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Nathaniel Popper just published his latest book, “The Trolls of Wall Street,” covering the Wall Street Bets phenomenon. Funnily enough, his book comes at a time when there are striking similarities with the current memecoin mania in crypto.

In this episode, Popper explores the rise of online investing communities like Wall Street Bets and their reflection of broader societal changes, particularly among young men.

He also touches on the parallels between the trolling culture of these communities and the rise of figures like Donald Trump, and delves into the hidden dangers and psychological influences of memes in modern investing.

Show highlights:

  • The rise of online money communities and the shift towards investing based on ideas rather than traditional financial fundamentals
  • How the changing roles of young men in society have influenced the growth of crypto and online financial communities
  • How Robinhood’s design choices changed retail investing, sparking FOMO and controversy by making trading as easy as a swipe
  • The hidden dangers of memes in modern investing, and how they balance fostering community with driving speculation
  • Why Trump’s ties to the crypto community highlight the mix of serious intent and trolling

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Previous coverage of Unchained on memecoins:

The book:

Meme culture