exposure for institutional clients, Okcoin recently also launched an Earn APY offering for institutions following their retail offering. In their view, Okcoin is focusing its business on participating in a decentralized future, though they acknowledge that as DeFi adoption grows the business could still evolve into something very different than an exchange, such as a DAO. “Ultimately everyone will own their own data,” Said Fang.

    Episode 59 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded at the 2021 Mainnet Conference with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Hong Fang, CEO of Okcoin.
    Listen below, and subscribe to The Scoop on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Email feedback and revision requests to podcast@theblockcrypto.com.
    This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Bakkt, Kraken, and Exodus
    Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information
    About Kraken
    Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.
    About Exodus
    Exodus is leading the world out of traditional finance by building beautiful and user-friendly crypto products. Forget having to learn the nuances of different cryptocurrencies. Exodus is designed for everyone and hides the complex details behind a beautiful and intuitive interface.
     
    Buy and sell one cryptocurrency for another from the comfort of your wallet, in seconds. Funds remain under your full control.
     
    Secure, manage, stake, and exchange all of your favorite cryptocurrencies from one wallet. No account registration is required. Download Exodus at Exodus.com or directly from Google Play and the iOS App Store and you’re ready to go.

    • 39 min
    Digital Artist Pplpleasr explains the meaning of Fortune's DeFi cover and the future of NFTs

    Digital Artist Pplpleasr explains the meaning of Fortune's DeFi cover and the future of NFTs

    Digital artist Pplpleasr believes that the production and dissemination of art represent just the first phase of NFT technology adoption.
    This week on The Scoop, PplPleasr joined host Frank Chaparro to break down how she created Fortune Magazine's DeFi cover and the role of NFTs in Web3 and the broader art space.
    Earlier this year, Pplpleasr was commissioned by Fortune to create its first NFT cover. That cover image is a tribute to the NFT community, featuring a number of different well-known avatars. The cover's depiction represents a stark contrast to the often gloomy imagery one typically associates with Wall Street, juxtaposed instead with the colorful, dynamic universe of the online crypto community.
    Pplpleasr remarked:
    "The Fortune magazine was something that I think is a special moment for all of us because it sort of represents one of these pivotal moments of traditional media representing the entire community."
    Still, PplPleasr admits that it's early days for NFT's and platforms on which they can trade — they're are often clunky and have complicated user interfaces. 
    "The technology doesn't even exist yet for us to trade, let's say, assets between different games," said Pplpleasr. "Like, if I wanted to trade an asset from a Riot game to a Blizzard game, that just is not possible. But I do obviously imagine a future with NFT's where that is possible."
    Today, Pplpleasr sees an opportunity to unlock the power of NFT's in her own way by making it easier for women and people outside the art world to launch their own careers.
    She recently announced a partnership with the Grammy-nominated musician Steve Aoki to create NFT artworks to be offered at auction at Sotheby's. A portion of the auction proceeds will go to support the careers of women NFT artists. 

    Episode 58 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded in studio with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Digital Artist Pplpleasr.
    Listen below, and subscribe to The Scoop on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Email feedback and revision requests to podcast@theblockcrypto.com.
    This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Bakkt, Kraken, and Exodus
    Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information
    About Kraken
    Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.
    About Exodus
    Exodus is leading the world out of traditional finance by building beautiful and user-friendly crypto products. Forget having to learn the nuances of different cryptocurrencies. Exodus is designed for everyone and hides the complex details behind a beautiful and intuitive interface.
     
    Buy and sell one cryptocurrency for another from the comfort of your wallet, in seconds. Funds remain under your full control.
     
    Secure, manage, stake, and exchange all of your favorite cryptocurrencies from one wallet. No account registration is required. Download Exodus at Exodus.com or directly from Google Play and the iOS App Store and you’re ready to go.

    • 30 min
    BitGo's Mike Belshe explains why regulators should embrace the openness of the blockchain

    BitGo's Mike Belshe explains why regulators should embrace the openness of the blockchain

    Mike Belshe founded BitGo—the crypto financial services and custody firm—in 2013 with the original intention to help solve a pinpoint he identified when entering the bitcoin market early on: how to store crypto holdings safely.
    "We forget about how easy loss is", said Belshe.
    Today BitGo is more wide-spanning than just storage and custody, also covering lending, trading, and prime-related financial services. The firm is expected to complete its acquisition by Mike Novogratz's Galaxy Digital by end of 2021, creating an operation the two Mikes hope will bridge the crypto world with Wall Street.
    On this episode of The Scoop, Mike Belshe CEO of BitGo joined host Frank Chaparro to talk about that deal between BitGo and Galaxy, BitGo's origin story, and why regulators should embrace the openness of the blockchain. 
    In Belshe's view, regulators—including Gary Gensler of the Securities and Exchange Commission—should actually lean into using blockchain to identify nefarious behavior, and say "wait a minute we have this huge tool, let's use that."
    In the event that the agency deems most cryptocurrencies as securities—a scenario Belshe said was unlikely—Belshe noted that regulators would lock out the US from the market's innovation.

    Episode 57 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Mike Belshe, CEO at BitGo.
    Listen below, and subscribe to The Scoop on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Email feedback and revision requests to podcast@theblockcrypto.com.
    This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Bakkt, Kraken, and Exodus
    Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information
    About Kraken
    Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.
    About Exodus
    Exodus is leading the world out of traditional finance by building beautiful and user-friendly crypto products. Forget having to learn the nuances of different cryptocurrencies. Exodus is designed for everyone and hides the complex details behind a beautiful and intuitive interface.
     
    Buy and sell one cryptocurrency for another from the comfort of your wallet, in seconds. Funds remain under your full control.
     
    Secure, manage, stake, and exchange all of your favorite cryptocurrencies from one wallet. No account registration is required. Download Exodus at Exodus.com or directly from Google Play and the iOS App Store and you’re ready to go.
     

    • 38 min
    Bittrex Global's CEO says the exchange company is exploring safe havens in light of regulatory tightening

    Bittrex Global's CEO says the exchange company is exploring safe havens in light of regulatory tightening

    On this episode of The Scoop, Bittrex Global CEO Stephen Stonberg joined host Frank Chaparro for a discussion on Bittrex’s US and global businesses, his outlook on security tokens, and how the company is tackling regulatory tightening in an effort to safely enter markets across the world.
    In its global business, Stonberg said that Bittrex is testing out lending and staking products as well as dipping its toes into STOs or Security Token Offerings, such as in real estate, stocks, cars, etc. Bittrex test-launched a limited number of what Stonberg termed ‘unsolicited ETFs’ like "Google tokenized and Tesla tokenized" which they are currently only selling to a small subset of clients via their Bermuda license.
    As the market matures and investors eventually look for yield in alternative products outside of utility tokens, Bittrex is positioning itself to capture that market share.
    “I would expect that as utility tokens become a more mature market, that you won't see those types of returns," said Stonberg.
    Stonberg views real estate on the blockchain as one of the use cases that will reshape the industry. In fact, Bittrex is exploring the potential of STO-based tokens, such as in real estate as well as possibly art and IPOs, as Stonberg suggested. “I really think that you're going to see everything being tokenized. Why should we not have real estate tokenized? Like, why should if you're IPOing a company, why does it have to be an IPO? Why can't it be in the venture stage?”
    As for where competitors are in the adoption cycle, Stonberg added: "Right now, we're in the fund build phase where the regulators haven't caught on yet." However, he did not comment on whether Bittrex has plans at this time to fundraise or enter public markets.

    Episode 56 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Stephen Stonberg, CEO at Bittrex Global.
    Listen below, and subscribe to The Scoop on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Email feedback and revision requests to podcast@theblockcrypto.com.
    This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Bakkt, Kraken, and Exodus
    Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information
    About Kraken
    Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.
    About Exodus
    Exodus is leading the world out of traditional finance by building beautiful and user-friendly crypto products. Forget having to learn the nuances of different cryptocurrencies. Exodus is designed for everyone and hides the complex details behind a beautiful and intuitive interface.
     
    Buy and sell one cryptocurrency for another from the comfort of your wallet, in seconds. Funds remain under your full control.
     
    Secure, manage, stake, and exchange all of your favorite cryptocurrencies from one wallet. No account registration is required. Download Exodus at Exodus.com or directly from Google Play and the iOS App Store and you’re ready to go.

    • 37 min
    Anatoly Yakovenko unpacks Solana's rise, memes, and NFT snafus

    Anatoly Yakovenko unpacks Solana's rise, memes, and NFT snafus

    It has been a wild summer for blockchain project Solana. 
    From the meteoric rise in the price of its native token to technical problems facing NFTs launched on the blockchain, the project has entered the forefront. On this episode of The Scoop, Anatoly Yakovenko Founder & CEO of Solana Labs joins host Frank Chaparro for a deep dive into Solana, which some believe can compete with Ethereum despite being less decentralized. 
    As for price specifically, Yakovenko admitted it doesn't always make sense. 
    "This is just mind-boggling that if the price of Solana doesn't make any sense, then I have no clue why Ethereum has anything in terms of its value," he said, adding:
    "I don't pay attention to the price so much because I have no control over it and I'm an engineer. So, like, if I can't change it, then it's just like one of these variables."
    Solana Labs completed a $314.2 million fundraise back in June 2021 (that amount raised is a play on the number Pi). Investors included Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, FTX via Alameda Research and CoinShares. But as of yet, Yakovenko said much of their capital raise has not been deployed. It is also known for powering Serum, the decentralized exchange launched by Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX. Solana recently launched its Metaplex NFT marketplace, which Yakovenko acknowledged experienced server issues.
    Still, DeFi comes to the top of Yakovenko's mind as a core use case.
    “I've really felt that finance was a place where blockchain makes sense," he said.
    In Yakovenko's view, users could even one day use their own hardware to tap into the network in order to access financial market data as quickly as professional trading firms with access to exchange data.
    "The network guarantees as close as possible to an impossible problem, which is that information propagates equally to everybody at the same speed," he said.

    Episode 55 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Anatoly Yakovenko, Founder & CEO @ Solana Labs.
    Listen below, and subscribe to The Scoop on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Email feedback and revision requests to podcast@theblockcrypto.com.
    This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Bakkt, Kraken, and Exodus
    Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information
    About Kraken
    Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.
    About Exodus
    Exodus is leading the world out of traditional finance by building beautiful and user-friendly crypto products. Forget having to learn the nuances of different cryptocurrencies. Exodus is designed for everyone and hides the complex details behind a beautiful and intuitive interface.
     
    Buy and sell one cryptocurrency for another from the comfort of your wallet, in seconds. Funds remain under your full control.
     
    Secure, manage, stake, and exchange all of your favorite cryptocurrencies from one wallet. No account registration is required. Download Exodus at Exodus.com or directly from Google Play and the iOS App Store and you’re ready to go.

    • 45 min
    Inside Coinbase's game plan to be a one-stop shop for Wall Street's biggest investors

    Inside Coinbase's game plan to be a one-stop shop for Wall Street's biggest investors

    Hundreds of institutions are looking to Coinbase as a trusted, publicly-traded exchange to create tailored crypto solutions for them. Now, as traditional finance firms begin to deploy capital into crypto services, Coinbase sees itself at the forefront of facilitating that institutional adoption.
    “I think we're moving away from the designation of Coinbase as an exchange to being a much more complex organization,” said Coinbase's Greg Tusar, whose crypto brokerage startup Tagomi was acquired last year.
    On this episode of The Scoop, Coinbase head of institutional sales Brett Tejpaul and head of institutional product Greg Tusar join for a discussion on Coinbase’s pace of growth to meet client demand and how the company is building itself into a full-scale prime broker.
    “We're focused more on the future of finance and DeFi,” said Tejpaul of Coinbase's goal to combine its custodianship, exchange, brokerage and DeFi services for institutional clients. He went on to say that they have filled out some 250 requests for proposals from clients to build crypto products for their firms. The longest such RFP is a whopping 800 questions long, according to Tejpaul. 
    The execs also touched on Coinbase's role in growing retail interest in stablecoins and altcoins, citing how some 75% of clients own more than Bitcoin, 80% own some Ethereum and Tejpaul estimated that 50% of that group also own at least 5 or more cryptocurrencies.
    The company is also focusing on growing its product base by creating a variety of familiar instruments for traditional finance institutions, which include providing means for institutions to gain sub-custody, tap into stablecoin utility to leverage DeFi protocols, and by creating capabilities for DeFi, smart contracts, and NFTs for broad institutional participation.

    Episode 54 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Brett Tejpaul, Head of Institutional Sales, and Greg Tusar, Head of Institutional Product, at Coinbase.
    Listen below, and subscribe to The Scoop on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Email feedback and revision requests to podcast@theblockcrypto.com.
    This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Bakkt, Kraken, and Exodus
    Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information
    About Kraken
    Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.
    About Exodus
    Exodus is leading the world out of traditional finance by building beautiful and user-friendly crypto products. Forget having to learn the nuances of different cryptocurrencies. Exodus is designed for everyone and hides the complex details behind a beautiful and intuitive interface.
     
    Buy and sell one cryptocurrency for another from the comfort of your wallet, in seconds. Funds remain under your full control.
     
    Secure, manage, stake, and exchange all of your favorite cryptocurrencies from one wallet. No account registration is required. Download Exodus at Exodus.com or directly from Google Play and the iOS App Store and you’re ready to go.

    • 45 min

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