August 25, 2023

🥛 3 BIG winners this week 🤑

Today’s edition is brought to you by Stader Labs – a liquid staking solution offering the best in class way to stake MATIC on Ethereum and Polygon. Stake now!

GM. This is Milk Road, where we dive into crypto like a kid in a ball pit – cool, calm, and with no fear.

It’s Friday. Let’s get it:

  • Weekly winners & losers 📊

  • The gang tries bridging 🌉

  • Say hello to the newest stablecoin 🍪 


That’s another week in the books.

  • Crypto found a new app to obsess over

  • The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) accidentally sent a crypto scammer over $50,000

Yeah, it was a wild one.

So we’re ending the week with our favorite game: Winners & Losers.

Let’s start with the winners. We got 3 of ‘em.


What is it? Akash is a decentralized marketplace where users can buy and sell cloud computing resources.

These compute resources can be used for stuff like validator/mining nodes, middleware interactions (APIs and RPCs), deploying apps, and all the other stuff nerds dream of.

This week's returns: +12%

(oh, and it’s +130% over the last 30 days too)

Why it’s up: 3 reasons…

  • There was a lot of AI hype this week. NVIDIA (the king of AI) had its earning report and beat all investor expectations. Everything AI-related pumped afterward.

  • There’s a unique approach to its marketplace. It uses a “reverse auction” system where users submit the price they want to pay, then providers bid and compete for it.

  • The team announced it will soon support GPUs in its marketplace. This will help devs with data-intensive workloads. (i.e. machine learning, AI rendering, etc.)

It’s also important to note that all payments on the Akash Network are processed using its native token – AKT.

So as the platform grows, the need for its token will too.


What is it: Optimism is a popular Layer-2 scaling solution.

It provides cheaper transactions and has saved users $1B+ in gas fees compared to Ethereum.

“If it works on Ethereum, it works on Optimism – at a fraction of the cost.”

This week’s returns: +16%

Why’s it up:

  • Optimism recently launched the OP Stack. It’s a way for others to use Optimism’s resources to launch their own L2 networks.

  • Some of the biggest names in crypto are using the OP Stack. Coinbase, Binance, DeBank, etc. are all using it to build new L2s.

  • Optimism earns a percentage of the fees generated by each chain.

Here’s a quick list of some of the names using OP Stack now:

More companies using OP Stack = more revenue for Optimism.


Get your popcorn ready. This is a crazy one…

  • The DEA seized $500K in crypto from a recent multi-year investigation

  • As part of standard processing, DEA agents sent a test amount (~$45 worth) to the U.S. Marshals Service before sending more

  • A crypto scammer saw the transaction on the blockchain and decided to use a scamming tactic called address poisoning

  • Address poisoning = creating a fake wallet address that's similar to an existing one (i.e. they’ll have the same first and last numbers/letters)

  • The crypto scammer then “airdropped” fake tokens to the DEA’s wallet, in an attempt to trick them into thinking it was the U.S. Marshals' wallet

It worked like a charm. The DEA ended up sending $55,000 to the crypto scammer’s fake address.

By the time any of the government agents noticed, the scammer had already moved the funds to different wallets.


And now, onto…


The total value locked (TVL) across all DeFi protocols dropped to $37.5B earlier this week.

It’s the lowest level in 30 months and down BIG from its peak ($180B) at the end of 2021.

Source: DeFiLlama

Interest rates in TradFi have been stealing the show and making it not worth it for investors to take on smart contract and exploit risk.

As a result, many DeFi tokens have also been hurting.

*plays sad song from those dog commercials*


There are three things I keep hearing about: Aliens, AI, and liquid staking.

And while the alien and AI topics are up for debate, there is no denying that liquid staking has made its mark.

Well, in this sector, Stader Labs is pushing the limits. Their liquid staking offering MaticX just passed $100M+ staked.

Here’s the breakdown on MaticX:

  • Users can stake Matic on both Polygon and Ethereum to earn up to 4.83% staking rewards

  • MaticX is battle-tested with double audits, a $1M bug bounty and a multi-sig already in place

  • Earn up to 40%+ in DeFi rewards with top protocols like Aave, Balancer, etc.

And with MaticX being accepted as collateral on Aave and Compound Finance, the potential rewards keep growing.

Get the best-in-class Matic staking and DeFi rewards with Stader's MaticX!


Blockchains are a lot like countries. There are a ton of them (200+) and they’re all different.

Different ecosystems. Different currencies. Different views on giving the middle finger. (In Japan, it means “brother”. In Germany, it’s a crime.)

But you need a way to travel to each one.

That’s where bridges come in. You can think of them as airports & planes – they let you travel from blockchain to blockchain and make sure your crypto bags arrive too.

Plus, no TSA agents to confiscate your toothpaste. *phew*

So we decided to take our first trip to a new blockchain using a bridge.

Actually, we traveled to 3…

  • Abritrum: It’s the most widely adopted Layer 2, has 400+ protocols, and 150,000+ daily users.

  • Optimism: It’s the second most popular Layer 2, has ~180 protocols, and has a growing list of partnerships.

  • Base: It’s the new kid on the block and has all the recent hype with apps like Friends.Tech.

It took a few hours (and a lot of Red Bull), but we successfully made it to each one.

P.S. – We went through all the headaches of bridging so you wouldn’t have to. (Cause that’s the Milk Road Way)

You can check out the step-by-step, “Bridging For Dummies” Guide here.


Num Finance has launched a Colombian peso-pegged stablecoin on Polygon. The Stablecoin War has a new fighter…

Binance and Mastercard have ended their partnership for a new crypto card. All 4 crypto card programs in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Bahrain will shut down by September 22, 2023. (R.I.P)

Ethereum whales have accumulated $94M worth of ETH over the last week. Whales eatin’ up the discounts like krill.

Vessel Capital raised $55M to invest in Web3 infrastructure. The funds will be invested into early-stage startups over a 5-year period.

Oman will invest over $1.1B in bitcoin mining facilities. The mining facility will use gas from oil fields throughout the country that are usually flared.



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DISCLAIMER: None of this is financial advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research.