Chainalysis, Gensler and a Supposed Senate Bid

Leaked Chainalysis documents reveal the company is advertising an IP-scraping system to law enforcement. What’s up with this well-placed honeypot?

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On this episode

This week, “Opinionated” hosts Anna Baydakova, Danny Nelson and Ben Schiller address an emerging global trend: an increasing frequency of clashes between state and private money. Three recent stories bring these clashes front-and-center, through surveillance programs, regulator biases and crypto as a single-issue campaign.

Leaked documents show Chainalysis has a hush-hush advantage in the analytics race: its scraping of suspects’ IP addresses from walletexplorer.com. As CoinDesk reported, the honeypot preys on those wary of exchanges who might log their data, allowing the world’s largest crypto tracer to capture their IP address instead. As Chainalysis expressed in the documents, it’s providing “meaningful” leads for law enforcement. What are the ethical implications of such a scheme?

Next: whiz-kid Gary Gensler is not the hero crypto hoped for; the SEC chair has become a persona non-grata for bitcoiners and altcoiners alike. Gensler’s campaign against fraud, waste and abuse should not surprise insiders. Anna, Ben and Danny parse through the intricacies of a regulatory chief with his sights set on crypto.

Finally, we debate crypto and politics. With Messari CEO Ryan Selkis potentially running for senate (in 2024), how important has crypto regulation become to voters? To Selkis, it’s a single-issue campaign. How effective could that messaging be against a fractured voting field?

This episode was produced, announced and edited by Michele Musso with additional production support from Eleanor Pahl. Our theme song is by Elision.