Tuesday 28th February

BITCOIN

bitcoin_logo_small-150x150

1 Bitcoin = $1,193

 

Bitcoin All-Time High

On Feb. 24, the Bitcoin price reached its new all-time high global average price at $1,220. – Joseph Young

 

Bitcoin vs The World’s Best Hedge Funds

If you’d invested 1 BTC in the worlds best performing hedge funds a year ago today, you would have less than 1 BTC today. – JonnyBitcoin

 

Owning Bitcoin

Owning Bitcoin is like having real time compensation for Banking fraud and government ineptness. – renegadeinvestoruk

 

Bitcoin Price Doubling Time = 166 days

Start date: 17/07/2010

Sart date price: $0.05

Today’s price: $1,193

Doubling time in days: 166

Predicted price Dec 31, 2019: $89,587

docs.google.com/spreadsheets

 

Bitcoin Awareness Growing in China

PBoC Weibo (3 mil followers) published a report on Yuan index slight devaluation.

>90% comments are about bitcoin.

Some witty education about bitcoin. Some begging PBoC to ban bitcoin so they can profit by shorting or buy it cheap – cnLedger

 

Spot the Bitcoin Regulation Backfire

Allen Scott

 

LocalBitcoins Records Global All-Time High

Bitcoin trading value on prominent peer-to-peer trading platform LocalBitcoins has reached a new all-time high globally, spurred on by soaring activity among traders in China.

According to data from Coin.Dance, volume for last week soared beyond $24 million in bitcoin transactions.

Compared to the trading week this time last year, the value of bitcoin trading has more than doubled globally. – Samburaj Das

 

LocalBitcoins

London Bitcoin trader: “Some people out there will do bitcoin-to-cash trades of over £1 million. Those don’t happen over localbitcoins”.

“Site is just an advertising platform. “[Real world volumes] are way, way higher.”

Tuur Demeester

 

Decentralized Trades

Plenty of Chinese trading happens on lesser-known sites and on micro-messaging services such as WeChat and QQ. The latter already have their own payment systems, allowing users to build chatbots to automate trading activity.

For those who prefer a more familiar trading interface, decentralized exchange software such as Bitsquare can construct an order book based on outstanding offers accumulated from other participants.

China is not alone. Peer-to-peer trading took off in Turkey after the country’s only bitcoin exchange ceased to operate, and in Venezuela after the leading exchange had its bank account closed.

Russia has some of the most active unofficial bitcoin markets in the world, thanks to the country’s longstanding regulatory uncertainty.

Although centralized exchanges provide benefits, such as bringing together large quantities of buyers and sellers and guaranteeing payment, they’re not necessary for the currency’s existence. – Elaine Ou

 

 

MINING

China’s Sichuan Province Becoming Bitcoin Mining Capital of the World

Kangding, a historical gateway from China to Tibet. Over 20 Bitcoin mining companies have settled in the 100,000-person town.

It turns out Sichuan province, a southwestern region of China nestled between the Himalayas and Yungui plateau, best known for its flaming spicy food, is becoming the capital of the nation’s, and possibly the world’s bitcoin mining industry.

Bitcoin mines have moved to the mountainous areas of Sichuan to take advantage of its cheap electricity, low population density and moderate climate.

Since 2015, over 30% of China’s Bitcoin mining machines were purchased in Sichuan province, the highest among any place in China, according to articles published by the National Business Daily.

Given that around 70% of the global Bitcoin computational power is concentrated in China, Sichuan is emerging as the bitcoin production capital of the world.

Sichuan’s Mabian Yi Autonomous County, a small town with a population of just 215,000, is home to nearly 10,000 bitcoin mining machines that run 24/7 to “dig out” the virtual currency.

Another county, Kangding (or Dardo in Tibetan), known throughout China for its natural beauty, has become a major Bitcoin mine hub as well. Over 20 Bitcoin mining companies have settled in the 100,000-person town. To meet demand, a major Bitcoin machine retailer has put one of its two global repair stations in the county.

Most Bitcoin mining companies are set up next to electricity plants to save costs, as electricity expenses take up around 60% to 70% of Bitcoin mining operations.

Sichuan is home to numerous hydroelectric power plants, with some of them producing too much electricity during summer months. As a result, that power cost in the province is sometimes the lowest in China.

Companies are finding other ways to lower costs. Aside from Sichuan, Bitcoin miners have been seeking even more remote locations with cheaper or free electricity to operate, such as Xinjiang, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia and many western provinces in China. – Nina Xiang

 

Mabian Tianjia Network Technology Co Ltd

Bitcoin mining company Mabian Tianjia Network Technology Co., Ltd., is located directly next to the Bajiaoxia hydroelectric power plant.

“This room has 1,500 Bitcoin mining machines, our largest in this location, and can produce nearly 10 Bitcoins everyday,” said a manager at Tianjia. Several “miners” work full-time in the room to patrol, clean and repair all the machines.

Tianjia operates 5,800 Bitcoin mining machines in four computer rooms in Mabian county, with a combined computational power of 40 peta hashes per second

The company can produce as many as 27 Bitcoin per day, or US$30,105 in total value based on the current price of US$1,115 per Bitcoin.

The biggest mining room of Tianjia could have nearly RMB7,000 (US$1,017) in electricity bills per day.

Other costs include purchases of the machines, which could reach nearly RMB10,000 (US$1,450) each, setting up the server room, installing ventilation systems and labor costs.

High speed Internet connection is a must, but is relatively cheap.

By rough estimates, one mine at Tianjia could produce RMB1.84 million (US$267,414) in net profit, according to the reports citing managers at the mines. – Nina Xiang

 

 

ALTCOINS

All-Time High for Altcoins

Altcoins have reached an all-time high market cap of $3.1 billion. – Lee Banfield

 

Cost of International Gold Transactions

Germany moved 300 tons of gold from NY Fed to Bundesbank vault in Frankfurt.

It took ~3 years and cost ~€4.1 million.

If same value were to be transferred using BTC it would be ~60 minutes and ~$0.3977!

Donald McIntyre

 

 

MARKETS

It’s probably smart to be an owner of Artificial Intelligence.

At this stage, the easiest way to become an owner is to buy shares on the stock market of the companies most prominently involved and likely to succeed.

goog

I laugh when people say tech is a bubble. The establishment is the bubble.

Who’s around in 2025 – Google or the EU?

Balaji S. Srinivasan

Of the public companies heavily involved, the one that stands out head and shoulders above the others is Google.

Google snaps up every machine-learning or robotics company it likes the look of. They have supposedly the greatest Artificial Intelligence Lab in the world. They even managed to convince the neural network godfather Geoffrey Hinton to join them.

Google never pays a dividend or does stock buybacks because they aggressively reinvest cash into long-term projects such as DeepMind who they bought for $400mill (a bargain in hindsight). Founder Demis Hassibis describes it as “the Manhattan Project of AI” with hundreds of the best minds working on it.

The scope of their focus is breathtaking and they are clearly the front-runners to make major breakthroughs or even develop General AI.

 

nvidia

Nvidia are also a very exciting company with massive demand for their products.

The shares are worth picking up because if they do hold on to their position as the best chips to use for AI over the next few years their sales and opportunities to expand into other interesting areas are going to be staggering.

If We Were a Hedge Fund We’d Put All Our Money Into Nvidia

– Marc Andreessen

 

For somebody who wants general exposure to AI, but doesn’t want to pick a winner, investing across a basket of shares by building a portfolio of the best stocks is a good idea.

The Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic ETF is an actively managed AI fund with a management fee of 0.68%. It trades under the stock symbol “BOTZ”.

The 10 biggest positions in this portfolio are:

  1. Mitsubishi Electic Corp
  2. Fanuc Corp
  3. ABB
  4. Keyence Corp
  5. SMC Corp
  6. Intuitive Surgical
  7. Yaskawa Electric Corp
  8. Omron Corp
  9. Trimble Navigation Ltd
  10. Mobileye.

 

Personally, I think the 10 stocks below would make a better AI fund.

  1. Google (GOOGL:NASDAQ) – $846 per share – $582 billion marketcap
  2. Nvidia (NVDA:NASDAQ) – $107 – $56 bill
  3. Tesla (TSLA:NASDAQ) – $272 – $42 bill
  4. IBM (IBM:US) – $181 – $171 bill
  5. Microsoft (MSFT:US) – $65 – $499 bill
  6. Samsung (005930:KS) – 1.9 million KRW – $259 bill
  7. Amazon (AMZN:NASDAQ) – $845 – $404 bill
  8. AMD (AMD:US) – $13 – $12 bill
  9. Facebook (FB:NASDAQ) $134 – $387 bill
  10. Baidu (BIDU:NASDAQ) – $185 – $65 bill

 

OTHER INVESTMENT IDEAS THAT MAKE SENSE IN AN AI WORLD

Short WTI Crude Oil (Currently $53 per barrel)

Short the Bloomberg Commodity Index (Currently at 88)

Short the First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto Index Fund (Currently at 36)

Exploring Opportunities in Artificial Intelligence, Lee Banfield

 

 

COMPANIES / PROJECTS / PRODUCTS

TensorFlow

Jeff Dean says TensorFlow just passed Linux to become #15 most starred Github repo

12k+ commits, 500+ contributors

Frank Chen

 

Google Translate AI Invents Its Own Language to Translate With

Google Translate is getting brainier. The online translation tool recently started using a neural network to translate between some of its most popular languages – and the system is now so clever it can do this for language pairs on which it has not been explicitly trained. To do this, it seems to have created its own artificial language.

For example, if the neural network has been taught to translate between English and Japanese, and English and Korean, it can also translate between Japanese and Korean without first going through English.

This capability may enable Google to quickly scale the system to translate between a large number of languages.

“This is a big advance,” says Kyunghyun Cho at New York University.

His team and another group at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany have independently published similar studies working towards neural translation systems that can handle multiple language combinations. – Sam Wong

 

Kernel: Building Implants that Augment the Human Brain

For Bryan Johnson, the founder and CEO of neuroscience startup Kernel, the question is when, not if, we all have computer chips inside of our brains.

Kernel, founded last fall with more than $100 million of Johnson’s own money, is trying to better understand the human brain, so that we may one day program it to improve.

The company is focusing first on medical applications, to gain a deeper understanding of the diverse and complex ways the brain can fail. Eventually, Johnson would like to move toward augmenting the organ to make us smarter and healthier and pave the way for interfacing directly with computing devices.

There is a growing fear, among some futurists and other Silicon Valley elite, that humans will develop a crippling dependence on machines and software that continue to rapidly accelerate beyond our capabilities and understanding.

The goal of Kernel, ultimately, is to allow humans to outcompete or at least co-evolve alongside machines — by becoming a little digital themselves.

Image result for kernel artificial intelligence

The project requires time, perhaps decades, to achieve anything close to Kernel’s cyborg vision, which currently resides only in fiction. But despite these hurdles, Johnson is intent on starting now with Kernel as one of the early leaders in an emerging hybrid field, one that blends the cash-flush, experimental spirit of Silicon Valley with the most cutting-edge neuroscience research.

While companies have in the past tried to make commercial headway in the field of neuroprosthetics, Johnson is focusing instead on investing in research that may yield new insights into the brain. He may be one of the first to pour a Silicon Valley fortune into the field, but he suspects others will follow in his quest to transform the brain as a computing platform, even if it takes years of research and billions of dollars of investment.

Johnson enlisted the help of some of the best scientists in the field to start looking into neuroprosthetics. These are devices implanted within the skull that mimic, substitute, or assist functions of the brain, ranging from controlling the motor cortex to preventing the onset of seizures. Johnson’s idea, at least at first, is to have his team at Kernel explore and better understand core brain functions like information recall, memory, and neuronal communication.

Image result for kernel ai

To do this, the company is developing its own hardware and software to try and alleviate the devastating effects of neurological and degenerative diseases like epilepsy, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

It’s being aided greatly by the research and expertise of Theodore Berger, a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California.

Back in 2002, Berger’s research proved that it was possible to use software and mathematical modeling to replicate the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory and its eventual degradation.

Nearly a decade later, Berger’s lab at USC used a chip implanted inside the brain of rats to restore lost memory and improve information recall.

Now, Berger splits his time between USC and Kernel as the startup’s acting chief science officer. Kernel itself, now a little more than 20 employees, operates out of Los Angeles, near Berger’s lab where the team can collaborate with the biomedical engineers there and observe the scientists’ work. Kernel plans to gather data from human trials, with an implantable medical device not unlike the one used in Berger’s animal trials back in 2011.

“I think if humanity were to identify a singularly thing to work on, the thing that would demand the greatest minds of our generation, it’s human intelligence,” Johnson says, “specifically, the ability to co-evolve with artificial intelligence.” – Nick Statt

 

SpaceX Cargo to Mars Mission Moved to 2020 Window

This new schedule means:

  • Red Dragon 1 | June 2020
  • Red Dragon 2 & 3 | August 2022
  • ITS uncrewed Mars mission | September 2024
  • ITS crewed Mars mission | November 2026

Keep in mind that these dates are based on Earth-Mars transfer windows found here. These windows are open for multiple weeks, so you can give or take 1 month (or more, depending on how flexible SpaceX’s rockets are).

Of course sending people to Mars is extremely hard, so I wouldn’t bet on SpaceX sending humans to Mars in 2026. – Casioner

 

SpaceX Faces 3 Crucial Missions in 2017

SpaceX’s prospects will turn on whether the company can pull off a year of firsts.

It also intends to increase its launch cadence, potentially sending up rockets as frequently as once every two to three weeks.

Image result for spacex

1 – March: The First Reflight of a Previously Used First-Stage Rocket Booster

SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk has long promoted reusable rockets as a way to decrease launch costs.

This spring, the company will have to prove whether it can turn around first-stage boosters that it previously launched and landed at sea, and blast the refueled rockets back into space. That first flight will hoist a communications satellite operated by Luxembourg-based SES.

Cahoy of MIT said a successful relaunch of a previously used rocket could transform the company.

“I think that they’re coming up against a lot of curiosity of how that will go,” she said.

 

2 – Summer: The Long-Awaited Debut of the Larger Falcon Heavy Rocket

When it launches, Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world, SpaceX says, with 27 engines that will produce more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.

The Saturn V rocket that propelled astronauts to the moon generated more than 7 million pounds of thrust at launch, according to NASA.

The rocket will allow SpaceX to launch heavier payloads and potentially take on deep-space exploration missions, said Kerri Cahoy, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT.

“It would really make them a more formidable player and definitely give the company an edge,” she said.

Falcon Heavy also is key to SpaceX’s plans for an unmanned Red Dragon mission to Mars in 2020. The company intends to launch a Dragon 2 spacecraft atop the massive rocket to demonstrate how to land large loads on the Red Planet without using parachutes or other aerodynamic decelerators.

 

3 – November: First Flight of Its Astronaut Capsule

SpaceX is scheduled to launch in November the first unmanned flight test of a capsule that eventually will take astronauts to the space station.

A test flight with crew aboard is set for May 2018.

– Samantha Masunaga

 

 

PLACES

Mexico

In a couple years, Bitcoin will take a relevant share of global value transfer. I’m not sure about every country, 100% about Mexico. – Pablo Gonzalez

 

South Korea

The currency with the fifth-highest Bitcoin trading volume today is the South Korean Won.

We see a lot of expat workers signing up to Korbit to take advantage of bitcoin for international transactions. They can be English teachers from developed countries such as the US, or migrant workers from developing countries such as the Philippines.

Bitcoin has already taken a significant market share for some remittance corridors originating from South Korea.

An article on Quartz estimated that 20% of Korea-to-Philippines remittance volume is settled in Bitcoin. – Tony Lyu, Korbit CEO

 

 

THE SINGULARITY

How Will Artificial Intelligence Affect Your Life

Jeff Dean

 

AI Beats World’s Top Poker Players

  • CMU just made history: AI beats top humans at Texas Hold’em poker. A stunning accomplishment, comparable to Deep Blue & AlphaGo! – Andrew Ng

Tuomas Sandholm and Noam Brown, the computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon who built Libratus, celebrated the win as the first time that a computer has beaten top poker players at a variant of unlimited Texas hold’em, the world’s most prominent poker game.

“No limit hold’em is the game you see in tournaments, and it has the reputation of being more of an art than a science,” said Adam Kucharski, author of The Perfect Bet: How Science and Math Are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling. “There was the idea that this game would be safer for much longer from these machines.”

Go has been described as the Mount Everest of board games. It is far more complex than chess or many other games. However, it is less of a challenge than poker.

This is another example of how in narrow focused domains AI is starting to take over from humans: reading mammograms, transcribing Chinese, beating human pilots in dogfights… the list increases almost weekly. – Toby Walsh

 

We Are Seeing Unprecedented Progress

At present, we are seeing unprecedented progress in solving tough problems that defied our best efforts for half a century.

Speech recognition is now very good and rapidly getting better.

The ability to recognize objects in images has taken huge strides forward and I think computers will soon be able to understand what is going on in videos.

Ten years ago, most people in AI would have been very confident that there was no hope of doing machine translation using neural nets that have to get all their linguistic knowledge from the raw training data. But that is now the approach that works best and it has just halved the gap in quality between machine translations and human translations.

Every week, deep neural nets succeed at new and commercially significant tasks.

We have seen an amazing flowering of the basic deep learning techniques introduced 20 or more years ago. This flowering includes better types of neuron, better architectures,  better ways of making the learning work in very deep nets and better ways of getting neural networks to focus on the relevant parts of the input.

Deep learning is now attracting large numbers of very smart people and huge resources, and I see no reason why this flowering should not continue for many more years. – Geoff Hinton

 

Creating Human-Level AI: How and When

There’s general agreement that we’re close to the hardware requirements of strong AI.

We’ll be at the human brain of 10^14 calculations per second for $1,000 in the early 2020s.

Ray Kurzweil

 

 

Koomey’s Law: Computation per Unit Energy Doubles Every 1.5 Years Or So

Haven’t seen much talk about Koomey’s law, but this is pretty amazing when you think through what this trend means. – Robert Cyran

Michael Nielson

 

Quercetin: A Supplement That Studies Suggest Can Remove Senescent Cells

Senescent cells are simply cells that have become damaged or have reached their maximum number of divisions. Normally these cells are shut down by a kind of self destruct program inside the cell, ready to be disposed of by the immune system.

However as the immune system ages, it stops clearing house properly, leaving many of these senescent cells in place. This would not be such a big deal, but senescent cells actually send out toxic inflammatory signals that block tissue regeneration.

Removing senescent cells from the body helps the body to clear out the junk it struggles with as we age, and optimise its natural repair functions.

The name of compounds that can remove senescent cells are known as Senolytics.

Image result for Quercetin

Quercetin, one of the compounds that some studies suggest can remove senescent cells, is naturally found in apples and other fruits and vegetables. It can be obtained cheaply as a dietary supplement with an effective and safe dosage.

What science is doing now is investigating why these natural substances help your body maintain balance, and finding ways to improve upon this.

Some will be entering human clinical trials in the near future so answers should not be too far behind.

Companies like Unity Biotech, Oisin Biotechnology and Cellage are busy developing improved versions of these first pass therapies to make them even more effective and safe. – Steve Hill

 

Everything is Going to Change When the Post-Aging World Becomes Widely Anticipated

A lot of people don’t get this yet, but they will, because progress in the lab is going to get more and more dramatic over the next few years.

I believe that in less than 10 years, maybe only 6 or 7, we’ve got a good chance of making breakthroughs that are so dramatic, and reported so widely, that it’s no longer going to be possible to ignore what the future is going to hold.

And everything is going to change then, when the post-aging world becomes widely anticipated.

Aubrey de Grey

 

My Writing Profile Picture

Follow me on Twitter @leebanfield1

Bitcoin: 1Jwh6nZiASJf4d3hNytjxqiimWBmEJvJ4S

Bitmessage: BM-2cXjeAykLT7gbjzNHZFnCxdawvyryyb4Nf

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: