Blockchain 2025



Black Markets On The Blockchain

The underground/shadow economy could be as much as 75% of the world’s economy. It can be seen from the vibrant streets of South East Asia to the Shanzhai economy of Shenzhen that shuns intellectual property.

Matt Aaron & Stuart James

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About the Episode

In 2017, Global Financial Integrity estimated the global drug industry added up to $652 billion of trade per year, making it the second biggest underground market after the $1.13 trillion of activity in the counterfeit and pirated goods market.

When you add in the domestic and household economy of the world’s households, the subsistence economy, the barter economy, the volunteer economy, the “under the table” economy, the criminal economy and a few other smaller players, you get something that adds up to 3/4 of the world’s total economic activity.

The formal economy – the territory of professional and paid work, of tax statements and GDP – is only 1/4 of the world’s total economic activity.

In short, "black markets" make the world go round. What role will anonymous cryptocurrencies and decentralized marketplaces play in our transition to the information age?

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

About the Hosts

Matt Aaron

Matt Aaron has been podcasting since 2013, when he launched the Food Startups Podcast.

He recently found a second love in cryptocurrency and blockchain and hasn't looked back.

His first major investment into cryptocurrency was the money he made betting on (but not voting for) that Donald Trump would win the 2016 election.

Matt believes that public blockchains and cryptocurrencies are the solution to the many problems exposed of the current banking system in the 2008 financial crisis.

Stuart James

Stuart is the community lead at decentralized justice protocol Kleros and co-founder of Stroax blockchain consultancy.

He first discovered bitcoin when it was $5 and had the sense to buy in when it was under $40, which felt expensive at the time.

He’s mined Litecoin, Anoncoin and Dash when it was still Darkcoin, and is a 2x BAFTA winning music producer in his native Scotland.

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