- This brand-new tech could revive lithium-ion batteries…
- Blockchain tech tackles social media…
- Why Facebook’s latest open-source code is key…
Tomorrow is the day I’ll reveal a “glitch” I’ve spotted in the stock market…
This isn’t my usual technology focus. But the opportunity here is so impressive, I expanded my analysis to the entire market. And I’ll share all the details tomorrow night at my Outlier Investments Summit.
This anomaly I’ve found lets regular investors spot when a stock is about to skyrocket… Days or weeks early. That means we can get in early and ride the wave up. And it might sound impossible, but tomorrow night, I’ll show a demonstration on camera… With some of the key stocks on investors’ minds.
So before you make any moves in the market, please first make sure you’re signed up for this event. Attendees will also receive the name and ticker of a top “glitch” stock for free…
So if you haven’t already, please go right here to RSVP.
An exciting development in battery technology…
We’ll start off today with a promising new form of battery technology.
I’ve been tracking an early stage company called Form Energy for a few years now. This company has been on my radar because its cofounders have some serious street credentials. They both came from MIT and were the executives who previously founded A123 Systems – a company that was doing bleeding-edge work on lithium-ion batteries over a decade ago.
What’s more, Form Energy has serious venture capital (VC) backing. Its most notable backer is VC firm Breakthrough Energy Ventures. And guess who is behind this firm? Both Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. How’s that for a heavy-hitting duo?
The only thing is, Form Energy has been secretive about its work. There hasn’t been much information available about what the company is up to. Until now.
Form Energy just raised $200 million in its Series D funding round last week. This round almost certainly values the company at over $1 billion. And with it came insight into what the company has been up to.
It turns out Form Energy is working on a brand-new type of battery. It’s called an “iron-air” battery, and it is completely unique from anything that’s been developed before.
The battery itself is made up of small iron pellets. And it employs a membrane technology that allows the battery to “breathe” in and out, taking in and pushing out oxygen.
As we know, iron converts to rust when it is exposed to oxygen. While discharging, the battery “breathes in,” and the iron is exposed to the air, which makes it rust.
Then, while charging, the battery “breathes out” oxygen and converts the rust back to iron.
The key here is that this approach allows iron to be used for long-term energy storage. And unlike the rare Earth metals that go into lithium-ion batteries, iron is abundant and cheap.
Obviously, this makes the iron-air battery cheaper to produce than its lithium-ion counterpart. And when it comes to mass production, the supply chain would be reliable and secure – unlike lithium-ion supply chains.
Form Energy believes that its iron-air batteries will reduce the cost of long-term energy storage to $6 per kilowatt-hour. For comparison, lithium-ion batteries enable energy storage at $50–80 per kilowatt-hour. This represents a dramatic cost reduction between 88% and 93% here.
That said, iron is a heavy metal. These batteries will be much heavier compared to lithium-ion batteries. And that means lithium batteries will still be ideal for electric vehicles (EVs) and other applications where a lightweight battery is needed.
However, iron-air batteries could prove superior for industrial energy storage applications. If we think about solar and wind farms, for example, iron-air batteries could provide similar performance to lithium batteries at a drastically lower-cost point. That would make them a no-brainer.
So Form Energy is absolutely a company we need to watch going forward. It expects to deploy the first one-megawatt iron-air battery by 2023. And I would not be at all surprised if we see the company go public within the next 12–18 months.
Let’s add this one to our early stage watchlist.
This blockchain project plans to go toe to toe with Twitter…
Blockchain project Aave just made a very interesting announcement: It plans to build a decentralized alternative to Twitter. The new social media application will run on Ethereum’s blockchain.
This is a big move.
Aave is a project that came together in the original cohort of initial coin offerings (ICOs) back in 2017. The project was called ETH Lend back then, and the ICO raised about $16 million. As the name suggests, the goal was to enable lending on the Ethereum blockchain.
From that vision, Aave became one of the largest decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols on the planet. As I write, about $11 billion is deployed on Aave’s platform. These are funds used for borrowing and lending on the blockchain.
So Aave has been incredibly successful in the DeFi space. Now it has its sights set on decentralized social media. Aave said its new social media platform will launch by year-end.
And this is all about trying to solve three problems inherent with centralized social media platforms like Twitter.
The first is censorship. Twitter has been actively removing posts and banning people who share opinions that are contrary to what it considers to be the correct political narrative. Thus, Twitter is no longer open to free discourse, differing opinions, or even the sharing of peer-reviewed scientific research (if not consistent with the narrative). Aave seeks to provide a platform in which free speech is respected.
The second problem is that it’s hard for content creators to monetize their work on Twitter. Content creators spend a lot of time and effort putting out content and building a following. This work has monetary value, but there’s no way to directly access it. Users must send their followers to an independent product or service to generate revenue from their social media work.
Aave can easily solve this problem. It’s already a successful DeFi platform, and that will allow it to directly incentivize its top content creators. Aave hasn’t released specifics yet, but it will enable users to get paid for quality content.
And the third problem is that content creators do not own or control anything on Twitter. All of their content and all of their followers technically “belong” to Twitter. If Twitter users want to move to another platform, they must start all over again. They can’t take their content or their followers with them.
Aave’s architecture will empower content creators to maintain control over their content and their follower base. After all, in a decentralized social media network, all information pertaining to followers and posts is part of a public ledger. We could think of it as an online database of information that a user can potentially port to another platform if they wanted to.
I’m excited about this. As regular readers know, I favor free and open discourse. And if there are experts who have produced peer-reviewed scientific research, I’d like that information to be made available so that we can all understand the implications and have a more complete picture for better decision-making.
So I wish Aave much success with its upcoming launch. And if it is successful, this would be very bullish for Aave’s native token AAVE, as well as for Ethereum.
That said, success isn’t guaranteed. Several decentralized social media projects have already tried and failed. Steemit is the big one that comes to mind. It’s incredibly difficult to compete with established social media companies because of their massive network effect.
But eventually, somebody will crack the code and make a decentralized platform work. Maybe Aave is the one.
Get ready for highly functional AI assistants…
In my 2021 prediction series, one of my big predictions was that we would see highly functional digital assistants hit the market by the end of this year.
Right now, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and other digital assistants – while highly functional – have obvious limitations. They have thousands of programmed integrations for e-commerce or smart home applications, but when it comes to information and discussion, it basically pulls from an internet search.
But what if a digital assistant could make dinner reservations for us? What if it could order groceries for us? What if it could do our taxes?
That’s what’s coming with the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI)-based digital assistants. It will be like having a digital personal assistant. And Facebook’s latest announcement may be paving the way…
Facebook just released BlenderBot 2.0. And it is a major improvement on the original.
BlenderBot 1.0 can best be described as a chatbot. Facebook users could ask it questions, and it would go out on the internet to find the answers. This was useful, but there were major limitations.
The first BlenderBot had what’s called “goldfish memory.” It did not learn from previous interactions. That means it could not get better, and it certainly could not provide personalized answers. It was simply able to respond to any current queries through an advanced search algorithm.
BlenderBot 2.0 changes that. It will remember every conversation it has ever had with each individual user. This will enable it to develop context around each individual user, thus providing more personalized responses over time.
And here’s the most exciting part – Facebook has made much of the AI research behind BlenderBot 2.0 open source. That means other organizations and developers can take the code, experiment with it, and potentially create their own digital assistants.
This is the same dynamic we talked about with AlphaFold2 last week. Open-source code paves the way for innovation and breakthroughs.
And while this has not been explicitly saying, I believe that Facebook will combine this technology with the years of data it has collected on all of us to enable personalized digital assistants for everyone. I can imagine Facebook launching a product like this that has already been individually customized for each user from day one.
This would be like turning on a revolution instantly, overnight. And Facebook has both the data and the AI tech to make it happen. Google does as well. And now other third parties are empowered to produce competing products – without all of the privacy concerns of Facebook’s assistant.
It feels to me like we are on the cusp of a major breakthrough. All the pieces are in place. I stand by my prediction that we’ll see the first highly functional digital assistant before 2021 is out.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge
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