Ryan Selkis on the Existential Struggle for Crypto in the U.S.

In this episode, Jason and Mike are joined by Ryan Selkis, Founder and CEO of Messari Crypto, for a discussion on the intersection of crypto and US politics. They discuss the recent presidential debate, Ryan’s journey into the political arena, and Sam Bankman-Fried’s impact on crypto regulatory policy. They also dive into the importance of political engagement from the crypto community, and Selkis’ strategic initiatives. Finally, they cover why Democrats took an anti-crypto stance, the best case outcome for crypto regulatory policy, and how U.S. political parties evolve over time.

Thanks for tuning in!


Start your day with crypto news, analysis and data from Katherine Ross and David Canellis.

Subscribe to the Empire newsletter: https://blockworks.co/newsletter/empire?utm_source=podcasts

Follow Ryan: https://x.com/twobitidiot

Follow Michael: https://x.com/MikeIppolito_

Follow Jason: https://twitter.com/JasonYanowitz

Follow Empire: https://twitter.com/theempirepod

Subscribe on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/4fdhhb2j

Subscribe on Apple: https://tinyurl.com/mv4frfv7

Subscribe on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/wbaypprw


Arbitrum is a game-changer for daily Ethereum's users and developers, offering top applications and lower fees. As the leading scaling solution with 600+ apps, explore Arbitrum’s Portal to find your perfect fit. Interact with the home of DeFi, a flourishing NFT and creator ecosystem, and a rapidly growing Web3 gaming hub – Arbitrum has it all.

Get started at:



Marinade is the leading Solana staking service that spreads your stake across 100+ top validators, distributes MEV rewards, and provides automatic downside protection with new Protected Staking Rewards. Choose to liquid stake for mSOL for use in DeFi, or delegate your stake through Marinade Native, which gives you full custody of your SOL and no smart contract risk.

Max performance for you, max performance for Solana.



Polygon Labs is developing the next generation of open source zero-knowledge tech to aggregate crypto liquidity and user bases with the AggLayer. To support the aggregated future, the Polygon Community Grants Program was launched with 1 billion tokens — all for Polygon builders.

Season One of the community grants program is live now, and features 35 million in MATIC to support the next generation of Polygon projects!

Join the aggregated future today by applying at https://polygon.technology/grants

Stay up to date with Mantle campaigns!


Eligible $mETH holders will accumulate EigenLayer points on Mantle for as long as EigenLayer’s point initiatives are still ongoing


(00:00) Intro

(02:18) The Presidential Debate

(11:37) Focusing on Politics as a Crypto Founder

(27:19) SBF's Impact on Regulatory Policy

(33:15) How Important is Crypto in the Presidential Election? 

(36:200 Lead up to Ryan's Mar-a-Lago Visit

(43:37) Marinade Ad

(44:43) Polygon Ad

(45:52) Mantle Ad

(46:41) Ryan's Perspective on the Blockworks Op-ed

(54:39) Should Crypto Be Apolitical?

(01:05:29) The Democrats Motivation for Being Anti Crypto

(01:21:05) What's the Best Case Outcome for Crypto Regulatory Policy?

(01:32:09) Addressing Common Issues Voters Have With Trump 

(01:38:02) How U.S. Political Parties Change Over Time

(01:45:33) Why RFK Jr. Should Drop Out and Endorse Trump


Disclaimer: Nothing said on Empire is a recommendation to buy or sell securities or tokens. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and any views expressed by anyone on the show are solely our opinions, not financial advice. Santiago, Jason, and our guests may hold positions in the companies, funds, or projects discussed.

Other Podcasts from our Network