My guest today is my friend Andreas Kohl, Chief Business Development Officer of Mintlayer. Mintlayer is a Bitcoin sidechain dedicated to asset tokenization - like stablecoins and stock tokens - and DEX transactions, including direct atomic swap and lightning swaps between BTC and any token issued on the Mintlayer sidechain. MLT is the governance utility token that is used for: * Running blocksigner nodes on the network via staking MLT. * Fees for processing transactions, creating tokenized assets, ACL rules and smart contracts. The Mintlayer Consensus system is called DSA, a sort of refined Proof of Stake system secured by the Bitcoin Proof of Work, thanks to the mechanism of anchoring and checkpoints on the Bitcoin mainchain. Andreas is a Bitcoin maximalist, libertarian, and futurist. He is passionate about decentralization, self-determination, and maximizing human potential. Prior to joining the Bitcoin space he worked extensively within the libertarian community working for various major libertarian organizations and institutions. Our conversation centers around Bitcoin, Mintlayer, Reimagining DeFi on Bitcoin, Layer-2s and Sidechains, Bitcoin’s impact on society, and much more. Andreas does an excellent job at explaining the design trade-offs when optimizing for various engineering parameters. This naturally leads to our conversation about the unique approach Mintlayer is taking to optimize for decentralization and atomic interoperability with Bitcoin. Andreas blew me away with his knowledge about the technical challenges of building blockchains. The next part of the conversation centers around bringing DeFi to Bitcoin. Andreas explains how Mintlayer utilizes the Lightning Network to truly scale Bitcoin to be the hub for DeFi. Another very interesting conversation was how Mintlayer is gas token agnostic. We discuss the possibilities of creating ecosystems on top of Mintlayer that are able to use their own tokens to process and validate transactions without the need for any other outside token. A very important conversation topic was how DeFi can be reimagined with Bitcoin at the center. Our final conversation topic was to discuss Bitcoin’s 13th anniversary and how the space has changed but more importantly how Bitcoin has changed society in the last 13 years. Please enjoy my conversation with my friend Andreas Kohl. -- This podcast is powered by Blockworks. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at https://blockworks.co
More episodes from "Untold Stories"
The Evolution of Web3 with Halsey Minor
36:50My guest today is Halsey Minor, CEO of Vivid Labs. VIVID enables anyone to create, manage, and sell multimedia NFTs, enabling new use cases and business models and evolving NFTs into complete media experiences. Compatible across all significant blockchains, VIVID offers advanced NFT + features that transform simple NFTs into rich media experiences that are multi-format, multi-asset, permissioned, updateable and resilient. Halsey is a technology founder behind some of the greatest successes in internet and enterprise computing which have anticipated “what’s next” in enterprise architecture and technology adoption. His companies have created over $250 billion in cumulative value, and he’s built a Nasdaq 100 company from scratch. His achievements as founder or co-founder include CNET, Uphold, Salesforce, Google Voice, OpenDNS, and Vignette. We discuss various topics, including the future of NFTs, the evolution of the web, why NFTs are a new form of the website, and much more. We begin our conversation by discussing how NFTs are creating a new genre of multimedia content. Halsey discusses how NFTs will enhance the fan experience and provide content creators with new and innovative ways to connect with their audience. Halsey explains how various music artists and movie franchises are currently utilizing this technology to build a more profound fan experience for their audiences. Our next conversation topic centered around the evolution of the web. We discuss how Web3 is the natural evolution of the net. Halsey shares his experience building startups and business throughout the different web eras and what attracted him to Web3. We also discuss why NFTs are a new form of the website and the possible implications of that framing. We transitioned our conversation to discuss the importance of sensible regulation around NFTs. Halsey outlines why he has been imploring regulators to treat NFTs as content and not deem them to be securities. Another major conversation topic we discussed was the recent stablecoin news and why algorithmic stable coins are unlikely to work. Our final conversation centered around the future of NFTs and how creators and fans will benefit from the technology as we continue to push the boundaries of what we think is possible in space. Please enjoy my conversation with Halsey Minor. -- This podcast is powered by Blockworks. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at https://blockworks.co
Bitcoin and The Age of Lies with Jeffery Tucker
1:04:27Today’s guest is my friend Jeffery Tucker, an American economics writer of the Austrian School, an advocate of anarcho-capitalism and Bitcoin, a publisher of libertarian books, a conference speaker, and an internet entrepreneur. He is currently the Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown. He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He speaks widely on economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture. The Brownstone Institute for Social and Economic Research is a nonprofit organization conceptualized in May 2021. Its vision is of a society that places the highest value on the voluntary interaction of individuals and groups while minimizing the use of violence and force, even including that exercised by public authority. This vision is that of the Enlightenment that formal learning, science, progress, and universal rights to the forefront of public life. It is newly threatened by ideologies and systems that would take the world back before the triumph of the ideal of freedom. We discuss a wide range of topics from Bitcoin, the sociological fallout of COVID, the mental health crisis in America, the rise of Medical Fascism, and much more. We begin our conversation by discussing the economic repercussions of government intervention. Jeffery discusses how the current inflation and economic recession we are experiencing are primarily due to the government policies enacted during the COVID crisis. We discuss how inflation is impacting the various socioeconomic levels of society. We also discuss how these policies have further created societal divisions and strife. We transition our conversation to Bitcoin. We discuss how Bitcoin is the light in an ever-darkening world. We touch on how Satoshi prophesied many of the events that have transpired over the last couple of years. We also discuss what attracted us to Bitcoin. We pivot our conversation to discuss the growing societal fallouts of the COVID pandemic. We focus on the erosion of our liberties and freedoms. We begin by addressing how government policies have continued to become more totalitarian in their implementation by discussing lockdowns, the various mandates, and restrictions. Jeffery illustrates how far we’ve fallen from our perceived reality and norms over the last couple of years. We also discuss the growing trend of medical fascism and how technology companies have assisted them in this endeavor. We pivot our conversation to discuss the mental health crisis plaguing young Americans and how we can better address the inequities in the system leading young Americans down the path of depression and despair. Our last conversation topic centered around the societal constructs of truth and morality. We discuss how the various ways societies throughout history have established societal constructs around truth and reality and how they enforce those norms. Please enjoy my conversation with Jeffery Tucker. -- This podcast is powered by Blockworks. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at https://blockworks.co
Legally Protecting Bitcoin with Jason Brett
43:10Today, my guest is Jason Brett, Founder and CEO of Value Technology Foundation. Value Technology Foundation is a DC nonprofit think tank dedicated to blockchain advocacy, education, research and development, and advocacy. Jason has extensive experienced with blockchain and has made presentations to several U.S. government agencies and regulatory bodies. Prior to becoming the founder of Value Technology Foundation, Jason was the Director of Operations at the Digital Chambers of Commerce. He was also a Policy Director for ConsenSys. While serving as Policy Director for the blockchain technology company ConsenSys, he was responsible for their domestic and international policy during a critical period of its growth. He has worked in both the Division of Finance and Capital Markets during the height of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Additionally, he has extensive experience in developing and implementing successful governmental affairs programs for various companies, including clients of Key Bridge Advisors. He is also a forbes.com contributor who writes on policy issues related to cryptocurrency and blockchain. Jason holds an M.B.A. from American University and a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. We discuss various topics ranging from a Bitcoin Constitutional Amendment, the Bitcoin Voting Block, Bitcoin/Crypto Regulation, and much more. We began our conversation by discussing why Jason believes it is necessary to pass a constitutional amendment codifying the right for people to own and control their Bitcoin. We discuss the importance of protecting people from the overreach of government and the American ideals that are present in Bitcoin. Our conversation transitions to focus on the growing Bitcoin Voting Block. We discuss the increasing number of constituents becoming single-issue voters about Bitcoin and Crypto. We also discuss the increasing number of politicians that are pro-Bitcoin and pro-Crypto. We discuss how these politicians are fighting to protect the industry. Our next conversation topic focused on the recent executive order, and its possible impact on the industry. We discuss how the current executive order was focused mainly on gathering information that could impact potential legislation in the future. We discuss the benefits of the American political system compared to countries like China. Our final conversation centered around BIP 119 and trying to make changes to Bitcoin. We discuss why the process should be challenging to change Bitcoin. Please enjoy my conversation with Jason Brett.
The Cryptopian Craze with Laura Shin
48:13My guest today is Laura Shin. Laura is a crypto/blockchain journalist covering Bitcoin, Ethereum, Defi, NFTs, DAOs, stablecoins, etc. She is the host of the podcast Unchained; and author of "The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze." During the course of writing her book, Laura and her sources uncovered who they believe was behind the 2016 DAO attack on Ethereum. Laura is a former senior editor at Forbes. She is the first mainstream journalist to coCryptover crypto full-time. Her podcasts and videos have had more than 15 million downloads and views. She has spoken about cryptocurrency at TEDx San Francisco, the International Monetary Fund, Singularity University, and the Oslo Freedom Forum. In our conversation, we discussed various topics, including the early days of crypto, how new technology is adopted, the early Ethereum team’s dynamic, the DAO hacker, and much more. We begin our conversation by discussing how Laura got into crypto and what sparked her interest in the space. Laura shares how she became the first mainstream reporter to report on crypto full time and how reporting on crypto eventually led her to start her podcast and write her book, Cryptopians. Another important topic we discussed was the adoption cycle of new technology. We discuss the adoption patterns as recent technological advancements are integrated into society—our conversation transitions to discuss the founding of Ethereum. Laura shares a few stories to illustrate how Ethereum was founded and the political strife within the early team. We also briefly touched on the ICO craze and what sparked the mania. We discuss the DAO hack that changed the course of Ethereum’s history. Laura shares the story of who she believes hacked the DAO and the account behind her reporting. Our final conversation topic centered around crypto Twitter. We discuss how crypto Twitter has become a vital aspect of the crypto space and the possible impact Elon’s acquisition of Twitter will impact crypto Twitter. Please enjoy my conversation with Laura Shin.
Cooking Up Crypto Cashflow with Dr. Julian Hosp
53:02Today, my guest is Dr. Julian Hosp, the CEO, and Co-Founder of Cake DeFi. Cake DeFi is a fintech platform that manages over $1 billion in customer assets. It focuses on creating DeFi (decentralized finance) services and applications like liquidity mining, staking, and lending, which generate cryptocurrency returns for users. The company recently announced a $100 Million raise to start a venture fund. The venture arm will be led by the company’s co-founders, Julian Hosp, CEO, and U-Zyn Chua, chief technology officer. While the company is based in Asia, it will invest in other opportunities globally. He is widely regarded as a leading influencer in the crypto and blockchain space, with over one million followers across all of his channels globally. His ideas, knowledge, and influence have been conveyed in numerous articles and keynote engagements at industry-leading conferences and events. As well as being credited as a leading authority in the vertical, he is an active speaker for the Washington Speaker’s Bureau, an advisor for the EU’s blockchain groups, and manages multiple businesses in the industry. He is also a best-selling author, having written Cryptocurrencies Simply Explained and Blockchain 2.0 — Far More Than Just Bitcoin. His vision is to bring blockchain awareness and understanding to a billion more people by 2025. Before being an entrepreneur, he was a professional kitesurfer and worked as a medical doctor. We discuss a wide range of topics, including Cake DeFi, Bitcoin, the gift of financial literacy, DeFi vs CeFi, and much more. Our conversation begins by discussing the second-order effects of COVID and lockdowns on the digitization of society. We discuss the growing adoption of the metaverse as society becomes more digitally native. Our next conversation topic centered around the economic philosophy of Bitcoin. We discuss the pros and cons of a hard monetary policy and how the debate is beginning to gain steam in the mainstream discourse. We transition the conversation to discuss yields. Julian explains why crypto platforms and DeFi protocols give their users higher yields than traditional financial institutions. Julian also describes how the business model of Cake DeFi is aligned with its users. Julian discusses how Cake DeFi is paying users to learn about crypto and the importance of financial literacy. We transitioned our conversation to discuss the custodial vs noncustodial crypto worlds. We discuss the concept of virgin Bitcoin. We also touch on why regulators' view of blockchains is antiquated and why their limited understanding of the technology holds back innovation. Our next conversation topic centered around the design of Bitcoin. We discuss the limitations of bitcoin and the benefits of its simplicity. Another fascinating topic in our discussion was the market manipulation in crypto and its impact on retail investors. Our final conversation topic was the importance of preserving crypto culture. We discuss the evolving nature of crypto’s culture and the importance of maintaining the core ethos of crypto as the industry grows. Please enjoy my conversation with Dr. Julian Hosp. -- This podcast is powered by Blockworks. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at https://blockworks.co
Mortgage NFTs and the Bacon Protocol with Karl Jacob
54:41Today, my guest is Karl Jacob, the co-founder, and CEO of LoanSnap. Karl is a serial entrepreneur who has been building, advising, and investing in companies for the last 20 years. LoanSnap invented the world’s first smart loan technology that uses AI and machine learning to analyze a person’s entire financial picture and show them how to benefit from a smart home loan. LoanSnap is the parent company that built the Bacon Protocol, a decentralized mortgage lending protocol created using smart contract technology on the Ethereum blockchain. Anyone with a Web3 wallet can lend money and earn interest, all while seeing exactly which homes they’re lending against. Moreover, anyone with a home that meets the protocol’s criteria can create an NFT and use it as collateral to borrow money. Karl’s career has been focused on founding companies that solve big problems, and those companies have helped tens of millions of consumers. He has raised 23 rounds of financing from investors, including True Ventures, Baseline Ventures, Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Microsoft, eBay, Integral Partners, Norwest Ventures, Greylock, Benchmark Capital, FT Ventures, Ignition Partners, and Vulcan Ventures. Many of his companies have had successful acquisitions, including; Dimension X, acquired by Microsoft, Keen/Ingenio, acquired by AT&T, Cloudmark, acquired by ProofPoint, and Coveroo, acquired by Zazzle. While CEO, Jacob has generated hundreds of millions in returns to investors and over $150 million in revenue per year. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California Engineering School, where he sits on the board of counselors. We discuss a wide range of topics, including LoanSnap, Bacon Protocol, the real estate industry, the benefits of blockchain, and much more. We begin our discussion by delving into why the banking/loan industry has been tough to disrupt. Our conversation leads us to how he and his team have finally found a way to disrupt their value chain. Karl explains how the Bacon Protocol works and what makes it unique. Karl elaborates why they decided to build the bacon protocol on blockchain/crypto rails instead of building on the traditional financial stack. He illustrates this by explaining how blockchain removes the barriers and overhead that plague the conventional loan and real estate industry. Karl discusses the fallacies that persist throughout the loan industry and how the Bacon Protocol democratizes access to affordable housing and the loan industry. We also discuss the socioeconomic impact of foreclosures on neighborhoods and how blockchain technology can be used to solve the misalignment between individuals and corporations. Karl also addresses the impediments that currently make it challenging to tokenize real-world assets and how they’ve optimized the Bacon Protocol to avoid these issues. We finish our conversation by discussing how Karl envisions the entire loan industry to be disrupted by blockchain technology. Please enjoy my conversation with Karl Jacob. -- This podcast is powered by Blockworks. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at https://blockworks.co
Crypto Bridges and Payment Rails with Tyler Spalding
47:05My guest today is Tyler Spalding, a Co-Founder of Flexa, a blockchain payments company based in New York City. Flexa is a versatile digital payments platform that offers several key features. Flexa has point-of-sale (POS) hardware compatibility as a merchant-focused app and is designed to reduce costs, settlement times, and fraud. Payments are collateralized by Flexa’s ERC-20 token Amp, which can be staked as collateral that receives additional Amp as a staking incentive. Flexa is accepted all over North America; Flexa aims to scale globally and integrate with numerous apps and payment options. For merchants, Flexa offers a variety of payment integrations and plug-ins to enable digital asset acceptance using existing point-of-sale (POS) hardware and software. Flexa supports dozens of digital currencies for consumers — including cryptocurrencies, tokens, and digital dollars — for payment at thousands of stores throughout the United States and Canada — including Nordstrom, GameStop, Lowe’s, and Petco. Flexa has a mission of eventually enabling digital asset payments for any app, using any currency, at any store worldwide. He has been preaching/mining/coding cryptocurrencies since 2011. Tyler is the former CTO of Raise, the world’s largest gift card marketplace with over $1B in sales and $150M in venture funding. Tyler has more than 20 years of technology experience, has founded and sold three software companies, and is an active seed-stage investor in 25+ startups. He is an author of more than 50 technology patents and was previously an aerospace engineering faculty member at two universities. Tyler is also a former engineer for the United Space Alliance, the United States Air Force, NASA Mars Crew Module, and the NASA Space Shuttle Program. We discuss various topics, including the Flexa and AMP, the payment industry, why we are still early, etc. We begin our conversation by discussing the multiple inefficiencies in the payment industry. I share my personal experience with the challenges facing merchants when dealing with payment providers. Tyler explains why the inefficiencies are so prevalent. Tyler shares his experience from helping run Raise, where they developed various systems to combat fraud and other inefficiencies. Our conversation naturally leads us to Flexa, where Tyler explains how Flexa enables people to pay with crypto across millions of merchants and retailers. Tyler goes on to discuss the tokenomics of AMP. We have a fascinating conversation comparing the engineering challenges in blockchain and aerospace engineering. We also discuss the philosophy of Voluntarism and the importance of individual choice. Our conversation pivots back to Flexa, where we discuss the company's commitment to transparency. We also discuss how Flexa is supporting the infrastructure of El Salvador’s transition to a Bitcoin Standard. We discuss how the crypto industry is still very early and why it is inevitable. Our final conversation topic centered on the social challenges of educating people on the proper custody of digital assets. Please enjoy my conversation with Tyler Spalding. -- This podcast is powered by Blockworks. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at https://blockworks.co
The Soul of Bitcoin with Aaron Koenig
53:53My guest today is my good friend Aaron Koenig. Aaron is a Bitcoin pioneer, entrepreneur, consultant, writer and film producer, specialising in Bitcoin and Blockchain technology. His company Bitfilm creates short commercial films for clients, most of them Bitcoin and Blockchain start-ups. He has been actively promoting Bitcoin and Blockchain technology since June 2011 by writing about it and by organising events and meetups. He has also been a speaker and panelist at numerous conferences. Aaron is the author of the books A Beginner's Guide to Bitcoin and Austrian Economics and Cryptocoins - Investing in Digital Currencies. Aaron holds a master in communication and marketing from the Berlin University of the Arts, Aaron has been working in the creative internet industry since 1994. He has created websites for clients such as MTV, ARD German Television, Die Zeit, Der Stern, Milka Chocolate and many others. His company Bitfilm has been working in production, distribution and event management for clients such as Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Kabel NRW, Swisscom, Nokia, Microsoft, Adobe, Intel, Apple, Axel Springer and many more. We discuss a variety of topics including the early days of Bitcoin, the evolving Bitcoin community, the memes of Bitcoin, the art world of Bitcoin, and much more. We begin our conversation by discussing the early days of Bitcoin. Aaron discusses how he started the Bitcoin Exchange Berlin and the culture of the early days of Bitcoin. We discuss the evolution of the Bitcoin community and how the culture continues to evolve. We also discuss how the core principles of the Bitcoin culture continue to be strong and continue to power the community. Our conversation transitions to discuss the most meaningful memes of Bitcoin and how they help drive the narrative and principles of Bitcoin forward. The next major topic of discussion centered around the art world of Bitcoin. We discuss how NFTs are enabling regular artists to make a living off of their art. Aaron shares details about his upcoming art exhibit that will have pieces that embody various legendary Bitcoin memes. We finish our conversation by discussing the importance of art to Bitcoin’s history. Please enjoy my conversation with Aaron Koenig. -- This podcast is powered by Blockworks. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at https://blockworks.co
Self Sovereignty and Self Custody with Charles Guillemet
47:08My guest today is Charles Guillemet, CTO of Ledger. Ledger provides security and infrastructure solutions to critical digital assets for consumers and institutional investors. Launched in 2014, Ledger has designed an acclaimed line of hardware security devices, quickly placing the company as a global leader in the market, with 1,000,000 units sold in more than 165 countries. Ledger introduced the Vault for enterprises and corporations: a fully managed SaaS solution addressing the need to safeguard a very large amount of multiple cryptocurrencies while mitigating both IT and physical assault threats. The company is also active in the industrial IoT market, leveraging its secure hardware technology to interface sensors and machines to smart contracts or blockchain-based assets. Charles joined Ledger in 2017 as Chief Security Officer after working for ten years in the Cryptography & Hardware Security sector. He is also the creator of Donjon (the company’s security research department). He is now Chief Technology Officer from 2019. Charles holds a Master of Science in Cryptography & Security at the Engineering School ENSIMAG, with a Major in Cryptography and Security (Valedictorian), where he used to be a Lecturer. We discuss a variety of topics ranging from the importance of hardware wallets, Donjon, the advancements in security, areas for improvement in the crypto asset security industry, the future of blockchains, and much more. We begin our conversation by discussing the importance of hardware wallets. Charles explains the dangers of storing your private keys on your phone. Another topic of discussion centered around how the industry's growth will impact security. Charles outlines that as the crypto-asset sector continues to grow, it will continue to attract more hackers, so we must continue to focus on improving security and security education. Charles also discusses the risks that zero-day exploits could have on the industry. We finish our discussion on the importance of hardware wallets by discussing what they store and how ledger approaches designing their hardware wallets. Our conversation pivots to discuss why the north star of the crypto asset security industry should be to improve the UI and UX of their products. Charles does an excellent job detailing why improving the UX of security products will drive mass adoption. He also touches on the various bottlenecks we currently face that deter people from using hardware wallets to store their crypto assets. Another major topic of conversation centered around quantum computing. We discuss why quantum computing is not currently a risk for the crypto assets space and how it is mainly a research field. Charles also discusses that as the technology develops, the crypto-asset industry will have ample time to address the possible vulnerabilities that quantum computing could present. We also discuss the singularity and have a philosophical discussion of what we categorize as intelligence. The next major topic of discussion in the interview centered around the future of blockchains. Charles stresses that blockchain developers should not be creating applications on Layer-1s and instead focus their efforts on Layer-2s. We also discuss the purpose of blockchains. We discuss that the goal of blockchains is to decentralize society and give the user their power back. Charles outlines why this is such a strong value proposition, and we discuss how this will continue to revolutionize society for decades to come. Please enjoy my conversation with Charles Guillemet. -- This podcast is powered by Blockworks. For exclusive content and events that provide insights into the crypto and blockchain space, visit them at https://blockworks.co
How to Create an Open Web with Evan Chang