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The Crypto Conversation
51 minutes | 3 days ago
Axie Infinity & the blockchain gaming play to earn revolution
Axie Infinity is a Pokémon-inspired blockchain-based digital pet universe where players can earn tokens through gaming. Players can battle, collect, breed, and build a kingdom for their pets. Like CryptoKitties, Axies are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) represented as cryptographically unique characters that can’t be replicated. And like Pokémon, they are born to battle. While Axie can be just a game, it has built a strong social network, passionate community, and emerging jobs platform due to the play to earn opportunities it is generating. Guest: Jeff Zirlin Why you should listen: Jeff grew up playing games like Neopets, Pokémon, and World of Warcraft. “I played so much WOW that my parents sent me to boarding school,” he says. “I’ve always been a collector. As I kid my dad and I would collect fossils and insects. And as a lifelong gamer, I’m a digital collector as well, so I was predisposed to be interested in blockchain gaming.” The blockchain gaming play to earn revolution started to gain traction after it emerged that a large community of players in the Philippines was earning money playing Axie Infinity. Jeff says "Most game companies sell in-game resources, items, and upgrades. With Axie there's an in-game resource that you need to create more Axies and it's called the love potion. So most game developers would sell this love potion, and people would pay for it. In Axie we don't sell it ourselves, the only way that love potions can be created is by people playing the game. Players who have big Axie collections need the love potion to breed Axies and have to buy the token from a liquidity pool on UniSwap or from Binance. So players can earn a basic income and we've seen that with the rise in value of ETH, this can appreciate significantly.” Key takeaway: The power of blockchain games is that they're becoming more than games. They're becoming places that we can live, work, and play. The eventual vision is to create a Metaverse similar to Ready Player One where people spend the majority of their time. “We believe in a future where work and play become one,” says Jeff. “And we believe in empowering our players and giving them economic opportunities.” To do this the Axie team is committed to aligning the incentives of the Axie community. Players can earn the AXS governance token. The token economics were designed by Delphi Digital. Delphi Digital has invested a significant amount of capital in buying several extremely rare Mystic Axies. If Axie Infinity continues to gain traction Mystic Axies will grow in value in the future. Jeff says “We’re seeing the rise of Mystic Axies and other NFTs as a true asset class. This trend accelerated when Delphi Digital picked up some of the rarest Axies in the game, like quadruple Mystics, triple Mystics. You can think of Mystics as rare and valuable skins. It makes sense that there's a lot of interest around NFTs and it makes sense because we live in a digital world.” Supporting links: Axie Infinity Delphi Digital on Axie Leverj Jeff on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
51 minutes | 10 days ago
Andreas Antonopoulos - Why decentralized protocols are a force for good
The legendary Bitcoin evangelist, educator, and advocate Andreas M. Antonopoulos returns for his second appearance on the Crypto Conversation. Topics of discussion include the Ledger data breach, crypto security, the proposed new FinCEN regulations, techno-optimism, and why decentralized blockchains are a source of hope. Why you should listen: “I'm a techno-optimist,” says Antonopoulos. “I believe that technology has freed people from the constraints of the past. It has empowered individuals and improved the lives of billions. The world is a more equitable place as a result. Technology itself is a neutral tool that we can use for good or evil. You have to take the base assumption that the vast majority of human beings are good. There are exceptions, of course, but the exceptions validate this truth. Technologies that are truly decentralized and go directly into the hands of empowering individuals, they will be used by those individuals to do good. And so when I look at a technology that can be used at scale by lots of people and based on my understanding of human nature, I see immense hope. I see immense hope that if you allow people to act on their own impulses and give them power in the form of technology, the outcomes are massive good on a massive scale.” Key takeaway: Antonopoulos, never one to mince words, says the proposed FinCEN regulations are an attempt to extend a totalitarian financial surveillance structure over the entire world. “They are acting with complete disregard for the consequences and side effects on billions of innocent people,” he says. “This is wrapped up in the self-righteous and easy to sell idea that this prevents crime. Of course, they bundled in all of the worst kinds of crimes, such as terrorism and child pornography. The truth is, however, that for decades now, every study that has ever looked at the effectiveness of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing, these kinds of customer regulations prevent a vanishingly small amount of those activities.” Supporting links: Aantonop Leverj Andreas on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
46 minutes | 11 days ago
Best of 2020 - Why LEVERJ is the next big thing in DeFi
We’re revisiting some of the best Crypto Conversation podcast episodes of 2020. In this episode, we talk to Bharath Rao and Swapman from LEVERJ, the world’s first scalable decentralized derivatives exchange. LEVERJ is a trading platform created to perform like traditional financial exchanges while maintaining the critical function of security. Built on Gluon, a Plasma sidechain, LEVERJ is self-custodial by design, meaning that users always control their private keys and funds. Gluon is the first fully operational Ethereum Layer 2 chain, giving LEVERJ the high-transaction throughput to work as fast as centralized exchanges. Why you should listen: LEVERJ is a self-custodial decentralized derivatives exchange that provides up to 100x leverage. High speed, decentralized spot trading went live on mainnet in 2019 while futures trading went live in September. The first tradable futures products are ETH-USD and BTC-USD perpetual swaps with many more products in the pipeline. LEVERJ has partnered with Brave New Coin to roll out a pipeline of innovative exchange traded products. Some examples of these are sub-sector specific tradable products such as a DeFi index, a privacy coin index, volatility indices and more. “Most exchanges self-index, which introduces unnecessary risk,” says LEVERJ CEO Bharath Rao. “By partnering with Brave New Coin, we give our users more transparency in the benchmark methodology and instrument design process as well as a greatly expedited product roadmap. It’s our goal to bring the best practices of capital markets into the DeFi space, thus attracting new institutions.” Key takeaway: Interest in DeFi exploded in 2020. To cater to this demand, LEVERJ has built a high-frequency, multi-currency spot and futures trading platform. The explosion of DeFi in 2020 has seen Ethereum gas prices rise significantly. The huge spike in demand for transaction space on the Ethereum chain has put a strain on the Ethereum and DeFi ecosystems. Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges have faced challenges with security and performance, often falling short of the standards set by traditional financial exchanges. LEVERJ solves these challenges with the Gluon sidechain, a mathematically rigorous protocol preventing fraud, compromise, and collusion to provide the benefits of blockchain without the limitations. Gluon is an advanced, fully operational Ethereum Layer 2 chain, giving LEVERJ high-transaction, low-latency throughput similar to centralized exchanges. Other developers can also build decentralized applications using Gluon, including their own decentralized exchanges. Gluon has been in development for over three years and is currently the only Layer 2 solution purpose-built for high-capacity trading, that has instant-finality, strong composability, and conventional APIs for sophisticated traders to feel like they are using a regular centralized exchange without counterparty risk. Supporting links: LEVERJ LEVERJ on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
40 minutes | 20 days ago
Best of 2020 - Sound Money - A hip-hop story about Bitcoin
We’re revisiting some of the best Crypto Conversation podcast episodes of 2020. In this episode, we talk to DJ J-SCRILLA, a critically acclaimed hip-hop producer from Washington DC. DJ J-SCRILLA has released a new hip-hop album called Sound Money that tells the story of Bitcoin. Here it is, the official hip-hop edition of the Crypto Conversation…. Yeah boi! Why you should listen: Sound Money by DJ J-SCRILLA is a body of Bitcoin art combining audio clips, samples, dirty drums and some of the hip-hop underground’s best rappers. The album serves as a soundtrack for Bitcoiners and serves up audio inspiration for no-coiners interested in the future of decentralized money. This podcast features music highlights from the album including the new crypto anthem ‘Faith In My Money (Money Printer Go Brrr)’. Key takeaway: On the hip-hop edition of the Crypto Conversation podcast, we discuss the lockdown trend that has seen top rappers engage in Instagram battles, such as the recent soundclash between DJ Premier and RZA. DJ J-SCRILLA says “the album is not a foolishly positive take on Bitcoin. It’s a rational angle that condemns the abuses of central banking and portrays Satoshi Nakamoto’s currency as an alternative.” Following the Crypto Conversation hot take round, DJ J-SCRILLA shares his top 5 hip-hop albums. Sound Money is available on major streaming services. Supporting links: Rarescrilla.com Money Printer Go Brrr DJ J-Scrilla on Twitter Sound Money on Spotify Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin LEVERJ If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
55 minutes | 24 days ago
Best of 2020 - Zero to One - Why Bitcoin is an unstoppable idea
We’re revisiting some of the best Crypto Conversation podcast episodes of 2020. In this episode, we talk to Robert Breedlove, one of the deepest and most insightful thinkers on Bitcoin. Robert is the author of The Number Zero and Bitcoin. Robert says Satoshi gave the world Bitcoin, a true “something for nothing.” This discovery of absolute scarcity for money is an unstoppable idea that is changing the world tremendously, just like its digital ancestor: the number zero. Guest: Robert Breedlove Why you should listen: Robert says that Satoshi gave the world Bitcoin, a true “something for nothing.” This discovery of absolute scarcity for money is an unstoppable idea that is changing the world tremendously, just like its digital ancestor: the number zero. Like the invention of zero, which led to the discovery of “nothing as something” in mathematics and other domains, Bitcoin is the catalyst of a worldwide paradigmatic phase change. What numeral is to number, and zero is to the void for mathematics, Bitcoin is to absolute scarcity for money: each is a symbol that allows mankind to apprehend a latent reality (in the case of money, time). More than just a new monetary technology, Bitcoin is an entirely new economic paradigm: an uncompromisable base money protocol for a global, digital, non-state economy. Key takeaway: Robert says that many believe that Bitcoin is “just one of thousands of crypto assets”—this is true in the same way that the number zero is just one of an infinite series of numbers. In reality, Bitcoin is special, and so is zero: each is an invention which led to a discovery that fundamentally reshaped its overarching system—for Bitcoin, that system is money, and for zero, it is mathematics. Since money and math are mankind’s two universal languages, both Bitcoin and zero are critical constructs for civilization. Zero and Bitcoin are unstoppable ideas gifted to mankind; gestures made in the spirit of “something for nothing.” In a world run by central banks with zero accountability, a cabal that uses the specious prospects of “infinite cash” to promise us everything (thereby raising the specter of hyperinflation), nothingness may prove to be the greatest gift we could ever receive… Supporting links: The Number Zero and Bitcoin An Open Letter to Ray Dalio Robert’s Tweet Storm Sapiens Interstellar The Sovereign Individual Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin Leverj
41 minutes | 25 days ago
Best of 2020 - Cryptopia the movie - Bitcoin, Blockchains & the Future of the Internet
We’re revisiting some of the best Crypto Conversation podcast episodes of 2020. In this episode, we talk with Torsten Hoffmann a documentary filmmaker. His new film Cryptopia: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet is now available online. Why you should listen: After writing a research paper on alternative currencies as part of his MBA at Oxford University, Torsten was intrigued by Bitcoin. In 2014 he started working on Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know it, his first documentary. Hoffmann’s award-winning first film looks at Bitcoin in the context of the history of money. His new film, Cryptopia: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet is a bigger budget, ambitious follow up that takes a 360 wide-angle approach to the technology that may define Web 3.0. “Since the release of the first film, the industry has grown by a factor of 100. Bitcoin has been called one of the most disruptive technologies of our time. However, media coverage is often misinformed and the general public is still confused about the technology and its implications,” says Hoffmann. “Can this technology, designed to operate independent of trust and within a decentralized network, really provide a robust alternative? Or are cryptocurrencies just as unfairly distributed, easily manipulated, and dangerous as our current systems? That was my starting point.” Key takeaway: Filmed over two years Torsten says the new documentary has three arcs. "First we look at Bitcoin, then we look at the ecosystem, public / private blockchains and ICOs, and then we look forward at the potential of blockchain to unlock Web 3.0." He interviewed some of the ecosystem’s biggest brains and biggest egos including Andreas Antonopoulos, Roger Ver, Charlie Lee, Samson Mow, Craig Wright, Preethi Kasireddy, and Wences Casares. While the film has a global feel, with filming taking place on four continents in cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Berlin, Switzerland, and Melbourne, Hoffmann says the highlight of the filming schedule was being granted access to the Xapo vault located in a top secret location buried deep in the Swiss mountains. Founded by Bitcoin entrepreneur Wences Casares, the Xapo vault is a decommissioned military bunker dug into the mountainside in a remote part of Switzerland. Its exact location is secret, and access is protected by a complex series of security measures. “The bunker scene was a highlight and we are the only film crew to be allowed inside. Allegedly up to 10% of all Bitcoin private keys are stored in the Xapo vault. It was a James Bond style adventure to get clearance and film inside the bunker,” said Hoffmann. Supporting links: Cryptopia Film Torsten on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin Leverj
56 minutes | a month ago
Bitcoin is above $20k - Bull market price discovery mode activated
Bitcoin achieved a new all-time high today of USD $20,800. Bitcoin is now in full price discovery mode and looks set to continue as the bull market heats up. With a reduction in supply following May’s halving, increasing demand from institutions, and a strong narrative that Bitcoin is a store of value, Bitcoin’s future has never looked brighter. Why you should listen: Josh says “I think that $33k by July 2021 is more viable and possible than ever. I don’t think it is likely we’ll see a bear market any time soon, we’re now in possible multi-year bull market territory. This is good for BTC, this is good for ETH, this is good for all of crypto.” Key takeaway: If you’re reading this, you are probably a bitcoiner - good for you. Give yourself a pat on the back for believing in and participating in the birth of a brand new asset class, this is just the beginning. Andy and Josh also discuss ETH, DeFi and the growing NFT and collectible digital art scene. Supporting links: Leverj Josh on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
42 minutes | a month ago
Sim Swap Attacks - Why it's time to review your crypto security
Haseeb Awan is a cellphone security expert and the CEO of efani - America's most secure & private cellphone service. Haseeb was the creator of the 1st Bitcoin ATM in the U.S. Why you should listen: Haseeb has a background in Telecom Engineering. After being targeted by a sim swapper he looked at the weaknesses in existing mobile operators. He then designed a secure solution for his personal use. After growing interest from his network, Haseen founded efani, the most secure, private mobile operator in the U.S. The potential ROI for sim-swap attackers is massive. Crypto is an attractive target that can be turned into dollars. The sim-swap attack is easy to execute and doesn’t require coding skills. Once an attacker has control of a phone account, they are often able to gain access to a victim’s email account, Google Drive, passwords, and more. Key takeaway: With crypto prices tracking up, it’s an excellent time to review your security practices. If prices continue to rise more bad actors will be incentivized to target crypto holders. Mobile phone support staff are underpaid and overworked and are not well trained against sophisticated social engineering attacks. All of the information an attacker needs to know to begin a social engineering attack can be purchased on the dark web. efani will transfer your existing number to efani and separate your personal information from your telephone number. Efani enforces 11-layers of military-grade client-side integrity, privacy and authentication protection. Efani is not for everyone, the company is a boutique solution for those who understand the value of privacy and security. Supporting links: Efani Haseeb on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
70 minutes | a month ago
The Blockchain Detective - Taking on elite cybercriminals & owning them
Richard Sanders is a co-founder and lead investigator at CipherBlade, an elite blockchain investigation agency that works closely with top crypto exchanges, blockchain protocols, and the FBI. The agency uses a potent mix of on-chain and off-chain analytics and investigative techniques to track the most sophisticated cybercriminals on the planet. Guest: Richard Sanders Why you should listen: Richard Sanders and his team at CipherBlade are the 911 that the blockchain industry calls for cryptocurrency scam and hack investigations. Richard says “We'd prefer it if people came to us before they get hacked, rather than after they get hacked. We provide security audits for exchanges and high net worth individuals and can provide extensive training for companies and individuals.” Blockchain investigators use a variety of tools that allow them to visualize the blockchain. A block explorer does something similar, the difference with professional tools is they take those visualizations to the next level and significantly increases the information and attribution that can be analyzed. Richard says he is also adept at off-chain investigative skills. “Social engineering is a good example of this. I pretended to be a female gamer on Discord and that helped me identify one of the Ian Balina scammers. At the end of the day, the blockchain is the best source of data, if you can follow a set of transactions to a KYCed account on an exchange, that is the best place to start. There are some elements on the psyops side that can come into play. For example, you might look at indicators of behavior. If a person of interest has a history of speeding tickets and gambling, then those would be red flags, just as an example.” Key takeaway: Richard describes himself as a Realistic-Libertarian-Contrarian-Cyborg. Despite his intensive military background and strong working relationship with the FBI, Rich is also a cryptocurrency advocate, a staunch supporter of Monero, and a passionate believer in privacy. Richard says “I love the idea of privacy by default. As a realist, I understand that there will be an increase in diligence on people using crypto platforms and if you're making deposits you'll need to explain your source of funds. Monero has never tried to advertise using Monero for nefarious purposes. They don't need to. Privacy is a strong enough use case for adoption in and of itself. The question is, how do we have privacy by default but in the interests of public safety? We need to have this conversation as an industry so we can figure this out before governments are forced to do it for us.” The range of scammers and bad actors in the blockchain ecosystem runs the full gamut from the lowest to the highest basket of sophistication. The least sophisticated is Twitter and Telegram impersonation scammers, often based out of Nigeria. Many of these scammers don’t use VPNs, they don't always use mixers and sometimes they use direct deposit addresses for exchanges. At the other end of the scale, you have Lazarus, a very sophisticated hacking group out of North Korea that uses sophisticated mixing and crypto hopping techniques. What scammers have in common is they play on human greed, stupidity, and laziness. Richard says a significant portion of the industry is in it for the money. “There's a meme that says I'm in it for the technology but come on. It's fine to want to make money, but it gives people an unrealistic impression that crypto is a way to get rich quick and this makes them more vulnerable to these scams where people promise high returns.” It’s not just scammers that are having a negative effect on the industry. When considering the broader topic of crypto exchanges - think about what the perception is of our industry is from the outside. Exchanges get hacked left and right, scams abound, and there is a lax level of KYC and AML. Critics of crypto like to say that Bitcoin is only used for illegal activity, and while in the industry we know that is not true, it doesn't help to combat that narrative when exchanges get hacked and don't do enough to stop engaging with transactions from bad actors. In less than half an hour, Richard was able to identify several OKEx deposit addresses that received deposits from addresses associated with darknet markets. Any exchange with a simple compliance tool would pick these transactions up. Compliance professionals at compliant exchanges have access to know your transaction (KYT) tools. These tools show sending and receiving exposures, and break these down by category. If a transaction comes from a darknet market, the tool will identify this. These tools are not expensive for an exchange, they are usually charged by volume, so they are affordable for exchanges but out of the reach of individuals. Supporting links: CipherBlade Richard on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
54 minutes | 2 months ago
Radical Transparency - How Nansen surfaces the signal on the Ethereum blockchain
Nansen is an analytics platform for the Ethereum blockchain. Nansen combines on-chain data with a massive database of millions of wallet addresses. Nansen helps crypto investors and product teams surface the signal from blockchain data. Guest: Alex Svanevik Why you should listen: Alex Svanevik and his co-founders have worked in the blockchain data space since 2017 and kept seeing the same problem. There was a need to get a better understanding of who the different participants were on a blockchain network. This challenge of trying to understand the different addresses on the Ethereum blockchain was unsolved. The Nansen team knew that knowledge about network participants would be valuable to crypto product builders and potential investors. Alex says “that was our big idea, to help those two customer profiles better understand Ethereum blockchain activity to inform their decision making. Crypto is information inefficient which means there are opportunities to be gained if you are able to gain an insight into blockchain activity.” Alex and his team have been tracking the deposits into the Ethereum 2.0 smart contract and he is excited by the potential of Ethereum 2.0. “I hope that people understand that the transition from Ethereum 1.0 to 2.0 is going to be a long and slow process but many of the challenges that Ethereum has faced will be addressed with 2.0.” Alex says DeFi has had a promising year in 2020 and it has a sustainable future, something that wasn't the case with ICOs. Despite the many smart contract exploits, Alex is not concerned and sees these as part of the evolutionary process and a result of early adopters experimenting and taking risks. “Everything is in an experimental learning phase at the moment that is fraught with risk,” he said. “Right now DeFi is complex and difficult to use. The future of DeFi will be a mix of centralized exchanges that integrate with DeFi protocols. This will improve the user experience and benefit all participants.” Key takeaway: Blockchains represent radical transparency. Investors are able to get real time direct access to what is happening in the markets, something that is not available in the traditional markets. This radical transparency has advantages and disadvantages. On the negative side, some entities would prefer to hide their movements, whether that be purchases, investments, or trades, so there is a lack of privacy to some degree. On the positive side, this transparency creates a higher degree of trust. If you send your money to a centralized exchange, once your assets arrive with them, it is harder to trust that they are safe. However, decentralized on-chain platforms such as Aaave and Compound are inherently transparent and the user can see their transactions and assets on-chain at all times. Supporting links: Nansen Alex on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
63 minutes | 2 months ago
Get Off Zero - Why Bitcoin is the best savings technology ever invented
Mark Yusko is the CEO of Morgan Creek Capital. Mark is one of the most insightful investors and most articulate Bitcoin bulls on the planet. Mark’s investment thesis is that the greatest wealth is created by being an early investor in innovation. Making that investment requires believing in something before the majority of people understand it. Why you should listen: Mark says that Bitcoin is the most elegant savings technology ever invented. In a world where consumption is emphasized you become a slave to money. In a world where money is working for you, like with Bitcoin, your savings power is strengthened. With Bitcoin back at high prices, anyone who bought Bitcoin any day across the last 11 years, except for 5 days in December 2017, is now in profit. Marks says “What that tells me is that if you're a fiduciary, family office or individual, you don't need to pick a day to buy. It might be easier and less stressful to adopt a dollar cost average strategy. Buy some every day. Or every week. Or every month. Think of Bitcoin as savings technology, so instead of putting all of your money in the bank, put some in the bank, and some into Bitcoin. Key takeaway: Mark says it is not too late for people who have not already taken a position in Bitcoin. "Like Churchill said, this is not the end, this is not the beginning of the end, it may perhaps be the end of the beginning,” says Mark. “But people haven't missed anything. The fact that we went from 0.003 cents in 2009 to where we are today, at $18k that's not the miracle. The miracle is that we went from 0.003 cents to one dollar and that Bitcoin survived all the attempts to kill it in those early years. The miracle is that Bitcoin found critical mass and it was elegantly constructed so that it could reach critical mass and then the network effects kicked in from there. Mark says that with prices now close to all time highs, it’s important for new investors not to FOMO. “A better idea is to dollar cost average in overtime, have some discipline to it. Allocate some % of your portfolio to Bitcoin over time. The younger you are, the higher that % can be. Just remember that concentration makes you rich and diversification keeps you rich. And Bitcoin is one of the great diversifying assets on the planet so adding a small amount to a portfolio can pay great dividends. You have to embrace technological innovation, and that’s what Bitcoin is, and that is why it is time to #GetOffZero.” Supporting links: Morgan Creek Mark on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin Leverj If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
50 minutes | 2 months ago
The Decred Dex - Decred plans to disrupt the crypto exchange market
Decred is a hybrid proof-of-work/proof-of-stake store of value crypto asset for the digital age. It has strong governance, good security, privacy, and an innovative incentive alignment. If Bitcoin is about being your own bank, Decred is about being your own bank and having a say in bank policy. Decred has launched a new DEX with no trading fees. Guest: Jake Yocom-Piatt Why you should listen: Decred is an experimental project to redefine governance using blockchain technology. Instead of electing officials, Decred uses a rolling opt-in lottery to make policy decisions. Decred aims to create a fairer financial system driven by sound money, where the community makes decisions and every decision-maker has skin-in-the-game. Decred has just launched the DCRDEX, a decentralized crypto exchange. DCRDEX does not collect trading fees and utilizes an order matching system to level the playing field between retail and professional traders. The DCRDEX is permissionless and non-custodial. The first assets available to trade are Decred, Bitcoin, and Litecoin. However, DCRDEX plans to allow all crypto assets, putting projects on an equal footing by not charging a listing fee. Projects can get their crypto asset supported by adding support for atomic swaps. Key takeaway: Jake says “The goal with DCRDEX is to bring the same principles that we support in Decred, like sound money and strong governance, and create a fairer system for trading crypto. We want to make sure that the DCRDEX is true to the spirit and ethos of the cryptocurrency movement. That’s why it is non-custodial, there is no KYC, and it is secure. Instead of turning DCRDEX into a business that is driven by fees and rent-seeking, we aim to create an email-like user experience for the exchange process, where anyone can operate a server and exchange any crypto they want.” Supporting links: Decred DCRDEX Decred on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
49 minutes | 2 months ago
Connect the world - How Stellar is connecting the global financial system
Jed McCaleb is the co-founder and Chief Architect of the Stellar Development Foundation, an open network working to connect the world’s financial infrastructure. In 2014, Jed created Stellar, an open-source blockchain network designed to democratize economic participation by making money more fluid, markets more open, and people more empowered. Why you should listen: Jed's history is the story of crypto itself. An early pioneer of decentralized systems, he created eDonkey2000 one of the first file-sharing networks. In July 2010, after reading about Bitcoin on Slashdot he became fascinated and founded the mtgox.com Bitcoin exchange. "I wanted to get some Bitcoin and the only way you could do that at the time was to mine it or go on internet forums. So I started the Gox exchange so I could learn more about Bitcoin as a system, and buy bitcoins. It was something that was needed by the community at the time and I knew it could build it so I did. I didn't run it for very long before Mark Karpeles took over and everyone knows what happened after that.” In 2011 McCaleb founded the crypto asset company Ripple and served as CTO until 2013. McCaleb then parted ways with Ripple but as part of a settlement, he was granted a large amount of XRP tokens. At the height of the January 2018 altcoin boom, McCaleb was briefly the 40th wealthiest person on the planet based on the value of his XRP tokens. McCaleb founded Ripple and then Stellar to try and improve on the promise of Bitcoin. “Bitcoin is an awesome idea,” says McCaleb, “But software is iterative and can always be improved. One of the things that bothered me about Bitcoin is the mining aspect. There are literally billions of dollars spent on mining which is a shame. I thought if there is another way we can solve the consensus problem, then we should explore it. So with Ripple and now Stellar, this is a way to solve consensus without the proof-of-work mining process so transactions can be sent in a much cheaper, faster, more energy-efficient way." Key takeaway: McCaleb says the current financial system is clunky and inefficient. “The problem with the way that money moves around the planet, is that the rails were built pre-internet so none of it was designed to interoperate. And the beauty of the internet is that with email, for example, it doesn't matter who runs your email server, they all speak the same language so you can seamlessly and instantly send an email to anyone in the world. There is really no reason why money can't work the same way. That’s what Stellar is, it is an interoperable payment protocol between payment networks. McCaleb says that Stellar is intended to enhance rather than replace the existing financial system. Whereas, say, the Bitcoin network was made for trading only bitcoins, Stellar is a decentralized system that’s built for trading any kind of money in a transparent and efficient way. “Stellar is designed as an upgrade to the existing financial structure,” says McCaleb. “It will be a long time, if ever before everyone is using one cryptocurrency. So instead, the better route is to build something that makes the current system easier, cheaper, reduces friction, and enables value transfer between people that wasn't possible before. Once we connect these networks of information in a frictionless way that will allow people to build all these interesting things on top of the network. Once you can send 10 cents from the U.S. to Vietnam, with no problem, that's when innovation happens. Right now we're building the plumbing for everything to be built on top of.” Supporting links: Stellar Stellar Meridian Conference The Three-Body Problem Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
69 minutes | 2 months ago
Bitcoin hits $15K - What to expect from the 2021 bull cycle
Rekt Capital, a Forbes featured crypto technical analyst and trader returns for his second appearance on the Crypto Conversation. As Bitcoin surges through $15,000 to hit its highest price since January 2018, Rekt Capital says this bull cycle is just getting started. Guest: Rekt Capital Why you should listen: Rekt Capital is an astute analyst who specializes in technical analysis and trading psychology. He has written three recent research articles, analyzing the effect of the Bitcoin Halving on price, dissecting Bitcoin’s Four Year Cycle to better understand Bitcoin’s price trajectory, and the Crypto Money Flow Cycle to track the movement of capital from Bitcoin to mid-caps to small-caps and back. Key takeaway: Rekt Capital says that if we assume the rate of diminishing Post-Halving returns remain constant, Bitcoin could rally exponentially to a relatively conservative new all-time-high of ~$90,000 in 2021. However, this conservative extrapolation of current Post-Halving bull trends by the standards of Bitcoin’s price history doesn’t account for upside wicks past key resistances. This means Bitcoin could overextend past $90,000 and even beyond the psychological level of $100,000 before finally rejecting. Want to get $50 OFF Rekt Capital’s Technical Analysis course? Simply follow this link and use the discount code “cryptoconversation” in the Discount Code field. Supporting links: Bitcoin After The Halving Bitcoin’s Four Year Cycle Crypto Money Flow Cycle Rekt Capital Newsletter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
43 minutes | 2 months ago
Algorithmic Trading - Trality is the App Store for Crypto Trading Bots
Trality is building a marketplace where creators can publish crypto trading bots and get paid rent by anyone wanting to piggyback on their trades. The creator’s algorithmic secret sauce remains top secret. Guests: Moritz Putzhammer and Christopher Helf Why you should listen: While working as an assistant professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Moritiz Putzhammer was trading crypto on the side and working on a PHD. He realized that any individual actively trading crypto would at some point lose sleep, and money. Wanting to devise a system that would allow him to trade without having to be in front of the screen he reached out to his friend Christopher Helf, who has a background in computer science. After reaching his limit as a trader with an economics background, Putzhammer worked with Helf to automate his trading. The pair began by writing basic utility scripts that soon evolved into a useful set of automated trading tools. The pair realized that they had a product that could help other traders and decided to build a product. Key takeaway: Trality is a platform for anyone to create and invest through algorithmic trading bots. The platform is aimed at two groups. The first group are “creators” who have access to state of the art tools to build the best possible bots and the data to test and improve them. Creators can deploy their bots on the Trality cloud platform and on the Trality marketplace. The second group, called “followers” can access the marketplace and choose what bot they want to use, and copy trade that bot. The Trality team believes that in the near future everything will be automated, from your car to your home, to work and investment tools. Trality wants to be the platform for automated private investments. Trality has launched a trading bot competition. It has a submission period of 30 days and then a competition period that runs for 45 days. Bots are simulated in a live environment where the best performing bots will win a cash price. Got to trality.com Supporting links: Trality Trality on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
43 minutes | 3 months ago
Data is the new oil - Ocean Protocol is building the data economy
Bruce Pon is the founder of Ocean Protocol. Ocean helps developers build marketplaces so that organizations can privately and securely publish, exchange, and consume data. Ocean protocol is building the new data economy. Guest: Bruce Pon Why you should listen: Ocean protocol enables the monetization and tokenization of data. This gives power back to data owners, enabling them to gain value from their data and allow it to be used in ways that benefit the world. Pon says the data economy already exists but there are powerful gatekeepers such as the FAANG companies in the West, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent in China, and data publishers such as Bloomberg and Reuters. “The data economy is any economic value that can be created from the use of data,” says Pon. “It's all around us and it is potentially worth trillions. Data can be reused, optimized and improved over time. Data can be used in countless different ways for different purposes. So as the world goes digital, the potential to turn this data into something truly valuable is immense.” Key takeaway: There is a growing understanding that from a macro world level to an industry sector level, to the government and institutional level, to the city, to company, and the individual - all are data producing machines. We now have the tools to collect and analyze this data and there are huge learnings and breakthroughs that can be teased out of the data. This is what makes data incredibly valuable. Pon says that Ocean Protocol Version 3 is the culmination of all of the learnings from version 1 and 2. “The space has advanced a lot since we began building in 2017,” he explained. “The architecture that we designed early on can now be simplified and optimized to integrate with the current state of the art. So with a light weight model we can integrate with the web 3.0 infrastructure and make full use of AMMs like Balancer and Uniswap to create data tokens. We always talked about turning data streams into value streams and it is now possible. We have the ability to create ERC20 tokens that represent data streams. The tokens can be used to access the data, and they can also be traded or speculated on. We can even create mutual data funds that can track various types of health data or automotive data for example. That's what Ocean enables.” Supporting links: Ocean Protocol Ocean Protocol on Twitter Bruce on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
45 minutes | 3 months ago
Bitcoin Bull Run - Targeting 20K by January
Josh Olszewicz is a professional crypto trader and analyst. In this episode Josh explains why he thinks a Bitcoin price target of $20K by January is reasonable. Plus Josh gives his views on DeFi, Monero, and announces his new crypto analysis YouTube channel for Brave New Coin. Guest: Josh Olszewicz Why you should listen: As we close out a volatile year, Bitcoin is looking extremely bullish. Josh says it is very possible that Bitcoin reaches a new all time high in the near future. “The way I look at it is to ask what is the rate of change in the current trend? That gives us a timeline for price expectation. This suggests that if the current rate of change continues we can expect that by January price should be somewhere around $18-$20k. Those numbers sound insane but as long as the trend remains intact, there aren’t many reasons to be bearish right now." Bitcoin has only a short history of the price being in five figures. The time it has spent above $12k is even shorter, just 61 days or so. To put this in context Josh says it’s important to note that “the biggest thing we're doing now is normalizing five digits versus four digits. In 2017 it was more of a parabolic rise, there were simply more buyers than sellers and price didn't really matter. When they aren't enough sellers to meet the demand the price just keeps going up. When you have a bull trend you have to let a runner run. If this goes to 20K people will feel euphoric, but it's just a number, it could go much higher.” Key takeaway: Josh has started a series of four new weekly videos for the Brave New Coin YouTube channel. Monday features Josh’s trading set-up for the week, Tuesday is trading tip Tuesday with a weekly trading tool breakdown, Wednesday is a DeFi roundup focusing on chart action for the leading DeFi tokens, and Thursday sees Josh look at the legacy charts such as equities and precious metals. Supporting links: Brave New Coin on YouTube Josh on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
48 minutes | 3 months ago
Smart Pools - Balancer is Uber for liquidity pools
Fernando Martinelli is the founder and CEO of Balancer, an automated asset management platform for programmable liquidity. Balancer allows anyone to create public or private liquidity pools for up to 8 assets with customizable weighting. Guest: Fernando Martinelli Why you should listen: Balancer began as a research project in 2018. By exploring multidimensional invariant surfaces, Fernando and his team came up with a powerful mathematical framework that enables continuous portfolio rebalancing while also generating fees. Fernando says “the formula itself is quite simple and easy to express mathematically. The way it works and the way it proves self-balancing in liquidity pools is the trickier part. It’s a function of mathematical expression whose value cannot change when trades are done. The same way Uniswap relies on X x Y = K, we have something similar but slightly more complex. And if you think of each of the balances as a dimension and then if you have a pool with three balances, then you have a 3-dimensional surface, which is actually in the fourth dimension because the surface itself is the energy value of this function that has three inputs and one output.” Balancer is similar to Uniswap. However Fernando says that one of the main differences is that “our main focus is on the asset management side of things where Uniswap’s focus is more on the decentralized exchange. So our focus is to make sure we meet the needs of liquidity providers so they will come to Balancer to put their crypto to work, and rebalance their portfolios. We want to be a flexible primitive where people can be as creative as they want.” Asked about one of the key Defi themes in 2020, Fernando said, “Liquidity mining is a mechanism to get a platform to a decentralized stage. Balancer started with investors, advisors, founders, and this was at a time when there wasn’t really an idea of a fair launch. It’s just the way it worked out. There are pros and cons but ultimately you need capital to bootstrap but we don’t want to be a VC coin we want to be decentralized and that’s our goal.” Key takeaway: Balancer is a financial primitive that serves as a fundamental building block in decentralized finance. However, it is also an asset management platform, and it is an automated market maker (AMM) providing programmable liquidity. This in turn makes other features such as decentralized asset exchange, automated portfolio management, DAO-governed treasuries, and fair token distributions possible. Fernando says this is an important point, and that as a permissionless platform, Balancer allows any developer to leverage its infrastructure to build financial products and services. “Balancer wouldn’t work if there wasn’t the other side of the market. So you have the liquidity providers who want to have their index funds rebalanced, and make some money with fees. And that’s up to them to decide. And the other side of the equation is the DEX. So all the pools on Balancer allow anyone to trade in any direction on any pair that that pool contains. The fact that we have a two sided market means we need both actors for the system to work.” Balancer Smart Pools are private pools controlled by a smart contract. These pools can be made of two to eight token constants, and customized with configurable weights that represent the desired ratio of each token in a pool. The smart contract acts as a controller for the liquidity in that pool. Fernando describes smart pools as “Uber for liquidity pools, whereas what we’ve had to date has been taxis. It’s about matching demand to supply.” For example, the RealT smart pool – essentially a real estate index fund building on all their tokenized real-estate – where the smart pool ERC20 tokens represent ownership of the whole index. Finally Fernando says “DeFi is a revolution that is just getting started. It will have cycles and some serious ups and downs but it is going to keep growing I believe.” Supporting links: Balancer Balancer on Twitter Fernando on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin The Three-Body Problem If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
53 minutes | 3 months ago
DeFi's DEX Aggregator - 1inch finds the best rates by splitting orders across multiple DEXes
Anton Bukov is the co-founder and CTO of the 1inch exchange. 1inch is a DEX aggregator that executes a swap of tokens at the best price in one single transaction. Anton is a software developer with more than 15 years experience. Why you should listen: The 1inch exchange began life as a hackathon project which was presented at ETHNewYork in 2019. 1inch was created and developed by Sergej Kunz (co-founder & CEO) and Anton Bukov (co-founder & CTO). After receiving positive feedback, Kunz and Bukov kept working to improve the project to the point that it became their primary work focus. Bukov says “1inch is a DEX aggregator that executes a swap of tokens at the best price in one single transaction. With some DEXes there has been a lack of liquidity, and the more liquidity there is, the better it is for everyone. So 1inch addresses the liquidity problem through an optimizing algorithm that splits up the trade across different exchanges. We see 1inch as unifying all of the layer one DEXes into one single highly liquid DEX, so the purpose of 1inch is to create one super DEX with the highest possible amount of liquidity and best possible fees on layer one.” Key takeaway: Bukov revealed that 1inch is working on a 1inch token that will arrive this year. "In 2017 users paid money to get ICO tokens and after three years we see that most of those projects have failed. Now, projects start with the opposite model. They are not selling tokens, they give tokens away to the users of the platforms. So users who provide liquidity to the platform are rewarded with the token. You can see this as payment for market making. This idea of a far launch is nice because it means that the supply that exists is fairer, there is no pre-mine and it is less likely that someone can dump a large amount of tokens. Yes we are considering a 1inch token - we have worked on the tokenomics and the token will do some interesting things, it’s not just a governance token. But for it to work, there is a new product we need to launch that we are building now. We are trying to deliver this token and product this year.” Bukov says “the most interesting thing about DeFi is the way the protocols work with each other - composability - anyone can build an amazing product on a protocol. The creativity that this allows is amazing and you don't have to ask anyone permission. This is a very powerful idea.” Bukov says that he believes that “crypto is the missing piece of the puzzle for how money should work. Visa, Mastercard and the current banking system is the wrong idea. We are building a new system and every banking system on the planet will eventually use it. It won't happen overnight, it might take up to 20 years.” Supporting links: 1inch 1inch on Twitter Anton on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
45 minutes | 3 months ago
The Information Market - Polymarket lets traders bet on real-world events
Shayne Coplan is the founder of Polymarket, an information markets platform. Speculators can bet on the world's most highly-debated topics like the upcoming US elections, COVID-19, DeFi, cryptocurrencies, and more. Guest: Shayne Coplan Why you should listen: In 2014 Coplan was a teenager interested in music, technology, and the peer-to-peer file sharing scene. He had started mining crypto assets like Litecoin using the early GPU miners. When the website for the Ethereum presale went live he became inspired by the Ethereum vision and at 16 years old, Coplan was one of the youngest participants in the Ethereum presale. “It seemed really cool to me. I didn’t have a lot of capital to put into it but it was really exciting and it has been fantastic to be part of the journey so far.” Prediction markets are exchange-traded markets created for the purpose of trading the outcome of events. They date back to the 1500s and started as simple bets. Some forms of information markets such as dead pools or assassination markets are part of the Cyberpunk literature. Polymarket is an Information Markets platform built on Ethereum. Speculators can harness the power of free markets to bet on the outcome of real world events. Coplan says, “I’ve always loved markets. I’m a fan of liquid markets and I’m fascinated by shadow economies and different market structures. I’m a believer in markets as the most effective mechanism for aggregating information. I have a tough time believing everything I read in the media. I think a market is a much more reliable aggregator of truth. If you have a lot of different participants acting on their beliefs, a market is the best way we can distill that information into one equilibrium or signal.” Key takeaway: One of the problems with social media is a lack of accountability. Everyone has an opinion to share and there’s not much downside to being wrong. This makes it hard for regular people to find out what’s fact and what’s fiction. 2020 has showcased just how bad the consequences can be. Ploymarket thinks that one part of the solution is to let people bet on current events. Free markets are the best method of aggregating disparate information in real time (see: Hayek, stock market, EMH). Coplan says “one of the best use-cases for a blockchain and a generalized smart contract platform is the ability to create markets on arbitrary topics that can be easily created, traded, and resolved. For a couple of dollars you can create a market on anything and avoid the bureaucratic risk that is inherent to creating these markets in the legacy financial system. On Polymarket, speculators bet on future event outcomes and profit from accuracy. With all the conflicting ‘expert’ opinions on social media, Polymarket lets people put their money where their mouth is, have skin in the game, and profit from being correct. Supporting links: Polymarket Polymarket on Twitter Shayne on Twitter Andy on Twitter Brave New Coin on Twitter Brave New Coin Mind Game If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to the Crypto Conversation and give us a 5-star rating and a positive review in whatever podcast app you are using.
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