19 November 2021 • 8 min read
Quick show of hands: how many of you have sat through shockingly bad crypto podcasts? One stands out in my mind. Two developers were invited to discuss what their blockchain was doing, but they had no idea because (wait for it) they were working on front-end departure. If you’ve been involved in the cryptosphere for any significant amount of time, then you’ve likely heard it all by this point.
Virtually everyone seems to have a podcast these days and with good reason: they’re relatively easy to produce, require a minimal amount of equipment, and their on-demand quality makes them portable, convenient and therefore easy to consume.
But what about some of the more useful or interesting crypto podcasts, both for the uninitiated as well as for the more experienced among us? We’ve pooled our collective listening experience and chosen some of best crypto podcasts worth listening. Some are widely recognized as industry standards, while others might come as a bit of a surprise. In no particular order, here are our picks and some compelling reasons why we’ve chosen them.
Describing it as a “no-hype resource for all things crypto,” host Laura Shin’s weekly, hour-long podcast covers a lot of ground, from talks with industry initiators and pioneers about how crypto assets and blockchains will change the way money is earned, spent and invested to more topical discussions such as the recent NFT craze in the world of contemporary art or how a coding school for girls in Afghanistan has led to the promotion of crypto payments in the worn-torn country as an alternative to PayPal and Western Union.
Shin’s podcasts are more interviews than personal ruminations, allowing her listeners to eavesdrop on the latest thoughts from industry insiders and leaders. As the former senior editor at Forbes and one of the first mainstream reporters to cover crypto comprehensively, Shin herself has been in the crypto game for quite some time. She also has serious credentials (degrees from Stanford and Columbia), making her a trusted and informative source for crypto-related news.
If Laura Shin’s Unchained podcast takes a longer view of all things crypto, then her other podcast, Unconfirmed, is more fleet of foot. Fintech developments, particularly within the cryptosphere, often occur in the blink of an eye, and Shin’s podcast aims to be able to respond to those changes just as quickly, which is why new episodes of Unconfirmed appear in weekly, twenty-minute digestible bites. Tune in for reactions to the week’s top headlines from industry experts, including reporters, developers, researchers, directors, and industry movers and shakers. Or, with features such as “How crypto video games get made,” simply dip your toes in the waters occasionally whenever something catches your eye. With it’s fast-moving content, there’s something for everyone.
For those of you interested in all things Bitcoin, Stephan Livera’s podcast is one of the best. In fact, many consider it to be an essential source of info on a range of Bitcoin-related topics, including economic theory, mining, lightning, and nodes (among many others), enabling listeners to establish a firm foundation on which to educate themselves and thereby better understand the coin and tech behind it. While this level of detail might sound daunting for beginners, Livera and his guests have a knack for translating complex ideas and technical terminology in a listener-friendly way.
Livera describes himself as “an Austro-libertarian writer and host” and is an Australian Chartered Accountant. The founder of Ministry of Nodes, an educational facility, and a partner at Bitcoiner Ventures, an AngelList investment syndicate, he works as a technology auditor in financial services, and he produces approximately one hour-long podcast each week.
The good folks at CoinDesk have assembled a number of podcasts under their umbrella podcast network, which include The Breakdown and SOB (short for “Speaking of Bitcoin”). Hosted by Nathaniel Whittemore, The Breakdown covers macroeconomics, bitcoin, geopolitics, and big picture power shifts. Now in its eighth year, SOB (formerly Let’s Talk Bitcoin!) features Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Stephanie Murphy, Jonathan Mohan and Adam B. Levine in weekly discussions on the history, philosophy and promise of Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
If you’re into all things BTC, then The Breakdown should be one of your top picks. With roughly two daily episodes of approximately fifteen minutes, there’s a steady stream of content. A recent podcast, for example, covered topics such as the coming regulatory pressure on DeFi and stablecoins, regulatory clearance for bitcoin (and a bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund), fundamentals and the great hashrate migration out of China, adoption and proof points on Twitter and in El Salvador, and historical cyclical patterns.
Affectionately referred to as “Pomp” by his listeners, Anthony Pompliano has built a loyal following among those interested in finance, technology, entrepreneurship, and economics. According to his website, his podcasts, which range from approximately thirty minutes to around an hour, have been downloaded 20 million times. An unabashed supporter of Bitcoin, Pomp offers a range of engaging content, from what’s involved in building a fintech company and the future of cryptocurrencies to best practices for investing and avoiding scams (while we’re on the subject, take a look at our article “Cryptocurrency Scams and How to Spot Them”), and even a discussion on something as mundane as inflation.
The man behind The Pomp Podcast is a self-described entrepreneur and investor who has built and sold numerous companies, run product and growth teams at Facebook and Snapchat, and invested over $100 million in early-stage technology companies. As well as his podcast, he also produces the crypto newsletter, “Off the Chain.”
For those of you thinking about getting into Bitcoin, however late in the game it might be right now, or even if you simply want to learn more about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, Peter McCormack’s podcast What Bitcoin Did is an excellent place to start.
What makes McCormack’s podcasts so valuable for beginners in particular is that he himself was new to Bitcoin, and so there’s a certain evolution to his podcasts, with early ones addressing many of the core issues at the heart of the coin and technology, while subsequent podcasts become increasingly more sophisticated as McCormack’s knowledge of the subject becomes more complex. Listeners will also appreciate the fact that McCormack gives airtime to Bitcoin critics, endowing his podcasts with a certain balanced perspective that can be fairly atypical in the partisan world of cryptocurrencies.
Many of you reading this might not get the reference (likely because you weren’t even born!), but Tales from the Crypt was an HBO horror series from the late eighties/early nineties. Marty Bent has repurposed the title (clever, clever) for his podcast in which “he sits down to discuss Bitcoin with interesting people.”
While that might not sound like the most persuasive copy, Bent’s podcast delivers in spades, covering a full range of topics that surface on the Bitcoin radar. Whether it’s something as far afield as China and Bitcoin or energy poverty or Bitcoin nuts-and-bolts topics such as using a bitcoin node, bitcoin node projects, trade offs, software licenses, and monetization, Bent’s high-energy delivery makes for captivating listening. If you’re simply interested in a quick weekly summary, then check out his “Rabbit Hole Recap.”
Describing itself as the average consumer’s guide to cryptocurrency, Crypto 101 offers news and analysis for a “community of Crypto Crusaders on a mission to take control of their future.” The podcast is hosted by duo Bryce Paul, a business development professional in the crypto space, and Aaron Malone, a crypto advisor and researcher. With around 400 podcasts under their collective belts as well as their self-authored book Crypto Revolution (2019), Paul and Malone unpack complex topics in a jargon-free manner (read our article “Best Books on Algorithmic Trading for 2021” for more information) . Weekly podcast lengths vary, from around twenty minutes to just over an hour.
With focal points such as “Complex Financial Contracts Made Easy,” “Advanced Trading Made Easy,” and “User-Friendly Blockchain,” there is a clear emphasis here on inducting beginners into some of the basic premises and processes involved in cryptocurrency trading.
Described in a five-star review by one of their listeners as “Frustrated overweight men with a mild understanding of crypto and no logical thought progression,” you’ll quickly realize only a few minutes into their podcast why The Bad Crypto Podcast has amassed a loyal following.
Self-described technologists and crypto-enthusiasts, Joel Comm and Travis Wright aim to demystify the world of bitcoin, blockchain, litecoin, ethereum, alt-coins, token generation events, and ICOs in this podcast geared for cryptocurrency newbies. They produce approximately two episodes each week, with each episode averaging just over thirty minutes. If you’re looking for a little self-effacing humor (and let’s face it, the crypto pundits can be a serious lot), then you’ll definitely want to add episodes of The Bad Crypto Podcast to your listening rotation.
Epicenter’s roots in the world of crypto podcasts run deep - all the way back to 2013 - making them something of an outlier among the mostly new(er) crypto podcast entries. As they indicate at the beginning of each show, their rationale is to interview “crypto founders, builders, and thought leaders,” bringing their listeners in-depth conversations about the technical, economic, and social implications of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies (we’ve covered similar ground in our article “New Crypto Projects in 2021”).
Despite their demonstrated experience and extensive back catalogue, Epicenter podcasts can have a DIY feel to them, with less-than-stellar audio. If you can get beyond this technical shortcoming, there’s a lot of engaging content on offer during their weekly, one-hour sessions.
If you believe that crypto and DeFi are the future (and we here at Trality certainly do – check out our article “The Future of Cryptocurrency – 2021 and Beyond”), then check out Bankless, a relatively new entry into the crypto podcast space, but definitely one about which listeners rave. Co-hosts Ryan Sean Adams, the founder of Mythos Capital and the author of the popular DeFi newsletter, and David Hoffman take their listeners through the worlds of crypto, blockchain, the ETH ecosystem, Bitcoin, and distributed technologies, among other things. (Bankless aren’t the only ones enthusiastic about Ethereum. Take a look at our article “Ethereum Price Predictions for 2021-2025” for more information.)
A recent episode, for example, delved into the subject of environmentally friendly crypto, a subject about which we’ve written in our article “Most Energy Efficient Cryptocurrencies.” Co-hosts Adams and Hoffmann invited Klima DAO, the carbon-backed digital currency and algorithmic climate protocol, which plans to generate on-chain demand for carbon offsets and build a carbon-backed treasury, with the goal of driving up the price of carbon. Who said that crypto is bad for the environment?
Last but not least, we have an entry that will be unknown to most of you (but that’s why you’re reading this list, right?). Exploring big ideas in crypto from first principles, as they write, co-hosts Su Zhu, the CEO and founder of Three Arrows Capital, and Hasu, a crypto researcher and writer, cover topics within the cryptoverse that might at first appear to be quite dense, but their novel approach yields insights and sets them apart from run-of-the-mill podcasts.
With only thirty episodes, they don’t have an especially deep back catalogue, but what they lack in quantity they more than make up for in quality. And, with episodes nearing the two-hour mark, the listening experience is an immersive one. Still not convinced? Check out their latest podcast on how you can apply game theory to crypto markets.
Now go forth intrepid crypto newcomers or enthusiasts and listen and learn from some of the sharpest minds in the cryptosphere. Whether you’re cycling or taking public transportation to work, jogging, running errands, standing in line at the grocery store, or simply tuning out the white noise around you, you’ll have hours and hours of thought-provoking content at your fingertips.