This is part one of a two-part interview with Finn Brunton, author of 'Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Utopians, and Technologists Who Created Cryptocurrency'. In this part we dig into the secret pre-history of Bitcoin, including the World War 2 origins of public/private key cryptography, how Proof Of Work was initially proposed as a means to fight spam,  and how the 'Extropian' movement - which, Finn explains, stood for 'more life, more energy, more time, more space, more money... more everything! - collected an uncanny number of the early engineers contributing to what would eventually become Bitcoin.

If there's one key takeaway from this episode, it's that there's no one Satoshi Nakamoto -- Bitcoin's a bricolage of math, technology and ingenuity stretching back at least seventy years. Do any of the Extropians who had themselves cryogenically preserved, we wonder, have bitcoin wallets still till accruing value -- and will they still be able to recall their word seeds when they're brought back to life in a hundred years' time?


This is the second and final part of our interview with Enric Duran of the Faircoin / Faircoop project.

We discuss: the advantage of using Faircoin rather than Bitcoin or even Euros; the history of anarchism of in Spain and the use of pre-crypto 'scrip' currencies in and between anarchist communes; the need to build an infrastructure for the coming community of disaffected normies, and more.

We also take a long excursion into Enric's backstory as the 'Robin Hood' of the antiglobalisation movement: how he stole half a million euros plus from banks and gave it all to anticapitalist projects, and his ensuing life in the underground. And finally, we come around to the big question: how to get to a global Commons without requiring big-state communism. Bonus: the mysterious link between Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin and Enric Duran's commune Calafou.

In our second interview with Emin Gün Sirer (the first one being lost to a catastrophic file system failure!), we discuss the current state of cryptocurrency, and just what Emin means when he says that Satoshi Nakamoto is 'dead.' We discover the secret shared lineage between BitTorrent and Cryptocurrency, and how they both tackle the 'chaos of the commons'. Of course TRON's recent acquisition of BitTorrent, Inc. comes in for some scrutiny -- Emin remains, let's say, skeptical. And, finally, we look at Emin's work on and around the all-new Avalanche protocol, which he sees as the most significant contribution to cryptocurrency since Bitcoin itself. 

Emin Gün Sirer is a co-director of The Initiative For Cryptocurrencies & Contracts and associate professor of computer science at Cornell University. Known for significant contributions to peer-to-peer systems and computer networking, Emin was behind the first Proof-of-Work system for cryptocurrency, Karma, which debuted before Bitcoin. Having since become a respected commentator on and contributor to Bitcoin itself, Emin is now working on Avalanche, a new cryptocurrency protocol based on an entirely new model, promising fast, reliable transactions with significantly lower power overheads.

Hello to new Patreon supporters: Brett Gaddy, Alexander Sirazh and Liquid Reign! Thanks for your support, guys. We really appreciate it! 



In this episode, we meet Primavera De Filippi, author of the recently published 'Blockchain and the Law', from Harvard University Press (co-authored with Aaron Wright). Primavera is interested in how the law will change to accommodate blockchain -- and how blockchain might replace parts of the law. We've already seen how P2P filesharing strained the world's copyright law: what changes will be ushered in by P2P money? We discuss the future of blockchain-based technologies, and whether decentral systems are doomed to create new incumbents and new forms of centralisation; whether (and how) forking could be a solution against this 're-centralisation'; and how Ethereum's smart contracts may have a fatal flaw that the philosophy of law already knows about.
Primavera De Filippi is a permanent researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris, a faculty associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and a Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute. She is a member of the Global Future Council on Blockchain Technologies at the World Economic Forum, and co-founder of the Internet Governance Forum’s dynamic coalitions on Blockchain Technology (COALA). Her fields of interest focus on legal challenges raised by decentralized technologies, with a particular focus on blockchain technologies. She is investigating the new opportunities for these technologies to enable new governance models and participatory decision-making through the concept of governance-by-design.

Showrunner & Host Jamie King | Editor Lucas Marston (Hollagully) Original Music David Triana | Web Production Eric Barch


Presented by TorrentFreak

Sponsored by Private Internet Access

Executive Producers: Mark Zapalac, Eric Barch, Nelson Larios, George Alvarez.

For sponsorship enquiries, please email [email protected]

In this episode we meet Chris Beams, founder of the decentralised cryptocurrency exchange Bisq. We discuss the concept of DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations), and whether The Pirate Bay was an early example; how the start of Bitcoin parallels the start of the Internet itself; and why the meretricious Bitcoin Cash fork of Bitcoin is based on a misunderstanding of Open Source development. Finally then we get into Bisq itself, discussing the potential political importance of decentralised crypto exchanges in the context of any future attempts by the financial establishment to control cryptocurrency. This is part one of a two-part interview; the second part will be released to Patreon supporters first, and then on the main feed.

Showrunner & Host Jamie King | Editor Lucas Marston (Hollagully) Original Music David Triana | Web Production Eric Barch


Presented by TorrentFreak

Sponsored by Private Internet Access & Premiumize

Executive Producers: Mark Zapalac, Eric Barch, Nelson Larios, George Alvarez.

For sponsorship enquiries, please email [email protected]