A couple of weeks ago we mentioned Imperfect Paradise: Yoga’s Queen of Conspiracies and how the ‘dark side of the wellness industry’ is one of the podcast word’s topics/investigations du jour. Right up there with it is cryptocurrency: See The Missing Cryptoqueen, since adapted as a book, and even two series on the very same subject, Exit Scam and A Death in Cryptoland, from 2021.
Early out of the traps in 2023 is Real Money: The Hunt for Tether’s Billions. It’s from Tortoise Media, responsible for such acclaimed series as last year’s Hoaxed and 2021’s Sweet Bobby (catfishing is another popular podcast probe). Reported by Bafta- and Emmy-winning reporter Aleks Krotoski, she’s investigating a crypto company called Tether, which seeks to distinguish itself by claiming that it keeps a dollar, or a dollar equivalent, in the bank for every dollar’s worth of Tether it issues.
But Tether has so far failed, or refused, to abide by established financial rules, says Real Money, and has been fined millions by regulators.
So far, so tantalising. Meanwhile, another company has offered $1m to anybody who can prove whether Tether’s promise is, or isn’t true.
“A $1m jackpot to anybody who can show them the money, or lack of it? Real money to find out if it’s real money,” proffers Krotoski. As taglines go, it’s a good one.
The first episode takes us to Puerto Rico, a base for crypto bros, as she goes looking for one of Tether’s co-founders Brock Pierce, who, as if you needed another selling point, starred in the original Mighty Ducks. The first couple of episodes are out now and you can subscribe to Tortoise Media on Apple Podcasts if you just can’t wait for the next one.
For something completely different, and more comforting, the first episode of Jenny and Mairead Now debuted last week, via GoLoud.
Jenny Kelly already has a popular chat podcast with her husband, Ray D’Arcy, simply titled the Jenny and Ray at Home Podcast. She’s reunited with Mairéad Ronan, a fellow former producer from D’Arcy’s old Today FM show for a very easy-listening ‘bantercast’.
They say they talk for hours at a time in any given week anyway, so why not record some of it?
The inaugural episode touches on Dancing with the Stars (Ronan won the series in 2019), picking each other up on drunken nights out, the Banshees of Inisherin, and the Prince Harry autobiography. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s a nice way to spend 30 minutes.