If you’re really interested (and invested) in the crypto space, there’s no better podcast to listen to than Unchained. Launched in 2016 by Laura Shin, Unchained is one of the leading cryptocurrency podcasts that delivers a constant flow of relevant information on all the top crypto stories you need to know.
The host Laura Shin is one of the most respected journalists and voices in the cryptosphere. Shin was the first mainstream media reporter to cover cryptocurrency and blockchain full time at Forbes. More recently, she published her first book The Cryptopians, which covers the origin stories of Ethereum.
Over the years, Unchained has featured interviews with several entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders from different industries to share their views and insights on emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities in the crypto space.
If you’ve never listened to Unchained before, this post will showcase the best episodes from the podcast to expand your knowledge of digital currencies and keep your pulse on all the emerging trends in blockchain.
By the end of this post, you’ll have several episodes from Unchained in your podcast playlist to enjoy for your next podcast binge-fest.
Table of Contents
- Top 10 Unchained Podcast Episodes
- 1. Chamath Palihapitiya: Why Bitcoin Will Be ‘the Category Winner’ (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #178)
- 2. Mark Cuban on Why He Thinks ETH Is a Better Store of Value Than Bitcoin (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #226)
- 3. How Solana and Binance Smart Chain Could Take Ethereum’s Lead (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #240)
- 4. Lyn Alden and Raoul Pal: Is Ethereum a Good Investment? (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #211)
- 5. Can Gavin Wood’s Polkadot ‘Make Blockchain Great Again’? (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #202)
- 6. Why Bitcoin Now: The History of Digital Currency (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #185)
- 7. How a16z’s New NFT Licenses Hope to Solve Rights Problems for Creators and Buyers (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #391)
- 8. With the Merge, Will Ethereum Take Over Bitcoin’s Title as Digital Gold? (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #389)
- 9. How Will Inflation Impact Crypto? (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #380)
- 10. Why Bitcoin Now: Andreas Antonopoulos and Dan Held on Bitcoin’s Monetary Policy (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #192)
- Final Thoughts
Top 10 Unchained Podcast Episodes
1. Chamath Palihapitiya: Why Bitcoin Will Be ‘the Category Winner’ (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #178)
Aired on 23 June 2020
Starting off this list with the interview that has the most views on the Unchained YouTube channel. And for good reason.
On episode 178 of the podcast, Shin invited Chamath Palihapitiya, the CEO of Social Capital and chairman of Virgin Galactic, to discuss a wide range of issues, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, the impact of the Covid pandemic on cryptocurrencies, and broad economic trends and forecasts.
Chamath has been an outspoken supporter of bitcoin for several years, while simultaneously voicing his concerns about other prominent cryptocurrencies, specifically Ethereum. The interview delves deeper into Chamath’s bold prediction about Bitcoin becoming the eventual “category winner” and why he sees no merit in Ethereum.
While you can watch the interview for Chamath’s controversial views alone, but the conversation delves deeper into Chamath’s economic forecasts and why he believes the economy will become more decentralized in the future and the role that blockchain will play in it. You’ll also learn why he prefers SPACs over ICOs (another controversial take).
Even if your cryptocurrency views and forecasts are to the contrary, you’ll admire the way Chamath eloquently explains the reasoning behind his thought process.
You can watch the full interview on YouTube below or listen to it on the Unchained website.
2. Mark Cuban on Why He Thinks ETH Is a Better Store of Value Than Bitcoin (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #226)
Aired on 21 April 2022
On episode 226 of the podcast, Shin was joined by perhaps the show’s most distinguished guest to date, Mark Cuban. In the interview, the billionaire entrepreneur and investor, best known for being a Shark Tank “shark”, shares his thoughts on the Bitcoin vs Ethereum debate, issues with DeFi, and how NFTs could disrupt content distribution.
As a Shark Tank fan, I may be personally biased to include this episode so high on the list, but I was fascinated to learn more about Cuban’s attitude towards cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and NFTs. Shin gets into the nitty gritty with Cuban’s NFT investment thesis and the many use cases of NFTs.
This episode was published at a time when the NFT craze was at its peak, so it’s no surprise that a large chunk of this episode revolves around deconstructing an intriguing, albeit confusing, cryptocurrency asset. Nevertheless, even if you’re not into NFTs, there are plenty of takeaways from this Cuban interview for crypto enthusiasts and investors.
You can watch the full interview on YouTube below or listen to the episode on the Unchained website.
3. How Solana and Binance Smart Chain Could Take Ethereum’s Lead (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #240)
Aired on 25 May 2021
Solana has been dubbed the “ethereum killer” because of its speed and scalable ecosystem. If you’d like to learn more about the Solana ecosystem, this episode is a must-listen.
On this episode, Laura Shin interviews Kain Warwick, founder of Synthetix, and Kyle Samani, managing partner at Multicoin Capital, as they discuss Solana, Ethereum, and Binance Smart Chain (BSC).
You’ll learn how Solana and BSC have slowly eroded the market share of Ethereum, why these cryptocurrencies are a long-term threat to Ethereum, and the various challenges that Solana and BSC face on their path towards toppling Ethereum’s dominance.
Watch the full interview on YouTube below or listen to it on the Unchained website.
4. Lyn Alden and Raoul Pal: Is Ethereum a Good Investment? (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #211)
Aired on 9 February 2022
Ethereum is the second largest cryptocurrency in the world. If you’re new to the crypto ecosystem, you might be wondering if it makes sense to invest in Ethereum. If that is indeed the case, then this episode is right up your alley.
This episode features a dual interview with Lyn Alden from Lyn Alden Investment Strategies and Raoul Pal, CEO and cofounder of Real Vision Group, where they explain their approach to Ethereum from an investment perspective. If you’re a crypto investor, there are several takeaways from this episode, including how to allocate your funds between Bitcoin and Ethereum.
As this episode was published right around the time GameStop’s short squeeze was taking place, the latter part of this interview focuses on Lyn and Raoul’s thoughts on GameStop’s unprecedented stock rise and all the parties involved in the whole saga.
You can watch the full interview here or listen to it on the Unchained website.
5. Can Gavin Wood’s Polkadot ‘Make Blockchain Great Again’? (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #202)
Aired on 8 December 2022
Developed by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood in 2017, Polkadot has quickly gained mainstream attention and has become one of the most talked-about cryptocurrencies in the world.
This episode features an interview with Gavin Wood as he shares his vision for Polkadot, the problems he set out to solve through Polkadot, why he considers his coin a meta-protocol, among other things.
An interesting insight that was shared by Gavin during the course of the interview was his belief that Polkadot and Ethereum can co-exist.
If you’re a Polkadot token holder, this episode is definitely worth checking out as it gets into the nuts and bolts of this digital asset.
You can watch the full interview on YouTube below or listen to the episode on the Unchained website.
6. Why Bitcoin Now: The History of Digital Currency (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #185)
Aired on 11 August 2022
If you’d like to learn about the history of digital currency, this episode is for you. On this episode, Laura is joined by Aaron van Wirdum, technical editor at Bitcoin, and Finn Brunton, the author of Digital Cash.
With Wirdum covering Bitcoin since 2013 and Brunton being the author of a book that explores origins and technologies behind cryptocurrency, both individuals are remarkably well-equipped to tackle the history of digital currencies.
The episode explores various key events in the history of cryptocurrency and blockchain, including the role of Extropianism in the creation of digital currencies, the problems faced during the development of digital money, and the development of a public key protocol and why it was so significant.
In addition, you’ll also learn the characteristics of earlier forms of digital currency like e-cash, hashcash, and b-money, and how they differed from the existing cryptocurrencies. More interestingly, the duo also share their thoughts on who they think Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of Bitcoin, really is.
If you’d like to delve deeper into this history of cryptocurrencies, then Brunton’s book Digital Cash is highly recommended, alongside these other must-read cryptocurrency books.
You can catch the full episode on YouTube below on listen to it on the Unchained website.
7. How a16z’s New NFT Licenses Hope to Solve Rights Problems for Creators and Buyers (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #391)
Aired on 2 September 2022
a16z is a venture capital firm founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. Over the years, this VC firm has invested in companies like Twitter, GitHub, Airbnb, Coinbase, among several other notable investments. Now the firm wants to double down on its cryptocurrency investments through its dedicated cryptocurrency fund.
In this episode, Laura interviews Miles Jennings, general counsel at a16z crypto, as he explains the basics of a16z’s new “can’t be evil” NFT licences. These NFT licences are estimated to solve many problems within the NFT industry, so it’s interesting to find out how they will be enforced and what they can do for content creators and NFT buyers.
A great episode to tune into for those who’d like to study the NFT landscape and the innovations that are happening in this space.
You can watch the full interview below on YouTube or check it out on the Unchained website.
8. With the Merge, Will Ethereum Take Over Bitcoin’s Title as Digital Gold? (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #389)
Aired on 26 August 2022
The Ethereum Merge is one of the most-talked about topics in the latter half of 2022. If you’re not in the know, the Merge is essentially the Ethereum network’s shift to proof-of-stake (PoS) for authenticating crypto transactions. The Merge will replace the existing proof-of-work (PoW) system, a more resource-intensive system pioneered by Bitcoin.
If you’d like to know more about the Merge and its implications, Laura’s interview with Travis Kling, Chief Investment Officer at Ikigai Asset Management, is the perfect place to start. In the episode, Kling discusses how Ethereum will change after the Merge, the various factors that are going to influence its price, and the potential risks involved for ETH investors.
Watch the full interview below or listen to the episode on the Unchained website.
9. How Will Inflation Impact Crypto? (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #380)
Aired on 2 August 2022
How will the inflation impact Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? Is Bitcoin really a deflationary asset? If there’s a global recession, how will it affect Bitcoin? If you’ve pondered over these questions, then this episode will provide the answers you’re looking for.
Lyn Alden, founder of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy, and Mauricio di Bartolomeo, cofounder of Ledn, join Laura on this episode to discuss how inflation could affect the digital asset industry. Bartolomeo’s upbringing in Venezuela and first hand experience with inflation makes him the right person to discuss the implications of inflation on cryptocurrency.
In addition to inflationary impact on cryptocurrency, the duo also dive deep into the potential macroeconomic and political factors that will influence inflation, including the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and rising interest rates. You’ll also learn the difference between inflation and hyperinflation, how inflation will change consumer investing and purchasing decisions, and the effect global recession will have on Bitcoin.
Watch the full episode below on YouTube or listen to it on the Unchained website.
10. Why Bitcoin Now: Andreas Antonopoulos and Dan Held on Bitcoin’s Monetary Policy (Unchained Podcast, Ep. #192)
Aired on 29 September 2022
Andreas Antonopoulos is one of the most influential voices in the cryptocurrency space. His books The Internet of Money (3 volumes), Mastering Bitcoin, and Mastering Ethereum are some of the must-read cryptocurrency books. When Antonopoulos appears as a guest on the podcast, you can bet there are going to be a ton of insights to be gained.
On episode 192 of the Unchained podcast, Laura is joined by Antonopoulos and Dan Held, growth lead at Kraken Digital Asset Exchange, to discuss the core features of Bitcoin’s monetary policy, including how it differs from previous forms of money. The duo also explore the similarities and differences between Bitcoin and gold, the difficulties in analyzing and classifying Bitcoin, and whether Bitcoin will fulfil its original democratizing finance.
Watch the full interview below on YouTube or check it out on the Unchained website.
Laura Shin’s interview approach, attention to detail, knowledge of the blockchain, and genuine curiosity about making sense of the latest breaking news stories from the cryptocurrency space make it a podcast worth tuning into week after week.
Whether you’re new to cryptocurrency and blockchain or a seasoned crypto investor who’s been dabbling in cryptocurrencies for years, you’ll find something insightful in each episode. Subscribe to the Unchained podcast on your favorite podcast platform and get better equipped to handle the highly volatile and rapidly evolving world of cryptocurrency.
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