230 episodes

Host Charlie Shrem dives deep into the lives and personal histories of some of crypto's most influential leaders. A focus on personal stories weaves together a nuanced, untold narrative of how the crypto movement truly came to be.

Untold Stories BlockWorks Group

    • Business

Host Charlie Shrem dives deep into the lives and personal histories of some of crypto's most influential leaders. A focus on personal stories weaves together a nuanced, untold narrative of how the crypto movement truly came to be.

    The Everything Bubble with Lou Kerner

    The Everything Bubble with Lou Kerner

    My guest today is my friend Lou Kerner, a Partner at Flight VC where he manages the Israeli Founders Syndicate on AngelList. Lou is also the Founder and Managing Partner at The Social internet Fund, which invests in the primary or secondary shares of private social media or mobile companies. Lou started his career as a Wall Street analyst following media companies, spending four years at Goldman Sachs, before transitioning to operating tech companies. His first CEO role was at The .tv Corporation, which acquired the top-level domain .tv from the tiny island nation of Tuvalu. After .tv was acquired by Verisign in 2001, Mr. Kerner became the CEO of Bolt Media, the largest social media company before MySpace. After Bolt, Lou became an angel investor, best known for writing the first Wall Street style research report on Facebook, in 2010. Lou launched a small VC fund in 2012, and then joined Flight Ventures, where he focused on tech companies founded by Israeli teams. Since 2017, Lou has been focused on crypto as an analyst, investor, and advisor. Lou is one of the most followed crypto analysts (on Medium) and advises companies including Blockchain Co-investors (a crypto fund-of-funds), Casper (a layer one protocol), Props (an SEC-approved token used to drive loyalty programs), and Silver Castle (an institutional-grade digital asset manager). In addition, Mr. Kerner is a Partner in an AngelList Syndicate that actively invests in crypto projects. Furthermore, Lou started CryptoMondays, the largest crypto-focused Meetup group, with chapters in more than 50 cities around the world. Lou's passion and excitement for the space is contagious and he was a wealth of knowledge. In our conversation, we cover why crypto is the most important movement in the history of mankind, Crypto Mondays, Kerner's Law and DAOs, GameFi, the Everything Bubble, and much more. We begin our conversation by discussing what compelled Lou to start Crypto Mondays, their decentralized organizational structure, and the importance of Crypto Mondays to the fabric of the community. We continue our conversation by discussing the importance of community and how the strength of a crypto network can be derived from its network. Lou did an excellent job at explaining how to gauge the strength of the community by using Kerner's Law and the Value Delta. Another very interesting topic of conversation was GameFi. We discussed the emergence of GameFi and how MetaVerse will be all-encompassing. We finish our conversation by discussing the Everything-Bubble and why Bitcoin will become increasingly more important.
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    Ledn provides financial products to help you unlock the power of digital assets. With a secure and easy-to-use platform, it’s the simplest way to earn interest, borrow, and trade your BTC and USDC.

    For maximum accountability, Ledn offers Proof of Reserves attestations to give you peace of mind while you make the most of your Bitcoin.

    Untold Stories listeners can receive $50 in free BTC when you create a new loan. More info at https://untoldstories.link/LEDN

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    This podcast is powered by Blockworks. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at https://blockworks.co

    • 35 min
    A Multi-Chain Future with Brandon Millman

    A Multi-Chain Future with Brandon Millman

    My guest today is Brandon Millman, Co-founder and CEO of Phantom. Phantom is best-known among the Solana community, where it has become the go-to wallet for applications on that blockchain. Phantom was founded by software engineers Brandon Millman and Francesco Agosti and product designer Chris Kalani. Since releasing its product in April for testing, Phantom has amassed over 600,000 users and secured funding from top-tier VCs. The startup’s ambition is to interface with more and more networks, currently building out compatibility with Ethereum and looking to embrace other blockchains, aiming to be a product built for a “multichain world.” Most recently Phantom integrated with FTX Pay, which allows users to transfer SOL, USDC, and USDT directly from FTX. Brandon has a degree in electrical and computer engineering. He started his career at Twitter as an engineer in 2013. He eventually made his way to 0x where he was the lead engineer until recently when he finally made the jump to start Phantom. He was at 0x from early 2017 all the way through 2021 so he was able to experience the highs of the 2017 bull run, the lows of the bear market and the vindication of the 2020/2021 bull market. Brandon is very thoughtful and provided so much insight into how our industry is changing. This is a conversation you're not going to want to miss. In our discussion, we cover Phantom, Phantom's exponential growth, multi-chain world, and much more. We begin our conversation by talking about Phantom and Brandon's experience hitting product-market fit and exponential growth with Phantom. We continue our conversation by discussing Phantom's future roadmap. We also talk about the deficiencies in both the end-user and developer crypto-wallet experience that drove Brandon to start Phantom. Brandon does an excellent job at discussing the importance of having an intuitive wallet experience for broad adoption. We finish our conversation by discussing why the future will be a multi-chain world and the importance of building systems that are interoperable to give users the best experience possible. Please enjoy my conversation with Brandon Millman.
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    ParaSwap:

    If you want to make a swap at the best price across the DeFi market, check out https://untoldstories.link/paraswap. 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.

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    This podcast is powered by Blockworks. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at https://blockworks.co

    • 34 min
    The Looming Censorship War with Jan Capek

    The Looming Censorship War with Jan Capek

    My guest today is Jan Capek, Co-founder and co-CEO of Braiins. Braiins is the preeminent Bitcoin mining software company. Braiins offers a full-stack software solution by providing miners with everything from state-of-the-art mining firmware to a best-in-class mining pool. Braiin's is the company behind the legendary mining pool, Slush Pool. Slush Pool was the world’s first mining pool and continues to be an industry leader in transparency and innovation, with more than 1.25 million BTC mined since 2010. Braiins is also is the developer of Stratum V2, a next generation protocol for pooled mining with a focus on quality improvements including reduced data loads, empty block elimination, hash rate hijacking prevention and the Braiins OS / OS+, autotuning mining firmware, which boosts the efficiency of mining hardware with cutting-edge firmware that is natively integrated with Stratum V2 and mining software written from scratch in Rust language. At Braiins Jan, focuses on building out infrastructure architecture for Slush Pool where he aims to bring pool infrastructure to scale, build out more robust security, DDoS mitigation, and infrastructure configuration management, and provisioning. He also focuses on building the Braiins systems providing custom development consulting services in the following areas: applications for FreeRTOS and NuttX environment, embedded Linux BSP's, and infrastructure configuration management. If you are interested in learning more about the mining industry you have to listen to this conversation, Jan shares an immense amount of knowledge and details about Bitcoin and the mining industry. In our conversation, we cover the Braiins and Slush's history of innovating in the mining industry, scaling a Bitcoin mining company, the impact of ASICs, decentralizing the Bitcoin Network, and much more. Jan discusses how he got into Bitcoin and shares the origin story of Braiins and Slush Pool. Jan goes into depth about his experience bootstrapping Braiins into the first professionalized Bitcoin mining company. We go on to discuss the evolution of mining hardware and the impact of ASICs on the industry. We had a very thoughtful discussion about the dangers of blacklisting Bitcoin addresses and how there are censorship resistance redundancies within the Bitcoin Network. Another major discussion point in our conversation was the possible ramifications of Bitcoin's hardcoded rules coming into conflict with regulatory and legal institutions. We finish our conversation by discussing the importance of decentralizing manufacturing supply-chain for Bitcoin mining. Please enjoy my conversation with Jan Capek.
    --
    Ledn provides financial products to help you unlock the power of digital assets. With a secure and easy-to-use platform, it’s the simplest way to earn interest, borrow, and trade your BTC and USDC.

    For maximum accountability, Ledn offers Proof of Reserves attestations to give you peace of mind while you make the most of your Bitcoin.

    Untold Stories listeners can receive $50 in free BTC when you create a new loan. More info at https://untoldstories.link/LEDN

    --
    This podcast is powered by Blockworks. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at https://blockworks.co

    • 43 min
    The Retail Mining Renaissance with John Stefanopoulos

    The Retail Mining Renaissance with John Stefanopoulos

    My guest today is John Stefanopoulos, CEO and Founder FutureBit. FutureBit develops cryptocurrency hardware solutions. It provides mining hardware for Bitcoin and Litecoin. It develops ASIC mining hardware for mining farms, facilities, and individual miners. Their products are designed from the ground up in their Brooklyn, NY office with industry-leading talent in the heart of Brooklyn's budding tech industry. Their philosophy is a simple one; every single person should benefit from the extraordinary opportunities blockchains provide. Their goal is to provide low-cost easy to use hardware aimed at educating, spreading awareness, and learning about the fundamental technology that runs this revolutionary system. They are committed to keep blockchains decentralized, and not another instrument very few in the world can take advantage of. They hope that by building and placing our future crypto platform in the hands of as many people as possible will be a step in the right direction to achieve that goal! John went to Boston College and majored in computer science. Prior to starting FutureBit, John was a serial entrepreneur starting various companies in the tech space. In our conversation we cover the mining industry, the importance of non-industrial mining, decentralizing the hash rate, and much more. We begin our discussion by talking about what led John to start FutureBit and the importance of non-industrial mining. We continue our conversation about mining by discussing the centralization of mining resulting from the industrialization of mining and the possible problems that may arise. We also discuss why China banning Bitcoin is the best thing for Bitcoin's long-term success. John stresses the importance of further decentralizing the hash-rate to non-industrial miners. A very interesting topic we covered was the blacklisting of Bitcoin/crypto hardware companies by payment processors. We finish our discussion by talking about the importance of getting as many people involved in the Bitcoin network as possible and how the Bitcoin community can strive to fulfill Satoshi's vision for Bitcoin. Please enjoy my conversation with John Stefanopoulos.
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    ParaSwap:

    If you want to make a swap at the best price across the DeFi market, check out https://untoldstories.link/paraswap. 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.

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    This podcast is powered by Blockworks. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at https://blockworks.co

    • 35 min
    Solving the Global Trust Deficit with Jahon Jamali

    Solving the Global Trust Deficit with Jahon Jamali

    My guest today is my friend Jahon Jamali, the Chief Marketing Officer at Sarson Funds. Sarson Funds is an independent provider of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency marketing and educational services focusing on the financial professional community and their clients. Sarson Funds was among the first US cryptocurrency managers to directly address the concerns of Financial Advisors by focusing on education for both the advisor and the client, Sarson Funds has grown its community to over 10K members interested in its client-oriented cryptocurrency educational materials, altcoin-focused educational blog and YouTube channel. Sarson Funds occupies a leadership position in US wealth management as a crypto-crossover manager. The firm leverages its familiarity with Wall Street’s intermediary distribution process of Financial Advisors networks to disseminate a proprietary mix of cryptocurrency education and investments to high net worth Americans in all 50 states. Sarson Funds believes that disruptive innovation deserves an unbiased thoughtful education. In collaboration with their investment manager partners, they are working to bring Wall Street standards for research, risk management, and transparency to digital asset investing. Jahon has over 10 years of marketing leadership experience in venture-funded start-ups like Kapow (acquired by Kofax) & The Appraisal Lane (acquired by Reynolds & Reynolds). A former US intelligence officer, Jahon holds a BA and MA from Johns Hopkins and attended the Babson College Graduate School of Business. In our discussion, we cover the philosophical principles underpinning Bitcoin, solving the global trust deficit, democratization of financial knowledge, and much more. We discussed in-depth the philosophical principles behind Bitcoin and how Bitcoin will be a powerful force for the unbanked. We can go on to discuss the institutionalization of crypto assets and if institutions are driving the Layer-1 narrative. Jahon did an excellent job at explaining the current sec regulatory crackdown on crypto. We end our conversation by discussing why finical advisors will be instrumental for mainstream adoption of crypto. Please enjoy my conversation with Jahon Jamali.
    --
    Ledn provides financial products to help you unlock the power of digital assets. With a secure and easy-to-use platform, it’s the simplest way to earn interest, borrow, and trade your BTC and USDC.

    For maximum accountability, Ledn offers Proof of Reserves attestations to give you peace of mind while you make the most of your Bitcoin.

    Untold Stories listeners can receive $50 in free BTC when you create a new loan. More info at https://untoldstories.link/LEDN

    --
    This podcast is powered by Blockworks. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at https://blockworks.co

    • 41 min
    The Money Network with Eric Weiss

    The Money Network with Eric Weiss

    My guest today is Eric Weiss, the Founder and Chief Investment Officer at Blockchain Investment Group. Blockchain Investment Group is a hedge fund of funds that identifies, evaluates, makes and manages investments in hedge funds that invest exclusively in blockchain assets including, protocols, tokens, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies. Eric's background is uniquely suited to evaluate and make investments in hedge funds with a focus on blockchain-assets. Prior to forming BIG, Eric had careers as a proprietary bond trader; a technology venture capitalist and an internet entrepreneur. Eric started his career as a US Government bond trader at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. After earning his MBA from Columbia Business School, Eric was a Director in the Private Equity & Venture Capital arm of GE Capital and focused on making investments in internet related companies. While with GE Capital Eric made an investment in Internet Capital Group (ICG), and thereafter joined ICG were he made investments in business to business internet companies. Eric served as ICG’s board representative for a number of companies. Subsequent to ICG, Eric was a founding Principal at Stripes Group where he identified and lead investments in the online direct marketing space. Eric left Stripes Group to form a number of technology based online direct marketing companies focused on lead-generation, search engine marketing and social media. Eric has personally been an active investor in hedge funds and hedge fund of funds for over twenty years. In our conversation we discuss Bitcoin, path to decentralization, digital networks, and much more. We begin our discussion by covering how Eric's background and how he first entered the space in 2013. We go on to discuss his relationship with Michael Saylor and how he was the initial person to spark Michael Saylor's interest in Bitcoin. A very interesting part of our conversation was when we discussed digital networks and the mobile revolution. Eric did a great job at expanding on this point by demonstrating how Bitcoin is the best money network and why that is important. Another major discussion point in our conversation was a project's path to decentralization. We discuss how Bitcoin is not competing with the broader crypto ecosystem and how the other crypto-assets are developing into their own distinct asset class. We finish our conversation discussing the importance of sovereignty and the different levels of individual agency throughout the country. Please enjoy my conversation with Eric Weiss.
    --

    ParaSwap:

    If you want to make a swap at the best price across the DeFi market, check out https://untoldstories.link/paraswap. 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.

    ---

    This podcast is powered by Blockworks. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at https://blockworks.co

    • 41 min

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