Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain & Monoclonal Antibodies

Sunday January 2, 2022

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My name is Larry Bernstein.

Today’s discussion is Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain and Monoclonal Antibodies for COVID.

Our speaker first speaker today is Chris Giancarlo, and he is known as Cryptodad in the Twitter Universe.
Chris is the former Chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and he is the regulator who approved Bitcoin Futures.
Chris thinks cryptocurrencies and blockchains will revolutionize payments and banking.

Our second speaker is Dr. Ari Ciment who is a pulmonologist at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach. Ari has treated thousands of COVID patients since the March 2020 outbreak.

Today, Ari will explain the pros and cons of the leading monoclonal antibody treatments, and how to choose between them, if you become COVID positive.

Omicron is incredibly contagious. The virus will spread uncontrollably and rapidly until we reach herd immunity.

The current supply of monoclonal antibodies will be insufficient, and patients will have few choices. Ari will recommend a strategy for these medications based on your age, pre-existing conditions, and vaccination status.

I will ask Ari about which medications to bring on vacation, if you choose to leave the US during this COVID wave.

On last week’s podcast, Ari described what is happening in the hospital for Omicron patients. Omicron is quickly becoming the dominant COVID variant in NYC and Miami and other urban enclaves, but the CDC announced this week that Delta is still the most common variant nationwide.
Ari can predict which variant a COVID patient has based on his symptoms. If you have sinusitis, a stuffy nose that changes your voice, then it is likely Omicron. If you feel fatigued and like you’ve been run over by a truck, that is Delta.
The Omicron storm is coming and you need to have an action plan.

Let’s begin with Chris Giancarlo and learn about the revolution in Crypto.


Chris Giancarlo

Topic: Cryptocurrencies will Revolutionize Money and Banking
Bio: Former Chairman of the CFTC
Reading: Cryptodad is here


Christopher Giancarlo:

Thanks, Larry. A quarter century ago, the first wave of the internet was greeted in Washington by an official response that was enlightened and bipartisan. The White House in Congress came together to promote development of an internet of information unfettered by inept federal and state law. This smart policy response was known as first do no harm. Today, a new wave of the internet is at hand, an internet of value. This internet wave is exploring financial assets and money in digitally native forms of cryptographically stored value based on public blockchain infrastructure. Bitcoin, and a type of cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar called Stablecoins, are probably the most well-known results of this private sector exploration. Around the corner may be central bank digital money, including a digital dollar. Today, more than 200 million people worldwide and more than 60 million here in the US are participating in this technological revolution, empowering creators, innovators and developers while introducing needed competition to evermore concentrated financial markets.

It has the potential to do to banking, payments and money itself with the earlier internet wave did to information and communications and retail shopping and travel and entertainment, and that is reduce cost and latency while increasing accessibility, inclusion and economic freedom. Sadly, Washington’s response to financial innovation this time around is a far cry from the earlier first do no harm. Rather, it appears to be first, preserve the status quo. The president’s working group on financial markets recently published a report on Stablecoins. Overall, the report is disappointing. It’s highly defensive and reactionary, focused more on what go wrong rather than what could go right if the innovation is properly developed. It fails to declare a national policy and harnessing digital asset innovation to upgrade our creaky financial system infrastructure, to expand inclusiveness and lower costs for new generations of Americans. It’s a missed opportunity. Two years ago, I co-founded the Digital Dollar Project,, a nonpartisan think tank to consider the merits of a tokenized form of a US central bank digital currency.

Since then, we’ve considered a tokenized bearer instrument, issued by the Federal Reserve, distributed through the two-tiered banking system and operated alongside physical currency, commercial bank money, and even perhaps Stablecoins. This digital dollar would mirror many of the properties of physical cash, but in a digital form. Instead of withdrawing paper dollars from an ATM and putting them in a leather wallet, you could withdraw digital dollars into a digital wallet on a smartphone. You could then spend digital dollars directly, peer-to-peer, at the corner grocery or online around the globe. As a former chief regulator, I believe in considering what could go wrong with any innovation, especially ones that affect the American economy.

However, as a thought experiment I’d like to consider for just a moment, what could go right. First, some worry that a digital dollar might decrease money held in commercial banks. But what if the opposite happens? What if more money moves into the banking sector, especially if previous underbanked communities shift digital dollars into bank accounts because of the ease of doing so? And what if mobile devices and digital wallets provide attractive onramps to banking services, offering interest on deposits and government insurance? And what if greater ease in converting commercial bank money into digital dollars would make people less likely to do so in a panic? Secondly, many are rightly concerned with cryptocurrency energy consumption. But what if a digital dollar used much, much less energy than Bitcoin and other decentralized proof of work digital assets? And what if a digital dollar even used less energy that is currently used for physical mining, minting and distribution of paper dollars and metal coins.

Third, some are concerned that a digital dollar would negatively impact current business models for payments. But what if a digital dollar actually lowers payment costs and bank fees for consumers and small businesses? And what if it provides instantaneous settlement, reducing cash flow stress that plagues small businesses and American consumers with costly overdraft and other fees? And what if the economic benefit of increased activity from digital money results in expanding economic opportunity, business formation and productivity? Now fourth, all of us are rightly concerned about infringing individual privacy through mass surveillance of digital money. But what if a digital dollar was carefully engineered from the outset to incorporate democratic expectations of individual privacy consistent with our constitution? And what if we strike the right balance between the legitimate needs of law enforcement with democratic protections of individual privacy? And what if a digital dollar with such legal and due process limitations provides superior protection of individual privacy compared to many other sovereign, and indeed non-sovereign, commercial digital currencies?

Finally, some argue that the dollar status as the world’s reserve currency is so well entrenched it requires no further innovation. But what if a digital dollar improves financial stability, productivity, and efficiency while enhancing the dollar with new functionality, ease of use and smart contract programmability? And what if we add these enhancements while preserving the dollar’s recognized competitive advantages, the backing of a robust and strong economy, good governance, openness, and the rule of law? If we do these things, would we not then have prepared the US dollar to serve our fellow citizens in the coming digital future of money? There’s only one way to find out and that’s real-world pilot programs that can answer the question of the role of American innovation and a digital dollar in the future of money. The Digital Dollar Project will be doing some of that testing in the years ahead. We intend to find out not only what could go wrong, but what could go right. Thanks. I look forward to your questions, Larry.

Chris Giancarlo QA

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Ari Ciment

Topic: Monoclonal Antibodies Update
Bio: Pulmonologist and Critical Care at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach.

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