In recent years, podcasts have emerged as one of the most popular ways of producing and consuming content.
The relative ease with which a podcast can be started has led to an explosion of different formats and themes. You can find everything from three-hour-long marathon podcasts which rival university classrooms in their scope and detail to blistering short-form shows which you can finish on an elevator ride.
With an estimated 2 million podcasts in existence (and more being made all the time), there's no shortage of interesting content to be explored. Murder mysteries are popular, as are news and opinion shows, breakdowns of specific technologies, and staggeringly-comprehensive explorations of subjects like Roman history or cosmology.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, many crypto podcasts have sprung up. The blockchain has emerged as one of the most exciting new technological developments since the internet, with the potential to revolutionize everything from finance to voting.
So it's no shock that people interested in crypto have turned to a rising medium, podcasts, to discuss issues related to its development and future.
But as with all things, crypto podcasts vary in their quality. What I hope to do here is put my thousands of hours of listening to crypto podcasts to use by helping you narrow your focus to only the highest-value shows.
Here's the list I came up with:
The Pomp Podcast
Anthony 'Pomp' Pompliano is one of the single biggest voices in crypto. He was an early adopter and advocate for the technology, and his been a pioneer in establishing educational resources and a crypto-focused jobs board.
He covers a wide range of topics, and each episode will leave with you a better grasp of crypto and its importance.
Stand out episode.
"#939 Understanding The Current State Of Bitcoin w/ Darius Dale, Perianne Boring, & Brian Estes". I thoroughly enjoyed this recent panel episode which, ironically, didn't actually include Pomp. The guests gave an excellent overview of many of the most pressing issues facing the crypto space, but because they came to the subject with varying levels of knowledge the conversation remained fairly grounded.
Second perhaps only to Anthony Pompliano, Peter McCormack's show is a giant in crypto podcasting. Because it's one of the oldest bitcoin-only shows there are nearly 500 episodes to go through, and Peter's fame as a bitcoin advocate means he's able to land guests like Jeff Booth, Nic Carter, Lyn Alden, and Jack Mallers.
One thing I love about WBD is the fact that Peter enjoys talking to experts in fields which are adjacent to crypto but not focused on, like energy economics and geopolitics. He once described these to me as 'asymmetric bets'.
For that reason you can also find interviews with fascinating guests like fossil-fuels champion Alex Epstein.
Stand out episode.
"Orange Pilling the IMF". Jack Mallers has been on the show many times, but I found this episode to be as hilarious as it was enlightening. Jack has become a great storyteller, and the tales of his exploits in crypto advocacy will surely become part of the space's founding myths.
After receiving training as both an engineer and mainstream economist, Saifadean Ammous discovered Austrian economics and fell down the Bitcoin rabbit hole soon after.
With the publication of his epochal "The Bitcoin Standard" -- widely considered to be required reading for anyone interested in bitcoin and its role as money -- Saif emerged as a firebrand and one of the leading voices in crypto.
His podcast carries on the thesis of the book across a wide range of incredible interviews with luminaries like Michael Saylor and Nik Bhatia.
"111. Bitcoin and Monarchies with Prince Philip of Serbia". One effect of adopting a hard money like bitcoin is it tends to lead to low time preference thinking because it retains its value into the future. This naturally leads one to think about other ways in which hard money might change society. Monarchy is arguably a much lower time preference system of government than democracy, and Saifadean discusses how bitcoin could change governance with the first publicly pro-bitcoin monarch, Prince Philip of Serbia.
Whereas all the entries so far have focused on Bitcoin and the Bitcoin ecosystem, Bankless focuses on Ethereum and the wide array of new use cases--from Dapps to DeFi--which it has enabled.
Bankless has become popular owing to the obvious rapport and humor of the hosts, the depth of their research, and how well they stay up on developments in a constantly-changing space.
"The PoW vs. PoS Debate". I really enjoyed this debate between Lyn Alden and Justin Drake. Lyn defended proof-of-stake as the best securing mechanism for the blockchain, while Justin demurred and made the case for proof-of-stake. I haven't decided yet where I come down on this issue, but I really appreciated getting input from these two giants in the industry.
Nathaniel Whittemore's show has rapidly become one of my favorites, and it has the high distinction of being the only podcast I consistently listen to at 1x speed.
My enthusiasm for it stems from its being such a great way of staying up-to-date on current events in crypto.
Clocking in between 10 minutes and half an hour, it's perfect to listen to while warming up at the gym, and recent episodes have covered everything from inflation, crypto regulation, the collapse of Luna's UST stablecoin, and much more.
Stand out episode.
"The Bretton Woods III Thesis". I especially enjoyed Nathaniel's breakdown (see what I did there?) of this weighty topic. Though few denounced the U.S. for levying sanctions against Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, a number of savvy analysts wondered if the seizure of the Russian central bank's foreign-held reserves might not herald a paradigm shift in the prevailing monetary order. Nathanial did a great job of running through the arguments and making them accessible.
Naturally I'm a little biased because I'm the co-host of this show, but that also put's me in the position of saying earnestly that Thomas Frey and I work diligently to talk to people with a wide variety of backgrounds, and we try to get new material out of them which can't be found anywhere else.
Since we cover a lot of ground we're not a pure crypto podcast, but crypto has become more and more of a focus for us in recent months. This, together with the fact that I've been a data scientist and communications director at two cryptoasset startups means that we put out enough high-quality content in the space to appear on a list like this.
Plus, I'm writing the article, so :)
"Ep. 74: Lyn Alden on inflation, investing, and cryptocurrencies." How does one choose a favorite child? I've enjoyed creating every single episode, but this conversation with Lyn was simply remarkable. She has garnered a well-deserved reputation as being a brilliant analyst whose every interview is a masterclass in investing, macro, and truly big-picture thinking, and that was no different for us.
When we finished taping I remember saying something to Thomas along the lines of 'talking to her is like getting punched in the brain by Wikipedia, but in a good way.'
I hope you feel the same.
I first heard about BCB while listening to an episode of the Pomp Podcast in the early hours of the morning, during a 16-hour drive into Missouri.
One thing I really love about the concept is implied by the name: the hosts are not monetary economists, computer scientists, or philosophers; they're firefighters.
But if bitcoin is supposed to be for everyone, not just hardcore nerds, then it needs to see adoption among mechanics, schoolteachers, and assistants. Because these two can speak to the concerns of blue-collar folks like themselves (and nearly every person in my extended family), they could potentially bring the technology to the masses in a way no one else can.
"ROBERT BREEDLOVE: Protecting Private Property & Ditching Santa Clause". I'm new to Robert Breedlove, knowing him only as a rather controversial figure in crypto circles. But I found him to be bright, articulate, and even-keeled in this interview, and I learned a lot about the personal journey's of the hosts along the way.
There are a couple of other shows which are not crypto-specific enough to be properly considered 'crypto podcasts', but which do occasionally put out blockbuster shows on relevant topics. Honorable mentions go to...
Demetri Kofinas has gradually become one of my absolute favorite podcasts. He achieves a unique balance I also aspire to: he has real expertise in macroeconomics and finance that he can bring to bear on serious issues, he has a genuine willingness to learn by asking beginner questions, and he does enough homework to not simply be covering the same ground when he interviews some prominent figure.
Like the other entrants on this list, you can tell Demetri isn't doing his podcast as a vanity project. He (correctly) believes that there's a real lack of authentic, nuanced discourse, and he wants to do something about it.
Stand out episode.
"The End of the Beginning for Crypto | Michael Anderson & Vance Spencer of Framework Ventures". Pretty much all of Demetri's episodes are standouts, but for I really enjoyed this crypto-themed interview. Framework ventures is one of the very few crypto-only funds out there, so Michael and Vance have the kind of expertise that only comes from thinking about the field all day long, and they have a compelling thesis about where crypto is heading in the future. As a futurist myself, I can hardly ignore that!
The soft-spoken engineer Lex Fridman is perhaps the only credible threat to reigning champ Joe Rogan in the battle for supremacy in the multi-hour podcast space.
Lex casts a wide net with his guests, having spoken with the likes of Sean Carroll, Elon Musk, and Sam Harris, on topics ranging from Free Will to the meaning of life.
He is a gentle soul, notable for his love of ideas and his fellow man, and this has garnered him a deservedly gigantic audience.
Stand out episode.
When I began writing this essay my choice was Lex's interview with MicroStrategy co-founder Michael Saylor. I still think that's a great listen, but he recently released a truly mammoth interview with one Saifadean Ammous, author of "The Bitcoin Standard" and a legend in bitcoin.
Saif's bluntness ruffles feathers, but he remains one of the deepest thinkers on topics like monetary history and the role of bitcoin as money.
I listened to every single second of this 4-hour conversation, and I found all of them worth it.
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