Number Go Up

    enSeptember 17, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Exploring the Fascinating World of Crypto with Zeke FoxListen to Zeke Fox on the Think Fast, Talk Smart podcast to learn about his experiences in the crypto world and gain practical communication skills tips.

      Effective communication skills are essential in business and life, and the Think Fast, Talk Smart podcast, with its expert guests and practical tips, can help individuals hone these skills. Zeke Fox, investigative reporter and author of "Number Go Up," shares his fascination with the crypto world, which he found to be full of wild characters and financial mania, making it an intriguing topic for his first book. Whether you're looking to improve your communication skills or dive into the world of crypto, these resources offer valuable insights and knowledge.

    • Fear of Missing Out Drives Crypto InvestmentsFOMO can cloud judgment and lead to late investments in risky ventures, like cryptocurrencies, potentially causing financial losses. Historical precedents like the South Sea Company bubble serve as reminders.

      The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a powerful emotion that drives people to invest in seemingly risky ventures, such as cryptocurrencies. This emotion can cloud judgment and lead individuals to disregard logic and historical precedents. The allure of potential financial gains, especially when friends or acquaintances are experiencing success, can be overwhelming. This phenomenon is not new, as evidenced by historical financial bubbles like the South Sea Company in the 1700s. People's desire to join the trend and believe they will be the ones to profit before everyone else often results in entering the market too late. The stability of stablecoins, such as Tether, is also questionable, as they have not consistently maintained their value. However, they may still have a role in the financial world due to their ability to provide a degree of stability in volatile markets.

    • Tether: A Cryptocurrency's Central Bank and Financial MysteryThe author's investigation into Tether reveals major players in crypto world and international criminal activities, while his participation in NFT market showcases unique allure and potential risks of crypto world.

      Tether, a cryptocurrency with a dollar-backed token, presents an intriguing yet complex financial mystery. The company, which acts as a central bank for crypto, holds billions of dollars in reserves, but its elusive leaders and past misdeeds raise red flags. The author's investigation into Tether's dealings led him to uncover major players in the crypto world and even international criminal activities. Another intriguing part of the book is the author's participation in the NFT craze, buying a Bored Ape NFT despite its digital nature being easily copied. People paid huge sums for these digital images to prove ownership on the blockchain, showcasing the unique allure and potential risks of the crypto world.

    • Experiencing NFTs firsthand for deeper understandingTo gain a deep understanding of NFTs, one must immerse themselves in the crypto world, despite potential risks and complexities.

      To truly understand the world of crypto and NFTs, one might need to experience it firsthand, despite the potential financial risks and complexities involved. The speaker, in an attempt to gain a deeper understanding for his book, decided to purchase a Mutant Ape NFT for $20,000. The process was fraught with potential pitfalls, as the value of the NFT could decline rapidly, and the security of the crypto world was compared to keeping money in an ad blocker icon in a browser. Despite these challenges, the speaker felt it was necessary to immerse himself in the world of NFTs to provide an authentic and engaging account for his readers. This experience not only gave him valuable insights but also highlighted the unique risks and rewards associated with the crypto and NFT market.

    • NFT Hype: A Tale of Embarrassment and DisillusionmentThe value of NFTs like Bored Apes is often based on social status and hype, rather than intrinsic value, leading to feelings of embarrassment and disillusionment for some investors.

      The hype surrounding NFTs, specifically Bored Apes, during the crypto bubble was confusing and ultimately revealed to be mostly hype with little substance. The speaker's experience of attending an Ape Fest and showing off his "ugly" ape to others resulted in feelings of embarrassment and the realization that the value of these digital assets was largely based on social status and showing off. Despite the significant cost, the speaker found that the community aspect of owning an ape did not provide the expected sense of belonging or value. Additionally, the speaker felt that many in the crypto world, including influential figures like Jimmy Fallon, were not genuine investors but rather part of the hype machine. Ultimately, the speaker felt disillusioned with the NFT market and was relieved to sell his ape. The persistence of the market and the high prices for some apes, even with the prices significantly down, highlights the enduring allure of the hype and the financial gains some have made, despite the speaker's experience.

    • The thin line between doing good and corruptionDespite initial intentions to use wealth for good, unchecked ambition and wealth can lead to corruption and fraud, resulting in significant losses and damaged reputations.

      Sam Bankman-Fried's drive for wealth and effective altruism led him to amass a fortune, but the line between doing good and corruption became blurred. Initially, Sam seemed focused on maximizing his earnings to make a larger impact on the world. However, his story took a dramatic turn as he became one of the richest people in crypto, and questions arose about whether his wealth would be used for good or if he would succumb to the allure of power and prestige. Unfortunately, the latter proved to be the case as Sam was later accused of running a massive fraud at FTX, leaving billions missing and his reputation in tatters. The line between doing good and corruption can be thin, and this story serves as a cautionary tale about the potential pitfalls of unchecked wealth and ambition.

    • A master manipulator's charisma fueled a crypto fraudCharisma and authenticity can hide deceit, requiring skepticism and due diligence in the crypto world

      Authenticity and charisma can be powerful tools for deception. The subject of this profile, despite appearing disheveled and uninterested in wealth, was actually a master manipulator who managed to convince investors, politicians, and media outlets of his trustworthiness, even as he was orchestrating a massive crypto fraud. His genuine belief in his ability to make a difference and save the world allowed him to justify his actions and maintain his facade until his downfall. The crypto world, with its wild price fluctuations and innovative technologies, continues to present both opportunities and risks. While some see it as a legitimate investment opportunity with long-term potential, others view it as a breeding ground for scams and hype. Regardless of the future of crypto, this book serves as a reminder of the importance of skepticism and due diligence in the face of charismatic individuals and seemingly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

    • Skepticism towards CryptocurrenciesDespite Bitcoin's history, crypto's user experience, transparency, and reliability are questioned. Lack of regulation increases risk and potential investment losses. Do your own research, but be cautious.

      Despite Bitcoin's long history and the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies, the speaker expresses skepticism about their real-world use and value. He shares his personal experience of finding the user experience of crypto wallets to be terrible and questions the transparency and reliability of crypto companies. He also raises concerns about the lack of regulation and the risk of investment losses. Overall, the speaker expresses a cautious view on crypto and suggests that it may not yet be ready for mass adoption. It's important for individuals to do their own research, but the speaker warns that the crypto world's lack of transparency can make it difficult to distinguish reputable projects from scams.

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