• Metaverse real estate is red hot…
  • What we can learn from this NFT hack…
  • A major move by Fidelity for digital assets…

Dear Reader,

I can just imagine how the discussion went…

A: “You want to do what?

B: “You heard me correctly. We’re going to catch it mid-air while it’s falling to Earth.”

A: “That’s not going to happen. It’s too heavy, moving too fast, and you’ll have wind to worry about as well… plus a hundred other things that can go wrong.”

B: “No problem. With a large enough parachute, we can slow down the descent and stabilize against any wind shear. And of course, we’re only launching on days when the weather is good. And as long as we have a Sikorsky-92 we’ll be fine. It can handle the load.”

A: “And you want to catch it with just a line and hook?!? Do you think you’re going fishing?”

B: “Kind of like that. But we can see the fish in the air. Much easier. And why make it complex? The line and hook are simple and inexpensive. It will get the job done and save us money on the recovery.”

A: “And how do you think you’ll get the first stage back to land? The Sikorsky-92 can’t travel that far with that kind of weight in tow.”

B: “Oh, that’s easy. We’ll have a recovery ship near the catch site. The Sikorsky can haul over the first stage and just lay it down in a catch basket sized for the rocket. That’s much easier than the catch.”

A: “Go back to the drawing board.”

B: “No. This will work. And it means that we need less fuel on launch, which means even lower launch costs. If SpaceX can land their first stage vertically on a moving ship in the ocean, I know we can pull this off.”

A: “Good point. And if we can do this, we’ll dominate the small launch market. No one will be as competitive as we’ll be. Let’s get it done.”

And that’s exactly what they did. In an almost SpaceX-like crazy first stage recovery, Rocket Lab captured its Electron booster with just a helicopter, a line, and a hook during its “There and Back Again” mission.

Here is what the recovery of the booster looked like:

Rocket Lab’s Booster Recovery

Source: New York Times

And here is the booster resting in its “bed” after being hauled mid-flight to the recovery ship:

Booster In the Bed

Source: Twitter

This is a major victory for Rocket Lab (RKLB), which became a public company last August through a reverse merger. Being able to repeatedly reuse the boosters will ensure that it will remain cost-competitive for launch services, as well as improve overall gross margins for each launch.

Rocket Lab plays in the small launch vehicle category with a payload of 300 kilograms to low Earth orbit. For comparison, the SpaceX Falcon 9 is capable of lifting 22,800 kilograms to low Earth orbit – that’s 76 times the payload capacity of Rocket Lab.

The two companies don’t compete with one another; they just serve two different markets for getting payloads to space. And Rocket Lab is now officially the only small launch vehicle provider with a reusable booster capability.

We’re witnessing a remarkable number of positive developments in the aerospace industry that would have been almost unthinkable 10 years ago. These exciting events are happening almost on a monthly basis now, and the early stage investment taking place in private aerospace companies right now is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

And that’s always a precursor for great things to come.

This metaverse nearly crashed Ethereum over the weekend…

An exciting new metaverse was born this past weekend.

Otherside, a metaverse tied to the Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible token (NFT) collection, launched with a land sale… And it was so popular that it nearly crashed the Ethereum blockchain.

As part of the launch, Otherside made 55,000 parcels of digital real estate available for purchase. Each parcel cost about $5,800 worth of ApeCoin, which is the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s native cryptocurrency.

And get this – there was so much traffic and demand that Ethereum’s transaction fees, called gas fees, skyrocketed. In fact, some of the real estate purchases cost an additional two ether (ETH) to complete. That equated to roughly $6,000 in gas fees… just to purchase a $5,800 piece of real estate.

Despite this, Otherside’s land sale sold out in three hours. The project raised $320 million in ApeCoin.

And that’s just in sales to people who are new to the franchise. Otherside also allotted 45,000 parcels of real estate to existing Bored Ape and Mutant Ape NFT holders.

The bottom line is that this was an incredibly successful launch. Otherside is suddenly one of the most important metaverses to watch – as is its cryptocurrency, ApeCoin.

And this is just more evidence that there will not be one metaverse to rule them all.

Instead, there will be all kinds of unique metaverses created – each with its own unique themes and features.

And based on what we’ve seen so far, there will be huge demand as these metaverses roll out…

How to avoid NFT hacks…

Speaking of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, another major development happened last week. Hackers managed to steal more than $10 million worth of Bored Ape NFTs from their rightful owners.

However, the hack was not very complex. It certainly didn’t impact the blockchain. Instead, it was a clever phishing campaign.

I’ve warned about these kinds of attacks several times before in these pages. Here’s how it went down…

First, the hackers gained control of the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s Instagram account. Then they announced that all Bored Ape NFT holders were eligible to participate in an upcoming airdrop, which is the free distribution of a new digital asset.

Along with this announcement, the hackers sent out a link to a website they created that mimicked the appearance of the main Bored Ape site.

This site prompted NFT holders to fill out what’s called a Safe Transfer Form with the promise that this would facilitate the airdrop.

Instead, this form transferred the Bored Ape NFTs to the hackers. In total, they absconded with over $10 million worth of NFTs.

As we have discussed before, the most successful hacks are usually the least sophisticated from a technical standpoint. That’s why it is critical that we not click on links or download attachments in emails or texts unless we are absolutely sure who they are from.

And if we do click on a link because we trust it, we should still inspect the URL to ensure it’s the real thing. Many sophisticated phishing attacks will create a copycat website. The URL looks legit at first glance, but upon closer inspection, it contains typos or slight changes that indicate it’s a fake.

And we don’t have to buy NFTs directly if we are worried about these kinds of hacks.

Alternatively, we can buy native tokens in the blockchain protocols powering the NFT trend forward to gain exposure to the asset class. And we can invest in funds that are buying and developing digital real estate.

That’s why I launched Unchained Profits. There, we look for the most promising projects to profit from… and provide clear guidance for readers on how to do transactions, set up accounts, and understand these investments. And we aim to make the cryptocurrency and blockchain space much simpler to navigate by doing so.

If any readers would like to learn more about how Unchained Profits works, simply go right here.

Fidelity is unleashing crypto for retirement accounts…

We’ll wrap up today with a huge development from Fidelity. The brokerage giant just announced that it will allow investors to buy Bitcoin in their 401(k) retirement accounts. I can’t overstate how big of a deal this is.

As we discussed last week, Fidelity is the largest traditional stock brokerage in terms of total accounts. In fact, Fidelity boasts 33.2 million client accounts.

So this announcement will put Bitcoin in front of millions of investors who may not have considered it before.

To be clear, it’s just an option. Investors don’t have to buy Bitcoin in their 401(k) if they don’t want to. But to me, holding Bitcoin inside of a tax-advantaged account is a great way to go.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Fidelity’s rollout will start with MicroStrategy.

MicroStrategy is an information technology (IT) company. But its chief executive officer (CEO), Michael Saylor, got the Bitcoin bug a few years ago and moved $425 million of the company’s cash reserves into Bitcoin.

Saylor has since borrowed against the company’s assets to invest even more heavily into Bitcoin. As I write, MicroStrategy owns 129,218 bitcoins. That’s worth just over $5 billion today.

So Fidelity is starting with MicroStrategy’s 401(k) services. And by summer, Bitcoin will be available to all of Fidelity’s clients worldwide.

This is wildly bullish for Bitcoin.

But there’s an interesting dynamic that caught my eye here…

In March, the U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance around putting digital assets into retirement accounts. They said that these assets bring with them custodial and valuation concerns as well as regulatory risk.

The takeaway was essentially that brokerages should not make cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin available in retirement plans.

I found this odd because the Department of Labor is not a regulator. It has no authority whatsoever on investment and retirement regulations. It looks to me like the agency simply wanted to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) to stifle the digital asset industry’s growth.

So I must applaud Fidelity for making this move despite the department’s words of warning.

And to me, this is just the beginning. If Fidelity can make Bitcoin available, it could easily do the same for Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. This is wildly bullish for the asset class.

What’s more, this matches up perfectly with what the Perceptron is saying right now. It is sending very strong signals for Bitcoin and Ethereum, which means it expects a strong move higher over the next several months.

As a reminder, the Perceptron is a neural network artificial intelligence (AI) that issues trading alerts for cryptocurrencies. It’s our newest Brownstone Research offering through my Neural Net Profits research service. And we’ve already had two profitable sell alerts since its launch back in March.

So if any readers are interested in shorter-term crypto trades, I’d highly encourage checking it out right here.


Jeff Brown
Editor, The Bleeding Edge

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