Ben McKenzie

Episode 35,   Jul 23, 2023, 09:00 AM

Jen’s guest today is Ben McKenzie, author of the new book EASY MONEY: CRYPTOCURRENCY, CASINO CAPITALISM, AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF FRAUD. In this incredibly fast-paced, relatable book, Ben, joined by journalist Jacob Silverman,  takes us on a journey into the dark side of crypto. You don’t need any kind of expertise to follow along. 

Plus, even if you’ve been around the bitcoin block before, you will appreciate the jaw-dropping encounters with the key players including  FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (before his indictment and extradition from the Bahamas), and Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky (before his indictment) who admitted to Ben at South by Southwest in early 2022 scope of this scam. Mashinsky said that only “ten to fifteen percent” of the crypto system was real money. “Everthing else,” he said “is just bubble.”

Ben has been an outspoken critic of the cryptocurrency craze. Perhaps you saw him on C-Span in December of 2022, when he testified before the Senate Banking Committee for a hearing on the topic: The Crypto Crash: Why the FTX Bubble Burst and the Harm to Consumers. 

During the hearing, Ben called FTX “the biggest Ponzi scheme in history” and told the senators that the 40 million Americans who have invested in crypto “have been lied to, in ways both big and small, by a once seemingly mighty crypto industry whose entire existence in fact depends on misinformation, hype and, yes, fraud.” 

Not a C-Span cable network fan? You may also know Ben McKenzie from network television, the big screen, or more recently in his 2020 Broadway debut. He starred as Ryan Atwood on the teen drama “The O.C.” and as James Gordon in the hit series “Gotham.” 

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Get More from Ben McKenzie
Twitter | Website| Author with Jacob Silverman of EASY MONEY

Get More from Jen Taub:
taubjen on Threads| Money & Gossip  Substack | Author of BIG DIRTY MONEY