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Welcome to The Chopping Block – where crypto insiders Haseeb Qureshi, Tom Schmidt, and Tarun Chitra chop it up about the latest news. This week, they are joined by Laura Shin, the host of Unchained, to discuss the latest post from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who argues that crypto needs to get back to its idealistic cypherpunk roots. Is Vitalik the Pope of crypto, as Haseeb argues, and is there even a need for such an exemplary-type figure? And how do other influential crypto folks like Solana’s Anatoly Yakovenko and Tron’s Justin Sun fit into this dynamic? The gang also discusses the likely imminent approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. and what it might mean for Bitcoin’s price and Ordinals Inscriptions.

Show highlights:

  • Who won the group’s bet on what the circulating supply of PayPal’s stablecoin, PYUSD, would be at the end of the year
  • The Orbit Bridge hack and how the potential involvement of North Korea could be a problem for the industry
  • How Vitalik’s post urging for a return to the cypherpunk ideals sparked a debate within the community
  • Whether Vitalik is like “the Pope of crypto” and whether there’s even a need for one
  • Why it’s so important to keep the cypherpunk ethos, according to Tarun
  • Why Tom believes, after reading Vitalik’s post, that the wrong lessons are being learned
  • How Vitalik and Solana’s Anatoly Yakovenko could represent the religious leaders of two different approaches
  • Whether Justin Sun is the “inverse of Vitalik”
  • How GBTC holders are the most impacted ones given that the spot Bitcoin ETFs will be created and redeemed in cash
  • Whether the SEC is picking favorites in the Bitcoin ETF landscape
  • What could happen to the price of BTC if the ETF is approved
  • Whether the rise in Bitcoin’s price will increase fees so much that it crowds out Ordinals Inscriptions



  • Laura Shin, journalist, author of ‘The Cryptopians,’ founder and CEO of Unchained



Cypherpunk ideals

Spot Bitcoin ETF

PayPal’s PYUSD bet:

Orbit Bridge hack