• The last-mile delivery battle is heating up…
  • Crypto is growing despite the volatility…
  • We’re just scratching the surface of NFT utility…

Dear Reader,

One of the single best timing indicators of when to buy a specific stock has nothing to do with technical analysis, artificial intelligence, Elliott Waves, or phases of the Moon.

We simply watch the stock trades of Paul Pelosi and his wife Nancy, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. This indicator is so consistent that there are apps and websites dedicated to tracking the Pelosis’ moves.

And their latest transaction definitely raised some eyebrows.

The Pelosis exercised call options on the world’s most valuable semiconductor company, NVIDIA, in order to purchase 20,000 shares. That’s no small amount. At today’s prices, that’s about $3.2 million worth of stock.

But there is more.

While this appears to be the largest single purchase of NVIDIA made by the Pelosis, they have been acquiring the stock aggressively over the last year. In total, they now have amassed around $7 million in NVIDIA stock, representing 9% of their entire stock portfolio.

How do we know this? In the U.S., members of Congress must file reports of any stocks that they buy or sell within 45 days of the transaction.

Yet this isn’t the most interesting part of the story. What we’re most interested in, of course, is what happens next.

And today, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the $52 billion CHIPS Act. It’s designed to provide critical subsidies to encourage both foreign and domestic semiconductor companies to build new semiconductor manufacturing plants on U.S. soil.

Coincidence? Absolutely not.

The Pelosis clearly have information that the CHIPS Act is going to pass. It will be a boon to those in the semiconductor industry that are recipients of the subsidies.

But aside from that, I just don’t see how it won’t pass. In fact, given the supply chain problems that we’ve been through over the last year and a half – many of which were semiconductor related – it’s a surprise that it hasn’t been passed already.

And the optics would be terrible if it weren’t passed. The current administration is happy to send $80 billion-plus of U.S. taxpayer dollars in aid and materiel to Ukraine, but it’s not willing to support U.S. manufacturing and jobs? That wouldn’t look good at all.

This bill is long overdue. The global architecture for manufacturing has been shifting from centralized to decentralized for years now, and the pace is picking up.

The cost advantages of manufacturing in mainland China have narrowed to the point where it makes less and less sense to do so. And the importance of secure supply chains for critical components has never been better understood than it is today.

I’m excited – and not just because the CHIPS Act is going to be good for the industry, create jobs, and build more resiliency into the semiconductor supply chain.

I’m excited because our model portfolios in The Near Future Report and Exponential Tech Investor are full of both large- and small-cap semiconductor companies that will be beneficiaries of the CHIPS Act.

And just like the Pelosis, we know what that will mean for those share prices.

Walmart is ordering lots of delivery EVs…

The race between Amazon and Walmart for fast, last-mile delivery continues to heat up… And it is doing so in a way that reduces the carbon footprint of these retail and e-commerce giants. That has become even more important.

As an odd artifact of the pandemic, most consumers got very used to regular, if not daily, deliveries of packages and food directly to their doorstep. It’s a convenience that is nearly impossible to relinquish.

The downside, of course, is that carbon emissions from last-mile delivery jumped about 20% last year due to the increased logistics required by these companies. So both companies have been scrambling to go electric.

And Walmart just announced a major order of what it calls Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles from EV manufacturer Canoo. Walmart has committed to purchasing 4,500 of the below vehicles – and up to 10,000 of them.

Walmart’s Delivery Vehicle

Source: The Verge

The orders come at a critical time for Canoo, as the company has been struggling since going public in late 2020 via a reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC).

And as we’ve seen in The Bleeding Edge, Walmart has been experimenting with different kinds of autonomous delivery vehicles over the last couple of years.

The technology is getting close to widespread deployments, but it’s not quite ready to meet the current needs today en masse… Hence Walmart’s deal with Canoo.

And this isn’t the company’s first deal. This January, Walmart signed up for 5,000 electric delivery vans from a GM subsidiary, BrightDrop. And before that, it ordered 1,100 electric vans from Ford’s E-Transit.

That’s smart. Walmart is hedging its orders and will see which company delivers the best product for its needs.

And this isn’t something that will happen years from now. Canoo’s production of these Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles begins next quarter, and commercial deliveries will begin next year.

That’s right around the corner… which is exactly where many of us will soon see these blue EVs in our neighborhoods.

Mysten Labs just hit a $2 billion valuation…

The venture capital markets have been shifting dramatically this year.

As I’ve written in The Bleeding Edge recently, I’ve been seeing significant compression in valuations, especially in larger, late-stage private tech companies.

But that doesn’t mean that the venture business has slowed down at all – Quite the contrary.

Venture capital firms have been raising record funds this year in traditional tech, biotech, and the blockchain/crypto industry.

We’ve had a look at major firms like a16z (Andreessen Horowitz), which just raised the largest crypto fund ever. But even smaller, crypto-first funds like Multicoin Capital just announced their largest crypto fund ever at $430 million.

The money is still flowing. The VCs are just getting a lot pickier about where they are allocating capital.

Case in point is the most recent announcement of a massive $200 million Series B round into blockchain startup Mysten Labs. The round will put Mysten at a $2 billion valuation.

Mysten was an interesting development late last year. The founders were a team out of Novi Research, which was the blockchain R&D division of Meta (Facebook).

When Facebook announced that it was selling its Diem assets to Silvergate and dropping its desire to create its own digital currency, the key blockchain players at Meta moved on.

The team’s goal is to develop a highly scalable protocol for developing highly functional smart contracts… basically the next generation of smart contract technology.

And a16z was happy to snap them up and fund them last December in a $36 million Series A round. Right out of the gate, $36 million.

And here’s the thing, that was just eight months ago. The team at Mysten has gone from founding the company… to raising $236 million in capital… to reaching a $2 billion valuation in less than a year.

While the crypto markets are still volatile right now, there is still some major growth ahead for us to look forward to.

RTFKT is giving away the rights to CloneX NFTs…

One of the most anticipated launches of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) over the last year has been the CloneX collection by RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”).

Bleeding Edge readers might recognize the name RTFKT, as I’ve written about it several times in the past. It was one of the most creative developers of NFTs over the last couple of years.

Sadly, Nike acquired the company last December. While I would have preferred the company to remain independent and build great things, the reason for Nike’s attraction was obvious. Some of RTFKT’s most desirable collections were digital versions of sneakers – it was an obvious fit.

CloneX, on the other hand, is a character-based avatar NFT project that RTFKT was developing long before Nike entered the picture.

CloneX Avatars

Source: RTFKT on Twitter

What’s interesting is that RTFKT just announced that it’s giving away the full commercial rights to all holders of CloneX NFTs.

Better yet, it is providing all NFT holders the 3D files for their CloneX avatars in a variety of file formats – two of which are designed for the two most popular gaming engines in use, Unity and Unreal Engine.

Holders of the NFTs can download all the original work and have the right to commercialize the avatars in any way that they like.

They can use the avatars in video games, create new artwork, use the avatars on social media, or even use them as their avatar in a metaverse.

And it’s not just digital utility. Holders of the CloneX NFTs can also produce physical goods based on the avatars that they own. They can create and sell merchandise or even start a business around the NFT.

Something similar has already happened with the Bored Ape Yacht Club, but RTFKT has taken things one step further by providing the 3D files and unfettered commercial rights for development.

I really like this example. While NFTs are a lot of fun, and will be widely used in the context of gaming and art, they are a rapidly emerging investment asset class.

In the case of CloneX, those who invest in these avatars are buying the rights to commercialize and monetize those assets however they like. In that way, it’s not that different than purchasing the rights to own and operate a franchise.

We’re still just scratching the surface of what’s possible with NFTs, which is why this is an asset class that every investor should have some exposure to.


Jeff Brown
Editor, The Bleeding Edge