GM. This is the Milk Road, where you get your daily dose of crypto calcium.
Our job is to leave you calcified.
Here’s what we got today:
Blockchain detectives, an MMA fighter, and fake NFTs
Milkbusters: Does a16z control Uniswap?
Visa is testing stablecoin settlements
Sam’s Club NFTs and crypto coming soon?
BLOCKCHAIN DETECTIVES, AN MMA FIGHTER, AND FAKE NFTS
Wow. Do I have a story for you..
This is the story of how blockchain detectives tricked an MMA fighter into promoting a fake NFT project. And it was all caught in 4K UltraHD. It’s cc version of “To Catch A Predator”.
It all begins with Coffeezilla, the YouTube internet detective that exposes scams in crypto. He’s known for getting SBF to accidentally admit to fraud in an interview & recently exposed Logan Paul’s NFT project for being run by a group of felons.
But this time instead of investigating scams, he created one of his own. He wanted to scam an alleged scammer. Call it scam-ception.
The target? Dillon Danis – an MMA fighter that knocks people the f*ck out in the octagon, and also promotes scams/rug pulls that knock people the f*ck out in the cryptogon.
Coffeezilla came up with a 3-step plan:
Step 1: Create a fake collection. Coffeezilla created a new collection called SourzNFT Candies Are Moonbound. Not only does it sound like a scam, but it literally spells it out…
Step 2: Reach out to Danis to promote the project. Coffeezilla not only wanted to get the MMA fighter to agree to promote it but also get some intel into how much Danis generally charges for this stuff.
Step 3: Change up the website to expose Danis’ previous scams. Coffeezilla pulled a last-minute switcheroo & changed up the website from showing an NFT project → showing a gallery of 20+ scam/rugpulls the MMA fighter has promoted in the past.
Now I know what you’re thinking: Coffeezilla set up Danis up, big time. And you’re 100% right. It’s like back in the day when your friend would offer you a piece of gum and the next thing you know your fingers are getting electrocuted. You’ve been tricked, backstabbed, and bamboozled.
But here’s the real shocker… Coffeezilla told Danis everything he was planning to do, step-by-step. You see, right before the payment for the promotion was sent over, Coffeezilla shared a legal document with Danis that outlined the terms of the deal.
Normally it’s full of legal bs that no one understands. But this document was different. It warned Danis of what was about to happen, in plain English.
Told Danis he would be “butt of a joke”
Told Danis that the intention of the project was to show that people don’t do due diligence
Told Danis that they would redirect traffic from the promotion to a new website that showed previous scams he promoted
The scheme was laid out in black & white for Danis, and he still signed off on it. The roundhouse trick hit the MMA fighter smack in the face.
The lesson here: Always DYOR. And never ape into projects just because your favorite influencers are promoting it. Only dead fish go with the flow.
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DOES A16Z CONTROL UNISWAP?
Another day, another squabble on Crypto Twitter.
And this time, it involves 1) a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that thrusted the likes of Airbnb, Lyft, and Coinbase to star power and 2) a decentralized crypto exchange
Get out your popcorn; let us rewind this for you *record scratch* AND bust some milky myths. That’s right, ladies & gents, y’all get a new installment of Milkbusters on this here lovely Tuesday.
So what happened? Andreessen Horowitz, or a16z, voted against a proposal to roll out an upgrade to Uniswap.
Why does this matter? It sparked a debate about how power brokers could still carry out politically/financially-motivated moves in decentralized governance systems.
To recap, here’s how decisions in decentralized projects are made: everyone that purchases X amount of governance tokens (in this case, UNI, Uniswap’s native token,) gets X amount of votes on any given decision.
Well, our friends at a16z hold 15M UNI tokens, and they used them all to vote no on choosing for Uniswap what’s called a bridge (platforms that let users send crypto from one blockchain to another.)
It specifically didn’t want Uniswap to choose a bridge called Wormhole.
Why? Well, it said it was in part because one of 2022’s biggest crypto hacks was on Wormhole when an attacker stole $321M from it, which…ok, fair.
But it also said it wanted to use a bridge called LayerZero, a rival of Wormhole that a16z shot to unicorn status last year with a humungo $135M investment. Ka-ching.
A16z is the soccer mom withholding donations to the team’s snack fund until the coach puts her kid in to play.
🚨 @a16z just used its full voting weight to squash a $UNI proposal to launch Uniswap protocol on BNB chain using @wormholecrypto bridge.
a16z is a large investor in Wormhole competitor, @LayerZero_Labs.
Open your eyes. 👀
Anti-competition cartels in DeFi are REAL. https://t.co/4b14LqWLRH https://t.co/QwElvg5DOj
— Chris Blec (@ChrisBlec)
Feb 5, 2023
Even CZ chimed in, asking if Uniswap is “controlled by a16z?”
But onto the milkbusting part: a16z’s vote may not have as much power as some on Crypto Twitter think.
Its 15M tokens account for just ~2% of the total supply of governance tokens. And there are other so-called whales that also hold a sh*tton of them who voted in favor of Wormhole.
The current tally as it stands right now is: ~72% for Wormhole and ~27% against (voting closes on Friday.)
Let this be an example of that tried-and-true adage: don’t believe everything you see on the Twitter machine.
VISA IS TESTING STABLECOIN CONVERSIONS
You know crypto is finna get a big W when a major banking name makes headlines.
This time that company is Visa, whose head of crypto said the firm is testing stablecoin settlements.
It’s specifically been toying with how to accept payments in USDC (a major stablecoin run by Circle) on the Ethereum blockchain.
That means it could be as easy for users to convert dollars to stablecoins cross-border as it is to exchange USD for Euros.
It’d be a BFD; Visa has ~343M US credit card holders and ~798M holders outside of the US, as of late 2020. A boatload of existing users would have easy access to digital assets.
That’s textbook crypto adoption right there.
MILK AND COOKIES
On today’s episode of Keeping Up With FTX… FTX laywers have sent confidential notices to politicians, political groups, and others that accepted donations from Bankman-Fried. Recipients are expected to return the payments by Feb. 28. Or else…
SUSPENDED! Binance is reportedly suspending USD bank transfers starting on Feb 8. The move applies only to non-U.S. customers who transfer money to or from bank accounts in dollars.
Another day, another trademark. Sams Club filed new Web3 trademarks that cover NFTs, blockchain software, cryptocurrencies, and more.
That’s a wrap for today. Stay thirsty & see ya tomorrow! If you want more, be sure to follow our Twitter (@MilkRoadDaily)
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A ROADERS REVIEW
VITALIK PIC OF THE DAY
Turtleneck Tuesday, lets get itttt 🥛🥛 https://t.co/gVKluXsW10
— Milk Road (@MilkRoadDaily)
Feb 7, 2023
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.