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Deep Dive with Laura Shin, Crypto/blockchain journalist. Host of Unchained and Unconfirmed.

Laura will be answering questions on Wednesday 2/28 at 9am pst

Unchained posted 1 year ago

with or if you'd like to join the discussion.
Erhan Korhaliller
Hi Laura,

With the success of Unchained and your time at Forbes, your inbox must be swarmed by PR's on a daily basis, What does an ideal pitch look like to you?
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Laura Shin
@EKorhaliller I'm not going to lie -- I get so many pitches, I mostly skim. Also, now that I'm out of the daily news cycle, I will probably now rarely do a story (or podcast) that's tied to the news. However, pitches that catch my eye usually have quality people involved. But honestly, I'm more likely to hear about the good projects from sources I trust and not from PR people.
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Nicky Rush / Николя
[DELETED]
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Neil Deramchi
Are there any specific topics/themes you're excited to focus on throughout the next few months?
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Laura Shin
@NeilDeramchi I came out with a podcast on stablecoins yesterday, and that was a really interesting topic. I'd like to get some of the other stablecoin teams on. I don't want to reveal too much about what else I'd like to cover because one time I tweeted, "are you interested in a podcast on crypto and taxes" and then before I could actually release it, another podcast came out with one on that topic! So ... not doing that again.
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Ben Tossell
Who would you like to interview that you haven't managed to yet?
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Laura Shin
@bentossell Brian Armstrong, Brad Garlinghouse, and I'd like to get Sandra Ro, formerly of CME, back now that she no longer has a PR person watching her like a hawk. ;)
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Soona Amhaz
You covered crypto at Forbes back when it was "uncool," how do you feel about the growing popularity of the crypto/blockchain space now?

What's been great to see, and what's been concerning?
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Laura Shin
@soonaorlater I have mixed feelings about the growing popularity because a lot of that popularity stems from a get-rich-quick mentality that I think is not only unhealthy and dangerous but flat-out wrong. By the same token (I'm not sure if that pun is intended or not), a lot of scammers or people with ill intentions who feel no scruples about taking money from everyday people to go buy a lambo or just live a cushy life without any intention to actually build anything are coming into the space.

On the flip side, what's been great to see is that a lot of well-intentioned people are getting excited about the possibilities of this technology and working on helping to build new things with it. I know of people in other fields now who are looking to transition in, or who have only recently done so and are fired up about creating a better future. I hope that this latter group will prevail and the former group will eventually wither away.
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Ben Tossell
Who has been your favourite guest?
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Laura Shin
@bentossell I really don't have a favorite. They're all great in so many different ways. I think one that sticks out for me simply because of how different it was was the episode with Roya Mahboob, Afghanistan's youngest female tech entrepreneur. She's a serial entrepreneur, and one of her ventures was a blogging platform that paid the users based on how many views their blog posts would get. A lot of women don't have bank accounts in Afghanistan and for the women that did, oftentimes their families would take the money they had earned, so they had difficulty paying their users. They eventually turned to Bitcoin. Although this story didn't make it into my podcast, she told it at a conference I was at: One of the bloggers had an abusive husband, but after she began earning in bitcoins, she was able to save her bitcoins and then divorce him.

One of my listeners wrote a comment that I shouldn't have interviewed her because she wasn't a "real" Bitcoin entrepreneur. I was like, wait -- this is someone whose business using Bitcoin actually had a real life-changing impact on their contractors' lives and isn't the kind of business that is making already wealthy people wealthier, and he thinks this isn't a real bitcoin business? It's arguably more significant than anything he might consider more "real."
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Mike Coffman
What's been the biggest "aha" moment or takeaway from the interviews you've conducted?
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Laura Shin
@mzcoffman The biggest takeaway is just that everyone in this space (except Adam Back, Nick Szabo, etc.) was doing something different before. Everyone in crypto (well, the serious people/my podcast guests) is building some new future that exists in their imaginations and that I think they believe is better than our world today. There are no rules, we are making up the rules, and so if you are in the space or want to get involved, just show up, bring your best ideas, and start building.
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Crypto_All_In
Laura, what's your knowledge of the online gaming sector for Crypto? The only reason I found Bitcoin in 2013 was because of online gaming/poker. For me, and others, it was revolutionary because it allowed me an avenue to cash in and out immediately and not have to deal with banks/credit cards that would always decline.

John Caldwell, former Director of PokerStars and founder of PokerNews, took over CasinoCoin back in September to focus on this sector. I would love to hear your thoughts!! Thanks so much, and really enjoy the podcasts!
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Laura Shin
Hi everyone ! I'm looking forward to answering your questions -- will dive in right now.
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Paul Marrinan
In your opinion, would Hashgraph be widely adopted if it were to become open source technology, or are the other DLTs too invested in their current blockchain/tangle etc to migrate to what seems to be a more robust system?
Also, do you think that such an action could effect the success of Swirlds in a similar way to Tesla, or is it different by virtue of Tesla being first to market with a full product, as opposed to Swirlds which has the tech but not a widely adopted product?
PS Really enjoy the show.
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Erik Torenberg
What's your advice for Token Daily?
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Val Klump
While you were at Forbes, it seemed like you limited yourself to small investments in BTC and ETH, just to understand how those ecosystems worked. Now that you've left, do you have more freedom to invest personally? Do you think you'll invest more in crypto now, and maybe get involved in the business-side of things?
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Laura Shin
@valdean It's actually the opposite -- not every media company has the same policy as Forbes, so I realized once I left that as I began to freelance for other outlets, I would probably need to sell my coins. My intention after I left was to focus on some bigger writing goals, but a couple freelance assignments came up earlier than I expected, so I'll actually be selling/donating/giving away my holdings shortly. What I'll likely have to do eventually, for reporting purposes, is have the company I started buy small amounts that I can use for research. But for me to able to write for any publication I want to, I shouldn't hold any personally.
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Gary Coover
Hey Laura - love the podcasts. How micro vs macro is the tokenizing trend in your eyes? Will all companies with assets of any sort move them to the blockchain AND create a token? Or will the token aspect be more limited than general blockchain adoption?
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Ryan Hurley
With SegWit usage finally starting to take off what is your initial reaction? Do you think this strengthens the idea that bitcoin can/will scale and continue to implement new secure ideas in comparison to the increasing narrative that bitcoin refuses to adapt?
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Erik Torenberg
What's your take on stable coins?
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Soona Amhaz
Most quotable (or your favorite) line from either podcast thus far:
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resonate
Hi I now enjoy listening to two podcast from you, on occasion!

The first time I opened Blockstacks Web browser I immediately thought of the apples App Store. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the role Blockstack will play in bringing everyday consumer applications to blockchains & cryptocurrencies?
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sourcex
What do you think of Circle acquisition of Poloniex?
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Randy Saaf
What do you think about dapp games? Will they get muggles into crypto?
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Yulya Tereschenko
1. How will the ICO be modified in the coming year? What do you think about ICO 2.0 ?
2. Have you invested in ICO? If so, what?
3. Is the cryptoindustry ready to continue to uphold the values for which it has been struggling since the emergence of the bitcoin phenomenon, or is it approaching integration into government structures?
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Anthony Sassano
What are your views on the current governance climate within crypto? Do you prefer the on-chain governance approach (something like Tezos) or off-chain (like Ethereum or Bitcoin)?
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Laura Shin
@sassal0x This is easily one of the most endlessly fascinating questions in the crypto space to me. I would say that it's probably the big question we're going to see play out over at least the next five years, if not the next 10. So far, we've seen what a completely decentralized, off-chain approach can be with Bitcoin. Some people think that works, others think it doesn't. We're seeing now that Ethereum, which is a slightly more centralized approach with off-chain governance (and Vitalik might say it's somewhat transparent but I think given the various changes at the top of the foundation that happened in a closed process, to the point where insiders weren't even aware of how Aya was chosen to the head the foundation, that's debatable), is still facing major governance questions. I used to think that the ETH/ETC split separated groups that weren't naturally aligned -- the people who believe in immutability vs. those who don't -- but apparently, there now a new group who felt the fork after the DAO was OK but are now objecting to any further forks. So, how well the Ethereum model works is still being tested. Then, with on-chain governance, we don't have much in the wild to point to yet -- at least nothing that's been tested in a major way. I had an interesting conversation with Olaf where I said I wondered if on-chain governance would just continually divide communities as they get entrenched in their point of view and lead to many, many forks, but he said as long as they believe in the legitimacy of the process, he doesn't think that will happen. Time will tell.
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Anthony Sassano
@laurashin Agreed! Governance is literally the rabbit hole within the crypto rabbit hole and I'm sure it's going to be one of the biggest themes for blockchains over a longer period of time. It always reminds me of how a religion will 'fork' into different denominations - it's just human nature!
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Steven Zheng
Why did you decide to leave Forbes to go full time on your podcast?
How did you convince Forbes to let you keep the name?
1
Laura Shin
@Dogetoshi The crypto space moves extremely quickly. While I've been obsessed with this topic for almost three years now, it's taken me a while to realize that not only is the wider world so much more interested, but I now face a lot more competition than I used to. (I attribute my delayed realization to the fact that I don't watch TV.) I realized if I wanted to maintain my lead, I needed to do some things quickly during this window when my three year advantage will still mean something. Right around the time that I realized in a big way that I had a lot more competition, I also realized that because the downloads on my podcast has grown such a crazy amount, I could basically support myself with that with fewer hours of work a week than I was doing with my full-time job. That would free up time for my other writing goals. Because I started the podcast when I was a freelancer for Forbes, I owned the podcast from the start. That meant I didn't have to convince Forbes to let me keep the name or anything -- it was all mine from the beginning.
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Erik Torenberg
What's your dream personally in the crypto space- what is Laura Shin doing in 5 years?
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Erik Torenberg
What's your take on privacy coins?
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Ahmed Baqer
what would you do with more than 200 PC's and free internet 24/7 under your control?
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Erik Torenberg
Which of the 3 is most likely to be the biggest?

1 - Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash wins
2 - Etherium wins
3 - Some stable coin wins
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Erik Torenberg
What have you changed your mind on in the last 6 months
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Erik Torenberg
What do you believe about the space that few people agree with you on?
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Erik Torenberg
what do you think the crypto space needs that it doesn't have yet?
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Jon Grinnell
Laura - what excites you most about crypto?
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Laura Shin
@Jon_Grinnell Its democratizing potential, although it's not clear if that will come to fruition or not.
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Steven Puppo
Hi Laura! Regarding regulation, where do you see ICO creation for entrepreneur's at the end of this year? Thanks!!!!
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awaldstein
i'm bothered by the growth of presales in ICOs as basically they are no longer community based funding and excludes not only enthusiasts, developers but the market the project is targeting. Your thoughts?
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Crypto Stotle
What kind of impact do u think Tezos will have on crypto now that all the politics is starting to be sorted out?
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Dennis Stücken
How do you usually evaluate the topics you write about?
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Laura Shin
Wow, that time went by fast. Thanks for your great questions, everyone! This was fun!
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Thomas Cox
Have you covered EOS yet? Any plans to do so?
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Rexy
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Rexy
Hi Laura! I was wondering what your thoughts were about the current consensus processes that we see today. Today, we have leader based algorithms (i.e Hyperledger), Proof of work (i.e Bitcoin), Economic based algorithms/PoS (Ethereum), Voting based, and Virtual Voting systems (Hashgraph).
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Calvin Chu
Hi Laura! Big fan of all the work you do in the space - my question is about your observation of growth over the space:
What percentage of the people you know/work with still don't own crypto?
How many students reach out to you to help in some capacity?
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Cnoopy
Could you remove advertise comment in the middle of interview? (It's really bad listener's experience, It's okay at the beginning and end of podcast) Thanks!
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Laura Shin
@Cnoopy__ Maybe, but I've already sold ads for the middle, so not yet.
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Cnoopy
What's your article we should check when you're on Forbes?
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Cnoopy
Twitter crypto scam should be fixed but it looks like it's hard to be blocked by Twitter. What crypto community should do to solve this issue?
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Cnoopy
If you're Korean-American, I'm curious your Korea story!

혹시 한국계 이신가요? Shin 이 '신' 씨 성일것 같다는 생각이 드네요. 맞다면 한국인으로써 무척 반갑고, 한국 관련 스토리가 궁금합니다! Podcast 잘 듣고 있습니다. 감사합니다!
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Laura Shin
@Cnoopy__ I am Korean-American and proud of it, but unfortunately, I do not understand what you wrote except I see my last name in Korean letters! Ha.
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