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The Breakdown

Nathaniel Whittemore
554 episodes
A daily analysis of macroeconomics, bitcoin, geopolitics and big picture power shifts, hosted by Nathaniel Whittemore @nlw. The Breakdown is produced and distributed by CoinDesk.

Disclaimer: the content and artwork of this podcast are the property of its owner and are not affiliated with nor endorsed by Audiotrails.

46M Americans Now Own Bitcoin as Inflation Rises to Highest Level in 13 Years

Today on the Brief: SEC throws cold water on bitcoin ETF dreams MoneyGram brings bitcoin for cash to 12,000 locations (for a hefty fee) Palantir considering adding bitcoin to balance sheet Our main discussion: Inflation has seen its biggest growth month in a very long time. Is it just t…

Crypto to Replace Dollar as World’s Reserve Currency? Investing Legend Stanley Druckenmiller Thinks So

Last year, hedge fund gurus like Paul Tudor Jones set off the wave of institutional bitcoin buying by cementing the narrative of bitcoin as an inflation hedge. Today, one of those investors - Stanley Druckenmiller - is back with even more dire pronouncements about the likely implication of Federal …

If Prices Keep Going Up, We Might Have to Start Calling It Inflation

Today on the Brief: Elon Musk saves an SNL flop with a dogecoin satellite  Growing interest in Ethereum  UBS explores offering crypto to wealthy clients Our main discussion:The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg are both running headlines about increasing consumer prices. For now, most p…

CBDCs Aren't About Money, They're About Power

On this week’s “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads Sune Sorenson’s “ China Is Opting Out of US-Run Financial System .” He also discusses recent pieces by Niall Ferguson and The Economist that point to a growing conversation about CBDCs that is fundamentally about power and the global system.  -- Earn u…

‘My 401(k) is now my 401(k9)': Doge, SNL and Why This Was Quietly a Massive Week for Bitcoin

On this edition of “The Breakdown’s Weekly Recap,” NLW looks at: Why ETH should have had most of the attention The camps forming around dogecoin and why it’s likely to dump after “Saturday Night Live” A slew of massive institutional bitcoin news that flew under the radar "Remy: Dogecoin…

The Balkanization of Bitcoin: The Next Attack on BTC Is About Mining Provenance

Today on the Brief: Square puts up monster Q1 bitcoin numbers First crypto comments from new SEC Chair Gary Gensler 3 new institutional bitcoin developments  Our main discussion:  As bitcoin becomes more mainstream, the attempts from the powers that be to control it will become more s…

Are Banks Getting Nervous About Competition From DeFi?

Today on the Brief: MercadoLibre has added bitcoin to its balance sheet Galaxy Digital buys BitGo  Debates around the new, improved, real economy  Our main discussion: While the last year has seen a massive amount of growth in decentralized finance, it has been mostly driven by enfran…

The Biggest Bitcoin News of the Year? NYDIG CEO Explains How Latest Partnership Could Bring Bitcoin to 300M US Bank Acc…

NLW is joined today by Robby Gutmann, CEO of NYDIG. NYDIG is quickly emerging as one of the leading companies helping onboard institutions to bitcoin. This year, it received investment from and announced partners with companies like MassMutual, New York Life, Liberty Mutual, Morgan Stanley and m…

Is Dogecoin at $0.58 a Triumph or an FU to the Crypto Industry?

NLW asked his Twitter followers about what the success of dogecoin meant to the crypto industry. He got an extremely diverse set of takes. Some see it as a triumph of crypto’s uncontrollability. Some see it as a triumph of the underlying bitcoin tech working on a forked chain that hasn’t had much m…

Why Bitcoin Is Making Some Legendary Investors Emotional

Today on The Breakdown, NLW looks at: Charlie Munger’s and Bill Maher’s weekend comments about bitcoin and why we’re likely to see a lot more of this type of critique the more the bull market heats up The beginning of Taproot’s ‘Speedy Trial’  The Digital Dollar Foundation beginning private…

Wall Street’s Bitcoin Isn’t Your Bitcoin

Ben Hunt is the author of the wildly popular and always provocative “Epsilon Theory.” In his recent essay “In Praise of Bitcoin,” he calls on bitcoiners to rise up and recognize that the “bitcoin” being adopted by Wall Street is an abstraction that comes with unacceptable compromises.    -- Earn u…

Welcome Back, Flippening Narrative

On this edition of “The Breakdown’s Weekly Recap,” NLW explores: Why JPM and Tesla drove the bitcoin story Why Ethereans are hot on the call for a “flippening” again Why CBDCs are low key one of the most important stories of 2021  -- Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP…

Crypto's War of the Roses: The 7 Factions of the 2021 Bull Market

On today’s episode, NLW gives a comprehensive view of the battleground for attention and resources that makes up this 2021 bull market, including: Bitcoin Ethereum and DeFi Ethereum alternatives  Ponzi coins Stablecoins and CBDCs NFTs Doge Where do the next fights and fault line…

What an Increasingly Booming Economy Means for Bitcoin

For the past year, bitcoin’s narrative has been deeply tied to the larger macro narrative of looming inflation. As the economy starts to boom, many continue to point to the spectre of inflation as a bullish force for bitcoin. In today’s episode, NLW explores growing confidence in the markets and …

Visa's CEO on Crypto: "This Is a Space We Are Leaning Into in a Very, Very Big Way"

Today on the Brief: Elon pumps Doge again Detailing Biden’s $1.8T American Families Plan  Turkey, Iran, SEC Our main discussion looks at comments this week from Visa CEO Al Kelly on the company’s relationship with crypto, analyzing the five areas of opportunity Visa has identified: …

Tesla's Bitcoin Selling Shows How BTC Is More Than Digital Gold

Yesterday Bitcoin Twitter reacted in horror upon discovering that Tesla had sold 10% of its bitcoin. Elon has paper hands! Institutions will abandon us! The horror and scorn ran far and wide.  On today’s episode, NLW argues that: The sales proved to Tesla that bitcoin has deep liquidity Tha…

JPMorgan's Bitcoin Journey: From 'Worse Than Tulips' to 'Not My Cup of Tea' to New Product

Today on the Brief: Sports and crypto come together WTF is going on in Turkey? Wyoming DAO law  Our main discussion: After years of CEO Jamie Dimon ragging on bitcoin, JPMorgan is reportedly set to offer a new actively managed bitcoin product. In this episode, NLW looks back at Dimon’s …

Bitcoin and the New Non-Governmental Monetary Reality

For this week’s “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads Nik Bhatia’s latest piece: “ Asset Managers, Owning Bitcoin Is Now Your Fiduciary Duty .” He also provides more thoughts on the notion of bitcoin as a non-sovereign money and what that might mean in terms of global balances of power.  -- Earn up to 12…

2017 PTSD and the Dip That Ate Alt Season

On this edition of “The Weekly Recap,” NLW looks at the twin dips that shaped the week. He argues that one upshot is the dips may have taken the wind out of the sales of some very 2017-esque froth that threatened the entire industry.  -- Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, Stab…

What Biden's Tax Hike Has to Do With Money Printing and Inflation

Today on the Brief: Coinbase Pro to list USDT A new Bitcoin Mayor in Tennessee ETH and BTC ETF updates Our main discussion looks at President Biden’s proposed increase of the capital gains tax rate. NLW breaks down everything bitcoiners are saying about it, with a particular focus on wh…

This Earth Day, Let's Reclaim the Bitcoin Energy Debate

Today on the Brief: Crypto M&A heats up Is ETH deflationary now? Cathie Wood is the Michael Saylor of Coinbase stock Our main discussion: Square’s Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative and ARK Investments have teamed up to release a memo about how bitcoin addresses key issues in the renewable…

ICO 2.0: How Will Big Bitcoin-Buying Institutions React to Inevitable Crypto Market Froth?

The years 2017 and 2018 were some of the frothiest, wildest times in crypto market history. Their fallout also dragged the industry down for years, leaving an unmistakable stench of scam for many.  Thus far in this market cycle, much of those excesses have been avoided. Attention and energy has l…

Governments Banning Bitcoin? Not So Fast as Former Regulators Brooks and Giancarlo Join Crypto Companies

As this cycle heats up, “governments will ban bitcoin” is one of the top areas of fear, uncertainty and doubt. On this episode, NLW breaks down why that FUD just doesn’t hold much weight right now, looking at: Why the examples of India, Turkey, Nigeria and China are not as bad as what people ha…

No, Bitcoin's Flash Crash Wasn't Caused by Turkey or Money Laundering or China or Any Other FUD

In 20 minutes on Saturday night, bitcoin’s price fell by more than 12%. Crypto Twitter raced to explain it as the byproduct of hashrate crashes after Chinese miners went offline, a suspicious report about the U.S. Treasury Department going after crypto money launders, and/or an upcoming ban in Turk…

A Point-by-Point Rebuttal of the Most Recent Bitcoin Environmental FUD

On this week’s “Long Reads Sunday,” NLW reads Nic Carter’s “ On Bitcoin, the Gray Lady Embraces Climate Lysenkoism ,” a rebuttal of the New York Times’ recent piece on bitcoin energy consumption he says is riddled with false data and debunked sources.    -- Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum,…

Here Are All the Institutions That Bought Bitcoin While You Weren't Paying Attention

On this edition of the “Weekly Recap,” NLW looks at three key themes: The continued institutionalization of bitcoin (and, increasingly, ethereum as well)  Warning signs of market mania in DOGE and NFT prices Global intrigue around bitcoin and central bank digital currencies   -- Earn up …

Dogecoin: The Emperor of All Shitcoins and the Master of Memes

Dogecoin is on a tear. And it’s causing many mainstream media outlets to call “bubble.” On this episode, NLW breaks down DOGE as: Valueless memecoin Internet culture incarnate Dada-esque protest to a broken system  Much wow.  -- Earn up to 12% APY on Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD, EUR, GBP, S…

Why the Biden Administration Is Increasingly Concerned with China’s Digital Currency

On today’s “The Breakdown,” NLW looks at an underreported story from earlier this week. There are increasingly loud whispers that officials across several agencies, including Treasury, National Security and Defense, are growing concerned with China’s digital currency efforts.  NLW looks at: W…

The Definitive Guide to Coinbase Going Public

On the day of Coinbase’s historic direct listing on NASDAQ, NLW answers your most important questions about the company and its place in the industry.  How did Coinbase become successful? What is the crypto public's perception of Coinbase? What is Coinbase's business model and how has that …

The Real Story of Inflation Right Now

There is perhaps no question more debated in macroeconomics than what sort of inflation we’re likely to see in the coming years. Many are convinced that the combination of a growing money supply, expansionary monetary policy, pent-up demand, reshoring of manufacturing and more are pointing us to a …