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  • The Open Network, aka TON, has been on a tear since late February. TVL has skyrocketed 34x since the beginning of the year, reaching over $750 million as of the time of recording. The price of TON has more than tripled from about $2 to $7, and daily active addresses recently exceeded those of Ethereum in May and June. Games with fun names like Hamster Kombat and Catizen are gaining traction, and Pantera Capital, an OG crypto investor, is making its largest investments yet in TON. In this episode, Alena Shmalko and Jack Booth from the TON Foundation discuss how TON has managed to garner this traction, especially after a rocky start when the SEC went after the original founder, Telegram.Show highlights:00:00 Intro02:13 Alena’s and Jack’s backgrounds and how they ended up at TON05:35 How TON evolved from its origins with Telegram to its current status and how it began getting traction this year, according to Jack11:21 How The Open League helped TON grow its TVL and other important metrics15:40 How Telegram's collaboration with TON has evolved through time and how much they work together24:47 Whether there are plans for TON to integrate with apps beyond Telegram30:15 What in TON’s architecture allows it to be extremely scalable33:20 The mechanics of Notcoin and why it has been so successful36:49 Whether the rise of games like Notcoin and Hamster Kombat can be sustainable46:05 The importance of USDT in Ton51:53 When might a Bitcoin trustless bridge be deployed and why it could be significant54:43 Whether TON is being used by criminals and what could be done to combat it58:59 What strategies will lead TON to have $1 billion in TVL by the end of the yearVisit our website for breaking news, analysis, op-eds, articles to learn about crypto, and much more: unchainedcrypto.comThank you to our sponsors!PolkadotGuests:Alena Shmalko, Ecosystem Lead at the TON FoundationJack Booth, Director of Marketing at the TON FoundationLinksPrevious coverage on Unchained of TON:Could Telegram-Associated TON Blockchain Be the 'Next Solana' and Challenge Ethereum?Layer 2 Networks Are Arriving on the Telegram-Associated TON Blockchain TON Blockchain's Stablecoin Transfer Volume Reaches Record $299 Million on US Independence Day What Is Telegram's Ads Network on TON And How Will It Impact Advertisers & Creators?History & StructureTON roadmapCoinDesk: Telegram Abandons TON Blockchain Project After Court Fight With SECTelegram Agrees to Pay $18.5M Penalty in SEC Settlement Over Failed TON OfferingMessaging App Telegram Gives Endorsement to TON Project; Token SurgesCointelegraph: Telegram ad platform to launch via TON blockchainNotcoin:Decrypt: What's Next for Notcoin? Becoming the 'Netflix of Social, Viral Games'Notcoin, a Free Telegram Game Based on the TON Blockchain, Surges in PopularityHamster KombatCointelegraph: Hamster Kombat destined for Guinness World Record? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • In this episode of Unchained, Congressman French Hill provides an insider's perspective on the present and future of crypto regulation. 
    Hill delves into the ongoing legislation and the implications of the FIT21 Bill, shares his views on who should succeed Gary Gensler as SEC chair if Trump is re-elected, and discusses the controversial role of the CFTC in regulating the crypto industry. He also touches on the potential impacts of the Chevron doctrine being overturned by the Supreme Court, Trump’s evolving stance on crypto, and the latest developments in the Binance executive detention case in Nigeria.
    Show highlights:

    00:00 Intro

    01:26 How Rep. Hill's long-time passion for technological advancement led to his involvement in crypto and blockchain

    04:00 The current state of ongoing legislation and why Rep. Hill is proud of the FIT21 bill

    08:49 Who would be his top pick to chair the SEC if Trump is re-elected as president

    11:42 Why he supports having the CFTC regulate the spot crypto markets 

    12:40 How he thinks teams should launch tokens in the US 

    15:02 How he thinks the overturning of the Chevron doctrine will impact crypto

    20:02 Why Trump changed his mind on crypto, according to Rep. Hill

    23:14 Why Congressman Hill is running for chair of the House Financial Services Committee

    25:14 The update on Tigran Gambaryan, the Binance executive detained in Nigeria, whom Rep. Hill visited recently

    28:13 Crypto News Recap

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

    iTrustCapital

    Polkadot

    PlayFi Labs

    Guest
    Congressman French Hill


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  • Welcome to The Chopping Block – where crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Robert Leshner, and Tarun Chitra explore the latest trends in the crypto world. In this episode, we invite Laura Shin and special guest Kristin Smith of the Blockchain Association to discuss the latest in crypto politics. We dive deep into JD Vance's VP candidacy alongside Donald Trump and its implications for the crypto industry. We also explore the impact of recent political events on the crypto markets, the potential outcomes of key legislative efforts, and the future of the SEC post-2024 elections. Don't miss this insightful conversation on how the shifting political landscape might shape the future of crypto in the U.S.
    Show highlights
    🔹The attempted assassination of Donald Trump and its effects on the crypto market, including his announcement of JD Vance as his running mate.
    🔹Analysis of Trump's changing stance on crypto, and his increasing willingness to engage with the industry and its leaders.
    🔹Explanation of the Vice President's role in setting financial services and innovation policy, especially in a potential Trump administration.
    🔹 Speculation on whether Gary Gensler will step down if Trump wins and what this could mean for crypto regulation.
    🔹 Overview of recent meetings between crypto executives and White House officials, signaling a shift in the Biden administration's approach to the industry.
    🔹 Examination of the significant fundraising by crypto PACs like the Fair Shake PAC and their impact on political and regulatory decisions.
    🔹Discussion on the Digital Commodities Act, market structure bills, and the challenges of passing crypto legislation in the current congressional session.
    🔹 The evolving bipartisan support for crypto legislation and the importance of maintaining this support for future regulatory clarity.
    Hosts
    ⭐️Haseeb Qureshi, Managing Partner at Dragonfly 
    ⭐️Tom Schmidt, General Partner at Dragonfly 
    ⭐️Laura Shin, Journalist, Author of ‘The Cryptopians,’ founder and CEO of Unchained
    Guests
    ⭐️Kristin Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Blockchain Association
    Disclosures
    Timestamps 

    00:00 Intro

    02:15 Trump & JD Vance

    10:27 Politicians Stance on Crypto Policy

    27:41 Crypto's Lobbying Efforts

    34:56 Crypto's Political Influence

    36:58 SEC Enforcement and Legal Battles

    39:19 Speculations on Biden Administration's Crypto Stance

    49:48 Legislative Pipeline and Market Structure Bills

    01:01:36 Future of Crypto Regulation


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  • In this episode of Bits + Bips, hosts James Seyffart, Alex Kruger, and Joe McCann, joined by guest Jack Platts, dive into the market's reaction to the recent assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump, looking at how this event will influence the 2024 U.S. presidential election—and the crypto markets.
    They also cover potential rate cuts: Could there be a cut this July? How big might the rate cut be in September? Could the decision ever be influenced by the upcoming election?
    They also give their predictions for what percentage of the BTC ETF inflows the ETH ETFs will reach, and James talks about what he’s expecting for Grayscale’s ETHE (hint: his view would be positive for ETH).
    Finally, they delve into what’s next for Bitcoin as the German government runs out of BTC and Mt. Gox distributions begin. Is it up only now?
    Show highlights:

    00:00 Intro

    01:18 Whether the Trump shooting has settled the election and whether the event caused a “flight to safety”

    11:23 How election markets are becoming a place to watch election odds and whether crypto “leans right”

    20:16 Whether rate cuts are coming in July or September and how much they’ll cut: 25bps or 50bps

    29:06 How Joe views the relationship between global liquidity cycles, rate cuts, and Bitcoin's potential rise

    34:41 What new updates there are about the Ethereum ETFs and their expected launch

    42:08 Why Solana hasn't outperformed significantly since the Trump news

    43:25 What market breadth indicates about the current market rally and the impact of rates in small caps

    49:01 Everyone’s predictions of ETH ETF inflows and how much outflows we’ll see on Grayscale’s ETHE

    53:04 What’s next for BTC after the German government is out of bitcoin, and with Mt. Gox distributions starting this week

    Hosts:


    James Seyffart, Research Analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence


    Alex Kruger, Founder of Asgard


    Joe McCann, Founder, CEO, and CIO of Asymmetric

    Guest:

    Jack Platts, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Hypersphere Ventures

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  • Iggy Azalea joins Unchained to share the story of how the $MOTHER token got started (spoiler: there was a brush with a potential scammer), her stresses during the launch, and what she plans to do about the price slumping over 60% since the all-time high. A master of memes and OnlyFans, she talks about how she is using her experience in both realms to make MOTHER a success, even though she has yet to make any money from the token. 
    She also discusses her beef with Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, the allegations that there was insider trading of MOTHER, and how she plans to avoid regulatory action.
    Show highlights:

    00:00 Intro

    01:27 How Iggy got “onchain” and interested in crypto

    03:01 How Iggy's understanding of memes and the attention economy influenced her approach to music and now MOTHER

    08:09 How a brush with “scammer” Sahil Arora sparked the MOTHER launch 

    11:56 How Iggy plans to integrate her token into her business ventures and what strategies she's using to achieve this

    16:33 Why she chose two market makers – DWF Labs and Wintermute – and why she decided to name the coin "Mother"

    23:53 The lessons she learned from her OnlyFans that she is applying to MOTHER 

    33:54 Iggy’s response to Vitalik Buterin's criticisms of her coin

    41:31 What strategies Iggy believes will bring $MOTHER out of its current slump

    47:33 How Iggy responds to allegations of insider activity and dumping $2 million worth of her token

    55:15 Whether she is concerned about regulators coming after her and what she's doing to prevent that

    1:02:55 What Iggy thinks about the criticism regarding celebrities launching memecoins

    1:08:49 Whether Iggy has a preference between Solana and Ethereum

    1:11:36 How she’s trying to onboard other celebs into crypto, and her plans for integrating $MOTHER into mainstream culture and fan interactions


    Visit our website for breaking news, analysis, op-eds, articles to learn about crypto, and much more: unchainedcrypto.com
    Thank you to our sponsors!
    Polkadot
    Guest:
    Iggy Azalea, rapper, creator of $MOTHER
    Links

    Previous coverage of Unchained on Iggy and MOTHER:

    Solana Attracts Attention From Mainstream Celebrities Caitlyn Jenner, Davido, Iggy Azalea, Rich The Kid, and Trippie Redd

    MOTHER Sheds Half Its Value Since All-Time High Despite Iggy Azalea's Mastery of Crypto Memes

    Traders Coping As Iggy Azalea’s MOTHER Token Surpasses $100 Million Market Cap

    Bits + Bips: Iggy Azalea, $MOTHER, and Celeb Coins: Is This the Top of the Crypto Cycle?

    The Chopping Block: Iggy Azalea, Hamster Kombat, & Airdrop Insights 

    DWF labs
    CoinDesk: Iggy Azalea's MOTHER Token Jumps Over 50% After Partnering With DWF Labs


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  • Welcome to The Chopping Block – where crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Robert Leshner, and Tarun Chitra explore the latest trends in the crypto world. In this episode, Jason Yanowitz from Blockworks joins the squad to explore the media's significant role in the crypto industry. They discuss challenges faced by the media in meeting client demands and industry expectations, and highlight financial sustainability and biases. The hosts compare crypto media to mainstream journalism, examining the balance between journalistic integrity and revenue. They critique broader media trends, discussing monopolistic narratives and public dissatisfaction, with a specific look at political coverage. The episode concludes with reflections on the media's evolving role in truth dissemination amidst industry fragmentation.
    Show highlights
    🔹 The Airdrop Era: Examination of the potential end of the airdrop/token narrative. 
    🔹 Investing in Apps vs Infrastructure: Debate on funding apps versus infrastructure projects.
    🔹 Crypto Media Trends: Analysis of shifts in crypto media, major acquisitions, and industry stance.
    🔹 Challenges in Crypto Media: Ethical questions and investor pressures media firms face. 
    🔹 Future of Media: Trends in media companies, prediction markets, and trust dynamics. 
    🔹 Media Integrity: Exploration of media's perception, skepticism around its business motives, and flawed business models.
     
    Hosts
    ⭐️Haseeb Qureshi, Managing Partner at Dragonfly 
    ⭐️Tom Schmidt, General Partner at Dragonfly
    ⭐️Robert Leshner, CEO & Co-founder of Superstate
    ⭐️Jason Yanowitz, Founder of Blockworks
     
    Disclosures
    Timestamps 

    00:00 Intro

    02:30 Airdrops and Token Valuations

    04:04 Apps vs. Infrastructure

    14:26 Venture's Not a Charity

    22:41 Crypto Media Landscape

    32:31 Revenue in Media

    34:26 Trust as the Cornerstone of Media

    35:27 The Blockworks Op-Ed Controversy

    38:55 Navigating Media Bias and Trust

    44:18 Balaji's Anti-Media Sentiment

    49:57 The Future of Media and Truth


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  • Mustafa Al-Bassam was a teenage hacktivist who outsmarted a US government contractor, shamed the Westboro Baptist Church, hacked Sony a record number of times, and eventually got arrested—though his 80 transgressions got halved for a funny reason. 
    At the Modular Summit in Brussels, Laura had a fireside chat with Mustafa to discuss how he went from his teenage years as the head of LulzSec and member of Anonymous to founding Celestia, a project aiming to solve key issues in blockchain scalability by going with a modular approach. 
    He also discussed data availability sampling, why he believes Celestia has achieved significant product-market fit since its launch, and the three key components of Celestia’s road map.
    Show highlights:

    00:00 Intro

    01:47 Mustafa’s origin story and how he became a developer who ended up hacking FBI affiliates and Fox News

    05:32 How he hacked a military contractor to the US Department of Defense and Sony

    09:16 Why Mustafa was arrested at the age of 16

    11:14 What about Bitcoin attracted his attention and got him interested in the industry

    15:22 Why he founded Celestia, after doing a PhD in scaling blockchains and understanding the problems of sharding

    21:16 What data availability sampling is and why it is important

    23:52 Why Mustafa believes that Celestia has had “extreme product market fit” since the launch

    26:16 What’s next for Celestia and why Mustafa is so excited about the possibilities that increased block size can enable

    29:36 How Celestia is working with zero knowledge accounts for defragmenting liquidity in rollups and access liquidity even within the Cosmos ecosystem

    30:57 What the endgame for Celestia and the overall industry looks like, according to Mustafa

    37:36 Q&A with the audience

    44:44 Crypto News Recap


    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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    Polkadot

    PlayFi Labs

    Guest


    Mustafa Al-Bassam, co-founder of Celestia Labs.

    Previous appearance on Unchained: Why the Celestia Team Sees a Future With 10,000 Roll-Ups


    Links

    Previous coverage of Unchained on modular blockchains:

    Three Crypto Pioneers on Crypto’s Monolithic vs. Modular Debate

    What Are Modular Blockchains? A Beginner's Guide


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  • In this episode, crypto lawyers Kayvan Sadeghi and Sam Enzer delve into the SEC's lawsuit against Consensys, which focuses on MetaMask's swaps and staking services, and explore the implications of the SEC's stance on MetaMask acting as a broker-dealer, and the classification of its staking product as a security. 
    They discuss how recent rulings on Coinbase and Binance challenge the SEC's claims, and whether differing judicial opinions could lead to the Supreme Court. 
    Also, they talk about the potential impact of the Supreme Court striking down Chevron deference for crypto regulation.
    Show highlights:

    00:00 Intro

    01:22 The key claims in the SEC's lawsuit against Consensys and how they relate to MetaMask's swaps and staking services

    03:42 How recent Coinbase and Binance rulings challenge the SEC's claims against Consensys

    09:29 Whether differing judicial opinions on whether wallets with private keys act as brokers could end up being decided by the Supreme Court

    12:55 How the SEC will substantiate its claims that MetaMask acts as a broker-dealer and that its staking product is a security in Texas legal briefings

    17:42 Why a token itself is not considered a security, according to Sam, and how this distinction affects secondary market transactions in the SEC's case against MetaMask

    22:14 What Lido and Rocket Pool can do in response to the SEC tangentially naming their liquid staking tokens as securities

    31:27 How the SEC and Consensys lawsuits will proceed, and whether conflicting rulings could arise from their parallel tracks

    36:35 The key distinctions in the Binance case compared to those of Coinbase and Kraken, and how the Binance ruling might impact future crypto cases

    50:08 What Chevron deference means and how its removal impacts crypto

    56:49 How the elimination of Chevron deference affects current crypto cases and legislative gridlock


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


    Kayvan Sadeghi, partner at Jenner & Block


    Sam Enzer, partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel

    Previous episode of Unchained with Sam and Kayvan: SBF Trial: How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Might Try and Win His Case



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  • Prediction markets are gaining mainstream traction, particularly with the upcoming US elections. In this episode, Nick Tomaino, founder of 1confirmation, which is an investor in Polymarket, explores how platforms like Polymarket identified the possibility that President Biden might drop out of the campaign before the mainstream media did. He talks about the journey of Polymarket, the challenges it faced, and how it overcame them to provide a credible platform for betting on political outcomes. 
    Finally, Nick explains why prediction markets are currently illegal in the U.S., the implications of the Supreme Court striking down Chevron deference, and what the future holds for prediction markets in the U.S.
    Show highlights:

    00:00 Intro

    01:28 Why prediction markets like Polymarket finally gained mainstream traction, and how 1confirmation became an early investor

    04:01 What challenges Polymarket faced in its journey to mainstream recognition, and how it managed to overcome them

    07:22 How prediction markets contribute to bringing more truth to the world, particularly in the context of media narratives and social media algorithms

    12:52 What challenges have arisen from conflicts in resolving prediction markets on Polymarket

    19:00 How bets are created and how the wording and resolution of prediction markets is managed on Polymarket

    21:56 How trading volumes affect the credibility of prediction markets on Polymarket

    22:38The regulatory environment of prediction markets in the US and whether the elimination of Chevron deference by the Supreme Court will have a positive impact on these markets

    28:35 Crypto News Recap


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

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    Polkadot

    PlayFi Labs

    Guest

    Nick Tomaino, Founder & General Partner at 1confirmation
    Links
    Recent news on Polymarket:

    Unchained: Polymarket Hits Record Highs in Monthly Users and Trading Volume Due to Presidential Election


    Crypto.news: Polymarket reverses Oracle decision on Barron Trump's involvement in DJT meme coin


    Decrypt: Ethereum ETFs Approved by the SEC? Yes—But Don't Bet On It - Decrypt


    Dune dashboard: Prediction Markets


    Commentary:

    Vitalik’s tweet: “Prediction markets and Community Notes are becoming the two flagship social epistemic technologies of the 2020s. Both truth-seeking and democratic, built around open public participation rather than pre-selected elites. I want to see many more things like this.”

    Nick Tomaino’s tweet: “2024 will go down in history as the year prediction markets went mainstream.”


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  • Welcome to The Chopping Block – where crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Robert Leshner, and Tarun Chitra explore the latest trends in the crypto world. In this episode, special guest Laura Shin is sitting in for Tom to discuss the impact of prediction markets on politics and crypto. They explore how prediction markets like Polymarket affect public perception during the presidential election, contrasting their reliability against traditional journalism. The conversation also touches on the implications of prediction markets on insider trading, market manipulation, and the role of expert information. Additionally, they discuss the Supreme Court's overturning of the Chevron doctrine and its potential impact on regulatory shifts in the crypto industry. The episode provides an insightful analysis into how prediction markets could revolutionize journalism and the evolving landscape of crypto regulation.
    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
    🔹 Discussion on the recent presidential debate and its implications for prediction markets and the crypto industry. 
    🔹 Overview of the prediction market phenomenon and its growing importance in political forecasting. 
    🔹 Examination of the recent Supreme Court ruling overturning Chevron Deference and its implications for crypto regulations. 
    🔹 Debate on whether the ruling will lead to more specific legislation from Congress or if it will hinder effective rulemaking. 
    🔹 Speculation on how different political figures might impact future crypto legislation and regulation.
    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
    Timestamps

    00:00 Intro

    01:50 Presidential Debate Chaos

    04:25 Mainstream Media vs. Prediction Markets

    16:48 Insiders in Prediction Markets

    30:38 Prediction Markets vs. Sports Betting

    38:58 Market Manipulation

    50:22 Supreme Court Ruling & Chevron Deference


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  • Are Solana ETFs on the brink of approval? How might political outcomes influence this decision? 
    Join hosts James Seyffart, Alex Kruger, and Joe McCann as they delve into the latest buzz around Solana’s potential spot ETFs, dissect the SEC's puzzling delay on Ethereum ETFs, and debate why Bitcoin’s recent performance has diverged from the NASDAQ.
    They also discuss the U.S. presidential election, the event that Alex says was the “second most bizarre thing” he’s seen in his life, what the bond market seems to indicate about expectations for a Trump presidency, and how upcoming nonfarm payroll reports and potential rate might affect the markets. 
    Show highlights:

    00:00 Intro

    01:47 How political outcomes might influence the approval of spot Solana ETFs

    04:16 Whether futures ETFs are 100% needed for an approval of spot crypto ETFs

    09:26 The high premium on Grayscale's Solana Trust (GSOL)

    13:50 How the outcome of the 2024 U.S. presidential election could impact the crypto industry

    20:55 Why the SEC delayed the launch of the Ethereum ETF

    24:53 How the upcoming nonfarm payroll report and potential rate cuts impact market volatility and the Federal Reserve's decisions

    27:51 How the rise of populist candidates in France and changes in currency markets might affect the US dollar and the broader economic landscape

    31:40 How Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana performed in Q2, and the surprising outperformance of BONK

    34:45 Why Bitcoin's performance diverged from the Nasdaq's recent rally

    45:48 How recent movements in long-term bond rates are linked to political changes, such as the rise of right-wing populism and concerns about fiscal responsibility

    52:45 How FTX creditors could potentially influence market dynamics, and the irony in the US government using Coinbase as a custodian

    Hosts:


    James Seyffart, Research Analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence


    Alex Kruger, Founder of Asgard


    Joe McCann, Founder, CEO, and CIO of Asymmetric


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  • The problem of low float, high fully diluted valuation (FDV) coins is one that is frequently discussed in crypto. But there’s another wrinkle: investors need to understand the unrealized gains of these coins to really understand the price. 
    In this episode, Jose Macedo of Delphi Digital and Ari Paul of Blocktower Capital explain the various metrics that reveal what a coin is really worth, why a wave of token unlocks that will be hitting the crypto markets in the next few years are not bullish, and whether there is a better way to design token unlocks for teams and insiders. 
    Plus, they cover whether venture capitalists are extractive to crypto, whether these games with circulating supply and FDV have caused investors to turn to memecoins, and why they believe the ICO era was better for retail investors. 
    Show highlights:

    00:00 Intro

    01:58 Why upcoming token unlocks are creating market jitters

    10:22 How the ratio of unrealized gains to market cap influences token price movements 

    12:22 How some token projects manipulate their reported circulating supply

    20:24 Whether and how everyday investors can uncover the truth about token projects

    23:37 What secondary market trading says about the potential impact of upcoming token unlocks

    34:50 Why Jose believes that the current token launch strategy, despite its flaws, is still favored by insiders and unlikely to change soon

    41:02 Why some projects favor decisions that are more likely to result in short-term gains over long-term success

    46:36 Why Jose believes that simple time-based token unlocks often work better than complex metrics, and how projects can balance funding with realistic success metrics

    53:04 Why Ari believes the SEC's investigations into VCs for acting as securities dealers might be justified, and how these practices resemble pump-and-dump schemes

    59:11 With numerous token unlocks looming, why the outlook is bearish for many projects, and what challenges they face in mitigating potential sell-offs

    1:05:52 Why many crypto investors might end up holding the bag in the current cycle, despite plans to sell early and avoid losses

    1:12:27 What the future role of VCs is in crypto, and how the influx of token unlocks and the rise of memecoins could shape the bull cycle


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


    Jose Macedo, founder at Delphi Labs


    Ari Paul, CIO of Blocktower Capital

    Previous appearances on Unchained:

    Ari Paul on Why Bitcoin Is a Good Value Buy

    Ari Paul of BlockTower Capital on the Crypto Downturn and Why It Could Change Direction

    Links
    High FDV and unlocks:

    Unchained:

    How ‘Fully Diluted Valuation’ Can Be a Very Dangerous Metric for Crypto Markets to Rely On

    Who’s to Blame for the Underperformance of Low Float, High FDV Tokens?

    80% of Tokens on Binance Are Down Since Listing Date: SwissBorg Researcher

    Cobie newsletter: New launches (part 1) - private capture, phantom pricing


    Rocknblock: Token vesting explainer


    CoinDesk: 'Liquid Vesting' Is Oxymoronic Blockchain Feature That Lets Early Investors Sell Without Waiting


    Jose’s thread that inspired the episode

    Ari’s post responding to Jose’s thread


    Token.unlocks.app: Token vesting tracker


    Solutions:

    Hack VC: Potential Solutions to Crypto's Unlock Problem


    Colony Lab: Early-Stage Program & Liquid Vesting


    Imran Khan’s tweet on Blast https://x.com/lmrankhan/status/1806040646433522149 


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  • Ten and a half years after filing for bankruptcy, Mt. Gox is finally set to disburse 142,000 Bitcoin worth nearly $9 billion to creditors between July and October. 
    Market concern has been growing over the potential impact on Bitcoin prices, but Alex Thorn, head of research at Galaxy, explains why only a small fraction of those bitcoins will be sold. He also discusses the implications of this redistribution on the market, the potential success of Ethereum ETFs, and the chances of a Solana ETF approval.
    Show highlights:

    00:00 Intro

    02:04 Why Alex estimates the amount of bitcoins that creditors sell will be a tiny fraction of the 142,000 to be repaid 

    13:35 What market shocks could arise from Mt. Gox creditors receiving billions in Bitcoin, and why he believes Bitcoin Cash is the real wild card

    18:18 Whether Ethereum ETFs could be as successful as Bitcoin ETFs in attracting investors

    23:06 Whether potential outflows from Grayscale's Ethereum Trust will dampen the excitement around Ethereum ETFs

    25:07 How the combination of Mt. Gox repayments, Ethereum ETFs, and German and American government Bitcoin sales might affect crypto prices

    27:32 The chances the SEC approves a spot Solana ETF


    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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    Polkadot

    Guest


    Alex Thorn, head of research at Galaxy

    Previous appearance on Unchained: How Much Money Will Flow Into Bitcoin ETFs? Here’s One Projection


    Links
    Mt. Gox.

    Unchained: Crypto Market Sees $300 Million Liquidated as Bitcoin Briefly Drops Below $59,000


    CoinDesk: Mt. Gox to Begin Repayments in July


    Governments selling:

    Unchained: US Government Sends $241 Million in Bitcoin to Coinbase: Arkham


    Cointelegraph: German gov’t offloads 900 Bitcoin, 400 BTC sent to Coinbase and Kraken


    Solana ETF
    Reuters: Investment manager VanEck files to list first spot Solana ETF in US |
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  • Last week, Consensys revealed that the SEC had concluded an investigation into Ethereum 2.0, referring to when Ethereum transitioned from a proof-of-work consensus mechanism to a proof-of-stake one.
    In this episode, Laura Brookover, senior counsel & head of litigation and investigations at Consensys, and Sam Enzer, partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, explore the implications of this decision on Ether’s status as a commodity versus a security, and why the SEC dropped the pursuit, including whether the shifting political winds played a role. For instance, how much of the decision was influenced by the ETH ETF approvals, Democrats crossing party lines to vote for FIT21 and the repeal of SAB 121, and/or SEC crypto enforcement chief David Hirsch’s resignation? 
    In this discussion, they also explained why the closure doesn’t necessarily mean that staking, or restaking, is safe from the SEC. Plus, what’s the impact of this closure on the other big crypto cases, such as Coinbase, Kraken, Uniswap, and Ripple?
    Show highlights:

    02:13 How Consensys managed to get the SEC to reveal that it had concluded its investigation into Ethereum 2.0, and the significance of that move

    08:14 The SEC's possible reasoning behind investigating Ethereum after it had switched to proof of stake

    15:19 How uncommon is it for the SEC to send a letter concluding an investigation like the one into Ethereum

    18:45 Whether recent events around crypto as an election issue, the ETH ETF approvals, votes for FIT21 and the repeal of SAB121, and David Hirsch’s resignation, might be connected to the decision to close this investigation

    29:03 Whether the Biden administration has shifted its stance on crypto and whether Gensler should remain as chair

    33:24 How the SEC might still go after staking

    37:18 Whether restaking, such as pioneered by EigenLayer, is safe from regulatory actions

    39:13 Why the SEC might be pursuing different judgments in various jurisdictions for MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet

    44:24 What crucial evidence from the closed Ethereum 2.0 investigation could strengthen Coinbase's defense in its ongoing lawsuit

    47:58 Why the SEC's aggressive stance on various crypto enforcement actions seems to remain unchanged despite closing the Ethereum 2.0 investigation

    52:13 Why Sam and Laura believe Solana should not be considered a security, despite the SEC naming it as such in various crypto cases

    58:13 How the SEC’s argument about an “ecosystem” is nonsensical, according to Laura Brookover

    01:00:31 What the implications of the closed investigation are for the cases of Kraken and Ripple

    01:04:58 What Sam and Laura B. are watching out for in terms of regulation and ongoing legal cases


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


    Laura Brookover, Senior Counsel & Head of Litigation and Investigations at Consensys

    Previous appearance on Unchained: Consensys’s Lawsuit Against The SEC: Will It End Gensler's ‘Unlawful Power Grab’?



    Sam Enzer, Partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel

    Previous appearances on Unchained:

    The Real Reason Why the SEC Might Be Going After Ethereum

    How 'a Criminal Choice' Got Sam Bankman-Fried a 25-Year Prison Sentence

    Why the SEC’s Case Against Coinbase Is So Significant for Crypto

    Why SBF’s Testimony So Far Has Likely Already Doomed Him

    Another Bad Week for Sam Bankman-Fried in His Criminal Trial

    Why These Lawyers Say It’s Over for SBF-But His Only Hail Mary Is to Testify

    SBF Trial: How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Might Try and Win His Case

    SBF’s Lawyers Could Be Annoying the Judge How Might That Impact the Trial?

    For more links visit UnchainedCrypto.com
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  • LayerZero’s token claims went live on Thursday, and as with every recent airdrop, there was plenty of controversy.
    In this episode, Bryan Pellegrino, cofounder and CEO of LayerZero Labs, joined to discuss their ambitious anti-Sybil campaign and the subsequent token distribution. He delved into the challenges of ensuring genuine user participation, the decision to offer a self-report option for Sybil attackers, and the complexities imposed by industrial-grade farmers. Bryan shared what he would have done differently and why a mandatory donation to Protocol Guild was imposed.
    Also, are airdrops dead? How can the industry improve this not-so-effective distribution method? 
    Show highlights:

    00:00 Intro

    01:23 Why LayerZero launched an anti-Sybil campaign with its airdrop, and what challenges they faced in ensuring genuine user participation

    04:51 Why LayerZero offered a self-report option for Sybil attackers, and how this strategy revealed both the complexities and the creativity within the crypto community

    10:16 How the anti-Sybil campaign uncovered over a million fraudulent accounts

    14:34 What Bryan would have done differently in their campaign

    17:18 What alternative methods, such as KYC and proof-of-humanity protocols, LayerZero could have used for their anti-Sybil campaign

    18:35How LayerZero navigated the cat-and-mouse game with industrial airdrop farmers

    23:08 Why they decided to impose a donation to Protocol Guild to claim the ZRO token

    32:07 What caused the dramatic drop in LayerZero's activity post-announcement of their anti-Sybil campaign, and why the team is optimistic despite the decline

    35:23 LayerZero's plans for future airdrops 

    38:40 What Bryan thinks the future holds for airdrops in crypto, and how the current broken system can be improved to achieve better distribution and user engagement

    42:43 Crypto News Recap

    Visit our website for breaking news, analysis, op-eds, articles to learn about crypto, and much more: unchainedcrypto.com
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    Guest
    Bryan Pellegrino, cofounder and CEO of LayerZero Labs
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  • Welcome to The Chopping Block – where crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Robert Leshner, and Tarun Chitra explore the latest trends in the crypto world. In this episode, we dive into the impact of celebrity-endorsed memecoins, featuring discussions around Iggy Azalea's 'Mother' token, Waka Flocka Flame's 'Flocka' token, and other celebrities. We debate the broader implications of these phenomena on the crypto market, address criticisms of venture capital's role in crypto, and explore the seasonal nature of crypto trading. Tune in for an in-depth look at how pop culture intersects with cryptocurrency, shaping current market sentiment.

    Show highlights
    🔹 Seasonality in Crypto: Exploration of the historical seasonal trends in crypto markets and their implications.
    🔹 Memecoins & Celebrities: Insightful discussion on the rise of celebrity-launched memecoins and their impact on the crypto world.
    🔹 Market Cycles: Exploration of the different phases in market cycles and their effects on asset creation and liquidation.
    🔹 VC Funding in Crypto: Examination of the role of venture capital in the crypto ecosystem and its impact on market dynamics.
    🔹 VC vs. Liquid Funds: Debate on whether venture capital funds are beneficial or detrimental to the crypto markets.
    🔹 Institutional and Retail Adoption: The importance of growing crypto usage among both institutions and retail investors.

    Hosts
    ⭐️Haseeb Qureshi, Managing Partner at Dragonfly 
    ⭐️Tom Schmidt, General Partner at Dragonfly
    ⭐️Robert Leshner, CEO & Co-founder of Superstate
    ⭐️Tarun Chitra, Managing Partner at Robot Ventures

    Disclosures
    Timestamps

    00:00 Intro

    01:58 Market Sentiment

    07:34 Celebrity Involvement in Crypto

    16:00 Celebrity Coins vs Endorsements 

    25:24 Influencer Economy and Social Tokens

    27:41 Legibility and Value of Memecoins

    28:37 Crypto Influencers

    31:07 VCs vs. Retail

    36:50 Future of Crypto Markets

    43:53 Institutional vs. Retail Adoption

    50:45 Taking on Populist Takes


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  • A few weeks after its launch, Iggy Azalea's MOTHER memecoin is still in the spotlight. Host Joe McCann, who recently had dinner with her in New York, gives the inside scoop on how Iggy’s $MOTHER came to be, plus her plans. 
    Also, Joe says Iggy is so bullish on Solana because it’s fast and cheap… but James Seyffart counters… nothing can be fast, cheap, and good. Except ETFs.
    Guests Phil Bonello and Kelly Greer delve into the role of venture capital in crypto, and more particularly into dynamics between liquid hedge funds and massive token generation events. And James tells a mind-blowing story about how one ETF and obscure SEC rules could cause whiplash to the prices of Apple and Nvidia stock over the next few months. 
    Plus, after SEC head enforcer David Hirsch resigned from the SEC this week, everyone gave their takes on why. Is Hirsch going to BlackRock, or was he scared about a potential lawsuit?
    Show highlights:

    00:51 The real story behind Iggy Azalea's MOTHER memecoin and the controversy between Joe and Haseeb Qureshi

    07:26 Why Iggy is bullish on Solana, and whether MOTHER is a hopeful case for crypto, reflecting the evolving relationship between entertainment and Web3

    12:35 Whether the market has already topped, given the involvement of celebrities in the industry

    15:32 Whether VCs are extractive to the overall space, and how liquid funds and token unlocks impact the performance of assets

    21:17 Why venture funds and hedge funds have different approaches to liquid crypto investments, and how memecoins are changing the game for allocators

    33:18 Why there’s a 0% chance that SOL gets an ETF this year

    34:19 What the recent macro trends point to, whether inflation going down is sustainable, and whether rate cuts are coming

    43:32 Why Nvidia's rapid growth is about to trigger a multi-billion dollar rebalance in tech ETFs, and how both $NVDA’s and $AAPL’s stock prices might soon seesaw 

    54:35 The theories about why the SEC’s chief crypto enforcer David Hirsch resigned from the agency (hint: it might have to do with the election)

    59:52 Why James believes Ethereum ETFs will launch on July 2 and what amount of inflows the ETH ETFs might garner, esp. considering potential ETHE outflows

    Hosts:


    James Seyffart, Research Analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence


    Joe McCann, Founder, CEO, and CIO of Asymmetric

    Guests:


    Kelly Greer, Vice President of Trading at Galaxy


    Philip Bonello, Founding Partner at Plaintext Capital


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  • The political landscape in the US is heating up with the November elections, and the crypto industry is watching closely. 
    In this episode, Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge, doesn’t mince words and explains why he believes Joe Biden is the best choice—even for the crypto voter—in the upcoming election, the significance of the Ethereum ETF approval, and how the industry has overcome significant regulatory hurdles. 
    Scaramucci also shares his insights on the future of Bitcoin ETFs, the role of younger generations in driving crypto policy, and why Solana might be the next big thing. 
    Show highlights:

    02:05 Why Anthony believes there’s only one choice in this election: Joe Biden

    07:03 Why he thinks the crypto industry “has already won”

    16:27 Whether the crypto industry should trust Trump with his pro-crypto comments

    17:20 Why Anthony is convinced that the Biden administration has stopped its anti-crypto stance, even with the veto of the SAB 121 repeal

    21:26 Why Anthony believes crypto is becoming a bipartisan issue, and how younger generations are driving this change in Washington

    28:05 What three key elements would ideally be included in crypto legislation to ensure clarity and industry involvement in regulation

    30:49 What happened to SkyBridge after selling a stake to FTX, and how they are riding the industry's “upswing”

    38:00 What developments in Bitcoin ETFs could signal its recognition as an asset class and drive institutional adoption

    40:00 What led SkyBridge to abandon its Bitcoin ETF application

    43:23 What Anthony thinks is the best pitch for a spot Ether ETF to TradFi, and how expected inflows compare to Bitcoin ETFs

    49:11 Anthony’s praise of Laura’s book

    51:55 Why Anthony believes a Solana ETF might be the next big thing in crypto, despite SEC scrutiny and the need for a futures market first

    55:20 Why SkyBridge is actively seeking new acquisitions and partnering with Parcl, a Solana-based decentralized real estate trading app

    59:44 What Anthony's bullish predictions for Bitcoin and Ethereum are in the current cycle

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

    Anthony Scaramucci, Founder and Managing Partner at SkyBridge
    Links

    Recent coverage of Unchained on the political scenario in the US:

    How the U.S. Government Can Protect the Dollar Through Stablecoins

    Why Many Democrats, Including the White House, Have Come Around on Crypto

    Senator Cynthia Lummis on Why Crypto Now Has Bipartisan Support in Congress


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  • Welcome to The Chopping Block – where crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Robert Leshner, and Tarun Chitra explore the latest trends in the crypto world. In this episode, we dive into the impact of celebrity-endorsed memecoins, featuring Iggy Azalea's new coin 'Mother' and Andrew Tate's 'Daddy.' We discuss how these phenomena influence the broader crypto market, recent trends in airdrops, and the challenge of Sybil resistance. Additionally, we explore the permissionless nature of crypto and the trade-offs involved in fun and chaotic projects, including the explosive rise of 'Hamster Kombat.' Tune in for an in-depth look at how pop culture intersects with the core principles of cryptocurrency, shaping current market sentiment.
    Show highlights
    🔹 Crypto Market Sentiment: Discussion on the latest market trends and how inflation numbers are impacting the community. 
    🔹 Memecoins & Celebrities: Analysis of Iggy Azalea's $Mother and the phenomenon of celebrity-launched memecoins. 
    🔹 Emerging Memecoins: Insights into new memecoins, including issues with fake and hacked accounts. 
    🔹 Tap-to-Earn Games: Overview of the rapid growth of simple click-based games like Hamster Kombat. 
    🔹 Airdrop Controversies: Exploration of recent controversies, particularly involving zkSync and LayerZero, and challenges of Sybil attacks. 
    🔹 Future Airdrop Strategies: Discussion on the evolution and need for clear, ungameable metrics.
    Hosts
    ⭐️Haseeb Qureshi, Managing Partner at Dragonfly 
    ⭐️Tom Schmidt, General Partner at Dragonfly
    ⭐️Robert Leshner, CEO & Co-founder of Superstate
    ⭐️Tarun Chitra, Managing Partner at Robot Ventures

    Disclosures

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  • Nathaniel Popper just published his latest book, "The Trolls of Wall Street," covering the Wall Street Bets phenomenon. Funnily enough, his book comes at a time when there are striking similarities with the current memecoin mania in crypto. 
    In this episode, Popper explores the rise of online investing communities like Wall Street Bets and their reflection of broader societal changes, particularly among young men. 
    He also touches on the parallels between the trolling culture of these communities and the rise of figures like Donald Trump, and delves into the hidden dangers and psychological influences of memes in modern investing.
    Show highlights:

    01:21 The rise of online money communities and the shift towards investing based on ideas rather than traditional financial fundamentals

    04:06 How the changing roles of young men in society have influenced the growth of crypto and online financial communities

    13:36 How Robinhood's design choices changed retail investing, sparking FOMO and controversy by making trading as easy as a swipe

    18:04 The hidden dangers of memes in modern investing, and how they balance fostering community with driving speculation

    22:56 Why Trump's ties to the crypto community highlight the mix of serious intent and trolling

    30:07 Crypto News Recap

    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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    Guest

    Nathaniel Popper, author of The Trolls of Wall Street

    Links
    Previous coverage of Unchained on memecoins:

    Unchained: Why Memecoins Have Been 2024's Most Profitable Crypto Trade: Ansem and Kelxyz - Ep. 641


    BRETT Becomes First Memecoin on Base to Reach $1 Billion in Market Cap

    DWF Labs to Invest in Memecoins, Onchain Data Reveals LADYS Transactions

    Celebrity Tokens Continue to Bleed With Some Memecoin Traders Losing Six-Figures

    The book:

    Blockworks: What do memecoins and meme stocks have in common?: A review of ‘The Trolls of Wall Street’


    Fortune: Q&A with the author of ‘The Trolls of Wall Street’: Gambling, conspiracies, and the return of Roaring Kitty, 

    Meme culture

    WSJ: 

    Meme Stocks Are Back, but Fund Investors Moved On

    Meet the ‘Degen’ Traders Fueling the Latest Meme-Stock Mania

    CoinDesk: In Defense of Meme Coins



    What else could memecoins be? By Vitalik Buterin


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