🥛 VICTORY: Bored Apes wins lawsuit 🐵

  • April 24, 2023
  • 4 Min Read

GM. This is Milk Road, the John Wick of crypto newsletters. Each sequel issue is better than the last.

Happy Monday, y'all. Let's hit it:

  • Bored Apes creator wins lawsuit 🐵
  • Visual of the Day: Lido’s $12B stETH 📈
  • Gemini’s new exchange is outside the U.S. ⛔
  • An auction for Celsius is set for Tuesday 🍪

Today's edition is brought to you by Arch, the lending platform that lets you instantly borrow cash against your crypto holdings.

YUGA WON ITS LAWSUIT AGAINST KNOCKOFF BAYCS 🐵

It happened, folks.

After ~1 year, Yuga Labs - AKA the firm behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs - just bagged a major legal win.

Alexa, play that song that goes, All I do is win win win no matter what 🎵

The losers? A couple of copycats (Ryder Ripps & Jeremy Cahen)

Yuga sued them for their knockoff BYAC last summer. Their NFTs were literally just straight copies of the OG BAYC profile pics (the duo made ~$1.6M in sales.)

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They’re the guys from high school that didn’t tweak their work enough when they copied off you.

So what was their argument? They said BAYCs actually had hidden racist symbols. So their NFTs were a parody to critique the originals & were protected by freedom of speech.

A federal judge called bullshit on that though. So much so that they didn’t need to go to trial to come to a decision (there will still be one to decide damages.)

Here are the🥛Milknotes🥛 on the legal victory:

  • A court ruled Yuga Labs owns the BAYC trademarks. So Ripps/Cahen used them without permission to “cause confusion” & turn a profit.
  • It also shot down their First Amendment protection claims. Their copycats didn’t make any statement about the OGs' supposed racism.
  • Ripps/Cahen have to pay damages. We don’t know how much yet.
  • Yuga Labs lost on 1 count: how much those damages should be. It wanted $200K - the judge said swerve.

So why does this matter? Because now we have a major legal precedent for when people create/sell knockoffs of an NFT project. Woo!

Nothin’ we like more around here than a step toward regulatory clarity.

Experts agreed that this was a huge deal:

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Yuga’s buying that good wine at dinner tonight.

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VISUAL OF THE DAY: LIDO’S STETH MARKET CAP HITS $12B 📈

Total value locked on liquid staking platforms rose by ~10% in the last week. The market now has a cumulative $17.06B TVL.

And Lido’s leading the pack. Lido’s staked Ethereum token (stETH) is now the 8th largest digital asset by market cap.

It hit an all-time-high of over $12B last week. That put it ahead of Solana, Polygon, & Dogecoin.

So what? Well, listen, we don’t like to brag.

But we wrote a few weeks ago how Ethereum’s Shapella upgrade on April 12 would:

1) Make liquid staking protocols super popular and

2) Lead to an increase in staking, not a decrease

And that’s exactly what’s happening.

Liquid staking is when you stake your ETH without locking it up. Instead, you get a token you can use elsewhere (like stETH.) More places to deploy ETH = more places to earn yield

It’s been just 12 days since Shapella started letting ETH stakers withdraw. And it looks like they’re already re-staking via liquid staking big-time.

More like “The Great Re-Staking,” amiright?

GEMINI’S OPENING AN EXCHANGE OUTSIDE THE U.S. ⛔

Gemini (crypto exchange run by the Winklevoss twins) is launching a perpetuals futures exchange.

It’ll let users in Hong Kong & El Salvador (among other markets) bet on what a crypto asset like BTC’s future price is indefinitely.

One market that can’t access the new exchange? The U.S.

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Why? U.S. regulations are too confusing. But despite the lack of rules, the gov’t is still fining/suing/shutting crypto down.

Gemini’s had a good taste of this: it was fined over offering unregistered securities in 2022. But the SEC still hasn’t clearly defined which crypto assets are securities.

So crypto players are going overseas. And Gemini’s just the latest one to say Screw this and focus on foreign markets:

Bye Felicia is lookin’ to be crypto’s motto of 2023.

MILK & COOKIES 🍪

An auction for bankrupt lender Celsius is slated for Tuesday. Three entities are trying to buy it: NovaWulf, Fahrenheit, & Blockchain Recovery Investment Committee.

FTX’s legal team filed a court order to allow SBF’s parents’ phones to take a photo of the user every five minutes. That was part of new bail conditions.

The Chinese city of Changshu is trying to pay civil servants & public workers with digital yuan in May. The city’s been using it to make overtime payments to employees since June 2022.

Fantom dev Andrew Cronje hinted that he might be working on a crypto-friendly bank. He said on Twitter it might be available to the public sometime this year.

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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    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.