Great listens, from NFT basics to deep dives into DeFi
As society tries to make sense of the swirl of buzz, excitement — and, yes, skepticism — around NFTs (nonfungible tokens), we thought this would be a good time to share some of our favorite podcasts on the subject. Podcasts are increasingly becoming the way many of us are staying informed about recent developments in the space.
But it’s a fast-changing landscape, so if you have other suggestions, please share in the comments below. I’m sure I missed a few good ones!
Here are the podcasts my friends, co-workers and I have begun to gravitate toward, along with some notable guests, some quotes that resonated, the episode date and links. There are others we like and listen too, but with our Top 10, it’s not 24/7 crypto talk.
1. Modern Finance
Host: Kevin Rose
Podcast: MoFi site
Snapshot: The newest one of the bunch, this new entry has been consistently stellar since day one. Rose, a VC and entrepreneur who founded Digg (I still have an original Digg T-shirt), knows the world of NFTs, blockchain and crypto not just from an analytical investor’s perspective but as an enthusiastic user, gamer and early adopter. Each episode is a celebration of cool technologies and of the world-changing possibilities ahead.
Standout episode: Art Blocks — Generative NFT Art with Erick Snowfro
Notable quote: “I don’t undervalue things that are not 100% on chain, but I do add a lot of value to things that are 100% on chain. I refer to them as a higher technical quality NFT — zero to do with the quality of the art, but from a technical perspective, I think it is an irrefutable fact that it is a higher quality NFT [that can be around for decades or centuries].” — Art Blocks founder Erick (aka Snowfro)
Hosts: Ryan Sean Adams and David Hoffman
Podcast: Bankless podcast
Snapshot: I started in on Bankless early in 2021 and quickly realized this is the definitive, authoritative source of info on all things DeFi. What I like is that Ryan and David are not just completely at ease with the often dense subject matter but they don’t talk above our heads. Just as important, the podcast doesn’t just focus on the ups and downs of crypto markets (youch!) but tackles other subjects in the NFT and blockchain space that portend major changes in the architecture of the Web itself. Look for big-name guests like social media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk and veteran venture capitalist Chris Dixon of a16z.
Standout episode: The Fourth Crypto Cycle | Chris Dixon, a16z
Notable quote: “I see crypto/blockchain very much as a new cycle of computing that fits into that history [of computing]: Mainframe computers in the ’50s and ’60s, PCs in the ’70s and ’80s, Internet in the ’90s and 2000s, mobile phones 2000–2010. Now I think we’re on the cusp of a whole bunch of exciting things. … The thing I’m most passionate about, and I think will be one of the most impactful areas of new computing, is around what you might call blockchain computers.” — Chris Dixon, Andreessen-Horowitz
3. The a16z Podcast
Hosts: Sonal Chokshi and Zoran Basich
Podcast: The a16z Podcast network
Snapshot: The reason a16z doesn’t rank #1 on this list is that its subject matter runs the gamut of new technologies. But when the subject turns to NFTs and blockchain, there’s no more authoritative source for reliable, forward-thinking brilliance than the hosts and guests who appear on a16z.
Notable quote: “Ostentation is one of the reasons people might collect NFTs, but it’s not just the speculative value, or being ostentatious about being an owner. Increasingly over time, I think, owners of NFTs will start to realize more and more sort of compounding utility as developers build new spaces for you to bring your digital property. For example, today you can buy a piece of digital art as an NFT and you can bring it into a virtual world like Cryptovoxels or Decentraland and display it there.” — Jesse Walden, managing partner at Variant Fund
4. Creator Economics
Hosts: Reed Duchscher and Blake Robbins
Podcast: Creator Economics on Apple Podcasts
Snapshot: If you’re a creative, chances are that you weren’t born with that Stanford Business School gene. No worries! Tune into Creator Economics to learn about the unfolding market opportunities that lay before today’s digital creatives. After all, take away the creators and there’s little left of the NFT landscape. The shows are a blend of banter between Duchscher, CEO of Night Media, Robbins, a VC at Ludlow Ventures, and their guests. Good stuff.
Standout episode: Coinbase co-founder on future of NFTs & Bitcoin
Notable quote: “On the Internet, a highly aligned group of people with a shared purpose, community and mission is really powerful.” — Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam
Host: Laura Shin
Podcast: Unchained Podcast
Snapshot: Laura Shin, a veteran reporter for Forbes, cuts through the hype and gets straight to the heart of what’s going on in the crypto and blockchain sectors. Among recent standout episodies (240 in all):
Notable quote: “I think it’s important for the long-term health of crypto for us to maximally explore the full design space and tradeoffs of these different ways to scale as opposed to being dogmatic about a set of ideologies.” — Kyle Samani, managing partner at Multicoin Capital
6. Zima Red
Host: Andrew Steinwold
Podcast: Zima Red on Apple Podcasts
Snapshot: Venture capitalist Andrew Steinwold takes listeners on a tour of tomorrow in this fascinating podcasts that explores virtual worlds, the metaverse and all things NFTs.
7. The Defiant
Hosts: Camila Russo
Snapshot: The Defiant podcast is all about DeFi, short for decentralized finance, and the new possibilities opened up by a financial system where the next generation of world builders route around the old guard. Camila manages to snag some fascinating guests on a regular basis.
8. Zero Knowledge
Hosts: Anna Rose and Fredrik Harryson
Podcast: Zero Knowledge episodes
Snapshot: Now, I have to tell you this has become one of my favorite podcasts (they’re up to 182 episodes), but beware, you’d better have your big boy britches on. Anna and Fredrik, who both work in the blockchain industry, take deep forays down assorted rabbit holes, but it’s all quite illuminating for those who want to get up to speed on the inner workings of the space. If deep dish geek talk is a turnoff, though, you’ll want to roam elsewhere.
9. The Gary Vee Audio Experience
Hosts: Gary Vaynerchuk
Snapshot: Gary Vee, as he’s popularly known, has long held forth on all manner of topics related to social media and marketing. But lately Gary has taken a deep dive into NFTs — and I wrote about how he’s creating a blueprint for bringing NFTs into the real world. Many of his episodes won’t touch on blockchain, but you won’t want to skip the ones that do.
Standout episode: “Who Owns That?” is about to become a social norm
Notable quote: “For me, it feels like a sea change — the blockchain, the digitalization of all goods, the way music is distributed, books, the way art and collectibles are sold. … People want that social currency. It is a wild wild West of sorts, even though you do have the ledger technology and the ability to understand where transactions are taking place.” — Gary Vaynerchuk
10. The Blockchain Show
Host: Ethan Kinderknecht
Snapshot: The Blockchain Show just hit 200 episodes last week with its weekly entries that try to demystify cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technologies. Shows are hit or miss but there is the occasional jewel, like the June 2020 interview with David Hoffman of RealT, the platform for tokenizing property ownership in the United States.
This article originally appeared on the Digital Culture Works blog.