January 12, 2024

🥛 The Cointucky Derby 🏇

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GM. This is Milk Road, where crypto news and comedy collide – a beautiful mess.

Here’s what we got for you today:

  • Bitcoin ETF Day 1 Recap 👀

  • Crypto goes to college! 🧑‍🎓

  • Circle is looking to IPO 🍪


BITCOIN ETF DAY 1 RECAP 👀

The starting gun has fired. 11 Bitcoin ETFs are out the gates. 

The race. is. on… (it’s even being called: “The Cointucky Derby”).

Day 1 was a doozy. Eric Balchunas (an ETF guru) said it was “easily the biggest Day One splash in ETF history.”

Here are the numbers…

  • Total volume = $4.6B. A new Day 1 record for ETFs. Although there is some speculation that a lot of this came from existing holders switching out of Grayscale’s fund.

  • Grayscale (GBTC) led the way with $2.3B in trade volume. BlackRock ($1.1B) came in second and Fidelity ($710M) was third. Check out the leaderboard here.

  • There were ~700,000 individual trades across all Bitcoin ETFs. That’s 2x the number of traders for $QQQ – the ETF that tracks the NASDAQ.

Milk Road Translation: Dolla dolla bills y’all (shoutout Wu-Tang).

Although the numbers were big, the drama was bigger.

Turns out the first day of an ETF launch is like the first day of high school – there’s always a fight. 

Yesterday’s fight: asset managers vs. their clients. 

  • Vanguard blocked its customers from buying any Bitcoin ETFs. Why? They “don’t fit with Vanguard’s investment philosophy.” 

  • Citi, Edward Jones, UBS, and Merrill Lynch also blocked access to the ETFs. Other firms made clients sign volatility liability waivers before “unlocking” access.

Crazy, I know. They transformed from asset managers → into babysitters. 

(Citi went from “Your Citi Never Sleeps” to “Be In Bed By 3 PM, Kid”).

Here are some of the best reactions from Day 1:

WE NEED YOUR HELP…

The first-ever Milk Road newsletter was sent out on December 31, 2021. 

Somewhere in those 600 editions since, you joined the Roader nation. (Great decision, kid. You’ll be talking about it for generations to come).

On that day, we made a deal. You might not remember it. But we did. 

It was simple…. we’ll provide you fun, easy-to-consume content every week. Monday through Friday. 

Rain, sleet, hail, snow, or shine – doesn’t matter, we’ll be knocking on your inbox.

What did we ask for in return? Nothing…. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. 

But we did mention that “someday, and that day may never come, we’d ask a service of you.

Well, that day has finally come. And we’re asking for a favor. Give us 3 minutes of your time to fill out our annual sponsor survey. 

This helps us out in 3 big ways:

1/ Help Us Help You: your feedback = more engaging info coming your way. Think of it as your cheat code to a better newsletter.

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3/ Dolla Dolla Bills, Y’all: your two cents sats will help keep the fridge running and our milk fresh. Literally. 

And thanks to our partner Trezor, we’re giving away three Trezor Safe wallets as prizes to randomly selected survey respondents.

Your move. Start here!

-The Milk Man

CRYPTO GOES TO COLLEGE 🧑‍🎓

Check it out, looks like Bitcoin made it to a university!

That’s right… Bitcoin 🤝 Natty Light.

According to the guy in the class (@0xDamien), here’s some stuff they’ve talked about:

Pretty cool to see crypto being taught in college. 

Back in my college days…we had classes about vampires (true story).

My freshman-year seminar class was called “Vampires: Blood, Lust, and the American Dream.” 

I know, it sounds like a kinky porno… (to my disappointment, it was not).

Anyway, I'm glad to see colleges have more useful classes now.

BITE-SIZED COOKIES FOR THE ROAD 🍪

Metal X is a selection of decentralized financial, crypto-based services running on the XPR Network. Built by Metallicus, the company behind the network itself, Metal Pay, and WebAuth Wallet, Metal X integrates seamlessly with the WebAuth Wallet and offers a number of financial services. Check out our review of their platform here!*

Circle has filed for an initial public offering (IPO). The stablecoin issuer previously tried going public through a special-purpose acquisitions company (SPAC) but abandoned the plan in 2022. Time for Round 2.

Robinhood plans to list the 11 spot bitcoin ETFs “as soon as possible”. The trading app is also launching educational materials on Bitcoin, ETFs, and risk management strategies.  

A trader bought $9M worth of a Solana memecoin and immediately lost ~60% to slippage. On today’s episode of “I Got Rekt”…

MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin holdings are now worth $1B more than the actual company. Insane stat.

The Aave community has voted to integrate PayPal’s stablecoin (PYUSD). The stablecoin will be integrated into AAVE’s Ethereum-based pool. 

Pontem raised $6 million to build apps that are both Ethereum Virtual Machine and Move-compatible. The funding rounding was co-led by Faction and Lightspeed Venture Partners. 

SEC Commissioner Hester Piece: “We squandered a decade of opportunities to do our job”. That’s for damn sure…

*This is sponsored content

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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.