Crypto Critics' Corner
By Cas Piancey and Bennett Tomlin
Crypto Critics' CornerMay 04, 2023
Crypto Critics Cope at Consensus Conference
Cas Piancey and Bennett Tomlin discuss their takeaways from Consensus 2023, the recent cryptocurrency conference put on by CoinDesk. This video was recorded on April 30th, 2023.
The FDIC, Infinite Insurance, and Moral Hazards (Feat. Rohan Grey)
Today Bennett and Cas are joined by Rohan Grey to discuss how the government could provide unlimited deposit insurance against banks collapsing.
This episode was recorded on March 15th, 2023.
The Whistleblower Who Exposed WorldCom (feat. Cynthia Cooper & Daren Firestone)
Cas Piancey and Bennett Tomlin are joined by Cynthia Cooper and Daren Firestone to discuss the history of one of the largest corporate frauds ever, Worldcom, and what it means to be a whistleblower. This video was recorded on October 13th, 2022.
Additional resources: Cooper Group http://www.coopergroupllc.com/index.php Extraordinary Circumstances https://a.co/d/9O4C9Vz Levy Firestone Muse https://www.levyfirestone.com/ cryptowhistleblower.com https://cryptowhistleblower.com/ Cynthia Cooper's LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/cynthiaco... Daren Firestone Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/daren-fir...
Binance in Trouble (streamed live on March 27th, 2023)
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss the lawsuit filed against Binance and Changpeng Zhao by the CFTC. This video was streamed live on March 27th, 2023. Additional resources:
Coverage of the complaint https://protos.com/cftc-lawsuit-again...
SEC sues Justin Sun, Coinbase, Celebrities; also Do Kwon arrested (recorded on March 23rd)
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss the lawsuit filed against Justin Sun alleging that Tron and BitTorrent token were illegal securities and that he engaged in market manipulation. We also discuss the celebrities implicated in the promotion of these tokens including:
- Logan Paul - Lindsay Lohan - Lil Yachty - Ne-Yo - Akon - Soulja Boy - Austin Mahone - Kendra Lust
This episode was recorded on March 23rd, 2023
Toilet Apes and other NFT Exploitation (Feat. Ed Zitron)
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are joined by Ed Zitron to discuss NFTs and why they became popular and why they are so empty.
This episode was recorded on February 1st, 2022.
Silvergategate: The Collapse of Silvergate and the Future of Cryptocurrency Banking
Bennett and Cas go live to discuss the collapse of Silvergate, the bank of choice for cryptocurrency companies and exchanges in the US.
Recorded on Wednesday, March 8th, 2023.
Tether Falsified Bank Records
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss the recent Wall Street Journal report that reveals that Tether and Bitfinex falsified bank records in order to try to maintain access to banking.
WSJ article discussed on the show.
This video was recorded on March 3rd, 2023.
Satire in Cryptocurrency: West Ham (feat. Josh Cincinnati and Laurence [Insert Last Name Here])
Cas Piancey and Bennett Tomlin are joined by Laurence and Josh Cincinnati to dis1cuss the value of satire in cryptocurrency, ordinals, Justin Sun and more.
This was recorded on January 30th, 2023.
The El Salvador Volcano Token (feat. Domingo Flores)
Harmony Horizon Exploit, Lazarus Group, and Cryptocurrency Bridges
Bennett and Cas revisit the Harmony Horizon bridge exploit from last year, discuss why the Lazarus Group is targeting cryptocurrency so much, and go over the billion plus lost on cryptocurrency bridges over the past year.
Special thanks to ZachXBT, who uncovered the movements of Lazarus exploit funds as they were happening.
Nexo Raided, SBF Lies, and Genesis and Gemini Charged
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss the raid executed against Nexo, SBF's lies in his Substack, and the unregistered security charges brought against Genesis and Gemini.
Kentucky Cease and desist against Nexo
This video was streamed live on January 12th, 2022.
Cryptocurrency Banks Give Up
Cas Piancey and Bennett Tomlin discuss Silvergate, Signature, Metropolitan, and other cryptocurrency banks in light of their massive deposit outflows and increasing regulatory issues.
American Banker Post about Silvergate using Home Loan bank advances: https://www.americanbanker.com/news/silvergate-bank-loaded-up-on-4-3-billion-in-fhlb-advances
OCC, Federal Reserve, and FDIC statement on risks to crypto banks: https://www.fdic.gov/news/press-releases/2023/pr23002a.pdf
This video was recorded on January 12th, 2022.
Did Satoshi run a drug cartel? The Paul Le Roux Story (Feat. Evan Ratliff)
Cas Piancey and Bennett Tomlin are joined by Evan Ratliff to discuss Paul Le Roux, an international criminal who some believe may have been Satoshi Nakamoto. We also discuss Evan's new podcast Persona, and the similarities between the crimes of Gilbert Chikli and cryptocurrency hacks and scams.
This episode was recorded on October 18th, 2022.
Auditors, Binance, and Global Regulation
Today Bennett and Cas are recording an IN-PERSON(!!!) episode of CCC together!
We discuss auditors exiting the cryptocurrency industry en masse, what's next for Binance, and how regulators will or won't take on the new global financial industries.
Recorded on Tuesday, December 21, 2022.
The Skeptic's Guide to Skepticism
Today Bennett and Cas discuss walking the fine line between beneficial and frank skepticism and full-blown conspiracy theorist, and how sometimes the line can get a little blurry.
This episode was recorded on November 4th, before everything spiraled into an utter sh*tshow.
FTX and Alameda are dead, long live cryptocurrency
Today Bennett and Cas are talking about the collapse of FTX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and its sister trading firm, Alameda Research.
Shadow Banking 2.0 in Web3 and DeFi (Feat. Hilary Allen)
Today Cas and Bennett are joined by law professor at American University Hilary Allen to discuss whether or not web3 and DeFi are shadow banking 2.0, and if they will lead to another 2008 financial crisis.
Hilary's paper available here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4038788
Read more: https://cryptocriticscorner.com/2022/10/27/episode-97-defi-as-shadow-banking-2-0-feat-hilary-allen/
This episode was recorded on August 3rd, 2022 and edited by Griffin Davis.
Binance Smart Chain is Dumb and Mango Markets, Too
Today Bennett and Cas discuss two recent major cryptocurrency problems: one via Binance Smart Chain, a "DeFi" protocol built by CZ and the Binance team, that suffered a $100 million hack, and Mango Markets, a DeFi marketplace, that suffered a $100 million exploit. Another fun week in cryptocurrency.
Other resources mentioned in this episode:
Unchained Interview with CZ: https://youtu.be/J0XJesFkdl0
Chris Brunet revealing Mango Markets attacker: https://karlstack.substack.com/p/exclusive-the-man-who-may-have-milked
Bennett's newsletter about the BSC hack: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/protos/issues/cz-stopped-bsc-why-it-matters-1408029
This episode was recorded on Wednesday, October 12th and edited by Bennett Tomlin.
High Noon at Ooki Corral: CFTC Sues DAO Participants
Today Bennett and Cas talk about what's going on with the Ooki DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), why the CFTC is suing them, and why it's okay that Ooki DAO is not okay.
This episode was recorded on Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 and edited by Bennett Tomlin.
A Tale of Two Ponzis: Celsius and Luna, Alex Mashinsky and Do Kwon
Today Bennett and Cas discuss the best of times and the worst of times for two enormous Ponzi scemes: Celsius - a now bankrupt cryptocurrency lender - and Luna - an algorithmic stablecoin ecosystem once valued at nearly $60 billion, and the two individuals who ultimately led them to their respective downfalls: Alex Mashinsky and Do Kwon.
KeyFi lawsuit against Celsius: https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef/ViewDocument?docIndex=RvF30Mz2IZW63s1mjjau2Q==
Celsius lawsuit against KeyFi: https://assets.law360news.com/1523000/1523691/complaint.pdf
Coverage of the Celsius countersuit: https://protos.com/celsius-lawsuit-claims-keyfi-stole-customer-deposits-to-buy-nfts/
Mashinsky resigns: https://protos.com/chief-exec-alex-mashinsky-resigns-from-celsius-network__trashed/
Celsius Network all-hands: https://youtu.be/40-w9r7WSKM
Bennett's reaction to Coinage interview of Do Kwon: https://youtu.be/vcy_N8Kozf4
What is a red notice?: https://protos.com/what-is-an-interpol-red-notice-and-how-does-it-work/
Cas' article on death fraud: https://medium.com/coinmonks/death-fraud-6920cc93d0a7
This episode was recorded on Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 and edited by Bennett Tomlin.
Saylor's Strategy: a MicroTragedy
Today Bennett and Cas discuss Michael Saylor's reckless behavior, his departure as CEO of MicroStrategy, the tax fraud charges he faces, previous run-ins with the SEC for making up quarterly numbers, and why everyone should have seen this coming.
This episode used clips from Laura Shin's wonderful podcast, Unchained, which you can find here: https://youtu.be/cuRRVo2Cmsc
We also used clips from John Vallis' Bitcoin Rapid-Fire: https://youtu.be/hIZIXKTicw4
This episode was recorded on Monday, September 18th, 2022 and edited by Bennett Tomlin.
Crypto Journalism and Shills (feat. Nikhilesh De)
In this episode Bennett and Cas are joined by CoinDesk journalist Nikhilesh De to discuss how to report on cryptocurrency.
This episode was recorded on August 5th, 2022.
The Good, the Bad, and the Bukele (Feat. Frank Muci)
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are joined by economist Frank Muci to discuss the challenging economic situation in El Salvador, including the need for austerity and the possibility of debt restructuring.
Follow Frank on Twitter @frankmuci.
A Spanish translation will be available on our website: https://cryptocriticscorner.com/
Para una traducción al español transcrita por favor visite https://cryptocriticscorner.com/
This episode was recorded on August 2nd and edited by Griffin Davis.
Draconian Financial Regulation and the Argument for Tether (Feat. Boaz Sobrado)
We're back! Today Bennett and Cas are joined by Boaz Sobrado to discuss Tether's use in Cuba and why people turn to assets as volatile and risky as Bitcoin and stablecoins in sanctioned countries.
Follow Boaz @sobradob.
This episode was produced by Bennett Tomlin.
Coinbase and Kraken Facing Regulatory Actions
Today Bennett and Cas are talking about recent moves by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) to slow down token listings and perhaps even fundamentally alter the business models of every cryptocurrency exchange located in the United States.
Episode recorded on July 28th, 2022.
Sex, Lies, and Ponzinomics: Marketing in Cryptocurrency (Feat. Adam Singer)
Today Bennett and Cas are joined by marketing executive and substack writer Adam Singer to discuss all the issues and problems clearly visible and at the forefront of cryptocurrency companies.
Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamSinger or read his Substack.
This episode was recorded on Tuesday, July 12th, and produced by Asher Hirsch.
A Tether Update
In this episode Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss how Tether has been composing itself over the last several months.
Interview with Paolo Ardoino with Dierdre Bosa: https://twitter.com/CNBCTechCheck/status/1545472707374071808
This episode was recorded on July 10th, 2022 and produced by Asher Hirsch.
The Dogecoin Joke (Feat. Jackson Palmer)
Today Bennett and Cas are joined by Jackson Palmer, co-founder of Dogecoin and host of the Griftonomics podcast. We talk about how Doge flew off the rails, why Jackson has taken a few social media hiatuses, and why he's back and talking about cryptocurrency grifts and scams more than ever before.
Follow Jackson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ummjackson
This episode was recorded on July 10th and produced by Griffin Davis.
Celsius Network: a Pyramid of Ponzis
Today Bennett and Cas talk about a civil suit brought by a former contracted employee of Celsius Network against the entity itself claiming that Celsius Network has, effectively, been run as a Ponzi scheme (and doesn't have the funds to pay back its debts).
This episode was recorded on July 7th (before Celsius Network filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection) and was produced by Asher Hirsch.
Cryptocurrency Criticism in a Bear Market (Feat. Molly White)
Today Bennett and Cas are joined again by Molly White, the single best archivist of web3 fraud (on her website https://web3isgoinggreat.com/), to discuss the difference between criticism during a bull market and a bear market as well as a host of other topics.
This episode was recorded on June 16th and produced by Asher Hirsch.
Follow Molly White on Twitter @Molly0xFFF
Contagions and Cascading Liquidations in Cryptocurrency
Bennett and Cas discuss the risk of contagion in the cryptocurrency ecosystem and how the leverage between lenders and trading firms contribute.
This episode was recorded on June 16th, 2022 and produced by Asher Hirsch.
NFTs, Frauds, and Algorithmic Stablecoins (Feat. Mark Cuban)
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are joined by entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, to discuss NFTs, the proliferations of fraud, and whether or not algorithmic stablecoins are viable.
Follow Mark on Twitter @mcuban.
This episode was recorded on Tuesday, June 7th, 2022, and produced by Asher Hirsch.
Bitcoin ETFs, the SEC, and Regulatory Clarity (Feat. James Seyffart)
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are joined by James Seyffart to discuss what has prevented a spot Bitcoin ETF, and what things may make it easier for that to finally happen.
This episode was recorded on May 23rd, 2022 and produced by Griffin Davis.
New NFT Usecase Discovered, and it's Insider Trading
Today Bennett and Cas discuss the recent Southern District of New York move to charge a former OpenSea employee, Nathaniel Chastain, with wire fraud and money laundering charges related to insider trading.
This episode was recorded on June 5th and produced by Griffin Davis.
Celsius Collapsing: Causes, Concerns, and Catastrophe (Feat. Mike Burgersburg)
Today Bennett and Cas are joined by Mike Burgersburg (Dirty Bubble Media), a Twitter personality, writer, and analyst who has been discussing the systemic risks of Celsius Network and what could, and likely will, ultimately lead to its collapse.
Follow Mike on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeBurgersburg
This episode was produced by Asher Hirsch and recorded on Thursday, June 9th, 2022.
Pre-Philanthropic Billionaires and Bitcoin (Feat. Mario Gibney)
Today Bennett and Cas are joined by Mario Gibney, host of the Unhashed Podcast and employee at a Bitcoin lending service called Ledn. We debate pre-philanthropic billionaires, lending services in the Bitcoin and DeFi industries, and other weird topics.
Follow Mario on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mario_Gibney
This episode was produced by Asher Hirsch.
Disclosures, Conflicts of Interest, and Diplomacy
Today Bennett and Cas discuss a recent phenomena in regard to media personalities either not doing due diligence on sponsors or pretending that any criticism must be coming from a place of malicious intent.
This episode was produced by Griffin Davis.
El Salvador Revisited: Chivo, KYC/AML, and Nayib Bukele (Feat. Domingo Flores)
Bennett and Cas have the opportunity to speak to Domingo Flores, a privacy and infosec specialist who's gained an understanding into key parts of Chivo wallet's functionality.
Follow Domingo on Twitter https://twitter.com/domingroso
This episode was produced by Asher Hirsch and recorded on Monday, May 9th, 2022.
Cryptocurrency, Coinbase, and Contagion (Feat. Jim Chanos)
Today Bennett and Cas are joined by the absolute legendary shortseller Jim Chanos (who successfully shorted Baldwin-United, Enron, and Luckin Coffee) to talk about his thoughts on cryptocurrency, shorting, Coinbase, and other economic woes and fears.
If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, find him at https://twitter.com/WallStCynic
This episode was produced by Griffin Davis recorded on Friday, May 20th, 2022.
Today Cas Piancey reads an article titled "Finding Finex" - a piece written in 2020, two years after a trip to Hong Kong - that describes his fall down the stablecoin rabbit hole and search for the offices of Bitfinex and Tether.
DeFi and Cryptocurrency Risks and Rewards (Feat. Lily Francus)
Today Bennett and Cas are joined by Lily Francus, director and quantitative research strategist at Moody's Analytics, who helps us understand the underlying risks, rewards, and caveats of participating in the decentralized financial industry.
Follow Lily on Twitter @nope_its_lily or join her free Substack here https://nopeitslily.substack.com
This episode was produced by Asher Hirsch and recorded on Thursday, April 28th, 2022.
We Never Wanted to Discuss Terra and Luna ever Again... and yet
Today Bennett and Cas discuss Terra, an algorithmic stablecoin, again. This time they discuss its collapse in realtime (this episode was recorded live as Terra collapsed), what it could mean as far as contagion is concerned, and if other stablecoins need to begin to worry.
This episode was produced by Bennett Tomlin recorded on Wednesday, May 11th, 2022
Terra, Luna, and Algorithmic Stablecoins
Today Bennett and Cas talk about Terra, a stablecoin that uses an algorithm to stay pegged to numerous currencies (mainly the US dollar). Recently, Do Kwon, the creator of Terra, and its token that buoys the stablecoins it supports, Luna, decided to spend $10 billion worth of Luna's reserves to buy Bitcoin.
What does this even mean? Let's figure it out.
Bennett's appearance on the Blockchain Debate Podcast to discuss algo stablecoins: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/motion-algo-and-fractional-stablecoins-are-flawed/id1493609456?i=1000530171560
The FUD Letter's discussion of Terra: https://bennettftomlin.com/2022/02/06/is-terra-stable-the-fud-letter/
The episode was produced by Asher Hirsch and recorded on Sunday, April 24th, 2022.
The Rise and Fall of Reggie Fowler
Today Bennett and Cas discuss Reginald Fowler, a former part-owner of the Minnesota Vikings and co-owner of Crypto Capital Corp - cryptocurrency's shadow bank of choice for years. Reggie recently pled guilty to numerous counts of... we'll just say financial malfeasance, and now faces up to 90 years in prison.
For background on Crypto Capital Corp, listen to episode six of Crypto Critics' Corner: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/crypto-critics-corner/id1557045965?i=1000523117384
For a read about Ravid Yosef, read this piece by Cas: https://thecaspiancey.medium.com/that-time-an-internet-nobody-tracked-a-woman-on-the-hook-for-850-million-and-then-let-her-get-d5d93149c837
An Unscripted Chat with the Richest Man in the World* (Feat. Colin Platt)
Today Bennett and Cas are joined by the richest man in the world*, Colin Platt: creator of PTK. While you may not be aware of this quadrillionaire, he tokenized his way to being king of the world. Other topics discussed include: wash trading, NFTs, and traditional financial issues versus issues seen within the cryptocurrency landscape.
*Colin isn't the richest man in the world in any real sense.
Read about PTK in the Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/9af35678-36d1-3477-93b8-c3990b87b16a
Follow Colin on Twitter @colingplatt
This episode was recorded on Thursday, April 14th, 2022
Evading North Korean Sanctions 101
Today Bennett and Cas talk about the unfortunate tale of Virgil Griffith, who was recently sentenced to over five years in prison for helping North Korea attempt to evade US sanctions.
The story is absurd for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to:
• generally, as a rule of thumb, don't evade US sanctions
• if, indeed, you plan on continuing with your sanctions evasion plan, don't write it down
• the US sentencing and prison system isn't fair
Here's some of the documentaries mentioned:
A State of Mind: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/astateofmind
Secret State of North Korea: https://youtu.be/N-cX1d4BSCI
This episode was recorded on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022.
An Early Skeptic's Telling of "Why be skeptical?" (Feat. David Gerard)
Today Bennett and Cas are joined by pioneering cryptocurrency author and skeptic David Gerard so he can tell us why he was skeptical in the first place and why he continues to be so today.
Attack of the 50 Foot Blockhain https://www.amazon.com/Attack-50-Foot-Blockchain-Contracts-ebook/dp/B073CPP581
Libra Shrugged https://www.amazon.com/Libra-Shrugged-Facebook-Tried-Money-ebook/dp/B08KK9SZP6/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
Extraordinary Popular Delusions http://supernovae.in2p3.fr/~llg/Textes/Extraordinary-Popular-Delusions-Mackay.pdf
The Politics of Bitcoin https://www.amazon.com/Politics-Bitcoin-Right-Wing-Extremism-Forerunners/dp/1517901804
Cas' article on Caritas Ponzi Scheme https://thecaspiancey.medium.com/caritas-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-hating-and-love-the-ponzi-26bd8e05c066
Cas on Crypto Island by PJ Vogt https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/crypto-island/id1614253637?i=1000556292753
This episode was recorded on Friday, April 8th, 2022
The Career Criminal Conspiracies of Cas Piancey
Today Cas (Orson Newstat) and Bennett talk about Cas' previous arrest record and why he's being forced to share his name and discuss an arrest from 16 years ago.
The ECASH Act (Feat. Rohan Grey)
Today Bennett and Cas are joined by returning guest and assistant professor of law at Willamette College, Rohan Grey. We're going to speak with him about the ECASH Act (which you can read here: https://lynch.house.gov/_cache/files/1/7/17e47e5a-2bff-42c1-b509-eb8a50931fa6/BDDFF183213326821B5C88B7F326EABB.ecashact-lynch.pdf), a bill he helped author that aims to bring the privacy of physical cash into the modern age.
Follow Rohan on Twitter @rohangrey.
This episode was recorded on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022.
Metaverse 2: Venture Capitalist Judgement Day (Feat. münecat)
Today Bennett and Cas are joined by a brilliant creator, münecat, who recently did a wonderful YouTube video about how Web3 is ushering in a libertarian dystopia.
Watch her video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-sNSjS8cq0
Watch her video on Gary Vee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Xpx0l6FXJU
This is the book she mentions at the beginning of the episode: https://www.amazon.com/Life-After-Google-Blockchain-Economy/dp/1621575764
This episode was recorded on Monday, March 28th, 2022.
We Need to talk about El Salvador (Feat. Mario Gómez and Oscar Salguero)
Today Bennett and Cas are joined by two Salvadoran natives - Mario Gómez, a developer who was arrested in El Salvador for voicing criticism about the Bitcoin bill, and Oscar Salguero, a senior software engineer who has been traveling to and from El Salvador, testing the limits of the cryptocurrency remittance services.
Para nuestros oyentes en español, hay una transcripción disponible aquí: https://cryptocriticscorner.com/2022/03/29/episode-63-we-need-to-talk-about-el-salvador-feat-mario-gomez-and-oscar-salguero/#spanish-transcript
This is an incredible episode.
If you want to follow Mario on Twitter, please click here: https://twitter.com/mxgxw_alpha
If you want to follow Oscar on Twitter, please click here: https://twitter.com/OscarSalguero (or his website https://oscarsalguero.dev)
Here are some of the articles and stats referenced during the episode:
This episode was recorded on Thursday, March 24th, 2022
Should Money Laundering be a Crime? (Feat. Josh Cincinnati)
Bennett and Cas are joined by their good friend, former executive director of the Zcash Foundation, and current board member of the Mina Foundation, Josh Cincinnati.
We wanted to pretend this was a debate about whether money laundering should be illegal, instead we all pretty much agreed, "Yes, it should." But we had to define it first and discuss the rules and regulations put in place because of it before coming to a peace accord.
Follow Josh on Twitter @acityinohio or visit his website https://ponzico.win
This episode was recorded on Monday, March 21st, 2022.
Trying to Think like the SEC (Feat. John Reed Stark)
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are joined by John Reed Stark of John Reed Stark Consulting and formerly with the Securities and Exchange Commission for over two decades. We discuss our frustrations with the SEC, the perceived lack of action, and what John expects to see from them in the coming years.
Visit John's website: https://www.johnreedstark.com/digital-trust-watch/
Or, follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/johnreedstark?s=11
CORRECTION: John mentions Kik as having requested SEC staff disclose cryptocurrency holdings - this was actually requested by Ripple in the ongoing litigation brought against them by the SEC.
This episode was recorded on Thursday, March 17th, 2022
The Foul Financials of Cryptocurrency (Feat. Francine McKenna)
Today Bennett and Cas are proud to have Francine McKenna, former auditor, current journalist, and soon to be professor at Wharton, to talk to us about all the problems with auditing, cryptocurrencies, and, let's face it, Tether's totally garbage attestations.
Francine's newsletter: https://thedig.substack.com
The Chickenshit Club by Jesse Eisinger: https://www.amazon.com/Chickenshit-Club-Department-Prosecute-Executives/dp/1501121375/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
Dave Michaels' article on The Big Four: https://www.wsj.com/articles/big-four-accounting-firms-come-under-regulators-scrutiny-11647364574
The Many Faces and Citizenships of Justin Sun
Bennett and Cas talk about Justin Sun (or Sun Yuchen): billionaire, creator of TRON cryptocurrency, citizen to five-ten countries, and egomaniac who has managed to outrun and outpace law enforcement for years.
Read the fantastic The Verge article about Justin: https://www.theverge.com/c/22947663/justin-sun-tron-cryptocurrency-poloniex
Cities and the Blockchain
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey talk about the proliferation of cities associated with blockchains, why the concept in and of itself is silly, and go through some historical and current examples.
If you'd like to listen to Bennett and Cas' other podcast, Innovated: Blockchain City, you can listen here:
Ukraine and Russia and What it Means for Cryptocurrency
Today Bennett and Cas talk about the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces (as dictated by Vladimir Putin). We discuss the need for being cautious when donating to newly created charities, to not FOMO into giving, and the deep effects that sanctions against Russia may have within the space.
If you'd like to donate to a humanitarian relief effort that will support Ukraine, here are three (feel free to research further and/or donate elsewhere!):
Doctors Without Borders: https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/
Save the Children: https://support.savethechildren.org/site/Donation2?df_id=1620&1620.donation=form1
Committee to Protect Journalists: https://cpj.org/
This episode was recorded on Thursday, March 3rd, 2022
This Man Murders Scams (Feat. ZachXBT)
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are lucky enough to be joined by the "Batman of Cryptocurrency" - pseudoanonymous Twitter user ZachXBT (https://www.twitter.com/zachxbt).
We ask him what it's like uncovering every fraud and scam in crypto, why he does it, and whether the Cryptocurrency Batcave has a secret "nuke scam project" button.
Donate to Zach either at his ETH address: zachxbt.eth
Visit his website here: https://investigations.notion.site/
Here's a list of links that were discussed during the episode:
Company Towns - Past, Present, and Future (Feat. Dr. Ángela Vergara)
Bennett and Cas are joined by Dr. Ángela Vergara - an expert in company towns and co-author of Company Towns in the Americas. We try to address why they tend to fail, how they usually harm employees, and why they've never really gone away.
If you want to follow Dr. Vergara on Twitter, you can find her @vergara_angela.
The new podcast Bennett and Cas will be hosting is available here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/innovated-blockchain-city/id1611390567
Dr. Vergara's book is available on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Company-Towns-Americas-Working-Class-Transformation/dp/0820333298)
You can follow Protos @Protos on Twitter, or visit their website www.Protos.com
This episode was recorded on Thursday, February 24th, 2022.
Web3 is Wonky (Feat. Molly White)
Today Bennett and Cas have the distinct privilege to have on Molly White, the creator and maintainer of www.web3isgoinggreat.com - a beautiful showcase of all the disastrous projects that have plagued the Web3 ecosystem thus far. We ask Molly why so many grifters are interested in blockchains, her goals with her website, and why the Federal Reserve, Treasury, and Jamie Dimon are paying her billions to FUD cryptocurrency.
Follow all of Molly's projects: www.web3isgoinggreat.com - blog.mollywhite.net - follow her on twitter - @molly0xFFF - @web3isgreat
This episode was recorded on Friday, February 25th, 2022.
The Verification Scam, How it Works, and Why it's Everywhere
Bennett and Cas talk about the most recent scam that's been omnipresent on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media outlets: the verification scam.
If you've spent any time on Twitter or Instagram, you'll have noticed verified accounts with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers that are spam liking tweets (usually about NFTs). But there's a lot more to the story than a simple compromised account. Let's talk about the thriving ecosystem of compromised verified accounts, engagement farming, and public relations firms that all work together to make our lives worse.
This episode was recorded on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022.
Inflation, the Federal Reserve, and Bitcoin (Feat. Michael Green)
Today Bennett and Cas are joined by the portfolio manager and chief strategist for Simplify Asset Management, Michael Green (on Twitter @profplum99).
In one of our most wide-ranging discussions, we had the opportunity to pick Mike's brain on what inflation means for the U.S. and the world, how the Fed should respond, the Canadian Trucker Convoy / Protest, and what all of it might mean for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general.
Mike specifically mentions The Trades of March 2020, a book by Alex Gurevich, available here: https://www.amazon.com/Trades-March-2020-against-Uncertainty-ebook/dp/B09NX372KG
This episode was recorded on Thursday, February 17th, 2022.
Celebrities Love Cryptocurrencies - and it's lame (Feat. Ben McKenzie and Jacob Silverman)
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are joined by Ben McKenzie (star of Gotham, Southland, and The O.C.) and Jacob Silverman (author of Terms of Service and writer for The New Republic and Slate) who discuss the ideas behind their upcoming book about cryptocurrency, their issues with celebrity shilling of speculative assets, and how it really feels like corporate greed is eating our democracy.
Here are some of the books and movies mentioned during the interview:
Lying for Money by Dan Davies - https://www.amazon.com/Lying-Money-Legendary-Frauds-Workings-ebook/dp/B078WFT5JV
The Future of Money by Eswar Prasad - https://www.amazon.com/Future-Money-Revolution-Transforming-Currencies/dp/0674258444
The China Hustle - https://www.amazon.com/China-Hustle-Dan-David/dp/B07BQH2LQG
This episode was recorded on Monday, February 14th, 2022
The Return of the Bitfinex Hack: $4.5 billion in Bitcoin is Found and Seized
Today Bennett and Cas will be talking about how $3.5 billion dollars (of $4.5 billion) worth of Bitcoin stolen 6 years ago was found and seized by the US Department of Justice.
We discuss Ilya Lichtenstein, Heather Reyhan Morgan, what this means for all the Bitfinex tokens, and if it's possible the funds won't be returned to Bitfinex at all.
This episode was record on February 12th, 2022.
Oh, a thing called Wormhole ate $320,000,000? Are you surprised?
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey talk about the recent incredible hack of the cryptocurrency bridge, aptly named, Wormhole. Did $320,000,000 worth of ETH evaporate? Yes. Did Jump Crypto 100% cover that? Also yes.
The US Dollar, Inflation, and Recession (Feat. Travis Kimmel)
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey have the opportunity to chat with THE BEAR LORD - or just Travis, if you prefer - about all things SCARY when it comes to the future of the dollar, yields, cryptocurrency, and the economy as a whole.
Follow Travis on Twitter @coloradotravis
(Recorded on Monday, January 31st, 2022)
Michael and Omar and 0xSifu, oh my!
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey bring you up to date on an old character in an old story: Michael Patryn - er, should we say Omar Dhanani? Or 0xSifu? It's all up for debate, because on January 27th, 2022, the cofounder of QuadrigaCX, a now defunct Canadian cryptocurrency exchange - reappeared in a big way: by being the chief financial officer and treasurer for one of the biggest decentralized protocols around today.
So now what?
Read the initial thread exposing Michael Patryn here: https://twitter.com/zachxbt/status/1486591682728673282?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet
The Complex History and Weird Transition of DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations)
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss the long, complex, and fraught history of DAOs (or Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) and try to understand the current hype cycle.
Bitcoin's Black Swans (Feat. Doomberg)
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are joined by Doomberg - Twitter and Substack's favorite Little financial Chicken - to discuss Bitcoin's, and cryptocurrency in general's, biggest threats for maximum liquidations and pain (including, but not limited to: Microstrategy, El Salvador, and Tether).
Follow Doomberg on Twitter @Doomberg or subscribe to their Substack at doomberg.substack.com
If you'd like to subscribe to Bennett Tomlin's FUD Letter, please visit https://TheFUDLetter.com/#/portal/ for details.
Note: This episode was recorded on Friday, January 21st, 2022
Poker's Black Friday (Feat. Jason Bral)
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss online Poker's Black Friday - April 15th, 2011 - and it's everlasting effects with Jason Bral, a semi-professional poker player.
Energy Problem in Kazakhstan is an Energy Problem for Bitcoin
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey talk about how Bitcoin mining works, why the Bitcoin miners have (mostly) fled China, why the Bitcoin miners moved to Kazakhstan, and how Kazakhstan's spike in in fossil fuel prices and political upheaval has effected Bitcoin.
Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos, and the Future of VC (Feat. Elizabeth Lopatto)
Today Bennett and Cas are lucky enough to have the opportunity to discuss the Elizabeth Holmes trial with Elizabeth Lopatto, Deputy Editor of The Verge, who was present for the entirety of the trial.
Please read some of her eye-opening pieces written during and since the end of the trial here:
Also worth listening to John Carreyrou's podcast, available here:
Craig Steven Wright is a Crier and a Flawed (individual)
Today Bennett and Cas talk about Craig Steven Wright, the self-proclaimed "Satoshi Nakamoto," and lawyer, doctor, ninja, and creator of Bitcoin Satoshi's Vision.
The Silk Road, Bitcoin, and Ross (Feat. Nicholas Weaver)
For the last episode of 2021 Bennett and Cas are joined by Nicholas Weaver (@ncweaver on Twitter) to discuss the history of the darknet marketplace The Silk Road, which was owned and operated by Ross Ulbricht, who is currently serving a double life sentence without parole, and its association with Bitcoin.
F*ck the SEC, all my friends hate the SEC
Today Bennett and Cas rant about the ineffectiveness of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and its mostly failure fraught 87-year history.
The World is a Ponzi Scheme, You just Live in It
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey talk about the history of Ponzi schemes, the definition of Ponzi schemes, and why they're both pretty tired of hearing everything described as a Ponzi scheme (hint: it's because most things aren't Ponzi schemes).
NFTs, the New Short Killer? No. Definitely Not.
Today Bennett and Cas talk about an idea being passed around that NFTs or non-fungible tokens will ruin shorts and change the market forever.
The reality? No. Definitely not.
The El Salvador Bitcoin - Volcano - Bitcoin City Bond
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss a really interesting and weird idea: the El Salvador Bitcoin Volcano Bonds offered by El Salvador in collaboration with Tether, iFinex, and Blockstream.
Stablecoins will Fork your Chain if they Want to Fork
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey talk about the concept that maybe stablecoins play an intimate role in how successful a fork of a major cryptocurrency is or whether the cryptocurrency forks at all.
The Tether Papers (feat. David Canellis of Protos)
Today we dissect The Tether Papers along with one of the main authors, David Canellis - also the head of the Protos newsroom.
Please follow along at home by reading The Tether Papers here: https://protos.com/tether-papers-crypto-stablecoin-usdt-investigation-analysis/
The President's Working Group and Algo Stablecoin Woes
In today's episode Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss the President's Working Group, which recently released a report on stablecoins, and the issues that the creator of TerraUSD (an algorithmic stablecoin) is facing.
Tracking Tether and Working on Ethereum Layer 2 (with Daniel Goldman)
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are joined by a good friend and special guest Daniel Goldman, an engineer working on the Ethereum layer 2 solution called Arbitrum, but who is also a cryptocurrency critic. Daniel helped create a Twitter bot that allowed skeptics to follow any and all Tether prints for years, and without his work the chore of monitoring every large Tether print during the early days would've been an annoying errand.
Decentralization and Tribalism (featuring Oliver Beige)
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey talk with Oliver Beige, an engineer turned economist, who tell us whether decentralization is sustainable and how tribalism plays a role.
Taiwan and Tether (with Sam Reynolds)
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are joined by Blockworks author Sam Reynolds, a Taipei-based reporter, who discusses the early history of Tether in Taiwan and what can be implied by their issues with their early banking partners.
The Pandora Papers
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey talk about a huge investigative drop from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists: the Pandora Papers.
The leaks will help the public understand how the rich, famous, and politically connected are able to evade taxes and move money without anyone knowing.
If you'd like to read about the Papers yourself, please visit https://www.icij.org/investigations/pandora-papers/
If you'd like to donate to the ICIJ, please visit https://checkout.fundjournalism.org/memberform?org_id=icij&installmentPeriod=monthly&amount=10&campaign=701f4000001A4kF
Liberty Reserve: the first stablecoin
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey review Liberty Reserve - the first stablecoin and the first stablecoin shutdown by US regulators.
Evergrande with David Z. Morris
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are joined, once again, by David Z. Morris, the chief insights columnist at Coindesk, to discuss what's happening with Evergrande, why it matters for other regions and industries, and how the property market on the Chinese Mainland operates.
Cryptocurrency Lending is Too Good to Believe
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey explore the incredible interest rates offered by centralized cryptocurrency lenders, how they likely make their money, and whether or not any of them are "risk-free."
Remembering Fraud: WorldCom
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey reflect on a fraud that began in the 1980s and ended when the Dot-Com Bubble burst: WorldCom. Are there applicable comparisons to cryptocurrency and securities markets of today? (Hint: Yes.)
C.R.E.A.M. Cumberland Rules Everything Around Me
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss the history and importance of DRW/Cumerbland Global, one of the top liquidity providers in the cryptocurrency space, and speculate on the influence the company exerts on the industry.
Binance: the Tai Chi Document
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey talk about the Binance Tai Chi document (which you can read about here https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeldelcastillo/2020/10/29/leaked-tai-chi-document-reveals-binances-elaborate-scheme-to-evade-bitcoin-regulators/?sh=6dbafb302a92).
This was recorded *before* Binance introduced full-KYC (know-your-customer) practices, but highlights previous issues with Binance, Binance US, and other Binance affiliated companies.
If you're interested in the book by Evan Ratliff that we mention, it can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/Mastermind-Drugs-Empire-Murder-Betrayal/dp/0399590412
Blockchain Terminal with Robert Green
Robert Green (@robogreen on Twitter), a marketing consultant who ended up doing contract work for Blockchain Terminal - a company claiming to be "the Bloomberg Terminal," but for cryptocurrencies! - joins us to discuss his time at the bold project.
The main problem with the company? One of the biggest fraudsters in Canadian history was running things under a pseudonym, "Shaun MacDonald," and was planning his exit scam from day one (perhaps even laundering funds from a pervious scam to bootstrap the project).
Tune in to hear the full story.
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss the history, function, positives, negatives, flaws, and potential benefits of Bitcoin.
Algorithmic stablecoins and regulation, Part II featuring Frances Coppola
The second part of the two-part discussion with Frances Coppola. On this episode, Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey ask about algorithmic stablecoins, overcollateralized stablecoins, regulation, and historical precedent for pegged-currency failures.
Inflation, deflation, and stablecoins with Frances Coppola (Part I)
Frances Coppola - "infamous" nocoiner and author - joins Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey to teach everyone a thing or two about inflation, deflation, hyperinflation, and stablecoin regulation.
Crypto Charity - where you donate to random people making promises and get nothing in return
Today's episode is guest-less! Just Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discussing how particularly egregious cryptocurrency-based charities tend to be. Examples include Jacob Kostecki, Binance's Pink Care Token, and Deltec Cares.
From Skeptic to Believer: Preston Byrne on the cryptocurrency ecosystem
Lawyer Preston Byrne joins Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey for a wide-ranging discussion that goes from his own crypto journey (of skeptic to believer) to regulatory and legal risks for stablecoin operators.
Visit his Twitter to see more from Preston https://twitter.com/prestonjbyrne
Stablecoins, CBDCs, and the STABLE Act with Rohan Grey
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are joined by Assistant Professor of Law at Willamette University and one of the authors of the STABLE Act, Rohan Grey. We discuss how stablecoins operate, what he hopes to see from CBDCs and the problems he sees in all kinds of new(er) money markets.
Find him on Twitter @rohangrey
Revisiting Enron with David Z. Morris
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are joined by David Z. Morris to discuss what happened at Enron, the ramifications of its downfall, and how the climate during Enron relates to today.
If you'd like to hear more from David visit his website http://www.davidzmorris.com/
his twitter profile https://twitter.com/davidzmorris
or subscribe to his substack http://davidzmorris.substack.com
Behold the Brash Bunk from Bitfinex and Binance
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss Cas' trip to Hong Kong in search of the ethereal Bitfinex headquarters, how and why exchanges continue to try to get away with existing nowhere, and what it means for consumers.
BitClout is Bad with David Canellis
Today Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey bring on David Canellis, the director of news at Protos Media (https://protos.com) and long time journalist covering cryptocurrency and fintech, to discuss the "decentralized" social media platform BitClout.
We'll talk about its odd origin story, why David thinks it's probably destined to fail, and why it reminds us of so many other projects that never made it out of the 2017/2018 cryptocurrency bullrun.
Regulatory Capture and Regulatory Arbitrage: Sleeping with your Enemy
In this episode Bennett and Cas discuss the concepts of regulatory capture and regulatory arbitrage - systemic problems that aren't unique to any particular industry, but have helped dissolve public trust of regulators and enriched some of the worst companies and individuals.
El Salvador and Bitcoin
Bennett and Cas try to discuss an intensely complex and controversial topic: what Bitcoin being declared legal tender in El Salvador will mean for the small, Central American country.
This one weird trick will stop you from ever having a bank run!! (never let anyone redeem)
In this episode, Bennett and Cas discuss the confusing concept of what a "Tether redemption" would look like: an ever-shifting definition built on a stablecoin with an ever-shifting definition of what 1-1 backed by traditional fiat currency means.
Though we haven't seen an actual Tether redemption shown on Twitter, or otherwise, for the world to see, we look forward to someone coming forward with one shortly!
Shillfluencers (and the unspoken financial epidemic)
In this episode Bennett and Cas discuss what's being termed "shillfluencers," or influencers, celebrities, and other individuals with wealth and power, who use their "influence" to "shill" their investments. There's plenty of people - including billionaires (Elon) and has-beens (Soulja Boy) - who continue to take advantage of their ability to manipulate markets, to the point where it feels like a societal sickness.
But will there be consequences?
Coinbase Media and why Venture Capitalism Hates Journalism
Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss how Coinbase plans on creating a media company to confirm its own version of the facts and report its own version of the truth. Is journalism entering its final death spiral or are VC bros just losing their minds?
Read more here:
QuadrigaCX: the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange that just won't die
Bennett and Cas dive into what happened at QuadrigaCX - once the largest Canadian Bitcoin exchange.
If you'd like to read a more detailed piece you can find "Death Fraud" here:
Crypto Capital Corp: the quiet billion dollar cryptocurrency scam
Cas and BT discuss Crypto Capital Corp, a defunct, fake, Panamanian money services transmitter that helped service almost every important cryptocurrency exchange, owned and operated by Reginald Fowler, Ivan Manuel Molina Lee, and Oz and Ravid Yosef.
Two Pie Charts and a $60 billion Stablecoin
Today Bennett Tomlin and I go over the recent disclosure by Tether of the make up of its reserves.
If you'd like to read more, please visit:
"For Every $1 in Tether there are $0.03 in Cash"
"Inside the Great Pie Chart giving Tether its dollar value"
Zhao Dong: A Summary
This episode, unfortunately, is absent Bennett. Quick summary of why Zhao Dong ended up being sentenced to prison time in China.
If you'd like to read more:
After going through the history and red flags behind Tether and Bitfinex, Bennett Tomlin and I go through some questions from the listeners.
Tether: A Stable Discussion Part II
In this part of our discussion, Bennett Tomlin and I go over the later problems Bitfinex and Tether encountered, why the New York Attorney General filed an injunction, and what the settlement between iFinex and the NYAG means for the companies and the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Tether: A Stable Discussion
In this recorded conversation, Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss the early history of Bitfinex and Tether and why Tether has outpaced Bitfinex as a growing concern.
Another discussion concerning the NYAG settlement and ongoing skepticism will be addressed in the next conversation.