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When The Music Stops

When The Music Stops

By Aviv Milner
In a crowded landscape of new millionaires and infinite upside expectations, Aviv Milner investigates the Blockchain bubble to ask what will happen when the music stops. From NFTs to Binance pump tokens, this podcast takes a deeper look at the damage done by a completely unregulated market.
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Bitcoin Uncensored w/ Chris DeRose (Tribute Episode!)
What is up party people? Yes! I can't believe it either! The greatest Bitcoin podcast has come back to life and is here on our show! What is Bitcoin Uncensored? Well Chris DeRose and Junseth are probably the only two that could do it justice, but this tribute will have to do for now. It ran from 2015-17 and then (due to their falling out) it died off. I still consider it the best place to learn everything blockchain. Follow me on twitter! (@milner_aviv) Do you want to hear some of the 100+ episodes of Bitcoin Uncensored? Well you won't easily find it online, but if you say the magic words and tweet at me, I will give you a riddle with 12 challenges. Complete those challenges and get my Junseth's personal cell phone number and I will provide you an episode of one show. Stay tuned for part 2! Also check out this excellent article that just came out and mentions Chris quite a bit! https://www.ft.com/content/9e787670-6aa7-4479-934f-f4a9fedf4829 If you want to talk to Chris or myself and leave some comments, do it on r/buttcoin (he is u/brighton36) https://www.reddit.com/r/Buttcoin/comments/prx4jf/bitcoin_uncensored_w_chris_derose_wtms_podcast/
01:09:01
September 20, 2021
Enterprise Blockchains (BONUS Abridged Version) w/ Tim Swanson
You can't handle the truth! Have you heard this before - "I'm not very excited about Bitcoin, Ethereum or any of these cryptocurrencies but I am optimistic about the technology behind it, the Blockchain!" Well I have heard that quite a bit as well, and if you are a regular listener you probably know that I am a bit skeptical of the claims.   Tim Swanson (@ofnumbers) is on to discuss this very thing and help us distinguish the real and the fake. He has been an active part of the space for roughly ten years and has even published books on the topic of technology in Bitcoin & Blockchain. His current role as the head of market intelligence at Clearmatics, as well as his previous work at companies like R3 puts him in the unique category of folks working on enterprise blockchain and DLT (distributed ledger technology) solutions. I press him, perhaps a bit too much, to tell me the use cases of the crypto world outside of skirting regulations and our conversation reveals some critical issues.  To learn more about Tim, check out his twitter which also gives you a sense of the companies he works for: https://twitter.com/ofnumbers   Follow me on twitter for podcast updates: https://twitter.com/milner_aviv   Are you bullish on DLTs, Blockchains and the tech behind Bitcoin? Maybe you hold a lot of XRP and need some new money to hold those heavy bags (so heavy). Either way, you probably want to reach out to me and let me know why I am wrong! Well my DMs are always open and I respond kindly to threats, hate and free Nano.
09:12
September 14, 2021
Enterprise Blockchains w/ Tim Swanson
Have you heard this before - "I'm not very excited about Bitcoin, Ethereum or any of these cryptocurrencies but I am optimistic about the technology behind it, the Blockchain!" Well I have heard that quite a bit as well, and if you are a regular listener you probably know that I am a bit skeptical of the claims. Tim Swanson (@ofnumbers) is on to discuss this very thing and help us distinguish the real and the fake. He has been an active part of the space for roughly ten years and has even published books on the topic of technology in Bitcoin & Blockchain. His current role as the head of market intelligence at Clearmatics, as well as his previous work at companies like R3 puts him in the unique category of folks working on enterprise blockchain and DLT (distributed ledger technology) solutions. I press him, perhaps a bit too much, to tell me the use cases of the crypto world outside of skirting regulations and our conversation reveals some critical issues. To learn more about Tim, check out his twitter which also gives you a sense of the companies he works for: https://twitter.com/ofnumbers Follow me on twitter for podcast updates: https://twitter.com/milner_aviv Are you bullish on DLTs, Blockchains and the tech behind Bitcoin? Maybe you hold a lot of XRP and need some new money to hold those heavy bags (so heavy). Either way, you probably want to reach out to me and let me know why I am wrong! Well my DMs are always open and I respond kindly to threats, hate and free Nano. 
01:07:04
September 13, 2021
Questionable NFTs w/ Anton Lukashov
My good friend and professionally trained Russian artist Anton Lukashov is back for a second episode to discuss his experience trying to make a bit of money on the side selling his excellent digital artwork. Full disclosure, I hold no NFTs, and do not plan to buy any of them at any point in the future, but I do hold many off Anton's physical paintings and prints (digital art printed on fine paper). In this episode we discuss what exactly is going on with the NFT space and try to make sense of why so many questionable items are being sold at exorbitant prices. We discuss the excellent work of renowned journalist and recurring guest Amy Castor, and consider the likely illicit nature of much of what the NFT space may be covering for. Check out Amy's article here: https://amycastor.com/2021/07/01/like-high-art-nfts-hit-all-the-right-targets-for-money-laundering/#post-7599 Please support her work by subscribing to her Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/amycastor Previous episode (episode 2): A critical discussion on the utility of NFTs with my good friend, Anton Lukashov, an architectural professional and an artist who outlines the challenges of making it as an artist (first 50 minutes). Anton describes how the hype around NFTs compelled him to join a new unregulated industry in the past few months and sell a few pieces online. Although his expectations of NFTs are high, most of the episode confronts many of the claims and leaves us asking if anything was solved at all.   Follow Anton on twitter and check out his work (which includes physical prints and paintings) on Instagram and on his website. https://twitter.com/antnartist https://www.instagram.com/antonlukashov/ https://www.antonlukashov.com/ Follow me on twitter for the latest episodes. Note, I will no longer be tweeting anything apart from podcast publications. https://twitter.com/milner_aviv DMs are always open!
51:36
September 6, 2021
Blockchain Debunking w/ Dr. Nicholas Weaver
Dr. Nicholas Weaver is a senior staff researcher focusing on computer security at the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, California, and a lecturer in the Computer Science department at the University of California at Berkeley. In this second of two parts, Dr. Weaver goes deep into his expertise as a network security and computer vulnerabilities expert to describe the reality of much of the hype around "blockchains". He pulls no punches and describes the actual utility in Blockchain, and perhaps the lack thereof. More about Dr. Nicholas Weaver: UC Berkley Homepage https://www2.eecs.berkeley.edu/Faculty/Homepages/nweaver.html Twitter: https://twitter.com/ncweaver How to make money with Bitcoin in 10 easy steps! http://www.buttcoinfoundation.org/how-to-make-money-with-bitcoin-in-10-easy-steps/ Cryptocurrency: Burn it with fire! (Presentation, YouTube Video) https://www.usenix.org/conference/enigma2019/presentation/weaver Blog: https://www.lawfareblog.com/contributors/nweaver Follow me and my producer on twitter!     https://twitter.com/milner_aviv https://twitter.com/gordolven My Twitter DMs are always open!
01:11:30
August 31, 2021
Zero Sum Games w/ Dr. Nicholas Weaver
Dr. Nicholas Weaver is a senior staff researcher focusing on computer security at the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, California, and a lecturer in the Computer Science department at the University of California at Berkeley. In this first of two parts, Dr. Weaver goes beyond his work of network security and computer vulnerabilities to describe a more pernicious and detrimental aspect of finance: gambling, parimutuel betting and the broad category of zero sum games. But how does this tie in to our favorite industry? Find out more in part 2, where Dr. Weaver ties in the utility and usefulness of "Blockchain" and why the only remedy may be to burn it with fire! More about Dr. Nicholas Weaver: UC Berkley Homepage https://www2.eecs.berkeley.edu/Faculty/Homepages/nweaver.html Twitter: https://twitter.com/ncweaver Cryptocurrency: Burn it with fire! (Presentation, YouTube Video) https://www.usenix.org/conference/enigma2019/presentation/weaver Blog: https://www.lawfareblog.com/contributors/nweaver Follow me and my producer on twitter!   https://twitter.com/milner_aviv https://twitter.com/gordolven   My Twitter DMs are always open!
35:26
August 30, 2021
Exposing Binance w/ Francis Kim
It all started on May 19th of 2021 when Francis Kim made the perfect call to short Bitcoin on the Binance exchange. While the markets tanked, he saw over a 100 thousand USD of profits, but he would soon realize that Binance was not like the exchanges he was familiar with in legacy finance. A power outage, an exchange that banned the closing of orders... and POOF, all of his 171 thousand dollars vanished. What started as a simple quest to get what he deserves turned into a rabbit hole of red flags. Francis Kim soon realized that this was not the only issue with Binance. His tweet from August 6th, just a month and a half later, went viral when he revealed the findings of his dive into the largest crypto exchange in the world. https://twitter.com/franciskim_co/status/1423658703174082567 Join me in the (August 11, 2021) conversation with a man who has risked everything to find the truth, uncover the lies and get justice. To get engaged with Francis Kim, please check out the following: https://twitter.com/franciskim_co http://exposingbinance.com/ http://binanceclaim.com/ Follow me and my producer on twitter! https://twitter.com/milner_aviv https://twitter.com/gordolven A link to the response blog from Binance: https://www.binance.com/en/blog/421499824684902502/ecosystem/our-commitment-to-responsible-trading-and-combating-distrust If you want to discuss anything, whether it is a story of loss or an insight on the Binance exchange, my DMs are always open.
01:14:55
August 23, 2021
The Impact of Crypto w/ Keyword: Michael
sMichael (a synthetic podcasting asset created from the depths of Defi) has joined us to talk about the broader impact of crypto on society. In this short excerpt from our conversation that was nearly twice as long. we discuss the role of government in maintaining fair markets while still giving room for free innovation. Who do we blame for frauds and scams? Find out in this episode with Keyword: Michael of the Keyword: Crypto Podcast. Find Michael: https://twitter.com/michaelcrupto https://www.keywordcrypto.com https://twitter.com/keywordcrypto https://anchor.fm/keywordcrypto Make sure to support his work via his Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/keywordcrypto Follow me and my producer Gordon for more upcoming episodes! https://twitter.com/milner_aviv https://twitter.com/gordolven Like and subscribe if you enjoyed this episode! Stay tuned!
38:53
August 16, 2021
A Bitcoin Maximalist Confronts Tether w/ Max Hillebrand
Max Hillebrand is more than a freedom-loving student of Austrian economics. If you ever used open-source software in the Bitcoin space, you have likely benefitted in some degree from his work. Max and I go way back- In 2018 we both saw privacy in Bitcoin as a fundamental problem and a concern that is worth addressing. By no coincidence, he and I crossed paths at an open-source project that claimed to offer an unfair amount of user privacy in Bitcoin transactions (Wasabi Wallet). From there, we quickly became friends and even had the uncommon pleasure of meeting in person in Amsterdam and Taiwan. This episode I change things up a bit. A lot of proponents of Bitcoin don't feel comfortable, for perhaps obvious reasons, to discuss the systemic risk of Tether. The discussion is typically classified as 'FUD' and the conversation stops before it has even started. Well not with Max! Max walks valiantly down this path to discuss his thoughts on Tether and how he personally interprets both events from the past and his expectations of the future. He does what a lot of his peers are not able to do, but what he is best at - discussing systemic risks and attack vectors to the Bitcoin ecosystem. For more on Max Hillebrand: https://towardsliberty.com https://twitter.com/HillebrandMax https://github.com/MaxHillebrand Follow me on twitter for more episodes! https://twitter.com/milner_aviv And as always, this wouldn't be possible without my producer and editor - Gordon Dolven. Check him out on twitter! https://twitter.com/gordolven
01:01:49
August 9, 2021
Nano & Digital Cash w/ Patrick Luberus
The Nano community has challenged skeptics in a recent twitter exchange (see backstory). The result? A passionate exchange between two minds and a deep dive into $Nano and what it takes to become the ultimate digital cash. Patrick Luberus is an IT professional by day and holds a masters degree in informational security. Since 2013, he has been thinking deeply about the search for an ideal digital money for the modern world. Although his initial fascination was mostly around Bitcoin, he would later observe the challenges and technical trade-offs that would compel him to investigate a crypto that promised it all- instant, scalable and free. Enter $Nano. Patrick would then become a much more active member of the Nano community, publishing helpful videos on his YouTube channel covering topics like Byzantine Fault Tolerance, technical challenges and even his second video, where he warns people (in November of 2017) to avoid Bitconnect (the now well understood failed Ponzi Scheme). This conversation is deep and it covers a lot of aspects. I highly recommend listening to the end, as the trajectory goes to interesting places, but the conclusion is open to interpretation. Patrick has agreed to come back in the future to discuss these ideas further. Check out those videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/PatrickLuberus Find him on twitter here: @patrickluberus Backstory It started with a podcast episode with a Director of the Nano Foundation. https://twitter.com/rarlop/status/1420675475530297348 Which inspired a challenge to the skeptics to have a listen. https://twitter.com/rarlop/status/1420713299155595268 Well, challenge accepted! https://twitter.com/milner_aviv/status/1420716770483007491 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ A huge thank you to my audio editor and official podcast producer Gordon! Lucky to have him help me on short notice. Check him out on twitter: https://twitter.com/gordolven     Follow me on twitter to stay up to date on the latest! https://twitter.com/milner_aviv
02:36:42
August 3, 2021
Target Letter Tether w/ Amy Castor & David Gerard
What exactly happened on Monday morning with #Tether? You know her from her independent journalistic work on financial fraud in cryptocurrencies that has been published nearly everywhere- Artnet News, Business Insider, The Block, Bitcoin Magazine, Coindesk, Forbes, Modern Consensus, Decrypt and elsewhere!  You know him from his hilarious best-selling book- Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain and his poorly timed dissection of Facebook's attempt to takeover money- Libra Shrugged. Amy Castor and David Gerard join me in a deep dig past the completely organic (organic like what comes out the end of a cow) behavior following the leaking of the Tether Target Letter. The original leak was published via Bloomberg and is paywalled here: https://www.bloomberg.co m/news/articles/2021-07-26/tether-executives-said-to-face-criminal-probe-into-bank-fraud Castor, with the help of Gerard, published an excellent piece later that day, that both covers the history of the Tether banking issues as well as the meaning of the news that many of us struggled to understand. This discussion surrounds that article: https://amycastor.com/2021/07/26/the-dojs-criminal-probe-into-tether-what-we-know/ If you enjoyed hearing from the dynamic duo, follow them! Amy Castor https://amycastor.com/ https://twitter.com/ahcastor https://www.reddit.com/user/amycastor/ Support Amy on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/amycastor David Gerard https://davidgerard.co.uk/blockchain/ https://twitter.com/davidgerard https://www.reddit.com/user/dgerard/ Find both his books on his website! https://davidgerard.co.uk/blockchain/book/ https://davidgerard.co.uk/blockchain/libra/ A huge thank you to my audio editor Gordon! Lucky to have him help me on short notice. Check him out on twitter: https://twitter.com/gordolven Follow me on twitter to stay up to date on the latest! https://twitter.com/milner_aviv
51:48
July 29, 2021
Easy Money with Professor Jorge Stolfi
Did you ever wish you had a computer science professor would could ironically and hilariously explain the deceptive trickery of cryptocurrencies? Well, so do we, and if you are a student at the University of Campinas in Brazil, you know what that's like! Professor Jorge Stolfi is a well cited computer scientist specializing in graph theory, image processing and computational geometry, which gives him the power to shoot lasers out of his nose and take down the masses of rambunctious children that we call crypto-reddit. He understands Bitcoin, almost too well, and likes to educate those of us already 45 thousand dollars deep in credit card debt from Coinbase auto-purchases on why we should think twice about our "investments". Pfft. What would the most cited computer science professor from Brazil know about blockchaining? We talk at length about the financial nature of cryptocurrencies, non-speculative investments (and their much larger speculative counterparts) and why it may not be the wisest thing to leverage your first born child to get more exposure to Bitcoin. We discuss Tether, Elon Musk, El Salvador, Smart Contracts and so much more! Introduction Joke - How I Plan to Make Some Easy Money (Stolfi, 2014) https://www.ic.unicamp.br/~stolfi/bitcoin/2014-02-17-HowToMakeSomeEasyMoney.html Music - Blue Bossa Follow all of his hilarious take-downs on twitter, reddit and on the many public debates he has attended! https://twitter.com/JorgeStolfi  (@JorgeStolfi) https://www.reddit.com/user/jstolfi (u/jstolfi) Special thanks to the last minute help from some folks on twitter! Especially @gordolven ! Follow me on twitter (@milner_aviv) and stay tuned for more awesome episodes!
01:40:21
July 29, 2021
Skepticism, Journalism and Tether w/ Cas Piancey
Our favorite journalist and Crypto Critic discusses a healthy approach to skepticism and journalism in a space that very much requires it. Although published one month after the conversation took place (I was moving! Sorry!), the discussion around managing personal bias and responsible means to convey and challenge fraud remain equally valuable today as they did then. Tether is the largest stable coin in the cryptocurrency space, with more than 60 billion USD equivalent in circulation. It acts as the the shadow bank for a majority of exchanges worldwide, exchanges like Binance and Bitfinex. In 2014 Tether made a promise that each unit of Tether would be 1-to-1 backed by a real dollar. Since then, a lot has changed. Check out Cas' work on his Medium and by subscribing to Protos: https://www.protos.com/ https://thecaspiancey.medium.com/ Find him and his partner in crime on twitter: @CasPiancey @BennettTomlin @CryptoCriticPod Their latest show on investigating the Bitfinex head office is available here: https://cryptocriticscorner.com/ Want to come on the podcast? Reach out to me at aviv@goodterrain.com Special thanks to the r/buttcoin community for encouraging skeptical inquiry. And special thanks to @Bitfinexed Upcoming podcasts: Professor Jorge Stolfi!
01:27:13
July 16, 2021
Poker Chips, Tether and Crypto Casinos w/ Matt Ranger
Follow Matt on twitter: https://twitter.com/vhranger   Check out Matt's work on his blog: https://www.singlelunch.com/ Subreddit's mentioned: https://www.reddit.com/r/badeconomics/ https://www.reddit.com/r/Buttcoin/ https://www.reddit.com/r/Economics/
01:16:54
June 25, 2021
Bitcoin and Bad Economics w/ Matt Ranger
Follow Matt on twitter:  https://twitter.com/vhranger Check out Matt's work on his blog:  https://www.singlelunch.com/ Subreddit's mentioned: https://www.reddit.com/r/badeconomics/ https://www.reddit.com/r/Buttcoin/ https://www.reddit.com/r/Economics/
52:11
June 25, 2021
Proof of Waste & Chia w/ David Gerard
Bestselling author, David Gerard, goes in-depth into a seemingly harmless idea that has wreaked havoc on the hard drive market. The creator of the highly successful file-sharing software, Bram Cohen, gains new notoriety with his latest invention in the blockchain space. Chia is a mining-based distributed system, much like Bitcoin, but with a seemingly positive new contribution. Rather than wasting the electric capacity of Iceland, Chia purports to be the eco-friendly solution. With a reward system enticing to any consumer with a computer or a phone, it seems too good to be true.  David Gerard talks proof of work vs proof waste, Tether, NFTs, crypto-investors' psychology and the blockchain industry as a whole. Much of this interview talks about his 2017 book, "Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain", a bestseller that brought much needed skepticism towards crypto. His latest book. "Libra Shrugged", details the attempt of Facebook to try to take over money. Both are available on Amazon. Find more from David Gerard: https://davidgerard.co.uk/blockchain/ https://davidgerard.co.uk/blockchain/book/   Follow him on Twitter: @davidgerard https://twitter.com/davidgerard   His recent blog on Chia: https://davidgerard.co.uk/blockchain/2021/05/23/foreign-policy-chia-is-a-new-way-to-waste-resources-for-cryptocurrency/ Want to come on the podcast? Reach out to me at aviv@blacktieconsultants.com Special thanks to the r/buttcoin community for encouraging skeptical inquiry. And special thanks to @Bitfinexed, my good friends Robin and Gavin, @CasPiancey and another big thanks to David for a great read and a great interview! Upcoming podcasts: Amy Castor talks NFTs! Buttcoin Redditor discusses Microstrategy & Will Bitcoin Save us from Inflation?   As well as a very special secret guest who may be a moderator on our favorite subreddit.
01:00:00
June 10, 2021
The Tether Situation w/ Bennett Tomlin (Part 2)
Continuing on the discussion of systemic risks associated with Tether, Bennett describes additional risks in the broader cryptocurrency space. He talks Binance as well as MakerDao & Dai. For those who don't know, Dai is a crypto-collateral stable coin which allows users to interact with smart-contracts on the Ethereum blockchain and take out loans (denominated in Dai) against their cryptocurrency. Bennett describes the contraversial and potentially dangerous move by the decentralized band of merry bankers to use a tether-like stable coin as collateral (USDC). We also discuss the nature of the bubble/ponzi that is the cryptocurrency space as it currently stands. Check out Bennett's work on his blog: https://bennettftomlin.com/ Find him and his partner in crime on twitter: @BennettTomlin @CasPiancey @CryptoCriticPod Their latest show on Tether and other scams: https://cryptocriticscorner.com/ Want to come on the podcast? Reach out to me at aviv@blacktieconsultants.com Special thanks to the r/buttcoin community for encouraging skeptical inquiry. And special thanks to @Bitfinexed for positive direction and regular ideas. Upcoming podcasts: David Gerard MicroStrategy Inquiries And more!
59:18
June 3, 2021
The Tether Situation w/ Bennett Tomlin (Part 1)
In part one of a two part episode, Bennett Tomlin discusses the legal issues, liquidity problems and spotty history surrounding Tether. Tether is the largest stable coin in the cryptocurrency space, with more than 60 billion USD equivalent in circulation. It acts as the the shadow bank for a majority of exchanges worldwide, exchanges like Binance and Bitfinex. In 2014 Tether made a promise that each unit of Tether would be 1-to-1 backed by a real dollar. Since then, a lot has changed. Check out Bennett's work on his blog: https://bennettftomlin.com/ Find him and his partner in crime on twitter: @BennettTomlin @CasPiancey @CryptoCriticPod Their latest show on Tether and other scams: https://cryptocriticscorner.com/ Want to come on the podcast? Reach out to me at aviv@blacktieconsultants.com Special thanks to the r/buttcoin community for encouraging skeptical inquiry. And special thanks to @Bitfinexed Upcoming podcasts: David Gerard MicroStrategy Inquiries And more!
48:55
June 3, 2021
NFTs, Naming Stars and Other Technologies
A critical discussion on the utility of NFTs with my good friend, Anton Lukashov, an architectural professional and an artist who outlines the challenges of making it as an artist (first 50 minutes). Anton describes how the hype around NFTs compelled him to join a new unregulated industry in the past few months and sell a few pieces online. Although his expectations of NFTs are high, most of the episode confronts many of the claims and leaves us asking if anything was solved at all. Check out his work (which includes physical prints and paintings) on Instagram and on his website. https://www.instagram.com/antonlukashov/ https://www.antonlukashov.com/ Want to come on the podcast? Reach out to me at aviv@blacktieconsultants.com Special thanks to the r/buttcoin community for encouraging skeptical inquiry. Upcoming podcasts: Bennett Tomlin speak at length about the Tether scam (spoiler alert, it's a scam)
01:48:35
May 27, 2021
Discussing the Binance Bubble w/ an Alt-Coin Millionaire
A lot of you have probably heard about the excitement around blockchain, tokens and ICOs, and if you have been paying attention to the space in the last year, you probably heard about Binance (the exchange), the Binance Smart Chain (the blockchain) and BNB (the Binance token). It seems like any twenty year old with a laptop and $500 can make a million, and in this episode we interview a Canadian kid with exactly that story. Although his profits are through the roof, his story says something very different about how the industry is making money. Want to come on the podcast and talk about your experience in crypto? Message Aviv at aviv@blacktieconsultants.com. Host: Aviv Milner Interviewee: Charlie, Canadian kid who made about a million dollars in crypto "When the Music Stops" is a podcast dedicated to the documentation of criminal and fraudulent behavior as well as general misinformation that plagues the crypto space. Although the goal is not to attack or berate a guest, the space as a whole is the victim in this scathing review of a space that is almost entirely hot air.
01:14:41
May 18, 2021