- This tractor is loaded with AI tech…
- Another sign the NFT trend is booming…
- Signal is branching out into blockchain technology…
Over the last year, we’ve witnessed the exponential rise of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
For newer readers, NFTs are digital assets that are cryptographically secured and authenticated on a blockchain. We’ve covered many use cases for NFTs… Everything from digital works of art to digital collectibles, massively multiplayer video games, and much more.
I see immense potential for massive growth in the NFT space. But I’ve been waiting for a major inflection point in the market… the point at which NFTs finally hit the mainstream.
In 2020, NFTs only saw a total sales volume of $340 million. Then last year, NFTs hit north of $25 billion in sales. And as we look ahead to the new year, I believe the mass adoption of NFTs is underway…
And this is creating a greenfield opportunity for early investors to place their stake in these digital assets.
But rather than paying thousands for a digital trading card or artwork… I’ve found three NFT coins that could hand investors decades of tech gains in a matter of months.
And I want to make sure my Bleeding Edge readers don’t miss out on this opportunity.
So on January 26, at 8 p.m. ET, I’m holding a special presentation called The NFT Moment. There, I’ll show readers how to place an early stake in my top three NFT coins.
And I’ll even be doing a giveaway – attendees on January 26 only will have the chance to receive their very own NFT. To learn how to claim your free NFT – and my top recommendations in this space – reserve your spot right here.
The first autonomous tractor goes on sale this fall…
As longtime readers know, I always keep an eye on what happens at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas every January. Most of what comes out of CES is just glitz and glamor.
But a major announcement caught my eye this year…
John Deere – the popular agriculture equipment company – just unveiled its fully autonomous tractor. They call it the 8R. How can we not be intrigued by that?
The tractor comes loaded with advanced neural network technology. This is a form of artificial intelligence (AI). And the AI ties into an automated steering system and six pairs of cameras that give it a 360-degree view. This allows the AI to drive the tractor intelligently while looking out for objects in the field.
The tractor is also fitted with a GPS guidance system. This allows farmers to geofence their fields, which shows the AI exactly where the tractor needs to operate.
So, all farmers have to do is get the 8R to the proper field that they have geofenced. Once there, they can hop out and leave all the work to the AI. Here’s a shot of the 8R in action:
Source: John Deere
Here we can see the tractor tilling a field all by itself. No driver necessary.
But that doesn’t mean farmers are in the dark about what’s going on. The tractor pairs with an app so farmers can monitor it from their smartphone or tablet.
And if it gets into a situation that it doesn’t understand, the AI will stop the tractor and send the farmer an alert. This could happen if there is a strange object or possibly a large hole in the way. This prevents the tractor from damaging itself before the farmer can figure out how to resolve the issue.
I love this. We have talked about self-driving cars many times in these pages, but I doubt many of us have thought much about autonomous tractors.
And the timing couldn’t be better.
We have talked about the ongoing labor shortages a lot recently. It’s difficult for farmers to find seasonal farmhands to assist with managing the fields.
Well, the 8R can largely replace the need for hired help, at least for field management tasks. That’s especially important because field and crop management tends to be the most time-consuming task for farmers.
So here we have another great example of AI technology solving a complex problem. And best of all – the 8R goes on sale this fall. I’m very interested to see how quickly it is adopted.
The fastest-growing early stage company I have ever seen…
Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea just completed its Series C funding round. The company raised $300 million at a $13.3 billion valuation. The round was led by Paradigm, which is one of the most prominent venture capital (VC) firms in the blockchain space.
On the surface, this may not seem overly impressive. We have profiled similar VC raises in these pages before. But one detail jumped out at me. It’s how fast OpenSea’s valuation has grown.
OpenSea’s Series A round was on March 18, 2021. The company raised $23 million at a $73 million valuation. Then its Series B round was on July 20, 2021. That round raised $100 million and valued OpenSea at $1.5 billion.
So OpenSea went from largely irrelevant, to a unicorn, to a decacorn in just 10 months. I’ve never seen that before. And if we look at the valuation – it increased 178 times in less than a year. That’s also a first.
Simply put, this is the fastest I have ever seen an early stage company’s valuation grow.
And here’s the thing – OpenSea’s $13.3 billion valuation isn’t that lofty. The financials spell this out.
OpenSea facilitated $2.5 billion in NFT sales last month. If we project that over the next 12 months, it would put sales at $30 billion for 2022. And that’s if there’s no growth.
If we assume conservative growth, it’s reasonable to project $35 billion in sales on the OpenSea marketplace this year. And OpenSea’s cut is 2.5% of every sale. That’s the business model.
So this would put the company at about $875 million in revenue this year. That means the $13.3 billion valuation is only about 15 times sales. That’s not too rich, especially for a small company in an explosive growth industry.
To me, this is just another indication of how hot the NFT trend is right now. It’s incredible to see a company grow so fast.
What’s more, there’s some very smart money investing in OpenSea right now. They expect its valuation to go much higher. This is definitely a company we will continue to track.
And if you haven’t already, please don’t miss one important event coming up… As I mentioned at the top, I’ll be hosting an evening that’s all about NFTs and the explosive growth they’ve been experiencing. And I’ll explain one event that’s primed to make this NFT boom even bigger.
I’ll also share one free recommendation with all attendees that night – one that I believe will benefit from the NFT trend…
Encrypted messaging meets cryptocurrency…
My favorite private messaging app Signal has a card up its sleeve.
Quietly, Signal recently integrated a privacy-focused cryptocurrency called MobileCoin into its messaging app. It’s in the beta stage right now, but this is an exciting development for digital payments.
Signal’s claim to fame is its encryption technology for messaging. Here’s why this is so important…
I don’t think many people realize this, but when we send a regular SMS text message, that message is not encrypted. And that means it sits out on a database in cyberspace in plain sight, so to speak.
Anyone with access to that database can read the message. The implication here is that somebody could potentially read every text message we have ever sent.
Signal’s solution is to encrypt our text messages so only the designated recipient can read them. It’s a way to ensure that our conversations are secure and private.
So we can see how a private and secure digital payment system would fit Signal’s ethos. And if we look at how cryptocurrency transactions work, we see that MobileCoin solves a very similar problem in the digital payment space.
When we send cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum to somebody, that transaction is published on the blockchain for all to see. Now, none of our identifying information is there – it doesn’t record our name or anything like that.
But it does record the alphanumeric string of letters and numbers that corresponds with our wallet address.
That means the crypto recipient, for example, could search the blockchain for our wallet address to see what other transactions we have made. This could potentially connect us to our spending habits. And it also would allow others to figure out the balance we hold in that wallet.
MobileCoin was designed to solve this problem. It uses encryption technologies and protocols to hide the amount of each transaction. It also mixes transactions up so they can’t be linked back to individual users.
Pair this with Signal, and we have a fantastic privacy-focused ecosystem. Now we can send MobileCoin payments to people as easily as we send text messages. And we can be confident that everything is encrypted and secure.
This could suddenly make Signal an interesting competitor to popular payment networks like Venmo and Square’s Cash App. I’m very interested to see if this catches on.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge
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