IORadio #24 – Who Watches The Watchers?

Sal discusses an investigative piece he’s published on questions and concerns over crypto news entity, “Protos” and the “Crypto Critics”, Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancy who are on their payroll.

Are some of the most prominent “crypto critics” in media double agents? Pretending to be critical of crypto when instead they’re lap dogs for the industry? Sal chronicles an interesting turn of events that manifested over several months that led him to look into who’s behind some of the work penned by the people behind the “Crypto Critics Podcast.”

UPDATE NOTE that this podcast was recorded before the “Crypto Critics” released their most recent podcast where they actually claimed Tether was fully-backed. So before we made this public, there’s even more evidence of some questionable conflicts of interest.

Also, new details will be listed after the video and podcast links below – check them out:

UPDATE

This podcast was recorded last week. A number of things have come to light since then, and we’ll continue to update this page with new developments and citations.

First and foremost, as mentioned in the podcast, many of us have been trying to reach out to the CCC (crypto critics corner) people for some time to talk about various issues, and have been ghosted. This has resulted in more of an adversarial relationship than we would have preferred, but it is what it is. However, we finally got Bennett to, at least someone respond to our inquiries in their Discord the other day. Unfortunately, most of our inquiries that were the subject of this podcast and Sal’s article, remain unanswered — in fact, when pressed to identify who the mysterious “co-found of Protos” is, Bennett quickly exited the conversation and was no longer heard from.

One thing we did get from the short interaction was an official statement on their stance on certain issues of import: “Are you pro crypto/blockchain?” Here’s what he said:

The “crypto critics” do not think Bitcoin is a ponzi. They think Tether is fully backed. They continue to harp an unproven narrative that “blockchain has potential” despite no evidence of this in the last 15 years. Suffice to say, the fact that they are employed by a company who is run by both a mysterious co-founder they won’t identify, and another co-founder who clearly benefits from further proliferation of the crypto industry, the writing is on the wall. In our opinion, the “crypto critics” are more double agents, working for the crypto industry, than they are independent free-thinkers who can be relied upon to report the truth to the public. As always, you make up your own mind on this, but we find their insistence on promoting certain narratives in lieu of legitimate evidence, very disconcerting and deceptive.

We’ve extended them an invitation to appear on our podcast at any time and defend their position, and have offered ourselves on theirs as well, but based on their demeanor and past behavior, it’s unlikely there will be any good faith debate on the subject. We will remain open to it however. Let it be known, that myself and Sal are available to answer any questions – we are not going to disappear or ghost anybody that asks something uncomfortable. The same apparently can’t be said for the “crypto critics.”

And to make things clear… here are OUR disclosures (as if there was any confusion)

1. Blockchain is an inferior, obsolete technology that does nothing better than existing non-blockchain technology (and Adam produced an entire award-winning documentary detailing the evidence to back up this claim that the crypto critics will not even acknowledge exists).

2. There is inadequate credible evidence that USDT/Tether is “fully backed.” There’s an industry standard way to remove doubt on this issue: having an independent audit done by a reputable accounting firm. Tether has refused to submit to this basic industry standard. That’s all anybody needs to know as far as the credibility of their claims. And in our opinion (which is likely echoed by any professional with knowledge of ethical accounting procedures) it is irresponsible to parrot any claim to the contrary in lieu of this standard audit.

3. As we’ve reported on and researched in detail before, the operational model that treats Bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) as an “investment” is functionally identical to a Ponzi scheme. The notion that bitcoin is a Ponzi is not a fringe opinion. It is echoed by many other experts across both computer science and finance industries, as well as governments.

So there you have it. In our opinion, it’s misleading to label oneself a “crypto critic” yet continue to parrot certain narratives that are not at all critical of crypto, but in fact, extremely un-critical of the industry, to the point where large swaths of undeniable evidence is wholly ignored (which explains CCC’s unwillingness to call attention to the documentary, “Blockchain – Innovation or Illusion?” and their unwillingness to have an honest, unfiltered debate on the subject.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones…

As always, think critically… and often. And watch the watchers. That’s what we’ll be doing.

IORADIO #19 – Peter Howson, Researcher & Author of ‘Let Them Eat Crypto’

Peter Howson is a professor of International Development and a researcher who’s worked around the world on projects related to environmental sustainability in the global south. We recently sat down with him to discuss his new book, ‘Let Them Eat Crypto’.

When he first heard about blockchain through his NGO partners, he bought into the hype that the technology could help solve some of the problems he was seeing in his field. But he soon discovered that instead of a solution, blockchain based crypto projects offer a vehicle through which the ultra-wealthy exploit the poor and enrich themselves at the expense of the most vulnerable.

Peter wrote the book, in part, to make amends for his initial enthusiasm about blockchain, and the conclusions he presents are a scathing indictment of the industry who promotes its spread. Howson disassembles cryptocurrency’s core narratives by putting their greed, flagrant hypocrisy, and utter contempt for other humans on display, and demonstrates that from green washing fraudulent carbon credits, to crypto colonizers displacing indigenous populations, to recruiting impoverished children into financial schemes, all of blockchain’s solutions are ultimately ‘Scammydocious’.


Get the Book: ‘Let Them Eat Crypto: TheBlockchain Scam That’s Ruining the World

Listen Here:

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IORADIO #18 – In the Garden of Snakes with Stephen Diehl

When cryptocurrency’s malign influence on the software industry began to be felt in 2019, an engineer working in finance took notice. After seeing first hand how public permissionless blockchains could be used to pervert incentives and undermine common interests, Stephen Diehl’s views on the decade old tech changed. What he had previously dismissed, he now saw as dangerous, and Stephen began to write a series of influential blog posts that have helped educate the public about the true nature of crypto.

In the intervening years Stephen’s written dozens of articles and two books on the subject and has become one of crypto’s most prominent critics. He’s also become an activist against the well funded cryptocurrency industry and has challenged those seeking to exploit and defraud the public by organizing with others who are critical of the tech.

We sit down with Stephen to discuss his activism, the ever changing ecosystem of tokenized fraud known as cryptocurrency, and if we should let Sal burn it with fire or apply the law according to Adam. Tune in!

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IORADIO #17 – A conversation with investigative journalist and author Zeke Faux

Investigative journalist Zeke Faux didn’t think very much of crypto, but when his friend Jay bragged about a Dogecoin ‘investment’ paying for a family vacation to Disneyland, he was determined to prove that Jay was not, in fact, Nostradamus. So when Zeke’s editor asked him to look into stablecoins, he yanked at the threads connected to crypto’s greatest mystery… What’s the deal with Tether?

Those threads dragged Zeke down a rabbit hole into a ripoff wonderland filled with colourful con-artists and the horror of human misery. From token luxury superyachts in the Bahamas to crypto’s forced labour camps in Cambodia, the first time author has chronicled the recent history of blockchain’s billionaires and the suffering of the victims on which their wealth depends.

One part detective novel, one part historical non-fiction, one part absurdist comedy. Faux has crafted an immutable ledger of the dark shadow that cryptocurrency has cast across our lives, a portrait that’s exciting, bleak, and funny in equal measure.

We sit down for a conversation with Zeke Faux, author of ‘Number Go Up: Inside Crypto’s Wild Rise and Staggering Fall’.

Listen Here:

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You can find Zeke’s new book here.

IORADIO #10 – Reddit Censors Its Largest Crypto-Critical Community

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American Scream and I discuss the latest happenings on Reddit, including censorship of /r/buttcoin (gasp!), Reddit’s love of crypto, and the eternal sunshine that private for profit corporations bestow upon the world.

By the way, did you know the SEC is going after Binance? Join us for IO Radio #10 and listen to two grown men cry about how Admins have taken away their favourite toys because they’re big meanies who don’t want us making fun of subreddits whose most helpful posts are links to suicide prevention hotlines.

P.S. I suddenly want pizza.

IORADIO #4: The Filecoin Controversy (with Kevin Mauro)

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An odd post on the /r/Buttcoin subreddit led us to look into FileCoin and the man making serious allegations about the file storage crypto project. We talk to Kevin Mauro, creator of the website dukedupe.com, to find out why he’s willing to go so far as to drive a van around Duke University to call attention to their endowment’s supposed connection to FileCoin. Is crypto incentivizing the distribution of harmful, illegal, & exploitative material online or are innovative technologies being criticized based on speculation & circumstantial evidence?