All-In-One Crypto Newsletter: Milkroad, Defiant, Messari, Bankless And CoinDesk

Welcome to The Wise Guy,

Where we take cryptocurrency seriously, but we also know how to have a good time.

That’s why we’ve curated the crème de la crème from not one, not two, but FIVE newsletters.

MilkRoad, Defiant, Messari, Bankless, and CoinDesk Node.

Defiant’s Top Story

Big news on the block: BlackRock has stepped into the Ethereum scene, filing for a spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) that’ll focus on Ether. This one’s going to be backed by actual cryptocurrency, not just futures, and it’s slated to trade on the NASDAQ with Coinbase watching over its custody.

And while we’re on the topic of ETFs, have a look at our latest explainer. We break down the hype around Bitcoin ETFs and why getting the green light for these could be a game-changer for web3.

In other corners of crypto, changes are afoot. Aave Companies has decided it’s time for a fresh coat of paint and a new name: Avara. Following the acquisition of the crypto wallet Family, they’re looking to encapsulate the breadth of protocols and services under their brand.

Rocket Pool’s rETH token is now the heavyweight champ in the ring of liquid staking tokens—trading volumes for rETH have surged, leaving Lido’s stETH in the dust by a whopping 400%.

The Ethereum Name Service isn’t too pleased with Unstoppable Domains. They’ve called them out for locking down a patent on their blockchain domain system. The ENS founder is pushing for Unstoppable to play nice and share their tech with the world, pointing out that they’re profiting from concepts that ENS originally developed.

And here’s one for the community: Smoothly Protocol has set up a new Gitcoin domain to rake in donations. They’re planning to back solo and independent stakers, dishing out the funds every few weeks.

Messari’s Desk

Before we dive into Turkey Day, let’s gobble up the latest from Congress, where the buzz was all about crypto before their break. The crew held two big hearings and sent out a volley of letters with a clear crypto angle.

This Week’s Spicy Tidbits:

The Digital Assets Subcommittee turned over every virtual stone in their hearing about digital assets in the realm of illicit finance. They’re eyeing ways to beef up blockchain sleuthing for the law, synchronizing global regulation, and cracking down on mixers and shady off-chain transactions.

Over at the House Financial Services Committee, the grill was hot for banking regulators. The sizzle? Stablecoins, custody issues, CBDCs (that’s Central Bank Digital Currencies for those out of the loop), and Fed oversight.

Both sides of the aisle got busy, penning letters on everything from crypto in crime to the SEC’s stance on accounting for digital assets and the IRS trying to figure out who’s a digital asset broker.

The Nitty-Gritty from the Digital Asset Subcommittee Hearing:

GOP members were laser-focused on how much bad stuff is happening with crypto and the way forward for law enforcement to snuff out these digital age crimes.

Democratic attendees, led by Reps. Stephen Lynch, Brad Sherman, Bill Foster, and Sean Casten, weren’t swallowing the line that crypto crimes are just small fries or that all transactions are out there for the world to see on a public ledger.
Everyone’s scratching their heads over the sketchy dealings happening overseas and the creeping fear that mixers (those digital cloaks for crypto transactions) are less about privacy and more about mischief.

Proposals on the Floor:

More bucks for the fuzz to get savvier with blockchain analytics. Rep. Gottheimer’s amendment in the House Appropriations bill might just make it through in another package.

Calling all international allies to join forces, get some rules common to everyone, and play nice like we do with traditional finance.

Clearer rules for digital assets to ensure they’re not partying outside the law’s gaze, and yes, that goes for stablecoins too.

Mixers are under the spotlight with both Dems and Reps wary of their use. A bipartisan amendment seeks to study these to figure out if they’re more friend or foe.

Banking Regulators Under the House’s Microscope:

The Senate Banking Committee kept mum on crypto, but not the House. They had their hands full with bank capital rules and some FDIC shenanigans, but still found time for crypto chat.

Comptroller Hsu and Fed Vice Chair Barr got quizzed on stablecoins and bank custody by Rep. Hill. Their chat touched on the SEC’s new rules that might shake up the banking world.

CBDC was on the table too, with Fed folks sharing their research phase progress and hinting that a thumbs up from Congress would be the go-ahead they’d need.
The Federal Reserve’s new guidelines that put banks in a tight spot when dabbling in stablecoins and crypto activities? Not everybody’s sold on it, and some Members are pushing for answers.

Fast Forward:

Thanksgiving means Congress is out, but you can bet they’ll be back in the crypto kitchen soon enough.

Other Quick Bits to Chew On:

Rep. Tom Emmer and others are curious about Hamas’s fundraising in digital assets and what’s being done to ice that.

The Blockchain Association wants to clear the air about crypto and crime, and they’re gearing up to guide lawmakers.

Coin Center is stirring the pot, questioning if the Bank Secrecy Act steps over constitutional lines. The IRS just wrapped up the comment period for its digital asset broker rule. The industry had a lot to say, and a bipartisan letter is pushing for tighter rules.

Oh, and the IRS held a hearing where changes to the crypto tax proposal were up for debate.

CBDCs are getting a spotlight from the Human Rights Foundation with a new tracker following their global journey.

2024’s on the horizon, and Vivek’s laying down a crypto policy framework that’s all about freedom to code, self-custody, and clear regs.

Bankless’ Desk

A fresh crypto bull market seems to be knocking at the door, and the buzz is getting louder by the minute! If you’re peering into your digital asset treasure chest and wondering what gems to hold, sell, or stack more of, trust me, you’re not alone.

With institutional ETFs giving Bitcoin and Ethereum a nice pat on the back, there’s notable traction there. But wait, there’s more on the horizon. Savvy investors are casting their nets wider, snagging hot altcoins from ecosystems like Solana and Celestia that are flexing their gains.

But here’s a hot tip—keep an eye on Polygon. This blockchain has pulled up its socks in 2023 and is now strutting around as a top-notch tech hub.

Let’s talk zkEVMs—Ethereum’s new BFFs for scalability. Polygon switched on the mainnet beta for its own zkEVM earlier this year, making it a trailblazer in this cutting-edge space.

Polygon’s rockstar biz dev team has been snagging wins left and right. Case in point: the Web3 gaming titan Immutable is rolling out its very own Immutable zkEVM on Polygon’s tech.

Things got really hot in June 2023, when Polygon dropped the bombshell of Polygon 2.0—think of it as the Avengers of zk-powered Layer 2 rollups where every superhero chain is linked, but it still feels like you’re mingling in one epic chain gala.

And oh boy, they didn’t stop there. The creators of Polygon set their sights on transitioning the OG Polygon PoS chain to a Validium model. This isn’t just a little tweak; we’re talking a whole separate chain with dirt-cheap, speedy transactions that’ll knock your socks off!

The master plan? Roll out a tandem of Polygon zkEVM and Validium to lay down the red carpet for a supercharged network of L2s, serving up a buffet of low fees and high-speed transactions that could beckon the masses to Ethereum’s door.

To gear up for this super network escapade, July brought us the “$MATIC metamorphosis” announcement—a tokenomics overhaul transitioning to a new $POL token, sharpening Polygon for the journey ahead and fueling its ecosystem’s expansion.

Developers, rejoice! Polygon’s also hitting the headlines with spanking new developer tools to dive into the zk-tech wave it’s surfing. Climbing another rung on the innovation ladder, they unleashed the Polygon Chain Development Kit (CDK) in August, equipping creators with all they need to whip up their very own ZK-powered L2s, complete with airtight security and a unified liquidity pool, courtesy of Polygon.

We’re seeing a parade of projects—from Aavegotchi to Gnosis Pay—jumping on the CDK bandwagon, and even crypto heavyweight exchanges like Kraken and OKX are giving Polygon’s shiny toolkit the thumbs up.

Add to this combo Polygon’s ongoing streak of developing next-gen advancements, like zkWasm chains, and you’ve got a recipe for a crypto powerhouse that’s not just growing—it’s revolutionizing the crypto-building game.

So, what’s this all mean for $MATIC’s wallet-warming potential? That’s a story still being written, but one thing’s for sure—the narrative framing this early bull market is standing on the broad shoulders of everything Polygon is amping up to achieve. Can’t wait to see what they’ll unveil next on their menu. 🍽️

MilkRoad SBF

Let’s dive into our top 5 tools that we simply can’t do without:

DefiLlama – It’s like the Swiss Army knife for DeFi data junkies. Keep tabs on everything from total value locked (TVL) across various blockchains to juicy details on liquid staking and upcoming token unlocks.

WalletGuard – This is your crypto wallet’s personal bodyguard. It keeps an eye on your wallet’s “health,” making sure you’re not making unintentional buddies with any sketchy websites.

Etherscan – Consider this the go-to library for everything happening on the Ethereum blockchain. Real-time transactions, past movements, and wallet balance check-ups—it’s got it all.

Dune Analytics – Got a craving for hardcore blockchain analytics? Dune’s your playground! Dig deep into the data of not just Ethereum and Bitcoin, but also Polygon, Solana, and yes, even NFTs.

DEXTools – This one’s basically the Waze for token tracking. No matter how fresh off the press a token is, you’ll find it here, along with all the must-know info and those snazzy charts to match.

About That Rally…

Every time I refresh the price pages, it’s like someone’s playing pump-up-the-volume with the coins:

SOL has shot up by 500% this year.

RUNE is reveling in a 285% increase over the last 30 days.

TIA is basking in a 132% upswing over the past week.

And then there’s me, sitting pretty with a big ol’ 0% exposure to them. Time for a mouthwash with engine oil, eh? If you’re feeling the FOMO blues because you missed out, let me toss you this life raft…

What you’re seeing is the anatomy of legit rallies—like the first half of 2021, when altcoins soared from $100B to a staggering $900B. Yeah, there was a pullback, but then the market went bonkers again, jumping from $450B to $1.1T by year-end.

Now, compared to that, our recent “rally” looks like peanuts with the altcoin market cap nudging up from $300B to just $420B.

The moral of the story? We’ve barely left the starting blocks. The real crypto marathon lies ahead.

So, keep your cool, don’t chase after every coin that rockets past, and remember to stash some liquidity for when the real party starts.

The $400K “ETHBOY” Extravaganza

Let me introduce you to “EthBoy”…

Imagine a Picasso surface with a dash of crypto-culture and you’ll get this generative art piece of Vitalik Buterin decked out in a harlequin suit. It’s living art, evolving each day with Ethereum’s highs and lows.

The trio behind it—Trevor Jones, DJ Don Diablo, and, my personal favorite nickname wielder, Alotta Money—watched as “EthBoy” fetched a cool 200 ETH (roundabout $400K) at auction yesterday.

And who’s the proud new owner? None other than 1Confirmation, the crypto VC firm with quite the eye for digital art (yep, the same folks who snagged a CryptoPunk for $3.3 million).

“EthBoy” is less Leonardo da Vinci, more Silicon Valley, but certainly museum-worthy. The Louvre might just need to make room next to Mona Lisa for a bit of blockchain-inspired beauty.

CoinDesk’s Best Story

Wormhole’s Independence Moves

In a stunning strategic maneuver, the Wormhole team, including top brass like the CEO and COO, have branched out from Jump Trading to give the ambitious blockchain bridge its own space. Remember when Jump Trading swooped in with a hefty $320 million lifeline after that eye-watering hack? Well, it looks like Wormhole’s grown wings since then. Earlier, Jump let slip its intention to step back from the wild ride of crypto markets, and now, it seems Wormhole’s ready to navigate the galaxies on its own.

Singapore’s Crypto Skepticism and Digital Asset Embrace

Over at the Singapore Fintech Festival, Ravi Menon from the Monetary Authority of Singapore was vocal about crypto’s stumble in reinventing money. However, he sketched an intriguing future starring stablecoins and CBDCs as pillars of our financial systems. While Singapore’s been hailed as a crypto wonderland in Asia, Menon and his regulatory spacewalkers are steering the narrative towards becoming a hub for digital assets, banking on more than just crypto to fuel their ambition.

Oh, and if you’re tracking Bitcoin’s trajectory, it’s enjoying a stellar orbit with over a 100% gain this year.

Strike’s Global Bitcoin Ambitions

Picture this: a service that could rocket your Bitcoin purchases into a global orbit. Enter Strike, a Bitcoin firm that’s expanding its launchpad to a constellation of 36 nations with plans to touchdown in over 65. 

And they’re just warming up the engines, according to founder Jack Mallers, who shared this expansion news alongside a feature update that’s been on Bitcoiners’ wishlists for eons.

However, astronauts beyond the US borders will notice a 3.9% fee on their Bitcoin procurement—a modest levy compared to other service providers, and one that Strike hopes to reduce as the mission progresses.

They’re also joining forces with Bitrefill, a company furnishing payments on the speed-of-light Lightning Network. It’s a partnership that may well be the next giant leap for Bitcoin-kind.

Closing the Airlock

With key players charting trajectories for independence, trading platforms offering cosmic opportunities, Singapore drawing lines in the financial stardust, and Strike’s global scheme setting course, it’s clear the crypto universe is expanding in exciting ways.

Twice weekly crypto goodness, coming your way! Catch us every Monday, Tuesday and Friday.  And hey, don’t forget to check us out on Wednesdays for all the latest AI news – because why limit yourself to just one kind of intelligence?

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