🥛 The SEC sues an OG crypto player ⚔️

  • April 18, 2023
  • 4 Min Read

GM. This is Milk Road. We’re like the movie your high school teacher put on in class when they were too hungover to teach - fun, informative, & we don’t make you work that hard to learn.

Here’s what we’re serving up today:

  • The SEC sues OG crypto firm, Bittrex 👊
  • Numbers of the Day: Fear & Greed hit 517-day high Monday 🔢
  • Congressman Goes After Gary G. 🍪

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THE SEC IS SUING BITTREX 👊

The SEC is coming after another crypto exchange

This time, it’s suing Bittrex for illegally offering securities without registering with the SEC.

Here’s everything you need to know:

  • The agency specifically alleged Bittrex was illegally running a national securities exchange, clearing agency, & broker
  • The SEC is suing Bittrex, its global parent company, & co-founder Bill Shihara
  • Bittrex said it’ll go to court unless the agency offers a nice settlement option

Why this matters:

1/ Bittrex is no rookie - it’s an OG exchange founded in 2014

Bittrex was once the largest U.S exchange and 3rd largest exchange in the world. 

Its headaches started back in 2017, when the SEC started investigating. It eventually got fined ~$30M for anti-money laundering/sanctions laws violations. Sound familiar?

Bittrex considered registering with the SEC in late 2022, but decided it couldn’t comply and still turn a profit.

And earlier this year, Bittrex announced it was leaving the U.S. because of all the regulatory confusion.

That didn’t stop the SEC shortly before that though from sending a Wells Notice (heads-up that enforcement was incoming…)

You know the SEC aint playin’ when you say you’re closing down and they still come after you.

2/ The SEC called 6 tokens that Bittrex traded illegally securities

That includes the Algorand Foundation’s native token, ALGO… which our boy Gary G. promoted in the past. )

Crypto exchanges probably look something like this right now tryna delist them:

Giphy

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NUMBERS OF THE DAY 🔢

69 - Yesterday's Fear/Greed Index score

On a scale of 0-100, the fear & greed index measures emotion and investor sentiment in the crypto market.

It just hit its highest level yesterday in over 500 days. That’s like 10 years in “crypto time”.

What’s causing this?

1/ Bitcoin has almost doubled in price in the last 6 months. (from $15,600 → ~$30,000)

2/ While macro remains uncertain, crypto investors are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Why does this matter? The last time this index was at this level, Bitcoin was trading around $55,000. Being at the same greed level at a much lower price is something to keep an eye on. 

Bitcoin’s price has also been correlated to its greed level over time, so it's an important metric to watch.

Greed is also seen by some (including Warren Buffet) as an inverse indicator of performance. 

“Be greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy We are SO back”

8% - The price decline of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs over 2 days

That’s almost $100M trimmed off the market cap of the collection.

While volume traded remains strong, the average price chart has returned to levels not seen since the end of 2021.

Why is it dropping? It’s the story of an overleveraged top holder and Bend DAO.

First off, Bend DAO is a lending platform using NFTs as collateral. It allows collectors and traders to earn an additional return while holding onto their beloved jpegs.

So what happened?

1/ A major holder sold 27 Bored Apes for ~$3M, causing panic around the community and causing the floor price to drop by 8%.

2/ As the floor price dropped, 1,000+ Apes pledged as loan collateral began to lose value. This made additional holders overleveraged, pushing 3 Apes into liquidation and adding ~100 more to the “Health Factor Alert List”.

The worries of the Bend DAO situation, Blur’s wash trading troubles and high flying ETH prices have caused FUD around the NFT powerhouse. When it rains, it pours. 

So what? The Bored Apes ecosystem is overleveraged, which can lead to large and less predictable price swings. This also highlights the risk of an NFT collection (or any asset) being too concentrated among top holders. 

Imagine only one seller being able to drop the value of a stock by 8%...

$7M - What Do Kwon paid a law firm before Terraform collapsed

Remember May 2022? When his company’s TerraUSD/Luna stablecoins spiraled and wiped out $60B of the crypto industry? Good times…

Well, apparently Kwon had a spidey sense and sent a South Korean law firm millions right before it happened. 

South Korean prosecutors hit Bloomberg with a you’re not wrong - it said the report “isn’t false.” 👀

$45K - What Bitcoin could reach by next month

Yep, that’s right - April showers bring May flowers Bitcoin highs. Bitcoin dipped considerably in 2022, but has surged 80% so far this year. 

That pattern is similar to what we saw in the 2018-2019 bear market. BTC more than tripled in valuation in early to mid-2019.

So if we’re using that as a model, BTC could peak at $45K in mid-May. 

That’s a lot better than the previous estimate of BTC hitting that point by Christmas…

MILK & COOKIES 🍪

[Sponsored] On the 20th of April, Metronome will be launching their new tool, Smart Farming, to streamline a user's farming experience. Find out more here and take your DeFi game to the next level. 

A congressman is trying to push Gensler out of the SEC. Citing “crypto overreach,” Warren Davidson said he’s intro-ing a proposed bill to push Gensler out as SEC chairman and replace him with a director. Attention grab or promising news for crypto bros? 🤔

Adidas launches phase 1 of its “ALTS” PFP collection. A dynamic collection that offers engagement-based rarity and a multi-stage reveal.

Sui announces no airdrop and launches a public sale. Saving our Twitter timelines from one of the many airdrop farming checklists.

Manifold expands its burn to mint offering with “Multiburn.” Adding the ability to require NFTs to be burnt from several collections before minting.

MILKY MEMES 🤣

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)

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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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