October 18, 2023

🥛 A crypto engineer and FBI agent walk into a court room… ⚖️

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GM. This is Milk Road, the crypto newsletter that always air-drums Phil Collin’s solo whenever “In the Air Tonight” plays in public.

If you know, you know.

Here’s what we got today:

  • Day 10 highlights: The U.S. vs. Sam Bankman-Fried ⚖️

  • The most expensive object on Earth is being used to mine Bitcoin 🔌

  • BlackRock CEO: “Bitcoin is a flight to quality” 🗣️

  • Binance.US shuts down fiat withdrawals 🍪


Yesterday was Day 10 of crypto’s trial of the century…

The United States vs. Sam Bankman-Fried. (formerly known as SBF, or fkSBF for short)

It had:

  • An FBI agent

  • Cell site analysis

  • And a rare legal win for fkSBF’s defense

(Btw, I say “rare” because fkSBF’s defense has looked worse than the Denver Broncos this season)

Here’s everything you need to know in 90 seconds…

Two witnesses took the stand yesterday:

WITNESS #1: Nishad Singh – fkSBF’s high school friend and head of engineering at FTX

Nishad testified on Monday, but yesterday was his turn to get cross-examined by the defense.

How’d it go? The defense turned Nishad’s testimony into Swiss cheese – full of holes.

On Monday: Nishad testified (in great detail) about a lot of events that led up to FTX’s collapse in 2022.

Yesterday: Nishad struggled to answer the defense’s questions and had a “surprising amount of haziness when trying to recall events”.

On Monday: Nishad testified that he was strongly against fkSBF buying a $35M penthouse in the Bahamas.

He called the purchase “ostentatious” and said he “considered moving out many times”.

Yesterday: The defense exposed that Nishad not only never moved out, but he (and his girlfriend) lived in the nicest room in the penthouse – the master suite.

On Monday: Nishad testified that he felt terrible when he found out that FTX was misusing customer funds.

Yesterday: The defense exposed that Nishad took out a multi-million dollar loan from the company after he found out about the misuse of customer funds.

Nishad ended up buying a $3M+ house right before FTX collapsed.

Why this matters: Many thought that Nishad was the strongest witness after his testimony on Monday…

He highlighted fkSBF’s (lack of) character and made it seem like fkSBF was the leader, while everyone was forced along for the ride.

Turns out that wasn’t completely true. And even if Nishad was sad and upset with his friend’s actions, he had plenty of money to wipe his tears with.

WITNESS #2: Richard Busick – FBI Agent

Next up, the prosecution called their first expert witness to take the stand – Richard Busick.

He’s an FBI agent with a special power… cellular site data analysis. And he’s compiled 14,000 pages of cellular data related to fkSBF.

The goal? Use the data to show how fkSBFs was using customer funds to get access to politicians. This includes…

  • Eric Adams – the Mayor of New York City

  • Bill Clinton – Former United States President (and Mr. I-Did-Not-Have-Sexual-Relations-With-That-Woman)

  • Khalid A. Al-Falih – Finance Minister for Saudi Arabia

  • Philip Davis – Prime Minister of Bahamas (side note: the Securities Commission of the Bahamas let FTX operate without a license for more than 2 years. Was it because fkSBF was “buddy-buddy” with the PM?)

The defense also had a chance to cross-examine Agent Busick. It looked a little bit like this…

fkSBF’s lawyer: Impressive data, Agent Busick. But can you prove that my client, fkSBF, was actually the one using the cell phone during those times?

Agent Busick: No.

fkSBF’s lawyer: I rest my case. No further questions.

Wow. I knew the “how do you know it was me?” tactic was used by high school boys who get caught cheating, but I didn’t know lawyers used it in court too.

So, what’s next? Prosecutors hinted they would be calling in their second expert witness to take the stand today – Peter Easton (a financial forensics expert).

And of course, we’ll keep ya updated on any big news from Day 11!


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Let me tell you about the Itaipu Dam.

(Btw – I’d tell you how to pronounce it, but every video I clicked on said it in a different way. So I guess we’ll all just sound like idiots trying to figure it out…)

  • It’s a hydroelectric dam

  • It’s located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay

  • It cost $27B to build

  • It has the Guinness World Record for “the most expensive object on Earth”

Here’s what it looks like:

Well, guess what…energy from the dam is now being used to mine Bitcoin.

  • Sazmining, a Bitcoin company, just opened up a 100% renewable energy facility in Paraguay

  • The mining facility will be powered by surplus power from the Itaipu Dam

  • The surplus energy will be bought instead of being wasted for a loss

The dam earns additional $$. And Sazmining gets cheap energy.

It’s a win-win for everyone.


Larry Fink is the CEO of BlackRock – the largest money manager in the world.

$9,000,000,000,000 in assets under management (AUM). Yup, 9 gazillion dollars…

And Larry Fink’s had a love-hate relationship with Bitcoin over the years.

Rewind to 2018 and he was saying stuff like…

  • Bitcoin is an index for money laundering – that’s all it is

  • None of BlackRock’s clients were interested in Bitcoin

Fast forward to today and he’s saying stuff like…

  • Bitcoin is digital gold and could revolutionize finance

  • Lots of BlackRock’s clients around the world are interested in Bitcoin

Larry is changing his tune like it was a Kidz Bop album.

Well, check it out. This recent clip of Larry on Fox earlier this week is going viral. In it, he calls Bitcoin a “flight to quality”.

P.S. – turns out “flight to quality” is an actual term in the investment world.

This whole time I thought it was something Larry saw in his fortune cookie from Panda Express…

According to the Internet’s Bible of Finance (aka Investopedia.com), “flight to quality” is when investors move their money out of risky investments and into safer ones.

A common example is shifting money from stocks (higher risk) → bonds (lower risk).

Now, looks like our little ol’ Bitcoin is being added to the lower risk list.


Binance.US has halted fiat withdrawals. Customers will need to covert their USD → stablecoins to withdraw money from their accounts.

Animoca Brands subsidiary, Forj, is launching a new $APE accelerator. The program will be powered by the ApeCoin DAO and will give participating companies access to 200,000 members.

The owner of Bitcoin Magazine is launching a new investment fund called Unbroken Chain. It plans to raise $5M and will focus on investing in Bitcoin Ordinals and other BRC-20 tokens.

Reddit is getting rid of its blockchain-powered Community Points tokens. The social media app said it was due to regulatory and "resourcing" concerns.

The Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (OMA3) is working with a handful of popular projects to develop new NFT royalty standards. Good initiative, bad name. Open Metaverse Alliance? What is this, the next failed Marvel movie?



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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.