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 🍪


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:


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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.


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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