April 17, 2024

🥛 The state of crypto in 5 graphs 📊

Today’s edition is brought to you by Cross Finance – the lovechild of the global economy, bringing together banking and crypto into one big, happy ecosystem.

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GM. This is Milk Road. Where we decode the crypto market like a toddler (somehow) cracks your phone password – with ease.

Here’s what we got for you today:

  • The state of crypto in 5 graphs 📊

  • Use case of the week: UFC fighting gloves are getting tokenized 🥊

  • How to invest in crypto narratives 💰

  • Bitcoin ETFs see outflows for the 3rd straight day 🍪


CoinGecko dropped its latest Crypto Industry Report this morning! That’s the good news…

The bad news? It’s 50 pages long.

But have no fear. Say it with me now…

Do we read 50-page PDFs? …*points microphone at crowd*… “Hell no!”

Do we let the Milk Road Gang read it and summarize it in bullet points? …*points microphone back at crowd*… “Hell yeah!”

Alright, here's what caught our attention from the report:

1/ Crypto’s Top 15 Narratives of Q1

  • AI, memecoins, and RWAs were the top 3 narratives of the quarter. They captured a combined 1/3 of investor interest.

  • ‘Gaming’ and the ‘Solana Ecosystem’ also captured significant attention. Each with more than 5% of investor interest. 

  • New narratives like ERC-404 made their first appearance on the Top 15 list. 

  • 3 out of the 49 blockchain ecosystems (Solana, Ethereum, and Base) made it into the top narratives. 

  • Compared to 2023 Q4… BRC-20 tokens, NFTs, and the Avalanche ecosystem all saw a decline in interest. 

2/ Solana memecoins saw an 800% growth in market cap

  • The market cap of the Top 10 Solana memecoins grew by $8.3B in Q1. That’s a whopping 801.5% increase from 2023 Q4. 

  • Of the Top 10 Solana memecoins, only 2 existed prior to 2023 Q4. The OGs are $BONK and $SAMO. 

  • Fun fact: Close to 5,000 new Solana tokens have been deployed EVERY DAY in the past quarter. 

But isn’t Solana dead? We’ll answer that question in this week’s PRO Report where we explain our $SOL price prediction & bull market strategy.

3/ The biggest winners & losers of DeFi were…

  • DeFi’s market cap jumped from $78B → $122B in Q1. That’s a +49.1% increase from 2023 Q4. 

  • Restaking protocols were the biggest winners, with a +1,068% increase in total value locked (TVL) last quarter.

  • Yield, derivatives, and farming protocols also saw massive gains and doubled their respective TVLs. 

  • Lending and Collateralized Debt Position (CDP) protocols were the biggest losers of the quarter, as users chose to chase better returns through other avenues. 

4/ CEX trading volume hit a multi-year high

  • The Top 10 centralized exchanges (CEX) record $4.29T in spot trading volume. That’s a +95.3% increase from 2023 Q4 and the highest volume recorded since 2021. 

  • Binance is still the top CEX, controlling 50% of the market share. 

  • All the Top 10 CEX saw an increase in trading volume in Q1. Binance grew the most (+122.3%), followed by Bitget (+112.4%) and Bybit (+111.8%).

5/ DEX trading volume increased by 78.4%

  • Trading volume on decentralized exchanges hit $357.6B in Q1. And March was the most active month ($190B in trading volume) since November 2021. 

  • Ethereum’s share of trading volume on DEXes dropped below 40% – a new all-time low. 

  • Abritrum DEXes saw a big spike at the beginning of the quarter (largely due to its incentive program), but tapered off in March. 

  • The big winner: Base. Its share of the graph went from “I need some binoculars to see that!” → “There it is!” in a few months. 

Milk Road’s Biggest Takeaways and “Notes-To-Self”:

  • Crypto is still growing at a crazy pace! Trading volumes are up. New narratives are still popping up left & right. That’s exciting. 

  • Keep an eye on growing ecosystems, like Base and Arbitrum. 

  • Look into more yield, derivatives, and farming protocols – they doubled their TVL last quarter.

  • This 50-page pdf could have been an email.


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The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. 

(Side note: If you don’t watch it – don’t worry, I don’t blame you. It’s tough having to explain to my wife why I pay $100 to watch grown men fight in tighty whities…)

Anyway, check it out… UFC just announced it’s launching new fighting gloves. 

Most of the improvements are focused on stuff like comfort, padding, weight, etc, but there was one thing that caught our eyes…

An ‘authentication data chip’. And turns out, it’s powered by the VeChain blockchain. 

  • The gloves have near-field communication (NFC) chips that are connected to VeChain. 

  • The chips will record fight data and provide authenticity – aka buyers will be able to verify the gloves are legit. 

  • The goal? Help prevent fraud in the secondary markets. 

  • The new gloves will debut at UFC 302 (June 1, 2024). 

  • And an initial set of 12 exclusive gloves will be given to ‘A-list’ celebrities, like Joe Rogan. 

Milk Road Take: This is pretty cool and isn’t the first time we’ve seen a sports x blockchain crossover…

It’ll be interesting to see what sports adopt the blockchain next…


It’s nearly impossible to be early on every crypto narrative with so many emerging, from memecoins and Bitcoin NFTs to AI Tokens, Base, and Runes…

But, these narratives could be insanely profitable for investors—if you play your cards right.

On today’s Milk Road Radio Market Watch episode, we sat down with Zeneca to cover:

  • How to identify emerging trends

  • How to allocate capital efficiently

  • How to maximize your profits with these opportunities

If you want to catch the biggest crypto narratives without getting rekt, this is the episode for you:

YouTube | Spotify | Apple Podcasts


Happy halving – You’ve heard about it, now learn about it! ARCrypto invites you to join us this Thursday, April 18th at 11 am EST for a webinar featuring our very own expert, Coach Casey Craig, as she demystifies the halving phenomenon.*

Spot Bitcoin ETFs saw net outflows for the third straight day yesterday. GBTC saw the majority of outflows (surprise surprise), while most of the other Bitcoin ETFs saw inflows ranging from ~$1M → ~$4M. 

Coinbase and Grayscale will be running crypto ads during the NBA and NHL playoffs. Coinbases will air Wednesday on TNT, ESPN, and ABC during NBA playoff games. Grayscales will air on CNBC, CNN, Golf Network, News Nation, and NHL Network during the playoffs. 

Crypto prices dropped after Jerome Powell's speech yesterday. The Fed Chairman hinted that interest rates will have to stay higher for longer after recent data showed the “lack of further progress so far this year on returning to [the] 2% inflation goal”. 

PayPal removed buyer and seller protections for NFTs. Starting on May 20, NFT purchases will no longer be backed by the company’s buyer protection program. NFT sales worth more than $10,000 will not be protected against false claims and chargebacks. 

Homium’s first tokenized home equity loans went live on Avalanche. As part of securing the loan, homeowners commit a portion of their home’s price appreciation. For investors, i.e., those funding the loan, they receive a tokenized asset tracking the price appreciation.

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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.