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Introducing Chain Reaction

Introducing Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction 24 March 2022

Episode Description

Introducing Chain Reaction - a TechCrunch podcast breaking down what's happening in the wild world of crypto. Each week, Lucas Matney and Anita Ramaswamy will unpack and explain the latest crypto news, drama, and trends, breaking it down block-by-block for the crypto-curious. They’ll be learning alongside you about the industry that's captured the attention of some of Silicon Valley’s most influential players by interviewing some of the savviest investors, entrepreneurs, and skeptics.

Alongside the podcast, we’ll also be sending out a weekly Chain Reaction newsletter digging into the week’s web3 happenings with more granular detail, highlighting notable funding rounds, acquisitions, heists, personnel moves and spicy tweets. You can sign up for the newsletter here.

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More Episodes


The Post-Merge Ethereum Hangover

The Post-Merge Ethereum Hangover

Welcome to Chain Reaction, where we unpack and explain the latest in crypto news, drama and trends, breaking things down block by block for the crypto curious.  For our Thursday episode where we discuss the latest in crypto news, we talked about the recent steep decline in Ethereum prices following its major network upgrade. We also discussed: The latest regulatory drama surrounding stablecoins: including a draft House bill that would ban algorithmic stablecoins, some legal action against Tether and a big move in the sector from Robinhood. Recent movements from the United States federal government to embrace a digital dollar, and who Biden has tapped to prepare for any potential decisions from the Federal Reserve. ICYMI, you can use the promo code REACT for 15% off tickets to TechCrunch Disrupt this October (excluding online and expo) where we’ll be chatting with industry experts such as a16z’s Chris Dixon and Solana Labs’ Anatoly Yakovenko. We’ll also be hosting our first dedicated crypto event in Miami for just one day on November 17th — you can use the same promo code, REACT, for 15% off a General Admission ticket. And even if you can’t join us in person, you can use the promo code REACT to get 25% off an annual subscription to TechCrunch+. Chain Reaction comes out every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PT, so be sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the action.

22 September 2022


A crypto market vibe check (w/ Seth Ginns)

A crypto market vibe check (w/ Seth Ginns)

Welcome to Chain Reaction, where we unpack and explain the latest in crypto news, drama and trends, breaking things down block by block for the crypto curious.For our Tuesday episode where we chat with a web3 expert, we talked to Seth Ginns, head of liquid investments and a managing partner at crypto venture firm CoinFund, about the state of different aspects of the crypto market today, from tokens to layer-ones to startups. Ginns used to work at an asset management firm investing in public growth stocks, so he also shared some insight on: His predictions for where token prices are headed If people who recently pivoted careers into web3 are ready to jump ship during the bear market Why early-stage crypto startups have been able to avoid some of the markets’ recent carnage ICYMI, you can use the promo code REACT for 15% off tickets to TechCrunch Disrupt this October (excluding online and expo) where we’ll be chatting with industry experts such as a16z’s Chris Dixon and Solana Labs’ Anatoly Yakovenko. We’ll also be hosting our first dedicated crypto event in Miami for just one day on November 17th — you can use the same promo code, REACT, for 15% off a General Admission ticket. And even if you can’t join us in person, you can use the promo code REACT to get 25% off an annual subscription to TechCrunch+.Chain Reaction comes out every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PT, so be sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the action.

20 September 2022


Chain Reaction x Equity talk the Ethereum Merge

Chain Reaction x Equity talk the Ethereum Merge

Welcome to a Chain Reaction bonus episode! On Thursday, Anita and Jacquie went live with Equity's Alex Wilhelm and Natasha Mascarenhas to talk all about the Ethereum Merge. Pulling off the Merge was an event requiring such technical coordination and rigor that it's been compared to the moon landing. Now that it's happened, what will be the impacts on web3 startups? What about the rest of the tech industry, or large financial institutions, or Chinese crypto miners? They walked through all these questions and more, trying to address both what the Merge is and why it matters through as holistic a lens as possible. For more on the Merge, required reading can be found here, here, and here. Equity drops every Monday at 7 a.m. PDT and Wednesday and Friday at 6 a.m. PDT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts. Chain Reaction comes out every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PDT, so be sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast and Spotify to keep up with the action.

17 September 2022


Private equity’s gatekeepers get serious about tokens

Private equity’s gatekeepers get serious about tokens

Welcome to Chain Reaction, where we unpack and explain the latest in crypto news, drama and trends, breaking things down block by block for the crypto curious.For our Thursday episode this week, we dug into the institutional embrace of blockchains by stodgy financial powerhouses -- including mega PE firm KKR, which announced this week that they were tokenizing one of their latest funds to provide access to a slightly less rich class of wealthy investors. While it’s far from pervasive financial democratization, the move attracted a lot of attention, which we dissected. We also covered: A Supergroup of financial institutions including Fidelity, Schwab and Citadel are teaming up to build a new digital asset exchange called the EDXM. Is this a signal of institutional fervor or just more groupthink? The White House’s Office of Science and Tech Policy released a sweeping report on the energy usage of the cryptocurrency industry. The report signals future pressures on Bitcoin miners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or else. Join us at TechCrunch Disrupt this October to hear from speakers including a16z’s Chris Dixon and Solana Labs’ Anatoly Yakovenko — use the promo code REACT for 15% off, excluding online and expo. And even if you can’t join us in person, you can use the promo code REACT for 25% on an annual pass for our TechCrunch+ membership service. Chain Reaction comes out every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PT, so be sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the action.

15 September 2022


The cult of crypto shakes up its leadership team (w/ Meltem Demirors)

The cult of crypto shakes up its leadership team (w/ Meltem Demirors)

Welcome to Chain Reaction, where we unpack and explain the latest in crypto news, drama and trends, breaking things down block by block for the crypto curious. For our Tuesday episode where we chat with a web3 expert, we talked to Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at publicly-traded digital asset manager Coinshares. Demirors was a core team member at crypto investment firm Digital Currency Group in 2015, we discussed: The upcoming Ethereum merge and what it means for the brawl between the chain and its biggest competitors Why investors are increasingly apathetic toward the asset class and how crypto companies are fighting that sentiment How Demirors has seen web3 grow more ideologically fractured over time while maintaining its cultlike following Join us at TechCrunch Disrupt this October to hear from speakers including a16z’s Chris Dixon and Solana Labs’ Anatoly Yakovenko — use the promo code REACT for 15% off, excluding online and expo. We’ll also be hosting our first crypto event in Miami this November with plenty of web3 experts — you can use the promo code REACT for 15% off a General Admission Ticket. And even if you can’t join us in person, you can use the promo code REACT for 25% on an annual pass for our TechCrunch+ membership service. Chain Reaction comes out every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PT, so be sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the action.

13 September 2022


Binance flexes its stablecoin muscles

Binance flexes its stablecoin muscles

Welcome to Chain Reaction, where we unpack and explain the latest in crypto news, drama and trends, breaking things down block by block for the crypto curious. For our Thursday episode focused on major news topics this week, we discussed the latest drama surrounding crypto mega exchange Binance which is making its presence known in the stablecoin game and shaking up the ecosystem as it looks to muscle its way to supremacy. We also covered: Sorare gets into NBA fantasy sports thanks to a new partnership with the league. Can Sorare beat out Dapper’s NBA Top Shot? MicroStrategy ex-CEO and Bitcoin bull billionaire Michael Saylor sued for tax fraud by DC Attorney General; the government estimates Saylor may owe as much as $100 million in income taxes to DC. Join us at TechCrunch Disrupt this October to hear from speakers including a16z’s Chris Dixon and Solana Labs’ Anatoly Yakovenko — use the promo code REACT for 15% off, excluding online and expo. And even if you can’t join us in person, you can use the promo code REACT for 25% on an annual pass for our TechCrunch+ membership service. Chain Reaction comes out every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PT, so be sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the action.

8 September 2022


Who are the artists behind your favorite NFTs? (w/ James Zhang)

Who are the artists behind your favorite NFTs? (w/ James Zhang)

Welcome to Chain Reaction, where we unpack and explain the latest in crypto news, drama and trends, breaking things down block by block for the crypto curious. For our Tuesday episode where we chat with a web3 expert, we talked to James Zhang, founder and CEO of Concept Art House, a consultancy that creates and advises on art for web3 video games and NFT collections. The company raised $25 million in funding last October from investors including Animoca Brands and Dapper Labs but faces a slumping NFT market today. We talked to Zhang about: How artists behind popular NFT projects are compensated for their work — and whether it’s enough Zhang’s experience navigating the often-sticky issues of intellectual property and ownership surrounding NFT art What impacts the recent dropoff in NFT trading volume means for artists and creators Join us at TechCrunch Disrupt this October to hear from speakers including a16z’s Chris Dixon and Solana Labs’ Anatoly Yakovenko — use the promo code REACT for 15% off, excluding online and expo. We’ll also be hosting our first crypto event in Miami this November with plenty of web3 experts — you can get 2 passes for the price of 1 if you buy them before September 7th at techcrunch.com/tccrypto. And even if you can’t join us in person, you can use the promo code REACT for 25% on an annual pass for our TechCrunch+ membership service. Chain Reaction comes out every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PT, so be sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the action.

6 September 2022


The Merge and its meaning for ETH and beyond

The Merge and its meaning for ETH and beyond

Welcome to Chain Reaction, where we unpack and explain the latest in crypto news, drama and trends, breaking things down block by block for the crypto curious. For our Thursday episode focused on major news topics this week, Anita and Lucas unpacked the good, the bad and the downright confusing as they relate to the long-awaited Ethereum network upgrade -- The Merge -- starting this month. Jacquie has been out on vacation, so we're sure she'll be returning with lots to say next week. We also covered: Meta's announcement that it will allow users to post their NFTs on Facebook and Instagram, and how the tech giant is positioned compared to competitors like Reddit in the NFT space -- as well as what this means for the mainstream embrace of crypto Tune in on Tuesday for an interview with James Zhang, founder and CEO of Concept Art House, an NFT and web3 gaming-focused art and design studio. Join us at TechCrunch Disrupt this October to hear from speakers including a16z’s Chris Dixon and Solana Labs’ Anatoly Yakovenko — use the promo code REACT for 15% off, excluding online and expo. We’ll also be hosting our first crypto event in Miami this November with plenty of web3 experts — you can get 2 passes for the price of 1 if you buy them before September 7th at techcrunch.com/tccrypto. And even if you can’t join us in person, you can use the promo code REACT for 25% on an annual pass for our TechCrunch+ membership service. Chain Reaction comes out every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PT, so be sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the action.

1 September 2022


Magic Eden threatens OpenSea’s NFT dominance (w/ Jack Lu)

Magic Eden threatens OpenSea’s NFT dominance (w/ Jack Lu)

Welcome to Chain Reaction, where we unpack and explain the latest in crypto news, drama and trends, breaking things down block by block for the crypto curious.  For our Tuesday episode where we chat with a web3 expert, we talked to Jack Lu, the co-founder and CEO of fast-rising NFT marketplace Magic Eden. The venture-backed startup was founded last year and has already reached unicorn status -- raising at a $1.6 billion valuation. In our conversation, we discussed: Why the startup is looking to take on OpenSea on its home turf as Lu and his team build out Ethereum support? The state of blockchain gaming and whether game studios are  eager to diversify their in-game revenues will embrace an open vision of crypto collectibles and assets. Whether the race to zero trading fees in crypto token exchanges will find its way to NFT markets where players like OpenSea and Magic Eden primarily monetize through transaction fees. (Lu hopes not!) Chain Reaction comes out every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PT, so be sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the action.

30 August 2022


Bonus Episode: The road ahead for crypto startups (w/ Haun Ventures)

Bonus Episode: The road ahead for crypto startups (w/ Haun Ventures)

Welcome back. Earlier this week, Anita caught up with two investors at Haun Ventures, partner Sam Rosenblum and associate Breck Stodghill, live on Twitter Spaces. All eyes are on the lean venture firm, led by former a16z crypto and U.S. Department of Justice official Katie Haun, as it deploys a whopping $1.5 billion fund in web3 startups. We recorded the casual conversation as a bonus episode so you can hear Rosenblum and Stodghill share their thoughts on where they’re seeing opportunities in crypto these days, how they approach the diligence process, and what they’re listening to and reading outside of web3. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/16/a-dive-into-haun-ventures-with-the-firms-first-deal-lead-sam-rosenblum/

26 August 2022


Is FTX really worth two Coinbases?

Is FTX really worth two Coinbases?

Welcome to Chain Reaction, where we unpack and explain the latest in crypto news, drama and trends, breaking things down block by block for the crypto curious. For our Thursday episode focused on major news topics this week, the crew broke down the latest blockchain happenings and volatility including SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s open letter to the crypto industry which has web3 insiders fuming.  We also covered: A new report into the financials behind crypto exchange FTX, detailing how the rising giant stacks up to top competitors while offering insight into why investors are giving it a private valuation that’s twice the size of Coinbase’s public market cap. We had a lot to unpack! The chaotic court proceedings around Celsius’s bankruptcy woes and how the crypto lender is lashing out at previous partners through legal action as the company looks to shift blame for the way things went down.   Tune in on Tuesday for an interview with the CEO of fast-rising NFT marketplace Magic Eden, which is doing its best to tackle OpenSea's domination of JPEG trading. Chain Reaction comes out every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PT, so be sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts,  Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the action.

25 August 2022


The Bachelor, but on the blockchain (w/ Devin Lewtan)

The Bachelor, but on the blockchain (w/ Devin Lewtan)

Welcome back. This week while Lucas was out, Anita caught up with Devin Lewtan, cofounder and CEO of web3 media production studio Mad Realities. Mad Realities is the team behind “Proof of Love,” a dating show that allows its audience to vote and engage with its content using NFTs. Lewtan talked about how accidentally creating the viral Clubhouse show “NYU Girls Roasting Tech Guys” led her to launching a Paradigm and Paris Hilton-backed web3 startup. She also shared her insights on building community through web3 among people who might otherwise roll their eyes at that term. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters

23 August 2022


The man behind Terra’s not-so-stablecoin is back

The man behind Terra’s not-so-stablecoin is back

Welcome back. This week, Jacquelyn and Anita ran the show while Lucas was out. We recapped a must-watch interview by Coinage with Do Kwon, the now-infamous founder of Terraform Labs whose algorithmic stablecoin de-pegged from the U.S. dollar, sending the crypto markets into chaos. This was Kwon’s first interview since the coin’s collapse in May, which wiped out some $60 billion in value. Is he remorseful? Aren’t the authorities after him? We got into all those questions and more. We also discussed acquisition drama for the second week in a row, this time between Galaxy Digital and crypto custodian BitGo. Finally, we went through news of recent, highly secretive layoffs at Crypto.com as the exchange looks to expand its user base abroad. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/16/cryptos-emphasis-on-community-could-lead-followers-off-a-cliff/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/25/terra-community-passes-proposal-to-revive-luna-cryptocurrency-following-stablecoin-led-implosion/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/27/ftx-ceo-leads-trustless-medias-seed-round-to-help-build-community-owned-web3-shows/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/15/galaxy-digital-calls-off-its-1-2-billion-acquisition-of-bitgo/

18 August 2022


Can the web3 “passion economy” pay the bills? (w/ Li Jin)

Can the web3 “passion economy” pay the bills? (w/ Li Jin)

Welcome back, this week Anita and Lucas interviewed Li Jin, cofounder of crypto venture firm Variant, which just raised $450 million for its third fund. Jin, formerly a solo GP at Atelier Ventures, is known for developing an investment thesis around the “passion economy” that eventually led her down the rabbit hole of web3. A backer of companies such as Magic Eden and Mirror, Jin talked about the ethics behind onboarding cash-strapped creators into crypto, why she’s no longer a solo investor and how she balances new investments and supporting her existing portfolio companies through a downturn. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2021/10/19/variant-debuts-a-new-110m-fund-for-crypto-startups-announces-li-jin-has-joined-as-a-general-partner/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/30/khaby-lame-crypto-binance-christiano-ronaldo/

17 August 2022


Tornado Cash is not just for criminals, despite what regulators think

Tornado Cash is not just for criminals, despite what regulators think

Welcome back. This week, Jacquelyn and Anita ran the show while Lucas was off on vacation. We got up to speed on the U.S. government’s crackdown on cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash because of its role in facilitating money laundering. While it’s true that hackers have long used Tornado to fuel illicit activity, we tried to answer some bigger questions: what is a mixer in the first place, and what exactly would someone use one for if not crime? This week’s episode comes just after Coinbase announced its long-awaited, ultimately disappointing second-quarter results, so we ran through the numbers and what they mean for the industry. We also talked about Binance and Indian exchange WazirX, which might never, ever, ever be getting back together. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/08/ethereum-co-founder-sees-role-diminishing-as-blockchain-becomes-increasingly-decentralized/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/08/treasury-tornado-cash-laundering-stolen-crypto/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/09/coinbases-earnings-fall-short-of-expectations-as-crypto-winter-rages/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/06/binance-says-it-doesnt-own-indian-exchange-wazirx-years-after-acquisition-announcement/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/08/binance-tells-estranged-partner-wazirx-customers-to-move-funds-to-discontinue-off-chain-transfer/

11 August 2022


How Uniswap became DeFi’s behemoth (w/ MC Lader)

How Uniswap became DeFi’s behemoth (w/ MC Lader)

Welcome back, this week Anita and Lucas interviewed MC Lader, COO of Uniswap Labs, the entity managing the world’s largest decentralized crypto exchange. A former managing director at asset management firm BlackRock, Lader explained how her management team oversees a fully decentralized protocol and shared her thoughts on the exchange’s future path to profitability. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/21/uniswap-acquires-nft-marketplace-aggregator-genie/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/04/15/uniswap-labs-coo-says-mainstream-crypto-adoption-hinges-on-accessibility-and-ease/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/04/11/defi-giant-uniswap-launches-venture-arm-to-invest-in-other-crypto-companies/

9 August 2022


Hackers are stealing crypto in the nicest way possible

Hackers are stealing crypto in the nicest way possible

Welcome back, this week Lucas and Anita welcome Jacquelyn Melinek as a new permanent co-host on Chain Reaction. They dove into the hot crypto topics of the week, including the $190 million draining of the Nomad bridge by both ‘black-hat’ and ‘white-hat’ hackers. They also discussed the widespread Solana wallet attack and a particularly deep round of layoffs at Robinhood. You’ll notice something different about the show this week besides a new co-host -- we’re splitting up the news analysis and interview segment into different episodes! On Tuesdays you’ll hear us sit down with experts in the crypto space and on Thursdays, we’ll dive into the hottest web3 topics of the week. Catch us early next week for an interview with Uniswap COO MC Lader. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/03/solana-wallet-hack/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/02/nomad-chaotic-exploit-crypto/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/02/robinhood-23-layoff-vlad-tenev-responsibility-hiring/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/27/the-outlook-is-getting-more-complicated-for-metas-virtual-reality-dreams/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/03/upstreams-new-vault-could-help-nft-holders-sleep-at-night/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/03/solanas-speedy-approach-to-crypto-is-attracting-developers-despite-hiccups/

4 August 2022


The SEC preps for a summer of crypto regulation (w/ David Nage)

The SEC preps for a summer of crypto regulation (w/ David Nage)

Welcome back, this week Lucas and Anita dive into a conversation around Coinbase’s legal woes and the insider trading scandal surrounding an employee at the firm. We also discussed Elon Musk’s bitcoin sale and Minecraft’s ban of NFTs from its platform.   In their interview this week, Anita and Lucas interviewed David Nage. Nage is a portfolio manager at Arca where he makes early-stage bets on crypto startups. We talked about finding hot opportunities in seed stage crypto and then broke into a wide-ranging conversation on crypto regulation and what comes next.   Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/25/crypto-valuations-may-sink-until-september-as-vcs-play-a-waiting-game/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/20/tesla-dumped-75-of-its-bitcoin-holdings/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/20/minecraft-says-no-f-ing-thanks-to-nfts/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/26/if-it-walks-like-a-dog-and-barks-like-a-dog-perhaps-its-actually-a-non-security-crypto-digital-asset/

28 July 2022


Crypto winters, DAO death and the future of community investing (w/ Alexander Taub)

Crypto winters, DAO death and the future of community investing (w/ Alexander Taub)

Welcome back, this week Lucas and Anita dive into a conversation around OpenSea’s significant layoffs, how Binance is taking on Coinbase in a stateside battle royale and why the Bored Apes creators are trying to outdo Meta with their own metaverse. In their interview this week, Lucas and Anita chat with Alexander Taub. Taub is the founder of DAO tooling startup Upstream which lets people spin up their own decentralized governance organizations. DAOs were the space to be this year, but how many of them will stick around through a crypto winter? Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/14/nft-marketplace-opensea-lays-off-20-percent-of-its-staff-we-have-entered-crypto-winter/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/14/crypto-us-market-as-coinbase-falters-binance-us-is-waiting-in-the-wings/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/19/bored-apes-founders-on-their-plans-for-otherside-metaverse/ https://techcrunch.com/2021/11/18/constitutiondaos-bold-crypto-bid-for-us-constitution-falls-short/

21 July 2022


Identifying lasting web3 trends from crypto’s bull run (w/ Naveen Jain)

Identifying lasting web3 trends from crypto’s bull run (w/ Naveen Jain)

Welcome back, this week Lucas and Anita return to discuss the ultimate meme investing crossover episode with GameStop launching an NFT marketplace. We also break down this week’s latest drama with the liquidation of crypto hedge fund 3 Arrows Capital. It wasn’t all doom and gloom as we discussed some of the new crypto funds injecting fresh capital into the space.   In their interview this week, Lucas and Anita chat with Naveen Jain. Naveen is the founder of web3 startup Yat which lets people buy their own emoji URL. The marketplace saw some wildly expensive sales this year, but when can pricey emojis tell us about the future of identity? Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/30/yat-thinks-emoji-identities-can-be-a-thing-and-it-has-20m-in-sales-to-back-it-up/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/13/celsius-one-of-cryptos-biggest-lenders-files-for-bankruptcy/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/12/crypto-focused-multicoin-capital-launches-430m-venture-fund/

14 July 2022


Why crypto’s “obsession” with mass adoption may not be worth it (w/ Tux Pacific)

Why crypto’s “obsession” with mass adoption may not be worth it (w/ Tux Pacific)

Welcome back. Lucas was out sick this week, so TC crypto reporter Jacquie Melinek subbed in as co-host to talk with Anita about the biggest stories in web3 this week. They discussed whether Sam Bankman-Fried is the savior crypto needs as more and more companies declare bankruptcy and unpacked the drama behind the fight for a U.S. Bitcoin spot ETF. In this week’s interview, Anita chatted with Tux Pacific, the founder and CEO of Entropy, a startup that just raised a $25 million seed round led by a16z for its decentralized crypto custody solution. Pacific, one of the rare trans and queer founders to have raised institutional funding, dropped out of college to teach themselves cryptography. They describe themselves as an “anti-capitalist anarchist” and spoke with Anita abut why they think decentralization is the only way crypto can succeed. Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple, Spotify or your alternative podcast platform of choice to keep up with us every week. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/08/the-trans-queer-anarchist-crypto-founder-seed-round-a16z-andreessen-horowitz/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/01/crypto-mega-hedge-fund-three-arrows-capital-reportedly-files-for-bankruptcy-in-new-york/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/01/ftx-us-deal-with-troubled-crypto-lender-blockfi-floats-acquisition-with-up-to-240m-purchase-price/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/30/the-sec-rejected-bitcoin-spot-etfs-again-now-what/

7 July 2022


Doodles CEO on expanding their cartoon NFT empire (w/ Julian Holguin)

Doodles CEO on expanding their cartoon NFT empire (w/ Julian Holguin)

Welcome back, this week Anita was off on vacation so Lucas was joined by TC crypto reporter Jacquie Melinek to discuss what happened in the crypto world this week. They dove into the topic of the Solana Saga phone, discussed FTX's alleged interest in buying up Robinhood, and chatted about some of the crypto financial firms that are currently in deep... trouble. In this week’s interview, Lucas chatted with Julian Holguin, the CEO of Doodles. Doodles is a very popular NFT project that has done just over $500 million in total sales volume. Holguin was previously a big exec at Billboard and has taken on the task of scaling the Doodles brand into an intellectual property powerhouse. The firm just banked its first round of venture funding from Alexis Ohanian and is gearing up for some big new NFT launches as it looks to keep the party going even amid a crypto downturn. Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple, Spotify or your alternative podcast platform of choice to keep up with us every week. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/27/ftx-says-no-active-talks-to-buy-robinhood/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/23/osoms-ov1-is-now-solanas-web3-android-handset-saga/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/30/north-korea-lazarus-harmony-theft/

30 June 2022


How web3 creators can make the most of the crypto crash (with Latashá)

How web3 creators can make the most of the crypto crash (with Latashá)

Welcome back, this week Anita and Lucas discuss the $258 billion Dogecoin lawsuit facing Elon Musk, how crypto collectible lovers are partying through the pain at the NFT NYC event and how some DAOs are showing the dark side of digital democracy. In their interview this week, Lucas and Anita got the chance to talk with musician and visual artist Latashá. In addition to creating crypto art, Latashá is the Head of Community at NFT startup Zora which recently raised a big round of funding. We talked with her about how the downturn will impact crypto creators and what web3 really has to offer artists. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/16/dogecoin-investor-sues-elon-musk-tesla-and-spacex-for-258-billion/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/20/afropolitan-raises-2-1m-to-build-a-digital-nation-backed-by-balaji-srinivasan/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/21/magic-eden-raises-130m-hitting-unicorn-status-at-1-6b-valuation/ https://twitter.com/regiscake/status/1539338847829782528?s=20&t=gxtu5vdu6FyYcGw-LpT_bg

23 June 2022


Crypto’s latest crash and where web3 falls short (with Aaron Levie)

Crypto’s latest crash and where web3 falls short (with Aaron Levie)

Welcome back, this week Anita and Lucas discuss another stressful week for crypto markets which has pushed even bullish investors into bearish territories. We also chatted about growing crypto regulation efforts and Jack Dorsey’s latest effort called “web5”. In their interview this week, Lucas and Anita chat with Aaron Levie. Levie is the CEO of enterprise software company Box. While his day job doesn’t have anything to do with the blockchain, he has attracted the ire of plenty of crypto VCs for sharing thoughts on Twitter about why web3 won’t work. We caught up with Levie about some of his biggest complaints and what it would take for him to angel invest in a crypto startup. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/14/coinbase-ceo-says-it-is-laying-off-18-of-its-workers/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/13/as-celsius-accelerates-the-crypto-sell-off-who-pays-the-price/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/14/binance-crypto-exchange-hiring-plans-fight-crypto-winter/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/13/crisis-on-the-blockchain/ https://twitter.com/levie/status/1477052989881782272

16 June 2022


a16z VC on crypto criticism and their $4.5 billion bet (with Sriram Krishnan)

a16z VC on crypto criticism and their $4.5 billion bet (with Sriram Krishnan)

Welcome back, this week Lucas and Anita discuss investor drama facing blockchain startups during the market crash and the major piece of crypto legislation that just went live on the US Senate floor.In their interview this week, Anita and Lucas chat with Sriram Krishnan. Krishnan is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), which he joined after a trifecta of senior roles at Twitter, Facebook and Snap. Krishnan recently joined the crypto team at a16z, which recently debuted a new $4.5 billion crypto mega fund. We chatted about crypto controversy and opportunities in web3 social with Krishnan. Our interview was edited for length and clarity. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/08/proposed-bipartisan-us-crypto-bill-could-be-sigh-of-relief-for-the-industry/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/25/amid-crypto-downturn-a16z-debuts-4-5-billion-web3-mega-fund/ https://twitter.com/levie/status/1531498735137476608

9 June 2022


Outdoor Voices’ founder on scaling a new crypto startup in a downturn (with Ty Haney)

Outdoor Voices’ founder on scaling a new crypto startup in a downturn (with Ty Haney)

Welcome back, this week Lucas and Anita argue about Coinbase’s latest management strategies, whether Do Kwon being called the new Bernie Madoff is a fair comparison, and why the OnlyFans founder is the latest web2 entrepreneur pivoting to crypto. In their interview this week, Anita and Lucas chat with Ty Haney. Haney is the founder of athleisure empire Outdoor Voices, though she’s recently departed the company to start a new effort around getting brands to embrace NFTs. We chatted with her about founding a crypto startup in a downturn, keeping her company well-capitalized and how she pivoted from yoga pants to non-fungible tokens. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/28/coinbase-real-time-feedback-dot-collector-ray-dalio/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/26/onlyfans-founder-crypto-debut-influencer-trading-cards/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/26/longtime-bitcoiner-dan-held-says-this-crypto-winter-wont-be-as-harsh-as-others/

2 June 2022


Lux’s crypto VC on the startups securing and scaling web3 (with Grace Isford)

Lux’s crypto VC on the startups securing and scaling web3 (with Grace Isford)

Welcome back, this week Lucas and Anita dive into the latest mega-fund from venture giant Andreessen Horowitz and some of the… interesting bets that they’re making, including one in disgraced WeWork founder Adam Neumann’s new crypto startup. Lastly, they recap crypto exchange FTX’s big entry into stock trading, which comes just a week after the firm’s young CEO made a massive bet on Robinhood. In their interview this week, Lucas and Anita talk to Grace Isford. Isford is an investor at Lux Capital where she focuses on the infrastructure and security opportunities for blockchain startups. We talk about some of the recent big hacks and whether consumers can feel safe betting on crypto. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/25/amid-crypto-downturn-a16z-debuts-4-5-billion-web3-mega-fund/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/24/flowcarbon-wework-adam-neumann-blockchain-crypto-carbon-credit-startup-raises-funding-from-a16z/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/19/crypto-exchange-ftx-expands-into-stock-trading-retail-investors/

26 May 2022


Lightspeed’s web3 guru on consumer crypto startups and the metaverse (with Mercedes Bent)

Lightspeed’s web3 guru on consumer crypto startups and the metaverse (with Mercedes Bent)

Welcome back, this week Lucas and Anita discuss the continued fallout from the broader market crash and how life is going for crypto giants on the public markets. We chat about FTX’s 30-year-old billionaire CEO buying up a big chunk of Robinhood, which is pumping the gas on crypto even as the market cools. We also discuss trouble at Coinbase and the continued fallout from the collapse of Terra.   In their interview this week, Lucas and Anita chat with Mercedes Bent. Bent is a venture capitalist at Lightspeed Venture Partners where she places bets on consumer products in  cryptoland. Before joining Lightspeed, Bent spent some time in the VR world, so we picked her brain on where crypto fits into this metaverse future everyone is clamoring about.   Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/17/robinhood-lets-users-manage-their-own-crypto-wallets-in-push-to-spur-trading/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/17/coinbase-backtracks-hiring-plans-crypto-market-turmoil/ https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/17/encode-club-is-minting-new-web3-developers-amid-crypto-talent-war/   Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters

19 May 2022


Moonbirds founder talks crypto crash and where NFTs go from here (with Kevin Rose)

Moonbirds founder talks crypto crash and where NFTs go from here (with Kevin Rose)

Welcome back, this week Lucas and Anita discuss turmoil and heartbreak in the crypto markets as Bitcoin and Ethereum get hit hard, a number of other popular tokens get crushed, and crypto-aligned public stocks like Coinbase and Robinhood see their share prices tank. What caused this bloodbath? Well, a major catalyst was the disastrous implosion of Terra’s Luna token as a result of ongoing stablecoin woes. In their interview this week, Lucas and Anita chat with Kevin Rose. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur who founded Digg in the early 2000s and is now an investor at True Ventures and a co-founder of the Proof Collective. His startup recently raised $10 million from Seven Seven Six and launched its NFT project Moonbirds, which has quickly become one of the most popular NFT efforts out there. Listen along as we discuss the crypto crash and its fallout, and the challenges up ahead for NFTs. Helpful links: https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/10/bitcoins-backers-trying-to-turn-it-into-one-blockchain-to-rule-all-crypto/ 11:09 https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/11/ust-founder-do-kwon-shares-plan-to-save-its-stablecoin-from-mass-destruction/ 11:09 https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/11/terras-ust-crash-will-make-life-harder-for-crypto-as-regulation-looms/ Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters

12 May 2022


Why are there so many blockchains? (with Jill Gunter)

Why are there so many blockchains? (with Jill Gunter)

Welcome back, this week Lucas and Anita break down the chaotic rollout of Ethereum’s biggest drop yet — a virtual land sale for the Bored Apes metaverse. The startup behind it banked more than $400 million in the sale, but the auction of land tiles called Otherdeeds brought the Ethereum blockchain to a crashing halt, leaving users paying exorbitant transaction fees worth thousands and tens of thousands of dollars just to buy themselves some monkey land. Beyond that, they discuss Wikipedia’s abandonment of crypto donations after a vote from the Wikimedia Foundation’s editors and how the SEC is bulking up its crypto crime division with a few new hires that are tasked with the daunting challenge of policing web3. In their interview this week, Lucas and Anita chat with Jill Gunter. Jill is a crypto VC at Slow Ventures and the co-founder of Espresso Systems — a startup building a privacy-centric blockchain. Listen along as they get her take on why there are so many blockchains out there and whether we’re headed towards a future where one blockchain rules them all. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters

5 May 2022


Sequoia’s blockchain bull on whether crypto startups are building web3 or web2.5 (with Shaun Maguire)

Sequoia’s blockchain bull on whether crypto startups are building web3 or web2.5 (with Shaun Maguire)

Anita and Lucas discuss whether it’s wise to YOLO your 401(k) on crypto, why Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is throwing shade at Apple and what Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition means for “Crypto Twitter.” Sequoia partner Shaun Maguire joins us for a conversation on crypto investing in 2022 and the value of partially decentralized web. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters

28 April 2022


Crypto's music man on how NFTs could shake up the recording industry (with 3LAU)

Crypto's music man on how NFTs could shake up the recording industry (with 3LAU)

In our inaugural episode, we discuss Coinbase’s big art gamble, North Korea’s record-breaking crypto hack and Meta’s hefty income tax. We interviewed electronic DJ and Royal CEO Justin Blau on where the NFT industry moves beyond pricey JPEGs. Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper: https://techcrunch.com/newsletters

21 April 2022

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