The Scoop

The Scoop

The Block
May 19, 2020 47 min

An FX exchange veteran explains growing a crypto exchange and weathering the Covid-19 storm

Institutional crypto exchange LMAX Digital closed out its second year by 10x-ing its trade volumes, trading $75 billion worth of crypto in the past 12 months, the firm revealed exclusively to The Block. Since its launch two years ago, the firm has facilitated $85 billion in trades, according to a Tuesday press release. Last year's monthly high was $8.6 billion traded in June of 2019, and that month saw the firm's daily record high on June 27, when $1.25 billion was traded on the exchange. CEO of LMAX Group David Mercer said the firm has become the primary price discovery venue, having grown to command a sizable portion of the spot cryptocurrency market. Still, the firm's growth has stagnated recently and the size of its market is still dwarfed by retail-aimed exchanges like Binance and Coinbase. Now, with two years of growth under its belt, the firm is looking to expand its reach. Mercer told The Block that the firm is looking to add its trade and market data to more leading market reference indices, as well as expand its product portfolio with the growth of the asset class. In a recently recorded episode of The Scoop, Mercer discussed the firm's recent growth and what it's been like to operate a digital asset exchange in the midst of the ongoing financial and health crisis. The Block's Frank Chaparro and Mercer also explore: How the firm coped with rising volatility and maintained liquidity on its venue in the midst of whipsawing crypto markets The differences between how traditional markets have held up during the COVID-19 crisis relative to crypto Why LMAX needs more asset managers, fund managers to get involved in crypto for it to go head to head with retail exchanges What traditional markets can learn from crypto Why banks may not care about crypto yet, but their customers are asking questions This episode of The Scoop is brought to you by Bitstamp, the original global cryptocurrency exchange. Since 2011, Bitstamp has been a cornerstone of the industry, earning the trust of over four million individuals and top financial institutions looking for a reliable trading venue. Whether you’re trading on our web platform, mobile app or industry-leading APIs, Bitstamp gives you the professional-grade tools you need to execute your strategy. Download the Bitstamp app or visit Bitstamp.net/Pro to learn more and start trading today!
May 15, 2020 41 min

Anthony Scaramucci: Paul Tudor Jones took "a sledgehammer" to the wall between Wall Street and bitcoin

If recent headlines are any indication, Wall Street's slow embrace of bitcoin – or, at least, financial instruments tied to it – is beginning to pick up the pace. Earlier this week, it was reported that JPMorgan is offering banking services to cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Gemini. And macro investor Paul Tudor Jones recently revealed that he allocated as much as 2% of his assets to bitcoin, while his fund has opened to door to buying bitcoin futures. Elsewhere, derivatives markets are heating up with volumes and open interest on CME Group's bitcoin option contract hitting fresh highs on Thursday. Market participants point to the juxtaposition of central bank money printing and bitcoin's fixed-supply – the latter of which was very much on display this week during the halving event – as one catalyst for recent interest. On this episode of The Scoop, Skybridge Capital's Anthony Scaramucci explores these developments and why he is "there" when it comes to being convinced to allocate some capital to bitcoin. "Paul is closed for new investors, but if he wasn’t closed for new investors, I would be in his fund," Scaramucci said. "And I have no problem owning, as a pass-through through his fund, some level of digital currency exposure." In this episode, the former 10-day-long White House communications director said that Jones has helped the idea of owning bitcoin acceptable go mainstream. An admitted non-crypto expert, Scaramucci said there is a technological opportunity for peer-to-peer transfer of value with permanency. "There is an era coming where everybody is going to want to own something that is less manipulated by the governments as it relates to a store of value," he said. Scaramucci said that a few more announcements like Paul Tudor Jones' revelation that he will take on exposure to bitcoin will cause the "wall to fall down." We also explore: Why Scaramucci recently moved close to $300 million to legendary hedge funds Bridgewater Associates, Oaktree Capital, and Third Point, and why his fund and others suffered during the first part of the year Why the pandemic hit the structured credit market especially hard relative to equities The implications of the liquidity the Fed is injecting into the economy, and why money printing can last longer than we think Why the crypto rush will happen, but not as quickly as people want it to – and why he doesn't buy the threat to the dollar in the near future Scaramucci gives us an inside look on what's going on in Washington and why Libra would be an unmitigated disaster from the government's perspective This episode of The Scoop is brought to you by Bitstamp, the original global cryptocurrency exchange. Since 2011, Bitstamp has been a cornerstone of the industry, earning the trust of over four million individuals and top financial institutions looking for a reliable trading venue. Whether you’re trading on our web platform, mobile app or industry-leading APIs, Bitstamp gives you the professional-grade tools you need to execute your strategy. Download the Bitstamp app or visit Bitstamp.net/Pro to learn more and start trading today! This episode was also brought to you by PAX Gold, the world’s only regulated gold token. It’s the fastest and easiest way to own and trade the highest-quality physical gold. One PAX Gold token represents one fine troy ounce of a 400 oz London Good Delivery gold bar, stored in Brink’s vaults in London. When you buy PAX Gold, you own physical gold. The value of PAX Gold is always tied directly to the real-time market value of gold.PAXG is an ERC-20 token on Ethereum, and can easily be moved or traded anywhere in the world, 24/7. With PAXG, anyone can now own a fraction of an LBMA-accredited London Good Delivery gold bar with zero storage fees. Trade it today on leading exchanges like Kraken, FTX and itBit. Or, earn interest on your PAX Gold holdings through Nexo or Crypto.com. Learn more or purchase PAX Gold at paxos.com/paxgold
May 12, 2020 31 min

ConsenSys fintech executive dissects Facebook's Libra project, the growth of the stablecoin market, and how fintech and crypto can coexist

It’s been an interesting time for the stablecoin market. Total stablecoin issuance recently surpassed $10 billion, according to data compiled by The Block Research. Meanwhile, the discussion of Facebook’s Libra has taken on interesting new dimensions of late. Lex Sokolin, a former research analyst and the current global co-head of fintech at Consensys, has been paying close attention to these developments. In this episode of The Scoop, which was recorded prior to the Libra Association announcement of its new CEO, we dive into its shift to a multi-currency model. We also dig into: Whether Libra’s massive network and cash pile will suck the life out of other open-source initiatives Why a regulated approach to digital assets might have an easier time surviving and thriving Is the stablecoin market overhyped right now? How developments in the fintech ecosystem may have an impact on business models in the cryptocurrency market This episode of The Scoop is brought to you by Bitstamp, the original global cryptocurrency exchange. Since 2011, Bitstamp has been a cornerstone of the industry, earning the trust of over four million individuals and top financial institutions looking for a reliable trading venue. Whether you’re trading on our web platform, mobile app or industry-leading APIs, Bitstamp gives you the professional-grade tools you need to execute your strategy. Download the Bitstamp app or visit Bitstamp.net/Pro to learn more and start trading today! This episode was also brought to you by PAX Gold, the world’s only regulated gold token. It’s the fastest and easiest way to own and trade the highest-quality physical gold. One PAX Gold token represents one fine troy ounce of a 400 oz London Good Delivery gold bar, stored in Brink’s vaults in London. When you buy PAX Gold, you own physical gold. The value of PAX Gold is always tied directly to the real-time market value of gold.PAXG is an ERC-20 token on Ethereum, and can easily be moved or traded anywhere in the world, 24/7. With PAXG, anyone can now own a fraction of an LBMA-accredited London Good Delivery gold bar with zero storage fees. Trade it today on leading exchanges like Kraken, FTX and itBit. Or, earn interest on your PAX Gold holdings through Nexo or Crypto.com. Learn more or purchase PAX Gold at paxos.com/paxgold
May 08, 2020 28 min

'It opens up a new universe': Mike Novogratz on the significance of Paul Tudor Jones' bullish bitcoin take

Unless you were hiding under a rock on Thursday, you would have seen the letter by macro investor Paul Tudor Jones that outlines his case for owning bitcoin as a hedge against central bank money printing. In the letter – titled The Great Monetary Inflation – Jones dropped the bombshell update that Tudor Investment Corp could allocate a percentage of its assets to bitcoin futures. Although Jones doesn't subscribe to owning bitcoin "in isolation" or view himself as a "crypto nut," the coin community propelled into euphoria at the sight of one of the most respected fund managers giving the burgeoning asset a stamp of approval. Galaxy Digital's Mike Novogratz – having once sat in a similar seat to Jones as a macro investor – joined The Scoop's Frank Chaparro and discussed the significance of Jones' letter. This latest episode also digs into: The macro investor's toolbox: Why it doesn't matter that Jones might allocate to futures rather than spot bitcoin More funds on the sidelines: Novogratz says many major fund managers he knows own bitcoin in their personal accounts but say it's too difficult to buy through their funds Update on Galaxy: How the firm revamped its playbook to take advantage of the new environment and why subscriptions for the asset management business have increased The macro picture: Why inflation could follow a period of deflation The dollar: Why Novogratz thinks the chances of China taking on dollar hegemony is at an all-time high Halving: How it’s fueling bitcoin’s bullish narrative and where bitcoin’s price is going after it happens This episode of The Scoop is brought to you by Bitstamp, the original global cryptocurrency exchange. Since 2011, Bitstamp has been a cornerstone of the industry, earning the trust of over four million individuals and top financial institutions looking for a reliable trading venue. Whether you’re trading on our web platform, mobile app or industry-leading APIs, Bitstamp gives you the professional-grade tools you need to execute your strategy. Download the Bitstamp app or visit Bitstamp.net/Pro to learn more and start trading today!
May 05, 2020 51 min

Bloomberg's Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal on how this crisis is different from '08

We are going to rewind the clock on this episode of The Scoop with the Odd Lots team, Bloomberg's Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal. The podcast duo – whose combined time covering global financial markets spans more than three decades – take us back to their times at the FT's Alphaville and The Business Insider, respectively, where they covered the 2008-2009 financial crisis. In this episode, the podcasters become the "podcast-ees." The episode explores how there are parallels between the dearth of reporters at the cutting edge of the repo markets and blind spots in today's coverage of the coronavirus. We also dive into: The differences between the structural problems as revealed by the 2008 financial crisis and the COVID-19-linked crisis. How the government's inability to funnel money to Main Street reveals the issues underpinning our financial plumbing, and how those issues could make Universal Basic Income more of a mainstream policy prescription in the U.S. Why cash in people's pockets during a crisis is a good thing. How this crisis might result in a shift in how we think about capitalism, whereas the last crisis resulted in a shift in the way we think about risk. How bitcoin and Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) aren't as different as some pundits might think. Why we shouldn't sleep on equity analyst research. This episode is brought to you by Bitstamp the original global cryptocurrency exchange. Since 2011, Bitstamp has been a cornerstone of the industry, earning the trust of over four million individuals and top financial institutions looking for a reliable trading venue. Whether you’re trading on our web platform, mobile app or industry-leading APIs, Bitstamp gives you the professional-grade tools you need to execute your strategy. Download the Bitstamp app or visit Bitstamp.net/Pro to learn more and start trading today!
May 01, 2020 31 min

A conversation with Akon, the multi-platinum artist working on a crypto to bring change to Africa

From multi-platinum performing artist to crypto-entrepreneur, the mononymous Akon has long chased lofty ambitions. The Senegal-native's Akoin project is the singer's latest lofty endeavor. The aptly-named cryptocurrency was founded to democratize financial-services in Africa, where traditional banking infrastructure is scarce. Indeed, the project harkens back to the ICO boom of 2017 when celebrities made headlines in the mainstream press for promoting a digital currency fundraise – drawing the attention and occasional ire of regulators. In this episode of The Scoop, Akon – the chief visionary of Akoin – and Akoin president Jon Karas join The Block's Frank Chaparro and Ryan Todd to defend the project's viability. Akon and Jon position Akoin not as the answer to the financial inefficiencies of the world but as a last-mile solution to financially unify a continent long hindered by corruption and monetary instability. In this episode, we also discuss: How Akon's ties to Western Africa, and Senegal in particular, give him an advantage over other crypto entrepreneurs that that are less familiar with the region How Akon was able to work with the Senegalese government to develop Akon City, a planned smart city that he claims has attracted $7 billion in funding Akon's favorite traditional Senegalese dish: Thieboudienne
Apr 28, 2020 48 min

Memeing through the crisis: a conversation with FinTwit's famous Ramp Capital

Despite the world being beset by the COVID-19 pandemic and a financial crisis, humor is something we can all find respite in. This is even the case, believe it or not, for Wall Street. From the Ghana funeral that's swept financial services Twitter (FinTwit) following Ray Dalio's "cash is trash" call to the much-loved "Money printer go brr," this crisis has seen its fair share of memes. Indeed, it's fueled engagement for meme accounts, such as Ramp Capital, the anonymous, self-declared CFO of FinTwit. An engineer by trade, the man behind the Ramp Capital account has been tweeting about the financial services world since 2013, bringing a degree of humility to an ecosystem long known for its buttoned-up style. He's ramped things up, pun intended, since global markets began gyrating in February. On this episode of The Scoop, The Block's Frank Chaparro and Ryan Todd talk to Ramp about memeing through the crisis and its wild stock market swings, Ramp's crowdsourced stock portfolio – $WERAMP – and Ramp's observations on the key difference between market sentiment and Twitter sentiment.
Apr 22, 2020 45 min

GSR's Rich Rosenblum digs into bitcoin's upcoming halving

In 19 days, the number of bitcoin released with each block reward will drop from 12.5 to 6.25, a 50% cut in supply. This will be the third halving in bitcoin's lifetime and it has market participants across crypto speculating about the potential ramifications. Namely, whether it will result in a pop in bitcoin's price or whether it is priced in. In this episode of The Scoop, we welcome GSR Trading co-founder Rich Rosenblum to dig into the halving. Rosenblum, who spent ten years at Goldman Sachs trading oil, kicked things off with the firm's transition from a programmatic trading firm in a retail driven market into a broker offering bespoke products to help miners hedge their risks. We also discuss: The fundamental difference between oil and bitcoin in terms of supply and demand dynamics The similarities between mining operators and shale producers The reason why U.S.-based "institutional" offerings have failed to launch while the Asian derivatives market has taken off How trading firms and market participants are preparing for the halving, and, of course, whether it is priced in Episode 14 of Season 2 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with Frank Chaparro and Rich Rosenblum, co-founder of GSR Trading.
Apr 16, 2020 48 min

Macro investor Raoul Pal explains why the Fed is just 'papering up the cracks'

The U.S. Federal Reserve and the Federal government are working aggressively to implement policies to address the financial crisis tied to the spread of Covid-19. Most recently, Americans across the country began receiving checks to recoup losses in their incomes and the Fed said it would serve as a backstop for the junk bond market, announcing it would for the first time purchase corporate bonds including those in junk territory. Such government actions has triggered a cacophony of criticism, some of whom argue the stimulus doesn't go far enough to address mounting unemployment. Others say the Fed's action could result in a surge in inflation. In an episode of The Scoop, legendary macro investor and founder of Real Vision Raoul Pal joins The Block's Frank Chaparro and Ryan Todd to examine the current macro backdrop. Pal argues that the impact of Covid-19 on consumer of behavior—including a dip in spending on concerts and restaurants—is not being truly appreciated by the markets. In this episode we also explore: Why stimulus up until this point is "papering up the cracks" and won't be enough to sustain the economy through the Covid-19 storm What he would do if he ran the Fed Why people should be worried about deflation, not inflation How the "dollar is going to break the global system" and how that could benefit Libra or bitcoin Episode 13 of Season 2 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with Frank Chaparro, Ryan Todd and Raoul Pal, CEO and founder of Real Vision.
Apr 14, 2020 47 min

Paxos cofounder explains why Wall Street's plumbing hasn't been ready for the coronavirus crisis

A financial crisis triggered by a global pandemic has exposed underlying problems on Wall Street and the market as a whole. That's according to Paxos chief executive officer Charles Cascarilla, who made an appearance on the latest episode of The Scoop podcast with host Frank Chaparro. Cascarilla – who spent the most formative years of his career as a hedge fund investor at Cedar Hill Capital during the 2008-2009 financial crisis – talked about unexpected liquidity issues across assets, such as Treasury securities and CAT bonds, and the problematic plumbing at the heart of it all. Cascarilla said that uncertainty of the pipes and plumbing added to the risk associated with volatility and the inability to price assets during an economic and health crisis. He said less risk can be created by knowing where one's assets are on a blockchain. In this episode of The Scoop, Cascarilla walked us through how Paxos is trying to usurp the current plumbing of Wall Street alongside power hitters like Credit Suisse and Instinet with a new blockchain-based settlement platform. The episode also dug into conditions that could result in widespread bank failures and nationalization of the industry. And of course, the discussion touched on bitcoin's role in a global crisis and whether the premier cryptocurrency emerges from this crisis period as digital gold. Episode 12 of Season 2 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with Frank Chaparro, Ryan Todd and Charles Cascarilla, CEO of Paxos.
The Scoop
Genre
Investing
Episodes
60
Frequency
Ongoing podcast
Website
theblockcrypto.com/
Social