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Appetite for Disruption: The Business and Regulation of FinTech

Many opportunities and challenges are at the intersection of technology and financial services. And FinTech itself is rapidly evolving as businesses continuously innovate and new ideas come from unexpected places. At the same time, government regulators are trying to keep pace. Troy A. Paredes and Lee A. Schneider explore this disruption by engaging the leaders who are changing what FinTech is and how we think about it. In this biweekly podcast, Troy, former SEC Commissioner and founder of Paredes Strategies LLC, and Lee, general counsel at Block.one and co-founder of Genesis Block, LLC, discuss today’s –and tomorrow’s – exciting and impactful FinTech topics. With their guests, they explore business and regulatory developments and technology trends, giving listeners new perspectives to take back to Main Street, the Hill, Wall Street, and the boardroom.As a reminder, nothing in any episode is investment, legal, or any other advice of any kind, and nothing in any episode is an endorsement or recommendation of any kind.

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Chronicled, Part 1 - Blockchain Begins ... What's Yet to Come?

Blockchain is about much more than Bitcoin. Blockchain not only makes cryptocurrencies possible. Blockchain also makes it possible to move priceless artwork from one owner to another, securely deliver collectible sneakers from sellers to buyers, and monitor prescription pharmaceuticals as they're shipped around the country. And that's just the beginning for blockchain. In the most recent episode of Appetite for Disruption, Samantha Radocchia, co-founder of Chronicled and a Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2017, joins Troy and Lee to discus how blockchain will affect our lives.

26mins

5 Feb 2018

Rank #1

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Naval Ravikant Part 1: Business Plus Science Equals Technology

We welcome Naval Ravikant, a prodigious entrepreneur who has made a career helping other entrepreneurs. In this episode, we discuss how to be an effective entrepreneur, including the game theory of venture capital. Plus we cover complexity theory (or, Why can’t everything be simpler?), the “infrastructure of innovation,” and the first-principles thinking of science. Of course, nothing said in this episode is investment, legal, or any other advice of any kind.

34mins

1 Jul 2019

Rank #2

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SeedInvest, Part 1

Ryan Feit of SeedInvest talks about how he and his team built a leading equity crowdfunding platform and was involved with the passage of the JOBS Act, and gets into the details of the platforms features and functions to make crowdfunding securities a new asset class. (Nothing in this or any other episode is advice of any kind; please contact your own experts to help with investment, legal, regulatory, or other advice.)

20mins

4 Dec 2018

Rank #3

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Naval Ravikant Part 2: Will Your Phone Do Everything?

In this second part of our conversation with Naval Ravikant, we talk about how financial services will be disrupted, from blockchain to payments and beyond. We then venture into the future of work, such as what will the gig economy mean for how we will work in the future? At the end, Troy and Lee chat a bit about their impressions from the conversation with Naval, giving some additional food for thought. We hope you like this new feature. Of course, nothing said in this episode is investment, legal, or any other advice of any kin

26mins

15 Jul 2019

Rank #4

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Flavio Mansi, Part 1: Disrupting the Mobile Phone Industry, with Blockchain

Flavio’s vision is a peer-to-peer open platform for buying and selling used mobile phones – of which there are millions around the globe.  Flavio shares his take on the mobile phone industry, including existing inefficiencies in how used phones are graded, priced, sold, and delivered to the next owner, all of which he’s hoping to disrupt with blockchain technology.  His plan is to use blockchain to fix informational asymmetries, reduce transaction costs, and promote pricing efficiencies.  Flavio’s ultimate goal is for a platform that fosters a marketplace that is open to everyone and not limited to mobile phones. 

29mins

18 Nov 2019

Rank #5

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“What the Internet was for information, the blockchain is for transferring value.” – Michael Oved

In the second installment of Appetite for Disruption’s interview with Michael Oved of AirSwap, Troy and Lee explore the role of  security and trust in shaping the future of blockchain, and how this technology may be just as big as the Internet. 

24mins

9 Jul 2018

Rank #6

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Trading in Crypto

In this episode of Appetite for Disruption, Troy and Lee speak with AirSwap co-founder Michael Oved about smart contracts, the future of (decentralized) trading, and the beauty of simplicity in technology.

23mins

25 Jun 2018

Rank #7

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Dale Purves, Duke Neuroscientist, Part 2: What Human Brains Teach Us About Computer Brains

As Dale explains it, our brains have been practicing how to respond to stimuli for millennia. While humans have been around longer than computers, computers can “practice” harder and longer than humans can. And so, through practice, computers can get really good at what they do really quickly. Interestingly, according to Dale, different computers may learn differently, and so machine learning may yield different results by different computers – sort of like how different people learn differently and thus make different decisions. Where will it all lead? Troy and Lee’s wrap-up conversation explores some of the themes they discussed with Dale.

28mins

4 Nov 2019

Rank #8

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Key Considerations for Crypto and Regulation

In the third and final installment of Appetite for Disruption’s discussion with crypto enthusiast and venture capitalist Lou Kerner, Troy and Lee discuss how regulators should approach crypto. What will help and what will hurt this developing innovation and marketplace?

20mins

11 Jun 2018

Rank #9

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All Things Crypto

Business Insider reporter Frank Chaparro joins Troy and Lee to talk all things crypto -- big banks getting into the crypto space, when we might see a crypto ETF, how crypto is becoming more accessible, and the importance of keeping the long-view in mind.

23mins

23 Jul 2018

Rank #10

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Marcus, Pt 1 - Small Loans Are Creating Big Business at Goldman

You order a slice of pizza. Just as the waiter is handing it to you, he takes a bite and claims it’s his “fee.” Naturally, you’re indignant. Does this tell us anything about banking? Goldman Sachs’ consumer lending arm, Marcus, thinks it does. In this episode of Appetite for Disruption, Troy and Lee talk with Omer Ismail (Marcus Chief Commercial Officer) and Dustin Cohn (Head of Brand Management for Marcus) about Marcus’ approach to putting the consumer first.

20mins

5 Mar 2018

Rank #11

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Chronicled, Part 2 - Blockchain as a Community Builder

Blockchain is about more than technology. It's about human interaction. Even more than that, blockchain challenges how we think about "community." In the second installment of our discussion with Chronicled co-founder Samantha Radocchia, Troy and Lee look beyond technology to examine how blockchain is changing social and economic dynamics as more-and-more occurs anonymously.

24mins

19 Feb 2018

Rank #12

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Currents in Crypto

In the second installment of Appetite for Disruption’s discussion with Business Insider reporter Frank Chaparro, Troy and Lee discuss with Frank the challenge of finding talent in an industry that’s evolving so quickly, how crypto has caught the public's imagination, and whether crypto is here to stay.

25mins

6 Aug 2018

Rank #13

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Prof. Hal Abelson, Part 2: Lessons from a Computer Scientist: Should a Computer or a Person Make that Decision?

Professor Hal Abelson of MIT continues to explain the world of machine learning, including its limitations. Have you ever considered that a computer can recognize some images better than people can, but the computer might not recognize that an image is a dog if the picture is upside down? Even the best computer scientists are still working to develop clear and fulsome explanations of why and how machine learning works. As we also discuss with Hal, even the best-trained machines lack what we, as humans, think of as judgment, and machines certainly lack human values. Perhaps new advances will move computers more towards possessing judgment and values – the ability to have compassion or empathy, for example. If so, that could have big implications for how key decisions that affect our lives get made.

27mins

12 Aug 2019

Rank #14

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Jon Clark, Part 1: Marketplace choices when trading stock.

Buyers and sellers want choices regarding what to buy and sell and where to buy and sell it.  Trading stocks for investors is no different, as choice matters there too.  We talk with Jon Clark, the CEO of Luminex, about his efforts building a company with the mission of affording institutional investors another choice centered on trading a large block of shares, rather than accessing the moment-to-moment liquidity of stock markets.  Luminex, which actually is owned by institutional investors, is a stock trading venue for blocks of at least 5000 shares traded by institutional investors.  Luminex’s business is one part of equity market structure, which needs to keep up as technology and market conditions change. 

29mins

16 Dec 2019

Rank #15

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Stocks Trade Really Fast, Part 1

We chat with Chris Concannon, formerly President and COO of Cboe and now the same at MarketAxess. We spoke with Chris (before he switched jobs) about the role of technology, the role of humans, and the speed of markets, and about regulation and complexity. (Nothing in this or any other episode is advice of any kind; please contact your own experts to help with investment, legal, regulatory, or other advice.)

25mins

18 Mar 2019

Rank #16

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Cryptographers Do Cool Stuff, Part 1

To sum it up, math matters. Troy and Lee with Brett Hemenway, a cryptographer looking at various practical applications of secure multi-party computation to solve real-world information sharing problems. Ever want to tell someone something but you’re not sure if you should trust that person? Brett delves into the theory and practice of cryptography in a way that we think "Appetite for Disruption" listeners will find fascinating. Really amazing.

20mins

12 Feb 2019

Rank #17

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COVID-19 shorts. Mike Novogratz talks about what he is seeing in the world, where he thinks things are going and what insights hit him during this troubling time.

COVID-19 shorts. Mike Novogratz talks about what he is seeing in the world, where he thinks things are going and what insights hit him during this troubling time. 

13mins

14 Apr 2020

Rank #18

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SeedInvest, Part 2

We continue our discussion with Ryan and learn about the proposed transaction with Circle, some of the early challenges SeedInvest faced and how passion is a necessary part of any start-up vision. (Nothing in this or any other episode is advice of any kind; please contact your own experts to help with investment, legal, regulatory, or other advice.)

23mins

10 Dec 2018

Rank #19

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Part 1: Profesor Melanie Mitchell. Computers lack common sense, at least for now.

 Maybe humans do too sometimes, but we are still way better than computers at common sense.  Dr. Mitchell, a computer scientist at Portland State University and the Santa Fe Institute, defines common sense as understanding the world around you by drawing inferences and making associations from other experiences.  Common sense, in other words, is associated with the ability to analogize – something humans do all the time but that computers aren’t particularly adept at ... yet.  Professor Mitchell’s new book, Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans, helps the world grasp the current state of AI and what machines are (and not) good at.  AfD Conference!  Troy and Lee are going to host a conference in late April or early May!  Details to come, so please check our website afdfintech.com regularly.  You can also follow us on Twitter at @AfDfintech.

31mins

13 Jan 2020

Rank #20