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The top stories and best shows in the blockchain world, delivered daily from the team at CoinDesk.

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On this Speaking of Bitcoin episode, join hosts Adam B. Levine, Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Stephanie Murphy & Jonathan Mohan for an in-depth discussion about what’s really at risk when blockchains suffer the dreaded 51% attack.This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.On today’s show we’re talking 51% attacks, the much discussed, infrequently seen and fairly misunderstood doomsday scenarios. It’s recently re-emerged as a topic of discussion as Ethereum plans its transition to Proof-of-Stake and fork Ethereum Classic is hit by its third in less than a month.Although the numbers may change, basically any blockchain you can imagine is vulnerable to some form of the so-called 51% attack. By distributing the power within a protocol, say to miners instead of a corporate board, blockchains and other decentralized systems create and maintain a “Consensus Reality”, where what most of the network believes to be true is true, or becomes true for the entirety of the network.See also: How Does Kraken’s New Crypto Bank Work?If you think about it, this makes sense. Each blockchain creates a game with a distinct set of rules that need to be followed for the thing to work. It requires lots of people who don’t know each other to individually follow those rules and get rewarded by the system for doing so. The assumption underlying all of these systems is that most of the people are going to be compelled by the offered rewards to follow the rules. Even if a lot of people aren’t following the rules, they’re probably breaking them in different ways rather than working together.In a 51% attack, that assumption is broken as most, or at least enough of the network is overcome by bad actors who aim to rewrite reality in their favor. It’s a real problem, one of the biggest blockchains face, especially less popular ones… But even if you could pull one off, the outcome might not be as bad as many fear.But what is actually at risk? What’s possible and what’s safe? Tune in to find out.Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash
Will the future of currency be led by the U.S., China, Bitcoin, or some combination we can barely imagine today?This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.This week’s Long Reads Sunday is a reading of “The Currency Cold War: Four Scenarios” by Jeff Wilsner – part of CoinDesk’s Internet 2030 series. In it, Wilsner talks to experts about four scenarios:A multi-currency scenario, where exchange is abstracted away via digital walletsA China-led scenarioA U.S.-led scenarioA bitcoin/non-state currency-led scenarioIn addition to reading, NLW gives his take on which scenario is most likely. 
With the final preparations for the launch of Ethereum 2.0 soon to be underway, CoinDesk's Christine Kim spoke with Developers Raul Jordan and Eduardo Antuña Díez about what's left to do.This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.Lead developer at Prysmatic Labs Raul Jordan, who has been building Ethereum 2.0 software for over two years, explained his team would be wrapping up all feature development by October 15. “At that time, it’s all hands on deck to just have good documentation, good user experience, fix-up security holes [and] basically prepare for launch. That’s where we are today if all remains on track,” said Jordan. The final features currently in development by Prysmatic Labs and other software development teams include making sure different code implementations of Ethereum 2.0, also called “clients”, are interoperable and can be used interchangeably by a user without running the risk of losing validator rewards. See also: A Day in the Life of an Ethereum 2.0 ValidatorIt’s not only client developers who are beginning final preparations for this network upgrade. Ethereum startups building hardware and tooling for users to participate in the Ethereum 2.0 launch are also working on adding last-minute features to their products. Eduardo Antuña Díez, project lead at DAppNode, said, “The most important thing that we realized after the first [Ethereum 2.0] testnet is that people need to know the status of their validators. Having a good monitoring system to be able to know when your validator is down … we are working in that direction.” Before Ethereum 2.0 goes live, Jordan and Díez both noted that a new contract will be created on the current Ethereum blockchain to receive deposits of 32 ETH. Only once this contract accumulates a minimum of 524,288 ETH, which is worth roughly $181 million at time of writing, will the new Ethereum blockchain officially kick-start at midnight UTC the following day. See also: Ethereum 2.0: How It Works and Why It MattersAbout the security of the deposit contract, Jordan said, “There’s no way to retrieve [funds]. … It’s considered a burn in the short term. It’s not like there’s any sort of admin key or any sort of way to take those funds out. There’s no way somebody can take all the ETH that is locked in there.”
Last week saw the third-biggest outflow from stock funds in history, and the dollar is the strongest it’s been since April. Here’s what’s going on. This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.On this edition of The Breakdown weekly recap, NLW looks at the fourth painful week for traditional markets in a row. He discusses the factors contributing to the trouble, including: A normal correction from too-high valuationsThe return of COVID-19 lockdownsThe end of easy recovery gains Diminishing likelihood of a stimulus billElection volatilityThis week on The Breakdown:Monday | The FinCEN Files Show Banks Don’t Actually Care About Stopping Money Laundering Tuesday | Marty Bent on Why Bitcoin and Big Energy Are Unlikely Allies Wednesday | Violent Reflexivity: Why Market Movements Are More Aggressive Than Ever, Feat. Corey Hoffstein Thursday | Did Corporate Insiders Perfectly Predict the Market Top? Friday | Sven Henrich on the Ever-Weakening Economic Cycle 
The founder and lead market strategist at NorthmanTrader explains how the Fed has boxed itself in and why our fundamental economic capacity fails to grow.This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.Sven Henrich is the outspoken founder and lead market strategist at NorthmanTrader. Well known for his appearances on CNBC, CNN Business and MarketWatch, Sven is also the host of the Straight Talk podcast. In this conversation, he and NLW discuss:The ever-weakening economic cycleWhy the Fed has boxed itself in Why the asset price bubble is contributing to wealth inequality How market capitalization-to-GDP reached all-time highsWhat the election means for markets Find our guest online:Twitter: NorthmanTraderWebsite: northmantrader.com
In August, the volume of personally owned stock sold by corporate executives reached its highest level since 2015, followed by a 10% decline in the S&P500 in September. This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.Today on the Brief:Initial U.S. jobless claims up to 870,000Partial lockdowns begin in earnest in Europe and IsraelThe global demand for American stocksOur main discussion: Did corporate insiders perfectly time the market top? August saw the largest volume of insider selling since 2015, with more than 1000 corporate officers offloading $6.7B in stock. Subsequently, the market has seen a 10% decline since the S&P500 all time high of Sept. 2. What’s more, according to new statistics, insider selling is happening at the fastest pace since 2012. The question is: What do these executives know that the rest of the market doesn’t?
How the Fed and the rise of passive investing and volatility strategies have combined to make market movements faster and more severe.This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.Corey Hoffstein is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of Newfound Research LLC, a quantitative research and investment fund. He is also the host of the “Flirting with Models” podcast. His most recent research is “Liquidity Cascades: The Coordinated Risk of Uncoordinated Market Participants.” In it, he examines three popular narratives about what is driving radical swings in markets, including:The increased role of the FedThe rise of passive and index investingThe growth of volatility-correlated strategies He finds that, individually, none could explain the radical market shifts we’ve seen. However, when combined, they create a market incentive loop that is causing markets to move and react to exogenous shocks more quickly and aggressively than ever before. Find our guest online:Twitter: @choffstein Website: Newfound Research
Bitcoin mining can help big energy companies produce more efficiently, increasing American energy independence in the process. This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.Today on the Brief:Where the digital euro fits in Lagarde’s economic integration plansNew stablecoin guidance from the OCCMnuchin and Powell head to the HillOur main discussion features Marty Bent. Marty is the author of one of the best known daily bitcoin newsletters, as well as the host of “Tales From The Crypt” podcast. He also is one of the leaders of Great American Mining, a new project using bitcoin mining to make big energy more efficient and profitable. In this discussion, we talk about how bitcoin and big energy are unlikely allies, how that alliance can bring more bitcoin mining back to America, and how it is working to reduce America’s energy dependence.Find our guest online:Twitter: @MartyBentTwitter: @GAMdotAIWebsite: gam.ai
The massive leak of suspicious activity reports shows how banks let the government know about likely money laundering, then go right on providing services.This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.Today on the Brief:Stocks down, dollar up on COVID-19 resurgence fearsPeople’s Bank of China says digital yuan needed to fight USD dominance140,000 have claimed UNI tokensJudge stops Trump WeChat banNikola founder resignsOur main discussion: The FinCEN Files The FinCEN Files are a leaked cache of suspicious activity reports filed by banks with the U.S .Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The more than 2,000 files, representing $2 trillion in transactions, were leaked to BuzzFeed News more than a year ago. BuzzFeed, in turn, shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, who then helped distribute them to 108 publications in 88 countries. This episode provides an overview of the leaks and explains why they show that, despite lots of PR bluster, banks are happy to file their reports and then keep on banking likely money launderers.
This week’s “Long Reads Sunday” reading is from macro analyst Lyn Alden and focuses on the inflation vs. deflation debate in historical context.This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.On this week’s “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads macro analyst Lyn Alden’s latest: “A Century of Fiscal and Monetary Policy: Inflation vs Deflation”The article looks at:When monetary policy is effective versus when fiscal policy needs to take over How short-term debt cycles add up to long-term debt cycles that have very different remediesWhy long-term debt cycles inevitably end in default or devaluation Why the conclusion of the last long-term debt cycle in the U.S. – the 1930s and 1940s – suggests that devaluation is the most likely outcome
This week Kraken Financial became the first crypto company to receive a banking charter under Wyoming's Special Purpose Depository Institution statute. On this Speaking of Bitcoin episode, Join CEO David Kinitsky for a look at what it all means and how it'll work with hosts Adam B. Levine, Andreas M. Antonopoulos and Stephanie Murphy.This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.In the early days of Bitcoin, there were no rules, or at least none that people understood. The first batch of companies were focused entirely on functionality; Simply making things possible that before crypto had been impossible.In the aftermath of the collapse of first MTGox and then later TheDAO, it became obvious that rules did apply, or at least would moving forward. But what wasn't very clear was how they'd apply as different regulatory bodies claimed authority in confusing and often conflicting ways.As law, if not order, came to the industry, much of crypto's first wave of US based exchanges were crushed as they struggled to get legal, a challenging task with different rules and unique compliance burdens for each state and territory they'd operate in. New York famously introduced the Bitlicense, which in the five years since it's introduction has approved just 25 companies to operate in the U.S. financial hub.On today's show Kraken Financial CEO David Kinitsky joins the discussion of just how much things have changed as Kraken becomes the first crypto company to receive a banking charter under Wyoming's Special Purpose Depository Institution statute. And more importantly, what happens next.CreditsThis episode was edited by Adam B. Levine, with music provided by Jared Rubens.Episode Art by Doran Erickson on Unsplash
The highly-anticipated launch of Ethereum 2.0 is expected to have little to no impact on users and decentralized applications (dapps) currently operating on Ethereum. But in the years after its launch, Ethereum developer Danny Ryan expects the upgrade to radically improve network performance and security. This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.There will be what Ryan calls a “precise point of transition,” where at one block the Ethereum blockchain is progressed and secured through the activity of mining and at the next block it is secured through validating. These two systems of block creation and transaction validation are called proof-of-work (PoW) and proof-of-stake (PoS), respectively. The Ethereum 2.0 upgrade is the technology and multi-year roadmap intended to transition the world’s second largest blockchain by market capitalization from PoW to PoS. See also: Ethereum 2.0: How It Works and Why It MattersThere are several security concerns that still need to be addressed by Ethereum developers to ensure that at this point of transition, there is no possibility for 51 percent attacks, block reorganizations, and other edge cases jeopardizing user funds and network data. To this end, Liz Steininger, CEO of blockchain security company Least Authority, recommends additional audits of Ethereum 2.0 code in preparation for what developers are calling Phase 1.5 of the upgrade roadmap. However, even with multiple audits on top of the ones already completed for the launch of Ethereum 2.0, Steininger foresees inevitable “hiccups and bumps in the road.”See also: Quantstamp Audit Greenlights Ethereum 2.0 Client Prysm for Launch“[Flaws in code] isn’t necessarily a failure but it’s a learning opportunity for everybody in the industry to see how these things work at such a large scale,” said Steininger. “If we can overcome the bumps in the road that are undoubtedly going to happen during this large transition then I think that shows a kind of resiliency to the greater world of what blockchain and cryptocurrency and the development space is capable of.” Ryan has high hopes that after the “hot swap” from Eth 1.0 to Eth 2.0, users and dapp developers will begin to see noticeable improvements to transaction efficiency and throughput on the merged network immediately. “We want to increase the layer one capacity of the [Ethereum] system by approximately 100x. The benefits we hope to bring to developers is more capacity, cheaper transactions and a better environment for users to interact with and build dapps on,” said Ryan. For more information about Ethereum 2.0, you can download the free research report featuring additional developer commentary about the upgrade on the CoinDesk Research Hub.
Kraken became the first crypto exchange to win a U.S. banking license this week. Here’s why that matters. This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.On this edition of The Breakdown weekly recap, NLW looks at:DEXetition – Uniswap’s battle with SushiSwap heats up as the former dropped the UNI governance token in what some likened to a crypto stimulus check The Fed has no clothes – After another FOMC meeting of “nothing new,” the mirage of Federal Reserve omnipotence is fadingTikTok and WeChat banned from U.S. app stores – Is it just a negotiating technique? Whatever the case, people are not happyKraken becomes a bank – What it means now that Kraken has been approved for a Wyoming Special Purpose Depository Institution charterThis week on The Breakdown:Monday | The Business of Geopolitical Competition Tuesday | The Decade of the Living Dead: How Zombie Companies Are Robbing Tomorrow’s EconomyWednesday | Governments vs. Networks: The Battle for the Soul of FinanceThursday | Monetary Policy Is Finished and Macro Debates Are Boring, Feat. Raoul PalFriday | ‘I Didn’t Buy It to Sell It. Ever.’ MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor on His $425M Bitcoin Bet
The CEO of publicly traded MicroStrategy (MSTR) shares why he started to feel like he was “sitting on a 500-lb block of ice” and how he came to bitcoin as a solution.This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.MicroStrategy made waves when it announced in early August it was moving $500,000,000 in treasury reserves out of cash. At least $250 million were to be moved into bitcoin. Earlier this week, the company announced its final bitcoin purchases totaled $425 million. In this conversation with NLW, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor explains:Why he’s always treated the company with a long time horizonWhy the asset inflation rate is the real inflation rateHow he became convinced that bitcoin is the best treasury asset in the world Why Michael believes some other companies will follow suit, but better do so quickWhy the intensity of maximalists is actually part of the reason he grew conviction around the asset Why he would buy every bitcoin if he could
A wide-ranging conversation about the state of macro, why central banks can’t really do anything and why private markets are leading the future of money.This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.Raoul Pal is CEO and co-founder of Real Vision, a platform fundamentally disrupting macroeconomics and financial media. In this wide-ranging conversation, he and NLW discuss: Hot takes on the most recent Jerome Powell/Federal Reserve press conferenceWhy central banks can’t do anything more until they merge with treasury departments Why stablecoins are disrupting how we think about global reserve assets Why traditional financial media missed an entire generation of investorsWhy all macro debates are boring 
Governments have significant discretion over economics and finance today, but decentralized network-driven alternatives threaten that control. This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.Today on the Brief:Kraken is the first crypto exchange to become a U.S. bankFTC preparing antitrust lawsuit against FacebookGold-standard fan Judy Shelton doesn’t have the votes to be confirmed as Federal Reserve governor Our main discussion: The battle for the soul of finance. In this episode, NLW looks at the power competition between governments on the one hand and the decentralized network-driven finance alternatives that would reshape that power. Interestingly, in this competition corporations may play a role that benefits both sides at different times and in different ways.
The percentage of companies that can’t afford to pay the interest on their debt has reached a new all-time high in the wake of central bank intervention.This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.Today on the Brief:MicroStrategy increases its bitcoin reserves by $175 million The Oracle-TikTok deal starts to smell fishyThe SEC is investigating claims of fraud involving Nikola Corp.Our main discussion: The rise of zombie firms. A zombie firm is a company that can’t afford to service its debt from operating income. These companies are made possible by artificially low interest rates, and they drain resources from the economy. On today’s episode, NLW explains:Why there are more zombie companies than everThe negative impact they have on the economyHow they could drive a new financial crisis 
As Oracle wins a bid for TikTok U.S., a look at how tech competition, culture competition and currency competition shape the business of geopolitics.This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.Today on the Brief:Crypto exchange volume sees highest month-over-month increase since February 2018Uniswap overtakes SushiSwap in total value lockedWhat Coinbase vs. Apple means for the future of decentralized applicationsOur main discussion: NLW looks at the business of geopolitical competition, including:TikTok, Oracle and the new politics of deal making in the “new Cold War”“Mulan” controversy around Uyghurs and Hong Kong police support The real motivation for China’s digital currency 
A reading of “How to Diagnose Your Own Dutch Disease,” a look at the problems of America’s dollar trade.This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.On this week’s Long Reads Sunday, NLW looks at recent statistics suggesting that, based on a comprehensive set of measures of well-being, U.S. citizens are worse off than they were a decade ago. One potential explanation is the U.S.’ “USD Dutch Disease” - a peculiar set of consequences resulting from the role of the U.S. dollar in the world. This week’s reading is “How to Diagnose Your Own Dutch Disease” from the Financial Times.
Recapping the biggest stories of the week, including Joe Biden’s China plan, a market holding pattern and, of course, the strange competitive saga of SUSHI.This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com, Bitstamp and Nexo.io.On this edition of the Breakdown Weekly Recap, NLW looks at:The “holding pattern economy” – why stocks, jobs and central bank policy seem stuck in placeWhy Joe Biden’s China plan shows that, no matter who wins the presidential election, U.S. economic policy towards China is likely to get more aggressiveThe surveillance state gets stronger as Amazon appoints a former NSA head to its board of directorsThe SUSHI sagaThis week on The Breakdown:Monday | Sorry, Governments, We’re Entering the Era of Private MoneyTuesday | Why Bitcoin Investors Aren’t Worried About This Price PullbackWednesday | ‘Absolute Raging Mania’: Famed Investor Druckenmiller Thinks 10% Inflation Is PossibleThursday | How Monetary Policy Undermined American ResilienceFriday | ‘As Toppy as It Gets’: Metals, Bitcoin and Fiat’s Race to the Bottom, Feat. Tavi Costa
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Comments (7)

Lance Schaffer

Gonna be interesting to see how far this "narrative market machine" goes before we might see a swing back towards acknowledging that modern equities are still beholden to our current day financial systems and thus need SOME level of fundamental (cash flow, revenue... A functioning business...) soundness to support them on any "sustainable" basis. Loving this format, btw! Keep it up!

Jul 16th
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Maciej Czech

Too much all of sudden. 5-10 min if daily episodes

Jan 7th
Reply (3)

Dario Ramos

los tucanes de tiguana

Sep 17th
Reply

Anabel Patata

alzldlsds

Sep 15th
Reply
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