🥛What really backs Tether? 🤔

  • May 12, 2023
  • 3 Min Read

GM. This is Milk Road. We’re like sunshine on a cloudy day - ready to brighten up your mood.

Here’s what we got for you today:

  • Tether says $2.44B backs USDT 🔎
  • The little crypto kingdom 🏯
  • The YouTuber scamming scammers 🕵️
  • Funding Friday 💰
  • The IRS wants $44B from FTX 🍪

Today’s edition is brought to you by Freeport, who is making investing in fine art easier and more affordable than ever. Their iconic Warhol collection just went live and features Marilyn Monroe! 🖼️

A PEEK UNDER THE HOOD AT TETHER 🔎

These are two of the world’s greatest mysteries:

1/ What happens to socks in the washing machine?

2/ What’s in Tether’s reserves and what’s backing USDT? 

Well, we just got the answer to one of them… Tether, the issuer of the USDT stablecoin, just dropped an overview of its Q1 financials this week. 

Here’s everything you need to know:

  • It reported an all-time high in reserves: $2.44B.
  • Tether’s Q1 net profit was $1.5B. For comparison, Blackrock’s for Q1 was $1.16B.
  • 85% of reserves are held in cash/cash equivalents, like gold.
  • 1.8% is in BTC ($1.5B.) This is the first time Tether’s made its BTC/gold reserves public.
  • The majority ($53B) is held in U.S. Treasury Bills.

Here’s what the rest of the reserves breakdown looks like:

So what? Tether is winning the stablecoin wars. Circle’s USDC depegged from the U.S. dollar, & Paxos stopped issuing Binance’s BUSD.

And not to rain on its parade but…this is just an “attestation.”

It wasn’t a full audit based on complete access to Tether’s books. It’s a third-party snapshot of its financials at one point in time (i.e. March 31.)

So take it with a grain of salt. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It’s good to know though that Tether is making BANK from interest on those treasuries. The rate right now for 3-month bills is 5.23%, for example.

And since Tether holders aren’t, all that interest goes straight into the company’s pockets.

At least someone’s benefitting from these crazy high (and rising) interest rates…

Move over pixelated monkeys, real fine art collecting has arrived on Ethereum.

Our partner Freeport is here to bring you a next-gen approach to diving into this previously exclusive asset class. Millions of dollars not required.

Freeport gives you access to tokenized blue chip art investments, starting with a collection of iconic Warhols that includes the hot pink Marilyn Monroe. Just select the artwork you like, choose a number of shares (tokens), and invest with as little as $200!

Why fine art? 

  • Historical performance: The Artprice100© has outperformed the average return of the S&P 500 by 40% since 2000
  • Diversification: Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket - especially in uncertain times
  • Fun: Invest in pieces of cultural history that you get to view in your virtual gallery - show your friends, trade pieces and be social

Note that there are only 1000 editions available for each piece.

Invest in major artworks at fractional prices and start your collection today!

*The Milk Man is not a financial advisor, and we do not provide financial advice. Visit Freeport to view the offering circular

BITCOIN MINING IN BHUTAN 🏯

Everyone and their momma has been trying to get in on the Bitcoin mining action…Countries. State governments. Companies. Average Joe’s. 

Well, turns out even a kingdom in the Himalayas has secretly been mining Bitcoin. That’s right, a mfing Kingdom.

It’s called Bhutan.  It’s a little kingdom that is home to 800K people and located in the mountains of South Asia.

And check it out:

  • Bhutan is known for its hydroelectricity - a form of renewable energy that uses water to generate electricity (shoutout Ms. Green for teaching me that in the 3rd grade)
  • Hydroelectricity accounts for ~30% of the entire kingdom's GDP and is used to power most of the homes 
  • Bhutan has secretly been harnessing some of this electricity to mine BTC. Renewable energy 🤝 crypto mining

The craziest part? Bhutan’s been mining for YEARS. 

It’s unclear when exactly the Kingdom started mining, but government officials confirmed they started mining when BTC was priced at ~$5K. (Btw, the last time that happened was in 2019.)

Pretty cool story - a kingdom, bitcoin mining, and views like this every day…Where do I sign up?

MEET THE GUY THAT’S SCAMMING SCAMMERS 🕵️

A YouTuber named Kitboga that exposes thieves teamed up with Kraken to get back at scammers on the crypto exchange.

Yep, that’s right folks - crypto has its very own Batman. Except instead of throwing villains in jail, he just irritates them.

This week, he tricked a scammer who said they were… President Joe Biden. 

If you’re gonna watch one thing today, it should be this. Trust us. You can check it out:

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FUNDING FRIDAY 💰

It’s Funding Friday! And this week, over $75M was invested into Web3 companies. Here’s who got the money:

Blockworks got $12M to continue to deliver crypto news to readers and build out their research team. Congrats to the team at Blockworks!

Pudgy Penguins got $9M to continue to build out an NFT ecosystem.  Happy Feet --> NFTs

Aether Games got $4.5M to build metaverse games.

Artizen got $2.2M to shake up the digital collectibles sector with cultural Artifacts, which are open-ended.

Webb Protocol got $7M to build towards the future of privacy and connect dapps that utilize zero-knowledge technology.

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

MILK & COOKIES 🍪

The IRS wants $44B from FTX. The claims take legal precedence over creditors’ claims. Womp womp

South Korean authorities froze $176M of Do Kwon’s personal assets. Officials prohibited the sale of them, too. Ouch

Coinbase apologized after labeling the Pepe meme, which inspired the Pepe memecoin, a “hate symbol.” Some alt-right groups co-opted it ~2016.

MetaMask is rolling out ETH purchases for PayPal users in the U.S. We love the M-word around here - mass adoption

MILKY MEMES 🤣

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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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    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.