Unchained: Big Ideas From The Worlds Of Blockchain And Fintech-logo

Unchained: Big Ideas From The Worlds Of Blockchain And Fintech

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The blockchain is about to transform every trust-based interaction of our lives, from financial services to identity, from health care to our Internet of Things devices. In this podcast, host Laura Shin talks with industry pioneers across tech, financial services, health care, government and other sectors about how the blockchain and fintech will open up new opportunities for incumbents, startups and everyday people to interact more efficiently, directly and globally.






From Blockchains To Mooncakes: Two Chinese Crypto Founders On The ICO And Bitcoin Exchanges Ban

Da Hongfei of NEO and Patrick Dai of Qtum tell us just how crazy China's ICO craze was getting, with mooncake companies, celebs and Ponzi schemers all jumping on the blockchain train. They also explain what the reaction was to the ICO and bitcoin exchanges ban, how they're refunding investors (if the investors want to be refunded -- a big if) and what the future of crypto is in China. Show notes: ...

Duration: 00:59:00

Blockstack On Getting Independence From Google, Facebook And Amazon

Ryan Shea and Muneeb Ali, the cofounders of Blockstack, on how their tools enable users to control their own data, why the internet should have universal usernames but no company should control that, and why Blockstack’s storage system still allows users to choose centralized options like Google Drive and Dropbox. They also talk about how other blockchain systems are thinking about scaling wrong, why they launched a developer fund, and why a developer would choose Blockstack over...

Duration: 00:56:34

The High-Speed World Of ICOs: Smith and Crown Discuss Cryptoeconomics And The Future Of Tokens

Brian Lio, CEO of cryptofinance research site Smith and Crown, and head of research Matt Chwierut discuss how they do their research, how they decide which projects to cover in-depth rather than just list and when they provide advisory services for teams. They also discuss how they think the blockchain and crypto space will develop, the best structures for token sales, and why they joke that financial institutions haven't heard anything Smith and Crown has said. Smith and Crown:...

Duration: 00:59:17

How Bitcoin Solved This Serial Entrepreneur's Problems

Afghan entrepreneur Roya Mahboob has launched numerous companies, but it was a blogging platform that presented her with the problem of how to pay her (mostly female) users, 99% of whom did not have bank accounts. And even if they did get paid, their families would often confiscate the money. She found her solution in Bitcoin, and later launched a new startup, Digital Citizen Fund, that trains girls in blockchain technology and Bitcoin. Mahboob, named one of the 100 most influential people...

Duration: 00:54:46

Why November Will Be The Real Test For Bitcoin

Bitcoin core developer Eric Lombrozo and OB1 CEO Brian Hoffman debate whether SegWit2x is the best path forward, discuss who supported it and why, and whether the potential for a hard fork harms the price. They also discuss what happens to the power of core developers now that a change they didn’t support might get pushed through, what their ideal solutions for increasing transactions on the network are, and how much power miners should have. Show notes: ...

Duration: 01:10:31

Listener Qs: Laura On Ponzi Schemes, Bubbles, Greed And More

In this episode, coming one day after the release of my Forbes cover story online, I answer listener questions, starting with my background, the history of the podcast, whether or not I trade or invest in crypto, and what tokens I think have the strongest real-world application. If you haven't read the cover package, I highly recommend you do so now: Cover story:...

Duration: 00:58:23

Why Digital Currency Group's Meltem Demirors Is Skeptical Of Crypto Hedge Funds

The DCG director of development talks about why she thinks identity will be the first tangible application of blockchain technology that consumers experience, why DCG supports Ethereum Classic as an investment vehicle and yet still supports Ethereum as a protocol, and how bitcoin itself as a global currency hasn't taken off as much as she thought when she first got into the industry. She also explains what the top regulatory issue is for blockchain startups and projects -- it's a lot more...

Duration: 01:04:40

'Bitcoin Oracle' Vinny Lingham On Why Bitcoin Is Overpriced

The Civic CEO and cofounder explains how his upbringing in South Africa and his experience at former company Gyft led him to launch a startup focused on identity. It was also at Gyft that he realized how enthusiastic the bitcoin and cryptocurrency crowd is and how a business could harness that enthusiasm to grow its user base. We discuss why the ICO craze has only just gotten started and how cultural differences could make the scams and speculation worse than in previous bubbles. Plus,...

Duration: 01:01:36

ICOs: Why People Are Investing In This $380 Million Phenomenon

Don't forget to take the Unchained podcast survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unchained Developers of new cryptocurrencies are raising gobs of money with little more than a white paper. Though real advances are likely to emerge from the trend, the bubble could get worse before it gets better. William Mougayar, organizer of the upcoming Token Summit, and Nick Tomaino, cohost, discuss where ICOs are going wrong now, what best practices would help the space mature, and how to separate...

Duration: 00:58:12

IBM's Jerry Cuomo On Everything From Blockchain Security To Hyperledger To The Internet Of Things

Thanks to all the listeners who've let me know what you want to hear more of, what you like about the show, and who you want to see as guests. If you haven't yet, have a say in the direction of the show -- tell me what you like, what the podcast could do better, and who you are: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unchained Jerry Cuomo has been at IBM his whole career and says that the emergence of blockchain technology is the second time in his career he has seen a breakthrough that will...

Duration: 00:54:33

This VC Is Sure Venture Capital Is About To Be Disrupted

Don't forget to take the Unchained Podcast survey! http://surveymonkey.com/r/unchained Blockchain Capital's recent BCAP token offering is a harbinger of things to come in venture capital and private equity, says the firm's managing director Brock Pierce. And Stan Misohnik, the CEO and cofounder of a new investment bank focused on cryptocurrency called The Argon Group, seconds that. Pierce talks about how his career in cryptocurrency started with video games, how Blockchain Capital's three...

Duration: 00:58:17

Why Bitcoin May Split In Two And How To Prevent It

Please take the Unchained podcast survey! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unchained The bitcoin community is mired in a civil war. In this episode of the Unchained podcast, supporters of opposing sides -- former Bitcoin Core developer Jeff Garzik and Litecoin creator Charlie Lee -- explain why nuclear options are on the table. The discussion touches on whether high transaction fees are bad for the network or a necessary evil, which would be considered the "true" bitcoin if the currency...

Duration: 00:58:58

Bobby Lee, CEO Of BTCC, On Why The Chinese Probably Aren't Using Bitcoin To Evade Capital Controls

Bobby Lee, CEO of BTCC, one of the world's longest-running cryptocurrency exchanges, talks about whether Chinese people are using bitcoin to evade capital controls, how bitcoin trading in China has changed since a government crackdown in early January, and how he came up with the idea for no-fee trading in the early days of bitcoin.

Duration: 00:53:47

Why The First Employee Of Coinbase Launched A Hedge Fund

Olaf Carlson-Wee is the founder of Polychain Capital, a hedge fund that has invested $15 million into digital assets and has gotten backing from storied venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures. In this episode, Carlson-Wee recounts war stories from the early days of bitcoin, including how he learned about bitcoin before his computer science professors, bought bitcoins with cash and created “the Bitcoin SAT” to make hires at Coinbase. He also describes how to...

Duration: 00:56:07

Why Nasdaq Is Even More Optimistic About Blockchain Than It Was 3 Years Ago

Fredrik Voss, Nasdaq's head of blockchain initiatives, discusses what the company has accomplished with the technology and how his firm evaluates whether potential projects could benefit from a blockchain solution. He also reveals what is likely to really slow adoption of distributed ledgers (hint: not the tech itself) and gives advice to other companies looking to incorporate it.

Duration: 00:48:40

With Deadline Looming, Will The SEC Approve A Bitcoin ETF?

The SEC will make a decision on a proposed bitcoin ETF by March 11. Will it approve? An optimist and pessimist weigh in, touching upon bitcoin’s liquidity, the impact recent events in China have had on its trading, as well as proposals for bitcoin ETFs by other companies. Plus, they reveal what impact an ETF could have on the bitcoin market. HOST: Laura Shin - Business Journalist covering Bitcoin, blockchain, fintech, personal finance; Forbes Contributor.

Duration: 00:55:46

Is The IRS Justified In Demanding Information On Millions Of Bitcoin Users?

The IRS found three entities using bitcoin to evade taxes and has now demanded the records of millions of users at Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange. An accountant and an attorney specializing in cryptocurrency discuss whether the IRS is overreaching, how this "unprecedented" case differs from previous ones pursued by the IRS, and what they think the ultimate outcome will be. HOST: Laura Shin - Business Journalist covering Bitcoin, blockchain, fintech, personal finance;...

Duration: 00:50:20

What Is One Of The World's Largest Derivatives Exchanges Doing With Bitcoin?

CME Group handles three billion contracts worth about $1 quadrillion annually. So why is it making a foray into bitcoin, whose market capitalization is a mere $16 billion? Sandra Ro, CME's head of digitization, explains its first cryptocurrency products, the Bitcoin Reference Rate and the Bitcoin Real-Time Index, as well as a forthcoming blockchain-based product, Royal Mint Gold. She also reveals which other cryptocurrencies have piqued her interest and which other physical world assets...

Duration: 00:44:03

Federal Prosecutor Kathryn Haun On How Criminals Use Bitcoin -- And How She Catches Them

Kathryn Haun put away the DEA and Secret Service agents who tried to make off with more than $800,000 in stolen bitcoin while investigating the darknet Silk Road marketplace. She talks about how the blockchain technology underlying Bitcoin made it possible to uncover their theft, why she believes blockchain will create a lot of good, and what she does when the very people behind tumblers and mixers -- technology that makes her work more difficult -- turn to her when they are the victims of...

Duration: 00:43:59

How Coin Center Is Helping Define The 'Big Fuzzy Gray Area' Of Blockchain And Cryptocurrency Law

As blockchains and cryptocurrencies evolve, there are times when the technology outpaces the law. That's when Coin Center steps in. The non-profit, which represents the technology, not the industry, and aims for regulators to keep a mostly hands-off attitude, has already helped shape questions around which types of Bitcoin wallet providers are financial institutions and whether new coins being offered represent securities. And answering these questions has drawn it back into previous cases...

Duration: 00:48:58

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