James Block, crypto skeptic and author of the Dirty Bubble Media newsletter, rose to prominence with a timely post predicting FTX’s insolvency. The blogger, a doctor by day, explains why he sees crypto as an unregulated morass of would-be securities and outright “Ponzi schemes.” From an early interest in Tether to connecting the dots on Celsius, Block explains why he does what he does and why almost all of crypto is just “regulatory arbitrage.”

Show highlights:

  • how James got into crypto and why he started writing about the space
  • why James chose “Dirty Bubble Media” for the name of his publication
  • the problems with the legitimacy of crypto projects
  • the reasons to be bearish on Coinbase
  • why the question of whether Bitcoin has intrinsic value is highly subjective
  • whether every token in crypto is a scam and whether regulations will hit stablecoin issuers hard
  • how FTX used tokens to create fictitious value worth billions of dollars
  • why Celsius and FTX were closely linked, and the difference between both cases
  • ties James found between FTX’s European subsidiary and a company doing binary options, an industry characterized by fraud
  • how he believes financial fraud is similar throughout history — it doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes
  • James’s concerns around Signature Bank and its “questionable tactics”
  • why Genesis and DCG got into trouble and how James thinks the situation will likely play out
  • whether exchange tokens are securities and why he believes they have very little value
  • why he says BNB resembles OneCoin’s pyramid scheme
  • James’s contrarian take on the Avi Eisenberg case

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Read the episode transcript here