Episodes
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...
Published 06/14/24
Published 06/14/24
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...
Published 06/14/24
Robinhood has been in the spotlight for its $200 million acquisition of European crypto exchange Bitstamp. The TradFi app’s venture into crypto is paying off: its recent earnings showed that revenue is growing substantially, and the Bitstamp acquisition is just one way the company will grow the pie. Johann Kerbrat, general manager of Robinhood Crypto, came on the show to discuss the acquisition, Robinhood's plans for expanding its crypto business internationally and into the institutional...
Published 06/11/24
Coinbase’s “onchain summer” has kicked off with the launch of its new smart wallet. This interview with Luke Youngblood, founding contributor to Moonwell, gives a peek at how it’s sweetening the pot for developers and users alike.  In this episode, Youngblood describes how smart wallets are different from traditional wallets, how they do away with past security issues, and the more minor potential risks that still do exist with smart wallets. He also gives details on the ways that Coinbase is...
Published 06/07/24
In this episode of Bits + Bips, hosts James Seyffart, Alex Kruger, and Joe McCann, along with guest Hal Press, founder of North Rock Digital, dive into the intricate challenges of pitching the ETH spot ETF to traditional finance and the Federal Reserve’s anticipated next steps. They discuss why Biden vetoed the repeal of SAB 121, and why that veto lends credence to an alternative theory as to why the SEC approved Ethereum ETFs.  Also, they talk about why the spot ETH ETFs are already turning...
Published 06/05/24
In this episode, Laura Shin speaks with former CFTC chairman Chris Giancarlo and former CFTC chief innovation officer Daniel Gorfine on the pressing need for the U.S. to safeguard the dollar. They explain why they believe the future of regulation is the government operating nodes on blockchains rather than regulating intermediaries, why even private USD stablecoins will want a USD central bank digital currency, and how China might export the technology behind the digital yuan—and its...
Published 06/04/24
Welcome to The Chopping Block – where crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Robert Leshner, and Tarun Chitra explore the latest trends in crypto. This episode explores the buzz around LeBron James' potential memecoin, the recent approval of Ether ETFs, and Biden's shifting stance on crypto policy. We dissect the implications of Trump's pro-crypto promises and the FIT21 legislation. Tune in for a lively debate on celebrity coins, the market's reaction to regulatory changes, and the...
Published 06/01/24
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pods, Fountain, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform. After some big wins for the crypto industry (and big losses for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission), Jason Gottlieb, partner at Morrison Cohen, delves into how the upcoming US elections could reshape the SEC’s crypto agenda, the political pressures influencing SEC decisions, and the potential impact...
Published 05/31/24
Sheila Warren, CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation, joins Unchained to explore the dramatic shift by Democrats in the last few weeks on crypto. She explains why she believes the overturning of SAB 121 and the House vote for the FIT21 bill were both instrumental to the White House's changing view on crypto and may have played a role in the SEC’s surprising approval of spot ETH ETFs.  Having worked for years on passing crypto legislation and as a lifelong Democrat, Sheila describes what...
Published 05/28/24
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pods, Fountain, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform. With crypto becoming more politicized than ever, US Senator from Wyoming Cynthia Lummis came on Unchained to talk about the recent regulatory action in Washington DC. With crypto becoming more politicized than ever, U.S. Senator from Wyoming Cynthia Lummis came on Unchained to talk about the recent regulatory action in...
Published 05/24/24
Welcome to The Chopping Block – where crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Robert Leshner, and Tarun Chitra explore the latest trends in crypto. This episode covers the anticipated Ether ETF Approval and its market impact, Biden's evolving crypto policy, and the bipartisan repeal of SAB-121. We debate the controversy around High FDV Low Float Tokens and discuss the DOJ indictment for a $25 million MEV exploit. Tune in for insights on memecoin performance, the role of prediction...
Published 05/23/24
With ETH spot ETFs now more likely than ever, Bits + Bips hosts James Seyffart, Alex Kruger, and Joe McCann delve into the reasons behind this shift, surmising that the reversal may have come from powers above the SEC—perhaps in the Biden administration. The three hosts surmise that ETH will likely reach all-time highs, discuss how this changes their election trading strategy and ponder where there is enough institutional demand for ether ETFs. They also look at whether the potential approval...
Published 05/21/24
Just when everyone thought that spot Ether ETFs were going to be denied on Thursday, news broke Monday that they are now likely to be approved, with Bloomberg analysts tripling their odds to a 75% chance of approval.  Eric Balchunas, senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, and Matt Hougan, CIO at Bitwise Asset Management, say this reversal definitely has to do with politics, citing the fight of Staff Accounting Bulletin 121, a rule that was unfriendly to financial institutions wanting...
Published 05/21/24
In this episode, Evan Zinaman, founder and principal at Trailbreak, delves into the first-of-its-kind case of the Bueno brothers, who face Department of Justice charges for exploiting Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) in a cryptocurrency scheme. Accused of manipulating transaction ordering to create an arbitrage opportunity, the brothers are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud as well as wire fraud itself.  Zinaman explores the broader implications of MEV exploitation, addresses...
Published 05/17/24
Welcome to The Chopping Block – where crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Robert Leshner, and special guest Laura Shin explore the latest trends in the crypto world. In this episode, we touch on how Donald Trump's pro-crypto statements influence voter behavior in the upcoming U.S. elections. We ask ourselves, is voting based solely on crypto policy a legitimate strategy? What are the implications of the Biden administration's stance on crypto regulations for future electoral...
Published 05/16/24
Erik Voorhees, a crypto OG, has launched Venice, a private, uncensorable, open-source competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Anthropic’s Claude, powered by a decentralized crypto network.  In the episode, Erik and Venice’s COO Teana Baker-Taylor delve into the problems with censorship and data in current AI agents, including how they create honeypots of information about users’ search history for hackers, or that they can be absurdly politically correct, such as refusing to create images of...
Published 05/14/24
Welcome to The Chopping Block – where crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, Tarun Chitra, and special guest Avichal Garg from Electric Capital dissect the latest trends in the crypto world. This episode dives deep into the buzz around EigenLayer’s airdrop: What sparked the controversy and how did EigenLayer respond to community backlash? We then explore LayerZero’s unique self-reporting strategy to combat Sybil farmers and analyze Friend.Tech’s bold, no-VC token launch. The discussion...
Published 05/10/24
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pods, Fountain, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform. Thomas Braziel, managing partner at 117 Partners, dives into the draft FTX bankruptcy plan, which was praised for paying out at more than 100% in dollar terms, but has a number of intricacies that are drawing criticisms from creditors—including a group that is urging creditors to vote not.  The episode delves...
Published 05/10/24
In this first episode of Bits + Bips, hosts James Seyffart, Alex Kruger, and Joe McCann explain why the macroeconomics could point to the markets actually being in a crypto supercycle. They discuss the recent Federal Reserve meeting and its impact on the markets, as well as the irony that leveraged Ethereum futures ETFs will likely be approved while spot Ethereum ETFs will likely not. James also reveals his pet theory on where the SEC is going with its investigation into ETH. They cover why...
Published 05/08/24
In this episode of Unchained, memecoin traders Ansem and Kelxyz unpack everything about memecoins, discussing what makes them valuable and how they evaluate their investment potential. They also address the criticisms and controversies surrounding them, including racism and sexism. (They have a surprising reaction to the latter.) Ansem and Kel argue that memecoins have substance and value, largely due to their popularity and the attention they receive on the internet.  They also discuss the...
Published 05/07/24
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pods, Fountain, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform. EigenLayer has been in the news this week after it announced its ‘stakedrop,’ where it will distribute EIGEN tokens to early users of the restaking platform.  Sreeram Kannan, founder and CEO of EigenLayer, and Robert Drost, CEO and executive director of the Eigen Foundation, discuss the launch of the token, a...
Published 05/03/24
In this episode, we dive deep into the controversy surrounding the EigenLayer airdrop, discussing the community’s backlash and its broader implications for token distributions in crypto. We also explore the ongoing debate over the efficacy and future of cryptocurrency points programs. The episode also delves into Martin Shkreli’s impactful campaign against Io.Net, highlighting how his public criticisms shed light on project valuations and investor trust. Additionally, we discuss CZ’s recent...
Published 05/02/24
In this episode of Unchained, host Laura interviews Alexei Zamyatin, co-founder of Build on Bitcoin, Willem Schroé, founder of Botanix Labs, and Orkun Kılıç, co-founder of Chainway Labs. They discuss their respective projects, all of which are focused on developing Layer 2 solutions for Bitcoin.  Zamyatin's Build on Bitcoin is a hybrid Layer 2 that connects to both Bitcoin and Ethereum, aiming to bring innovation back to the Bitcoin ecosystem. Schroé's Botanix Labs is developing a...
Published 04/30/24
On Thursday, Consensys sued the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a Texas federal court, seeking to prevent an impending SEC action against its MetaMask wallet and to clarify that ether is not a security. The complaint calls out the agency for what Consensys describes as “regulatory overreach,” challenges its notion that ETH is a security, and says the SEC has violated the Constitutional requirement of fair notice under the due process clause. It notes that for years, the SEC...
Published 04/26/24