• Will DeSoc lead to a surveillance state?
  • Where oil and gas prices go from here…
  • An exciting AI rollout is in the works…

Dear Reader,

Welcome to our weekly mailbag edition of The Bleeding Edge. All week, you submitted your questions about the biggest trends in technology. Today, I’ll do my best to answer them.

If you have a question you’d like answered next week, be sure you submit it right here.

And before we turn to today’s mailbag, there’s just one other item I want to bring to readers’ attention.

Who’s to blame for the chaos we’ve been seeing in the markets this year? While there are many factors, one party that’s certainly played the dominant role is the government…

The Washington elite created trillions of dollars out of thin air over the past couple of years. Yet the Fed downplayed inflation last year, despite all the evidence. That’s left it scrambling to adjust now… and currently we’re all feeling the pain as a result.

Now many of these same elected officials who led us to our current situation – and those who fund them – are richer than ever right now.

It shouldn’t surprise most of us that connected billionaires, hedge funds – and yes, our elected officials – keep many of the best money-making opportunities for themselves.

That’s why I’m preparing to reveal one of the methods they use to profit. One billionaire money manager used this special investment vehicle to turn $12.5 million into $275 million. And he’s not alone…

The elite are trying to keep regular investors away from these deals. There’s currently legislation and regulations being created that would restrict these opportunities to accredited investors.

That’s not fair… and it’s why I’m determined to put this on Bleeding Edge readers’ radar.

I call these deals “Mandated Money.” That’s because we can invest in some of America’s most exciting private companies… and lock in gains up to $2,300 right now. That money is contractually obligated to be paid.

Then, over the long term, they offer us potential profits as high as six figures.

We need to take advantage before the door to these deals closes… And I’m preparing an event to tell everyone how, on June 22 at 8 p.m. ET. I’m calling it “Washington D.C.’s Mandated Money.”

Especially given the market volatility we’re seeing, this opportunity is just too big to miss out on. So please consider attending next Wednesday. You can sign up for free right here to reserve your spot.

“Dangers outweigh the advantages…”

Let’s begin with readers’ thoughts on Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin’s new whitepaper, “Decentralized Society.”

Many readers shared concerns about this “DeSoc” concept and its “soulbound tokens” (SBTs)…

Hi Jeff, I think DeSoc is a smart idea to facilitate the verification process of one’s credentials. It’s not uncommon for people using the internet to create documents for specific positions. The problem I see in government intervention is power and more bureaucracy. Look at where this country is today, an extension of China. You have a great service, and I’m confident it will only get better. Take care,

– Russ N.

At the level you discussed in your description of DeSoc, the idea is very beneficial when people have credentials, but a huge number of people in this world are simply workers. They have little or no education or marketable skills. I am concerned if this type of society wouldn’t broaden the gap between those on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale and the wealthier, educated individuals.

– Mason B.

I think the dangers outweigh the advantages. Anything that leads to China-style social credits is fraught with danger for personal sovereignty and freedom!!!!!

– Zen V.

Dear Jeff Brown, Vitalik’s DeSoc is a thinly veiled play at justifying our collective creep towards an insidiously embedded surveillance state. That he resides in Singapore no doubt has a good deal to do with what is influencing his thought patterns.

We, meaning the human race, do not have the luxury to assume that an SBT’s (even using the word “soul” in this context is injurious) underlying technology would not be used for evil if there were the capacity for it. We need look no further than Alphabet and Facebook.

– Philip P.

Hey Jeff. Once again, we are wandering into that murky subject of the ongoing changing relationship between world governments and their citizens. In short, if the government becomes involved, it will not become anything that even remotely resembles this White Paper.

Why? Because we are currently in the middle of a massive disconnect where the government thinks that we work for them. And amazingly, the majority of our mainstream media believes and promotes this fallacy as well.

Until such time that the people of this world decide to force our public servants to enforce our existing laws, we will continue to be subject to the non-existent “laws” of those same servants. Be well, be free, & God Bless!

– Tim H.

Thank you to everyone who wrote in on this topic… It has clearly struck a nerve with many people. And these are some fantastic, poignant comments that speak to some of the darkest undercurrents in society right now being perpetuated by those in power.

For anyone who missed it, DeSoc’s core mechanism would provide a way to document and validate our key credentials.

When we list our accomplishments on a resumé, for example, a potential employer must do quite a bit of work to confirm their accuracy. Usually, they don’t verify everything, and make the hire knowing that they are taking a risk doing so. DeSoc’s vision would simplify and standardize the record of our experiences.

We would receive an SBT in our digital wallet when we complete a college or graduate degree… when we pass a specialized course… or when we take part in a training program, for example.

These SBTs would authenticate our skills as we advance, evolve, and change our careers. Yet as I noted in my coverage of this idea, it has the potential for great misuse…

Like many readers fear, an authoritarian government could transform this system into a kind of China-style social credit program with relative ease.

Instead of enabling us, it could penalize us for real – or even perceived –  “misdeeds,” protesting government decisions, or noncompliance with government mandates. These “demerits” in our digital wallets could influence a potential employer to go with a different candidate, for example.

Or more dangerous, a government could twist this technology to cut off access to social services, or issue fines. That should frighten us no matter which side of the political aisle we’re on.

So before this concept can be implemented, we would need to do a great deal of preparation and refinement to ensure that it cannot be used in ways that are detrimental to a free and democratic society.

And understanding the position of those who we elect to office on matters like these will quickly become far more important than it has in the past. 

In the absence of this kind of technology, it would be hard to implement; but empowered by this technology, perhaps using something that has already been deployed in the private sector, a “takeover” would be relatively easy.

The reality is that our entire education system and way of working is in the process of radical change. Some of that is good, and some of it is awful.

The idea that we go to school for four years, get our degree, then work in a field for 40 years and retire is gone. To keep up with technological advancements, we’re all going to have to engage in forms of learning and have a far more flexible concept of what work looks like.

Micro or nano degrees will become very popular. Most of them will be possible to earn online. 

On a bright note, high-quality education will become democratized and accessible to anyone that has the motivation to learn. The world has made great progress on this front already with all of the high-quality online learning that is possible. And this will radically improve over the next few years.

And whether we’re a tradesperson, a computer programmer, or anyone in the workforce, we’re going to need a mechanism by which our credentials are verifiable. The reality is that changing jobs, employers, or projects will become a lot more frequent in the years ahead. There will be a lot more project-based work and less loyalty and stability with a single corporation.

To some, this new world will feel uncomfortable, and to others, it will feel liberating.

Of course, this all presumes one thing, the thing that was alluded to in these questions… Will the government impose draconian control on the population and assert the right to decide for us and attempt to control our behaviors? Or will we live in a free and democratic society, and elect those to office that believe in freedom, individual rights, and enforcement of the law?

There is one thing I’m sure of: It’s the latter scenario that will lead us to a world of abundance, and clean energy through technological innovation, and lift the remaining 500 million people around the world out of extreme poverty. I’ll be voting for that.

“Demand will never go away…”

Next, a reader offers their perspective on oil and gas prices…

Jeff, I think you are correct about the Federal Reserve’s action to increase rates. The increase in oil and natural gas prices has taken hundreds of billions of dollars out of the pockets of every American. That’s the main cause of inflation.

The recession is coming and will not end until the price of oil and natural gas come down to Trump-era oil and natural gas prices. I think you’re right that fission energy will be a solution to the problem. However, thousands of products are made from and with oil and natural gas, and demand will never go away. Chinese solar panels and windmills will never solve the problem.

– Fred M.

Hi, Fred, and thanks for writing in.

You’re absolutely right. The two most critical “inputs” for our lives are food and energy. And if those prices are skyrocketing, the economy is in trouble.

I wrote this week to address the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers and explained why I believe the Fed will make use of Yield Curve Control (YCC) to manage inflation.

This week, we also saw the Fed raise rates by 75 basis points at its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. I predict the Fed will reverse course in September and be forced to pivot away from quantitative tightening and rising rates to some combination of quantitative easing, stimulus, or even a drop in the Fed Funds rate.

And you’re absolutely correct that energy is playing a key role in the current situation. Gas and oil prices have risen to record highs. Not only do we feel this at the pump when filling up our cars, but it also has an impact on the costs of pretty much everything due to higher shipping costs.

Russia’s war in Ukraine, of course, has exacerbated this situation. And the U.S. government and NATO countries are taking actions that appear as if they want the conflict to continue.

Making matters worse, the U.S. government canceled the Keystone XL oil pipeline last June. Furthermore, the government halted permits for drilling oil and natural gas last year, and most recently, in February of this year… exacerbating the problem the U.S. is faced with right now.

When wells are decommissioned, they aren’t able to be turned on like a light switch. And while the oil and gas companies that survived the pandemic continued to invest, the restrictions placed upon them in the last 18 months has resulted in lower energy production. It was impossible to offset the loss of oil from Russia.

And even other countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE can’t ramp up quickly enough to balance the loss of Russian oil.

Sadly, all of these problems were self-inflicted. They could have all been avoided. And there is still no clear plan or policy to remedy the situation. Ironically, it’s an easy problem to solve.

As for the alternative energy sources you mention, I do believe in nuclear fission as a great solution to meet our energy needs. Nuclear fission technology is based on mature technology and releases no CO2 into the atmosphere. And the third and fourth generations of this technology are a magnitude safer than the kinds of nuclear fission power plants that are in use today. 

However, this is one problem. I just don’t see fission as a long-term viable solution because of the politics around radioactive waste. This is a highly charged, emotional issue that is typically not grounded in facts, yet I feel that the barrier is simply too high to overcome.

As longtime readers won’t be surprised to hear, I view nuclear fusion as an even better option. It will be able to supply truly clean energy without radioactive by-products. It will be capable of feeding the world’s electricity grids with baseload power… which we all need to keep the global economy humming.

When that technology is ready for widespread use, I expect we will see a sharp drop in the use of fossil fuels for energy. We won’t need them anymore for our baseload energy supply. 

And when the electricity that we receive to our homes comes from nuclear fusion, we’ll be filling up our electric vehicles with electricity that comes from a clean energy source, not from coal or natural gas.

Yet as we might guess, it will take time to transition away from our traditional forms of energy. If nothing else, it takes time to build out the infrastructure needed for such a large shift.

When it comes to energy, the smartest thing that we could do is return to the oil and gas policies that were in place back in 2020, which actually resulted in a dramatic decline in the use of coal.

And at the same time, we should develop a Manhattan Project-like program to accelerate the development of compact nuclear fusion technology along the lines of what companies like TAE, General Fusion, Commonwealth Fusion Systems, and Avalanche Energy are building.

In that world, oil and natural gas will simply be a short-term bridge to a world of clean and sustainable energy abundance that would drastically reduce the cost of electricity around the world (because fusion reactors produce more energy than is required to control the reaction). That is a world I want to live in.

High-tech fast-food service…

Let’s conclude with some kind words from a reader about a recent topic…

Hi, I am a great supporter of your research. Great stuff and very helpful. Loved your commentary on IBM and McDonald’s. Keep it coming.

– Frank F.

Hello, Frank, and thank you for supporting us here at Brownstone Research. I know I’ve said it before, but it truly is wonderful to have such an engaged group of readers.

The world of technology is so fast-paced, it can be hard to keep up. But it just reinforces how much progress we really are seeing. We can lose sight of that when the news constantly barrages us with stories about economic distress and woe.

McDonald’s and IBM’s collaboration for rolling out Apprente’s artificial intelligence (AI) is just one example of the ways advanced technology is reaching every corner of our lives.

The fast-food industry is going to rapidly adopt these natural language processing abilities, and a few years from now, we’ll barely be able to remember a time we didn’t have this technology in the drive-thru. In fact, I’ve even seen the technology in use inside the restaurant at the ordering counter.

It won’t be long before we see this kind of technology leap into big box stores like Walmart and Home Depot.

Imagine seeing small, mobile robots placed throughout the store acting as customer service agents. All we’ll have to do is ask them “where can I find the wrapping paper”, and the robot – powered by AI – will say “halfway down aisle 13 on the second shelf from the bottom, please follow me.”

So thank you to everyone who continues reading The Bleeding Edge every day. I’ll continue to work hard to bring you the most interesting and exciting developments in the worlds of technology, biotechnology, digital assets, and of course this crazy world that we’re living in.

That’s all we have time for this week. If you have a question for a future mailbag, you can send it to me right here.

Have a great weekend.


Jeff Brown
Editor, The Bleeding Edge

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