🥛 T-13 days: Ethereum's big upgrade

  • March 30, 2023
  • 5 Min Read

GM. This is Milk Road, your Web3 multivitamin. Get your daily dose of crypto, NFTs, blockchain news, AND jokes in one 3-minute horse pill.

Here's what we're serving up for you today:

  • Shanghai upgrade is coming on April 12 ⏱️
  • TBT: Bitcoin's first big rally 💪
  • Trademark Thursday 📂
  • SBF’s using his dad’s gift for legal fees 🍪

Today's edition is brought to you by Awaken, the perfect place to file your crypto taxes.

SHANGHAI UPGRADE SET FOR APRIL 12 ⏱️

It’s official. Ethereum developers announced a date for the Shanghai upgrade: April 12th. That’s right ladies & gents, we’re t-13 days away from The Great Unstaking.

So what? People will finally be able to unstake their ETH for the first time since December 2020.

Some people think it will lead to a huge sell-off, others think it’ll be just another day that ends in y.

So how big of a deal is it, really? Well to help answer it, we sent the Milk Man on a mission to find everything he could about the upcoming upgrade.

100 hours later, he created this guide - it has EVERYTHING you need to know about the Shanghai upgrade. 

The biggest takeaway? Only ~15% of all ETH is currently staked. Check it out.

The blue segment below represents staked ETH deposits that will be unlocked on April 12 (~14%). The yellow sliver represents staked rewards (~1%). 

Milk Road Take: We rank this a solid 3 on the Milk-Road-Worry-Meter. It's our view that there is a:

  • lower probability that the staked deposits (blue part) will be sold and a
  • higher possibility that the staked rewards (yellow sliver) will be sold

Check out the rest of the Guide to the Shanghai Upgrade here to make sure you're ready for game day!

Trust us, you'll be the smartest person on the elevator today after reading it.

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CYPRUS 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY 💪

It’s that time of the week… Throwback Thursday. The day we reminisce on the simple times, when our biggest worry was staying on our friends' Top 8 on Myspace.

Today’s TBT: The Cyprus Banking Crisis and Bitcoin's Big Rally. Gather ‘round kids, this one’s a doozy. Here’s the story in 3 parts:

PART 1: THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM. First, let me set the scene for you:

*old man voice*:... The year was 2013, on a small Mediterranean island called Cyprus…

At the time, the island was known for one thing: lax taxes. This made Cyprus a tax haven for rich (and sketchy) people, which raked in billions of dollars in bank deposits.

As a result, the banks on this tiny island got HUGE. They held 8x as many assets as the entire country's GDP. The banks became like that short guy at the gym that bench presses 300 lbs - tiny but mighty.

But there was a massive storm brewing in Cyprus:

  • The economy was in a recession and still recovering from the '08 financial crisis.
  • Big banks lost A LOT of money. They lent billions to Greece (whose economy was also nosediving), and then tried placing a double-or-nothing bet by buying up Greek government bonds in hopes of a bailout. They took an L & lost everything.

Suddenly Cyprus banks were in a lot of trouble. And because they controlled (and lost) more money than the entire country’s GDP, they went from too big to fail → too big to save.

PART 2: THE SH*TSTORM

Pop quiz: What do you do when you’re broke and owe a lot of money? Call your rich uncle.

Which is exactly what Cyprus did. They called up their rich uncle (AKA the European Union) and asked for a $17B bailout.

But here’s the thing: sometimes your rich uncle wants to teach you a lesson. And the European Union wasn’t super happy about the price tag.

So they made a deal… The EU would give $10B, but Cyprus would have to come up with the rest on its own.

How? By taking money from its own depositors. 

In March 2013, Cyprus announced its two biggest banks would shut down and all deposits over $100K would be seized, with a large portion being used for the bailout. 

It sent shockwaves throughout the island. But wait, it gets crazier…

In order to stop a bank run, the Cyprus government declared a national bank holiday and closed all the banks so people couldn’t withdraw any money. (Note to self: if we ever want a new holiday, just threaten a massive bank run.)

Then when the banks opened back up, the Cyprus government placed restrictions on how much money people could withdraw (sometimes as low as $128 per day).

It was a living nightmare for the Cypriots that included longer lines than a new iPhone release…

Source: CEPR

But this was also a wake-up call for a lot of people. They could no longer fully trust the governments and big banks. They needed to find an alternative…

PART 3: THE RISE OF BITCOIN

Today, Bitcoin is the king of crypto. Companies own it. Hedge funds own it. Countries own it. Even my mom owns it.

In 2013, Bitcoin was still just “magic internet money”. It was mainly super nerds and sketchy drug dealers that owned it.

Until….the Cypriots got in on the action. With banks collapsing and people losing trust in the system, people looked to Bitcoin as an alternative asset for the first time ever.

BTC Weekly Chart (Trading View)

BTC jumped 600% and was followed by the famous Bullrun of 2013 and BTC ended the year at ~$750. 

THE LESSONS: 10 years later there are still some big takeaways from the Cyprus Baking Seizures:

  • Banks can always collapse. 10 years ago it was Cyprus Banks. Today it's SVB, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank.
  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket. We've seen time after time that trusting a single bank with all your money is a bad idea. Don't do it. You gotta spread your bread around.
  • Diversify your assets. Put some money in gold, Bitcoin, Pokemon cards, whatever you want - just make sure to always have a backup plan in case sh*t hits the fan.

TRADEMARK THURSDAY 📂

The biggest brands have all been diving into the Web3 swimming pool recently.

Some cannonball right in. Others like to make a bigger splash off the diving board.

This is kinda like filing a trademark - it gives everyone a heads up that a big splash is coming soon.

We rounded up all the companies making moves in the space. Here’s who’s diving in:

  • Aeropostale filed a trademark for NFT-authenticated media, virtual clothing/footwear, bags, and sports gear. No word yet on if low-rise jeans are included…
  • Wrigley filed to trademark NFTs, virtual & physical candy, and crypto-collectible sharing software. It wants to name its ecosystem “Juicyverse,” and honestly… we’re here for it
  • Wynn Resorts filed 6 trademarks with plans involving an NFT marketplace, virtual casinos/hotels, virtual stores, and more
  • Cartier filed trademarks for NFT-backed items like digital watches, jewelry, and more
  • Major Cricket League filed trademarks for NFT-tied fanny packs, backpacks, and more

🥛 MILK & COOKIES 🍪

SBF is paying his legal fees with the millions of dollars he gifted his dad in 2021, per Forbes. The monetary gift was funded by a loan from Alameda, where FTX customer deposits were allegedly being illegally funneled to.

Traders have pulled $2.1B out of Binance in the last seven days. That’s above normal amounts, but still lower than the outflows we’ve seen after previous regulatory threats against the company.

Kraken just struck a deal with Formula 1 for the crypto exchange’s branding to appear on racing cars for the rest of the 2023 season. Comeback SZN for crypto sponsorships?

3AC founders Kyle Davis and Su Zhu could be found in contempt if they don’t respond to a court summoning in the British Virgin Islands. They’re required to provide liquidators with documents related to the bankruptcy by April 14. Tick tock, y’all…

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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    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.