GM. This is Milk Road, the daily newsletter that checks up on all your crypto injuries & motivates you to keep going. Rub some dirt on it and get back out there.
Here’s what we’ve got today:
4 numbers to keep your eye on
Visual of the Day: 2 years of NFTs in 2 minutes
Liquid Collective’s new staking protocol
Did J.P. Morgan kick Gemini out?
Today’s edition is brought to you by ConsenSys, our go-to guide to the Ethereum Shanghai upgrade coming up soon.
4 NUMBERS TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON
9,861 BTC – how much the U.S. government moved from a self custody wallet to Coinbase.
Back in November 2021, the Feds recovered 50,000 Bitcoin after raiding the house of Silk Road hacker, James Zhong.
Yesterday, they transferred 9,861 of those BTC (~$217m) to Coinbase.
LIVE FOOTAGE OF THE FEDS TRYING TO DO CRYPTO…
And the guy who holds the keys to wallets, Michael Case (the district asset forfeiture coordinator for the U.S. Marshal Service), already said that when the Feds seize virtual currency, they’ll hold it in wallets until they eventually liquidate it all.
So, that 50,000 BTC is as good as gone… gulp.
But here’s the important thing to remember: the Bitcoin market is HUGE. Over $30B trades each day and Bitcoin has a total market cap of over $425B.
Selling 50,000 BTC will be like getting a paper cut – it’s gonna sting, but it won’t kill us.
It’s also interesting to note that the U.S. government is one of the largest Bitcoin holders in the world. They currently own 214,000+ BTC (that we know of).
That’s 1% of the ENTIRE Bitcoin supply. And they aren’t the only ones either…
Ukraine owns 45,351 BTC
China owns 194,000 BTC
El Salvador owns 9,500 BTC
Finland owns 1,981 BTC
Bulgaria owned 200,000 BTC, until they used the crypto to buy some F-16s. Yup, the fighter jets.
Would you look at that… countries that say they wouldn’t touch crypto with a 10-foot pole are actually some of the biggest whales in the game.
$38M – How much FTX paid its lawyers and advisors in January
According to court records, hundreds of lawyers, consultants, and accountants working for FTX billed the company a whopping $38M for January.
Here’s the breakdown of who got what:
Sullivan & Cromwell (law firm) billed $16.8M for 14,569 hours
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart (special counsel) billed $1.4M
AlixPartners (on-chain forensics) billed $2.1M for 2,454 hours of work
Even John Ray, the new CEO of FTX, made $300K in February.
Wow… If all we had to do was send a bill to FTX, we would’ve invoiced them for the 2,487,493,187 hours we spent covering this whole sh*tshow.
22,535x – A hacker earns a 22,535x return from an exploit.
Earlier this week, someone turned $71 → $1.6M on a DeFi lending platform called Tender.fi. And it wasn’t David Blaine…
It was a hacker that found a bug in the platform. This glitch let them borrow $1.6M in ETH using only $71 worth of GMX tokens as collateral. No bueno.
The good news? It was a white hat hacker.
These are people that find vulnerabilities but, instead of robbing the bank and running, they come back a few days later with the money and tell the bank manager how they did it.
This time, the hacker left a note:
Translation: “I got your money, hmu if you want it back.”
Tender.fi and the hacker were able to negotiate a deal – the hacker would return the stolen funds and get $96,500 as a bounty. A win-win for everyone.
The lesson? White hat hackers are the heroes we don’t deserve, but we need.
(P.S. – we wrote about how a hacker saved Coinbase last year. Still one of the top 5 craziest stories ever.)
61.8% – Binance’s spot market share across crypto exchanges in February
According to CryptoCompare’s latest report, Binance increased its spot market share from 59.4% in January → 61.8% in February.
It’s the 4th straight month Binance has increased its lead, and the crypto exchange has more than doubled its market share over the last two years.
The crazy part? Binance also controls 62.9% of the derivatives market.
Derivatives trading = buying and selling contracts on an asset (i.e. betting on future prices to go up or down.)
Spot trading = buying and selling the actual asset itself
Binance has over 61% market share for both. Pretty damn impressive considering the crypto exchange has been targeted by the 3 words that bring Nightmares to Crypto Street…
Freddie Charles Kreuger
Fear Uncertainty Doubt (FUD).
Binance has been investigated by every regulator under the sun, cut off by partners like Paxos, and is somehow still going strong.
We’ll see if the crypto exchange can make it 5 straight months at the top. Stay tuned…
BE A PART OF WEB3 HISTORY WITH CONSENSYS
Ethereum is undergoing a period of rapid infrastructural development.
Within the next two months, the Shanghai/Capella upgrade will simultaneously upgrade the blockchain’s execution and consensus layers to enable staked ETH withdrawals.
Find out what this means for stakers and the web3 ecosystem.
The FREE report from ConsenSys walks through the following:
What is the Shanghai/Capella upgrade?
The role of stakers in Ethereum’s governance
Full and partial withdrawals
The impact of withdrawals on the Ethereum staking and DeFi ecosystems
Competition and innovation in the sector
That’s not all. In celebration of the upgrade, ConsenSys will launch its second commemorative NFT collection, and invite web3 enthusiasts to participate by claiming an NFT.
The first collection, The Merge Regenesis, was among the largest and most distributed NFT drops of all time.
NFT LEADERBOARD OVER THE LAST 2 YEARS
Check it out. We came across this dope time lapse that shows how the top 10 NFT projects (by market cap) have changed since April 2021.
It’s 2 years of NFTs in 2 minutes:
📈 NFT projects by market cap over time
It’s amazing how much the top 2 remain unchanged
Spots 3-7 have rotated consistently over the last 3 years https://t.co/CbIdWMAGIe
Here are our top takeaways:
Only 5 “true” blue chips. BAYC, CryptoPunks, MAYC, Otherdeed, and CloneX were the only collections that didn’t lose a top 10 spot once they cracked the leaderboard.
The leaderboard is full of companies now. Many of the top collections are run by companies, not individual creators. Yuga Labs and Nike now dominate the top 10.
The industry has grown big, fast. In April 2021, the market cap for the top 10 collections combined was ~$2.1M. Now, it’s $4.2B.
Everyone always asks us what NFTs to invest in….
Our answer? 99% of them are trash, but the blue chip collections in the time-lapse are your safest bets.
LIQUID STAKING FOR ALL
Liquid Collective just rolled out a liquid staking protocol that will compete with the likes of Lido’s stETH token.
Institutional players like Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance can now use Liquid Collective to offer liquid ETH staking to their customers.
Why would exchanges want to take part?
It’s a lot easier to join vs. setting up their own liquid staking tokens
They’re gonna miss out big time if they don’t offer liquid staking to customers moving forward
It’ll open a nice revenue stream; they’ll get a cut of the commissions that Liquid Collective charges to liquid stake ETH
Liquid Collective looks good from a regulatory standpoint; it meets Know-Your-Customer and anti-money laundering requirements
Get the full details over at Milk Road News – a new offering where we’ll go deeper on specific topics on our website → Read the full rundown on the new protocol here.
MILK AND COOKIES
There were rumors JPMorgan was cutting ties with Gemini, but they may be a false alarm. *Phew* dodged a bullet there…
Coinbase launches a new wallet-as-a-service (WAAS) that lets companies easily embed digital wallets directly into apps. The goal? Make setting up a wallet as easy as creating a username and password.
Jack Dorsey’s company, Block, reveals plans to launch a Bitcoin Mining Development Kit (MDK). The hope is that the DIY kit will spark some innovation in BTC mining hardware.
Avalanche teams up with TSM to build a new gaming subnet. Avalanche will be the exclusive blockchain partner for the gaming giant.
WeChat is integrating the digital yuan (e-CNY) into its payment platform. Users will be able to do stuff like order food from McDs and pay bills using e-CNY.
That’s a wrap for today. Stay thirsty & see ya next time! If you want more, be sure to follow our Twitter (@MilkRoadDaily)
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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.