Jim Chanos on Cryptocurrency, Coinbase, and Contagion – Episode 75

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In this episode Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey are joined by legendary shortseller Jim Chanos to discuss his legendary shorts, his thesis on Coinbase, and why this is the golden age of fraud.

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Other episodes mentioned in this episode:
Episode 15 – Revisiting Enron with David Z. Morris
Episode 5 – Two Pie Charts and a $60 Billion Stablecoin
Episode 38 – The World is a Ponzi Scheme, You Just Live in It
Episode 42 – Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos, and the future of VC (Feat. Elizabeth Lopatto)
Episode 25 – Remembering Fraud: WorldCom
Episode 60 – The Foul Financials of Cryptocurrency (Feat. Francine McKenna)
Episode 71 – Terra, Luna, and Algorithmic Stablecoins
Episode 72 – We Never Want to Discuss Terra and Luna Again…and yet

Other resources mentioned in this episode:
Cas’ article on Michael Saylor

Other places to find Crypto Critics’ Corner
Bennett’s Twitter:
Cas’ Twitter:
Bennett’s Newsletter:
Cas’ Blog:
Bennett’s Blog:
Asher’s Twitter:

00:00 Welcome Jim Chanos
1:10 Baldwin-United
3:15 A defense of shorting
5:57 Why did Jim start shorting?
6:55 Enron
11:30 Tether
13:15 Coinbase
18:33 MicroStrategy & Michael Saylor
21:05 Golden Age of Fraud
29:02 China and Luckin Coffee and Alibaba
35:30 Financial Education
38:00 Predation in crypto
40:05 Risks of shorting in crypto
42:10 Birth of fiat

This episode was produced by Griffin Davis.

#cryptocurrency #crypto #podcasts #listenable #coinbase #bitcoin #finance #shortselling #jimchanos



  1. Cas take your damned cap off. You look like a stupid damned CryptoBro. Are you worried about a bird gooping on your head while you’re indoors?

  2. Amazing episode! Better and more insightful than even CNBC, Bloomberg, etc. I'm surprised none of the channels have come requesting to talk to you guys yet.

  3. Damn this is such a great episode, Chanos is just so good at explaining stuff without rambling, love it

  4. This channel is so underappreciated. I have first saw your LUNA-TERRA videos but man this is amazing as well. What a great guest and that has to be said: what great hosts! Well done.

  5. good stuff! didn't know this crew. will follow. listening with open hears. the comments on Tether are nothing new and not particularly correct. take on Coinbase is right but again nothing new there, Coinbase profits depend on lots of trading. can't value Coinbase without talking about Coinbase Ventures. i hope Chanos did not short Alibaba since the IPO, haha. it is silly to say "VIEs are set up to entice Western capital into China". in fact VIEs are set up because Chinese corporate law is still retarded. so lawyers built a solution around that. but yes the Alipay move by Jack Ma was scammy. good points on crypto being predatory. saying that "UST was obviously going to fail" is fully wrong. there was clearly a risk but it was the classic confidence game needed for money to have value. the same risk that this little green piece of paper that says it's worth $100 is worth nothing once people lose confidence in it. that's the power of FDIC insurance. as you correctly point out. FDIC insurance essentially makes bank runs disappear. and ironically, FDIC insurance mostly makes FDIC insurance unnecessary. the UST team and investors didn't seem to understand that. yes don't short crypto. that's a LA Dodger cap? why is it red and not blue?

  6. Great guest! “Crypto = Predatory Junkyard” How spot on. Learned tons and no longer feeling crypto envy 👏

  7. I am wondering why chanos uses tangible book value to value a crypto company. Which assets like crypto are intangible. So the case he has for coinbase short is maybe not correct or what am i missing here?

  8. Fantastic episode. Have you guys done one on online communities because I think those can pose big dangers in warping people's perspectives for both crypto and stocks. Terra Luna's "Lunatics" is a great example but any community of pumpers can make people feel like they are part of something larger while obscuring the fact that all of this is really about making wise individual monetary decisions.

  9. Mention was made of a Bloomberg interview or article about Sam Bankman-Fried. Jim Chanos mentioned the article as something that he points people toward when they ask him to explain crypto. It seems that SBF has been interviewed multiple times by Bloomberg. Does anyone know which interview they are talking about?

  10. I am neck deep in crypto and actively avoid having to use Tether. It's an easy low hanging fruit to pick and throw at the crypto space. As Jim says, for people who are "depending on Tether… and the crypto space", most studied and responsible members of the crypto community do not "depend on Tether". This is a great interview and glad I found you guys! Always important to pay attention to the other side of the street and ask ourselves "what if I'm wrong?"

  11. So I know you probably hate to see this sentence, but will you talk any more on tera lina 2.0?

  12. Thank You for creating this channel, I found you guys searching for what was happening with Luna. Shoutout to CoffeeZilla

  13. Great show. Keep at it, you are definitely finding your lane and there are very few in it.

  14. Glad you do what you do, but this felt really echo chambery. Why not try to facilitate debates between people like this and people like Robert Breedlove or Jeff Booth. I'd like to see this guy explain how fiat is less of a ponzi than BTC when he's faced with minds like theirs.

    “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.” – John Stuart Mill

  15. Absolutely wonderful!

    Even as someone who has mostly ever interacted with crypto as a hater on the sidelines, I appreciate so much the level of depth that this podcast brings not only to investigating the various frauds in crypto, but the larger phenomenon of cryptocurrency itself. And, of course, all of the secondary financial subjects that the hosts comment on according to their expertise is lovely, too.

    Thanks so much for continuing to put out some lovely, lovely stuff!

  16. I've only listened on apple podcasts, never knew there was a youtube channel! You guys might want to mention it in the show 😉

  17. Great work as usual guys! It's fairly rare to see critical, well informed discussions about crypto and its landscape. And i mean critical in the sense that you are looking at something objectively and start peeling back the layers.


  19. It's not so much the Golden age of crypto fraud. It's the END of an age marked by corruption on all levels, aka Kaliyuga, when everything breaks down and Kali wipes it all out… the golden age is about to begin… aka Satyayuga.

    Crypto is more money worship, and observe the loses, the fear, the confusion. Money won't exist in the golden age…

  20. As always great show. You guys deserve at least 300K subs. But, most crypto dumb folks prefer all those 100K btc m00nboi and paid exit scam shilling channels. What a shame!

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