🥛 FTX 2: Electric Boogaloo

  • January 20, 2023
  • 4 Min Read

GM. This is the Milk Road. The Watson to your Sherlock. The celery salt to your Chicago dog. The OJ to your bubbles.

We’ve got your back.

Here’s what we got for ya today:

  • FTX boss says he’s open to restarting the exchange
  • Thiel’s quiet Bitcoin exit
  • Strewth! A new species of crypto in Australia
  • Bored Apes creator nets $6M in new NFT sales

JOHN RAY SPEAKS

FTT, the proprietary token of beleaguered exchange FTX, jumped 33% Thursday.

Why??!? What happened???! Are users saved? 

Well, not yet. But John Ray SPOKE, that’s what happened; and the FTX CEO/company cleaner-upper dropped some fireballs to The Wall Street Journal.

Here are the biggest ones:

1/ He’s open to restarting FTX to get funds back to customers

Ray said he’s built a team to explore rebooting FTX as a way to repay customers.

He’s gotta figure out if that’s a better option than liquidating assets or selling though.

Why, you ask, would they even consider relaunching the exchange that hurt hundreds of thousands of users?

Because some stakeholders think there’s merit in the technology and the business, Ray said.

2/ Ray called out Samuel’s Substack post and its FTX US solvency claims

Remember Samuel’s Substack post where he said that FTX US was solvent?

And he included a screenshot of a wonky spreadsheet that he said shows the numbers?

Well, Ray found a hole in that balance sheet: Samuel counted $250M of cash that’s in Ledger X, his US derivatives trading platform.

Only that cash doesn’t count because LedgerX was bought in 2021 using funds that were improperly transferred from FTX customers.

Ray said that’s what the problem was: Samuel “thinks everything is one big honey pot.”

To which Samuel said swerve, this is all false, plus even if you subtracted the $250m from his balance sheet, FTX US would still be solvent.

He also accused Ray of wanting to keep said honey pot for his own, which brings us to…

3/ RAY VS. SAMUEL ROUND (?)

These two have some serious Vitamin D deficiencies from all the shade they’re throwing at each other.

One of Samuel’s newest bouts is jabbing Ray for collecting his paycheck ($1,300 an hour paid for in customer funds/creditors) and nothing more.

Ray clapped back, saying “crime is very expensive,” plus it’s hard to trust FTX employees, meaning he’s had to bring on outside experts that are pricey.

The new FTX CEO also said Samuel’s Substack comments (that it was a mistake for FTX to file for bankruptcy and that Ray wasn’t moving fast enough to repay customers) were unhelpful and self-serving, leaving no need for him to leave dialogue open with Samuel.

But Samuel will have a public mouthpiece for the foreseeable future; he tweeted another swipe @ Ray after the report came out.

Remind us again why he was granted internet access in his bail conditions? 

TODAY'S EDITION IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY ACF GAME (ALIEN CHICKEN FARM) - WEB3 GAME

One thing about Web3 -> sometimes the weirder a project, the better. 

That’s why today we are introducing Alien Chicken Farm (ACF). ACF is when Clash of Clans meets “the chicken crosses the road.” ACF is on a mission to help first-time users learn, experience, and own digital assets on a blockchain in a frictionless manner.

It isn’t just another game randomly incorporating cryptocurrency. It has a full suite of in-game assets and their version of “Play-to-(L)earn”. And it’s real simple to get started: 

  • Buy, Feed, Name and raise your chickens like it’s Nintendogs…. but for chickens
  • Grow your farm by breeding chickens and/or buying more Alien Chicken NFTs
  • Expand your local chicken empire and keep breeding chickens to create super power chicken

Even your favorite fake billionaire is an ACF fan:

You can play the game in just 2 minutes per day and unlike a lot of other Web3 games, Alien Chicken Farm built by Taolabs is already live - no extended demo periods or failed launches.

Check out the Public-Beta for ACF right now on Mobile (Android) and the Web (Chrome).

THIEL HYPED BITCOIN AFTER HIS FUND UNLOADED IT

Peter Thiel is one of the most successful and controversial people in tech. 

He’s a:

  • Tech billionaire. Cofounded companies like PayPal, Palantir, and the Thiel Fellowship - a program that pays young students to drop out of school & build cool companies. (Our Lanky King, Vitalik Buterin, was a Thiel fellow in 2014)
  • Successful investor. Thiel was the first big investor in Facebook, and funded companies like SpaceX, AirBnB, Lyft, and more.
  • Political megadonor. One of Donald Trump’s earliest supporters, Thiel spent $30M on funding GOP candidates in the 2021 midterms. 

And turns out Thiel is just as successful in crypto. According to a Financial Times report, his VC firm (Founders Fund) generated ~$1.8B in returns from crypto. 

The Founders Fund first invested in Bitcoin back in 2014 and subsequently accumulated a large crypto position. According to the report, ~66% of the firm’s overall crypto investments were in Bitcoin. 

Thiel's firm timed the market (damn near) perfectly and sold off most of its investments by the end of March 2022 - right before the big crypto crash. So while countless VC firms lost billions during the crash, Thiel and his crew were chilling & sipping on Adios Motherf*cker cocktails.

The timing, the profits - it’s all amazing. But…

He was hyping crypto after the sale. At a Miami bitcoin conference in April 2022, he told attendees “we’re at the end of the fiat money regime” and that the value of Bitcoin could increase 100x. 

Sometimes it’s better to ignore what people say and let their wallet do the talking.

THERE'S A NEW SPECIES OF CRYPTO IN AUSTRALIA

Crikey, mate! 

There’s a new species in Australia. Don’t worry it’s not a giant, human-eating, monkey-spider (this time). *Phew*

It’s called AUDN -  a new stablecoin that will be pegged to the value of the Australian dollar.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new stablecoin:

  • AUDN is fully backed 1-to-1 by the Australian dollar
  • One of the four biggest banks in Australia created it. The National Australia Bank (NAB) will also hold the physical money backing the new stablecoin in its banks
  • It will be launched on the Ethereum and Algorand blockchains in the middle of 2023. Customers will be able to settle transactions on both blockchains in real-time, using Australian dollars
  • It will also be used for carbon credit trading, repurchase agreements, and more

Why this matters: Sure, some people think stablecoins are as boring as watching paint dry (they always stay at $1, blah blah blah), but stablecoins have grown into a $138B market and play a big role. 

Stablecoins give people the ability to use crypto, without all the volatility that comes with it. That being said, if we’re learned one thing: you can’t trust all stablecoins. *cough* UST *cough*

So we’ll leave you with some words from the great Steve Irwin:

“Crocodiles are easy. They try to kill and eat you. People Stablecoins are harder. Sometimes they pretend to be your friend first.”

MILK AND COOKIES

*DJ Khaled voice* Another one. Blockchain company Consensys is laying off 11% of staff, or 97 of its ~900 employees, because of “uncertain market conditions.”

Surgeon to the metaverse, stat! The National University of Singapore made a glove that lets the wearer feel in the metaverse. One use could be for medical pros to practice in VR. We’ll leave other uses up to your imagination.

Dookey Dash.Yuga Labs, the startup behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club world, netted over $6m in sales with its new collection of NFTs, dubbed Sewer Passes.

MILKY MEME

🤣🤣

That's a wrap for today. Stay thirsty & see ya tomorrow! 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.

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    This dashing dairy expert is not just your average milkman. He's a tri-athlete, a former classmate of Satoshi Nakamoto, and a crypto enthusiast who loves nothing more than delivering the freshest news and insights straight to your inbox.