CoinDesk Podcast Network

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 Sep 8, 2020

Description

The top stories and best shows in the blockchain world, delivered daily from the team at CoinDesk.


Episode Date
SOB: Emergent Complexity and Building Systems We Don’t Understand
00:38:17

If you landed in medieval times, could you build a phone? Or something even simpler, a pencil?

Join hosts Adam B. Levine, Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Stephanie Murphy & Jonathan Mohan for a deep dive into the wildly empowering, complex and terrifyingly automated world we live in. This wide ranging, philosophical discussion touches on such topics as the Suez Canal, Douglas Adams, combat drones, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and more.

The world’s complexity exponentially increases by the decade. A gradual systemization has led to the automation of specialized tasks, affording people free time to perform other, even more complex tasks. For example, consider navigation apps reducing the decision-making process from driving, or the rise of autonomous cars that will eventually remove human interaction altogether.

As the world depends more on an unimaginable web of logistics, what happens when something breaks? The evolution of automation from simple, rules-based systems to incredibly complex machine learning algorithms has diminished the ability to understand or predict these structures.

As much as we love decentralization and technological advancement, where do these aims fail us? Are we creating more problems than solving them?

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Today's show featured Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Stephanie Murphy, Jonathan Mohan and Adam B. Levine. This episode was edited by Jonas, with music by Jared Rubens and Gurty Beats.

Image credit: Luca Carrà/Unsplash, modified by Speaking of Bitcoin

Have any questions or comments? Send us an email at adam@speakingofbitcoin.show

Jul 24, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Is U.S. Crypto Regulatory Bluster About to Become Action?
00:09:43

If regulation is unavoidable, now may be a better time to deal with it than later.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

On this edition of the “Weekly Recap,” NLW covers:

  • Institutional interest revamping
  • The B Word conference, Elon’s reveal of SpaceX BTC holdings
  • NFT platform OpenSea’s funding round success
  • Regulatory bodies pursuing BlockFi

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Michele Musso and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Razor Red” by Sam Barsh. Image credit: Velishchuk/iStock/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk.

Jul 24, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin’s Big Institutional Week - JPMorgan Brings Crypto to All Wealth Management Clients & More
00:11:55

A stream of institutional news revives the previously stagnant narrative.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

This week, institutional involvement was revived after the past few months’ inactivity. NLW covers new evidence for institutional interest, including:

  • A billionaire you can’t ignore
  • JPMorgan offering crypto exposure
  • Galaxy Digital’s big bank backers

Elon Musk’s revelation that SpaceX, the space exploration company that he founded, held bitcoin was joined by billionaire Thomas Peterffy’s admission that he holds some crypto, even hinting he sees “a small chance this will be a dominant currency.” On the wealth management end, JPMorgan has opened crypto exposure to all of its clients, a typically conservative set who tend to be passive in their investments. Lastly, London-based digital trading asset venue Galaxy Digital’s big bank backers continues to grow. The latest addition was BNY Mellon.

All this together points to the fact that institutions, no matter how reluctantly, see crypto as an inevitable investment that can’t be ignored.

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Adam B. Levine and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Only in Time” by Abloom. Image credit: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk.



Jul 23, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Everything You Need to Know About Elon, Jack and Cathie’s Bitcoin Chat
00:18:46

Three crypto personalities provide varying perspectives on bitcoin and the future of the space.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

On this episode of “The Breakdown,” host NLW dissects a highly-anticipated discussion between Cathie Wood, Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk at yesterday’s “The B Word” conference, including:

  • Wood’s predictions of deflation rather than inflation
  • Dorsey’s unwavering belief in bitcoin as the internet’s native money
  • Musk reveals he, Tesla, and SpaceX all hold bitcoin


Wood, one of the earliest Wall Street investors to get into crypto, has been through enough market cycles to have a nuanced understanding of the space. She revived one of her long-standing themes of Bitcoin’s rules-based monetary policy, especially relevant now as central banks operate on unbounded monetary policy. She also touched on recent inflationary concerns, specifically ARK’s belief that deflationary concerns are likely to emerge in the long-term.

Twitter and Square CEO Dorsey has been a consistent ally to Bitcoin. Dorsey highlighted a few of his projects dedicated to a more decentralized future, including Square’s upcoming self-custody hardware wallet and Bluesky, a project to develop an open and decentralized social media platform. 

The controversial Musk's contributions to the discussion garnered mixed reactions from the community. Most notably was his admission that outside of Tesla and SpaceX shares, bitcoin is his biggest investment. Additionally, his now-famous statement “I pump but I don’t dump” was backed by his revelation that SpaceX, in addition to Tesla, held BTC. He affirmed the three have never sold their BTC holdings.

While Wood recruits institutional investors and Dorsey builds tools to improve the space, what is Musk’s role in helping or hindering Bitcoin?

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Razor Red” by Sam Barsh. Image credit: Screenshot from The B Word, modified by CoinDesk.

Jul 22, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin Reclaims $30K as the Macro Discussion Shifts From Inflation to COVID-19 to Growth
00:12:47

Bitcoin’s rebound following a gloomy week may be an expression of a shifting macro narrative.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

Bitcoin is up just over 7% in the last 24 hours, following its first close below $30,000 since New Year’s Day. On this episode of “The Breakdown,” NLW proposes possible explanations for this reversal, including:

  • Competing concerns of Inflation and slow post-COVID recovery
  • Institutional interest in crypto


A few weeks ago, headlines were centered around markets being nervous about inflation. Emergence of the Delta variant and its induced lockdowns, coupled with reports of unexpectedly slow growth in Q2 in China, casts doubt on the inflation concerns. Which concern will prevail and drive the next macro narrative?

Many speculated non-fungible tokens would be a fleeting phenomenon, in fashion for a short period of time and then fading away. However, an investment round for NFT platform OpenSea raised $100 million. Is OpenSea’s success an indicator of renewed long-term investor confidence in crypto?

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Only in Time” by Abloom. Image credit: Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk.

Jul 21, 2021
BREAKDOWN: So THIS Is ‘And Then They Fight You’
00:16:23

Crypto finds itself in an inevitable set of regulatory battles.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win.” 

In this episode of “The Breakdown,” NLW examines crypto’s current “and then they fight you” phase, citing recent regulatory battles:


A New Jersey Bureau of Securities order calls for BlockFi to stop accepting new clients residing in the state. CEO Zac Prince remains optimistic, believing the company’s products are lawful and that further discourse with regulators would clear up concerns, the most important of which seems to be surrounding yield delivery. Is a new macro narrative emerging as competition ramps up with high yield enticing new crypto users?

In a meeting with the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, attendees discussed the rapid growth of stablecoins and their risks and benefits for the future. Of the eight political and regulatory figures in attendance, who are likely to provide pro-stablecoin input?

This morning, an incendiary headline dropped – “EU Aims to Ban Anonymous Crypto Asset Wallets” – following a European Commission release. Is the severity of the commission’s reform as fierce as the headline suggests?

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Razor Red” by Sam Barsh. Image credit: Greg Nash/Bloomberg/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk.

Jul 20, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Will DAOs Transform Power in Venture Capital Fundraising?
00:17:01

VCs may lose their position as gatekeepers to startup success.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

In addition to the deep dive into distributed autonomous organizations, or DAOs, and their future in venture capital, today’s “The Brief” covers:


SushiSwap, the decentralized exchange based on Uniswap, is proposing to sell a portion of its treasury to venture firms as part of a broader diversification plan. The community finds itself torn in half over the announcement, with some advocating for the benefits of seasoned expertise and others vehemently denying the need for institutional investors. 

SushiSwap’s “VC-versus-community” debate provides a case study on the growing world and strength of DAOs. VCs have previously held the essentially sole power over the fate of startups, but in the case of SushiSwap, they are now forced to be in open negotiation with the community. 

This power shift presents a window into the vitality of DAOs, stemming from their democratic and global nature, dynamism and anonymity. Will DAOs succeed as the internet native form of organization?

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Only in Time” by Abloom.

Image credit: BrianAJackson/iStock/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk.

Jul 19, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why Governments Should Invest in Bitcoin Infrastructure
00:13:29

An argument that the Bitcoin network is a public good and governments should invest in public goods.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

This week’s “Long Reads Sunday” is a reading of “Bitcoin: An Orange New Deal” by Andrew Bailey and Bradley Rettler.

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Razor Red” by Sam Barsh. Image credit: hamzaturkkol/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk.

Jul 18, 2021
SOB: How and Why Governments Lie About Inflation
00:56:53

An in-depth, historical look at how and why government statistics have changed over time.

Starting this week the Speaking of Bitcoin show joins the CoinDesk Podcast Network

This time on Speaking of Bitcoin, the hosts are joined by John Williams, rogue economist and long-time Editor of ShadowStats.com, a data source that tracks everything from inflation to GDP, money supply to unemployment using the original government defined methodologies. Over time, the government has changed how they measure all of these things and Johns work reveals that these changes all result in better looking statistics from the same, often terrifying numbers.

In this wide ranging conversation we talk about how and why this happened, plus what we can do about it. If this is a new topic to you, expect to come away with a different perspective in this epic episode.

Today's show featured John Williams, Stephanie Murphy, Jonathan Mohan and Adam B. Levine. This episode was edited by Jonas, with music by Jared Rubens and Gurty Beats.

Our album art is a composite work by Adam B. Levine using the current inflation chart from ShadowStats.com along with an excellent imposter-dog image from Brayden Anderson on Unsplash.

Have any questions or comments? Send me an email at adam@speakingof.bitcoinshow

Jul 17, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Paraguay's Leaked Crypto Law – A Depressing Dud or Too Early to Tell?
00:10:23

Those expecting another El Salvador are sure to be disappointed. 

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

On this edition of the “Weekly Recap,” NLW covers:

  • The latest in Binance’s global regulatory troubles 
  • Leaked crypto legislation from Paraguay 
  • Capital Group’s big bet on MicroStrategy
  • The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority slated to spend £11M on an anti-crypto campaign for young people 


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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Only in Time” by Abloom. Image credit: naruedom/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk.

Jul 17, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Square Sets Out to Bring DeFi to Bitcoin
00:13:52

A new initiative from Jack Dorsey will be a full business unit inside the company.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

Today on the Brief:

  • The mixed state of the U.S. government on crypto
  • China’s e-CNY will have native smart contracts
  • Saquon Barkley to take endorsement money in BTC


Our main discussion:

Square has announced a new initiative, titled “TBD,” that CEO Jack Dorsey describes as “focused on building an open developer platform with the sole goal of making it easy to create non-custodial, permissionless and decentralized financial services.” Dorsey intends the platform to be developed completely transparently: “open road map, open development and open source.”

In this episode, NLW puts the new initiative in the context of Square’s long-term relationship with Bitcoin, explains why it’s different from the company’s Square Crypto efforts and analyzes how different parts of the community are reacting to the news.

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Razor Red” by Sam Barsh. Image credit: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk.

Jul 16, 2021
BREAKDOWN: BlackRock CEO Seeing No Demand for Crypto
00:14:29

Cryptocurrencies were once a hedge play that could no longer be ignored, but now Larry Fink sees “very little investor demand” for crypto.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

On this episode of “The Breakdown,” NLW addresses recent shifts in institutional and regulatory discussions on crypto, including:

  • How BlackRock CEO Larry Fink sees the state of crypto 
  • ShapeShift’s final structural shift
  • Fed Chairman Jay Powell’s stance against stablecoins
  • A dissenting letter from two SEC commissioners


BlackRock made headlines when it entered the crypto market because it viewed bitcoin as a hedge play that could no longer be ignored. Now, this investment management company finds itself in a changed landscape as bitcoin prices have fallen from all-time highs. How has CEO Larry Fink’s view of crypto changed with this new price point?

ShapeShift, a global digital asset trading platform, was created with a vision of minimizing user-collected data. That vision was tarnished in 2018 when the platform began requiring basic information, resulting in a 95% loss of its user base. ShapeShift’s tumultuous history has added another chapter today with the announcement that it is converting to a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, owned by the users. Is this one step in a greater trend of fundamentally shedding corporate organizational power structures?

Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell countered Vice Chairman Randal Quarles’ pro-stablecoin stance in a recent testimony before Congress. While Quarles asserted successful stablecoins would make a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC) redundant, Powell offered the opposite opinion: “You wouldn’t need stablecoins, you wouldn’t need cryptocurrencies if you had a digital U.S. currency.” Whose stance will win in the growing stablecoin versus CBDC debate?

Two members of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission released a letter of dissent following a SEC enforcement action against U.K. company Coinschedule for anti-touting provisions. The letter expressed the members’ disappointment at the lack of regulatory clarification following the Coinschedule opportunity and an overarching distaste at a lack of transparency surrounding crypto guidance. Will more members follow in their footsteps and push for a clearer SEC stance?

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Only in Time” by Abloom. Image credit: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk.

Jul 15, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Federal Reserve Vice Chair – ‘We Do Not Need to Fear Stablecoins’
00:19:34

While the European Central Bank accelerates its digital euro project, one Fed official throws cold water on U.S. CBDC plans.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

On this episode of “The Breakdown,” NLW analyzes a stablecoin-focused speech from Randal Quarles, vice chair of the Federal Reserve, starting with a primer on developing trends related to the topic, including:

  • CBDC discussion, investigation and development across global powers
  • The ability of stablecoins to make a U.S. CBDC redundant 


The conversation around central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) is growing louder. In China, the digital yuan continues to roll out through lottery tests and, more recently, for use in the Beijing subway. Today, the European Central Bank announced a new two-year “investigation” period during which the ECB will prepare for a larger digital euro design phase with user consultation, regulatory discussions and market analysis. 

Still, NLW argues that we can’t view the rise of public CBDC discussions in the absence of the growing adoption of private stablecoins. While these private, fiat-pegged stablecoins seem increasingly in the regulatory crosshairs, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Randal Quarles recently argued the U.S. central bank and policy makers shouldn’t fear them – and that, indeed, when regulated properly, stablecoins might make the need for a CBDC redundant. 

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Razor Red” by Sam Barsh. Image credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk.

Jul 14, 2021
BREAKDOWN: While Others Warn of Market Bubble, Bitcoin Bull Bill Miller Doesn't Think So
00:17:19

One early bitcoin investor with a traditional background is less concerned about any upcoming bubble.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

On this episode of “The Breakdown,” NLW analyzes value investor turned bitcoin bull Bill Miller’s contrarian take on a possible upcoming market bubble. Miller’s background lies in traditional markets, with a massive portion of his portfolio grounded in strategically held Amazon shares. That, in addition to his relatively early bitcoin investments, provides him with an insider perspective from an external base understanding of markets. While other top investors predict an “epic” market crash, Miller remains unconcerned. 

Today on the brief, NLW covers the most recent crypto market news, including:

  • New CPI releases fanning the inflation debate fire
  • Crypto volatility spillover risks to traditional markets
  • Square’s forthcoming hardware wallet


Newly released Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers fuel an ongoing, contentious debate around inflation. While the Federal Reserve sticks to its “transitory” assessment, others are not so sure. How will the numbers change as base effects no longer become a valid explanation?

As institutional investors fill the crypto space, a “spillover” system risk concern becomes increasingly relevant. Is spillover just another piece of FUD, or is it an inevitable reality as traditional and crypto markets become more entwined?

Square’s teasing of a hardware wallet project is materializing. CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted no less than 12 guiding principles for the project, and the project lead more recently announced the company’s dedication to make “bitcoin custody more mainstream.” Although no exact timeline for release exists, Square’s project is an exciting step towards easier entry to bitcoin mobile and self-custody use.

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Only in Time” by Abloom. Image credit: Abscent84/iStock/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk.

Jul 13, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin Leads to Hyperinflation? Meet the Strangest FUD Yet
00:12:36

 Some argue bitcoin wealth is exhausting the world’s productive potential.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

In this episode, NLW focuses on:

  • Inflation measures, impacts and who’s to blame
  • News out of Paraguay concerning pro-bitcoin legislation


A recent “Wall Street Journal” survey of economists revealed they expect higher inflation rates to persist for years to come. “Money Week” ran an op-ed playing on the increased attention on inflation where they pin bitcoin as an unused hoard of productive wealth and a reason for inflation. Is bitcoin really to blame for expectations of continuing inflation?

El Salvador’s influence continues to permeate other nations hoping to make similar advances in crypto. On Wednesday, July 14, a Paraguayan “Bitcoin Bill” is expected to be introduced. Though the exact contents of the bill are not yet known, Paraguay would be the next country setting a positive stance towards crypto. 

Lastly, NLW covers more in bitcoin and crypto news. What does Grayscale’s move to make its Large Cap Fund a Securities and Exchange Commission reporting company mean? Also, can China’s post-COVID economic recovery be an indicator for what will happen in the rest of the world?

Grayscale is owned by Digital Currency Group, which is CoinDesk’s parent company. 

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is "Countdown" by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is "Razor Red" by Sam Barsh. Image credit: Devrimb/iStock/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk.

Jul 12, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Progressive Case for Bitcoin
00:12:41

A reading of an excerpt of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent letter to SEC Chair Gary Gensler and a responding essay.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

On this edition of “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads an excerpt from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s questions to SEC Chairman Gensler about crypto and crypto exchanges. NLW then reads an essay responding to Warren’s recent discussions of the topic from Murtaza Hussain called “Elizabeth Warren’s Bitcoin Blind Spot.”

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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Image credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk

Jul 11, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Can a New Wave of Crypto IPOs Rekindle Wall Street Excitement?
00:14:02

Circle and Robinhood are both coming to public markets, but will they re-excite those markets when it comes to crypto?

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

On this edition of “The Breakdown’s Weekly Recap,” NLW looks at how Wall Street momentum in crypto rose last year only to fade this year. With Circle coming to markets via a SPAC merger and Robinhood going public, is there a chance those events will bring some renewed excitement?

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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Image credit: Leonid Sukala/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

Jul 10, 2021
BREAKDOWN: As Biden Targets Big Tech, a Reminder That Decentralized Technologies Are Anti-Monopolist
00:18:32

President Biden’s decisive action to promote competition in the U.S. reflects a decreasing public approval of Big Tech.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

On this episode of “The Breakdown,” NLW analyzes President Joe Biden’s “Factsheet: Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy,” including:

  • The shift in public sentiment against Big Tech
  • The order’s implications to the tech and finance sectors
  • Crypto’s decentralized nature as intrinsically anti-monopolist


For a period of time, tech companies enjoyed the highest public opinion among large corporations. However, the rise of ad-focused platforms and the advent of social media (with all its demons) encouraged increased scrutiny. Privacy concerns only add to the distaste toward companies including Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

With public opinion souring, governments are similarly implementing various regulation schemes as they become wary of the threat of monopolization. Take Europe, for example, which created the General Data Protection Regulation system, and China’s more aggressive actions against social media. The U.S. has dabbled in tightening its reins on big tech with an assortment of antitrust lawsuits, but President Biden’s recent executive order takes the mentality to a new level.

The public mindset and regulatory shift places crypto as the potential solution to concerns of monopolization. Crypto’s decentralization – its lack of CEOs and corporate power structures – make it an attractive path away from monopolies in the American economy.

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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Image credit: Tom Brenner/Bloomberg/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk

Jul 09, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Are GBTC Unwinds Bullish or Bearish for Bitcoin?
00:22:09

With so many strong opinions about the mechanisms behind GBTC and BTC plays, the answer is elusive.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

NLW explores the debate surrounding the GBTC unlock’s bearish or bullish nature on this episode of “The Breakdown,” including: 

  • Historical impacts of market structure on prices
  • GBTC’s influence on markets as its premium attracted investors
  • Analysis of the GBTC unlock bearish vs. bullish debate


Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) is an investment vehicle that allows institutional and public market investors to invest in bitcoin without purchasing the cryptocurrency directly. 

While many GBTC investors were simply looking for public market exposure to bitcoin, many firms also took a more strategic approach to capture the neutral arbitrage trade of GBTC shares trading at a premium to the native asset value (NAV) of bitcoin. The demand for public market vehicles coupled with a lack of other alternatives placed GBTC at a desirable premium. 

The GBTC NAV trade was a significant source of buying pressure through the back half of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, but when the premium turned to a discount (thanks to a variety of factors, including competition from other bitcoin proxies in the public markets), that source of buying pressure dried up.

When an investor buys into GBTC, their shares are locked up for six months. More than 100,000 bitcoin worth of shares are expected to be released throughout July. The looming flood of shares into secondary markets has sparked a debate on whether the unlock will be bearish or bullish for the spot price of bitcoin. 

Featuring commentary from Lyn Alden, Loomdart, Willy Woo and more.

Grayscale is owned by Digital Currency Group, which is CoinDesk's parent company.

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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Image credit: Francis Specker/Bloomberg/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk

Jul 08, 2021
BREAKDOWN: De-Globalization vs. De-Nationification: Which Trend Wins?
00:13:15

The context for news about states fighting crypto is a larger set of historical and geopolitical forces.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

Today on “The Breakdown,” NLW explores what he calls “the shifting tectonic plates of the global social order.” On one side, he argues, are the forces of de-globalization, with nations turning inward and focusing on economic sovereignty. Part of that is states exerting more control over corporations and Big Tech. On the other is a process of de-nationification, where powers previously reserved for states – such as printing money – are increasingly in the hands of new internet-based networks and corporations. This shapes the larger context of crypto disruption and puts a lens on understanding the growing regulatory debate. 

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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Image credit: metamorworks/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

Jul 07, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Will Bitcoin or Russia Be Blamed for the Latest Ransomware Attacks?
00:11:51

REvil, the ransomware group behind the Colonial Pipeline attack, strikes again.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

On this extended-brief style episode of “The Breakdown,” NLW discusses recent news, FUD and policy in the world of crypto, including:

  • The ransomware group behind the Colonial Pipeline attack strikes again
  • An increasing list of regulatory actions against Binance
  • The China crackdown on crypto trading


The attack against Colonial Pipeline pushed ransomware fears to a new level. REvil, the same group behind the Colonial attack, stuck once again. Kaseya, a company providing network-management services, was the most recent victim. With one million machines infected, the media and regulators look for an easy target to blame for the increase in ransomware attacks. Who will take the fall: Russia or Bitcoin?

Binance continues to fall under increased regulatory scrutiny. Barclays Bank, one of the U.K.’s biggest, has stopped card payments to Binance. At the same time, Thailand filed a criminal complaint against the company, and the Cayman Islands said Binance would not be allowed to do business there. Though Binance is the current target, do these actions suggest a shift in sentiment from banks and regulators on crypto?

China’s crackdown on crypto continues, this time with an emphasis on trading. The business administration department of the People's Bank of China and the Beijing Financial Supervision and Administration bureau issued yet another warning about crypto trading. This warning was joined by an enforcement action against Beijing Qudao Cultural Development Limited, as well as Didi, a popular ride hailing app. Is China banning itself from crypto?

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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Image credit: Dmitry Nogaev/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

Jul 06, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The State of Institutional Adoption of DeFi, Feat. Circle’s Jeremy Allaire
00:43:55

A conversation with the Circle CEO about the prospects for traditional finance to move into DeFi.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

This conversation was originally released as a sponsored content webinar from Circle and CoinDesk. NLW decided to release it on his podcast of his own volition and was not paid to do so. The conversation covers why institutions are becoming interested in DeFi, which institutions are starting to participate and what barriers remain. 

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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Image credit: TFYKub/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

Jul 05, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Declaring Independence and Freedom From Bitcoin FUD
00:11:28

A reading of Jeff Dorman’s recent FUD-busting newsletter.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

On this holiday edition of “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads Jeff Dorman’s “Debunking 10 Digital Asset Bear Market Theses.”

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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Image credit: Overearth/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

Jul 04, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Are We on the Verge of a New Regulatory Era in Crypto?
00:08:48

Recapping this week’s congressional hearing and more on “The Weekly Recap.”

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

On this edition of “The Breakdown’s Weekly Recap," NLW looks at:

  • Why this week’s congressional hearing suggests elected officials are taking crypto more seriously 
  • A slate of CBDC news from around the world
  • The beginning of a new macro narrative for Ethereum and DeFi

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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Image credit: JTSorrell/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

Jul 03, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Network to Undergo Biggest Difficulty Adjustment Ever; BMC Says 67.6% of North American Bitcoin Mining Is Sustainable
00:11:09

But how much do people trust the Council’s methodology? 

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

Today on “The Breakdown,” NLW looks at the latest in the highly dynamic, fast-evolving world of bitcoin mining, including:

  • China’s mining ban and the “Great Western Hashrate Migration”
  • Bitcoin’s built-in hashrate fluctuation mitigation, the “difficulty adjustment”
  • The Bitcoin Mining Council’s newest sustainable mining figures


China’s expansive mining ban, including regions with hydroelectric power, forced China-based miners to liquidate some of their crypto in preparation for a move elsewhere. Where will hashrate move next? Will miners join U.S. crypto-friendly jurisdictions like Texas and Kentucky, or will they stay close to home in bordering countries like Kazakhstan and Russia?

The ban induced a massive reduction of hash power on the network. Luckily, Satoshi prepared for such a circumstance and built in a concept of “difficulty adjustment” into Bitcoin’s protocols, which allows for fluctuation in the composition of miners. The adjustment expected to be made tonight will be the highest adjustment ever made on the network.

Lastly, NLW addresses a report released by the Bitcoin Mining Council on sustainable energy disclosures. This report’s feature number, 56% of mining electricity mix is sustainable in Q2 2021, has some groups excited while others remain skeptical of the validity of the report. As NLW argues, “Some data is better than no data.”

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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Image credit: Iaremenko/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

Jul 02, 2021
BREAKDOWN: George Soros and Steve Cohen Go In on Bitcoin; Here’s Why That Might Not Be a Good Thing
00:12:31

A fresh wave of institutional investors poses new risks to crypto. 

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

In this episode of “The Breakdown,” NLW discusses a fresh wave of investors and their potential disruptions to markets, including:

  • Two new major hedge funds, Point72 and Soros Fund
  • Inevitable short-term investors as part of market maturation
  • Troublesome possibility of regulation forming around institutional trading habits


In early 2020, institutional investors flowed into the crypto space nonstop, including hedge funds, corporate treasuries and insurance companies. This new type of investor changed the space, with surging and plunging prices following news of investors coming and going. Then the flood stopped as the always-controversial Elon Musk’s Tesla balked at bitcoin’s energy consumption and walked back accepting the top cryptocurrency in exchange for the company’s trendy vehicles. 

In the last quarter, institutional investors have been stepping back into crypto. Point72, Steve Cohen’s company, stated it would be “remiss to ignore a now $2 trillion cryptocurrency market” and is looking to hire a “Head of Cryptocurrencies.” Besides Point72, internal management at George Soros’ Soros Fund has given the “greenlight to actively trade bitcoin.”

Are these two hedge funds just the tip of the iceberg for a resurgence in institutional investment? How will this new mass of money impact markets and regulation?

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NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at NYDIG.com/NLW.

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Image credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images Europe, modified by CoinDesk


Jul 01, 2021
BREAKDOWN: A "Crypto Frenzy"? Today's Congressional Hearing Puts Bitcoin and DeFi in the Hot Seat
00:19:46

U.S. hearing on crypto indicates policymakers’ increasing intention to regulate the crypto market.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

An interview with a congressman followed by a congressional hearing on crypto signal policymakers are moving to the next phase of talks about regulating crypto.

  • Troubling comments in Congressman Bill Foster’s interview with Axios
  • Upcoming committee hearing titled ominously “America on ‘FIRE:’ Will the Crypto Frenzy Lead to Financial Independence and Early Retirement or Financial Ruin?”


Foster has historically been a champion of the crypto market: He is a co-chairman of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and was previously supportive of the future of crypto. However, in his recent Axios interview, his tone flipped, as he went as far as to suggest the need for a “cryptographic backdoor” to allow the court the ability to view or even reverse transactions. Is Foster’s new viewpoint indicative of a greater shift in policymakers’ attitude toward crypto regulation?

Today’s House Committee on Financial Services hearing with a particularly colorful title is yet another signal for an upcoming regulatory push in crypto. The hearing’s agenda includes a discussion of bad actors on decentralized currency exchanges, or DEX, including a reference to Mark Cuban’s recent loss of money in a DeFi “rug pull.” With an expert witness lineup, including Jim Cramer of “Mad Money,” Alexis Goldstein of the Open Markets Institute and Peter Van Valkenburgh of CoinCenter, there is quite a mixed set of viewpoints on the current state and future of crypto.

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Image credit: franckreporter/iStock/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk

Jun 30, 2021
BREAKDOWN: How the Macro Landscape Is Shaping Bitcoin Markets
00:10:51

A rapidly changing landscape is leading to insecurity on a broad scale.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Highlights from today’s Breakdown:

  • The latest legal challenges around the Bitcoin white paper 
  • A barrage of institutional bitcoin news 
  • What the S&P 500 hitting all-time highs has to do with the crypto markets


For those worried there was a loss of momentum around institutions entering bitcoin, fear not. Cathie Wood’s ARK is joining forces with 21 Shares to become the latest to apply to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch a bitcoin ETF. Morgan Stanley has bought more than 28,000 shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. 

More broadly, markets have been buoyant over the last few weeks, closing at new all-time highs on Monday. This is finding its way into crypto markets, which reflects how increasingly intermingled traditional investors are becoming with crypto investors. 

Could a new COVID-19 variant negatively impact the economy’s overall momentum? If it did, what would the likely impact on bitcoin and other cryptos be?

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Image credit: Francesco Carta fotografo/Moment/Getty Images

Jun 29, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Real Story of the UK Binance Ban
00:12:02

What recent intrigue around Binance tells us about the state of global regulation.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Circle.

Today on the Brief

  • Indian investment in crypto soars
  • The first Mexican bank to accept bitcoin? 
  • Tether FUD from the FED? 


In our main discussion, NLW looks at recent regulatory action from the U.K., Canada and Japan. He argues that we’re entering a new phase of global regulation, where we’re likely to see a particular focus on leverage and derivatives.

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Circle Yield, now in early access, enables qualified businesses to generate returns up to 6% with 1 to 12 month terms by deploying capital into USDC on a Circle Account. Sign up for the fully secured, institutional yield product at circle.com/nlw.

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Image credit: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk

Jun 28, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Great Western Hashrate Migration Is Real
00:10:50

A recent essay dives into China’s motivations for its recent bitcoin mining ban.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Circle.

On this week’s “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads Nic Carter’s latest essay for CoinDesk “Go West, Bitcoin! Unpacking the Great Hashrate Migration.”

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Circle Yield, now in early access, enables qualified businesses to generate returns up to 6% with 1 to 12 month terms by deploying capital into USDC on a Circle Account. Sign up for the fully secured, institutional yield product at circle.com/nlw.

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Image credit: da-kuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

Jun 27, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Even in an Off Week, Bitcoin Had Quietly Massive Institutional Adoption News
00:07:54

18 million more Americans will soon be able to buy, sell and hold bitcoin directly from their bank accounts. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Circle.

On this edition of “The Breakdown’s Weekly Recap,” NLW looks at:

  • Two more massive fundraises 
  • A set of positive regulatory news 
  • A new partnership that will bring bitcoin directly to bank accounts and credit unions around America 

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Circle Yield, now in early access, enables qualified businesses to generate returns up to 6% with 1 to 12 month terms by deploying capital into USDC on a Circle Account. Sign up for the fully secured, institutional yield product at circle.com/nlw.

-

Image credit: Velishchuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

Jun 26, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Elon S**tposting While El Salvador's President Addressed the Nation About Bitcoin Is Peak 2021
00:11:17

President Nayib Bukele launches what some are calling the most important airdrop in history. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Circle.

Last night was one for the history books. As Elon Musk was making weird, stupid jokes about bitcoiners, the president of El Salvador was live on YouTube discussing what amounts to a $117 million BTC airdrop to citizens as a part of the recently passed law making bitcoin legal tender in the Central American nation.

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Circle Yield, now in early access, enables qualified businesses to generate returns up to 6% with 1 to 12 month terms by deploying capital into USDC on a Circle Account. Sign up for the fully secured, institutional yield product at circle.com/nlw.

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Image credit: @PresidenciaSV/Twitter and @ElonMusk/Twitter

Jun 25, 2021
BREAKDOWN: John McAfee and the End of Crypto’s Gonzo Era
00:15:22

An unignorable icon’s passing marks the end of an important early age in crypto.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Circle.

The passing of an icon in crypto necessitates reflection. John McAfee was at times reviled, and at the same time, deadly serious and a prophet, sometimes a clown. The many facets to his personality mirror the roller-coaster history of crypto, a Wild West of finance in its earliest days.

Join NLW in this episode of “The Breakdown” for a journey first through the winding history of McAfee, followed by a narrative tour of the many flashpoints in the “gonzo” era of early crypto.

This episode contains explicit language. Sensitive listeners, please be advised.

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Circle Yield, now in early access, enables qualified businesses to generate returns up to 6% with 1 to 12 month terms by deploying capital into USDC on a Circle Account. Sign up for the fully secured, institutional yield product at circle.com/nlw.

-

Image credit: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk

Jun 24, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bear Market? Not According to These Monster Financing Rounds
00:14:18

$100 million for NFTs from Fox. $230 million for a new DeFi funding DAO. $380 million for Ledger. If this is a bear market, it’s going to be well funded. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Circle.

Today on "The Breakdown," NLW looks at the contrast between growing bear market sentiment versus a sustained set of high-profile eight and nine figure financing rounds across multiple dimensions of the crypto market. Specifically, he looks at funding deals in NFTs, DeFi and institutional bitcoin, arguing that even if we do head into a bear market, that capital is likely to mean a return to bull more quickly. 

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Circle Yield, now in early access, enables qualified businesses to generate returns up to 6% with 1 to 12 month terms by deploying capital into USDC on a Circle Account. Sign up for the fully secured, institutional yield product at circle.com/nlw.

-

Image credit: Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Jun 23, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Lyn Alden on Bitcoin, Inflation and the Potential Coming Energy Shock
00:55:47

One of the top minds in macro explores the key debates shaping the economic landscape.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Circle.

Lyn Alden, investment researcher and strategist with a keen eye on both crypto and traditional markets, joins NLW on today’s “The Breakdown.” Listen for a conversation about the state of the market and projections for the future including:

  • Inflation: base effects and transitory in nature or here to stay?
  • Foreign debt markets tapering off
  • The Lightning Network and predictions for the success of El Salvador


Inflation at a high number, 5%, leaves investors and market observers jumpy. On top of that, many have a hard time believing the U.S. Federal Reserve’s narrative for inflation as outlined in the recent FOMC meeting. How is this inflation different from previous spikes?

The foreign sector has historically been a large buyer of Treasurys in structural trade deficits. In 2013, China stepped away from this practice and started investing in its own infrastructure and in other regions across the world. Even if other countries continue to invest in U.S. assets, it is increasingly in hard assets like stocks or real estate. Will the dollar weaken as the Fed is forced to be the primary buyer of U.S. Treasurys?

El Salvador’s commitment to bitcoin as legal tender is one thing, but what will the reality of this new currency look like? Bitcoin’s Lightning Network provides easy access and transaction speeds, so long as enough of the general population has access to smartphones.

Lastly, with the public’s attention captured by the current inflationary moment, what market features are getting underreported? Tune in to hear Alden’s perspective on what will have an unexpected impact in the upcoming cycles, including the potential for a significant energy shock in the years to come. 

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Circle Yield, now in early access, enables qualified businesses to generate returns up to 6% with 1 to 12 month terms by deploying capital into USDC on a Circle Account. Sign up for the fully secured, institutional yield product at circle.com/nlw.

-

Image credit: Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

Jun 22, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The De-Chinafication of Bitcoin
00:13:57

People’s Bank of China pushes banks to cut ties to virtual currency traders in latest crypto crackdown.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On this episode of “The Breakdown,” NLW takes a brief look at the most recent crypto news before taking a deeper dive into the latest step in the de-Chinafication of bitcoin.

  • MicroStrategy going “all-in” on bitcoin
  • Michael Burry’s warnings on Twitter of the “Mother of All Crashes”
  • The “dot plot shock” and post-FOMC meeting confusion
  • Accelerating China mining ban


While in this in-between state, post-COVID and pre-monetary policy tapering, institutional investors find themselves on diverging and opposing paths. Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy has gone “all in,” while at the same time investor Michael Burry took to Twitter with warnings of an upcoming “Mother of All Crashes.” Confusion following the Federal Reserve’s FOMC meeting only adds to the contention between investors with contrasting visions for the near future of crypto.

The Central Bank of China has convened a meeting with the major banks to reiterate and tighten previous policies on the prevention of virtual currency transactions in bank accounts. Is this restriction on crypto transactions yet another indication that China is taking a more aggressive stance against bitcoin?

More to this point, Sichuan became the most recent province to crack down on crypto mining. Sichuan, primarily mining with hydropower, seems to diminish previous ban reasoning citing environmental concerns. How far will China go to remove itself from bitcoin, and what does that mean for its citizens and the crypto space as a whole?

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Image credit: remotevfx/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Jun 21, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Does a Law From the Civil War Make Stablecoins Illegal?
00:12:50

A reading from a financial history expert.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

On this week’s Long Reads Sunday, NLW reads “How the Civil War Shapes the Future of Stablecoins” by Franklin Noll, and discusses the recent debates around stablecoins and CBDCs.

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

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Image credit: lawcain/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Jun 20, 2021
BREAKDOWN: What Are the Prospects for a Bitcoin Standard in Africa?
00:13:26

Plus more bitcoin institutional news and a FUD recap on this edition of the "Weekly Recap."

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

This week on "The Breakdown’s Weekly Recap" NLW covers:

  • More institutional bitcoin news, including a new Morgan Stanley fund from NYDIG and FS Investments and a Goldman Sachs trading partnership with Galaxy Digital 
  • A resurgence of “crypto is for criminals” FUD plus new China miner shutdowns in Sichuan 
  • The latest debates around El Salvador’s bitcoin law 
  • Rumblings of bitcoin in Nigeria, CFA countries and Ethiopia


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

-

Image credit: tallchris/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Jun 19, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Shorter Cycle Theory With Larry Cermak
00:35:11

"It's either shorter-term bear markets, or it's just going to zero. And I really don't believe it's going to go to zero."

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

The idea of a multiyear supercycle is fading as shorter cycles take their place. In this episode, NLW and guest Larry Cermak, director of research at The Block, discuss the transformation of the supercycle timeline as the crypto space evolves. The discussion includes:

  • An analysis of the macro-narrative and the current “wait-and-see” mode
  • Shorter cycles taking hold as the crypto space matures


The larger institutional narrative promised a bevy of substantial allocators to contribute to the market. That narrative, however, has weakened over time as the promise falls short. Add on the uncertainty from China’s partial ban on mining and Tesla’s environmental concerns, and the narrative continues to lose momentum. What narrative will take over next? When will this “wait-and-see” mode end?

Historically, crypto was perceived to fall into semi-stable cycles. For a couple of years, prices would rise, and for the next two or three years after, prices crash. However, with longer-term investors and a broader focus on usability over speculation, is there now a foundation for a more stable market with shorter cycles?

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

-

Image credit: metamorworks/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Jun 18, 2021
BREAKDOWN: From a $1T Asset to a $100T Network – Everything We Learned About the Bitcoin Mining Council From Michael Saylor's Twitter Spaces
00:17:11

With more than 7,000 listeners, Michael Saylor and many North American miners added color to the initiative. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

On today’s episode of “The Breakdown,” NLW first follows up on yesterday’s episode about the FOMC meeting and a potential future shift in Fed policy. As many expected, the Fed kept its short-term policy the same, but revised forward its estimates for when it will begin rate hikes to 2023. 

The main discussion focuses on the latest from the Bitcoin Mining Council. Yesterday, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor hosted a 90-minute discussion via Twitter spaces that featured many pointed questions. NLW argues that what’s clear from the session is Saylor is focused on scaling bitcoin from a $1 trillion asset to a $100 trillion network and fighting anything that stands in the way. 

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

-

Image credit: CoinDesk TV

Jun 17, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Will the Fed Shift Policy Due to Increasing Inflation?
00:14:47

More sense of the changes coming ahead of today’s FOMC briefing. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

On today’s episode, NLW looks at the Federal Open Markets Committee briefing coming up this afternoon and discusses what it might signal in terms of future monetary policy. The discussion includes:

  • How the Great Financial Crisis inspired “the largest monetary policy experiment in history”
  • 2013’s “Taper Tantrum” 
  • The return to GFC era policies during COVID-19
  • The insurgency of meme traders 
  • Why inflation is a self-fulfilling prophecy 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

-

Image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images News

Jun 16, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Will a US Digital Dollar Protect Privacy?
00:18:27

A digital dollar hearing today in Congress could provide insight into the future of USD.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

The question of digital currencies is a question of power. On today’s episode, NLW explores that power in multiple dimensions: between states, between states and companies and within states with regard to their citizens.

NLW looks at recent regulatory announcements, including:

  • The SEC leaving crypto off its regulatory priorities list 
  • A House hearing on the digital dollar


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

-

Image credit: sakhorn38/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Jun 15, 2021
BREAKDOWN: 'Bat-S**t Crazy’ Paul Tudor Jones on the Fed, Inflation and Why He Recommends 5% in Bitcoin
00:12:08

The originator of the “Great Monetary Inflation” thesis that helped jumpstart this bull run weighs in on bitcoin and macro.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

Just when it seemed like the “Economic Empowerment” narrative coming out of El Salvador was poised to overtake the inflation/digital gold narrative, one of that viewpoint’s strongest advocates was back on CNBC today. Hedge fund legend Paul Tudor Jones discussed why he doesn’t think inflation is transitory, why he recommends 5% in bitcoin and why the outcomes in the market will be based largely on what the Fed does next. 

Also on this episode:

  • Elon Musk says Tesla will accept BTC as payment again once renewable mining hits 50%
  • Michael Saylor and MicroStrategy sell $500 million in bonds to buy more BTC
  • More shockwaves from El Salvador’s landmark bitcoin law 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

-

Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Entertainment

Jun 14, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Is Bitcoin a Trojan Horse for Freedom?
00:16:56

A reading of Alex Gladstein’s recent essay.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

This week’s “Long Reads Sunday” presents a reading of Human Rights Foundation CSO Alex Gladstein’s piece “Bitcoin Is a Trojan Horse for Freedom.”  NLW contextualizes the piece with this week’s landmark legislation out of El Salvador and the concerns some international observers have about that country’s president.

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Jun 13, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin Is Economic Empowerment
00:17:15

Driven by El Salvador, a new narrative for global bitcoin adoption is emerging.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On this edition of “The Breakdown’s Weekly Recap,” NLW looks at:

  • Why the El Salvador news didn’t (immediately) impact bitcoin’s price
  • How narratives set the tone for new entrants to the bitcoin market
  • How the digital gold/inflation narrative relates to the economic empowerment narrative
  • The bitcoin game theory for small nations to invest in bitcoin 
  • How this could impact ESG critiques 


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Image credit: bakgwei1/Flickr, modified by CoinDesk

Jun 12, 2021
BREAKDOWN: An Interview With Bitcoin Beach, the Community That Inspired El Salvador to Adopt the Bitcoin Standard
00:43:58

Featuring Bitcoin Beach’s Mike Peterson. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On today’s episode, NLW is joined by Mike Peterson, director of Bitcoin Beach. Bitcoin Beach is a community project in El Salvador that has spent the last two years helping individuals and companies integrate bitcoin into their daily lives and long-term habits. President Nayib Bukele cited Bitcoin Beach in inspiring El Salvador’s bitcoin legal tender law. 


In this interview, NLW and Mike discuss:

  • How he came to reside in El Salvador
  • How the bitcoin community project started
  • What drove community adoption at the beginning
  • How remittances and COVID-19 solidified the value of BTC to the community 
  • How bitcoin has changed how people think about investing 
  • How international bitcoiners such as Miles Suter and Jack Mallers got to know the project 
  • Where the project stands today (complete with 22 different community initiatives) 
  • How bitcoiners can get involved


Find our guest online:

Twitter: @Bitcoinbeach

Web: www.bitcoinbeach.com

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Image credit: Mike Peterson/Bitcoin Beach

Jun 11, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Empire Strikes Back – Inflation Hits 5% While Elizabeth Warren Goes After Bitcoin
00:13:41

China shuts down mining and starts censoring crypto exchange terms while U.S. senators and CFTC commissioners attack crypto.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

In a week so filled with the optimism coming out of El Salvador, of course there had to be another side of the story. 

On today’s episode, NLW looks at three examples of the existing power structure fighting back against the rise of crypto:

  • China shutting down mining in two provinces and apparent censorship of exchange-related terms on Baidu and Weibo
  • A CFTC commissioner’s extremely negative comments on decentralized finance 
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s full-throated assault on bitcoin from yesterday’s Senate Banking Committee hearing


Is bitcoin devolving to just another partisan issue?

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Jun 10, 2021
BREAKDOWN: El Salvador Officially Made Bitcoin Legal Tender as President Bukele Casually Chatted on Twitter Spaces
00:19:02

Recapping a historic evening. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Last night, El Salvador voted to pass the bill making Bitcoin legal tender. As representatives debated the bill, the President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele and his brother and campaign manager Karim Bukele surprise-joined a Twitter Space hosted by Nic Carter, where the president would spend about an hour answering questions. 

In today’s episode, NLW breaks down:

  • The substance of the bill 
  • Specific elements of the plan from the Spaces chat - including Volcano mining and the Bitcoin cost of foreign residency 
  • The historical significance of the moment for Bitcoin, media, El Salvador and more 


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Image credit: Twitter Spaces Screenshot

Jun 09, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Biden’s Top Antitrust Adviser Is a Bitcoin Millionaire
00:11:41

Why being anti-Big Tech monopoly and pro-bitcoin are clearly compatible ideologies. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On today’s episode, NLW looks at a grab bag of recent news:

  • El Salvador’s bitcoin announcement makes waves as politicians from six more Central and South American countries change their profiles to laser eyes
  • Donald Trump resurfaces to rip bitcoin again 
  • No, the FBI didn’t break bitcoin 
  • Why Tim Wu’s bitcoin holdings are intellectually consistent with his antitrust stance 


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Image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images News

Jun 08, 2021
BREAKDOWN: El Salvador Poised to Become the First Bitcoin Country: Just How Big a Deal Is This?
00:25:25

A discussion of the implication of El Salvador’s announcement for Salvadorans, bitcoin and the world at large. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On Saturday, the Bitcoin 2021 organizers teased that one of the biggest announcements in bitcoin’s history was coming.

That announcement ended up being from El Salvador President Nayib Bukele, who shared that he was advancing a bill to make bitcoin legal tender in the country. 

Since then there has been a huge amount of debate and discussion about the implications and the significance of the move. In this episode, NLW breaks down the story from multiple angles.

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Image credit: Camilo Freedman/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Jun 07, 2021
BREAKDOWN: What a New Era of Big Government Could Mean for Bitcoin
00:12:23

Does the Biden budget signal a new era of deeper government involvement in American’s lives? 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

A reading of David Z. Morris’ piece for CoinDesk “Has COVID-19 Made Biden’s Big Spending the New Normal?”.

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Image credit: cmannphoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Jun 06, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Is the Bitcoin Bull Market Over?
00:09:18

After the third-worst month in bitcoin price history, it’s worth asking.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on “The Breakdown’s Weekly Recap” NLW looks at a growing number of predictions of a new “crypto winter” as well as some reviews of how companies and DAOs are preparing for that possibility. He shares poll results from whether Bitcoin Twitter thinks this bull market is over and discusses how the macro landscape may be playing into it.

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Jun 05, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Who Matters More to Bitcoin – Whales or Plebs?
00:14:25

Who is buying? Who is selling? And who is driving the future of the space? 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • May’s middling jobs report
  • A ransomware update
  • Square building a bitcoin hardware wallet


Our main discussion looks at the various constituencies within bitcoin and asks who has what type of power to shape the network. Specifically, NLW homes in on recent price action and the divergent actions of large holders and small holders over the month of May.

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Jun 04, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Chinese State Media Indicates China Is NOT Banning Crypto Trading
00:10:28

A series of new reports from state-owned media aren’t kind to crypto trading, but they reinforce that it is still allowed.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today’s episode looks at crypto in geopolitical context, focusing on:

  • A follow-up on the ransomware surge, with experts suggesting that it’s not about crypto payments but about the “ransomware-as-a-service” distribution model
  • A look at why a Russian opposition leader is moving his supporters to crypto fundraising exclusively 
  • A review of a series of reports from Chinese state-owned media that, while trying to convince citizens to stay away, nevertheless reinforce they still have agency to own and trade crypto


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Jun 03, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Ransomware Is the Next Big Bitcoin FUD
00:14:22

With a rise in ransomware attacks, many are jumping to blame bitcoin and crypto. Are they right?

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • China’s next digital yuan trial
  • More Bitcoin ETF delays
  • Standard Chartered to open crypto prime brokerage


Our main discussion focuses on the rise of ransomware. NLW examines:

  • The real reasons ransomware is on the rise 
  • The factors beyond crypto payments that contribute to ransomware 
  • Why some are using ransomware as justification for crypto bans
  • Why crypto bans would be painfully ineffective at stopping ransomware
  • Why the Biden Administration’s response to ransomware should give the crypto industry cause for optimism

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Image credit: mikkelwilliam/iStock/Getty Images


Jun 02, 2021
BREAKDOWN: More Crypto Regulation Is Likely Coming, but Bans Are Not
00:14:47

An exploration of the shifting tones of U.S. regulators around crypto.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today’s episode includes a quick update on Marathon’s bitcoin mining about-face. Our main discussion focuses on the changing shape of crypto regulatory discussion in the U.S. While more regulation appears to be on the horizon, that regulation likely reduces the chance of more extreme actions.

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Image credit: Leonid Sukala/iStock/Getty Images

Jun 01, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Revisiting Paul Tudor Jones’ ‘Great Monetary Inflation’ Thesis
00:27:11

A replay of NLW’s original episode on the topic from May 2020.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

A year ago this month, legendary hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones released a paper about the “Great Monetary Inflation.” It set the entire narrative backdrop for the institutional move into bitcoin, and also revealed PTJ as a bitcoiner. This is a replay of NLW’s original episode breaking down why the paper mattered.

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Image credit: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg/Getty Images


May 31, 2021
HARD PROBLEMS: Ransomware, Sandboxes and Security
01:07:29

American Hacker Jeffrey "Sneak" Paul joins Bram for a deep-dive into the hard problems behind the growing rash of ransomware attacks, what it means and what we can do about it.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

On this episode we’re digging into, not a new problem, but an old problem that seems to be getting worse as a growing proportion of our lives are spent connected, to each other, to the internet and inadvertently to criminals who use technology to extort money, often in the form of cryptocurrencies. It’s called ransomware, and to help us understand and sort through today’s topic, Hard Problems host and Chia CEO Bram Cohen is joined by special guest Jeffrey Paul, better known as Sneak.

On May 7th, an employee of Colonial Pipeline Company found a ransom note on one of their computers. The pipeline provides nearly half of the fuel for the east coast and they were locked out. Days later, they’d admit to paying 4.4 million dollars in bitcoin to the group who did it. It’s the most recent high profile example, but it’s certainly not the only one. Going back through CoinDesk’s archive, I found nearly a hundred articles written over the years. We’ve seen hospital systems and industrial players extorted along with lots of normal people. And those are the ones that we hear about, it’s assumed that many victims of extortion simply pay the ransom and keep it to themselves.

This episode was recorded live over the audio only social network known as Clubhouse. If you'd like to join our live audience, our next recording session is Wednesday June 2nd, 2021 at Noon Pacific/3pm Eastern time where we'll be discussing modern music, it's eccentricities and how it's changing as technology plays an ever-larger role with grammy nominated composer and musical pioneer BT. If you're not already on Clubhouse, you can use this link to get around the invitation requirement, set up your account and RSVP for the event.

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Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

May 30, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Networks vs. Governments – Could Crypto-Powered Digital Communities Challenge the Power of Cities and States?
00:16:17

A reading of Balaji Srinivasan’s essay “The Network Union.”

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

What exists between a Facebook group and a formal organization? Right now, not much. But in the future, Balaji Srinivasan argues, blockchain-powered communities will be able to exert the power to help them develop the polities of the future. On this “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads Balaji’s “The Network Union.”

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

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May 30, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Is the ‘Bitcoin Supercycle’ Theory Dead?
00:11:31

Given the past few weeks’ price actions, has the popular theory been disproven? 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

On this edition of “The Breakdown’s Weekly Recap,” NLW looks at what this cycle has taught us in terms of:

  • Who is investing and how it’s influencing markets
  • How market structure and narrative interact to shape price action
  • Why stablecoins could be a dark horse for reducing the duration of future market downturns 


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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

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May 29, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Cathie Wood on Where Bitcoin Fits in a World With Deflation Rather than Inflation
00:36:16

A discussion with the ARK founder on bitcoin, ESG and, of course, Elon Musk. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

Today’s special edition of “The Breakdown'' is a replay of NLW’s fireside chat with ARK’s Cathie Wood that premiered yesterday as a closing keynote at Consensus 2021. In this conversation, they discuss:

  • How macro going risk-off has impacted bitcoin 
  • What was driving Elon’s about-face 
  • China and “green” mining 
  • Investing in technology innovation
  • Why ARK is investing in Ethereum 
  • What role bitcoin plays in a world characterized by deflation rather than inflation


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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 6.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 100+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

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Image credit: CoinDesk

May 28, 2021
BREAKDOWN: ‘Crypto Is Here to Stay’ – Activist Investor Carl Icahn Eyes a Crypto Position in the Billions
00:15:12

A look at the macro discussion on inflation and why it’s pushing people like Icahn to crypto.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

Today on the Brief:

  • PayPal to allow crypto withdrawals
  • Regulatory rumblings from the SEC and FinCEN
  • Bitcoin moving off exchanges again


In our main discussion, NLW looks at the macro conversation around inflation, including:

  • How concerns around inflation and the Federal Reserve withdrawing support have caused markets to go risk-off
  • Where bitcoin fits in a risk-on/risk-off context
  • Why billionaire Carl Icahn is eyeing a $1B-$1.5B crypto bet


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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

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Image credit: Jeremy Bales/Bloomberg/Getty Images

May 27, 2021
BREAKDOWN: What's Really Behind China's Bitcoin Mining Ban?
00:13:42

An update on the Bitcoin Mining Council and the China Mining Ban.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

Today on The Breakdown, NLW covers:

  • More information about the Bitcoin Mining Council, and why its members say they’re strictly focused on energy transparency 
  • A new, temporary crypto mining ban in Iran
  • The latest on the China mining ban, including new proposed rules from Inner Mongolia, more on-chain data about miner activity, and a very different interpretation of the CCP’s motivations for the current action 

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

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Image credit: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg/Getty Images

May 26, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin Mining Council – A "Green" Advance for BTC or a Trojan Horse for Centralization?
00:20:23

The community had extremely mixed reactions to Michael Saylor and Elon Musk’s new initiative. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

Yesterday, Michael Saylor and Elon Musk surprised the Bitcoin community when they announced a new "green" mining initiative that would see many of North America’s leading mining operators come together to develop common energy reporting standards as well as advocate for greener mining worldwide. 

In this episode, NLW breaks down the community’s response, which ranged from enthusiastic to downright aghast. He discusses why there are such big differences in how people are interpreting the initiative and what their reasons for supporting or questioning it say about Bitcoin as a network.

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

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Image credit: matejmo/iStock/Getty Images Plus, Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images Entertainment and Michael Saylor/Twitter, modified by CoinDesk

May 25, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Hedge Fund Billionaire Ray Dalio Has Officially Bought Bitcoin
00:16:00

A big shift from one of finance’s biggest names, plus a recap on the latest China-Bitcoin intrigue.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

Today’s episode of “The Breakdown” is split into two parts. In part one, NLW recaps the latest out of China, including:

  • Interpretations of Friday’s surprise targeting in a speech by the Vice Premier
  • A weekend market crash, the second of the week 
  • Miner selling and the motivations behind it
  • What to watch for in the coming days 


In part two, he puts in context the news that Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio owns bitcoin, looking at the larger institutional pattern that has driven the bitcoin bull and Dalio’s specific concerns about currency devaluation.

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

-

Image credit: Takaaki Iwabu/Bloomberg/Getty Images

May 24, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Unexplored Risks of a US Digital Dollar
00:16:06

A reading of two recent essays on central bank digital currencies.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

For this week’s “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads:

What If Somebody Hacks the Money Pipeline Next?” By David Z. Morris

A Central Bank Digital Currency Would Be Bad for the US” by Dante Disparte

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

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Image credit: zbruch/iStock/Getty Images Plus

May 23, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why the Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein Says Governments Can't Stop Crypto
00:11:40

One of Capitol Hill’s most connected insiders says crypto is here to stay.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On this week’s “Breakdown Weekly Recap,” NLW explores U.S. regulatory FUD. He specifically looks at recent statements from the SEC’s Gary Gensler, as well as new Treasury Dept. policy that wants businesses to report crypto transactions of over $10,000 to the Internal Revenue Service. He argues that this is a “bureaucrat's bull market” that will be focused on compliance, not banning.

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

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Image credit: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg/Getty Images

May 22, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why Bitcoiners Are Rooting for This Latest China Mining Ban to Finally, Actually Be Real
00:10:47

Could new pressure from the CCP remove coal-powered hash power from the bitcoin mix? 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

This week has been China story after China story in the world of crypto. Increasingly, NLW argues, bitcoiners are getting sick of the baggage that Chinese mining and Chinese state involvement place on bitcoin and crypto as a whole. In this episode, he looks at the latest news from China and points to interpretations from a number of voices that show why what appears to be FUD could actually be a welcomed development.

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: BeeBright/iStock/Getty Images Plus

May 21, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Real Story of the Crypto Crash Has Very Little to Do With Elon or China
00:14:21

It wasn’t narrative but market structure that drove yesterday’s big move down. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

In this episode of “The Breakdown,” NLW looks at the market structure dimension of the crypto crash, leveraging insights from Alameda Research, Willy Woo and many more. He explores: 

  • Why the recent bull run was driven by derivatives more than by spot trading
  • How crypto moving onto exchanges signaled the big move down
  • How cascading liquidations made the down moves even more extreme 
  • What the industry thinks about 100x leverage
  • Insider reports on how institutional investors responded


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Andrey Suslov/iStock/Getty Images Plus

May 20, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Bloodbath-ening – Is This the End of the Crypto Bull Market?
00:15:05

In a sea of red, investors ask whether this is just a bull market pullback or represents a more fundamental bearish turn.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

In one of the bloodiest days in recent crypto history, NLW looks at the reasons behind the wild market crash and explores whether it means an end to the bull market. As part of this, he explores five different categories of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD):

  • Elon energy FUD
  • Resurgent tether FUD
  • China ban FUD
  • Used for crime FUD
  • Regulatory FUD


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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: RedChivo/iStock/Getty Images Plus

May 19, 2021
OPINIONATED: QuadrigaCX – An Exit Scam or Just a Crypto Tragedy
00:38:17

This week, “Opinionated” co-hosts Ben Schiller, Anna Baydakova and Danny Nelson are talking to Aaron Lammer, author of a podcast series about the now-defunct Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

The QuadrigaCX saga, first broken by our colleague Nik De and still not finished, could be a dark detective novel: Gerald Cotten, a CEO of a cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX, reportedly dies in India, the crypto wallets are empty and his widow inherits a mind-blowing fortune, while users are trying to get their money back in court for years (the case is still ongoing). 

Aaron Lammer, an experienced crypto podcaster, took on a tricky task to tell the QuadrigaCX story to people who might not know about crypto but definitely can learn a thing or two from this thriller story. Aaron told us how he was investigating the QuadrigaCX story and trying to explain the basics of crypto to a non-crypto audience. The first episodes of his show, “Exit Scam,” are now available for listening.

Aaron interviews a very diverse group of people who have insight into what could have happened at QuadrigaCX, from a private detective specializing in fake deaths to Michael Perklin, chief information security officer at ShapeShift, who knew Gerald Cotten personally. He walks us through what we know and don’t know about QuadrigaCX and its founders, and how the centuries-old history of scams and financial fraud got a new life in crypto. 

Enjoy the conversation, as we did, and definitely check out the podcast, an arresting detective story with elements of Crypto 101 course for everyone. 

Aaron’s Twitter handle is: @aaronlammer. 

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

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May 19, 2021
BREAKDOWN: No, China Didn’t Just Ban Crypto
00:10:27

Despite inflammatory headlines, today’s note from the People’s Bank of China was a reaffirmation of central bank policy from 2017.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On today’s episode, NLW provides an extended brief style episode, covering:

  • Crypto’s allies on Capitol Hill
  • Is “long bitcoin” the most crowded trade in the world?
  • How much of the dip was just Tax Day?
  • No, China didn’t just ban crypto 
  • Pomp launches Bitcoin Pizza 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: btgbtg/iStock/Getty Images Plus

May 18, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin Is the ‘No Heroes’ Asset
00:18:14

Bitcoin Twitter’s latest skirmish with Elon Musk has as much to say about the nature of power in a social media landscape as it does about bitcoin.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

If you thought last week’s Elon intrigue was over, think again. This weekend saw an absolute showdown at the bitcoin corral, with Musk seriously losing his cool. In this episode, NLW explores the tussle from a number of dimensions:

  • What it says about the efficacy of Bitcoin Maximalism 
  • What is says about Elon Musk specifically
  • What it says about power in a social media-powered world

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: hocus-focus/iStock/Getty Images Plus modified by CoinDesk

May 17, 2021
HARD PROBLEMS: Inside Bram Cohen's Proof-of-Work Reinvention
00:55:02

Bitcoin's 'Nakamoto Consensus' changed the world. For the first time ever, strangers on the internet were empowered by a system that allowed them to individually and jointly track who owned which internet-native items... First money, then early stage (and often illegal) investments, followed by digital cats, multi-million dollar art, viral memes and soon enough, well, everything.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

If there's one complaint (whether right or wrong) about Satoshi's breakthrough, it's the energy cost it comes at.

Whether you're talking about Bitcoin or the myriad other proof of work systems, 'Nakamoto Consensus' is a "competitive money burning process." Each time transactions are added to the permanent history it's a race to see who can prove their commitment to the network by finding the winning raffle ticket the fastest. Everyone races but only one wins and when each block is found, the process starts over. It's not a perfect system, but it works and it's the best one we've found... So far.

In this premiere episode of "Hard Problems", join BitTorrent inventor and Chia CEO Bram Cohen, CoinDesk's Adam B. Levine, community members JMHands and Michel Erb for a lively discussion of Bram's newly launched reinvention of distributed, proof of work consensus known as Proofs of Space and Time.

In it, we discuss

  • The challenges Bram believes his new system resolves
  • How 'Proofs of Space and Time' works compared to traditional 'Nakamoto Consensus'
  • The differences between Bitcoin mining and Chia farming
  • Why improving proof-of-work is the better choice than proof-of-stake or other consensus systems
  • Plus many questions from the live Clubhouse audience, with a special line of questioning from Tuur Demeester


If you'd like to join the live audience for our next Clubhouse recording where Jeffrey "Sneak" Paul joins Bram to dig into the hard and growing problems behind Ransomware, follow 'bramcohen' and 'adamblevine' on Clubhouse.

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

May 16, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin Is Much More Than a Speculative Asset
00:31:15

Stories from Nigeria, Sudan and Ethiopia show how bitcoin is being used in the real world.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

This week’s “Long Reads Sunday” is a reading of Alex Gladstein’s latest piece, “Check Your Financial Privilege.” It follows the stories of people in three African nations who paint a very different picture from the rampant speculation you hear about in the news.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: kertlis/iStock/Getty Images Plus

May 16, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Vitalik vs. Dog Money – Recapping a Crazy Week in Crypto History
00:12:35

From Elon’s shenanigans to Vitalik’s SHIB rug pull, this was one for the history books.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

On this edition of “The Breakdown’s Weekly Recap,” NLW discusses:

  • Why the Elon Musk issue is really one of power and audience
  • What the Colonial Pipeline attack reveals about our critical infrastructure 
  • The debate around Vitalik Buterin and the Shiba coins


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: John Phillips/Getty Images for TechCrunch and cgdeaw/iStock/Getty Images Plus

May 15, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why the DOJ, IRS Investigation Into Binance Could Be Good for Bitcoin
00:14:31

In almost any scenario, the industry faces one less category of FUD on the other side of the investigations.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

Today on the Brief:

  • More chaos from Elon Musk
  • Hedge funds moving into DeFi?
  • Tether reserve attestations


Our main discussion looks at recent revelations of investigations by the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service around Binance. NLW breaks down:

  • What we know about who is involved
  • Why the sound bite seems worse than the real story
  • Why each possible outcome leads the Bitcoin industry to a better place 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Akio Kon/Bloomberg/Getty Images

May 14, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Et tu, Elon? What’s Really Behind Tesla’s Bitcoin Betrayal
00:14:34

Tesla has stopped accepting bitcoin due to environmental concerns – or so it says.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

Crypto Twitter exploded last night when Elon Musk announced Tesla was backtracking and would no longer be accepting bitcoin as payment for cars. The debate came fast and furious about whether this was genuine environmental concern and, if so, how Elon was just discovering it now. On this episode, NLW looks at other interpretations, including:

  • Elon playing 4D chess with the price
  • The simple vagaries of an eccentric billionaire 
  • Pressure to remain in ESG portfolios 
  • Shifting government narratives  

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: rudall30/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

May 13, 2021
BREAKDOWN: 46M Americans Now Own Bitcoin as Inflation Rises to Highest Level in 13 Years
00:11:50

Do rising inflation and rising levels of bitcoin ownership have anything to do with one another?

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.ioand Bitstamp.

Today on the Brief:

  • SEC throws cold water on bitcoin ETF dreams
  • MoneyGram brings bitcoin for cash to 12,000 locations (for a hefty fee)
  • Palantir considering adding bitcoin to balance sheet


Our main discussion:

Inflation has seen its biggest growth month in a very long time. Is it just transitory or reducible to base effects or is something more going on? Meanwhile, a new survey suggests 46 million Americans now own bitcoin. Related? 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: TARIK KIZILKAYA/iStock/Getty Images Plus

May 12, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Crypto to Replace Dollar as World’s Reserve Currency? Investing Legend Stanley Druckenmiller Thinks So
00:12:49

The argument that the dollar is losing prestige worldwide got a major boost from a legendary investor. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

Last year, hedge fund gurus like Paul Tudor Jones set off the wave of institutional bitcoin buying by cementing the narrative of bitcoin as an inflation hedge. Today, one of those investors - Stanley Druckenmiller - is back with even more dire pronouncements about the likely implication of Federal Reserve policies. The dollar, he says, will lose reserve currency status in the next 15 years. The most likely candidate to replace it? Crypto.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Scott Eells/Bloomberg/Getty Images

May 11, 2021
BREAKDOWN: If Prices Keep Going Up, We Might Have to Start Calling It Inflation
00:14:09

Every day sees new reports of prices going up – from commodities to plastic to fruit. Are we ready to use the “I” word? 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Bitstamp.

Today on the Brief:

  • Elon Musk saves an SNL flop with a dogecoin satellite 
  • Growing interest in Ethereum 
  • UBS explores offering crypto to wealthy clients


Our main discussion:

The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg are both running headlines about increasing consumer prices. For now, most pieces like these remain a healthy combination of spot data (in other words specific companies raising prices) and anecdotes versus aggregate data. That isn’t stopping a new inflation narrative from forming, however. Listen to find out what it means. 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, supporting investors, traders and leading financial institutions since 2011. With a proven track record and dedication to personal customer service with a human touch, Bitstamp’s fast, secure and reliable crypto investing platform is trusted by over four million people worldwide. To learn more, visit www.bitstamp.net.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Galina Sandalova/iStock/Getty Images Plus

May 10, 2021
BREAKDOWN: CBDCs Aren't About Money, They're About Power
00:13:35

A China-focused discussion on this week’s “Long Reads Sunday.”

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.ioNEAR.org and Genesis Trading.

On this week’s “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads Sune Sorenson’s “China Is Opting Out of US-Run Financial System.” He also discusses recent pieces by Niall Ferguson and The Economist that point to a growing conversation about CBDCs that is fundamentally about power and the global system.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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NEAR.org - Infrastructure for innovation. NEAR is an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized applications overcoming high fees and slow speeds with its fast, scalable, low-cost, and climate-neutral blockchain protocol. One transaction on NEAR consumes about 1300x less carbon than a similar transaction on other chains.

-

Click here to read the Genesis Q1 2021 Digital Asset Market report. To learn more about Genesis, click here. To learn more about Genesis Prime, their prime brokerage offering, click here. The information provided in this communication does not constitute investment advice. Please see this link for important disclosures.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Anson_iStock/iStock/Getty Images Plus

May 09, 2021
BREAKDOWN: 'My 401(k) is now my 401(k9)' – What Happens to Doge After Elon Hosts ‘SNL’?
00:13:29

While everyone was paying attention to Dog Money, bitcoin was quietly accumulating institutional news.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.ioNEAR.org and Genesis Trading.

On this edition of “The Breakdown’s Weekly Recap,” NLW looks at:

  • Why ETH should have had most of the attention
  • The camps forming around dogecoin and why it’s likely to dump after “Saturday Night Live”
  • A slew of massive institutional bitcoin news that flew under the radar


"Remy: Dogecoin Rap" (Dog Money), ReasonTV

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbI31x3FpS0


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

NEAR.org - Infrastructure for innovation. NEAR is an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized applications overcoming high fees and slow speeds with its fast, scalable, low-cost, and climate-neutral blockchain protocol. One transaction on NEAR consumes about 1300x less carbon than a similar transaction on other chains.

-

Click here to read the Genesis Q1 2021 Digital Asset Market report. To learn more about Genesis, click here. To learn more about Genesis Prime, their prime brokerage offering, click here. The information provided in this communication does not constitute investment advice. Please see this link for important disclosures.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Popular meme based on Doge meme, Elon Musk and The Lion King

May 08, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Balkanization of Bitcoin – The Next Attack on BTC Is About Mining Provenance
00:18:30

From Iran miner control to “OFAC compliant blocks,” a new attack vector has emerged.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.ioNEAR.org and Genesis Trading.

Today on the Brief:

  • Square puts up monster Q1 bitcoin numbers
  • First crypto comments from new SEC Chair Gary Gensler
  • 3 new institutional bitcoin developments 


Our main discussion: 

As bitcoin becomes more mainstream, the attempts from the powers that be to control it will become more subtle. This week, NLW argues we got a preview of a new approach to trying to exert that control. He argues there is a new attempt to Balkanize Bitcoin and looks at:

  • Iran banning crypto that wasn’t mined in the country
  • Marathon mining an “OFAC-compliant” block
  • Kevin O’Leary insisting on only owning bitcoin not mined in China 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

NEAR.org - Infrastructure for innovation. NEAR is an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized applications overcoming high fees and slow speeds with its fast, scalable, low-cost, and climate-neutral blockchain protocol. One transaction on NEAR consumes about 1300x less carbon than a similar transaction on other chains.

-

Click here to read the Genesis Q1 2021 Digital Asset Market report. To learn more about Genesis, click here. To learn more about Genesis Prime, their prime brokerage offering, click here. The information provided in this communication does not constitute investment advice. Please see this link for important disclosures.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Allexxandar/iStock/Getty Images Plus

May 07, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Are Banks Getting Nervous About Competition From DeFi?
00:17:03

A new research paper from ING suggests that, at the very least, they’re paying more attention.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.ioNEAR.org and Genesis Trading.

Today on the Brief:

  • MercadoLibre has added bitcoin to its balance sheet
  • Galaxy Digital buys BitGo 
  • Debates around the new, improved, real economy 


Our main discussion:

While the last year has seen a massive amount of growth in decentralized finance, it has been mostly driven by enfranchised insiders and builders. In this bull market, that is starting to change. In today’s episode, NLW looks at a recent paper by the $1.1 trillion bank ING around where DeFi fits in the context of traditional finance.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

NEAR.org - Infrastructure for innovation. NEAR is an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized applications overcoming high fees and slow speeds with its fast, scalable, low-cost, and climate-neutral blockchain protocol. One transaction on NEAR consumes about 1300x less carbon than a similar transaction on other chains.

-

Click here to read the Genesis Q1 2021 Digital Asset Market report. To learn more about Genesis, click here. To learn more about Genesis Prime, their prime brokerage offering, click here. The information provided in this communication does not constitute investment advice. Please see this link for important disclosures.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: SchulteProductions/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

May 06, 2021
BREAKDOWN: NYDIG CEO Explains How Latest Partnership Could Bring Bitcoin to 300M US Bank Accounts
00:29:25

The latest in NYDIG’s year of institutional partnerships has perhaps the broadest potential for financial inclusion in Bitcoin yet.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io, NEAR.org and Genesis Trading.

NLW is joined today by Robby Gutmann, CEO of NYDIG. NYDIG is quickly emerging as one of the leading companies helping onboard institutions to bitcoin. This year, it received investment from and announced partners with companies like MassMutual, New York Life, Liberty Mutual, Morgan Stanley and more. 

In this episode, Gutmann discusses why the firm’s latest partnership with bank software provider FIS could represent their biggest opportunity for bringing bitcoin to the masses yet. 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

NEAR.org - Infrastructure for innovation. NEAR is an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized applications overcoming high fees and slow speeds with its fast, scalable, low-cost, and climate-neutral blockchain protocol. One transaction on NEAR consumes about 1300x less carbon than a similar transaction on other chains.

-

Click here to read the Genesis Q1 2021 Digital Asset Market report. To learn more about Genesis, click here. To learn more about Genesis Prime, their prime brokerage offering, click here. The information provided in this communication does not constitute investment advice. Please see this link for important disclosures.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus

May 05, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Is Dogecoin at $0.58 a Triumph or an FU to the Crypto Industry?
00:14:22

As doge soars 45% in a day, the question of how to interpret its success is more pertinent than ever.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io, NEAR.org and Genesis Trading.

NLW asked his Twitter followers about what the success of dogecoin meant to the crypto industry. He got an extremely diverse set of takes. Some see it as a triumph of crypto’s uncontrollability. Some see it as a triumph of the underlying bitcoin tech working on a forked chain that hasn’t had much maintenance in years. 

Others see it as a damning indictment of the market as a whole; something that shows what a joke the whole industry is. 

Which is it? Can it be both?

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

NEAR.org - Infrastructure for innovation. NEAR is an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized applications overcoming high fees and slow speeds with its fast, scalable, low-cost, and climate-neutral blockchain protocol. One transaction on NEAR consumes about 1300x less carbon than a similar transaction on other chains.

-

Click here to read the Genesis Q1 2021 Digital Asset Market report. To learn more about Genesis, click here. To learn more about Genesis Prime, their prime brokerage offering, click here. The information provided in this communication does not constitute investment advice. Please see this link for important disclosures.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: popular crypto meme, modified by CoinDesk

May 04, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why Bitcoin Is Making Some Legendary Investors Emotional
00:14:07

From Charlie Munger’s “civilization” comments to the Taproot activation, everything you need to know to start your week.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io, NEAR.org and Genesis Trading.

Today on The Breakdown, NLW looks at:

  • Charlie Munger’s and Bill Maher’s weekend comments about bitcoin and why we’re likely to see a lot more of this type of critique the more the bull market heats up
  • The beginning of Taproot’s ‘Speedy Trial’ 
  • The Digital Dollar Foundation beginning private U.S. CBDC tests
  • Source reporting PayPal is exploring launching a stablecoin


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

NEAR.org - Infrastructure for innovation. NEAR is an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized applications overcoming high fees and slow speeds with its fast, scalable, low-cost, and climate-neutral blockchain protocol. One transaction on NEAR consumes about 1300x less carbon than a similar transaction on other chains.

-

Click here to read the Genesis Q1 2021 Digital Asset Market report. To learn more about Genesis, click here. To learn more about Genesis Prime, their prime brokerage offering, click here. The information provided in this communication does not constitute investment advice. Please see this link for important disclosures.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images

May 03, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Wall Street’s Bitcoin Isn’t Your Bitcoin
00:24:10

A reading of Ben Hunt’s latest essay “In Praise of Bitcoin.”

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and NEAR.org.

Ben Hunt is the author of the wildly popular and always provocative “Epsilon Theory.” In his recent essay “In Praise of Bitcoin,” he calls on bitcoiners to rise up and recognize that the “bitcoin” being adopted by Wall Street is an abstraction that comes with unacceptable compromises. 

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

NEAR.org - Infrastructure for innovation. NEAR is an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized applications overcoming high fees and slow speeds with its fast, scalable, low-cost, and climate-neutral blockchain protocol. One transaction on NEAR consumes about 1300x less carbon than a similar transaction on other chains.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: rudall30/iStock/Getty Images Plus

May 02, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Welcome Back, Flippening Narrative
00:10:29

After a good performance from ETH this week, partisans are calling for a flippening yet again.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and NEAR.org.

On this edition of “The Breakdown’s Weekly Recap,” NLW explores:

  • Why JPM and Tesla drove the bitcoin story
  • Why Ethereans are hot on the call for a “flippening” again
  • Why CBDCs are low key one of the most important stories of 2021


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

NEAR.org - Infrastructure for innovation. NEAR is an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized applications overcoming high fees and slow speeds with its fast, scalable, low-cost, and climate-neutral blockchain protocol. One transaction on NEAR consumes about 1300x less carbon than a similar transaction on other chains.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Chayapoll Tummakorn/iStock/Getty Images Plus

May 01, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Crypto's War of the Roses – The 7 Factions of the 2021 Bull Market
00:23:51

From BTC to ETH to NFTs to DOGE, it’s a battle for attention out there.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and NEAR.org.

On today’s episode, NLW gives a comprehensive view of the battleground for attention and resources that makes up this 2021 bull market, including:

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum and DeFi
  • Ethereum alternatives 
  • Ponzi coins
  • Stablecoins and CBDCs
  • NFTs
  • Doge


Where do the next fights and fault lines lay? Listen and find out.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

NEAR.org - Infrastructure for innovation. NEAR is an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized applications overcoming high fees and slow speeds with its fast, scalable, low-cost, and climate-neutral blockchain protocol. One transaction on NEAR consumes about 1300x less carbon than a similar transaction on other chains.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: SerhiiBobyk/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 30, 2021
BREAKDOWN: What an Increasingly Booming Economy Means for Bitcoin
00:19:44

What macro role does bitcoin play as GDP and consumer confidence grow?

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and NEAR.org.

For the past year, bitcoin’s narrative has been deeply tied to the larger macro narrative of looming inflation. As the economy starts to boom, many continue to point to the spectre of inflation as a bullish force for bitcoin.

In today’s episode, NLW explores growing confidence in the markets and what it means for bitcoin. In particular, he looks at what it would mean if consumer inflation didn’t show up. Would bitcoin be cast aside, or are there properties and uses that make it relevant even outside its role as a monetary hedge?


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

NEAR.org - Infrastructure for innovation. NEAR is an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized applications overcoming high fees and slow speeds with its fast, scalable, low-cost, and climate-neutral blockchain protocol. One transaction on NEAR consumes about 1300x less carbon than a similar transaction on other chains.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Olivier Le Moal/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 29, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Visa's CEO on Crypto – "This Is a Space We Are Leaning Into in a Very, Very Big Way"
00:14:56

Visa’s earnings call makes it clear just how invested the company is in the crypto space. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and NEAR.org.

Today on the Brief:

  • Elon pumps Doge again
  • Detailing Biden’s $1.8T American Families Plan 
  • Turkey, Iran, SEC


Our main discussion looks at comments this week from Visa CEO Al Kelly on the company’s relationship with crypto, analyzing the five areas of opportunity Visa has identified:

  • Helping customers buy BTC and crypto
  • Enabling digital cash outs to fiat
  • Enabling TradFi to offer crypto to customers
  • Settlement via stablecoins 
  • Central bank digital currencies 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

NEAR.org - Infrastructure for innovation. NEAR is an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized applications overcoming high fees and slow speeds with its fast, scalable, low-cost, and climate-neutral blockchain protocol. One transaction on NEAR consumes about 1300x less carbon than a similar transaction on other chains.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Apr 28, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Tesla's Bitcoin Selling Shows How BTC Is More Than Digital Gold
00:16:20

According to Elon himself, it was all about demonstrating bitcoin’s liquidity. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and NEAR.org.

Yesterday Bitcoin Twitter reacted in horror upon discovering that Tesla had sold 10% of its bitcoin. Elon has paper hands! Institutions will abandon us! The horror and scorn ran far and wide. 

On today’s episode, NLW argues that:

  • The sales proved to Tesla that bitcoin has deep liquidity
  • That the combination of store of value plus upside plus liquidity makes bitcoin uniquely valuable as a treasury asset


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

NEAR.org - Infrastructure for innovation. NEAR is an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized applications overcoming high fees and slow speeds with its fast, scalable, low-cost, and climate-neutral blockchain protocol. One transaction on NEAR consumes about 1300x less carbon than a similar transaction on other chains.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images

Apr 27, 2021
BREAKDOWN: JPMorgan's Bitcoin Journey – From 'Worse Than Tulips' to 'Not My Cup of Tea' to New Product
00:12:43

Sources say JPMorgan’s new actively managed bitcoin product will be available this summer.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and NEAR.org.

Today on the Brief:

  • Sports and crypto come together
  • WTF is going on in Turkey?
  • Wyoming DAO law 


Our main discussion: After years of CEO Jamie Dimon ragging on bitcoin, JPMorgan is reportedly set to offer a new actively managed bitcoin product. In this episode, NLW looks back at Dimon’s comments on BTC and how things have changed over time. 

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

NEAR.org - Infrastructure for innovation. NEAR is an open-source platform that accelerates the development of decentralized applications overcoming high fees and slow speeds with its fast, scalable, low-cost, and climate-neutral blockchain protocol. One transaction on NEAR consumes about 1300x less carbon than a similar transaction on other chains.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Jin Lee/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Apr 26, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin and the New Non-Governmental Monetary Reality
00:10:37

A reading of Nik Bhatia’s latest essay for CoinDesk. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

For this week’s “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads Nik Bhatia’s latest piece: “Asset Managers, Owning Bitcoin Is Now Your Fiduciary Duty.” He also provides more thoughts on the notion of bitcoin as a non-sovereign money and what that might mean in terms of global balances of power.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Kachura Oleg/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 25, 2021
BREAKDOWN: 2017 PTSD and the Dip That Ate Alt Season
00:10:28

The story of the week was the Tale of Two Dips. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On this edition of “The Weekly Recap,” NLW looks at the twin dips that shaped the week. He argues that one upshot is the dips may have taken the wind out of the sales of some very 2017-esque froth that threatened the entire industry.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 24, 2021
BREAKDOWN: What Biden's Tax Hike Has to Do With Money Printing and Inflation
00:13:48

Some say this amounts to a way to profit off assets inflated by monetary policy.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • Coinbase Pro to list USDT
  • A new Bitcoin Mayor in Tennessee
  • ETH and BTC ETF updates


Our main discussion looks at President Biden’s proposed increase of the capital gains tax rate. NLW breaks down everything bitcoiners are saying about it, with a particular focus on what it has to do with monetary policy. 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Apr 23, 2021
BREAKDOWN: This Earth Day, Let's Reclaim the Bitcoin Energy Debate
00:12:51

Bitcoin mining isn’t destroying the planet, it’s creating a solution to key problems of renewable energy.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • Crypto M&A heats up
  • Is ETH deflationary now?
  • Cathie Wood is the Michael Saylor of Coinbase stock


Our main discussion:

Square’s Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative and ARK Investments have teamed up to release a memo about how bitcoin addresses key issues in the renewable energy space. Not only do renewables make sense as an energy source for mining, but bitcoin mining as “the energy buyer of last resort” could address key issues of intermittency and grid congestion. 

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Iaremenko/iStock/Getty Images Plus



Apr 22, 2021
BREAKDOWN: ICO 2.0 – How Will Big Bitcoin-Buying Institutions React to Inevitable Crypto Market Froth?
00:14:04

A whiff of 2017 is in the air as TikTok investors and pump-and-dump private groups increase. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

The years 2017 and 2018 were some of the frothiest, wildest times in crypto market history. Their fallout also dragged the industry down for years, leaving an unmistakable stench of scam for many. 

Thus far in this market cycle, much of those excesses have been avoided. Attention and energy has largely been focused on the rise of institutional bitcoin players, or other areas like decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFT) that, while some of the prices might be shocking, at least are full of good faith actors. 

On today’s “The Breakdown,” NLW looks at some of the more concerning recent trends that have the stench of 2017 all over them. Can we avoid another cycle where “alt season” games drag down everything else? 

Part of the answer to that may lie in how bitcoin’s new institutional buyers react to the froth.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: welcomia/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 21, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Governments Banning Bitcoin? Not So Fast as Former Regulators Brooks and Giancarlo Join Crypto Companies
00:16:09

Despite the FUD, the prospects for bitcoin and crypto in a broader regulatory context have never looked brighter. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

As this cycle heats up, “governments will ban bitcoin” is one of the top areas of fear, uncertainty and doubt. On this episode, NLW breaks down why that FUD just doesn’t hold much weight right now, looking at:

  • Why the examples of India, Turkey, Nigeria and China are not as bad as what people have posited 
  • Why the early indications suggest the Biden administration is more open to crypto than what the Trump administration ended up being 
  • Why it matters that two crypto companies today announced major board members and executives from the regulator world 


Specifically, NLW looks at Brian Brooks and Chris Giancarlo’s trajectory in both the regulatory sphere and crypto and what their new private sector engagements might mean.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Jason Alden/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Apr 20, 2021
BREAKDOWN: No, Bitcoin's Flash Crash Wasn't Caused by Turkey or Money Laundering or China or Any Other FUD
00:19:47

Instead, the weekend’s rapid price action had its roots in over-leveraged traders.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

In 20 minutes on Saturday night, bitcoin’s price fell by more than 12%. Crypto Twitter raced to explain it as the byproduct of hashrate crashes after Chinese miners went offline, a suspicious report about the U.S. Treasury Department going after crypto money launders, and/or an upcoming ban in Turkey on using cryptos as currency. 

NLW argues that all of those explanations are hogwash and that the crash had much more to do with leverage in the system than any fancy narrative.

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Kayocci/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 19, 2021
BREAKDOWN: A Point-by-Point Rebuttal of the Most Recent Bitcoin Environmental FUD
00:30:24

A reading of Nic Carter’s latest painstaking response to the New York Times’ recent hit job.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On this week’s “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads Nic Carter’s “On Bitcoin, the Gray Lady Embraces Climate Lysenkoism,” a rebuttal of the New York Times’ recent piece on bitcoin energy consumption he says is riddled with false data and debunked sources. 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Jirsak/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 18, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Here Are All the Institutions That Bought Bitcoin While You Weren't Paying Attention
00:11:47

A look at the news that flew under the radar this week.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On this edition of the “Weekly Recap,” NLW looks at three key themes:

  • The continued institutionalization of bitcoin (and, increasingly, ethereum as well) 
  • Warning signs of market mania in DOGE and NFT prices
  • Global intrigue around bitcoin and central bank digital currencies


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: D-Keine/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 17, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Dogecoin - The Emperor of All S**tcoins and the Master of Memes
00:16:50

After a 9,392% run-up over the last three months, is there something about DOGE beyond the meme?

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Dogecoin is on a tear. And it’s causing many mainstream media outlets to call “bubble.” On this episode, NLW breaks down DOGE as:

  • Valueless memecoin
  • Internet culture incarnate
  • Dada-esque protest to a broken system 


Much wow. 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Mary Harrsch/Flickr, modified by CoinDesk

Apr 16, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why the Biden Administration Is Increasingly Concerned With China’s Digital Currency Efforts
00:14:02

A shifting global balance of power is causing a rethink in the U.S.’ relationship with cryptocurrency. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On today’s “The Breakdown,” NLW looks at an underreported story from earlier this week. There are increasingly loud whispers that officials across several agencies, including Treasury, National Security and Defense, are growing concerned with China’s digital currency efforts. 

NLW looks at:

  • Why CBDCs are about power, not digital efficiency 
  • Why Facebook’s libra was the starting gun
  • China’s possible objectives 
  • Why the U.S. tone on a digital dollar is changing 
  • How Gary Gensler as SEC Chair could portend a broader attitude shift for the U.S. vis a vis digital currencies


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Apr 15, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Definitive Guide to Coinbase Going Public
00:22:52

From the company’s history to business model to controversy, it’s everything you need to know.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On the day of Coinbase’s historic direct listing on NASDAQ, NLW answers your most important questions about the company and its place in the industry. 

  • How did Coinbase become successful?
  • What is the crypto public's perception of Coinbase?
  • What is Coinbase's business model and how has that model been shifting?
  • What is Coinbase's role in the recent institutional shift in bitcoin?
  • Does Coinbase have any controversy in its past?
  • Why did Coinbase choose a direct listing?
  • What are people expecting, price wise?
  • Why did BTC and ETH hit all-time highs in advance of the listing?
  • How might Coinbase impact the crypto markets? 

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Apr 14, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Real Story of Inflation Right Now
00:15:38

New CPI numbers show growing inflation, but is that the whole story? 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

There is perhaps no question more debated in macroeconomics than what sort of inflation we’re likely to see in the coming years. Many are convinced that the combination of a growing money supply, expansionary monetary policy, pent-up demand, reshoring of manufacturing and more are pointing us to a secular inflation era. Others say the forces of deflation and disinflation, like technology and demography, are too strong. 

In today’s episode, NLW looks at not only the latest Consumer Price Index numbers released today, but also recent Producer Price Index surveys, wage growth and more to try to put together a more complex, nuanced picture of the likely inflation scenarios going forward.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

-

Image credit: artoleshko/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 13, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Coinbase Going Public Is the Bitcoin Bull Market's First Big Test
00:23:11

This inflection point moment could have major implications for where markets head next

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Coinbase is set to go public via direct listing on Wednesday.

In today’s episode, NLW breaks down why this is the current bull market’s first big test, looking at:

  • Mainstream narratives 
  • Institutional liquidity 
  • Retail participation 
  • Spillover effects 
  • The direction in which we head next 


What’s clear is that this bull run does not equal 2017 and will be shaped by a largely different set of forces. 

Byzantine General’s overview thread: https://twitter.com/ByzGeneral/status/1381095621017354240

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Join thousands of newsmakers and influencers talking the future of money at Consensus 2021, a live virtual experience from CoinDesk. (Use discount code "BREAKDOWN" to save $25!) 

Image credit: Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch and Overearth/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 12, 2021
BREAKDOWN: How Bitcoin Can Help Break Cycles of Poverty
00:11:43

A reading of an essay from University of Wyoming philosophy professor Bradley Rettler.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and this week’s special product launch, Exodus.

This week’s edition of “Long Reads Sunday” features NLW reading Bradley Rettler’s “The Rich Get Richer, the Poor Get Bitcoin.” It is an argument that, far from being just a speculative tool for the already wealthy, bitcoin represents a disruptive force that can combat wealth inequality.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Exodus empowers people to control their wealth through a safe and reliable non-custodial crypto wallet, placing the ownership of digital assets back into the user’s hands. Your keys, your crypto. Download Exodus today and learn more at exodus.com.

-

Image credit: Overearth/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 11, 2021
BREAKDOWN: So, Is This a Bitcoin Supercycle or What?
00:09:40

Some say “top signal,” others say “Supercycle.” Who is right? 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and this week’s special product launch, Exodus.

On this week’s “Weekly Recap,” NLW digs into the theory of the bitcoin supercycle. Are we in the same sort of four-year, halving-driven, boom-bust cycle that has characterized bitcoin so far, or are the new institutional participants breaking us out of that in a fundamental way?


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Exodus empowers people to control their wealth through a safe and reliable non-custodial crypto wallet, placing the ownership of digital assets back into the user’s hands. Your keys, your crypto. Download Exodus today and learn more at exodus.com.

-

Image credit: ankmsn/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 10, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Liberty Mutual and State Street Are the Latest Institutions to Join the Bitcoin Party
00:13:01

Institutional participation in Bitcoin shows no signs of slowing down. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and this week’s special product launch, Exodus.

Today on the Brief:

  • Crypto Climate Accord
  • Robinhood crypto trading 
  • The decentralization of venture capital


Our main discussion:

This week was absolutely chock-full of institutions getting into the bitcoin space, yet barely anyone noticed. From Liberty Mutual and Starr Insurance investing in NYDIG to a massive real estate company moving treasury into bitcoin and accepting it for rent, the institutional infiltration of bitcoin shows no signs of stopping.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Exodus empowers people to control their wealth through a safe and reliable non-custodial crypto wallet, placing the ownership of digital assets back into the user’s hands. Your keys, your crypto. Download Exodus today and learn more at exodus.com.

-

Image credit: TG23/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 09, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Is Bitcoin a Chinese Financial Weapon? Peter Thiel Ignites a Geopolitical Debate
00:20:48

Recent comments from the PayPal founder, early Facebook investor and renegade libertarian political donor ignite a discussion about the battle around the world’s reserve currency.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and this week’s special product launch, Exodus.

Peter Thiel is nothing if not good at igniting controversy. For the last 24 hours or so, Bitcoin Twitter (and really, FinTwit and TechTwit and Politics Twitter as well) have been hotly debating his assertion in recent remarks that bitcoin had become a “Chinese financial weapon.”


In today’s episode, NLW breaks down:

  • The debate around Thiel’s comments 
  • Why bitcoin is more likely a threat to Chinese aspirations around the digital yuan’s future status as a global currency than the U.S. dollar
  • Why digital dollars like tether and USDC might make this whole debate moot from the get-go


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Exodus empowers people to control their wealth through a safe and reliable non-custodial crypto wallet, placing the ownership of digital assets back into the user’s hands. Your keys, your crypto. Download Exodus today and learn more at exodus.com.

-

Image credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images Entertainment

Apr 08, 2021
BREAKDOWN: 'Rising Bitcoin Adoption Tide' – The Best of Bloomberg's Latest Bullish Bitcoin Report
00:15:25

A new Bloomberg report argues bitcoin is replacing gold more rapidly than expected.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and this week’s special product launch, Exodus.

Today on the Brief:

  • Coinbase’s monster Q1 numbers
  • 150 million evaporate from the global middle class
  • Jamie Dimon’s shareholder letter comments on crypto


Our main discussion: Bloomberg’s latest crypto outlook is out. In this episode, NLW looks at seven aspects of the report:

  • Bitcoin as digital reserve asset in a low-yield world
  • Price support at $50,000
  • Price possibilities of $400,000 in 2021
  • Gold replacement happening more quickly than anticipated
  • Growth in publicly traded companies with crypto exposure 
  • Exchange outflows
  • The supremacy of USD digital currencies 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Exodus empowers people to control their wealth through a safe and reliable non-custodial crypto wallet, placing the ownership of digital assets back into the user’s hands. Your keys, your crypto. Download Exodus today and learn more at exodus.com.

-

Image credit: Vasil Dimitrov/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 07, 2021
BREAKDOWN: From Dinosaur Altcoins to the Kimchi Premium, 13 Numbers That Tell the Story of Markets Right Now
00:17:41

A look at the most illuminating statistics and metrics across bitcoin, crypto and global markets.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and this week’s special product launch, Exodus.

On today’s episode, NLW provides a whistle stop tour of some of the most interesting and illuminating numbers from crypto and traditional markets, including:

  • The pop in Jurassic Park altcoins
  • Archegos fallout
  • US vaccine distribution
  • Outflows from Turkey
  • SPAC performance before and after mergers 
  • Decline in price and volume of NFTs
  • Coinbase valuation
  • Stablecoin transaction volume 
  • And more! 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Exodus empowers people to control their wealth through a safe and reliable non-custodial crypto wallet, placing the ownership of digital assets back into the user’s hands. Your keys, your crypto. Download Exodus today and learn more at exodus.com.

-

Image credit: Olga Trofimova/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 06, 2021
BREAKDOWN: How Will the Coinbase IPO Affect Bitcoin's Price?
00:16:16

Will the seminal event drive new people to the crypto markets or suck liquidity away from crypto assets? 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and this week’s special product launch, Exodus.

Today on the Brief:

  • The 88th anniversary of Executive Order 6102
  • Former SEC Jay Clayton on bitcoin regulations 
  • GBTC intends to become an ETF


Our main discussion:

NLW breaks down the potential implications of the Coinbase IPO. He looks at the bullish arguments of mainstream presence, the potential to send people down a bitcoin rabbit hole and the provisioning of easy on-ramps versus the argument that it will give people a chance to get crypto industry exposure without actually holding bitcoin or other crypto assets.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Exodus empowers people to control their wealth through a safe and reliable non-custodial crypto wallet, placing the ownership of digital assets back into the user’s hands. Your keys, your crypto. Download Exodus today and learn more at exodus.com.

-

Image credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images Entertainment


Apr 05, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Future of Bitcoin and Crypto Is in Renegades and Malcontents
00:08:55

A reading of Brady Dale’s “Don’t Follow the Suits, Follow the Weirdos.”

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On this week’s “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads CoinDesk journalist Brady Dale’s “Don’t Follow the Suits, Follow the Weirdos.” NLW argues this topic is even more important in the context of bitcoin institutionalization. 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Image credit: Cemile Bingol/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Apr 04, 2021
BREAKDOWN: For Bitcoin and Crypto, a Week of Mainstreaming Moments
00:08:57

From NFTs on “Saturday Night Live” to Goldman Sachs reversing course on bitcoin, it was a week of widening audiences.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On this edition of “The Breakdown” Weekly Recap, NLW looks at a set of mainstream moments including:

  • “SNL” doing a song about NFTs
  • Visa accepting USDC on Ethereum as a native settlement currency
  • PayPal opening crypto checkout to 29 million merchants 
  • Goldman Sachs opening bitcoin investment programs 
  • Chipotle’s “bitcoin and burritos” promotion


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Image credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Apr 03, 2021
BREAKDOWN: An Interview With Cathie Wood on Bitcoin, Tesla and Innovation Investing
01:18:41

This episode is a replay of NLW’s conversation with Cathie Wood from October 2020. In it, they discuss:

  • Why she had conviction in Tesla before the market caught up 
  • Why her fund offered the first bitcoin investment opportunities to Wall Street
  • Why it doesn’t hire traditional Wall Street analysts 
  • Why it gives away all research for free
  • Why it shares the trades made in a completely open-source way
  • ARK’s recent Bitcoin Investment Thesis white paper
  • What the prospects are for innovation in 2021 


Find our guest online:


Image credit: Alex Flynn/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Apr 02, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Corruption, Leverage and Cheap Money – Archegos and the Fastest Loss of Wealth in History
00:17:32

A TL;DR on how Archegos went from betting $50B or more to having nothing overnight. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

The financial world has been rocked by the Archegos scandal. A family office managing at least $10 billion and betting with $50 billion-$80 billion on leverage that was completely undone, literally overnight. 


In this episode, NLW breaks down:

  • Bill Hwang’s origins in Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management
  • Hwang’s conviction for insider trading
  • How Hwang leveraged his fund’s performance to get off prime broker blacklists
  • Why Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and others decided to margin call Archegos last week
  • What the whole affair says about markets today


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Image credit:  Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Apr 01, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Have Fun Staying Rich – Goldman to Offer Bitcoin to Wealthy Clients, Completely Reversing Course
00:13:16

Less than a year after it proclaimed cryptocurrencies are “not an asset class,” Goldman is launching a set of bitcoin and crypto products.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

As the old saying goes: “First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win.” 

Ten months ago, Goldman Sachs declared that “cryptocurrencies including bitcoin are not an asset class.” Today, CNBC broke the news Goldman is planning to release a full suite of bitcoin and crypto investment products. 

On this episode, NLW breaks down the larger macro context that got us from then to now and explains why, if you’re a wealthy client of Goldman, you might have some big questions to ask.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Image credit: Scott Eells/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Mar 31, 2021
BREAKDOWN: PayPal Opens Crypto Payments for Millions of Merchants
00:15:13

The old canard that you can’t buy coffee with bitcoin is less true than ever as PayPal rolls out crypto checkout for 29 million merchants.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

Today on the Brief:

  • BTC micro futures coming to CME
  • Michael Jordan is now an NFT investor
  • Bitcoin doesn’t care about Treasury yields


Our main discussion: PayPal has begun rolling out its crypto checkout tools to millions of merchants. NLW breaks down:

  • Why payments for day-to-day items have been historically deprioritized for Bitcoin and Ethereum 
  • Why the PayPal checkout tools are unlikely to shift the primary use case from store of value style functions to medium of exchange
  • Why the liquidity and utility PayPal crypto checkout creates still adds significant value to these crypto assets


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Image credit: Weedezign/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Mar 30, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Visa Just Supercharged Stablecoin Legitimacy
00:14:09

Visa officially enables USDC as a native currency and means of settlement. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

Today’s episode of “The Breakdown” is an extended brief with five different topics:

  • NFTs make it to “SNL”
  • “Green” bitcoin mining
  • Square’s CFO thinks all companies should hold bitcoin in their treasuries
  • Crypto M&A doubles in 2020
  • Visa announces USDC as settlement currency 


Ultimately, NLW argues that while non-fungible tokens are showing up in pop culture, the Visa deal reinforces the notion that this crypto bull market is being driven by large-scale institutional engagement.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Image credit: Ihor Reshetniak/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

Mar 29, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Can Crypto Create Cultural Revolutions?
00:29:21

A reading of David Hoffman’s recent essay “The Digital Cultural Revolution.”

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper, and this week’s special product launch, Exodus.

On this edition of “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads David Hoffman’s essay “The Digital Cultural Revolution” from Bankless. The essay argues that culture, more than economics, will be the most important long-term beneficiary of the rise of crypto.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Exodus empowers people to control their wealth through a safe and reliable non-custodial crypto wallet, placing the ownership of digital assets back into the user’s hands. Your keys, your crypto. Download Exodus today and learn more at exodus.com.

-

Image credit: sankai/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Mar 28, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Soros Breaks Into Bitcoin
00:13:53

Recent investments and a TV appearance this week start to show how the legendary investor’s crypto strategy is shaping up.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper, and this week’s special product launch, Exodus.

On this week’s Weekly Recap, NLW:

  • Highlights the four most important happenings around regulation and central bank digital currencies in the U.S.
  • Updates the macro inflation narrative for a “new normal” era
  • Digs into what we’ve learned recently about George Soros’ bitcoin and crypto strategy


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Exodus empowers people to control their wealth through a safe and reliable non-custodial crypto wallet, placing the ownership of digital assets back into the user’s hands. Your keys, your crypto. Download Exodus today and learn more at exodus.com.

-

Image credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images Entertainment

Mar 27, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Worried About Bitcoin's Price Action? Here's Why You Shouldn't Be
00:12:42

Although the bitcoin price has been wavering since March 13, there are historical, technical and foundational reasons to be optimistic. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper, and this week’s special product launch, Exodus.

Today on “The Breakdown,” NLW digs into bitcoin and crypto markets. He argues that despite two weeks of sideways-down price action, there are a set of reasons to be optimistic:

  • Historically bad March months versus historically good Aprils
  • Retracements and pullbacks in 2017 
  • Analysis around options expiry in 2021
  • The continuation and expansion of the macro inflation narrative
  • Institutions applying for bitcoin ETFs
  • Coins leaving exchanges


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Exodus empowers people to control their wealth through a safe and reliable non-custodial crypto wallet, placing the ownership of digital assets back into the user’s hands. Your keys, your crypto. Download Exodus today and learn more at exodus.com.

-

Image credit: Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Mar 26, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Fed Chair and the Treasury Secretary Come Out Against Privacy-Respecting Anonymous Digital Dollar
00:15:24

The fight to protect privacy in the central bank digital currency era just got more intense. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper, and this week’s special product launch, Exodus.

Today on the Brief:

  • Fidelity files a bitcoin ETF application
  • Stimmies to China
  • The situation in the Suez


Our main discussion:

In response to a question from Illinois Democrat Bill Foster during a House hearing earlier this week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell went on the record as being against an anonymous digital dollar. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reinforced that stance, saying anonymity made the U.S. government’s anti-money laundering goals extremely difficult to achieve. 

In today’s episode, NLW breaks down why bitcoiners should be willing to get involved in the digital dollar privacy fight.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Exodus empowers people to control their wealth through a safe and reliable non-custodial crypto wallet, placing the ownership of digital assets back into the user’s hands. Your keys, your crypto. Download Exodus today and learn more at exodus.com.

-

Image credit: bsauter/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Mar 25, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bears Fuming as Elon Opens Tesla Purchases With Bitcoin
00:14:48

Tesla is allowing U.S. customers to buy vehicles with bitcoin, and it is not changing the crypto back to fiat.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper, and this week’s special product launch, Exodus.

Today on the Brief:

  • Robinhood IPO incoming
  • Competing bitcoin price predictions 
  • Yellen and Powell’s latest testimony on economic growth


Our main discussion:

Elon Musk announced this morning Tesla’s program for buying its cars with bitcoin: 

  • Says the company is running Bitcoin network nodes
  • Says Tesla won’t convert back to fiat but will hold bitcoin
  • Expanding the program internationally coming soon


NLW breaks down the hater response from the Tesla and Bitcoin sides and argues that much more significant are the other CEOs – like that of buzzy bed startup Eight Sleep – who are following suit.


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Exodus empowers people to control their wealth through a safe and reliable non-custodial crypto wallet, placing the ownership of digital assets back into the user’s hands. Your keys, your crypto. Download Exodus today and learn more at exodus.com.

-

Image credit: Hannibal Hanschke-Pool/Getty Images Entertainment 

Mar 24, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Stablecoins in the Hot Seat – Powell Calls Bitcoin a Substitute for Gold While Fed Says Digital Dollar Prototype Coming in July
00:19:08

An action-packed couple days in U.S. crypto regulatory commentary. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper, and this week’s special product launch, Exodus.

Three major moments over the last couple days help provide insight into the future of the U.S. government’s relationship with bitcoin, stablecoins and digital currencies. 

The first was Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s comments on digital assets and a central bank digital currency, saying work on a U.S. “digital dollar” was not being motivated by bitcoin or any other crypto, and that bitcoin is just a gold substitute. 

The second was news out of the Boston Fed that it would be showing off two digital dollar prototypes in conjunction with MIT by July. 

The third was new draft Financial Action Task Force guidance around cryptocurrencies that CoinDesk warns are significantly more onerous than previous guidance. 


-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Exodus empowers people to control their wealth through a safe and reliable non-custodial crypto wallet, placing the ownership of digital assets back into the user’s hands. Your keys, your crypto. Download Exodus today and learn more at exodus.com.

-

Image credit: Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images News

Mar 23, 2021
BREAKDOWN: When Currencies Fail – ‘Bitcoin’ Google Searches in Turkey Rise 400% as Lira Crashes
00:14:03

The Turkish lira plummets as much as 17% after the surprising firing of Turkey’s central bank governor.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper, and this week’s special product launch, Exodus.

Today on the Brief:

  • Nigeria central bank reversing stance on crypto ban? 
  • “The least responsible fiscal policy of the last 40 years”
  • Scaramucci’s firm files fifth bitcoin ETF application


Our main discussion: the crash of the Turkish lira. In this episode, NLW looks at the last few years of Turkish monetary policy, inflation and currency crisis, focusing on:

  • The seesaw shifts between inflation and crisis on the one hand and interest rate hikes on the other
  • The sour legacy of intervention in the central bank by President Erdogan 
  • Why the Turkish lira had actually increased 3.07% against the dollar in 2021 before this 


Finally, he examines why some think the only tool left in the Turkish central bank’s tool kit to fight inflation is currency controls, and why this is driving people to explore bitcoin as an escape valve.

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Exodus empowers people to control their wealth through a safe and reliable non-custodial crypto wallet, placing the ownership of digital assets back into the user’s hands. Your keys, your crypto. Download Exodus today and learn more at exodus.com.

-

Image credit: Fyletto/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Mar 22, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Hal Finney’s ‘Bitcoin and Me’
00:08:31

A reading of a touching BitcoinTalk post by the late Hal Finney, from exactly eight years ago.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper, and this week’s special product launch, NEM.

On this edition of “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads a BitcoinTalk forum from exactly eight years ago - Hal Finney’s “Bitcoin and Me.” The piece is about the origins of Bitcoin, and more broadly, life’s treasures.

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Symbol from NEM is the connector between blockchain and business. It brings enterprise-grade security and programmability with cutting edge technical features for projects at the heart of the new economy -- join us by visiting symbolplatform.com or nem.io.

-

Image credit: Max S. Gerber

Mar 21, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why Kentucky Is Trying to Become a Crypto Mining Hub
00:09:44

Two bills with benefits for crypto miners are waiting to be signed by the governor of the Bluegrass State.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper, and this week’s special product launch, NEM.

On this week’s Breakdown Weekly Recap, NLW looks at:

  • The beginning of the next institutional bitcoin wave
  • NFT bubble signals
  • Central bank policy changes
  • Kentucky’s new pro-crypto legislation

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Symbol from NEM is the connector between blockchain and business. It brings enterprise-grade security and programmability with cutting edge technical features for projects at the heart of the new economy -- join us by visiting symbolplatform.com or nem.io.

-

Image credit: Oleksii Liskonih/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Mar 20, 2021
BREAKDOWN: How CBDCs Give ‘Absolute Control’ to Central Banks
00:15:53

Jerome Powell discussed CBDCs at a speech this week, saying they need to co-exist with cash.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper, and this week’s special product launch, NEM.

Today on the Brief:

  • China-U.S. talks
  • U.S. spending coming back
  • A virtual casino hiring IRL people 


Our main discussion looks at central bank digital currencies and why they’re so appealing for bankers, especially compared to cash. NLW discusses:

  • Recent comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell on why any CBDC would be complement cash
  • Comments from Agustin Carstens about how much oversight CBDCs provide
  • Why privacy advocates are nervous about the coming CBDC era 

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Symbol from NEM is the connector between blockchain and business. It brings enterprise-grade security and programmability with cutting edge technical features for projects at the heart of the new economy -- join us by visiting symbolplatform.com or nem.io.

-

Image credit: Stephen Jaffe/IMF/Getty Images

Mar 19, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why a Norwegian Billionaire Is Betting on Bitcoin's Positive Environmental Potential
00:15:21

Aker’s new Seetee division is out to prove bitcoin can be a force for positive environmental change. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper, and this week’s special product launch, NEM.

Today on the Brief

  • Followup on the FOMC meeting
  • $3.1M for an anonymous team
  • Could we finally see a bitcoin ETF? 


Our main discussion: Aker ASA’s new Seetee bitcoin division. NLW explores:

  • Why a Norwegian billionaire is buying into bitcoin
  • Why the move is part of a larger institutional shift 
  • Why Seetee founder Kjell Rokke believes bitcoin can spur positive environmental change

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Symbol from NEM is the connector between blockchain and business. It brings enterprise-grade security and programmability with cutting edge technical features for projects at the heart of the new economy -- join us by visiting symbolplatform.com or nem.io.

-

Image credit: izhairguns/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Mar 18, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Morgan Stanley Is First Big Bank Offering Bitcoin to Wealthy Clients
00:12:06

Three funds led by Galaxy Digital, FS Investments and NYDIG will give bank customers access to the leading digital asset.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper, and this week’s special product launch, NEM.

Today on the Brief:

  • What markets want from the Federal Reserve’s FOMC meeting
  • eToro’s $10B SPAC
  • The latest on Coinbase’s IPO


Our main discussion: Morgan Stanley set to become the first big bank to offer wealthy clients access to bitcoin. 

In this episode, NLW breaks down this breaking news, including:

  • Restrictions on the fund in terms of who can buy and how much they can spend 
  • Background of the firms partnering with Morgan Stanley
  • Why the direct bitcoin exposure is a sea change for institutional investors offering bitcoin products 

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in late-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Symbol from NEM is the connector between blockchain and business. It brings enterprise-grade security and programmability with cutting edge technical features for projects at the heart of the new economy -- join us by visiting symbolplatform.com or nem.io.

-

Image credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Mar 17, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Ray Dalio on Dumb Dollar Debt, Bitcoin Controls and the Coming Assault on Capitalism
00:20:13

In his latest essay, the Bridgewater chief argues the U.S. could impose capital controls and ban non-sovereign monies. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper, and this week’s special product launch, NEM.

Today on The Breakdown, NLW reviews Ray Dalio’s latest essay, looking at:

  • The six reasons why it doesn’t make sense to hold bonds anymore
  • Why holding bonds is especially troubling in the concept of growing government money printing
  • Why sovereign bond holdings are shifting from the U.S. to China 
  • Why proposed wealth taxes are likely just the beginning of a more aggressive period of financial regulation 
  • Why we could see the government try to ban gold and bitcoin as their grip on reserve currency status weakens

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Symbol from NEM is the connector between blockchain and business. It brings enterprise-grade security and programmability with cutting edge technical features for projects at the heart of the new economy -- join us by visiting symbolplatform.com or nem.io.

-

Image credit: Jason Alden/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Mar 16, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why Americans Could Spend Up to $40B in Direct Stimulus Payments on Bitcoin
00:15:08

A new survey from Mizuho Securities sees bitcoin as the most popular stimulus investment avenue. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper, and this week’s special product launch, NEM.

Today on the Brief:

  • Bitcoin’s $60,000 weekend price brings out the angry bears
  • India’s mixed signals on a crypto ban
  • Tesla’s new Master of Coin


Our main discussion: 

A new $1.9 trillion stimulus package is on the books, of which about $400 billion is going to Americans in the form of direct payments. In this episode, NLW looks at what percentage of that might find its way into investments like bitcoin, specifically looking at a just-released survey from Mizuho with some juicy results. 

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

-

Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

-

Symbol from NEM is the connector between blockchain and business. It brings enterprise-grade security and programmability with cutting edge technical features for projects at the heart of the new economy -- join us by visiting symbolplatform.com or nem.io.

-

Image credit: Rabbitti/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

Mar 15, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Case for $1M Bitcoin
00:11:23

A reading of Bitcoin author Nik Bhatia’s latest essay.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

On this week’s “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads Layered Money author Nik Bhatia’s recent essay for CoinDesk, “Why $1 Million Bitcoin Is Coming.”

-

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Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

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Mar 14, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Is This the Beginning of the Next Institutional Bitcoin Wave?
00:09:41

Morgan Stanley, New York Life, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are just some of the traditional finance institutions in the crypto news this week.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

On The Breakdown’s “Weekly Recap,” NLW looks at news of institutional involvement in the bitcoin and digital asset space including:

  • New York Life investing in and joining the board of directors of NYDIG
  • JPMorgan introducing a “cryptocurrency exposure basket” debt product
  • Goldman Sachs’ COO saying demand is rising 

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

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Mar 13, 2021
BREAKDOWN: What the $1.9T Stimulus Means for Bitcoin
00:13:57

The U.S. has now spent more on COVID-19 than on World War II. Here’s what it might mean for bitcoin. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

COVID-19 sent the money printer into overdrive. With the newly signed $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, the total spent on pandemic relief in the U.S. exceeds $6 trillion, more than WWII’s inflation-adjusted $4.1 trillion. 

In this episode, NLW explores what the possible implications of this spending are for bitcoin, including:

  • Whether we’re likely to see if some of the $400 billion allocated for direct checks to citizens find its way into bitcoin
  • Whether the $1.9 trillion is just the start of a larger set of Biden Administration initiatives that will redefine our relationship with the balance sheet


NLW also does a quick regulatory roundup looking at:

  • The CFTC investigating Binance 
  • U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson reintroducing the “Token Taxonomy Act”
  • The introduction of the “Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act”

-

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Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

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Mar 12, 2021
BREAKDOWN: A Beeple Artwork Just Sold for $69M – NFT Bubble or Everything Bubble?
00:15:48

The record-setting NFT auction is generating significant discussion about art, crypto and the state of the macro economy.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

Everyone paying attention knew that Beeple’s Christie’s auction was likely going to set a new high-water mark for non-fungible token (NFT) sales. Fewer would have guessed that it would lead to the third-highest auction price for a living artist in history.

On this episode, NLW breaks down:

  • How interest in NFTs is at an inflection point
  • Why it’s not just digital art but sports collectibles as well
  • How the traditional collectibles markets are also exploding
  • Why people think growing NFT prices might be a sign of an everything bubble

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

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Image credit: VPanteon/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

Mar 11, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why the CEO of New York Life Just Joined the Board of One of Bitcoin's Fastest-Growing Companies
00:17:03

The news comes just days after NYDIG’s announcement of a $200 million financing round including New York Life, Mass Mutual and George Soros as investors. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

Today on The Breakdown, NLW catches up on the news from the past few days, looking at:

  • NFTs heating up – and capturing some negative attention in the process
  • Infrastructure acquisitions and M&A heat up
  • Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act 2021
  • Coinbase’s $100B valuation
  • NYDIG’s $200M round and new board member 

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

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Image credit: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Image/Getty Images

Mar 10, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The World’s Most Important Geopolitical Fault Lines, Feat. Tracy Shuchart
00:47:29

From the Middle East to the South China Sea, a look at the most volatile parts of the world and what they mean for the macroeconomic landscape.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

On today’s episode, NLW is joined by investor and FinTwit star Tracy Shuchart. On the show, they discuss:

  • The world’s most important geopolitical fault lines, from the Middle East to China
  • The early indicators from the Biden administration around foreign policy 
  • Jerome Powell’s recent statements on CBDCs 
  • The changing global energy landscape 

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

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Mar 09, 2021
BREAKDOWN: No, the Digital Dollar Won't Kill Bitcoin
00:14:41

Why CBDCs are growing as a focus for governments, and what impact they’ll really have on bitcoin.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

On today’s episode, NLW provides a 101-style overview of central bank digital currencies, looking at:

  • Why governments are interested in CBDCs
  • Why Facebook’s libra announcement accelerated CBDC development the world over
  • Why China’s CBDC efforts are driven by an attempt to shift power in the U.S. dollar-led global economy 
  • How the U.S.’ rhetoric around central bank digital currencies is changing
  • Why CBDCs are likely to be good for bitcoin

-

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Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

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Mar 08, 2021
BREAKDOWN: What Governments Should Do in the Coming Global Monetary Competition
00:30:23

A reading of Balaji Srinivasan’s recent essay “How India Legalizes Crypto.”

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

On today’s episode, NLW reads Balaji Srinivasan’s essay “How India Legalizes Crypto.” NLW argues that while India’s proposed crypto ban is nominally the focus, the implications are much bigger and have to do with a forthcoming global monetary competition that will inevitably include private, network cryptos including bitcoin and more. 

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Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

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Mar 07, 2021
BREAKDOWN: More Than 1/5th of Surveyed Goldman Sachs Clients Think Bitcoin Will Reach $100,000+ in 12 Months
00:10:54

A survey of pensions, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds and more affirms growing institutional interest in crypto.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

On this edition of The Breakdown’s weekly recap, NLW looks at:

  • Whether bitcoin is being caught up in the larger macro volatility
  • The latest NFT shenanigans including a burned IRL Banksy
  • The latest on institutional adoption including a positive survey from Goldman Sachs

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

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Image credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty

Mar 06, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Macro 101 – Bonds, the Fed and Money Printing, Feat. Delphi Digital’s Kevin Kelly
00:51:45

A macro expert gives a rollicking 101-style overview of some of the most important market concepts for bitcoiners.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

What are Treasury bonds? Why does it matter how they’re doing? Does the Federal Reserve actually print money? What’s the difference between quantitative easing and yield curve control? 

Bitcoin undeniably operates in a macro environment. In this 101-style episode, guest Kevin Kelly, cofounder of Delphi Digital, gives listeners a whistle-stop tour of a set of key concepts to understanding bitcoin macro, including bond markets, the Federal Reserve and money printing.

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Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

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Mar 05, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin Isn't Acting Like Stocks, Stocks Are Acting Like Bitcoin
00:15:45

As the financial world debates rising Treasury yields and waits for Fed Chair Powell’s comments, has bitcoin just become another risk asset? 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

Over the last year there has been a growing correlation between the stock market and bitcoin. Some of this is attributed to the new traditional participants in bitcoin. Some of it is attributed to bitcoin acting less like an uncorrelated hedge and more like just another risk asset. 

In this episode, NLW argues that the notion bitcoin has started acting more like stocks is, in fact, completely backwards. Instead, in a negative, real interest rate environment, stocks have started to act more like bitcoin - as a store of value.

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

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Image credit: Popular stock and bitcoin memes

Mar 04, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Are You Really Surprised Elizabeth Warren Doesn't Get Bitcoin?
00:14:02

Gary Gensler’s confirmation hearing and Warren’s appearance on cable financial news give us a preview of crypto’s place in a new political landscape.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

Today on the Brief:

  • PayPal acquiring Curv for $500 million?
  • Traditional markets are very confused
  • Portnoy launches Buzz exchange-traded fund


Our main discussion: NLW looks at the emerging political landscape for crypto in the U.S. Specifically, he examines:

  • Gary Gensler’s hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on his nomination to head the SEC
  • Elizabeth Warren’s comments (or non-comments) about bitcoin on cable TV 

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

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Image credit: Greg Nash/Getty Images News

Mar 03, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Are NFTs Just This Cycle’s ICOs?
00:18:18

As musicians, celebrities and social media stars pile into the space, should we be getting concerned?

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

On today’s episode, NLW looks at the explosion of interest in NFTs. Big money, big names, big problems? 

He asks whether non-fungible tokens are this cycle’s initial coin offerings by looking at five different comparison points:

  • Inflated prices
  • Overpromises
  • Celebrity hype
  • Wheat-and-Chaff
  • Competition with bitcoin


So are NFTs just a new version of the ol’ ICO? Listen to find out.

-

Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

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Image credit: Beeple/Nifty Gateway

Mar 02, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why Citi Thinks Bitcoin Is at a Tipping Point
00:14:36

A 108-page report from the bank argues that in the future, bitcoin could become the preferred currency for international trade. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and Casper.

Today on the Brief:

  • Michael Saylor bought the dip
  • China bans bitcoin mining in Inner Mongolia
  • WallStreetBets moving off Reddit? 


Our main discussion: Citi’s analysis of bitcoin. 

February saw a non-stop barrage of bullish bitcoin news with regard to institutional uptake. March is off to a similar start with a massive research report arguing that:

  • Bitcoin’s evolution over the last seven years has been spectacular 
  • CBDCs are likely to become more important
  • If CBDCs do become more important, it could spur more corporations to use bitcoin as a global settlement currency 


NLW argues that the report itself may be the beginning of a new, important part of the institutional bitcoin narrative. 

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Nexo.io lets you borrow against your crypto at 5.9% APR, earn up to 12% on your idle assets, and exchange instantly between 75+ market pairs with the tap of a button. Get started at nexo.io.

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Launching in mid-March, Casper is the future-proof blockchain protocol that finally address the blockchain trilemma. Learn more at Casper.Network.

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Mar 01, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Governments Couldn’t Ban Bitcoin Even if They Wanted
00:20:35

A reading of Human Rights Foundation CSO Alex Gladstein’s latest essay.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads “Can Governments Stop Bitcoin?” by Alex Gladstein, published recently by Quillette. Gladstein argues that both technical and legal attacks on bitcoin are extremely difficult to execute, even for large governments. 

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Feb 28, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Are Beeple's $6.6M Sale and Christie's Auction a Turning Point for NFTs?
00:10:59

NFTs had a major week, with Christie’s Auctioning off its first-ever digital art exclusive and a different NFT selling for $6.6M. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

This week on the Weekly Recap, NLW discusses:

  • The price dip
  • Tether’s settlement with the NYAG
  • Coinbase’s S1 Filings
  • Beeple’s record-setting NFT sales and what it means for the NFT space as a whole


This week on The Breakdown:

Monday | The First Canadian Bitcoin ETF Is Absolutely Soaring

Tuesday | The Most Conservative Regulator in America Just Settled Its Case Against Tether: Can We Move On Now?

Wednesday | If You Sell Your Bitcoin, Michael Saylor and Jack Dorsey WILL Buy It

Thursday | Bitcoin Investing Is ESG Investing

Friday | Why Cathie Wood Thinks Bitcoin Could Replace Bonds

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Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

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Image credit: Chuck Patch/Flickr CC, modified by CoinDesk, creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0

Feb 27, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why Cathie Wood Thinks Bitcoin Could Replace Bonds
00:13:19

The ARK Investment founder discussed bitcoin’s opportunity to act as a replacement store of value at the Bloomberg Crypto Summit.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • SEC investigating Elon’s DOGE tweets?
  • US income growth has second biggest monthly gain ever
  • Robinhood growth suggests crypto mainstreaming


Main discussion: Cathie Wood thinks Bitcoin could replace bonds. In this episode, NLW lays out:

  • How Cathie Wood made a name by being early in Tesla, Bitcoin and innovation
  • How ARK’s funds have grown 
  • Why bonds aren’t performing anymore and why bitcoin could fill the gap in investor’s portfolios


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Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

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Image credit: Alex Flynn/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Feb 26, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin Investing Is ESG Investing
00:24:17

As more investors focus on the environmental, social and governance impacts of their decisions, an argument for why bitcoin is ESG-friendly. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

In today's episode, NLW looks at how bitcoin fits with the growing trend of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing. In it, he: 

  • Argues that ESG investors should disregard the false idea that bitcoin is only used for crime
  • Provides three frameworks for understanding bitcoin’s energy consumption 
  • Demonstrates how marginalized communities are using bitcoin as a tool of economic empowerment
  • Argues that bitcoin provides a new, networked alternative to corporate governance

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Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

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Feb 25, 2021
BREAKDOWN: If You Sell Your Bitcoin, Michael Saylor and Jack Dorsey WILL Buy It
00:12:29

Square added $170M in bitcoin to its reserves last quarter, while MicroStrategy announced a fresh $1B bitcoin buy today. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell comments on markets and digital currency
  • Cathie Wood’s ARK faces toughest stretch since last September 
  • India’s latest anti-crypto sentiment 


Our main discussion: More news on corporate bitcoin buying. NLW discusses:

  • Square’s Q4 and overall 2020 bitcoin performance in terms of revenue and profit
  • Square’s latest bitcoin purchase of ~3,300 BTC for $170 million 
  • MicroStrategy’s latest >$1B bitcoin purchase, bringing the total to more than 90,000 BTC
  • Why these announcements are losing their power to move markets 


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Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

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Feb 24, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Most Conservative Regulator in America Just Settled Its Case Against Tether – Can We Move On Now?
00:16:17

The case showed Tether and Bitfinex’s track record of misleading statements and dubious practices, but gave no credence to claims that tethers were printed to manipulate markets. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On today’s episode, NLW breaks down the final settlement of the New York Attorney General’s case against Tether. He argues that the outcome is extremely positive for the industry, discussing:

  • Why Tether risk became a major source of FUD in 2021
  • How conspiracy theories overtook legitimate concerns
  • The history of the NYAG’s case against Tether
  • Specific findings of the NYAG’s case around two times that Tether was not backed 1-to-1 by U.S. dollars held in Tether bank accounts 
  • Why there was never any accusation of Tether printing USDT out of thin air to manipulate markets 
  • The specifics of the settlement
  • Why this conclusion clears risk from institutional investors 

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Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

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Image credit: Bubanga/iStock/Getty Images Plus, modified by CoinDesk

Feb 23, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The First Canadian Bitcoin ETF Is Absolutely Soaring
00:18:17

The Purpose Bitcoin ETF BTCC could be Canada’s biggest ETF in a matter of weeks.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • Welcome back to the price rollercoaster
  • The latest from China’s digital yuan trial
  • A 3-week sprint to a stimulus package


Our main discussion: Canada’s first bitcoin ETF

NLW discusses:

  • ETF 101
  • Pros and cons of a bitcoin ETF
  • History of bitcoin ETF proposals 
  • Early performance for Canada’s BTCC ETF 
  • Implications for a U.S. BTC ETF in 2021


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Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

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Feb 22, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Should the US Federal Reserve Buy Bitcoin?
00:14:33

A reading of Alex Treece’s recent CoinDesk op-ed, “Why the US Needs Bitcoin.”

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On this week’s “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads Alex Treece’s recent essay “Why the US Needs Bitcoin.” The piece argues the U.S. will inevitably adopt bitcoin as a treasury reserve asset, but by doing so sooner rather than later it can enjoy geopolitical advantages. 

NLW follows with a discussion of his assessment of the prospects of a digital dollar backed by digital gold. 

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Feb 21, 2021
BREAKDOWN: 'I Am Not a Cat' – The GameStop Hearing Shows How Desperately a New Financial System Is Needed
00:22:40

What we learned from the congressional hearing featuring representatives from Reddit, Melvin Capital, Citadel Securities and Robinhood.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

This week, instead of our normal Weekly Recap, NLW digs into Thursday’s congressional hearings around GameStop, Robinhood and WallStreetBets. 

He explores: 

  • Why there was a significant focus on T+2 settlement 
  • Bipartisan agreement on retail investors getting screwed, but different diagnoses on how to address
  • Why Keith Gill, aka Roaring Kitty, aka DeepF***ingValue is a new American folk hero


Ultimately, NLW argues that any congressional action needs to make it easier for retail investors to be full participants in the market, rather than further limiting their options.


This week on The Breakdown:

Monday | The Mainstream Media Narrative Shifts as Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley Come to Bitcoin

Tuesday | Is $50,000 BTC the Beginning of a Bitcoin Supercycle?

Wednesday | Coinbase Trades at a $77B Valuation as BTC Heads Towards a $1T Market Cap

Thursday | How 2,000 Years of Monetary History Led Us to Bitcoin, Feat. Nik Bhatia

Friday | Bitcoin Is Now a Trillion-Dollar Asset: Where Do We Go From Here?

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Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

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Image credit: lucushoule/r/WallStreetBets

Feb 20, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin Is Now a Trillion-Dollar Asset – Where Do We Go From Here?
00:11:00

The milestone isn’t just psychological, and potentially opens entire new groups of investors who couldn’t participate previously.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Bitcoin is officially a $1 trillion asset. As the price surged over $54,000, the total market cap of bitcoin reached the new all-time high. 

In this episode, NLW explores the significance of the milestone, arguing:

  • There has been a slate of good news, from BlackRock rumblings to Canadian ETFs that have been driving recent price action
  • There are a variety of institutions that couldn’t allocate to the space before because it was too small but which are now in play
  • In the wake of the milestone, we’re likely to see more research house FUD
  • We’re also likely to see a number of major bitcoin positions announced in the days to come

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Feb 19, 2021
BREAKDOWN: How 2,000 Years of Monetary History Led Us to Bitcoin, Feat. Nik Bhatia
00:55:20

A conversation with the author of the new book “Layered Money: From Gold and Dollars to Bitcoin and Central Bank Digital Currencies.”

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Nik Bhatia is a financial researcher, a CFA charterholder and an Adjunct Professor of Finance and Business Economics at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. 

Nik’s new book “Layered Money: From Gold and Dollars to Bitcoin and Central Bank Digital Currencies” puts the rise of bitcoin into a larger historical context - from the first coinage of Rome to the introduction of credit in Renaissance Florence to the beginnings of interest rate trading in Antwerp to the genesis of the central bank system that shapes money today. 

In this conversation, he and NLW do a rapid tour across those two millennia of economic history, ultimately helping reframe what it means when we say that bitcoin is the new “digital gold.”

Find our guest on Twitter: @timevalueofbtc

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Feb 18, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Coinbase Trades at a $77B Valuation as BTC Heads Towards a $1T Market Cap
00:10:36

An overview of key news, from a new DeFi Index fund for accredited investors to bitcoin shrugging off growing Treasury yields.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today’s episode of "The Breakdown" analyzes a number of topics across the bitcoin and crypto industry, including:

  • Bitcoin reclaims $50,000 and looks towards a $1 trillion market cap
  • Treasury yields rise, hammering gold but so far having no impact on BTC
  • Bitwise launches a new DeFi index fund for accredited and institutional investors
  • Christie’s is auctioning off NFTs
  • Coinbase is trading at a $77 billion valuation on the private markets 


-

Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

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Image credit: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images Entertainment

Feb 17, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Is $50,000 BTC the Beginning of a Bitcoin Supercycle?
00:19:51

As bitcoin reaches a new milestone all-time high, NLW asks whether we’ve broken out of a traditional halving-based market cycle to something bigger.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Early this morning, bitcoin reached a new all-time high above $50,000. While the market quickly retraced, the psychological barrier was breached. On today’s episode, NLW explores what it means, including whether there is any technical value in the number and Michael Saylor and MicroStrategy’s new $600 million debt offering to buy more bitcoin. 

He also explores Dan Held’s concept of a bitcoin supercycle, looking at the three pillars of the argument:

  • Perfect macro backdrop
  • Singular narrative 
  • Availability and ease of use

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Feb 16, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Mainstream Media Narrative Shifts as Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley Come to Bitcoin
00:12:16

As another wave of major financial institutions announce bitcoin plans, it’s getting harder for the MSM to simply print the same old FUD. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • A follow-up on celebrity in crypto
  • Dapper Labs and BlockFi raising at multibillion dollar valuations
  • Cathie Wood and ARK increase their bitcoin position


Our main discussion looks at the latest institutional bitcoin news:

  • Deutsche Bank – the world’s 21st largest – quietly revealed a digital asset custody program with much bigger ambitions in a December 2020 World Economic Forum report 
  • Bloomberg is reporting that Morgan Stanley’s $150B investment unit is considering a direct bitcoin position


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Image credit: Talaj/Getty Images Plus

Feb 15, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why Comparing Bitcoin to Visa Doesn’t Make Any Sense
00:14:38

A reading of Nic Carter’s latest essay for CoinDesk on the inappropriateness of comparing the energy consumption of bitcoin and Visa transactions. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

This week’s “Long Reads Sunday” is a reading of Nic Carter’s latest essay for CoinDesk “What Bloomberg Gets Wrong About Bitcoin’s Climate Footprint.”

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Image credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Feb 14, 2021
OPINIONATED: Preston Byrne on GameStop, Online Mobs and Marmots
00:21:02

Attorney Preston Byrne joins Ben Schiller to consider the continuing fallout from the WallStreetBets controversy.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Preston Byrne is a partner in Anderson Kill's Technology, Media and Distributed Systems Group, and a CoinDesk columnist. 

He joins CoinDesk Features Editor Ben Schiller to discuss his recent op-ed about GameStop, Robinhood and the rise of online mobs. 

See the article here:

‘The Squeezening’: How the GameStop Backlash Will Curtail Freedom

Schiller spoke to Byrne about:

  • The rise of online mobs from GameStop to Capitol Hill and how the internet is impacting real life in an increasingly tangible way
  • What policymakers can do to prevent mobs doing damage to decent companies
  • Why it’s likely the WallStreetBets Reddit contained some pump-and-dumpers
  • How the regulatory reaction to the WallStreetBets could impact cryptocurrencies 
  • How the backlash from “elites” impacted by GameStop could harm free speech
  • Why Preston Byrne supports marmots (which are like squirrels or groundhogs) 


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Feb 13, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Corporate Crypto Makes Government Bans Less Likely
00:08:30

A recap of a swath of news about corporate players coming into the crypto space, and why it could change the landscape of regulation.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On this edition of the weekly recap, NLW breaks down the entrance of corporates into the crypto space this week, including:

  • Tesla
  • BNY Mellon
  • Mastercard
  • Twitter
  • Amazon


He also argues that more corporate actors investing in bitcoin and crypto makes it significantly less likely the U.S. government would look towards severe regulation.


This week on The Breakdown:

Monday | Elon Musk Buys Bitcoin: Everything You Need to Know About Tesla’s $1.5B Purchase

Tuesday | Will Apple Be the Next Fortune 500 to Buy Bitcoin?

Wednesday | How Nigeria and India Are Dealing With Crypto Bans

Thursday | Gradually, Then Suddenly: Mastercard, BNY Mellon, Amazon, Twitter Poised to Join the Bitcoin Party

Friday | Why Jay-Z’s Bitcoin Trust Matters


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Image credit: Blablo101/Getty Images Plus

Feb 13, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why Jay-Z's Bitcoin Trust Matters
00:14:50

Hip-hop mogul Sean Carter and Jack Dorsey are putting 500 BTC in a blind trust. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On today’s episode, NLW breaks down:

  • The Miami Commissioners vote to start educating people about bitcoin and crypto
  • The Nigerian Senate debate following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s recent crypto ban
  • Why Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey’s bitcoin trust matters


NLW argues the relationship between the crypto industry and celebrities is very different this time around compared to the previous ICO-led bull market. 

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Image credit: Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images Entertainment

Feb 12, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Gradually, Then Suddenly - Mastercard, BNY Mellon, Amazon, Twitter Poised to Join the Bitcoin Party
00:13:24

In the wake of Tesla’s big announcement on Monday, a wave of corporate engagement with crypto emerges.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On today’s episode of The Breakdown, NLW looks at a slew of news from corporates getting into the bitcoin and crypto space, including:

  • Twitter CFO exploring bitcoin treasury holdings and payments to employees and vendors
  • Mastercard announcing crypto coming to payment rails in 2021
  • Amazon revealing its digital currency plans in a series of job posts
  • BNY Mellon, the world’s largest asset custodian, opening new digital asset business 
  • Why Christine Lagarde says central banks won’t buy bitcoin anytime soon. 

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Image credit: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk

Feb 11, 2021
BREAKDOWN: How Nigeria and India Are Dealing With Crypto Bans
00:20:17

Two of the world’s ten most populous countries have or are considering crypto bans: Here’s what it means.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On today’s episode, NLW examines two governments' attempts to restrict how their citizens interact with crypto. He breaks down:

  • India’s history with crypto bans
  • India’s history with demonetization and financial control
  • What we know about a new bill that would ban crypto and provide a framework for an Indian government digital currency
  • Recent action by the Central Bank of Nigeria to block banks from interacting with crypto
  • Why the CBN action might be related to the politics of the #EndSars movement

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Image credit: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Feb 10, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Will Apple Be the Next Fortune 500 to Buy Bitcoin?
00:18:01

A new analyst report from the Royal Bank of Canada thinks that with a small investment Apple could disrupt the crypto exchange space and pay for it by buying bitcoin.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • A shifting inflation narrative
  • Reddit raises $250M and has a $6B valuation 
  • Castle Island Ventures announces $50M fund II 


Our main discussion: Might Apple by the next company to dive into bitcoin? 

In the wake of Tesla’s surprise $1.5 billion bitcoin purchase announcement, many are wondering which Fortune 500 will be next. 

According to a new report from the Royal Bank of Canada - the country’s largest bank with more than C$800 billion in assets - the best candidate may be Apple. 

In this episode, NLW breaks down:

  • Why the RBC thinks Apple should build a crypto exchange
  • How a BTC treasury purchase could fund it
  • Why the crypto exchange space and the bitcoin treasury movement are both white-hot topics of discussion right now

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Image credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Feb 09, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Elon Musk Buys Bitcoin - Everything You Need to Know About Tesla's $1.5B Purchase
00:22:09

The implications of Elon Musk’s purchase on bitcoin’s climate narrative, other Fortune 500 treasury management strategies and more.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Elon Musk’s Tesla (TSLA) has purchased $1.5 billion in bitcoin as a treasury reserve asset. Additionally, the company will soon be allowing people to pay for Teslas with bitcoin. 

In this episode, NLW breaks down:

  • How Elon got to this moment, including his exchanges with MicroStrategy’s (MSTR) Michael Saylor
  • What critics of the Tesla community and the bitcoin community are likely to say 
  • How this de-risks bitcoin purchases for other Fortune 500 companies 
  • How it relates to Elon’s doge memeing 
  • Why this is likely to have a significant impact on bitcoin’s narrative regarding climate change and energy use 
  • Why Cathie Wood is laughing all the way to the bank. 

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Image credit: Britta Pedersen/Getty Images Entertainment

Feb 08, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Wall Street Is ‘The Hunger Games’ With Suits
00:20:51

A reading of Ben Hunt’s latest essay for Epsilon Theory. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On this edition of Long Reads Sunday, NLW reads Ben Hunt’s latest essay “Hunger Games” about the lies of Wall Street and how the GameStop episode has exposed them for all to see. 

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Image credit: Feodora Chiosea/Getty Images Plus

Feb 07, 2021
BREAKDOWN: A Bitcoiner Is Now on the Senate Banking Committee
00:09:39

Wyoming’s Cynthia Lummis – the first U.S. senator to publicly hold bitcoin – has been appointed to the key financial regulatory committee.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On this edition of The Breakdown’s weekly recap, NLW discusses:

  • The state of WallStreetBets
  • The Bitcoin for Corporations event
  • ETH all-time highs in advance of CME ETH futures
  • Tether
  • Cynthia Lummis on the Senate Banking Committee


This week on The Breakdown:

Monday | Have the Hedge Funds Infiltrated Reddit’s WallStreetBets?

Tuesday | Is This the End of the Reddit Retail Investor Dream?

Wednesday | Michael Saylor’s Mission to Get 1,400 Corporations Into Bitcoin

Thursday | What We Learned About PayPal’s Crypto Strategy This Week

Friday | Travis Kling: In the Fed Era, There’s No Such Thing as Market Fundamentals

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Image credit: Caroline Brehman/Getty Images News

Feb 06, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Travis Kling – In the Fed Era, There’s No Such Thing as Market Fundamentals
01:17:50

The Ikigai Asset Management investor discusses WallStreetBets, institutional investors and recent bitcoin critiques. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On today’s episode, NLW is joined by Travis Kling, co-founder and chief investment officer of Ikigai Asset Management. They discuss:

  • GameStop, WallStreetBets and financial populism
  • Whether regulatory hearings will actually address any issues around retail investors 
  • How WallStreetBets relates to bitcoin
  • The rise of institutional investors 
  • The end of career risk around bitcoin for investment professionals
  • Why recent bitcoin FUD has been disingenuous
  • How investors can price risk in bitcoin 
  • Where DeFi fits for institutional investors


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Image credit: Overearth/Getty Images Plus

Feb 05, 2021
BREAKDOWN: What We Learned About PayPal's Crypto Strategy This Week
00:14:13

Insights from PayPal’s first quarterly earnings report since launching crypto services.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • Elon Musk back to DOGE trolling
  • Bank of England says to prepare for negative interest rates
  • Janet Yellen on “Good Morning America” discussing retail investors


Our main discussion: What did we learn about PayPal’s crypto strategy from its quarterly earnings report? 

In this episode, NLW breaks down:

  • How PayPal’s perspective on crypto evolved
  • What we learned about the success of its offering in Q4 2020
  • What’s next for crypto at PayPal in 2021
  • Why its biggest play is squarely focused on central bank digital currencies 


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Image credit: Manuel Blondeau/Corbis via Getty Images

Feb 04, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Michael Saylor’s Mission to Get 1,400 Corporations Into Bitcoin
00:22:04

MicroStrategy is hosting a two-day “Bitcoin for Corporations” event. Here’s what to watch for. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • An update on Ant and Jack Ma
  • Bezos stepping down as CEO of Amazon 
  • Miami’s play to become a crypto hub


Our main discussion: MicroStrategy’s “Bitcoin for Corporations” event 

Michael Saylor and MicroStrategy opened a new category of bitcoin investment last year when the company moved hundreds of millions of dollars of cash reserves into bitcoin. 

For the next two days, the company is hosting a virtual conference designed to help the 1,400 corporate leader attendees discover the playbook that allowed them to make the dramatic move that has paid off so well. 

In this episode, NLW examines the current state of institutional investment in crypto and asks what this event says about what might be coming next.

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Image credit: putragin/Getty Images Plus

Feb 03, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Is This the End of the Reddit Retail Investor Dream?
00:20:16

As GME plummets and traditional financial media turns its attention elsewhere, where does the retail trading insurgency go from here? 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

WallStreetBets is having a rough day. Its stocks are crashing. Champions from as recently as last week are selling out. More brokerage apps are turning off buying. 

In this episode, NLW explores what it means for this set of assets and the larger shift in power from institutional to retail investors. 

He argues, ultimately, that over the last year retail traders of the type led by WSB have established themselves as too powerful a force for the market to simply turn away from now. 

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Image credit: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Intro song credit: https://www.reddit.com/r/wallstreetbets/comments/l0dfrp/the_tendieman_lyrics_and_video_by_uquigonshin

Feb 02, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Have the Hedge Funds Infiltrated Reddit’s WallStreetBets?
00:19:14

The media keeps saying WallStreetBets is going after silver; WallStreetBets members say it’s a campaign to co-opt and divide them. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • Elon Musk talks bitcoin on Clubhouse
  • India trying to ban crypto?
  • DEXs have best month ever in January 


Our main discussion: Has WallStreetBets been infiltrated by hedge funds? 

Reddit community WallStreetBets became headline news last week when its short squeeze of GameStop (GME) nearly brought a famed hedge fund to its knees. According to Twitter personalities and the mainstream media, the community has now turned its focus to squeezing silver. 

Except, one cursory look at the subreddit shows that isn’t the case. Instead, it is full of posts about how hedge funds and media are trying to promote the silver story to distract and divide the community. 

In this episode, NLW tries to break down what’s happening and argues that now that WSB has become a market force, these sort of attempts to influence its conversation are going to become de rigeur

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Image credit: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images and WallStreetBets Subreddit

Feb 01, 2021
BREAKDOWN: What Ray Dalio Really Thinks of Bitcoin
00:11:13

A reading of Dalio’s first long-form essay on his thoughts about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today’s “Long Reads Sunday” is a reading of Ray Dalio’s recent LinkedIn post, “What I Really Think of Bitcoin.” In his interpretation, NLW argues the post shows Dalio and Bridgewater are at the beginning of a deep dive into the space.

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Image credit: Eoin Noonan/Getty Images Europe

Jan 31, 2021
BREAKDOWN: GameStop, Robinhood and the Failure of Un-Free Markets
00:15:13

The latest in the saga of WallStreetBets vs the world.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

In this edition of the Breakdown’s weekly recap, NLW looks at:

  • Robinhood’s ham-fisted explanations for why it shut down buying for GME and other stocks
  • Why the root cause seems to have been insolvency
  • How politicians are gearing up for political inquiries around the trading shutdowns 
  • How WSB is reacting to the shutdown attempts 


This week on The Breakdown:

Monday | The Bitcoin Whales Won’t Stop Buying

Tuesday | ‘The 4 Wars We Could Fight With China,’ Feat. Kyle Bass

Wednesday | Why Bitcoin Has More Ideological Flexibility Than We Think

Thursday | WallStreetBets Is Occupy Wall Street With Teeth

Friday | In Retrospect, It Was Inevitable: Elon Musk Pumps Bitcoin to Space


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Image credit: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Getty Images

Jan 30, 2021
BREAKDOWN: In Retrospect, It Was Inevitable – Elon Musk Pumps Bitcoin to Space
00:12:17

The price action is fun, but the larger significance is about decentralized alternatives to today’s financial system. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Last night, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk changed his Twitter profile to a single word: “bitcoin.” He also tweeted a cryptic message: “In Retrospect, It Was Inevitable.”

The price of bitcoin surged in the wake of the tweet, as did Google searches for “bitcoin.” The price increases liquidated some $387 million in short positions. 

In this episode, NLW breaks down the market reaction to Musk, the significance of the tweet and why it all connects to the larger story of WallStreetBets, Robinhood and shifting financial power. 

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Image credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News

Jan 29, 2021
BREAKDOWN: WallStreetBets Is Occupy Wall Street With Teeth
00:27:19

The retail trader insurgency has massive implications for the future of capital markets. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

This week, a collective of foul-mouthed internet memers took down some of Wall Street’s best-known hedge funds. In today’s episode, NLW looks at:

  • The historical context of how the Great Financial Crisis set the stage for WallStreetBets
  • How WSB gained infamy during the COVID-19 crisis by correctly predicting the market’s rebound while other investors remained bearish 
  • Why WSB started going after short-sellers, particularly around GameStop (GME)
  • How WSB forced a short squeeze that required Melvin Capital to call in nearly $3B of emergency capital 
  • Why Robinhood forcing users to stop buying GameStop and other related assets will go down as an inflection point in the history of capital markets


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Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images News and WallStreetBets Subreddit

Jan 28, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin Doesn't Care About Your Politics – Why Bitcoin Has More Ideological Flexibility Than We Think
01:05:42

NLW is joined by three philosophy professors for a discussion of bitcoin, ethics and politics.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Falling down the proverbial bitcoin rabbit hole tends to lead people to ask deep questions about the nature of the economy and society. Today’s Breakdown guests are all professionally trained to ask those sorts of questions as philosophers. 

NLW is joined by:


The three form a research collective called Resistance Money and are working on a book about bitcoin’s use helping individuals overcome infringement by states and other institutions. 

On this episode they discuss bitcoin’s ideological flexibility and situate it in the context of the larger political landscape.

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Image credit: Crisfotolux/Getty Images Plus

Jan 27, 2021
BREAKDOWN: ‘The 4 Wars We Could Fight With China,’ Feat. Kyle Bass
00:46:56

One of investing’s loudest critics of China shares his assessment of where the U.S. political and business relationship with the country is headed. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

In this episode, NLW speaks with Kyle Bass. Kyle is the founder and chief investment officer of Hayman Capital Management, a hedge fund focused on global events. He is known for correctly predicting the subprime mortgage crisis, as well as for his outspoken and critical views on China. 

In this episode, he and NLW discuss: 

  • Contrarian investing
  • The larger macro landscape
  • Bitcoin and crypto 
  • How the U.S.’ relationship with China changed under former President Donald Trump
  • How the relationship is likely to evolve under current President Joe Biden 


Find our guest online: @Jkylebass

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Image credit: MicroStockHub/Getty Images Plus

Jan 26, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Bitcoin Whales Won’t Stop Buying
00:19:52

According to a number of different data points, bitcoin whales saw last week’s volatility and price declines as a chance to accumulate. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today’s grab-bag episode looks at five different topics:

  • Bitcoin whales kept accumulating during last week’s dip
  • Jim Cramer advises Powerball winner to put 5% in bitcoin
  • Previewing the first FOMC meeting of the Biden Administration
  • Earnings week on Wall Street looks good for Big Tech
  • An insider’s look at the state of crypto venture capital

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Image credit: munandme/Getty Images Plus

Jan 25, 2021
BREAKDOWN: A Reading of Satoshi’s Bitcoin White Paper
00:17:54

The document that started it all, in audio form.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

For this week’s Long Reads Sunday, NLW reads the document that started it all - the Bitcoin White Paper. Interestingly, this document was released under an MIT open-source license, available free to all. 

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Image credit: Emir Hoyman/Getty Images Plus

Jan 24, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Another Pro-Crypto Appointment in the Biden Administration?
00:11:17

Reports are that Chris Brummer – author of a volume on crypto assets and frequent speaker on digital currencies – will chair the CFTC.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On this edition of the Weekly Recap, NLW argues that while bitcoin’s price was the short-term story of the week, the medium-term story was all about the transition of power in the U.S. to the new Biden Administration. In it, he discusses what the appointments (reported or confirmed) of Janet Yellen, Gary Gensler, Michael Barr and Chris Brummer suggest about the future of crypto policy. 


This week on The Breakdown:

Monday | Lyn Alden on Why the Dollar System No Longer Serves the US or the World

Tuesday | Goldman Sachs Can No Longer Dismiss Bitcoin

Wednesday | Is Janet Yellen Bitcoin’s Biggest Enemy or Greatest Asset? Yes

Thursday | Why the World’s Largest Asset Manager Is Getting Into Bitcoin

Friday | This Bitcoin Dip Was Not Caused by FUD


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Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News

Jan 23, 2021
BREAKDOWN: This Bitcoin Dip Was Not Caused by FUD
00:14:42

While there was plenty of FUD flying around, it wasn’t the real reason prices pulled back so significantly.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • Home sales up, home supply down
  • Biden’s first test on the stimulus
  • Euro pessimism


Our main discussion: Why the bitcoin dip wasn’t caused by FUD.

Anyone paying attention this week had reasons for frenetic worry. Janet Yellen’s comments on criminal activity. Persistent questions around Tether. A non-story about a double-spend that got amplified by mainstream media. 

In this episode, NLW argues that none of these actually explains the dip. Instead, he argues, they were used by sophisticated traders to amplify the dip’s impact.

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Image credit: Nuthawut Somsuk/Getty Images Plus

Jan 22, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why the World's Largest Asset Manager Is Getting Into Bitcoin
00:13:28

As BlackRock gets ready to make its first foray into bitcoin, innovation-focused ARK ETF flows surpass that of BlackRock.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • A new SPAC exchange-traded fund with bitcoin-experienced leadership
  • First look at Brian Brooks’ possible replacement at OCC
  • What to expect from institutional bitcoin price targets in the coming weeks


Our main discussion: BlackRock comes to bitcoin. 

BlackRock filings with the SEC suggest two funds might buy bitcoin futures. In this episode, NLW looks at:

  • The signs leading up to BlackRock’s interest
  • Why BlackRock’s CIO thinks bitcoin will out-compete gold for millennial investors 
  • How ARK ETFs are seeing startling fund flows, causing larger market FOMO around innovation


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Image credit: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images News

Jan 21, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Is Janet Yellen Bitcoin's Biggest Enemy or Greatest Asset? Yes
00:21:55

As a new administration is sworn in, how will one if its most important officials – nominated Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen – impact the digital assets space? 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • Jack Ma is not dead
  • The latest in crypto M&A
  • Deutsche Bank survey sites bitcoin as biggest bubble


Our main discussion: Yellen’s impact on bitcoin and digital assets

In this episode, NLW breaks down the cryptocurrency FUD competing to be the “wall of worry” for the new 2021 bull market, including Tether FUD, environmental FUD and the idea that crypto is only used for crime. 

The illicit transactions idea was given new oxygen when Janet Yellen repeated it in her Senate confirmation hearing this week. New research from Chainalysis shows, however, that the percentage of crypto volume involved in crime is decreasing.

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Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images News

Jan 20, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Goldman Sachs Can No Longer Dismiss Bitcoin
00:15:27

According to a Goldman insider, the investment bank will leap into crypto custody soon.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief: 

  • Gary Gensler is officially Biden’s pick for SEC chairman
  • Investors are betting against the U.S. dollar
  • Grayscale has best day ever with $700 million in investment
  • Ethereum reaches new all-time high 


Our main discussion: Goldman Sachs reportedly coming to crypto. 

Over the last year, many traditional financial institutions have recanted previous skepticism to join the bitcoin space. For most of that time, Goldman Sachs has been a noticeable holdout, saying as recently as last May that bitcoin and cryptocurrency weren’t an asset class. 

According to new reports from a Goldman insider, all that is finally changing as the bank prepares a crypto custody strategy. The change in attitude is inspired at least in part by the recent rulings from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. 

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Image credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images News

Jan 19, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Lyn Alden on Why the Dollar System No Longer Serves the US or the World
00:59:59

This is an encore presentation of NLW’s first interview with macro analyst Lyn Alden, from May 2020. In it, they discuss:

  • Why we’re at the end of a strong dollar cycle
  • Why the Federal Reserve is terrified of the global dollar shortage
  • The difference in creditor vs. debtor nations
  • The concept of the Triffin dilemma 
  • Why Japan has been able to print money without seeing rampant inflation 
  • Why we have inflationary and deflationary forces competing to influence the U.S. economy 
  • Why debt is going to matter more than ever 
  • What alternatives to the USD system might look like



Image credit: imagedepotpro/Getty Images Plus

Jan 18, 2021
BREAKDOWN: ‘America and Sound Money,’ the Most Important Bitcoin Essay of the Last Year
00:35:08

A reading of the “Stone Ridge 2020 Shareholder Letter” by Ross Stevens.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

This week’s Long Reads Sunday is a reading of the “Stone Ridge 2020 Shareholder Letter” by Ross Stevens, CEO and co-founder of Stone Ridge Asset Management, discussing the history of America, sound money and Stevens’ bitcoin “aha” moment.

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Image credit: Velishchuk/Getty Images Plus

Jan 17, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Crashes, Rallies and Stimulus – A Normal Week for 2021 Bitcoin
00:09:52

The second full business week of January has demonstrated many trends that NLW argues will shape bitcoin and crypto throughout the year.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On “The Breakdown’s” Weekly Recap, NLW argues that this week is exemplary of a set of trends that will define 2021, including:

  • Market volatility
  • Macro tailwinds 
  • Convergence of crypto and traditional finance
  • Regulatory battles and opportunities
  • Strange categories of FUD


This week on The Breakdown:

Monday | Did This Bitcoin Cycle’s FUD Phase Just Begin?

Tuesday | Is China Poised to Nationalize Alibaba?

Wednesday | A New SEC Chair Who Actually Understands Bitcoin and Crypto?

Thursday | The Definitive Breakdown of All Bitcoin FUD, With Dan Held

Friday | Will Mayor Suarez’s Miami Be the First Major City to Buy Bitcoin?

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Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.



Image credit: glorcza/Getty Images Plus

Jan 16, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Will Mayor Suarez's Miami Be the First Major City to Buy Bitcoin?
00:17:39

The entrepreneurial mayor brings his recruitment of tech talent to the crypto space with the potential of a 1% investment of the city’s reserves into BTC.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • Initial jobless claims grow the most since March
  • Biden unveils emergency relief plan
  • Fed Chair Powell discusses CBDCs and stablecoins


Our main discussion: Is Miami about to put 1% of its treasury into bitcoin? 

Since December 2020 there has been a lot of conversation about whether Miami could become the next Silicon Valley, or at least recruit a big swath of entrepreneurial talent to set up shop. 

In this episode, NLW looks at how that discussion moved into the crypto realm and led to Mayor Suarez’s recent discussions about moving Miami’s treasury into bitcoin. He argues that the story is about the larger shifts in how cities and geographic regions compete for supremacy in the social media, remote work era.

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Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.



Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images News

Jan 15, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Definitive Breakdown of All Bitcoin FUD, With Dan Held
00:46:10

From “backed by nothing” to “China mining control,” a complete look at the best response to every category of bitcoin FUD out there.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

On today’s episode of The Breakdown, NLW is joined by Dan Held, growth lead at Kraken and a serial bitcoin entrepreneur. 

As the market heats up, so, too, does the number of articles and tweets spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). Some of the FUD is new, much of it is old and all of it deserves a response. 

Dan and NLW break down 15 categories of FUD, including:

  • Bitcoin is for criminals
  • Bitcoin is backed by nothing/has no intrinsic value
  • Tether manipulation
  • Energy consumption
  • Government bans 
  • And more! 


Which are the most legitimate? Which are easily dismissed? Tune in to find out.


Find our guest online:

Twitter: @danheld

Website: danheld.com

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Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.


Image credit: Ja_inter/Getty Images Plus

Jan 14, 2021
BREAKDOWN: A New SEC Chair Who Actually Understands Bitcoin and Crypto?
00:14:02

After his most recent stint teaching about blockchain at MIT, former CFTC head Gary Gensler is reportedly the next SEC Chair.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • Visa drops $5.3B Plaid acquisition after DOJ antitrust suit
  • ECB President Christine Lagarde discusses bitcoin and digital euro 
  • Acting OCC chief Brian Brooks to step down this week 


Our main discussion: Gary Gensler rumored to be the new SEC Chair. In this episode, NLW discusses:

  • Gensler’s background at Goldman, CFTC and MIT
  • Gensler’s MIT course
  • Previous statements on Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple
  • The crypto communities reaction to Gensler at the SEC

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Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.


Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images News

Jan 13, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Is China Poised to Nationalize Alibaba?
00:18:44

The International Business Times reports China might nationalize Alibaba. Here’s what that has to do with China’s digital currency efforts. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and this week’s special product launch: Stacks.co.

Today on the Brief:

  • Whales accumulated during yesterday’s crash 
  • Kentucky legislators introduce bill to attract crypto miners
  • UBS lowers the threshold for charging savers because of negative interest rates


Our main discussion: What China’s prospective nationalization of Alibaba has to do with the nation’s digital currency efforts. 

In this episode, NLW:

  • Gives a background on China’s digital currency project
  • Discusses why the DCEP is motivated by a larger attempt to internationalize the RMB
  • Background on Alipay, Ant Financial and Alibaba
  • How Alibaba founder Jack Ma annoyed the CCP and why he hasn’t been seen publicly in two months


-

Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

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A new era of innovation on Bitcoin has begun. Stacks 2.0 enables secure apps and smart contracts on Bitcoin, unlocking new use cases and value while laying the foundation for a user-owned internet. https://stacks.co.


Image credit: Wang HE/Getty Images News

Jan 12, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Did This Bitcoin Cycle’s FUD Phase Just Begin?
00:16:39

As the price crashes more than 20% in 24 hours, NLW describes the “wall of worry” around regulation that might characterize this cycle’s FUD.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and this week’s special product launch: Stacks.co.

Today on the brief:

  • Trump ejected from social media 
  • Bakkt confirms plans to go public via SPAC
  • NYDIG buys Digital Assets Data


Our main discussion: Are we at the beginning of a new FUD cycle? 

In this episode, NLW looks at:

  • What happened with bitcoin’s big price crash
  • How the crypto community is reacting to the dip 
  • New regulatory FUD out of the U.K.
  • Why regulatory issues are likely to be this bull market’s “wall of worry”


-

Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

-

A new era of innovation on Bitcoin has begun. Stacks 2.0 enables secure apps and smart contracts on Bitcoin, unlocking new use cases and value while laying the foundation for a user-owned internet. https://stacks.co.


Image credit: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images News

Jan 11, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why I Changed My Mind on Bitcoin
00:12:42

A reading of two recent essays by former bitcoin skeptics who have changed their tunes.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and this week’s special product launch: Stacks.co.

On this week’s Long Reads Sunday, NLW reads two pieces from former bitcoin skeptics who have changed their mind about the asset. 

Bitcoin Crushes Doubters as 224% Rally Proves It’s Here to Stay” by Ed van der Walt 

Why I’ve Changed My Mind on Bitcoin” by Nick Maggiulli, COO of Ritholtz Wealth Management 

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Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

-

A new era of innovation on Bitcoin has begun. Stacks 2.0 enables secure apps and smart contracts on Bitcoin, unlocking new use cases and value while laying the foundation for a user-owned internet. https://stacks.co.

Jan 10, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Was This The Craziest Week in Bitcoin History?
00:10:56

Transformative regulatory guidance, important macro tailwinds and, of course, a stunning run-up past $40,000.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and this week’s special product launch: Stacks.co.

On this edition of The Breakdown’s weekly recap, NLW looks at what was one of the most spectacular and surprising weeks in bitcoin and crypto history. Specifically, he discusses:

  • Price action
  • Macro tailwinds
  • Regulatory shifts in surprise guidance from the OCC
  • Retail investor momentum building 


This week on The Breakdown:

Monday | Understanding Bitcoin’s Blistering Rise Past $30,000

Tuesday | Most Important Crypto Regulation Yet? Banks Can Treat Public Blockchains Like SWIFT and ACH

Wednesday | What Georgia’s Elections Mean for Bitcoin

Thursday | Can Bitcoin Just Keep Going Up?

Friday | BRRR: Biden Readies a New $3T Stimulus Package


-

Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

-

A new era of innovation on Bitcoin has begun. Stacks 2.0 enables secure apps and smart contracts on Bitcoin, unlocking new use cases and value while laying the foundation for a user-owned internet. https://stacks.co.


Image credit: peshkov/Getty Images Plus

Jan 09, 2021
BREAKDOWN: BRRR – Biden Readies a New $3T Stimulus Package
00:12:40

What a new package including more direct payouts to citizens plus big infrastructure spending mean for bitcoin and markets as a whole.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and this week’s special product launch: Stacks.co.

Today on the Brief:

  • U.S. loses 140,000 jobs in December
  • Chamath’s SoFi SPAC
  • A SPAC for Bakkt


Our main discussion: upcoming stimulus plans 

As the dust (finally? sort of?) settles on elections that began last year, the Democrats are looking to jump right out of the gate with a new set of stimulus plans, including both payments to individuals as well as big infrastructure spending. 

In this episode, NLW discusses the specifics we know so far, the potential challenges to get these plans passed and what the implications for bitcoin might be.

-

Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

-

A new era of innovation on Bitcoin has begun. Stacks 2.0 enables secure apps and smart contracts on Bitcoin, unlocking new use cases and value while laying the foundation for a user-owned internet. https://stacks.co.


Image credit: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images News

Jan 08, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Can Bitcoin Just Keep Going Up?
00:15:55

With bitcoin (briefly) passing $40,000 for the first time, the question becomes: Can it keep going or is a reset necessary? 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and this week’s special product launch: Stacks.co.

Today on the Brief:

  • U.S. President Trump signs order banning Chinese apps
  • Initial jobless claims hold steady at 787,000
  • Elon Musk becomes the world’s richest person


Our main discussion: Can bitcoin just keep going up? 

In this episode, NLW breaks down:

  • What’s driving the rally, including the growth of institutional buyers, burgeoning retail FOMO, Asian markets and more 
  • Why some indicators are pointing towards a trader move into altcoins 
  • Why, despite the rapid growth, bitcoin remains undervalued 

-

Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

-

A new era of innovation on Bitcoin has begun. Stacks 2.0 enables secure apps and smart contracts on Bitcoin, unlocking new use cases and value while laying the foundation for a user-owned internet. https://stacks.co.


Image credit: Vertigo3d/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Jan 07, 2021
BREAKDOWN: What Georgia’s Elections Mean for Bitcoin
00:16:44

As the Democrats appear to be headed to victory, how does their new U.S. Senate majority impact markets as a whole and bitcoin more specifically?

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io and this week’s special product launch: Stacks.co.

Today on the Brief:

  • ShapeShift goes full DEX
  • Neil Young and the changing business of music
  • China stocks delisted from NYSE


Our main discussion: What are the implications of Georgia’s runoff elections for bitcoin and markets as a whole? 

In this episode, NLW discusses:

  • The immediate response of Crypto Twitter to the victory for Dems
  • Why Kelly Loeffler was a disappointing industry rep in the Senate 
  • Which stocks are going up on the news and why
  • Why a Democrat Senate majority is driving up inflation expectations
  • Why discussions of UBI and digital dollars and more in play than ever 
  • Why bitcoin stands to be supercharged by the coming macro environment 

-

Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stablecoins & more. Get started at nexo.io.

-

A new era of innovation on Bitcoin has begun. Stacks 2.0 enables secure apps and smart contracts on Bitcoin, unlocking new use cases and value while laying the foundation for a user-owned internet. https://stacks.co.

Jan 06, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Most Important Crypto Regulation Yet? Banks Can Treat Public Blockchains Like SWIFT and ACH
00:23:00

A new interpretive letter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency paves the way for stablecoins and public blockchains to be fully integrated in the financial infrastructure. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Yesterday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency released Interpretive Letter 1174. The letter allows banks to participate as nodes in “independent node verification networks” (which you might better know as blockchain networks) as well as use stablecoins for payments settlement. 

In this episode of The Breakdown, NLW looks at: 

  • Crypto Twitter’s response to the news 
  • A review of key passages from the letter
  • The response of critics
  • The implications for CBDCs and the geopolitical battle between the U.S. dollar and China’s emerging digital currency 


Image credit: tampatra/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Jan 05, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Understanding Bitcoin's Blistering Rise Past $30,000
00:13:53

Bitcoin has started 2021 off with a bang. Here’s what investors and analysts think is driving the rise (and today’s dip) as well as predictions for what happens next. 

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

The end of December was a momentous time in bitcoin’s history. Not content to clear the psychological barrier of $20,000, bitcoin’s price smashed up almost all the way to $30,000, although it would take the turn to the new year to hit that new high-water mark. 

In this episode, NLW looks at interpretations of why bitcoin is rising, why it dipped today and what analysts and investors think will happen next. This analysis includes:

  • Evidence of institutional FOMO including a rise in bitcoin whale addresses
  • Massive outflows from Coinbase Pro over the weekend 
  • The impact of derivatives liquidations that occurred Monday morning 
  • Commentary from OTC desks on Q1 2021 possibilities


Image credit: ayo888/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Jan 04, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Unorthodox Trades That Will Drive Value in 2021, feat. Tony Greer
00:26:11

The macro analyst looks at unexpected sources of strength in the economy.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Tony Greer is a macro analyst and author of the Morning Navigator Newsletter. In this conversation, he and NLW discuss how central banks continued to kick the can down the road on debt as well as unexpected sources of strength for the economy heading into 2021.

Find our guest online: @TgMacro

Jan 03, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Why Bitcoin Is Bigger Than an Inflation Hedge, feat. Dan Tapiero
00:23:51

The prominent gold and bitcoin macro commenter discusses a new generation of institutional investors.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

Dan Tapiero is an investor and entrepreneur with deep experience in gold and bitcoin. In this conversation with NLW he discusses the new group of institutional investors coming into the space and why, for them, bitcoin represents much more than just a hedge against possible future inflation.

Find our guest online: @DTAPCAP

Jan 02, 2021
BREAKDOWN: Bitcoin Is Digital Social Justice, feat. Tyrone Ross
00:20:28

The podcaster and CEO of Onramp Invest discusses DeFi, income inequality and the opportunity for bitcoin in 2021.

This episode is sponsored by Nexo.io.

The wealth adviser and CEO of Onramp Invest discusses why the Federal Reserve continues to ignore its role in income inequality and what the bitcoin community can do to be a force for positive change.

Find our guest online: @TR401

Jan 01, 2021
BREAKDOWN: The Most Important Bitcoin Infrastructure Developments of 2020, feat. Alyse Killeen
00:20:25

A look at privacy and infrastructure advances that will shape the bitcoin ecosystem in the years to come.

This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com and Nexo.io.

Alyse Killeen is the founder and managing partner of StillMark, and has been investing in bitcoin companies since 2013. While much of the conversation this year has been about high level narratives and new institutional investors, Alyse breaks down the technical advances that happened this year.

Find our guest online: @AlyseKilleen

Dec 31, 2020
BREAKDOWN: What 2020 Taught Us About the ‘Dollar Milkshake Theory,’ feat. Brent Johnson
00:22:28

The Santiago Capital investor takes a look at what 2020 taught us about his notable economic theory.

This episode is sponsored by Crypto.com and