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The internet of money is being built with blockchain technology and without banks. We call it DeFi, short for Decentralized Finance, and this is where you can hear the builders and users of this cutting edge world tell their stories first hand. Hosted by Camila Russo.
 
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show series
 
In this week’s episode I speak with Stephen Young, the founder and CEO of NFTfi, a platform for enabling NFT-backed loans. For some people, decentralized finance and nonfungible tokens sit on two separate worlds; DeFi on one end with its different lending, boring, and trading applications, and NFTs, with their digital art, music royalties and colle…
 
In this week’s episode, I speak with John Crain, the co-founder & CEO of SuperRare, one of the top NFT marketplaces. SuperRare wants to differentiate itself by being the NFT marketplace that best curates art, specifically. John believes the natural evolution for NFT platforms will be to specialize in verticals. The team recently launched a token an…
 
In this week’s episode, I speak with Gabby Dizon, co-founder of Yield Guild Games, or YGG. Long before Gabby was into crypto he was into gaming, and that’s how he started playing Axie Infinity, a blockchain-based game where players earn cryptocurrency just for playing. Gabby eventually became a well-known figure in the Axie community, spreading the…
 
In this week’s episode, we speak with Dan Morehead, the founder of one of the longest-standing and largest crypto funds. Dan founded Pantera Capital in 2003 as a global macro hedge fund. In 2013, Pantera began investing in Bitcoin and quickly shifted its entire focus into crypto. Today, Pantera manages $3.8 billion in digital assets and equity in b…
 
In this week’s episode we speak with Ryan Selkis, CEO and founder of Messari, one of the most popular crypto data and research companies. Recently, Ryan has been very vocal about crypto regulation in the US. We talk about how he believes the infrastructure bill was a catalyzing event for the whole American crypto ecosystem. He believes while there …
 
In this week’s episode we interview Nate Chastain, head of product at OpenSea. Opensea got its start back in 2017 when CryptoKitties launched on Ethereum. After those digital cats, the NFT space was pretty dead for the next couple of years. Now OpenSea is reaping the rewards of hanging through that NFT winter, as NFT summer explodes with punks, ape…
 
In this week’s episode, I speak with some of the creators and investors behind Stoner Cats, the NFT-infused adult cartoon show about a group of cats who become sentient from their owner’s marihuana. And there are famous humans behind these cats, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin is one, and Jane Fonda is another. Ashton Kutcher’s VC fund is also inv…
 
In this week’s episode, I interview Chris Blec, a researcher advocating for transparency in DeFi. He was first drawn to cryptocurrencies through Bitcoin. He decided to go into crypto full time, first consulting with a token project in the ICO days, and later, in late 2019, by creating a YouTube channel where he aimed to educate users on how DeFi pr…
 
In this week’s episode I interview Raoul Pal, who retired from the hedge fund world at 36 years old and has run financial media company Real Vision for the seven years since. He predicted the housing bubble, he was early to call the devastating effect the pandemic would have on the economy, and now he gives us his thoughts on what he sees is coming…
 
In this week’s episode we speak with Tim Beiko, who organizes the Ethereum core developers calls and knows all the intricacies and latest development of the world’s most active blockchain. We spoke right after Beiko had proposed a date for the implementation of one of the biggest changes expected to happen to the Ethereum blockchain in recent histo…
 
In this week’s episode we speak with Dan Robinson, a research partner at Paradigm, one of the most active VC funds in DeFi and crypto. One of the fund’s investments is Unsiwap, where Dan also had a central role in the design of v3, the latest version of DeFi’s most popular decentralized exchange. Dan talks about why Uniswap was so exciting as an in…
 
In this week’s episode we speak with Jess Sloss, the instigator of Seed Club, a DAO that builds and invests in community tokens. We talk about the emergence of the social token economy, and how that’s different from the creator economy or the gig economy; the difference is that social tokens and DAOs allow individuals to create wealth rather than c…
 
In this week’s episode, I speak with Soona Amhaz of Volt Capital. Soona saw the value of crypto from very close when her family lost most of their savings after Lebanon’s currency crashed. She immediately told them to move their money to Bitcoin to protect themselves against further currency devaluation and currency controls. She was working on a s…
 
In this week’s episode I speak with Mariano Conti, the former head of smart contracts at MakerDAO. Mariano knows the value of having permissionless and uncensorable currencies first hand —he started earning in Bitcoin in 2014 in Argentina because pesos would instantly lose value and it was hard to get dollars. When he learned about Ethereum he went…
 
In this week’s episode, I speak with Terry Crews, a legit star. He was a professional football player, has starred in multiple Hollywood films and currently leads in TV shows including America’s Got Talent. He is also a cryptocurrency enthusiast, minting his own social token called POWER. Terry has a very powerful story on how he got into crypto. I…
 
In this week’s episode, I interview Jeff Dorman, chief investment officer at Arca, an investment management firm focusing on digital assets. Jeff has been valuing assets for the past 20 years, from investment-grade bonds, to high-yield debt and equities, and now he’s doing the same for crypto. We talk about the recent selloff and he thinks the big …
 
In this week’s episode I interview Kayvon Tehranian, founder & CEO of Foundation, a platform for minting, buying and selling non-fungible tokens. We talked about the future of the internet —Kayvon believes blockchains are adding property rights to the internet. He also thinks that instead of having to wait for old institutions to come online, new o…
 
In today’s episode, we interview Preston Van Loon. Preston co-founded Prysmatic Labs, one of the main teams building Ethereum 2.0, and has been leading that team for the past three years. On top of that, he recently founded a DeFi project which bundles the entire crypto market cap in one token to allow anyone to easily buy something like a crypto i…
 
In this week’s podcast we interview Santiago Siri, who has been working on improving the way democracy works for over a decade. He started from the inside, co-founding a political party in Argentina, his home country, but realized traditional politics would change him before he could change politics. So he started building better representation for…
 
In this week’s episode, we talk with Varun Kumar and Pranay Mohan from Hashflow, a new decentralized exchange that wants to unbundle Uniswap. What this means is, they want to keep the non-custodial side and the liquidity pools, but instead of finding prices with smart contacts and a formula, they use market makers applying their highly specialized …
 
In this week’s episode, we interview Do Kwon, cofounder of the Terra ecosystem which includes a payments network, a stablecoin, a lending protocol and a synthetic assets platform. We talk about how he was able to achieve what most crypto companies can’t which is to get a broad non-crypto native user base. Terra’s Chai payments system, which uses th…
 
In this week's episode we interview 0xMaki, an anonymous DeFi developer contributing to SushiSwap and Yearn Finance protocols. We talk about growing Sushi beyond its drama-filled beginnings as a fork of Uniswap, into a DEX that can hold its own as the second-most active trading platform in Ethereum DeFi. He goes into the main pieces that set SushiS…
 
In this week’s episode we talk with the DeFi artist of the moment. Pplpleasr got into DeFi drawn in by the crazy yields but really stayed when she resonated with the community —the gaming-like, niche subculture of memes and internet-native humor. She started making videos for many DeFi teams, from Yeran to Pickle Finance. Her latest and best-known …
 
Jim Bianco has decades of experience as a macro markets researcher. He's been leading his firm Bianco Research since 1990 and was at UBS and Lehman Brothers before that. It was after installing MetaMask, and doing some yield farming and NFT investing, that he realized, DeFi is a new financial system, and it will replace the old one. And the reason …
 
In this week’s episode we speak with Antonio Juliano, founder and CEO of dYdX, one of the biggest decentralized exchanges on Ethereum, focusing on derivatives. dYdX recently made news by being one of the first major DeFi projects to move to Layer 2. One of the main goals for his team this year will be to further decentralize dYdX, Juliano said, fro…
 
In this week’s episode we speak with Mike Novogratz, the CEO of Galaxy Digital. He started his career at Goldman Sachs and then led a macro hedge fund at Fortress, which was shuttered in 2015. He then went all-in on crypto, in part thanks to convincing from his college roommate Joe Lubin, and founded Galaxy Digital, an investment bank for digital a…
 
In this week’s episode I interview Ameen Soleimani, one of the most prolific builders in Ethereum. He’s the CEO of SpankChain, a blockchain-based adult entertainment platform, the co-creator of MolochDAO, a DAO to fund Ethereum projects, and the co-founder of Reflexer Labs, which created RAI, a purely ether-backed stablecoin. We talk about the need…
 
In this week’s podcast episode, we speak with long-time crypto investor Qiao Wang. Wang is a partner at the DeFi Alliance and former head of product at Messari. Unlike many Bitcoiners who get into crypto because of their ideological views, or Ethereans attracted by the possibility of building decentralized apps, Wang had been a quant trader for 10 …
 
In this week’s episode, we speak with Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner, billionaire investor and Shark Tank star. It’s been hard to pin down if Cuban is a crypto skeptic or believer. He has questioned the value of bitcoin and called its price surges a bubble, but he has also accepted crypto payments for his basketball team, and tweeted about usin…
 
In this week’s podcast episode we interview MetaKovan, the pseudonymous investor who holds the largest known NFT collection in his Metapruse fund, which he leads with his (also pseudonymous partner) Twobadour. MetaKovan made waves in the surging NFT space after buying all 20 pieces of the Beeple collection at auction for $2.5M. In this interview, w…
 
In today’s episode, I speak with Erik Voorhees, long-time crypto advocate and founder and CEO of ShapeShift. In this interview, he talks about how he was able to stop gathering information about his customers and take the exchange back to its roots, by leaning into DeFi. His plan is to create a platform that connects with all of the different DeFi …
 
Justin Blau, better known as 3LAU, is a DJ who frequently plays at all the major festivals, he produces his own successful tracks, as well as remixes for pop stars like Rihanna and Katy Perry. He became interested in blockchain technology because it can provide a means for fans to provably to own and digital content and for artists to better moneti…
 
In this week’s episode I interview Fred Chesnias, the CEO of Atari. The video game company now has a token and plans to release a wallet and even an exchange. The token is an erc20, which Atari hopes will get used across any game, not just their own. With the token, users will be able to buy Atari NFTs, which include wearables to make a fashion sta…
 
In this week’s episode, I speak with Robert Sharratt, managing director at CrescoFin, a Swiss-regulated crypto firm which wants to become a bank alternative. He says Cresco’s objective is to replace banking with code. And while that sounds revolutionary, he’s the first to admit he’s in a “boring business.” He’s not building a yield farming platform…
 
In today’s episode I talk with Jeff Garzik, the Bitcoin core developer turned DeFi builder. Jeff comes from leading Bloq, a blockchain infrastructure company focusing on enterprises. As much as decentralized finance is exciting and groundbreaking, he believes its lacking professionalism. Jeff believes DeFi needs to be easy for retail users and for …
 
In this week’s episode I speak with Stefan George, the cofounder and CTO of Gnosis. Gnosis is one of the OG Ethereum projects. It was founded in 2015 by Stefan and Martin Koppelman as a prediction market platform on Ethereum and it’s now an ecosystem of financial applications, with a decentralized multi-sig wallet, called Gnosis Safe, and a decentr…
 
In this week’s episode I speak with E.G. Galano, cofounder of Infura, an infrastructure provider for Ethereum and other blockchains. Many Ethereum applications depend on Infura to run their nodes, and it became apparent why that’s problematic recently, when the service provider was having trouble connecting to the Ethereum blockchain, causing much …
 
This weeks podcast episode is with Mona El Isa, the co-founder of Melon, a decentralized asset management protocol. Mona tells the story of how she started her career at Goldman Sachs trading equities, derivatives, and all kinds of financial instruments, for a decade. She then went to work with one of Goldman’s hedge fund clients, where she managed…
 
In this week’s episode, I speak with Illia Polosukhin, cofounder of the Near Protocol and Fernando Martinelli, co-founder and CEO of Balancer Labs. Near is one of the up and coming Layer 1 chains, Balancer is a prominent DeFi protocol and application on Ethereum that will now also be on Near and other blockchains. As for Near being labeled an “Ethe…
 
In this week’s interview, I speak with Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder and CEO of crypto liquidity provider Alameda Research and derivatives exchange FTX, and with Anatoly Yakovenko, the creator of the Solana blockchain. Bankman-Fried, recently announced the launch of Serum, a DEX built on the Solana blockchain. SBF has become known to be a ruthless …
 
This week’s interview is with Trevor McFedries, who is behind Lil Miquela, a 19-year-old aspiring pop star with almost 3M Instagram followers, striking deals with Clavin Klein and Prada. But what’s more surprising is that she’s not human. She’s a computer-generated, character. The company that Trevor co-founded, called Brud, created her image and l…
 
The founder of Summa speaks to The Defiant about why he has become disillusioned with decentralized finance. Stories of financial inclusion are much rarer than stories of somebody raising hundreds of millions in a token sale or people throwing money at the latest yield farming protocol. Still, he’s encouraged by the fact that it is much easier to l…
 
Muneeb Ali, Co-Founder and CEO of Blockstack PBC, connects with Matt Luongo, Founder at Fold and Keep. Matt describes how his journey to buy a home eventually led to the projects he's working on now and how the developer communities surrounding Ethereum and Bitcoin have influenced the broader crypto ecosystem. They dive into what is driving the int…
 
In this week’s podcast episode I interview Tor Bair, the founder of Secret Foundation, an organization which promotes privacy-preserving technologies, with a focus on Secret Network. Secret Network is a proof-of-stake, Cosmos-based blockchain, which has the capacity to process private transactions and, notably, private smart contracts. Tor says tha…
 
For the latest Stacks podcast, Patrick Stanley — Founder of Freehold, the newest addition to the Stacks ecosystem — chatted with Amanda Cassatt, advisor and former CMO of ConsenSys.Cassatt joined ConsenSys during Ethereum's crucial growth period from 2016 to 2018, when she created, grew, and managed the company’s marketing function. Now she works w…
 
I interviewed Simon Taylor. Simon has the rare quality of being very knowledgeable about decentralized finance but also about fintech. He is the co-founder at fintech consultancy firm, 11:FS, and he previously led blockchain research at Barclays. He also leads the excellent newsletter Fintech Brain Food. Simon points to a world where fintech and de…
 
Hello Defiers! In this week’s interview, I spoke with Gavin McDermott. He's an investor at IDEO CoLab Ventures, the venture arm of design firm IDEO, and he’s one of the creators of Fair Launch Capital. While the name might suggest otherwise, Fair Launch Capital isn’t an investment firm, or at least it’s not a traditional investment firm. Instead, i…
 
Camila Russo, author of the 'The Infinite Machine' and the Defiant Newsletter, joins host Patrick Stanley, CEO at Freehold. They take on recent events in DeFi, discuss how permissionless finance is growing, and the ways different projects incentivize users. Later in the show, they discuss how tokens can be a tool for founders and community leaders …
 
In this week’s episode, I spoke with Dan Elitzer and Clinton Bembry, who were part of the founding team of Yam. Yam Finance is an experiment in rebasing cryptocurrencies, plus token incentives, plus full on-chain governance, plus a DAO-like treasury managed by token holders. It’s also testing the power of the emoji and opened the flood gates to mem…
 
This week’s interview is with Jeff Zirlin, aka Jihoz, growth lead at Axie Infinity. Axie is a digital game built on Ethereum, which involves cute animals going to battle against each other and taking control of your digital assets. The big vision is that as we increasingly live our lives in the digital world, digital assets will become more and mor…
 
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