BlockSpeak 11 – H.E. Kurram Shroff

BlockSpeak 11 – What’s it like to be a Bitcoin whale?

BlockSpeak 11BlockSpeak 11 has a special guest this week and somebody who has the initials H.E. in front of his name, so please be introduced to His Excellency Kurram Shroff, a so-called Bitcoin Whale, one of the biggest fish in the crypto sea.

Shroff is a likable fellow and prefers to be one of the civilians so he asks for the His Excellency moniker to be dropped when spoken to. So, it’s Shroff all the way from this point.

Shroff was interviewed under lockdown from his apartment in Dubai where we watched the sun set behind him as dusk intervened on another Covid day. Speaking from the balcony, Shroff has suffered huge losses in Dubai, losing a billion dollars from his $3 billion Real Estate portfolio, but nothing seems to faze this man.

Presumably the world of Bitcoin investing has been very kind to him when he can just shrug off a $2 billion loss, but perhaps that’s the ocean whales live in; a very different one to most people on this planet.

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to whale investing and it’s difficult to discern whether Shroff talks the talk or walks the walk. He could be anybody, but who knows in crypto?

The conversation moves away from his personal losses and on to the subject of cryptocurrencies themselves. As a self-confessed early adopter, this whale has surfed the waves of volatility for the past few years and he has an ear for a good story and one in particular will draw your eyes from your body and wipe the lice clean out of your hair.

The life of a Bitcoin whale seems to be a chilled place to soak if Shroff is anything to go by. Who cares about Dubai Real Estate losses of billions. Life is going swimmingly for Shroff.

BlockSpeak 10 – Richard Heart Founder Hex

BlockSpeak 10 – could crypto be the biggest wealth asset in history?

BlockSpeak 10
BlockSpeak 10 is probably the most controversial of all our video podcasts to date where we feature Richard Heart, the dividing figure of crypto and the CEO of Hex.

When he first appears on screen, Heart looks like the Phantom of the Opera, his face wreathed in shadow adjacent to a crystal chandelier that looks like the best Zoom background during lockdown.

The background, however, is a real one although Heart refuses to disclose where he is, and like the Phantom Of The Opera he certainly looks like a creature of the night and somebody who doesn’t come out of his bunker very often.

That’s not surprising. In the interview Heart reveals that he much prefers bots to humans and that lockdown has made no difference to him, he doesn’t go out very often.

The reason for Heart’s fragile reputation is whether he is a force for crypto good or a clever scammer who preys on all of crypto’s greed and speculation.

As the conversation continues, Heart becomes more persuasive and warms up to the subject.

Whether it is discussing the plot of the ‘plague’ movie Contagion and the untimely death of Gwyneth Paltrowe (and her subsequent scalping during the post-mortem) or the soul of his Hex project, there appears to be a transparency to his words.

In this divided world where everything seems to be split 50/50 between widely disparate opinions, this interview will probably please both Heart-lovers and Heart-haters.

While BlockSpeak never comments on the viability of projects or otherwise, we like our listeners to listen and find out for themselves.

Vampire or victim, you decide. The only thing that is certain that lockdown makes no difference to Richard Heart’s already-lockdown life and that you won’t be seeing him at a Black Lives Matter rally any time soon.

BlockSpeak 8 – Jon McAfee, Global Pirate

BlockSpeak 8 is all about another crazy Jon McAfee prediction.

BlockSpeak 8BlockSpeak 8 features again the wonderful and wacky Jon McAfee who has agreed to be a regular guest on the show with another ‘performance’ guaranteed in a couple of months’ time.

If BlockSpeak 3 was all about McAfee’s adventures in eluding US justice in the Dominican Republic and allegedly trafficking cocaine in South America, this episode is based on McAfee’s observations about cryptocurrencies and the US dollar.

While a lot of McAfee’s words should be taken firmly in the cheek in which they’re delivered, his prediction that the Bitcoin price will reach one million dollars if Covid-19 continues to devastate the world’s economies is not as daft as it sounds.

Again, coming from a man who said he used to frequent whale sex clubs and that he would cut off his penis if the Bitcoin price didn’t hit one million dollars in 2017, nothing he says can be trusted… just the way he likes it.

Speaking more soberly (if that is possible or even makes sense) than on his previous appearance on BlockSpeak, McAfee focuses less on spectacular tussles with the Police and US authorities and more on cryptocurrencies themselves.

He bristles when Bitcoin is mentioned, preparing to comment more on cryptocurrencies in general rather than the most famous one. He also speaks about the Ghost coin and protocol that he is about to release and why it matters.

While McAfee is often regarded as a joke figure, it is always interesting to listen between the words because a fierce intellect is at work here. As the founder of the anti-virus McAfee software that is probably on the computer you’re reading this from, nobody should bet against McAfee and his prophecies.

He signs off with his opinion about the popularity of Zoom in the days of Covid and why it is full of holes and a hacker’s dream. This is one episode that should not be missed.

BlockSpeak 7 – Olga Feldmeier CEO Smart Valor

BlockSpeak 7 addresses crypto regulation and role of Switzerland.

BlockSpeak 7BlockSpeak 7 focuses on the thorny issue of crypto regulation and where things currently stand in this murky and unpredictable world.

In this interview with Smart Valor CEO Olga Feldmeier, we find out where Switzerland stands in this world and it’s higher and more engaged than many might think. Based in Zug near Geneva, in so-called Crypto Valley, Feldmeier is gong-ho about the country’s positioning within crypto.

While other European countries such as Malta, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein style themselves as blockchain ‘islands’ or similar, Feldmeier points out Switzerland’s history as one of the immovable centers of capital and money.

Whether it was the reputation as a country where anybody’s money could be stashed and hidden in a Swiss bank amount, Feldmeier explains that the country has moved on to become a pioneer in crypto, with support from across the country’s regulation sector.

A star on the conference circuit, where she was a real crypto queen and not like the infamous villain of the crypto world, Feldmeier is one of the few women in crypto who wields real power and not like the pantomime figures who dominate.

Feldmeier is unique, not just because she is a woman in this market, but because she shares a birthday with our interviewer Monty Munford, celebrated two years ago at Money2020 in Amsterdam.

While that occasion was celebrated with early-morning champagne and the world of crypto regulation is not a subject that is completely rock n’ roll, this interview lays out the complicated future of crypto regulation and why it is still something to celebrate.

Zug is the home of Ethereum and it is no surprise that a cluster of crypto companies has formed in this town near Geneva. Feldmeier talks about why her company Smartvalor is making a huge contribution to the future of cryptocurrencies.

BlockSpeak 6 – Mati Greenspan,

BlockSpeak 6 – Away from Blockchain, money is moving in mysterious ways.

BlockSpeak 6BlockSpeak 6 features Mati Greenspan, the founder of, once of E-toro and a much sought-after speaker on the global conference circuit.

While Covid-19 has seen the cancellation of all conferences around the world with many predicting they may not return until 2021, if at all, Greenspan has pivoted to send out an essential-read daily newsletter about capital, crypto and finance.

Greenspan pulls no punches in this newsletter, challenging the mores of finance, offering insight and advice on all aspects of this world. He is especially prescient when it comes to trading and the way exchanges are changing and updating themselves, not least how bots and not humans are now running the show.

In this conversation with Monty Munford, Greenspan explains the way that money flows in and out of blockchain and the potential ways where it may end up. For those who only know blockchain as a buzzword, Greenspan explains it in plain English and its new place in the global financial system.

The blockchain is the technology underlying the Bitcoin currency, but blockchain refers to any public or private technology that provides smart contracts to ensure transparency and a more efficient way of money moving through technologies.

While it may not be a panacea in a pandemic, blockchain is a technology that may presage Internet 2.0, a world free of scammers and snake-oil sales hustlers and the internet that the pioneers hoped for.

Not everybody is a believer, anybody can set up a blockchain, so it may be a good or a bad blockchain, but the debate is expected to play out to maximum effect as 2020, and the pandemic, that defines it continues its weird and not-so-wonderful way.

Greenspan may not have all the answers, but he addresses the questions in an honest and transparent way, something this is crucial in these hallucinogenic days of truth and lies.