Omid Malekan, Columbia Business School Professor and Crypto Writer


Cryptocurrency can be intimidating.

Even to people with a good understanding of the financial markets or technology, wrapping their heads around blockchain can be challenging.

I sat down on the latest episode of the CoinJournal podcast with someone who can be described as a “crypto academic”,  who also aims to bridge that gap for people.

Omid Malekan lectures at Columbia University, and has also written several books, the latest of which has just been released, called “Re-Architecting Trust: The Curse of History and the Crypto Cure for Money, Markets, and Platforms”. We sat down for a discussion that meandered around a whole bunch of topics, but the theme was what Omid tries to do: educate people about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, which is more challenging than it sounds.

There is a lot of noise in this space, something Omid freely admits, and crypto is far from perfect. Yet if you look in the right place and have a bit of faith, this is an industry that can do so much good. We chatted about the ups and downs, the damage of the bear market reputation-wise to crypto, the impact of regulation, the potential for crypto to go good in the developing world.

We also looked at some of the shortcomings of the industry – does it do its best to educate people, and to welcome new joiners as well as it should? Is tribalism an issue, and what about ideology that sometimes can appear aggressive or extreme?

If you are looking to learn about crypto, but have always the found explanations you have come across daunting, jargon-filled or off-topic, Omid speaks in a clear and concise manner, free of condescending rhetoric and getting straight to the point. It’s a guest who clearly thinks crypto can do good in this society, but also wants to help people realise it. It was definitely different, but it was very intriguing.

Hear too about Columbia University, and how several of Omid’s students have since moved into full-time blockchain roles. We discuss layoffs across the industry – Coinbase, specifically – and whether this will continue and what impact this has on those getting into the space.

Like I said, I enjoyed this one.

Spotify link is here

Omid’s new book can be bought here, titled “Re-Architecting Trust: The Curse of History and the Crypto Cure for Money, Markets, and Platforms”. It digs into the “why” of crypto more so than the “what” – but if you want the latter, he’s got you covered too. Check him out here.

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