Aug 31, 2023

Former co-host of "The Hash" Benjamin Powers, who is now a technology reporter at The Messenger, joins the panel one last time to discuss the state of crypto and how the industry has changed in the past two years.

Video transcript

We are welcoming a special surprise guest. Who's it gonna be? Let's open the door. It's Ben Powers. Wow. Original original co-host of the hash ogog status when we first launched it was us three Ben and Naomi Brockwell. So it's awesome to have an OG co-host back. Ben when we were talking about um doors opening. I remember like your like landlord, like barged into the shot like seven times or something. So I wanted to do like a smooth segue that alluded to that, but I couldn't actually think of one. So anyway, well, normal New York City situations that happen on a daily basis. It's totally fine. You love it. We are, we're, we're a work from home. We're a COVID era show and it shows it's good to see. So, anyway, Ben, how are you? I'm doing all right, I've uh moved a little bit away from crypto covering the intersection of big A I tech government. All of those different things which uh as you all well know, has been in the zeitgeist for a bit. Y'all were shouting out the Coindesk newsroom earlier. And uh you know, I was one of those people that brought this reporting to this show, you know, not just pontificating. Uh Zach, I know you edit it. Will you opt for better pastures? Um And Jen, you know, you've been holding it down since then, so it's been lovely to see all of you again. I also realized that I talked to you all so much like every single day for a really long time. I didn't quite realize that until the uh the kind of recap that they were just showing us Ben. What's Yes, we did. We miss you, you brought, you brought the good takes like we had, we had some spicy takes in the initial uh iteration of the hash with the five of us with Naomi just bringing that fiery like privacy passion. You also doing a lot of that deep reporting around privacy issues as well. I got to ask you, it's kind of like a meme at this point. What's the pivot to A I like, how's that going in terms of crypto or in terms of A I more generally to hear you as someone who has pivoted to A I like many of our dearly departed, former crypto people. What is that? Like? What is the pop and stuff in A I? Can we do, can we do the hash for A I like maybe that would be enough. What do you think the, you know what I'm gonna, I'm gonna just jump in and say I've been reporting on a I, since about 2017 when I was a freelancer way back in the day. And DARPA has been working on sort of, you know, research around, uh you know, American military uses and making a I explainable. So the only thing that's happened in the last eight months is the fact that, you know, basically the nudes and the plebs could engage with it. And so that's really what's been happening there. It's obviously a huge field at the moment. It's iterating faster and faster. And so, uh yet how crypto is engaging with that? I am incredibly skeptical, you know, I've seen, I, I've seen and reported on kind of, you know, GP T token that are totally disconnected from chat GP T kind of being spun up and um I will cover them with the exact amount of pessimism that I deem appropriate, but, you know, folks are engaging with it. We'll see it's an exciting field. But uh I guess my kind of thing, you know, kind of perpetually on the hash. At least I'm not talking about Teletubby coin is, um, you know, push the brakes like it's gonna be fine. Let's let's slow down because it's not gonna change the world one night to the next. I remember how upset you are about Teletubby coin and those people who burned the bank seat, I can hear the sigh in my, in my head right now. I can, I can just picture you were really mad at those people who burned that bank seat. One of the deep pleasures of getting older is just saying no to things like you have a reason, just say no just like nah, but that ain't it. Uh So yeah, exactly. Like I think I, you know, I was, I was looking on uh the site x formerly known as Twitter. Good God. That was a lot of my last year. Um And they were talking about, you know, the fact that a crypto company is using A I to pick up kind of trends and influencer culture and issue nfts off of them. And my first reaction was I hate this deeply. So, you know, just in case you're wondering where exactly those things are going. Oh, all right. Well, Ben, you started this journey with us and now you are closing it out with us as well. Thank you for being here. Big shout out to Wendy O who uh is regularly scheduled off on Thursdays due to prior commitments. She sends her love. It's been good to see her get some love on Twitter as well with her announcement. That's gonna be it for the hash. We're gonna go into hibernation mode and it's been super fun spending this time with you for 2.5 plus years. Love you all. I'm Zach. That's will Jen Ben Powers say something guys. Let's wrap this thing. Goodbye. Bye. This is financial advice.

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