What Grinds My Gears

What Grinds My Gears

blockworksgroup.io/what-grinds-my-gears-podcast
Hosted by Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson


29: Money Printer Go BRRR
Mar 26 • 74 min
Jill and Meltem reunite amidst corona-madness to breakdown how they are thinking about this unprecedented situation. They take us back to the Black Plague and project into an increasingly sci-fi future. Tune in as they discuss the options on the table,…
28: Breaking Banks with Bitcoin
Nov 28, 2019 • 25 min
This episode of What Grinds my Gears was recorded live on stage at SF Blockchain Week 2019. In this episode, Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson discuss banking Bitcoin, what a bank really is, and whether or not we’re just building the same thing in a…
27: Origin Myth: The Market and Marketing of Bitcoin
Oct 22, 2019 • 51 min
Every movement that has withstood the test of time — from religions to empires — has had a founding myth attached. This is the story of how it all started. Often these legends are shrouded in mystery. They are left open to interpretation. This week we…
26: Death and Taxes
Aug 23, 2019 • 70 min
They say there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. And while we don’t get know of anyone who has managed to cheat death, we certainly know of people who have dodged their taxes. In this episode we unpack the myth that cryptocurrency can help you…
25: Mesh Much? Telecommunications, Topology, and Tokens
Aug 16, 2019 • 77 min
Most of us take our connectivity to the internet and other telecommunications networks for granted. But behind the simple and benign act of connecting to the internet lies an intricate maze of physical hardware, wires, and complex routing logic consisting…
24: Banning Bitcoin: The Long Arc of an Infinite Revolution
Aug 8, 2019 • 64 min
Encryption has long walked the line between weapon and tool. While the so-called “Crypto Wars” ended in the 1990’s, in 2013, Edward Snowden showed us why the fight was long from over. This week, we discuss the brink of another type of Crypto War, the one…
23: Price Predictions: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Vol
Jul 9, 2019 • 56 min
Bitcoin: is it a safe haven or a risk asset? This week we are (for once) talking price. We try to make sense of the recent run ups and retracements and we explore how the valuation of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fit into the larger economic…
22: Welcome to FaceCoin
Jul 2, 2019 • 59 min
What do you get when you put together a consortium of private members issuing a currency that is aimed at world domination? First, the Federal Reserve. And then, 100 years later, Facebook’s Libra! In this episode, we untangle why Facebook needs FaceCoin,…
21: Bonus Round: Blockchain Week Recap
May 21, 2019 • 51 min
Every May, the blockchain and crypto industry gets together for a week of announcements, hype, and lambo giveaways. In this live recording, Jill and Meltem provide a retrospective on years past and discuss how this year’s “Blockchain Week” differs. ——- If…
20: ETF, F No?
May 14, 2019 • 45 min
You can’t talk about bitcoin for ten minutes without having someone bemoan the lack of a bitcoin ETF. In this live episode, we talk about the history of pooled investment vehicles, why they’ve grown exponentially over the last two decades, and why US…
19: It’s All about DEX, Baby
May 7, 2019 • 78 min
Markets are the beating heart of the financial system. As new asset classes emerge and markets get built, the questions are often the same: who should be able to participate in markets? How should trades get executed? And what are the tradeoffs we make…
18: Tarred and Tethered
Apr 30, 2019 • 89 min
Episode Description: What the heck is a tether and why is everyone always talking about it? This week, we untangle what’s going on with Tether, Bitfinex, and their affiliated banks, and why this topic keeps coming up. We also delve into collateralization,…
17: Fact or FUD: Crypto in the Media
Apr 23, 2019 • 63 min
Media about crypto has been at best confusing and at worst blatantly and deliberately wrong. It bounces back and forth between utopian, unrealistic hype which oversells the technology and grim, depressing tales of doom, destruction, terrorist financing,…
16: Beating the Market: A Game of Geeks and Greeks
Apr 16, 2019 • 76 min
How do you figure out if you’re any good at investing? How do you decide if you made the best choices possible in picking stocks, bonds, or crypto assets to buy? In the wild world of finänce, defining and measuring the performance of an investment is as…
15: Fork Yourself
Apr 9, 2019 • 77 min
Forks, or chain splits, are some of the most dramatic events in cryptocurrency. In this episode we untangle how we think about them. Are they like stock splits? Dividends? Or is it more like owning a cow that gives birth to a surprise and potentially…
14: This is Water: A Story about Liquidity
Apr 2, 2019 • 66 min
This week, we dive into liquidity, a word whose blatant abuse really grinds our gears! We break down what liquidity *actually* means in markets, for companies, and for individual assets, and the role of market participants and market structure in managing…
13: You’ve Been Liquidated
Mar 26, 2019 • 50 min
This week we are talking about prediction markets. Tune in to hear about the history of prediction markets, their applications across governance and finance, and how they are getting implemented as decentralized marketplaces. From gambling to synthetic…
12: The ICO Ice Age: Back to Banking
Mar 19, 2019 • 57 min
This week, we delve into crypto seasons and how winter isn’t actually winter at all but the dawn of a new age. New species are emerging, and old species are on the verge of going extinct (well, bankrupt). We also do some soul searching and ask - what if…
11: Alex, I’ll Take “Blockchain” for $500
Mar 12, 2019 • 64 min
Innovation theater: a performance enacted by a big corporate incumbent to demonstrate it is still fresh, innovative, and on the cutting edge, often without any real value add to the firm. This week we are exploring enterprises and their experimentation…
10: Surveillance Capitalism
Mar 5, 2019 • 68 min
This week, we’re diving deep into the rise of surveillance capitalism, it’s slow and steady creep into the heart of the crypto community, and what that might mean for our cypherpunk dreams of privacy. You can find our extended show notes on Medium. ——- If…
9: Initial Country Offering
Feb 26, 2019 • 54 min
If you turned on CNBC at any point during 2018, you’ll know that lots of startups and entrepreneurs used initial coin offerings (ICOs) to raise funding. Well, it turns out that countries also got into the game. In this episode, we explore the use of…
8: Living on Borrowed DAI
Feb 19, 2019 • 64 min
One of the key innovations of bitcoin is that it solves something called the double spend problem. This means that every bitcoin is provably scarce — it can’t exist in two peoples’ wallets at the same time. This is a big deal because it’s actually pretty…
7: Money Makes the World Go Round
Feb 12, 2019 • 59 min
In past episodes, hosts Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson have touched on crypto business models, crypto asset classifications, and governance as both a function and a business. These topics are ultimately shaped by how a project chooses to raise capital.…
6: Crypto Cartels
Feb 5, 2019 • 59 min
In this episode, hosts Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson cover the nebulous and thorny topic of crypto governance mechanisms and the merging of politics and finance in the form of on-chain governance via token voting and staking. We draw from the history…
5: Venezuela: Living in a Powder Keg
Jan 29, 2019 • 64 min
One of crypto’s favorite narratives has always been that it can help people in places where their local currency is being debased. Venezuela, with its 1,000,000% inflation rate and political instability, has been a prime topic of conversation. As the…
4: Square Peg Round Hole
Jan 28, 2019 • 51 min
The story around crypto is broken. For many investors crypto has been about pattern matching, but the search for the “next Bitcoin” or the “next Ethereum” is not working as well as many would have hoped. In this episode we discuss some other frameworks…
3: DeFi, Same as the OldFi
Jan 24, 2019 • 53 min
Crypto revolution or evolution? Regulatory arbitrage, cat and mouse games, and decentralization theater are all core parts of how the cryptocurrency industry is currently run. But what happens over the long run? In this episode, we look at whether…
2: Welcome to Bagel World
Jan 24, 2019 • 39 min
What are all these cryptocurrencies actually worth? We break down a number of perspectives on how to unpack this issue. From balance sheet issues to legal rights of holders to liquidity matters, there is a lot to consider as the crypto world goes about…
1: An Unfettered Orgy of Capitalism
Jan 24, 2019 • 60 min
We put the crypto bubble in the context of the broader markets. Are we entering a global macro unwind? Is the decline cryptocurrencies just the canary in the coal mine of a bigger risk-off market move and deleveraging? We unpack some of the dynamics going…