Laura Shin
May 19, 2020 50 min

Listen to CZ Compare Binance to Bitcoin - Ep.173

Changpeng Zhao, aka CZ, cofounder and CEO of Binance, and I kicked off the Ethereal Virtual Summit with a fun fireside chat! He talked about Binance’s current operations, its plans for the future, and the crypto industry as a whole. He explains: Why he thought the questions I asked him in our first interview were misleading Whether Libra’s new plans are affecting Binance’s strategy for Venus What impact China’s DCEP will have on crypto Why the confluence of circumstances caused by COVID are a “perfect storm” for crypto, and how this will affect crypto in the long-term Whether the Binance Smart Chain will leech away Ethereum developers and users Why he thinks competition in the industry only grows it How Binance can own CoinMarketCap without affecting its objectivity What he says to the class-action lawsuit against Binance, him and the other cofounders of Binance accusing them of offering unregistered securities How he views the role of Binance in governance in delegated proof-of-state systems, such as when Binance flip-flopped on a contentious hard fork in Steem Where Binance is headquartered Unchained is hiring! Check out the job posting here! https://unchainedpodcast.com/seeking-remote-editorial-assistant/ Thank you to our sponsors! Crypto.com: https://crypto.com/ Kraken: https://www.kraken.com Stellar: https://www.stellar.org/ Episode links: CZ: https://twitter.com/cz_binance Binance: https://www.binance.com/en My first interview with CZ: https://unchainedpodcast.com/how-binance-became-the-most-popular-crypto-exchange-in-5-months-ep-84/ Details on BUSD: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/38607/binance-launching-its-own-usd-pegged-stablecoin-busd-with-paxos-as-custodian Binance announcement about BUSD: https://binance.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360032604131-Binance-Announces-Open-Blockchain-Project-Venus- BUSD marketshare: https://www.coindesk.com/binance-stablecoin-busd-tops-100m-but-lags-behind-rivals Venus as the One Belt, One Road initiative of Libra: https://twitter.com/DoveyWan/status/1163364542233006082?s=20 Venus focusing on developing countries: https://www.coindesk.com/binance-is-pitching-its-stablecoin-as-a-government-friendly-libra-competitor Binance’s acquisition of CoinMarketCap: https://www.coindesk.com/binances-coinmarketcap-acquisition-is-a-bet-that-crypto-really-is-for-the-masses 125x leverage: https://www.binance.com/en/blog/393707200802271232/5-Things-You-Need-to-Know-About-Binance-Futures-125x-Leverage The Block report on BNB’s latest token burn: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/genesis/62306/a-closer-look-at-binances-bnb-burns Lee et al. vs. Binance: https://www.scribd.com/document/455203877/Lee-et-al-vs-Binance Estimate that Binance earned $46 million in profit in 2018: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/genesis/10491/analysis-binance-brought-in-446-million-in-profits-in-2018-despite-the-bear-market Binance used Steem tokens on its exchange to help vote out Steem validators: https://steempeak.com/witness/@ura-soul/ura-soul-witness-update-anarchy-vs-empire-tron-replaces-top-witnesses-and-takes-over-the-steem-blockchain CZ’s initial tweet about the how Binance handled the Steemit fork: https://twitter.com/cz_binance/status/1234565384327585792?s=20 Binance reverses course: https://www.coindesk.com/steem-will-hard-fork-in-just-hours-over-community-fears-of-justin-sun-power-grab Binance not authorized to operate in Malta: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/linked/56603/binance-is-not-authorised-to-operate-in-malta-says-the-countrys-financial-regulator CZ on Binance not being based in Malta and decentralized: https://twitter.com/cz_binance/status/1230860647086338048 Binance shut down Shanghai offices: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/47922/binances-shanghai-office-shut-down-following-police-raid-sources-say Links to topics we did not have time to cover: Binance removes all references to Visa from its credit card: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/60886/binance-quietly-scrubs-visa-mentions-from-its-payment-card-website Opening mining pool: https://www.coindesk.com/binance-crypto-exchange-is-launching-its-first-bitcoin-mining-pool Investment in startups in Africa: https://www.coindesk.com/binance-backed-crypto-payments-app-as-race-for-africa-heats-up In-browser trading: https://www.coindesk.com/brave-partners-with-binance-to-develop-in-browser-crypto-trading https://brave.com/binance/
May 12, 2020 1 hr 8 min

The Third Bitcoin Halving Just Happened: What Now? - Ep.172

Amanda Fabiano, director of Bitcoin mining at the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology, and Christopher Bendiksen, head of research at CoinShares, discuss the third Bitcoin halving, which occurred hours before the publication of this episode. They discuss: the significance of the halving what effect it could have on price and what Amanda and Christopher think of Dan Morehead's projection that it could reach $115,000 next year how macroeconomic events like the coronavirus and quantitative easing could impact uptake of Bitcoin how the halving could affect miners and hash rate how the halving could influence the environmental impact of Bitcoin why mining was the first activity Fidelity pursued with Bitcoin what they think needs to happen in Bitcoin to foster more adoption why hash rate derivatives will be a crucial step what the outlook is for institutional adoption of Bitcoin plus, is it halving or halvening? Take the 2020 Unchained Podcast survey! I'm doing another survey to find out what you want from the podcasts and how I can make them better! Please take a moment to fill it out here and to tell us at Unchained what you'd like from the show: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unchained2020 Plus, Crypto.com has offered our survey respondents a chance to win a metal MCO Visa card -- Crypto.com will stake these cards indefinitely! Ten lucky winners will enjoy card benefits including free Spotify, free Netflix, 3% back on all spending, earn extra interest on their crypto deposit and more! Thanks, Crypto.com! Again, take the survey now! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unchained2020 Thank you to our sponsors! Crypto.com: https://crypto.com/ Kraken: https://www.kraken.com Stellar: https://www.stellar.org/ Episode links: Amanda Fabiano: https://twitter.com/_amanda_fab Fidelity Center for Applied Technology: https://www.fidelitylabs.com Christopher Bendiksen: https://twitter.com/C_Bendiksen Coinshares: https://coinshares.com Coinshares’ 5 Popular Bitcoin Halving Theories: https://coinshares.com/research/5-popular-btc-halving-theories Coinshares’ December 2019 Bitcoin Mining Report: https://coinshares.com/assets/resources/Research/bitcoin-mining-network-december-2019.pdf Unconfirmed episode with Dan Morehead: https://unchainedpodcast.com/a-bitcoin-price-of-115000-next-year/ Bitcoin stock-to-flow ratio: https://medium.com/@100trillionUSD/modeling-bitcoins-value-with-scarcity-91fa0fc03e25 Fidelity opens trading to institutional customers: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-06/fidelity-said-to-offer-cryptocurrency-trading-within-a-few-weeks Fidelity Digital Assets signs first exchange: https://www.coindesk.com/fidelity-digital-assets-to-sign-up-its-first-crypto-exchange-by-end-of-the-year
May 06, 2020 33 min

El Auge de MakerDAO: Un Viaje Personal - Ep.171

Hi everyone, this is an essay by Mariano Conti of MakerDAO that was so popular, personal and relatable, especially to those living in Latin America, that we decided to have Mariano translate it and read it in Spanish. Share it with your Spanish-speaking friends who still don’t understand what crypto is about, to show how it solved real-world problems for at least one person. Mariano Conti, jefe de contratos inteligentes de MakerDAO, nos lee su ensayo sobre su experiencia personal con criptomonedas, desde el punto de vista de un Argentino cuya familia ha experimentado períodos de hiperinflación, y de un freelancer que recibe pagos por su trabajo desde varios países. Mariano describe la evolución de Maker desde Dai de Colateral Único (ahora Sai) hasta Dai Multi Colateral, y también brinda su perspectiva de los eventos del Jueves Negro y las subastas de deuda subsecuentes que el protocolo debió llevar a cabo para regularizar su situación.
May 05, 2020 1 hr 16 min

DeFi Security: With So Many Hacks, Will It Ever Be Safe? - Ep.170

Dan Guido, cofounder and CEO of Trail of Bits, and Taylor Monahan, founder and CEO of MyCrypto, discuss all the recent hacks in DeFi, how it can be made more safely and who is responsible. We tackle: the Hegic security incident: whose responsibility it was to make sure the contract was secure — the auditor (Trail of Bits) or the team (Hegic) — what Trail of Bits was saying in its audit summary, and how to read between the lines of an audit summary how long an audit should be upgradeability: particularly around when more advanced technology and contracts interface with older technology/contracts centralization vs. decentralization: whether contracts can be made safely while maintaining adhering to the principle of decentralization, why Taylor would prioritize centralization and security, and how teams can create different levels of risk for users bug bounties: why asking what amount they should be is the wrong question the security threats posed by oracles and what a checklist for DeFi teams might look like Thank you to our sponsors! Crypto.com: https://crypto.com Kraken: https://www.kraken.com Stellar: https://www.stellar.org Episode links: Dan Guido: https://twitter.com/dguido Trail of Bits: https://www.trailofbits.com Taylor Monahan: https://twitter.com/tayvano_ MyCrypto: https://mycrypto.com Initial tweet by Hegic calling the security issue a typo: https://twitter.com/HegicOptions/status/1253937104666742787?s=20 Hegic tweet saying, “It’s not a security issue”: https://twitter.com/HegicOptions/status/1253954145113038849?s=20 Trail of Bits saying it will no longer work with Hegic: https://twitter.com/dguido/status/1254260725431894020?s=20 Taylor breaks down the audit summary: https://twitter.com/MyCrypto/status/1254058121342803968?s=20 Molly Wintermute’s Medium post on requesting a week audit vs. three-day review: https://medium.com/@molly.wintermute/post-mortem-hegic-unlock-function-bug-or-three-defi-development-mistakesthat-i-feel-sorry-about-5a23a7197bce Unconfirmed episode with Haseeb Qureshi on the Lendf.me attack: https://unchainedpodcast.com/haseeb-qureshi-on-the-unbelievable-story-of-the-25-million-lendf-me-hack/ Unchained interview showing Matt Luongo's approach to kill switches and upgradeability with tBTC: https://unchainedpodcast.com/tbtc-what-happens-when-the-most-liquid-crypto-asset-hits-defi/ Discussion of the bZx attacks on Unchained: https://unchainedpodcast.com/the-bzx-attacks-unethical-or-illegal-2-experts-weigh-in/ Issue with Curve contract: https://blog.curve.fi/vulnerability-disclosure/ Compound bug bounty program: https://compound.finance/docs/security#bug-bounty Taylor on “upgradeability makes things more insecure”: https://twitter.com/tayvano_/status/1222564979657723904?s=20 Synthetix oracle incident, allowing a bot to profit $1 billion: https://unchainedpodcast.com/how-synthetix-became-the-second-largest-defi-platform/ Taylor’s tips on how to get more ROI on an audit: https://twitter.com/MyCrypto/status/1254061500244713474?s=20 Tips to follow before getting an audit: https://blog.openzeppelin.com/follow-this-quality-checklist-before-an-audit-8cc6a0e44845/ Resources for security in DeFi: crytic/building-secure-contractsGuidelines and training material to write secure smart contracts - crytic/building-secure-contractsgithub.com https://consensys.github.io/smart-contract-best-practices/ https://forum.openzeppelin.com https://swcregistry.io https://diligence.consensys.net/blog/2020/03/new-offering-1-day-security-reviews/
Apr 28, 2020 1 hr 13 min

tBTC: What Happens When the Most Liquid Crypto Asset Hits DeFi? - Ep.169

Matt Luongo, CEO of Thesis, the parent company of Fold and Keep, describes the just-launched tBTC, his plan for a censorship-resistant Bitcoin-Ethereum bridge. He explains his personal reasons for wanting such a platform, why tBTC is different from other versions of Bitcoin on Ethereum, and how it works -- including the process of becoming a signer in minting tBTC, how the system will handle crises, the reason for high collateralization levels, why staking assets are limited, and the necessity of a work token, Keep. He also discusses the economics behind tBTC-backed tBTC, his vision for DeFi, how tBTC could buffer an ETH crash, and the reasoning behind minimal governance mechanisms -- playing into why institutions trust BTC more than ETH. Plus, he contrasts the Bitcoin and Ethereum communities and talks about the possibility of tBTC2.0. Thank you to our sponsors! Crypto.com: https://crypto.com/ Kraken: https://www.kraken.com Episode links: Matt Luongo: https://twitter.com/mhluongo Thesis: https://thesis.co/ Keep: https://keep.network/ Fold App: https://foldapp.com/ tBTC white paper: https://docs.keep.network/tbtc/index.pdf Initial reveal: https://twitter.com/mhluongo/status/1162481737525583873?s=20 Announcement on Keep blog: https://blog.keep.network/bridging-bitcoin-and-ethereum-b2f9923630a7?gi=5c9040ed3a72 Some criticism of tBTC: https://twitter.com/peterktodd/status/1162728205607985152?s=20 Matt on the Breakdown podcast: https://www.coindesk.com/will-defi-matter-in-a-post-coronavirus-world-feat-matt-luongo Matt on Sendwyre podcast: https://blog.sendwyre.com/announcing-tbtc-with-james-prestwich-and-matt-luongo-of-cross-chain-group-c424e2b0b40c?gi=d1e8b53ca80e How tBTC works: https://defipulse.com/blog/what-is-tbtc/ The Block on tBTC: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/daily/55284/inside-tbtc-the-bitcoin-backed-erc-20-token-that-could-go-live-in-march Keep raises $7.7 million: https://www.forbes.com/sites/justinoconnell/2020/04/03/coinbase-co-founder-invests-in-project-to-bridge-bitcoin-and-ethereum/#368a6f737df4
Apr 21, 2020 1 hr 13 min

Why Nothing Is More Viral Than a Store of Value - Ep.168

Cathie Wood, CEO and CIO of ARK Invest, and Yassine Elmandjra, ARK's thematic analyst, discuss their investment strategy with disruptive innovation, and how blockchain technology, especially Bitcoin, plays a major role in it. They explain why the unique market circumstances due to the coronavirus have led to more correlation between crypto and the traditional financial markets, but also why, in the long-term, it will ultimately be uncorrelated. We cover why they think crypto in the age of COVID-19 will see new opportunity, and when there will be a recovery of the larger economy. They also share, from an investor standpoint, their growing conviction in Bitcoin due to its long-term value proposition compared to other chains like Ethereum. Plus, we talk about the future outlook for central bank digital currencies, and how Libra will launch, albeit differently, than expected. Thank you to our sponsors! Crypto.com: https://crypto.com/ Kraken: https://www.kraken.com Episode links: Cathie Wood: https://twitter.com/cathiedwood?lang=en Yassine Elmandjra: https://twitter.com/yassineARK Yahoo Finance interview on ARK’s big ideas for 2020: https://finance.yahoo.com/video/cathie-wood-talks-ark-invests-222723696.html Keynote on State of Digital Assets at Volt Capital summit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2729&v=c50TMCKsktA&feature=emb_logo ARK’s Q&A video conference on COVID-19: https://ark-invest.com/research/bis2020?utm_campaign=BIS%202020&utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--kCZDJ0VuIxNViHjN7KR7qOryEusndZqMfNp7JMkD4AIZJCv8otUtZm8YgPdmVYTZb3ylv4ysbxt8fRIUvngkRLcyvIw&_hsmi=85729999&utm_source=hs_email&utm_content=85729999&hsCtaTracking=14ee7e75-5bf4-46f8-8c8c-f5aeb84b32a7%7C5f5d3a43-f10e-4792-92de-96ef495eb5c6 Feature on Cathie Wood: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-02-18/cathie-wood-s-tesla-bet-puts-ark-invest-in-spotlight Her views on Zcash: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/12660/cathie-wood-on-the-block-the-crypto-revolution-is-coming-jump-on-or-get-out-of-the-way
Apr 14, 2020 32 min

The Rise of MakerDAO: A Personal Journey - Ep.167

Mariano Conti of MakerDAO, head of smart contracts at MakerDAO, reads from his essay about his personal experience with cryptocurrency, particularly as an Argentine whose family has experienced periods of hyperinflation, and as a freelancer accepting payment from foreign countries. He describes the evolution of Maker from single-collateral Dai (now Sai) to multi-collateral Dai, and also gives his perspective on the events of Black Thursday and the subsequent debt auctions the protocol undertook to right itself. Thank you to our sponsors! Crypto.com: https://crypto.com/ Kraken: https://www.kraken.com Episode links: Mariano Conti: https://twitter.com/nanexcool Linda Xie’s essay about crypto memes on Unchained : https://unchainedpodcast.com/how-memes-can-help-crypto-go-mainstream/
Apr 07, 2020 23 min

The Most Forkable DeFi Protocols on Ethereum - Ep.166

Kyle Samani of Multicoin Capital reads from his essay on how defensible each of the major DeFi protocols on Ethereum are, and what that says about Ethereum's defensibility. He evaluates how easy it would be from an effort and capital standpoint to fork each of the major DeFi protocols, and makes a strong case for how and why he thinks protocols like Maker are quite defensible, and why he believes certain dexes are less so. Thank you to our sponsors! Crypto.com: https://crypto.com/ Kraken: https://www.kraken.com
Mar 31, 2020 31 min

Why Decentralization Isn’t as Important as You Think - Ep.165

In this essay, Haseeb Qureshi of Dragonfly Capital explains why he thinks the focus on decentralization can be overhyped. He looks at why decentralization can be important but then makes it clear, by dissecting when it is important and when it’s not, and to whom it does and doesn’t matter, that it isn’t the be-all end-all goal for every endeavor. He talks about which questions we should be asking beyond just, “is it decentralized,” and also explains why that question doesn’t even make sense. Thank you to our sponsors! CipherTrace: https://ciphertrace.com Crypto.com: https://crypto.com/ Kraken: https://www.kraken.com
Mar 24, 2020 58 min

Teetering on the Edge: How Black Thursday Exposed the Flaws in the Crypto Markets - Ep.164

Kyle Samani, managing partner at Multicoin Capital, dissects Black Thursday, March 12, the day the crypto markets plunged twice amid the wider sell-off in the markets due to the coronavirus. He offers several theories for the first price drop that day, how that set off a series of liquidations on various exchanges, and then why liquidations stopped for about 12 hours before the next wave, which triggered the next price slump. He also describes why, at that point, the crypto market structure broke, as arbitrageurs attempted to move collateral from one exchange to another but could not because both the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains became congested, setting off a downward spiral particularly in Bitcoin, as miners began turning off equipment due to the falling BTC price. This led, ultimately, to there being $200 million worth of positions to liquidate on BitMEX, but only $20 million worth of bids on the entire BitMEX order book. Then we cover what happened next that ultimately saved the price of BTC dropping to $0 on BitMEXT. Next, we discuss the second fall in prices that day, and how that affected MakerDAO, with congestion on the Ethereum blockchain preventing keepers from being able to liquidate undercollateralized vaults. A clever keeper sent a bid to liquidate a vault with a higher gas price, but realizing that there was no competition, bid $0, walking away with $4.5 million, and a total of $8 million being won this way. We covered how the price of ETH fell to $88 but because oracles weren't properly updating, the last price of ETH on MakerDAO was at $101 — a dollar higher than the $100 where a bunch of liquidations would have occurred, which would have likely put more downward pressure on ETH, resulting in another downward spiral. Kyle also evaluates some of the technical options for preventing these issues in future times of volatility, why many of them aren't promising but what is. Thank you to our sponsors! CipherTrace: https://ciphertrace.com Crypto.com: https://crypto.com/ Kraken: https://www.kraken.com Episode links: https://multicoin.capital/2020/03/20/march-12-the-day-crypto-market-structure-broke-part-2/ Links from news recap: Kyle Samani: https://twitter.com/KyleSamani Multicoin Capital: https://multicoin.capital/ Multicoin blog part 1: https://multicoin.capital/2020/03/17/march-12-the-day-crypto-market-structure-broke/ Part 2: https://multicoin.capital/2020/03/20/march-12-the-day-crypto-market-structure-broke-part-2/ Theory that BitMEX’s maintenance was to prevent a collapse in Bitcoin: https://twitter.com/SBF_Alameda/status/1238306306043162625 https://www.theblockcrypto.com/genesis/58918/money-2-0-stuff-free-price-auctions How traders took advantage of the roiling markets: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/59172/surfing-the-spread-crypto-market-turmoil-arbitrage More on the liquidations in MakerDAO: https://medium.com/@whiterabbit_hq/black-thursday-for-makerdao-8-32-million-was-liquidated-for-0-dai-36b83cac56b6 https://blog.makerdao.com/usdc-approved-by-maker-governance-as-the-third-collateral-type-of-the-maker-protocol/ MakerDAO weighs emergency shutdown: https://www.coindesk.com/defi-leader-makerdao-weighs-emergency-shutdown-following-eth-price-drop MakerDAO adds USDC as collateral: https://www.coindesk.com/makerdao-adds-usdc-as-defi-collateral-following-black-thursday-chaos Kain Warwick on USDC as Dai collateral: https://twitter.com/kaiynne/status/1239795250882740225?s=20 Eva Beylin on USDC as Dai collateral: https://twitter.com/evabeylin/status/1240039492985085952?s=20 Huobi’s derivatives platform introduces circuit breaker: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/linked/59210/huobis-derivative-platform-now-includes-a-circuit-breaker-function Debate over circuit breakers in crypto: https://twitter.com/TusharJain_/status/1238311534767595520 https://www.coindesk.com/does-crypto-need-circuit-breakers-last-weeks-price-crash-ignites-a-debate