October 5, 2023

🥛 You just woke up with $10M in your account… 🤑

Today’s edition is brought to you by a16z’s Crypto Startup School — the premier accelerator program for early-stage web3 companies that is now accepting applications. 

Apply for the accelerator!

GM. This is Milk Road, we’re like the spice rack of crypto news – we got all the flavors you need.

Let’s jump right into it. Yesterday was an eventful day.

All eyes were on New York…

  • Donald Trump’s in town for his civil fraud trial.

  • Sam Bankman-Fried’s in town for his criminal fraud trial.

  • NY courthouses were more packed than movie theatres during Barbenheimer weekend.

There’s a lot going on. 

Don’t sweat it though, we’ve got you covered with all the action from Day 2 of SBF’s trial. 

But I want to tell you about another crypto court case first

1/ It’s one of those Guaranteed-To Make-You-The-Most-Interesting-One-At-Dinner kind of stories.

It includes… millions of dollars, luxury mansions, and a “theft”.

2/ I’m curious what you would do in this situation. 

And we made a short comic, with the help of a new friend (DALL-E 3), to tell the story. 


Let me paint the scene for you…

**enter the narrator’s voice; ideally Morgan Freeman’s**

It’s 7 AM. You just woke up to your alarm blaring. 

It’s loud. (like louder than that stupid U.S. Federal Emergency alarm yesterday)

Bad start to the day. But then you remember…

It’s Friday. Payday, baby. 

AND you’re expecting an extra $100 refund from your crypto exchange, Crypto.com. 

(random, I know… but it’s important for later…)

You grab your phone and sign into your bank account.

Then you see something that makes you stop dead in your tracks…

…you can’t believe your eyes…

Your shock turns into confusion…

You convince yourself you’re hallucinating.

You close your eyes and try to go back to sleep…

But you can’t…

That shock-that-turned-into-confusion is now turning into curiosity…

Could it be true..?”, you start thinking to yourself.  

You decide to put the doubts to rest. You grab your phone, fire up your bank app again, and…

…there it is!


But then it hits you…

…the $10 million (that came out of nowhere) is still there… 

Crazy situation, right?

Well, it’s also a real-life one…

  • Crypto.com accidentally sent a customer in Australia millions of dollars.

  • The customer was supposed to get a $100 refund.

  • Instead of entering “100” into the refund box, a Crypto.com employee entered the account number. 

  • The customer ended up receiving 10.5M Australian dollars instead.

The craziest part? It took Crypto.com 7 months to realize it and ask for the funds back. 

I repeat… 7 F*CKING MONTHS. 

By that time the customer had already bought four houses (including a $1.4M mansion), a few cars, some artwork, and sent other money to family members. 

So, Crypto.com sued the customer for theft.

The customer was arrested at the airport and their partner (who helped spend the money) will appear before court later this month…

Milk Road’s Verdict: This story is crazy. My first thought was “Why can’t I be this lucky?!”… 

But by the end of it I was thinking “Holy sh*t, I’m so glad this didn’t happen to me” because honestly, I would have done the same thing. Spent every dime. 

You see, there are certain unwritten rules in life:

If you leave something at my house (i.e. a phone charger, etc.) for more than a week – it’s mine. 

If you leave leftovers in the fridge for more than 24 hours – it’s open season, anyone can take it.

If you send me $10M by accident and it takes you 7 months to realize – tough luck, that sh*t is mine. 

What do you think? What would you do?

Click on your answer above! 

And leave a funny reply if you want a chance to be featured in Milk Road’s Comments of Fame. We’ll share the results tomorrow.

Apply now for a16z’s Crypto Startup School

Crypto moves fast.

One week you’re thinking your startup has made it, and the next you're picking up a second job.

Regardless of the headwinds, Web3 builders haven’t slowed down. But there’s a common problem between them: Lack of resources.

That’s why a16z started Crypto Startup School (CSS) – a twelve-week, in-person accelerator for early-stage web3 companies. CSS is looking for founders with bold ideas, intent on building a better internet for all.

The next cohort is happening March – June 2024 in London – and applications are open now.

Here’s what to expect from CSS:

  • Mentorship on product development, product-market fit, and go-to-market strategies

  • Access to the networks and capital that founders need for long-term success

  • Consults with industry experts from leading companies and universities

  • A passionate community of CSS peers and alumni

There are only two weeks left to apply with limited spots available. Applications close October 20, 2023. 

Apply now for CSS!!


Let’s talk about Day 2 of crypto’s trial of the century.

The United States vs. Sam Bankman-Fried. ‘Merica vs. The Crypto Fro.

There were 3 big things that happened yesterday:

1/ The final jury was selected.

(**suspenseful stadium music starts playing**)

Ladies and gents across Roader Nation. 

I now ask you to rise and remove your hats as I introduce the 12 starting jury members…

The Chosen Ones. The Twelve Truth Trackers. The Dozen Deciders of Doom.  

Get up and make some noise for the jurors…!! 

2/ Both sides made their opening statements.


  • Sam Bankman-Fried’s empire of power, wealth, and influence was all “built on lies”.

  • He “stole billions of dollars from millions of victims”. (put it on a t-shirt)

  • Bankman-Fried spent the money on himself and on political contributions.

  • Even though his “on and off girlfriend was the CEO”, SBF was still calling the shots.

  • He had secret access to FTX’s assets and could move/spend them whenever he wanted.

  • He lied to lenders and falsified documents.

The prosecution’s side ended with: 

“He bought himself wealth, power, and influence. You will see it and you will see there is only one verdict: Sam Bankman-Fried is guilty.” 

Assertive tone. Catchy tagline. Strong close.

Milk Road’s Rating: 8.5/10.

Now here was the response…


  • Sam didn’t defraud anyone.

  • He acted in “good faith”.

  • Sam “worked hard” and is a “math nerd who didn’t drink or party”.

  • Sam made Caroline Ellison (his ex-girlfriend) the CEO of Alameda.

  • Sam warned her that crypto prices were crashing and to place a hedge. (she didn’t)

  • It’s “not a crime to declare bankruptcy”.

The defense ended with: “At the end, we'll ask you to find Sam not guilty. Thank you.”

Hand-wavey arguments. Weak close. Terrible performance all around. 

Milk Road Rating: 3.5/10.

3/ The first two witnesses testified.

WITNESS #1: Marc-Antoine Julliard. He’s a…

  • Commodities broker that mainly trades cocoa beans.

  • Former FTX customer who lost $100K+ from the exchange.

  • Crypto investor in BTC, ETH, DOGE, and more.

This was an opportunity for the jury to hear a first-hand experience from a former FTX customer who lost money. 

Smart move. 1 point goes to the prosecution. 

WITNESS #2: Adam Yedidia.

  • Sam Bankman-Frieds long-time friend and college roommate at MIT. 

  • A former employee at Alameda and FTX.

  • Lived in a $35M mansion with Sam in the Bahamas.

There was only time for the prosecution’s side to get through a few questions, so Adam will finish testifying later today.

Btw, the funniest part came at the end… The judge asked both sides if there was anything else they wanted to bring up before wrapping up for the day.

Sam’s lawyer immediately jumped up: 

“Erm… yes, your Honor. One item….

Mr. Bankman-Fried is not receiving sufficient Adderall… he needs it two times a day. Could you order the Bureau of Prison to have it here?”

You can’t make this sh*t up…

The judge’s response: “Get in touch with them. I don’t have a medical degree.”

Epic. 1 point for the judge.


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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.