Welcome to The Scoop, The Block's flagship podcast covering finance and technology industries through unmatched interviews with top thought leaders, cultural icons and industry veterans. The Block’s Frank Chaparro hosts new guests every week, diving into breaking news and topics ranging from NFTs, to the impact of DeFi on Wall Street, to Bitcoin's role in the economy and beyond.
BitGo's Mike Belshe explains why regulators should embrace the openness of the blockchain
Mike Belshe founded BitGo—the crypto financial services and custody firm—in 2013 with the original intention to help solve a pinpoint he identified when entering the bitcoin market early on: how to store crypto holdings safely.
"We forget about how easy loss is", said Belshe.
Today BitGo is more wide-spanning than just storage and custody, also covering lending, trading, and prime-related financial services. The firm is expected to complete its acquisition by Mike Novogratz's Galaxy Digital by end of 2021, creating an operation the two Mikes hope will bridge the crypto world with Wall Street.
On this episode of The Scoop, Mike Belshe CEO of BitGo joined host Frank Chaparro to talk about that deal between BitGo and Galaxy, BitGo's origin story, and why regulators should embrace the openness of the blockchain.
In Belshe's view, regulators—including Gary Gensler of the Securities and Exchange Commission—should actually lean into using blockchain to identify nefarious behavior, and say "w
22/09/2021 • 38 minutes 45 seconds
NFT unicorn OpenSea sets sights on improving customer experience with $100 million war chest
OpenSea's Devin Finzer is just as surprised as anyone to see non-fungible tokens (NFTs) taking off this summer.
“None of us expected to hit a billion in transaction volume this month,” said Finzer, describing what he views as "the biggest economy in the history of the internet."
During this episode of The Scoop, OpenSea co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer joined host Frank Chaparro for a discussion on NFT’s, the metaverse, and OpenSea’s most recent completed fundraise.
OpenSea recently raised $100 million from VC majors such as A16z as well as angel investors like Michael Ovitz and Ashton Kutcher, setting the NFT marketplace valuation at a $1.5 billion value.
The company's focus on building a marketplace appeared to bear fruit based on the NFT volume in August for OpenSea.
With fresh capital in hand, OpenSea is planning on retooling its systems to make it easier for the public to gain access to the marketplace.
Finzer spoke with The Scoop about how OpenSea is improving gateways for the pu
23/08/2021 • 23 minutes 19 seconds
Inside Anthony Scaramucci's bitcoin and ether ETF game plan
Anthony Scaramucci — the New York financier and former White House official — first jumped into the crypto fray at the end of last year.
Now, Scaramucci is going all in.
During the latest episode of The Scoop, the Skybridge Capital founder walks listeners through his journey to bitcoin. Skybridge first began investing in BTC at the end of last year.
"We have a full commitment to crypto," he remarked.
Since then, Skybridge has thrown its hat in the bitcoin exchange-traded product ring and also plans to launch an ETF that has exposure to publicly traded cryptocurrency companies.
Indeed, Skybridge is one of a number of U.S. companies vying to go to market with a bitcoin ETF. But the Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to give the nod to such a product, and the proposed ETF that's furthest along in the process — put forward by asset management company VanEck — is now the subject of an additional comment period. Other companies, like NYDIG, Fidelity and Cathie Wood's ARK Invest, a
29/06/2021 • 41 minutes 45 seconds
Larry Cermak breaks down why the Twitter hackers appear to be amateurs
On this week's episode of The Scoop, Cermak explained out how The Block first picked up on the biggest Twitter hack in history, and what the early hours of information gathering looked like. He also touched on:
The details that indicate the hack was either unplanned or executed by amateurs
What a front page BTC scam means for bitcoin adoption
The debate over Coinbase's move to block the addresses at the height of the hack
Where the stolen funds are now
21/07/2020 • 46 minutes 2 seconds
Three Arrow's Su Zhu on the race to build a crypto prime broker
Last week, saw a deluge of prime brokerage news, capped off by Coinbase's announcement of its acquisition of crypto broker Tagomi.
After months of rumors surrounding the two-year-old firm, the deal became one of Coinbase's biggest acquisitions in a move to fill out its institutional business of trading and custody services.
With the deal inked, Coinbase is one step closer to becoming a full-scale prime broker.
This week's episode features Su Zhu, crypto investor, market commentator and founder of crypto investing firm Three Arrows Capital — an early client of Tagomi.
Zhu unpacked his thoughts on the recent deal, touching on some pain points, including the importance of neutrality in the prime brokerage world. The Coinbase deal leaves room for possible conflicts of interest, according to Zhu.
The episode also explores:
Why Tagomi's neutrality as a prime broker could be questioned under Coinbase's ownership
The headwinds and tailwinds facing DCG's Genesis Trading and BitGo as they b
02/06/2020 • 49 minutes 19 seconds
Robo advisor Betterment’s CEO says customers are ‘staying the course’
After a gloomy March and a proverbially rainy April, May has shaped up to be a – dare one say it – positive market from a macro market perspective.
Despite the ongoing tragedy of the global coronavirus pandemic, investors appear to be buying. The S&P 500 broke 3,000 for the first time in March and the Dow is up broadly on positive sentiment that efforts to reopen businesses in the U.S. – all in the hopes of coaxing back consumers – will be successful. Yet despite the sense of optimism, analysts hesitate to call it a clear win, given the risks that remain.
The Block sat down with John Stein, co-founder of robo advisor firm Betterment, who spoke about the macroeconomic picture in the context of his firm’s clients. Stein remarked that while the first quarter of 2020 was a strong one for signups – April even more so – the company has nonetheless felt the pinch amid difficult market conditions.
“Our revenue is tied to assets under management. We see our pain, our own accounts are down. You
26/05/2020 • 51 minutes 54 seconds
ConsenSys fintech executive dissects Facebook's Libra project, the growth of the stablecoin market, and how fintech and crypto can coexist
It’s been an interesting time for the stablecoin market.
Total stablecoin issuance recently surpassed $10 billion, according to data compiled by The Block Research. Meanwhile, the discussion of Facebook’s Libra has taken on interesting new dimensions of late. Lex Sokolin, a former research analyst and the current global co-head of fintech at Consensys, has been paying close attention to these developments.
In this episode of The Scoop, which was recorded prior to the Libra Association announcement of its new CEO, we dive into its shift to a multi-currency model. We also dig into:
Whether Libra’s massive network and cash pile will suck the life out of other open-source initiatives
Why a regulated approach to digital assets might have an easier time surviving and thriving
Is the stablecoin market overhyped right now?
How developments in the fintech ecosystem may have an impact on business models in the cryptocurrency market
This episode of The Scoop is brought to you by Bitstamp, t
12/05/2020 • 32 minutes 39 seconds
As coronavirus anxiety sweeps markets, Genesis Capital hit the brakes on crypto credit extension
The cryptocurrency market continues to exhibit signs of volatility. As such, Genesis Global Trading – an institutional over-the-counter cryptocurrency trading and lending firm – decided to hit the pause button on credit extension amidst the coronavirus-tied market chaos.
Recently, Genesis has started to extend credit on a client-by-client basis but is acting gingerly in the market it helped pioneer – at least for a few weeks to figure out where the crypto credit market stands.
Moreover, while Genesis pulls back, its rivals have been willing to give out loans at significantly reduced collateral.
In this episode of the Scoop, Genesis CEO Michael Moro discusses the firm's rationale behind these critical decisions, a recent phone call it received from its regulator FINRA, and how the need for employees to work remotely has impacted its business.
Episode 11 of Season 2 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with Frank Chaparro, Ryan Todd and Michael Moro, CEO at of Genesis Global Trading and
07/04/2020 • 39 minutes 38 seconds
How a ransomware issue at a little known fintech company impacted banking for companies across the crypto market
As markets whipsaw amidst uncertainty surrounding the economic and health impacts of the coronavirus, the pipes and plumbing of our financial system, for the most part, has held up. That is even as legions of bankers, traders, and financial services professionals are forced to hunker down in their homes. Last week, there was one exception, however. A reported ransomeware issue at a little-known payments processor caused headaches across mid-sized banks across the country, making it difficult for certain Fedwire wires to execute.
Silvergate, which banks for more than 800 cryptocurrency firms, was one of the firms that had issues with inbound Fedwire transfers. In this episode of The Scoop, Silvergate CEO walks us through the outage, the underpinning of banking and the Fedwire, and the firm's plans for 2020.
02/04/2020 • 54 minutes 41 seconds
State Street exec explains how markets will shift from electronic to digital
State Street, one of the largest custody banks in the world, has yet to launch a service to store crypto assets but that doesn't mean it is actively involved in the digital asset market. Leading the charge is Jay Biancamano, Managing Director of digital product development and innovation at the firm.
Biancamano has had his finger on the pulse of all things market structure, having previously worked at trading technology firms like ITG, Liquidnet, and Fidessa. So he has seen the shift to electronic trading take place in U.S. equities. On this episode of The Scoop, Biancamano and The Block's Frank Chaparro explore how the digitization of assets will transform the trading landscape. In this episode we look at
State Street's partnership with Gemini on cryptocurrency trade reporting
The five key trends to watch has markets shift from electronic to digital
The relevance of the Morgan Stanley/E*Trade deal to the crypto market
Why stocks aren't going to tokenize as soon as some pundits mig
26/02/2020 • 36 minutes 48 seconds
Leo Zhang, Principal at Iterative Capital Management discusses the unseen impact Bitcoin miners have on the overall market
Leo Zhang is Principal at Iterative Capital Management, an investment manager, cryptocurrency miner, and wholesale dealer. In this episode Leo joins Frank Chaparro and Matteo Liebowitz to discuss:
The unseen impact Bitcoin miners have on the overall market
The initial public offering of mining firm Canaan and new entrants to the market, like Layer1
The significance of rainy season in China and it's importance to mining ecosystem
Leo's take on upcoming halvening and it's impact on the entire Bitcoin ecosystem
Why Bitcoin on / off ramps are a main focus for Iterative Capital's investment strategy
10/12/2019 • 1 hour 13 minutes 58 seconds
PREVIEW: Novogratz says most companies take years to prosper, crypto unicorns are still on the horizon
Listen to a preview of next week's The Scoop episode where Frank chats with Mike Novogratz, the Founder, CEO and Chairman at Galaxy Digital.
12/09/2019 • 1 minute 43 seconds
PREVIEW: "The Federal Reserve will one day digitize the US dollar" says Marty Chavez, Global Co-Head of Securities
Listen to a preview of this week's The Scoop episode where Frank and Ryan discuss technology adoption, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies at Goldman Sachs with Marty Chavez, Global Co-Head of Securities.
13/08/2019 • 2 minutes 46 seconds
The Block interviews Alex Adelman, CEO of bitcoin rewards program, Lolli
Alex Adelman is CEO and Co-Founder of Lolli, which is a rewards application that gives you bitcoin when you shop at your favorite stores. Frank Chaparro and Steven Zheng discuss e-commerce and crypto, the power of memes in regards to marketing Lolli in the spacehow the firm lures Fortune 500 companies to it’s platform and why it could one day offer services like lending and possibly a credit card.
23/07/2019 • 48 minutes 6 seconds
PREVIEW: Kik implications with Kristin Smith from the Blockchain Association
A clip from next week's The Scoop episode with Kristin Smith, Director of External Affairs at the Blockchain Association. Frank Chaparro, Ryan Todd and Kristin Smith discuss the implications of the recent case against Kik.
Subscribe and listen to the entire episode next Tuesday.
06/06/2019 • 4 minutes 7 seconds
Introducing The Scoop with Frank Chaparro
Frank Chaparro introduces The Block's new podcast, The Scoop, with a clip from the first episode, featuring Mike Bodson of DTCC.
Catch an all-new episode of The Scoop every Tuesday. Subscribe now to get all future episodes straight to your device.