DiscoverUnchained: Your No-Hype Resource for All Things Crypto
Unchained: Your No-Hype Resource for All Things Crypto

Unchained: Your No-Hype Resource for All Things Crypto

Author: Laura Shin - Business Journalist Covering Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, ; Forbes Contributor

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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.
112 Episodes
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss on Being the 'Fastest Tortoise in the Race' - Ep.103
Gemini's Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who serve as chief executive and president, respectively, discuss their new ad campaign -- what they mean when they say crypto needs rules, why they agree in certain respects with some of their critics, and what the general reaction has been. They discuss why they launched a stablecoin, why they chose the stablecoin structure of dollar reserves and GUSD's role in an arbitrage involving a Chinese exchange and a competing stablecoin. They also explain how they intend to make a Bitcoin ETF a reality, what they think of SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce's dissent and what they intend for the Virtual Commodity Association. Plus, the brothers talk about why their goal is to be "the fastest tortoise in the race." Thank you to our sponsors! Tokensoft: Microsoft: CipherTrace: Episode links: Gemini's new ad campaign: Negative reaction to Gemini ad campaign from crypto community: Erik Voorhees: Gemini USD gets approval of New York Department of Financial Services: Past episodes with other stablecoin projects: USDC/Circle: TrueUSD: MakerDAO: Bloomberg reporter Matt Leising on Tether: Trading of GUSD for Pax and cashing out via Huobi: GUSD distribution on Etherscan: Cameron and Tyler's AMA on Reddit: SEC commissioner Hester Peirce's dissent on Bitcoin ETF decision: Bitcoin Cash launch on Gemini: The 51% attack on Ethereum Classic: Gemini year in review Virtual Commodity Association: Gemini's new mobile app:
Asia Edition: Mining, a Crypto Yuan and the Two Main Reasons the Chinese Are Interested in Crypto - Ep.102
In this wide-ranging episode, Eric Meltzer and Dovey Wan of Primitive Ventures describe how Asia is weathering the crypto downturn: how have the low prices affected miners, how has this affected Bitmain's prospects for an IPO and how, despite a ban on crypto exchanges, Chinese crypto users have been trading. We also discuss more broadly how crypto projects and startups differ between China and the U.S., how crypto is upending Silicon Valley's dominance, and how differences in regulation are affecting entrepreneurship in the space. Plus, Eric and Dovey address whether or not the surveillance state is motivating Chinese interest in crypto. Thank you to our sponsors! Tokensoft: Microsoft: CipherTrace: Episode links: Primitive Ventures: Eric Meltzer: Dovey Wan: Binance was more profitable than Deutsche Bank in quarter 1 of 2018: Bitmain and Huobi layoffs: Hong Kong regulators reluctant to allow crypto firms to IPO: Report that China wants an "orderly exit" from crypto mining: Chinese op-ed on why the People’s Bank of China should consider a yuan-pegged cryptocurrency:
Ledger on How Consumers and Institutions Should Be Safeguarding Their Private Keys - Ep.101
Eric Larcheveque, cofounder and CEO of Ledger, and Demetrios Skalkotos, global head of Ledger Vault, describe the company's three main offerings: its hardware wallets, the new software-as-a-service product for institutions, and an Internet of Things offering for transactions involving physical assets. They also describe how the company scaled for a massive increase in demand in 2017, who their customers are and how the company has responded to vulnerabilities found in its products. Plus, they explain why they don't put tamper-proof packaging on their hardware wallets. Thank you to our sponsors! TokenSoft: Microsoft: CipherTrace: Episode links: Ledger: Eric Larcheveque: Demetrios Skalkotos: Introduction of Ledger Vault: Three part-series on hardware wallets: Ledger's description of BOLOS: Blog post from Saleem Rashid: Demonstration of attacks on hardware wallets at 35c3: Ledger's response: Ledger Donjon:
RERUN: Xapo's Wences Casares on How Bitcoin Makes a Fairer World - Ep.99
Growing up in Argentina, Wences Casares saw his family lose all their money three times due to actions by the government. The so-called "patient zero" of Bitcoin in Silicon Valley explains why he believes that experience predisposed him to seeing the potential in Bitcoin earlier than most people, why it's so hard to explain Bitcoin to Americans and why the company he founded, Xapo, isn't just a Bitcoin vault and wallet company but his best effort at helping to ensure that Bitcoin succeeds. He talks about why he isn't scared of all the new competitors to his service, including Coinbase Custody, why Xapo hasn't branched out into any other crypto assets, and why he believes there's a more than 50% chance that Bitcoin is worth $1 million in five to ten years. Additionally, he still believes the attempt to accommodate more transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain with the SegWit2x fork, which he backed, was wrong -- even though the fees after its failure skyrocketed to as high as $60. Plus -- he reveals what it would look like if Bitcoin became a global standard of value, and why that vision doesn't threaten governments. Thank you to our sponsors! CipherTrace: Microsoft: Episode links: Wences Casares: Xapo: Wences's Facebook Live with Dan Schulman of PayPal: To learn more about Wences, read New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper's book, Digital Gold:
Mike Novogratz on Why Bitcoin, "a Big FU to the System," Needs Institutions - Ep.98
Mike Novogratz, founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital Holdings, describes the company's services and products, why it's launching a credit offering, and why he pivoted from his original intention to launch a crypto hedge fund and then pivoted again from working with ICOs to serving institutional players. He talks about why, if he had the chance to go public again, he wouldn't do it, why Galaxy's stock fell so precipitously one day that trading was halted, and why he thinks the SEC has made it clear the ICO markets are closed. He also talks about why, on the way to democratizing finance, the crypto markets need to "take a step back" and start with institutions, why decentralization is important, and why he thinks the launch of Bakkt is the most important news in the crypto space this year. Plus, Mike surmises as to how consumers will start using crypto, but believes it won’t replace fiat in the Western world. Thank you to our sponsors! Microsoft: CipherTrace: Episode links: Galaxy Digital: Galaxy Digital's losses so far this year: Unchained episode about security tokens: Unchained interview with Philip Rosedale of High Fidelity: Unconfirmed episode with Tom Jessop of Fidelity Digital Assets: Unchained podcast with Arthur Hayes of Bitmex:
Coinbase's Listing Process: Why It's Adding Many More Coins and How It Decides - Ep.96
Coinbase has departed from its conservative roots and begun adding many more coins. Dan Romero, vice president of Coinbase, explains how its listing process works, how it tries to prevent insider trading, and why it's listed coins that had ICOs, even though the SEC has indicated all coins that were offered in ICOs at least started off as securities. He also talks about Coinbase's international expansion, how regulations around crypto differ in Japan vs. the U.S., and the importance of banking relationships for crypto companies. Plus, we dive into how Coinbase plans to weather competition on multiple fronts -- from Robinhood, Square and Binance on its consumer side, and from Fidelity and Bakkt on the institutional side -- how its decentralized projects could affect its current revenues and how it is staffing now for any future hype cycles that could increase crypto adoption by an order of magnitude. Thank you to our sponsors! Microsoft: CipherTrace: Altlending: Episode links: Coinbase: Dan: Coinbase Listing: Digital Asset Framework: Coinbase's new listing process: Announcement that they were exploring adding Cardano, Basica Attention Token, Stellar Lumens, Zcash and 0x: News announced after we recorded: Coinbase considering offering 31 new assets: Interview with Will Warren of decentralized exchange 0x: Coinbase investigates insider trading of Bitcoin Cash: Coinbase finds no insider trading of Bitcoin Cash: Unchained episode on Coinbase/IRS case: Link to Alistair Milne's tracking of total Coinbase customer base: Coinbase adding USDC: Unchained episode with Circle: Unchained episode with Rune Christensen of MakerDAO: Unconfirmed episode with Rune:
Ari Paul on Why Bitcoin Is a Good Value Buy Today - Ep.95
Ari Paul, CIO of BlockTower Capital, explains why he likes how short-term trades concentrate risk in investment, why, "no matter what," he thinks Bitcoin is a good-value buy today, and how big university endowments investing in crypto now could eventually lead institutions to go from having a fear-of-loss attitude about crypto to having FOMO. He also dives into why he's not as excited about generalized mining as some of BlockTower's crypto fund peers and who he thinks is really well-poised in that space. We also discuss why Bitcoin futures didn't have a positive impact on the price and what effect Bakkt and Fidelity launching their crypto products could have. Plus, he responds to people who accused him of insider trading when a private conversation in which he mentioned Stellar was acquiring enterprise blockchain startup Chain was released. Thank you to our sponsors! CipherTrace: Altlending: Episode links: Ari Paul: BlockTower Capital: Harvard, Stanford, MIT endowments invest in crypto: Yale endowment invests in a16z and Paradigm: Bitcoin Cash hard fork recap: Unconfirmed episode on Bitcoin Cash hard fork with Aaron Van Wirdum: Unchained episode with Riccardo Spagni of Monero: Unchained episode with Jake Brukhman and Tushar Jain of Multicoin Capital: Unconfirmed episode with Fidelity's Tom Jessop: Ari's private conversation in which he mentioned Stellar was acquiring Chain: IMF managing director Christine Lagarde's talk on the case for central bank digital currencies:
How Donating Crypto Can Help You Save on Taxes - Ep.94
Connie Gallippi, the founder and executive director for BitGive, and Joe Waltman, the executive director of, discuss charitable giving in crypto -- what problems in philanthropy it solves, what level of transparency they can achieve and how they measure impact. Connie explains why she has chosen to work with existing non-profits and Joe, why GiveCrypto is working on its own initiatives, and why its working thesis is that crypto will be especially helpful in places with broken money or broken government. They also dive into the tax implications of donating crypto directly -- namely that donors can offset taxes on gains, particularly by donating their oldest coins before the end of the calendar year. Connie talks about how BitGive needs to ensure it doesn't hold or convert money in order to avoid money transmitter regulations, and Joe, how GiveCrypto has to ensure it's not giving money to bad people, such as money launderers or people or entities under economic sanctions. Plus, the two discuss why a space that so often espouses the ideals of democratization of finance gives so little and what it will take for it to donate more. Thank you to our sponsors! CipherTrace: WeTrust: Donate in crypto and have your donation matched by WeTrust through Giving Tuesday, November 27! Episode links: Bitgive: GiveTrack: BitGive Twitter: GiveCrypto: GiveCrypto Twitter - BitGive's five-year report: Joe's work trial for GiveCrypto: GiveCrypto's October report: Unconfirmed episode with Robert Opp of the UN World Food Programme: Episode with Elizabeth Rossiello of Bitpesa:
Comments (11)

pablo creel

I would be great if you could do a podcast on Loyalty programs and blockchain. I topic you haven't talked that much in a high growing industry. Happy holidays

Dec 15th

Jomari Peterson

leveraging an opportunity zone fund can allow people to defer and eliminate their capital gain taxes “Don’t Worry About Capital Gain Taxes this Year.” by Jomari Peterson

Dec 4th

Rr Mathieu

ransom!? what facts are these statements based on? sounds like 2 old men who live in the past. terrible interview, very biased

Oct 30th

Rr Mathieu

I am an investor in crypto. Most of which is in Bitcoin and some alts such as, XRP, 0X. In my opinion you are doing a fantastic job with your research and top notch interviews. Believe me they help. Keep up the good work Laura! Ron M.

Oct 17th

R. R.

Financial derivatives are the foundation/underlying cause of the 2008 financial crisis.

Oct 3rd


Wow, she says that she was trading totally on inside information. And they wonder why regulators are playing it safe on the sector.

Sep 21st

R. R.

Q: So Robert, what are you having for lunch tomorrow? A: That's a great question......

Sep 20th

Devin Turner

Laura, your ability to point out flaws in your guest's weak arguments with counterexamples is why I love the show. No hype and no BS!

Jul 20th

Philip Schweitzer

The opening of this really made me wary of the future of Ethereum.

Jul 13th

Philip Duncan

amazing episode! keep up the great work

Jun 9th

Philip Duncan

Great job on this one!

Apr 29th
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