Pongo Points 12/28/23

Nuclear fusion in the spotlight again | Arthur Hayes fears ETF will kill Bitcoin | NYT sues AI companies

1. Nuclear Fusion Gaining Hype

Why it’s interesting: Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have achieved energy gain from nuclear fusion in 66% of tests, suggesting that the process might be closer to commercialization than ever before.

What stands out: Nuclear fusion is a counter-intuitive process by which two atoms form a larger one and release energy, which is essentially the opposite reaction of nuclear fission used by nuclear power plants today.

What’s next: Unfortunately, nuclear fusion still requires massive amount of energy in order to effectuate the reaction, meaning there is still no “net positive energy” gain using existing processes.

2. Arthur Hayes thinks the Bitcoin ETF Kills the Bitcoin Network

Read it on Crypto Trader Digest here: Expression

Why it’s interesting: Arthur Hayes presents a series of investment theses, or as he calls them “value traps,” and presents an alternative point of view to DeFi, real world asset tokenization, and the Bitcoin ETF.

What stands out: Hayes criticizes the Bitcoin ETF as being a way for traditional finance vehicles to vacuum up liquidity and “kill” Bitcoin, since Bitcoin’s security model is predicated upon network usage and various ETF providers don’t need to use the Bitcoin network.

What’s next: The SEC is required to either accept or reject two spot Bitcoin ETF applications by January 10, 2024, meaning Hayes’s warning might slowly come to fruition.

3. Content Providers Suing Content Users

Why it’s interesting: The New York Times sued Microsoft and OpenAI, two of the most important artificial intelligence companies in the world, for using their media to train AI models and allegedly causing “billions” in damages.

What stands out: OpenAI, Microsoft, and the NYT were in talks for months prior to the filing of this lawsuit, so it’s unclear if the NYT was pursuing an amicable agreement or an excuse to generate drama for more news coverage.

What’s next: It’s unclear if training AI models on paid media constitutes theft or can lead to actual damages, especially since it’s not plagiarism for individuals to that summarize content and AI models can’t be attributed for “reputation” damage if they can’t be attributed with ownership of its productions either.

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