What did you take up to fill up the endless hours of lockdown? Perhaps you became a baker, or a jogger, or maybe you sat down to write that novel you’ve been putting off for the last twenty years. Were you one of those folks who suddenly came over all green-fingered and started growing veg in their back yard? Or did you join the lithe legions doing Zoomed yoga classes from their front rooms?
One day, the pandemic and the horrors of lockdown will be stories we bore our grandchildren with. We’ll look back and shudder as we remember the sourdoughs that failed to rise and the chilling prospect of running out of toilet paper. There’s a good chance most of us won’t have stuck with those hobbies we took up, having abandoned them as soon as a vaccine came along.
While being stuck at home for so long is hardly something any of us are in a hurry to repeat, it hasn’t been all bad. Homemade bread does taste way better. Managing to run a 10k in under an hour having once got out of breath making it to the bus stop is an achievement to be proud of. Having a whole load of extra hours to fill has given many of us a break from the daily grind and a chance to enjoy some self-improvement.
We’re All Ears
If you’re like me, then chances are you have at least one mate who has always been banging on about podcasts. I could never fathom some people’s obsession with them. My eyes would glaze over whenever I heard the word. I began to wonder whether certain people ever did anything else besides listen to bloody podcasts all day long.
Lockdown made a convert of me. Faced with untold amounts of free time, I made a decision to broaden my horizons and try new things. Some did not last long. I am – apparently – incapable of keeping any houseplant alive for more than two days. I could not make it past the first season of Game of Thrones and I make no apologies for that.
But with podcasts I tumbled down a rabbit hole I’m in no hurry to get out of. And I’m not alone. According to recent research, 68 million people in the US alone (24% of the population) listen to podcasts on a weekly basis. There are reckoned to be more than 1.5 million podcasts in existence, with the number steadily rising all the time. So much so, in fact, that some have taken to YouTube to try and stop the spread during lockdown.
From doing my best to ignore podcasts, I now can’t get enough of them. I’ll listen to almost anything and I’m subscribed to hundreds of different shows, covering all manner of subjects. I can honestly say, I don’t know how I’d have got through lockdown without them.
Imagine my delight then when my new-found love of podcasting began to overlap with my crypto obsession: a double whammy of joy. And it turned out that my colleagues here at Coin Bureau were equally hooked. If you’ve ever wondered what Guy does when he’s not making his videos, then I can tell you that it involves a pair of headphones, a comfy chair and a blissful trance.
A Perfect 10
Luckily for Guy and the rest of us, there’s no shortage of crypto-related podcasts out there. The only problem is, there are so many it can be hard to know where to start and, as so often in life, there’s a lot of grit mixed in with the gold. So we’re here to help.
We’ve put our heads together and come up with a list of the ten best crypto podcasts available. We’ve given a quick rundown of what you can expect from each one, as well as profiles of those involved. So grab those headphones, find a quiet corner, sit back, relax and enjoy…
Crypto can often seem a bit of a boy’s club, so it’s refreshing to see Laura Shin hosting this excellent podcast. Shin is a former senior editor at Forbes and the first journalist from the mainstream media to cover crypto full time. She releases weekly episodes of Unchained, in which she talks to some of the biggest players in blockchain and crypto.
Recent episodes have featured some of the most recognisable names in the cryptoverse, including Vitalik Buterin, Yearn Finance’s Andre Cronje, Brave’s Brendan Eich and even the Binance overlord himself, CZ. Shin also talks with lawmakers and politicians who are actively shaping crypto regulation, as well as the investors who are keeping the money flowing in. In short, if you want to keep abreast of what’s going on in the world of crypto, you can’t afford to ignore Unchained.
2. The Bad Crypto Podcast
If you’re new to crypto and still getting to grips with bitcoin, blockchain and all the other projects out there, then The Bad Crypto Podcast is a great place to get started. Its aim is to demystify the crypto space and help newbies get to grips with everything going on there.
TBCP is hosted by Joel Comm and Travis Wright and puts out regular episodes to help listeners keep abreast of crypto’s latest developments. Joel describes himself as the ‘functional futurist’ and is a New York Times bestselling author, a public speaker and entrepreneur as well as podcaster.
It’s probably quickest to describe him as an expert on all things internet, his field of expertise is so broad. Travis is a former global digital and social strategist at Symantec, who also writes and speaks about blockchain, tech, marketing and much else besides.
These two make a good team and have honed their style to perfection over the course of 500+ episodes. TBCP is a everything you want from a podcast: informative, authoritative and fun.
Seven years is a long time in crypto and this next podcast has covered a lot in that time. Epicenter is a weekly show that explores ‘the technical, economic and social implications’ of the blockchain industry. As with Unchained, the focus here is on talking to big names from within the industry and getting their views on a wide variety of topics related to blockchain and crypto.
Epicenter was founded in 2013 by Adam B. Levine (host of Let’s Talk Bitcoin), Sébastien Couture and Brian Crane. Levine has moved on and the podcast now has a roster of five hosts: Crane and Couture, along with Meher Roy, Sunny Aggarwal and Friederike Ernst. Between them they’ve spoken to hundreds of guests, including Litecoin founder Charlie Lee, Interchain Foundation president Jae Kwon and Project Serum co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
For those looking to take a deeper dive into the crypto waters, Epicenter is among the original and best resources out there.
4. What Bitcoin Did
As its name suggests, this podcast from Peter McCormack has a BTC-related focus, though that doesn’t stop it veering off to investigate a whole heap of topics relevant to the digital gold. McCormack isn’t afraid to get stuck in to the subject with his interviewees and episodes generally last an hour or so, but can sometimes go on much longer. This isn’t a problem though, as McCormack knows his subject inside out and gets some impressive guests along to chew the fat with him.
Recent episodes have featured the likes of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Jameson Lopp and Blockstream’s Rusty Russell. McCormack himself is a journalist who has run WBD since 2017 and now also runs the Defiance platform and podcast. He’s one of those people whose body of work throws up hours of fascinating material.
What Bitcoin Did is so well put together that it could easily appeal to those with only a passing interest in Bitcoin and the issues around it. For anyone looking to see how deeply embedded crypto now is in the fabric of our lives, this is the place to go.
5. The Trader Cobb Crypto Podcast
For those of you interested in trading crypto then one of your first ports of call should be the avuncular Aussie tones of Craig Cobb. This podcast takes the form of short, snappy episodes released every one or two days, in which Cobb discusses the markets and what’s making them move. It’s a great way to start your trading day off and Cobb’s easy-going style is both informative and fun.
Cobb has over thirteen years of experience trading all types of assets and now concentrates on educating wannabe traders through his podcast and website. The podcast comes with the usual disclaimers about not being financial advice, but is a great resource for those busy doing their own research.
To have one podcast on this list is an impressive achievement; to have two almost seems like showing off. Yes, Laura Shin is back with Unconfirmed, another weekly podcast which ‘reveals how the marquee names in crypto are reacting to the week’s top headlines.’
This show has a generally shorter format than Unchained and so is a better bet for those looking to get a quick fix of crypto and where it might be headed.
7. The Pomp Podcast
Anthony ‘Pomp’ Pompliano is an American tech investor and entrepreneur whose ‘interests lie at the intersection of finance, technology, entrepreneurship and economics.’ The Pomp Podcast grew out of his daily newsletter which he would send out to friends, family and clients. As the list of recipients grew, so he decided to branch out into new media and a video of each podcast is uploaded to YouTube. The podcast used to be known as Off the Chain.
Pomp’s range of subjects can be pretty broad, making this a great podcast for those interested in the bigger picture beyond the confines of bitcoin and blockchain. Episodes are released daily and generally last about an hour. Those wanting to focus on crypto may have to be selective with which episodes they choose to listen to, but Pomp is always entertaining and knows how to get the best from his guests.
8. Blockchain Insider
Blockchain Insider does a good job of appealing to both hardened crypto fans and newbies, with hosts Simon Taylor and Sarah Kocianski breaking things down into sub-hour episodes, released weekly.
The show focusses on bitcoin, blockchain and distributed ledger technology and features interviews with plenty of movers and shakers from within those industries. Although there haven’t been any new episodes since the middle of May this year, a trawl through BI’s archive throws up plenty of treats and is one of the best places to go to get background on Facebook’s Libra project.
Let’s hope they get back broadcasting soon.
9. Stephan Livera Podcast
Another well-known crypto sage shares his wisdom with us in one of the most consistently highly-rated crypto podcasts going. Stephan is a co-founder of Ministry of Nodes and Bitcoiner Ventures, so has the necessary pedigree. He also has a knack for making tricky concepts easy to understand and attracts a good range of guests, including Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Lightning Labs’ Elizabeth Stark.
Episodes are released every few days and are recommended for anyone looking to further their knowledge of bitcoin and the economics around it.
10. The Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast
Trace Mayer has been busy talking up bitcoin for several years now and has appeared on countless news and current affairs shows to fight its corner. He’s been involved with it since it was at 25 cents, so you have to assume he’s pretty wealthy by now.
Trace’s Bitcoin Knowledge podcast helps retail investors better understand bitcoin and the blockchain industry as a whole. His interviews with industry professionals and other podcasters take in industry insights and market analysis, as well as getting more technical on subjects such as mining and consensus mechanisms.
Honourable Mention. The Missing Crypto Queen
There aren’t enough superlatives to describe this extraordinary podcast, which follows the OneCoin scandal and the disappearance of its founder, Dr Ruja Ignatova. Gripping is one. Jaw-dropping another.
Jamie Bartlett’s investigation into OneCoin and the carnage it has created is so engrossing (there’s another) that it can easily make a whole day disappear, much like Dr Ruja herself. It’s not technically a crypto podcast, given that it’s more concerned with the ease with which people can be made to believe in a scam, but we can’t recommend it highly enough here at Coin Bureau.
You may be familiar with the sorry saga of OneCoin, or this may be the first time you’ve heard the name. Either way, make this your next listen and see how many times your jaw hits the floor.
Conclusion: Something For Everyone
There’s a whole heap of other crypto-related podcasts out there that could easily have made this list. This is merely a collection of the ones we happen to like best right now.
Doing your own research can be a laborious process, but listening to the best of these shows can make it an pleasure. It’s also reassuring to know that, for those coming to crypto for the first time, there’s a wealth of resources out there making it more accessible.
Covid-19 isn’t quite done with us yet and for many there are still a lot of hours to fill before life gets back to normal. But, why worry, when this selection of crypto podcasts should keep you both informed and entertained until then and beyond. Just don’t bank on finishing that novel anytime soon.
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