Episodes
Jill and Meltem reunite amidst corona-madness to breakdown how they are thinking about this unprecedented situation. They take us back to the Black Plague and project into an increasingly sci-fi future. Tune in as they discuss the options on the table, the policy responses (and lack thereof), and the implications of it all--exploring everything from deflationary crises to inflationary spirals. Get ready to get angrrrry and to grind some gears. ----- If you enjoyed this conversation, share it...
Published 03/26/20
Published 03/26/20
This episode of What Grinds my Gears was recorded live on stage at SF Blockchain Week 2019. In this episode, Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson discuss banking Bitcoin, what a bank really is, and whether or not we're just building the same thing in a different way. -----If you enjoyed this conversation, share it with your colleagues & friends, rate, review, and subscribe.This podcast is presented by BlockWorks Group. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and...
Published 11/28/19
Every movement that has withstood the test of time — from religions to empires — has had a founding myth attached. This is the story of how it all started. Often these legends are shrouded in mystery. They are left open to interpretation. This week we discuss how bitcoin is no different. From the cypherpunk mailing list to Occupy Wall Street, we put bitcoin’s beginnings in context and discuss their significance. If you're interested in reading the full episode transcription, visit the...
Published 10/22/19
They say there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. And while we don’t get know of anyone who has managed to cheat death, we certainly know of people who have dodged their taxes. In this episode we unpack the myth that cryptocurrency can help you evade taxes, walk through the history of offshore accounts, and discuss some of the open questions about paying tax on your bitcoin!Check out the extended shownotes on Medium, and if you're interested in reading the full episode...
Published 08/23/19
Most of us take our connectivity to the internet and other telecommunications networks for granted. But behind the simple and benign act of connecting to the internet lies an intricate maze of physical hardware, wires, and complex routing logic consisting of layers upon layers - and many curious parties sniffing your web traffic. In this episode, we discuss the origins of mesh networking topologies and innovations in using cryptocurrencies to enhance security, facilitate more complex logical...
Published 08/16/19
Encryption has long walked the line between weapon and tool. While the so-called “Crypto Wars” ended in the 1990’s, in 2013, Edward Snowden showed us why the fight was long from over. This week, we discuss the brink of another type of Crypto War, the one over cryptocurrencies.Check out the extended shownotes on Medium.-----If you enjoyed this conversation, share it with your colleagues & friends, rate, review, and subscribe.This podcast is presented by BlockWorks Group. For exclusive...
Published 08/08/19
Bitcoin: is it a safe haven or a risk asset? This week we are (for once) talking price. We try to make sense of the recent run ups and retracements and we explore how the valuation of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fit into the larger economic landscape.-----If you enjoyed this conversation, share it with your colleagues & friends, rate, review, and subscribe.This podcast is presented by BlockWorks Group. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and...
Published 07/09/19
What do you get when you put together a consortium of private members issuing a currency that is aimed at world domination? First, the Federal Reserve. And then, 100 years later, Facebook’s Libra! In this episode, we untangle why Facebook needs FaceCoin, how digital money in a digital world is changing the role of banks, and what does and doesn’t make sense when it comes to tech companies issuing their own tender.-----If you enjoyed this conversation, share it with your colleagues &...
Published 07/02/19
Every May, the blockchain and crypto industry gets together for a week of announcements, hype, and lambo giveaways. In this live recording, Jill and Meltem provide a retrospective on years past and discuss how this year’s “Blockchain Week” differs.-----If you enjoyed this conversation, share it with your colleagues & friends, rate, review, and subscribe. This podcast is presented by BlockWorks Group. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain...
Published 05/21/19
You can’t talk about bitcoin for ten minutes without having someone bemoan the lack of a bitcoin ETF. In this live episode, we talk about the history of pooled investment vehicles, why they’ve grown exponentially over the last two decades, and why US firms are so fascinated by making bitcoin, which is friendly to retail, more friendly for institutions.-----Since 2015, Consensus has been recognized as the most influential blockchain and digital assets event of the year. Hot-button topics such...
Published 05/14/19
Markets are the beating heart of the financial system. As new asset classes emerge and markets get built, the questions are often the same: who should be able to participate in markets? How should trades get executed? And what are the tradeoffs we make with each of these decisions? Small differences in architecture here are going to effect the viability, compliance, and fairness of these markets. This week, we untangle these questions, starting in 1792 with the Buttonwood Agreement, all the...
Published 05/07/19
Episode Description: What the heck is a tether and why is everyone always talking about it? This week, we untangle what’s going on with Tether, Bitfinex, and their affiliated banks, and why this topic keeps coming up. We also delve into collateralization, fractional reserve banking, and of course, market liquidity.-----Since 2015, Consensus has been recognized as the most influential blockchain and digital assets event of the year. Hot-button topics such as adoption challenges, privacy,...
Published 04/30/19
Media about crypto has been at best confusing and at worst blatantly and deliberately wrong. It bounces back and forth between utopian, unrealistic hype which oversells the technology and grim, depressing tales of doom, destruction, terrorist financing, and tax evasion. So what's actually fact, and what is FUD?-----Since 2015, Consensus has been recognized as the most influential blockchain and digital assets event of the year. Hot-button topics such as adoption challenges, privacy,...
Published 04/23/19
How do you figure out if you’re any good at investing? How do you decide if you made the best choices possible in picking stocks, bonds, or crypto assets to buy? In the wild world of finänce, defining and measuring the performance of an investment is as much an art as it is a science. In this episode, we delve into some of the theory and practice of financial performance and measurement, the challenges in applying this theory to crypto markets, and why this matters so much to investors of all...
Published 04/16/19
Forks, or chain splits, are some of the most dramatic events in cryptocurrency. In this episode we untangle how we think about them. Are they like stock splits? Dividends? Or is it more like owning a cow that gives birth to a surprise and potentially unwanted baby? From great schisms to evolutionary theory, we’re covering everything you need to know about what to expect when your protocol is expecting.-----If you enjoyed this conversation, share it with your colleagues & friends, rate,...
Published 04/09/19
This week, we dive into liquidity, a word whose blatant abuse really grinds our gears! We break down what liquidity *actually* means in markets, for companies, and for individual assets, and the role of market participants and market structure in managing this flow. We then translate this over into crypto land, and examine some common misconceptions about liquidity.-----If you enjoyed this conversation, share it with your colleagues & friends, rate, review, and subscribe. This podcast is...
Published 04/02/19
This week we are talking about prediction markets. Tune in to hear about the history of prediction markets, their applications across governance and finance, and how they are getting implemented as decentralized marketplaces. From gambling to synthetic derivatives to assassination markets, we will be covering the good, the bad, and the ugly.-----If you enjoyed this conversation, share it with your colleagues & friends, rate, review, and subscribe. This podcast is presented by BlockWorks...
Published 03/26/19
This week, we delve into crypto seasons and how winter isn’t actually winter at all but the dawn of a new age. New species are emerging, and old species are on the verge of going extinct (well, bankrupt). We also do some soul searching and ask - what if the best use case for crypto today is replicating existing market structures?You can find our extended show notes on Medium.-----If you enjoyed this conversation, share it with your colleagues & friends, rate, review, and subscribe. This...
Published 03/19/19
Innovation theater: a performance enacted by a big corporate incumbent to demonstrate it is still fresh, innovative, and on the cutting edge, often without any real value add to the firm. This week we are exploring enterprises and their experimentation with blockchain. We talk about where it’s gone wrong in the past and where it might be going in the future.You can find our extended show notes on Medium.-----If you enjoyed this conversation, share it with your colleagues & friends, rate,...
Published 03/12/19
This week, we're diving deep into the rise of surveillance capitalism, it’s slow and steady creep into the heart of the crypto community, and what that might mean for our cypherpunk dreams of privacy.You can find our extended show notes on Medium.-----If you enjoyed this conversation, share it with your colleagues & friends, rate, review, and subscribe. This podcast is presented by BlockWorks Group. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain...
Published 03/05/19
If you turned on CNBC at any point during 2018, you’ll know that lots of startups and entrepreneurs used initial coin offerings (ICOs) to raise funding. Well, it turns out that countries also got into the game. In this episode, we explore the use of “initial country offerings” or the issuance of tokens to raise debt for a country, on the blockchain. We’ll delve into the mechanics of how and why countries raise money, what secures these loans, and how blockchain-based debt could fundamentally...
Published 02/26/19
One of the key innovations of bitcoin is that it solves something called the double spend problem. This means that every bitcoin is provably scarce — it can’t exist in two peoples’ wallets at the same time. This is a big deal because it’s actually pretty hard to make sure digital files don’t get reproduced and propogated. Just think of what Napster and Limewire did with digital music files or what Pirate Bay and Popcorn Time did with movies.But just because cryptocurrency can’t be “double...
Published 02/19/19
In past episodes, hosts Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson have touched on crypto business models, crypto asset classifications, and governance as both a function and a business. These topics are ultimately shaped by how a project chooses to raise capital. In this episode, we explore the various models that have been used by teams to fund development and to bootstrap the network - a phrase that grinds our gears. At the heart of this discussion is a deeper question of funding models the crypto...
Published 02/12/19
In this episode, hosts Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson cover the nebulous and thorny topic of crypto governance mechanisms and the merging of politics and finance in the form of on-chain governance via token voting and staking. We draw from the history of politics, going all the way back to the romans, and fast forward to the drama and intrigue of the bitcoin block-size wars and the results of these early governance experiments. We end with some thoughts on how staking as a service and...
Published 02/05/19