Scam Economy

By Matt Binder

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Bitcoin, the Blockchain, Web3, NFTs...welcome to the Scam Economy. Host Matt Binder (The Majority Report w/ Sam Seder, DOOMED) dives into the world of cryptocurrency in order to reveal the frauds, grifts, and scams. And there's plenty because, really, the whole thing is a scam. It's the Scam Economy.

Episode Date
32: GiveCrypto and the Real Goal of "Crypto Charity" (w/ Leo Schwartz)
Leo Schwartz, reporter at Fortune, joins Scam Economy with Matt Binder to discuss his report on GiveCrypto, a crypto charity set up by the crypto exchange Coinbase, the broader realm of crypto philanthropy and the ulterior motives behind it, how GiveCrypto took advantage of its "ambassadors" around the world, how little the charity was able to help and why that is, why even some crypto advocates think crypto donations are a bad idea, and much more. Check out Leo's piece in Fortune on GiveCrypto: Visit: Support the show:
Sep 29, 2022
31: One Year of Bukele's Bitcoin Law: Chaos in El Salvador (w/ Domingo Flores)
This month marks the one year anniversary of El Salvador's historic Bitcoin Law, cementing the Central American country the very first country to mark the cryptocurrency as legal tender. So, how's it going? Not good! Salvadoran infosec specialist Domingo Flores joins Scam Economy with Matt Binder to discuss the turmoil the country has faced in recent months, thanks to its Bitcoin-loving President Nayib Bukele. We discuss the protests, the mass arrests, Bukele's suspension of the constitution in order to run for re-election, the alleged "troll center" being run to by the Bukele regime to spread disinformation and harass dissidents, plus...Bukele keeps using El Salvador's money to invest in Bitcoin...or is he? Visit Support the show:
Sep 24, 2022
30: The Ethereum Merge is Here. What It Means, Who's Getting Rich & Why It Won't Be You (w/ Bennett Tomlin)
It's finally here...Ethereum Merge Day. Bennett Tomlin of Crypto Critics Corner and joins Scam Economy with Matt Binder to break down exactly what the Ethereum Merge is, why the crypto world is celebrating its arrival, the difference between the old proof-of-work system and the new proof-of-stake system, how miners are taking the change, the fork, what is staking, sharding?!, the environmental impacts, how crypto advocates are missing the big picture, Lido and its role, and why the system is still set up for the rich to just keep get richer. Check out Protos and their Ethereum Merge coverage: Listen to Crypto Critics Corner: Visit Support the show:
Sep 15, 2022
29: Binance and the Mystery of Who is Guangying Chen? (w/ Jacob Silverman)
Journalist Jacob Silverman joins Scam Economy with Matt Binder to discuss one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange...who is Guangying Chen? Silverman breaks down Binance's huge role in the crypto space and its founder Changpeng Zhao aka "CZ," the history of the company's opaqueness on many issues surrounding the business, the leaked "Tai Chi" document, the relevance of whether Binance is a "Chinese company," and the mystery surrounding Guangying Chen, a supposed low-level staffer who has long been listed on official documents and company paperwork as Binance's founder. Support the show: Visit Jacob Silverman's tweet asking Binance about Guanying Chen: Binance's statement on Guangying Chen after Jacob Silverman's tweet: Forbes piece on the Tai Chi document: Scam Binance website's blog on Guangying Chen:
Sep 09, 2022
28: Crypto's Summer From Hell (w/ Molly White)
Web3 Is Going Just Great creator Molly White returns to Scam Economy to break down crypto winter aka crypto's summer from hell with host Matt Binder. Matt and Molly discuss some of the crypto and Web3 failures, controversies, and scandals from July & August like Tornado Cash winding up sanctions, Michael Saylor being sued by the DC AG for tax fraud, Martin Shkreli's odd pharma Web3 project hack, Binance's claim it doesn't own a troubled Indian crypto exchange after claiming it acquired the company, and much more! Check out Molly's Web3 is Going Just Great: Links to Molly's newsletter, Patreon, & more: Visit Support the show:
Sep 02, 2022
Immutable and the Push to Force NFTs on Gamers (Scam Economy Live Post Show BONUS Clip)
Another BONUS teaser of the Scam Economy Livestream Call-In Post Show! Jon from Australia calls BACK into the Scam Economy Livestream Post Show in early August to talk to host Matt Binder about crypto in the video game space, TikTok creator NFTs, and the Australian based Web3 company, Immutable, which is involved in Gamestop's NFT marketplace.
Aug 26, 2022
27: All Your Coinbase Are Belong To Us (w/ Ed Zitron)
Coinbase is America's #1 crypto exchange. Coinbase has also had a very, very bad couple of weeks. Ed Zitron joins Matt Binder on Scam Economy to discuss the Coinbase insider trading case, how a former Coinbase product manager was able to slip insider knowledge to his brother and a friend, how the scheme fell apart, just how much insider trading is going on over at Coinbase?, the SEC investigation that found Coinbase was listing unregistered securities, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong's anti-politics at Coinbase stance...until Coinbase of course needs to start lobbying politicians for pro-crypto legislation, what's coming down the pike for Coinbase next?, and much more! Visit: Support the show: Check out Ed's newsletter: Coinbase Insider Trading Case/SEC investigation: Coinbase Insider Trading Study: Coinbase: No Politics: Coinbase Lobbying:
Aug 18, 2022
Crypto Yield Rates Were Always a Red Flag (Scam Economy Live Post Show BONUS Clip)
A BONUS teaser of the Scam Economy Livestream Call-In Post Show! Listener of the show, Jon from Australia, called into the Scam Economy Livestream Post Show back in June to talk to host Matt Binder, right after an episode on Celsius and the crypto crash, to discuss a listener who had called into the post show back in February who talked about staking his crypto in Celsius. First, listen to the call between Matt and Jon, then listen to the call from back in February. It's a good reminder that those who were always skeptical about crypto...had good reason to be. Visit: Support the show:
Aug 12, 2022
26: Dune and Done: The Spice DAO Saga (w/ Adi Robertson)
Adi Robertson, senior reporter at The Verge, joins Scam Economy with Matt Binder to bring us on the epic journey that is Spice DAO, the decentralized autonomous organization that raised around $12 million in cryptocurrency in order to bid on a rare copy of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s "legendary never-made adaptation" of the classic sci-fi novel, Dune (also known as the Dune Bible). We discuss the $3 million winning bid and how it was well over expected sale price, the infamous confusion over copyright between members of the DAO, all the controversies surrounding votes on animated film production and a certain problematic member of the leadership team, and the most recent news where the creator of this whole project, crypto millionaire Soban "Soby" Saqib has decided to dissolve the DAO and...maybe just sell the book. Support the show: Read Adi's reporting in The Verge on Spice DAO: 1) 2) 3) 4) Check out the BuzzFeed article mentioned in this episode: Visit
Aug 05, 2022
25: Helium is Touted as the Web3 Gold Standard. Is It All Just a Bunch of Hot Air? (w/ Liron Shapira)
Angel investor Liron Shapira joins Scam Economy host Matt Binder to discuss his viral Twitter thread about the decentralized wireless network Helium, often viewed as the gold standard of Web3 uses cases. We discuss what Helium is and how does it work, how budding entrepreneurs buy expensive hotspots in hopes of earning Helium's cryptocurrency token, who is actually using Helium's wireless network, and much more. Plus: BONUS! As a result of Matt's research into this episode, there is an added commentary about how Helium boasted for years about one of its largest clients being the global scooter rideshare company Lime. Matt discovered...that's not true. Check out Matt' scoop in Mashable on Helium and Lime: Read Liron's viral Twitter thread on Helium here: The profile of Helium in The Generalist: Visit: Support the show:
Jul 30, 2022
24: PayWrecked: The People Who Took Their Paychecks in Crypto Regret It Now (w/ Quinn Myers)
Quinn Myers, author of the upcoming book Remember the Internet Vol. 3: Google Glass, joins Scam Economy to discuss his piece for MEL Magazine about the workers who decided to take their paychecks in crypto. Quinn and host Matt Binder discuss the different types of people who took part in this program, how Coinbase made it extremely easy for people to convert their hard-earned pay from this jobs into cryptocurrency automatically, just how much these people have lost since the crypto crash, the professional athletes who promoted the idea of taking a paycheck or getting paid directly in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and other tokens, and more! We also touch on the breaking news about the DOJ charging three individuals in a Coinbase insider trading scheme and briefly discuss venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, who was a major Google Glass proponent and is now all aboard the Web3 train. Read Quinn's piece here: Check out Scam Economy: Support the show:
Jul 23, 2022
23: Elon Musk Loves Cryptocurrency (But Elon and Crypto Don't Love You)
Just like crypto, Elon Musk is all hype. So, they're a match made in heaven. Scam Economy host Matt Binder takes a look at Elon Musk's history of promoting cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and, his favorite, Dogecoin, whether or not he's telling the truth when he claimed he "never told people to invest in cryptocurrency," how Elon's love for crypto helped create the current crypto bot problem...and how Elon's tweets about the crypto bot problem will likely come back to bite him when fighting Twitter's lawsuit against the Tesla CEO for backing out of his agreement to buy out the company. Visit Support the Show:
Jul 15, 2022
22: Bon Voyager! Your Crypto Loan Cash is Gone (w/ Ed Zitron)
Yet another crypto lender, Voyager Digital, has frozen its customers' funds, pausing withdrawals, and just filed for bankruptcy. But this time, it's even more looney than usual. Ed Zitron joins Matt Binder on the show to discuss how Voyager claimed it was an FDIC insured bank an...SURPRISE! Voyager was not a bank and it was not FDIC insured, how the company gave out huge loans to relatively few entities, the people who lost money, Mark Cuban's Dallas Mavericks having a partnership deal with Voyager and promoting its crypto services, FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried constantly coming into the picture to "save the day" (for the crypto company at least), and much, much more! Read Ed's piece: Visit Support the show:
Jul 08, 2022
21: Coinspiracy: How QAnon Influencers Conned Their Followers with Crypto (w/ Ernie Piper & Nick Backovic of
3536 UK editor Ernie Piper and Senior OSINT Analyst Nick Backovic join Matt Binder on Scam Economy to discuss the tech-based anti-misinformation firm's report on the QAnon influencers scamming their followers with crypto pump-and-dump schemes. We discuss the QAnon conspiracy theory and how its conspiratorial right wing beliefs fit perfectly into the cryptocurrency scams, the Stellar network which makes minting of these tokens extremely easy, who are WhipLash347 and PatriotQakes (aka Emily Tang): the influencers involved in promoting these schemes to their followers, the real financial losses as well as the story of one individual who took their life after losing their money and business, and much more. Read the report: Check out Support the show:
Jul 01, 2022
20: Damn, the Torpedoes: The Story of Celsius (w/ Mike Burgersburg/Dirty Bubble Media)
Mike Burgersburg of Dirty Bubble Media joins Matt Binder on Scam Economy to breakdown his reporting on the crypto lender Celsius, how they contributed to the crypto crash, why they've frozen all of their customers accounts, its founder Alex Mashinsky and his interesting past, is Celsius a ponzi?, what is CEL token, how his @MikeBurgersburg account was hacked just as he was reporting on Celsius and another troubled cryptocurrency lender called Voyager, and much more!Check out Mike's new Twitter account: @dirtybubblemed and his reporting on Substack: Visit: Support the show:
Jun 24, 2022
19: Crypto Jenga Tower Collapse: Celsius & the Crypto Time Bombs (w/ David Gerard & Amy Castor)
Crypto critics David Gerard & Amy Castor join Matt Binder on Scam Economy to talk about the "Jenga stack of interconnected time bombs" that is this week's cryptocurrency crash. David and Amy breakdown how the entire crypto space is like a Jenga tower and all it takes is for one rug pull to knock down the stack, how Terra/Luna set the stage for the plunge, what Celsius is and why it was the next piece to take down what was left, what the role crypto exchanges like Coinbase play, why crypto hedge funds like Three Arrows Capital are now floundering, and how Tether, Bitcoin miners, and even Mt. Gox will continue to play a role in crypto's nosedive. Read David and Amy's piece, The Latecomer’s Guide to Crypto Crashing: - Visit: - Support the show:
Jun 17, 2022
18: They Lost Everything: How the Terra Crypto Crash Ruined Lives Around the World (w/ Leo Schwartz)
Leo Schwartz, reporter at Rest of World, joins Scam Economy with Matt Binder to discuss his recent piece interviewing people from around the world who had invested in the stablecoin Terra and lost everything they had in the crash. We also discuss the predatory nature of crypto and DeFi, why people in countries like Argentina, Iran, and Nigeria invest in crypto, how the industry preys on the most economically vulnerable, and more! Check out Leo's pieces that we discuss on the show: 1) 2) 3) Visit: Support the show:
Jun 10, 2022
17: Bitcoin Nazis, Ethereum Grifters: A Tale of Two Communities (Scam Economy LIVE in Brooklyn w/ Michael E. Hayden)
Michael Edison Hayden of the Southern Poverty Law Center joined Matt Binder for a LIVE episode of Scam Economy as part of the Digital Void Festival: Brooklyn on May 26 at Littlefield's. Matt takes a look at the two biggest crypto communities: the "artists"/hucksters of Ethereum (Gary Vee, Jimmy Fallon) and the cryptonazis of Bitcoin, how the real split in cryptocurrency is the 99.99% vs. the 0.01%, and Michael Hayden breaks down his recent reporting on the millions of dollars in crypto being sent to Alex Jones and how white supremacists have become rich with crypto cash. Check out Michael on Alex Jones and his Bitcoin donations: Michael on white supremacists and crypto: Visit Support the show:
Jun 03, 2022
16: How Wikipedia Cancelled Crypto (w/ Molly White)
Longtime Wikipedia editor and Web3 is Going Great creator Molly White joins Matt Binder on Scam Economy to discuss why Wikipedia stopped taking cryptocurrency donations, how the Wiki community came together to make it happen, what happened when crypto advocates tried to stop the decision, the history of Wiki and cryptocurrency, and much more! Check out Web3 Is Going Great @ Visit Support the show:
May 20, 2022
15: Terra, Luna, & The Crypto Crash: Everything You Need to Know (w/ Bennett Tomlin of Crypto Critics' Corner)
EMERGENCY POD! The crypto market is in a free fall. What is happening?! Bennett Tomlin of Crypto Critics' Corner joins Scam Economy with Matt Binder to break down what stablecoin Terra (UST) is, why it lost its peg and what that means, how its sister coin Luna factors in to all this, and how this all led to one of the biggest crashes across the entire cryptocurrency market – one that has Bitcoin at its lowest value in nearly a year and a half. Bennett and Matt also discuss the coins' parent company, Terraform and its eclectic founder Do Kwon, what an "algorithmic stablecoin" is, and how the whole thing is a ponzi. If that wasn't enough, the two also take a look at some of the conspiracies such as Blackrock and Citadel "attacking" Terra and how a Major League Baseball team was sharing Terra marketing videos as the whole thing came tumbling down. Support the show:
May 12, 2022
14: Crypto Bad Ideas: Abortions on the Blockchain!? + Bored Apes Break Ethereum (w/ Molly White)
Creator of Web3 is Going Great, developer Molly White joins Scam Economy with Matt Binder to discuss the insanely high Ethereum gas fees from over the weekend where people were being charged thousands in fees for transactions as low as $5, how this was caused by Bored Ape Yacht Club owners Yuga Labs, and shows everything wrong with the Ethereum network (and crypto more broadly.) Also, after the SCOTUS leak showing Roe v. Wade may very well be overturned and abortions could become illegal in certain U.S. states, some crypto users had a brilliant idea: the blockchain can solve this. Molly and Matt discuss why this is in fact not a good idea at all. Check out Molly's website: Visit: Support the show:
May 06, 2022
13: Arrested for Protesting Bitcoin (w/ Mario Gomez)
Salvadorian developer Mario Gomez joins Matt Binder on Scam Economy to discuss his arrest over his activism against El Salvador's Bitcoin laws, why El Salvador is going all in on Bitcoin and making it an official currency, how it all started with an American project in the the Central American country called Bitcoin Beach, what shady dealings El Salvador's authoritarian president Nayib Bukele could possibly have with the crypto industry, what are Volcano Bonds and the Chivo wallet, how the Bitcoin laws are negatively affecting the people of El Salvador, and more! Follow Mario and his updates on El Salvador and Bitcoin on Twitter here: Visit Support the show:
Apr 29, 2022
12: A/S/L/Crypto?: The Dating App Crypto Scam Scourge
Looking for love? Have you been targeted by a crypto scam on a dating app? Scam Economy listeners recently called into the live post-show to share their experiences with host Matt Binder. There's plenty of twists, turns, and swerves! Here are some of those stories. Visit: ! Support the show:
Apr 22, 2022
11: Inside the Bizarre Bitcoin 2022 Conference (w/ Ryan Broderick)
Ryan Broderick of the Garbage Day newsletter joins Scam Economy to take host Matt Binder on a journey to the Bitcoin 2022 Conference in Miami. Ryan breaks down what he saw at the 4-day Bitcoin extravaganza, which celebrities and special guests were there, the dystopian vision of the future that the Bitcoin maximalists are pushing, what the "average" Bitcoin advocate got out of the event, the difference between crypto "culture" and the Bitcoin world, what his cryptocurrency investing dad thought of the event, and more! Check out Ryan's newsletter: . Visit ! Support the show:
Apr 15, 2022
10: Bitcoin Goes Green[washing] (w/ Leanna First-Arai)
Climate and environmentalist journalist Leanna First-Arai joins Scam Economy to discuss the news that Exxon was going to help Bitcoin mining companies "go green" by selling them gas leaks. Leanna breaks down what gas flaring is, what the thought process and claims from Exxon and the Bitcoin community here is, how "good" is this, the waste that goes into Bitcoin mining, can renewables help?, and more! Visit! Support the show:
Apr 08, 2022
Axie Infinity, Indentured Servitude (Scam Economy Hotline LIVE Post Show Teaser Clip)
It's a BONUS teaser clip from the Scam Economy Hotline LIVE Post Show #9! In this clip, listener John from Australia calls in to tell us even more about play-to-earn NFT crypto game, Axie Infinity, and how dystopian it is for the players in developing nations who play it for a living. Check out for more! Support the show:
Apr 05, 2022
9: The Play to Earn Pyramid: Axie Infinity & the Dystopia That Crypto Wants (w/ Ed Zitron)
Play To Earn crypto games are hyped as one of the defining products of web3, according to cryptocurrency and blockchain advocates. But, they are extremely exploitative. Now, after a big hack wreaks havoc over the biggest game in the space, Axie Infinity, resulting in a $625 million loss...what does this say about the dystopian future that crypto wants? Ed Zitron joins Matt Binder on Scam Economy to discuss. Visit . Support the show:
Mar 31, 2022
8: Monkey Business: Bored Ape Yacht Club, Yuga Labs, & ApeCoin (w/ Amy Castor)
NFT and cryptocurrency reporter Amy Castor joins Scam Economy for a deep dive into Yuga Labs, the company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club, and a new cryptocurrency called ApeCoin, which is totally not connected to Yuga Labs of course (for legal reason). Visit: ! Support the show:
Mar 25, 2022
7: The Crypto Grift Descends on Ukraine
Scam Economy host Matt Binder breaks down how grifting cryptocurrency founders, entrepreneurs, investors, and hustlers are trying to pump their money making schemes for a profit and generate good PR for the crypto industry under the guise of charity for Ukraine. Check out: . Support the show:
Mar 18, 2022
The Depravity of Randi Zuckerberg's Web3 Song (Scam Economy Post Show Teaser Clip)
A freebie teaser clip from the Scam Economy Post Show Episode #6 livestream on 3/10/22: Matt gives some quick thoughts on Web3 "Pay to Earn" games after his talk with Molly White. Plus a breakdown of a Twisted Sister "parody" song about Web3 by Randi Zuckerberg – yes, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's sister. Join the Patreon to access audio of the full show, complete with listener phone calls and more:
Mar 15, 2022
6: Web3 Sucks (w/ Molly White)
Molly White, software engineer, Wikipedia editor, and the creator of the website "Web3 is going just great," joins host Matt Binder on Scam Economy to discuss...well...Web3! Molly breaks down what Web3 is, all the scams and grifts her website covers daily, what Web3 advocates want, how Wikipedia perfectly proves Web3 wrong, the commonalities found between conspiracy theorists like QAnon believers and Web3 supporters, and much more! Check out Molly's awesome website Web3 is going great: . Visit: . Support the show:
Mar 11, 2022
5: NFTs Get Physical, Real Estate Gets Digital, It's All Despicable (w/ Wilfred Chan)
Writer Wilfred Chan joins Matt Binder on Scam Economy to discuss his experience using an NFT vending machine, how he got scammed by it, online real estate in the metaverse, and how the gig economy gave us an early look into our scam economy tech dystopia. Find out where you can subscribe to the Scam Economy: . Support the show:
Mar 04, 2022
4: Crypto Super Bowl Ads Weren't Like the Dot Com Bubble (It's Much Worse.)
Scam Economy host Matt Binder breaks down the "Crypto Bowl," the slew of cryptocurrency ads that ran during the Super Bowl. Why was there so many? Who were they targeting? Is this reminiscent of the 2000 dot com bubble? What's going on here? Find out where you can subscribe to the Scam Economy: Support the show:
Feb 18, 2022
3: Razzlekhan & The Great Bitfinex Heist (w/ Jack Morse)
It's not everyday that an eccentric NYC couple in their 30s get caught stealing billions of dollars. Jack Morse, senior tech reporter at Mashable, joins Matt Binder on the latest episode of Scam Economy to discuss the money-laundering couple who are accused by the DOJ of stealing $3.6 billion in Bitcoin from the Bitfinex exchange in 2016. The news about Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather "Razzlekhan" Morgan came out this week and every detail -- from their tech startup backgrounds to her TikTok rapper career -- is more amazing than the next. Support the show:
Feb 11, 2022
Scam Economy Post Show: Episode #2 (Teaser Clip!)
A freebie teaser clip from the Scam Economy post show for episode #2 featuring a live call-in from a crypto fan. (Livestreamed immediately following the YouTube premiere of Scam Economy episode #2 on 2/3/22). Support the show:
Feb 10, 2022
2: Cryptocurrency is a Ponzi (w/ Sohale Mortazavi)
Sohale Mortazavi joins Scam Economy to talk about his piece for Jacobin that went viral: Cryptocurrency Is a Giant Ponzi Scheme. Host Matt Binder and Mortazavi discuss what crypto has in common with Ponzi schemes, the market manipulation of Bitcoin courtesy of the stablecoin Tether, what should be done about crypto, the reaction to his piece which spread on Reddit and Twitter, and the "progressive" or "socialist" case for crypto. Support the show:
Feb 04, 2022
Scam Economy Post Show: Episode #1
It's the Scam Economy post show for episode #1 featuring live call-ins from an artist defending the NFT scene, a former cryptocurrency investor, a fellow crypto skeptics, and more. (Livestreamed immediately following the YouTube premiere of Scam Economy episode #1 on 1/27/22). Support the show:
Jan 31, 2022
1: Scam Economy 101: The ABCs of Crypto (w/ David Gerard)
Welcome to the Scam Economy: Episode #1 with our first guest cryptocurrency journalist and author, David Gerard. Cryptocurrency? Bitcoin? Ethereum? NFTs? Proof of work? Proof of stake? What does this all mean? David joins host Matt Binder to breakdown everything you need to know about (most of) the basics in the world of cryptocurrency. For more, check out:
Jan 28, 2022
0: Welcome to the Scam Economy
Bitcoin, the Blockchain, Web3, NFTs...welcome to the Scam Economy. Host Matt Binder (The Majority Report w/ Sam Seder, DOOMED) dives into the world of cryptocurrency in order to reveal the frauds, grifts, and scams. And there's plenty because, really, the whole thing is a scam. It's the Scam Economy.
Jan 26, 2022