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Lawrence Lewitinn: The Skeptical Insider
Real Vision senior editor Ash Bennington sits down with Lawrence Lewitinn, managing editor and host of First Mover at Coin Desk, to discuss the crypto markets, ETFs, use cases, value propositions, and long-term viability. Lewitinn views the crypto markets as incredibly thin, fueled by hope and greed, and he discusses the power of surpassing psychological barriers like round numbers. This has been prevalent in the recent increase of Ethereum's value as it crossed the $3000 threshold. With its value quadrupling, the trajectory of hope and trust in the system grows with it, leading to a positive change in the global ecosystem. However, Lewitinn also points to the issues whales such as Elon Musk can cause—if they were to throw all their holdings into the market at all once, that would pose a huge problem for blockchains such as Bitcoin because there would not be enough buyers in the space, triggering a huge wave of liquidations. Lewitinn states that while Bitcoin and crypto have huge potential, we do not know yet if there will be a better version as Bitcoin has yet to achieve one of its original goals. Lewitinn asks, "Would Bitcoin be at $50,000 if not for the pandemic? Would the space be as we know it today if Trump had won re-election?" Ultimately, the future is unknown. Filmed May 3rd, 2021. Key learnings: According to Lewitinn, when one reads the Bitcoin paper, it is elegant and solves the problem of transactions in trustless spaces. However, it requires a lot of work and energy. Further, it is more successful than it should have been when it started. In relation to the crypto industrial complex, Lewitinn believes that Bitcoin will not be the end-all, be-all solution as different specializations emerge. He views the explosion in the space as still being in the early innings. Even as there are a lot of unknowns that still exist in this market, what we do know is that Ethereum is becoming increasingly more viable in today’s society. Lewitinn believes that many of the things attributed to blockchain technology will live as an Ethereum specialty rather than Bitcoin fantasy.
Soramitsu: Building A Rational Economic System
Sebastian Moonjava joins Makoto Takemiya, CEO of Soramitsu, to discuss Takemiya's journey into crypto, the founding of Soramitsu, the importance of XOR, efficient supply allocation, governance, and the future of the space. Takemiya started Soramitsu with the goal of using blockchain solutions to help solve different inefficiencies in society. Sora is a decentralized economic system that aims to rationalize the allocation of capital across economies because most crypto economic systems such as Bitcoin do not have a rational way to allocate newly minted tokens. Typically, central banks have economic units that work to plan allocating credits in the economy, and this creates the world as we understand it today with productive economic growth. In Takemiya's view, creating a decentralized way to manage this is important—centralized systems can lead to moral hazard where individual parties can use the system for their own gain. When Takemiya first began engaging in the blockchain space, everyone was focusing on Bitcoin and Ethereum; however, he feels that the crypto space should not be winner takes all. He states it is important that there are different blockchains that serve different ecosystems with their own politics and governance, and it is equally important to provide a protocol for them to all work together, which is why Sora was built on top of DOT and Kusama. Filmed on April 29th, 2021. Key Learnings: In order to create a successful digital asset, protocol, or system, Takemiya states that one needs a clear understanding of macroeconomics and data—without this, there is no way to build a rational economic system. XOR is the native token of the Sora network; however, Takemiya states that the token aims to be much more than that as a store of value and a medium of exchange. While other currencies have attempted to do this, he feels that the economics are strong as higher volatility becomes difficult to use the currency in daily lives. With XOR’s utilization of a binding curve to manage the token supply, the protocol is able provide a clear and transparent way to manage the circulating amount of money. Takemiya says with a token-binding curve, users are able to have a smart contract that allows them to put in a reserve token and receive newly minted or allocated tokens, which achieves stabilization. As the smart contract provides clear buy and sell functions, a margin of 20% is created to help stimulate secondary markets, achieving a rational economic system that allows for real world application.
The Global Impact of Bitcoin Education
Real Vision crypto editor Ash Bennington welcomes Cory Klippsten, founder of Swan Bitcoin, to discuss his journey into crypto, the founding of Swan Bitcoin, Bitcoin education, the development of layer 2 solutions and beyond, and how Bitcoin can help or harm the world. Since leaving Google in 2013, Klippsten has spent his time operating in Silicon Valley, working with startups to advise and raise capital through seed A and B stages. It was through tech and these connections that he found Bitcoin in 2017. Through his evaluation, Klippsten found that the Bitcoin project was sound and worth building his own company, Swan Bitcoin, to help others safe, easily, and quickly enter the space. Swan Bitcoin encourages self-custody and education into the space. Klippsten views Bitcoin as the third leg of the stool in one's "set it and forget it" wealth building plan with the first two being a 401K and a mortgage. According to Klippsten, by creating a baseline of automatic reoccurring purchases, auto dollar-cost averaging (DCA) or, as he calls it, getting paid in Bitcoin, is a great way to build a solid foundation for oneself. Filmed April 29, 2021. Key Learnings: It is clear to Klippsten that Bitcoin is the new global money. If Bitcoin’s market cap continues to rise, Klippsten predicts that more and more people will hold their wealth in Bitcoin. Where there is friction going back and forth between bitcoin and traditional units of exchange over the next 10 years, it will eventually become easier to exclusively transact in bitcoin. Further, Klippsten believes that Bitcoin holders will be much more comfortable spending bitcoin once the expectation of its meteoric rise begins to taper. Once it reaches a $20 trillion market cap, which he expects over the next decade, this shift will occur, and by 2035, most goods and services will be able to be purchased with Bitcoin globally. Klippsten identifies that there is a direct line between one's understanding of Bitcoin and how much a user is willing to allocate their assets to it. It is through education that Klippsten feels Bitcoin and its usage will continue to grow.
Fireblocks: Securing the Digital Asset Infrastructure
Real Vision senior editor Ash Bennington hosts Michael Shaulov, founder & CEO of Fireblocks, to discuss how Fireblocks helps organizations within the digital asset space secure their infrastructure, misunderstandings between wallet & key management, risks, regulations, and future applications. Shaulov explains that Fireblocks supplies the rails and wallet infrastructure to some of the largest players in the digital asset space. Shaulov states that there are three problems that Fireblocks are helping to resolve—wallet, how one conducts transfers, and how to ensure the first two problems are handled properly and void of security threats. While Shaulov shares how there are many good solutions already out there to move the financial industry onto new rails, they have varying levels of success. What is needed for clients and individuals to align with what they might consider the best solution to be is thoughtfulness, sensitivity, and transparency from experts so as to ensure the solution needed is readily available and easy to be acted on. Filmed on April 30, 2021. Key Learnings: Shaulov explains that there are very few organizations in the world that are able to defend against supply chain attacks. Shaulov states that on the customer side, the question is, "Do you have a technology that can facilitate those processes?" Fireblocks has built an infrastructure that allows users to customize their levels of authorization and automate deployment rules to validate and secure transactions, making it difficult for a user’s funds to be compromised.
Sygnum: Paving a New Banking System with Heritage
Real Vision co-founder and CEO Raoul Pal hosts Mathias Imbach, co-founder of Sygnum, to discuss Imbach's background, Sygnum's services, European regulations, central banks, and the future of digital currencies. The notion of leveraging today's internet infrastructure to monetize data at the cost of users triggered a fear in Imbach concerning where the current financial structure could ultimately lead. It was in the discovery of the Ethereum white paper that Imbach realized that there could be a better way with smart contracts giving users more control over their data. With that in mind, Imbach co-founded Sygnum with the goal to build a system that was regulatory compliant to help bring real adoption to the space, building a bridge from today's financial world to where they believe future finance will be. Imbach explains that Sygnum's mission is to empower everyone with more access to ownership and value, and he explains that while one may view a bank as doing the opposite because it is a centralized entity, it’s the first step toward that ultimate goal. It requires taking regulators, governments, and national banks along with you from a legacy system to help found and scale a new one. Key Learnings: Imbach states that although Sygnum has a banking license, he identifies the firm as a technology company. According to Imbach, the ethos of Sygnum is that the future has heritage. While the current financial infrastructure is heading towards a smarter, more decentralized, and accessible direction, elements of today's world will not simply vanish—Sygnum aims to combine these elements.


Featured Videos

Tezos: Self-Amendable Ledgers and On-Chain Governance
Thomas Walton-Pocock, co-founder and former CEO of Aztez, sits down with Arthur Breitman, co-founder of Tezos, to discuss Tezos’ on-chain governance approach, smart contract platform, and scalability potential as well as his thoughts on the direction of decentralized finance (DeFi). Breitman breaks down the weaknesses of the forking model as a form of governance and argues that on-chain governance is the way to achieve innovation on protocols without centralization. Tezos implements this through a self-amending crypto ledger, and Breitman shares how the protocol accomplishes this through its scripting language, Michelson, for its smart contract platform, highlighting some of its benefits such as formal verification. He also shares his thoughts on scalability via a “portfolio of scaling” approach, the principles of a well-designed stablecoin, and decentralized exchanges (DEXs). Key Learnings: Breitman points out that when forks occur on a blockchain, it’s not free choice by all stakeholders on the network—on the other hand, Tezos seeks open participation when amending the protocol so that all stakeholders can help secure its network. Tezos also distinguishes itself through its use of formal verification via Michelson. Historically, formal verification has been applied in the aerospace and nuclear energy sectors, where the costs of mistakes are drastic, and Breitman states that its use in Tezos’ protocol allows for developers to rule out and avoid whole classes of bugs.
Real VisionMay 10, 2021
Welcome to "The Exponential Age"
Over the next two weeks, Real Vision will be embarking on a journey to explore the technologies of the future and what opportunities they offer investors. That journey begins today with a conversation between Raoul Pal, Real Vision’s co-founder and CEO, and Ed Harrison, Real Vision’s managing editor. Laying out his thesis, "The Exponential Age," Raoul argues that the linear progression of asset prices in nominal terms is an illusion, and that when one takes into account the engorged denominator of central bank balance sheets, only by investing in exponential megatrends can investors escape monetary debasement. Raoul contends that these megatrends include not only crypto but also autonomous and electric vehicles, artificial intelligence, digital communities of engagement, and other platforms whose “network effects” allow for exponential growth. Filmed on May 5, 2021. Key learnings: Raoul argues that the world is at the beginning of a migration to a digitalized economy where innovation will give rise to tremendous change. The Metaverse is in its infancy, he contends, and those who embrace it can adapt.
Real VisionMay 07, 2021
Raoul Pal: Is Macro "Dead"?
Managing editor Ed Harrison welcomes Raoul Pal, Real Vision CEO and co-founder, to introduce Real Vision’s latest campaign, “Welcome to the Exponential Age.” Raoul will be going in-depth on his new macro framework, the Exponential Age, and he and Ed tease their interview that’s being released on Monday. They also contextualize today’s U.S. jobs report, which fell far from economists’ expectations, and Raoul explains what the Exponential Age means for employment going forward.

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