Dear Reader,

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I’ll go over all the details surrounding this story and this small biotech company at my event on Wednesday evening. For readers who want to tune in, simply go right here for all the details.

I hope to see you there.

Now let’s turn to today’s insights…

Get ready for lab-grown meat…

We are going to start with a breakthrough that may seem a little “out there” at first.

But bear with me. This could alter the way we view meat, agriculture, and livestock going forward…

The first lab-grown meat was just approved for human consumption in Singapore.

Now, lab-grown meat is something that I have been researching for a while now. The official name is “cultured meat.”

Here’s how it works…

First, scientists do a biopsy on an animal to extract cells. These cells are then placed into a nutrient-rich broth and “grown” in a bioreactor. That provides the optimal conditions for cellular growth, causing the cells to multiply.

As the cells continue to grow, they form meat. And biologically, this meat is the exact same as meat harvested from an animal the traditional way. The only difference is that it was grown in a lab, and it may not look like a steak or a chicken breast.

When enough of the cultured meat has been grown, it can be collected and made into a final product.

And that brings us back to Singapore’s regulatory approval…

A San Francisco-based company called Eat Just is producing chicken nuggets from cultured chicken. This is the product that just got regulatory approval. A yet-to-be-named restaurant in Singapore will soon offer Just’s cultured chicken nuggets on its menu.

We may ask ourselves – what’s the motivation behind cultured meat? Why would consumers want it?

Well, cultured meat is attractive to some people because no animals are harmed in producing it. The animals only experience a biopsy and that’s it. There’s no need to slaughter the animal for the meat.

In addition, there’s no need to cram a bunch of animals together in factory farms, as is so common today. Producing cultured meat allows for smaller herds and better living conditions for the animals.

This is attractive to a segment of the consumer market that desires to have less of the environmental impact caused by the consumption of meat.

Cultured meats are far healthier than the plant-based meat substitutes that have become popular recently. These substitutes are heavily processed and contain chemicals and flavoring to make them look and taste like meat. They are basically processed food.

For people who like meat but are vegetarians for ethical reasons, cultured meat is a healthier solution.

So I think the cultured meat industry has a bright future.

The biggest challenge right now is that cultured meat is quite expensive to produce. It still costs hundreds of dollars per pound to produce cultured meat. But that’s a major improvement from the hundreds of thousands it cost just a few years ago.

As with everything, technological advancements and scale will drive the price of cultured meat down.

And there are several prominent companies like Eat Just working in this space. Memphis Meats (which is backed by Richard Branson and Bill Gates), BlueNalu, and Finless Foods are all working to develop cultured meats and seafood. Many more companies are sure to follow.

We’ll keep an eye on these companies going forward. I’m excited to see how this industry develops.

Facebook’s Libra rises from the grave…

We haven’t talked about Facebook’s Libra since the project began to crash and burn last October. However, amid all the chaos of 2020, Facebook has quietly been working on a plan to bring Libra back from the grave.

To bring newer readers up to speed, Libra was the name of Facebook’s digital currency project announced last year. It was going to be a “stablecoin” backed by a basket of fiat currencies.

To hold its stablecoin, Facebook developed a digital wallet called Calibra. As I explained last year, this was a Trojan horse to get Facebook into the financial services business.

And Facebook went so far as to set up an independent governing foundation for Libra consisting of companies like Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Stripe, eBay, and others.

But Libra was perceived to be a power play by Facebook, and the project came under immense regulatory scrutiny. That prompted many foundation members to drop out entirely. It appeared Libra was dead in the water.

Well, Facebook has rebranded Libra to “Diem.” It will now be a stablecoin backed by just one fiat currency – U.S. dollars. And Facebook renamed the Calibra wallet Novi.

It looks like Facebook’s plan is to do a scaled launch early next year, potentially as soon as January.

It will first launch Diem and Novi in the parts of the U.S. that have a lot of cross-border transactions taking place.

In other words, Facebook will start in markets where people are working in the U.S. and sending money back home to a different country. That’s the most obvious use case for a digital currency because it is far cheaper than sending U.S. dollars across borders. Then it will expand the launch from there.

Clearly, Facebook hopes this seemingly magnanimous use case will convince people in other markets to adopt Diem and Novi.

So we will keep a close eye on this as our calendars turn the page to 2021.

Visa is getting into the digital currency game…

Speaking of digital currencies… 

Visa is getting in the game. The company announced that its payments network will soon support the USD Coin (USDC), a U.S. dollar stablecoin. As its name implies, the USDC is backed one-to-one by U.S. dollars.

It was developed jointly by digital asset powerhouse Coinbase and Circle Internet Financial. Circle is a private cryptocurrency-focused finance company backed by Goldman Sachs and Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group.

This is big news.

Visa’s network includes 60 million merchants. Right now, these merchants accept credit card payments for their goods and services. But with Visa incorporating support for USDC, these merchants could soon also accept the digital currency as payment.

That means consumers may soon be able to buy anything they want with USDC – and all without needing to convert it back into fiat currency first.

This is important because converting digital currency to fiat is expensive. There are conversion costs and transaction fees. This means you end up with fewer dollars than you started with after the conversion.

For people who hold some of their savings in digital currency, this move will enable them to easily buy goods and services through Visa’s network.

That’s true even if those savings are in assets like bitcoin and Ether, simply because it is cheap to convert from another digital currency to USDC. The big transaction fees only come into play when going back to fiat.

2021 will be the year that digital currencies first become useful for everyday purchases through stablecoins.

At a higher level, 2021 is setting up to be a big year for the digital asset industry, stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).


Jeff Brown
Editor, The Bleeding Edge

P.S. As I mentioned above, I’m inviting readers to join me for my special event this Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. ET. I don’t want anyone to miss out on this company with up to 1,000% gains possible in the near future. Go right here to reserve your spot for free.

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