🚨 Milk Road Q1 Recap 🚨

  • March 31, 2023
  • 5 Min Read

GM. This is Milk Road - the crypto newsletter that gives you the same feeling as when you’d hear the ice cream truck come into your hood and knew you were about to get a Choco Taco.

It's Friday. Let's boogie:

  • Q1 Recap: 3 takeaways in 3 minutes 📝
  • Funding Friday! 💰

Today's edition is brought to you by CoW Swap, a decentralized exchange that lets you swap tokens on Ethereum & Gnosis at the best rates.

Q1 RECAP: CRYPTO BANKS FALL, OPERATION CHOKE POINT 2.0, & BITCOIN WINS 📝

It’s March 31 - which means Q1 is over. And the end of each quarter in crypto kinda feels like Report Card Day…

You get your grades back, see how well you performed, reflect on what could’ve gone better, and wonder whether your teachers are secretly plotting against you.

Well, this first quarter was a rollercoaster for crypto:

  • Prices were in the green across the board, with Bitcoin up 70% and ETH up 51% (AKA crypto got good grades)
  • There were a lot of regulatory crackdowns and lawsuits against the industry and its partners (AKA crypto and its friends got a lot of detention, with some getting expelled)

Just in case you blinked and missed something, we’re coming at ya with The Milk Road Q1 Recap. Here are 3 big takeaways, all in under 3 minutes…

1/ TRADFI SUFFERS, CRYPTO DOES TOO

This year was off to a solid start. Bitcoin was on the up-and-up, Rihanna sang at the Super Bowl, my mom finally learned how FaceTime works…

But then came the collapse of the three S’s - Signature, Silvergate, and Silicon Valley Bank.

Each one was a big on-ramp connecting the crypto world to the banking system and made it easy for companies to exchange customers’ digital assets into real dollars.

So what? Now crypto firms have to:

  • Find new reputable banks to work with. While regulators make it very hard for them to do that…
  • Team up with sketchy, unregulated banks. That’d be an L for customers.
  • Buy one of the real-time payment networks that Silvergate/Signature offered. The FDIC is trying to sell Signet (Signature's) right now.
  • Start their own bank. Kraken already did.
  • Store their funds overseas. The U.S. could lose out bigtime if this started to happen.
  • Or rely more heavily on the smaller banks they’re already partnered with.

The banks’ collapse also kicked off a Blame Game about why exactly they failed.

Was it because they each decided to interact with the crypto space? Or because of the financial system that crypto was designed to replace?

Which brings us to…

2/ OPERATION CHOKE POINT 2.0

All year I’ve been hearing about something called “Operation Choke Point 2.0”. At first, I thought it was a new action movie. Turns out it’s a real thing…

But first, let's talk about the original Operation Choke Point. This was an initiative started by the U.S. government back in 2013 that targeted risky, “frowned upon” businesses like online gambling, pawnshops, firearm sellers, tobacco sellers, etc.

It had one goal: find a way to cut these businesses off from the traditional finance system.

How? Coordinate a regulatory attack on the businesses and all their banking partners.

By targeting the banking partners and launching massive investigations, the U.S. government slowly “choked out” these risky businesses’ access to the finance system.

Sound familiar?

Fast forward 10 years to today and we’re seeing a lot of similarities. Here’s what happened in Q1:

  • Crypto’s top banking partners - SVB, Silvergate, and Signature - were all shut down or seized by the government.
  • A Signature Bank board member said he believed it was an “anti-crypto” message since the bank wasn’t insolvent or in deep financial trouble
  • Signature Bank was finally sold, but U.S. regulators said its crypto business must be shut down. Crypto clients have until April 5 to close their accounts.
  • Kraken got sued by the SEC and was forced to shut down its staking services.
  • Coinbase received a Wells Notice from the SEC for offering unregistered securities.
  • Binance got sued by the CFTC for offering unregistered futures & options trading .
  • Paxos got sued by the SEC and was forced to stop issuing its BUSD stablecoin.

In other words, crypto got sent to the Principal's office a bunch this quarter. Except the Principal is the U.S. government and instead of getting detention, you get sued. 

The cherry on top? U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has just announced she’s building an “Anti-Crypto Army”.

No, this isn’t A.I. generated... Mrs. Anti-Crypto posted it herself.

P.S. - Remember how I said sometimes Report Card Day made me wonder if teachers were plotting against me to give me bad grades? (*cough*...all my science teachers…*cough*)

Turns out that’s exactly what’s happening with crypto right now. 

And even though U.S. regulators say they aren’t targeting crypto, here at Milk Road we take actions > words. We aren’t alone either...

Cooper & Kirk, the law firm that successfully sued the Federal Reserve, FDIC, and other regulators in Operation Choke Point 1.0, is back again and is claiming that Operation Choke Point 2.0 is happening now - with crypto as the new target.

So buckle up, ladies & gents - it could be a wild couple of months. But the good news throughout it all is…

3/ BITCOIN IS STILL HOLDING STRONG

Bitcoin is finna have its best-performing quarter in 2 years. Don’t call it a comeback…

Bitcoin went from $17K → $28K and is up a whopping 70% in Q1. It hasn’t performed this well since Q1 2021 (+103%).

CoinMarketCap

Why is it up? A few reasons:

  • Regular banks teetering made people see why crypto, like BTC, matters.
  • The Feds printed $300B to help banks that were struggling after SVB fell. Balance sheet increases are good for risk assets like crypto.
  • It’s the safe haven within the crypto space. The government’s going after every crypto firm. Plus, Bitcoin is the only asset that the SEC doesn’t think is a security.
  • Tether minted $5B worth of its USDT stablecoin in mid-March. Major Tether issuances have been linked to Bitcoin gains.

And the cryptocurrency’s broader network also has had a "capital-m" Moment this year. Ordinals gave NFTs the best crossover from Ethereum to the Bitcoin blockchain since Jay-Z/Linkin Park’s collab.

It’s the first time Bitcoin’s network has been used for something other than purely monetary purposes. Ordinals even have their own OpenSea-like marketplace now, thanks to Magic Eden.

And miners are getting back in the game after a sh*t year in 2022. Mining machines did not go brrr last year…

loading 1640810217347731482

Looks like nature is healing.

But we wanna know - how are YOU feeling after crypto's Q1 performance?

A) Extreme fear - “Help mommy, I’m scared!”

B) Fear - I’m sleeping with the nightlight on during times like these

C) Neutral - call me Switzerland

D) Greed - I ain't scared! I'm still holding & buying more crypto

E) Extreme greed - Fear isn’t in my vocab. I feast while others diet.

Reply to this email with your response and we'll pick 2 random Roaders to win $100.

FIND THE BEST CRYPTO PRICES WITH COW SWAP

Feeling lost in the crypto maze trying to buy tokens at the best prices?

Well, we found a GPS.

CoW Swap is a decentralized exchange that lets you swap tokens on Ethereum & Gnosis at the best rates.

Here’s how it works:

  • CoW Swap aggregates all the prices on DEXs for you. It scans all the prices to find the best bang for your buck.
  • It finds on-the-fly peer-to-peer trade opportunities. This “Coincidence of Wants” cuts out the middleman, so you get an even better price.
  • Protects your trades from bad actors. CoW shields you from other traders extracting MEV to make sure you’re always safe.

Ready for lower prices, eth-less trading, and a safe way to execute multiple trades at once?

FUNDING FRIDAY💰

It’s Funding Friday - this week, $230M+ was raised by crypto companies. Here’s who secured the bag:

Ledger got $108M to build hardware wallets. Not the heroes we deserve, but the heroes we need.

Fetch.ai got $40M to develop infrastructure for smart, autonomous services. It lets developers build, deploy, and connect smart agents to automate web3 systems.

SO-COL got $1.5M to create a web3 social platform powered by StarkWare. And we ain't talkin' about Tony Stark...

Cega got $5M to build the next evolution in Defi derivatives. It helps investors find safer yields in volatile market conditions.

Check out the full database of companies that have raised money this year, right here.

MILKY MEME 🤣

That's a wrap for today. Meet us on Twitter to talk all about it. It’s kinda like a family BBQ but better - no screaming kids, awkward photos, or drunk uncles telling weird stories (@MilkRoadDaily)

HIT THE INBOX OF 250K+ CRYPTO INVESTORS

Advertise with the Milk Road to get your brand in front of the Who's Who of crypto. The Roadies are high-income crypto investors who are always looking for their next interesting product or tool. Get in touch today

ROADIE REVIEW OF THE DAY

VITALIK PIC OF THE DAY

loading 1641785780820488195

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.

Get smarter about crypto

Join 250,000+ subscribers and get our 5 min daily newsletter on what matters in crypto.

Contributors

  • Avatar of Milk Man

    Milk ManWriter

    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.