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The All Things Risk Podcast

The All Things Risk podcast explores the themes of risk, uncertainty and resilience as applied to sports, the arts, current affairs and just about any other domain. We feature long-form conversations with interesting guests who have loads of fascinating stories, tips and tools.
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Nov 9, 2021

The next two episodes will be focused on cryptocurrencies and we will be giving this the full “All Things Risk” treatment. If you look at many of the resources available to try and understand this stuff, you will inevitably be driven to the areas of computer science, finance, economics and in some cases, philosophy. Bitcoin has even been described as a libertarian nirvana and many cryptocurrencies have an almost cult-like status amongst some of their proponents. On top of this, there is plenty of mis-information based on a lack of transparency – which of course can lead to fraud as much as (if not more than) riches.

What I have long thought is that there was a lack of explanation for the cryptocurrency phenomenon based on the human condition. That is, until now. Meet Ethan Lou. Ethan is a journalist at Canada’s Financial Post, an early crypto investor, and the author of a fabulous new book called Once a Bitcoin Miner – Scandal and Turmoil in the Cryptocurrency Wild West.

I came across Ethan upon reading his opinion piece in Canada’s Globe and Mail in which he equates the world of crypto to the “frontier myth” in which participants are motivated not just by greed and speculation but also by a sense of adventure and even fantasy. That entails good and bad things, particularly when that fantasy comes up against reality. Ethan has met a range of colourful and sometimes dodgy characters during his crypto journey and he shares of some of that in this episode. This path even took him to North Korea, and we discuss that too. He also discusses whether or not these assets are in a bubble and shares advice for the crypto-curious.

Regardless of your views of and experiences in cryptocurrency and blockchain, I don’t think you can fully understand these things without understanding the perspective that Ethan shares. His insights are colourful, based on first-hand experience, and very revealing.

Show notes:

Ethan’s website;

Once a Bitcoin Miner;

Ethan on Twitter;

Ethan’s Financial Post column;

Ethan’s Globe and Mail article;

Anthony Di Iorio;

Virgil Griffith;

Ronny Chieng video in the Daily Show;

Nassim Taleb on Bitcoin;

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs);

Gerald (Jerry) Cotton and the Quadriga insolvency;

Bitcoin ETFs

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