Resuscitate your Spotify Wrapped with these 5 podcast episodes

We can’t all have impeccable taste in music — some of us need to spend the next 2 weeks diversifying our listening experience

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Rolling Stones/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Get ready: Spotify Wrapped is just days away. 

We get it, your number-one artist is likely Taylor Swift, and your top track is probably that one song you don’t know the name of that you’ve been playing on repeat since you discovered it on TikTok this summer. 

Nothing wrong with being a Swiftie. But if you wanted to diversify a bit, good news — you have a week or two to turn that around.

Let’s take a look at five podcast episodes — all available on Spotify — from the Blockworks archives so you can show your friends you have range (and a bit of crypto know-how):

1. ‘Bombshell’ testimony and ‘hard to watch’ cross-examinations: A firsthand account of the SBF trial

Blockworks reporter Casey Wagner appeared on the Empire podcast to discuss her time covering Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial in New York. (Yes, your friends will say, “Oooh, they like true crime!”)

Sure, the trial has come and gone. And yes, we all know the outcome. Spoiler alert: SBF is guilty.

But Wagner offers up an in-person perspective, which is highly unusual for crypto reporting. In an industry where most news gathering is done through a computer screen, the trial was an opportunity for color and character where often there is none.

She shares tales of jurors too sleepy to be bothered, the occasional collapse of Barbara Fried’s typical stony composure, and of the defense’s painful cross-examinations and frantic binder flipping.

This interview was released after the first week or so of the trial. Much of Wagner’s conjecture holds up to the test of the time.

“It’s looking bad for Sam,” Wagner said.

It’s almost as if she had a crystal ball

2. Solana ‘roast’ reveals painful truths

Throw some logs on the fire, and pass the bag of Jet-puffed: It’s time for a roast. (Your friends will say, “Oooh! They like respectful debate!”)

In this episode of Lightspeed, Superteam founding member Kash Dhanda and Framework Ventures principal Brandon Potts offered up their critiques of the Solana ecosystem — no holds barred.

Dhanda picks on Solana’s civil war — an “annoying and unnecessary” conflict between the ecosystem’s diehard builder types and the Web3 NFT folks.

“There are these two groups that don’t seem to talk that much, and they actually seem to not think very highly of each other.”

(Solana is not only fighting internally: The monolithic vs. modular blockchain dispute recently reared its head again.)

Another pet peeve of Dhanda’s: They may be divided, but the Solana community has a shared “culture of  entitlement.” 

Just because you survived the bear market doesn’t mean you deserve a gold medal, he said.

3. Crypto crackdown got you down? Historian Rosenthal says we’ll ‘get it right’ — eventually

History is doomed to repeat itself. 

Josh Rosenthal, historian and co-founder of The 6ixth Event, said on the Empire podcast that crypto has found itself in one of those repetitive narratives. (Your friends will say, “Oooh! They’re interested in history!”)

When limited liability companies first hit the scene in the early 1900s, Rosenthal said they were perceived as great evils that would be “the end of economics,” that would “undo the Renaissance,” and destroy “the spirit of capitalism.”

Lo and behold, the LLC would bring about the beginning of the American financial system as we know it today.

But the US government’s first reaction to the LCC? Ban it.

A similar situation is unfolding now — over a century later — with crypto. 

If you’re interested in financial history, listen to this episode. If you’re not interested in financial history, well, you should still listen to this episode.

4. Reaching a billion users is ‘the wrong goal’ for crypto, says former Tinder VP

Forget the next billion users. We need to focus on usability, Jeff Morris Jr. said on the Lightspeed podcast. (Your friends will say, “Oooh! They like smart commentary from business execs!”)

The former vice president of product and revenue at Tinder says “the benefit of Web3 is — everything is very monetizable. It’s one of the reasons why I actually think the space is really interesting as an investor.”

But before we bring more people into the space, he argues Web3 needs to improve the quality and ease of user experience.

Morris gives Friend.tech as an example. To most crypto-native users, the social media app is fairly accessible, he said. But what would users unfamiliar with Web3 have to say about the app? 

“We have a long way to go.” 

5. Proving ‘humanness’ is no easy task on the internet

This will lead to an immediate “Oooh! They’re plugged into the AI debate.”

On this episode of Empire, Worldcoin co-founder Alex Blania (yes, that Worldcoin) talks about increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence and the problems that arise from such developments.

Read more: Worldcoin hackable by cutting off someone’s face, draping it over your own

If computers are getting better and better at behaving like humans, how do we prove that we’re human? 

Worldcoin’s proposed solution? The iris-scanning Orb, of course.


Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

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