Taking Flight with Heron and Condor: The Latest Advancements in Quantum Computers


IBM has just announced the latest breakthrough in its mission to make commercialized and practical quantum computers a reality – a 1,000+ qubit processor dubbed ‘Condor’ and an error-correction-focused processor dubbed ‘Heron’.

Quantum computers represent a new approach to machine-based computation.  Through the use of qubits capable of superposition and entanglement, quantum computers have the potential to perform faster and more complex calculations than classical bits used in more traditional computers. Unlike traditional computing, where bits represent either 0 or 1, qubits in quantum computing can represent both states simultaneously. Importantly, this makes quantum computing complementary to classical computing rather than a replacement; it excels in tasks like molecular simulations and system optimizations, while classical computing is better suited for everyday tasks.

It is because of the types of tasks that quantum computing should excel at that the technology is so vaunted.  A computer capable of performing complex calculations orders of magnitudes quicker than its traditional counterparts is worth developing, as its use cases have the potential to change the world and our understanding of it.

IBM’s Heron and Condor

With its announcement, IBM has made significant strides in quantum computing by launching two advanced quantum processors: Heron and Condor.

The Heron processor, featured on the ibm_torino quantum system, represents a leap forward with its 133 fixed-frequency qubits and tunable couplers, delivering a 3-5x improvement in performance compared to its previous 127-qubit Eagle processors.  This advancement virtually eliminates ‘cross-talk’ (undesired interaction or interference between qubits) and lays the groundwork for future hardware development.  Notably, IBM is already utilizing these chips in its ‘modular-architecture’ Quantum System Two computing platform.

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On the other hand, the Condor processor, a 1,121 superconducting qubit quantum processor, is an equally notable innovation.  It increases qubit density by 50%, incorporates advancements in qubit fabrication, and integrates over a mile of high-density cryogenic wiring within a single dilution refrigerator (a tool used to achieve extremely low temperatures, typically close to absolute zero).  Condor’s performance is comparable to the company’s earlier 433-qubit Osprey processor, marking a significant milestone in scaling and informing future hardware design in quantum computing.

These developments by IBM are pivotal in pushing the boundaries of quantum utility and advancing toward quantum-centric supercomputing.

Applications and Limitations

As previously mentioned, quantum computers are so vaunted due to their potential to greatly advance our understanding of just about every field of science.  The following are just a few examples of these.

Medicine: In medicine, quantum computing could revolutionize drug discovery by simulating the behavior of molecules at a quantum level. This allows for more accurate predictions of how potential drugs might interact with the human body, speeding up the development of new medications and reducing costs.

Meteorology: For meteorology, quantum computers could analyze vast amounts of weather data more efficiently than classical computers.  This would lead to more accurate weather predictions and better understanding of climate change, helping to mitigate natural disasters and plan agricultural strategies.

Complex Problem Solving: Quantum computing could tackle problems that are currently unsolvable by classical computers, such as optimizing large systems for logistics and supply chains, or solving intricate mathematical problems.  This has broad implications for various sectors, including transportation, energy, and finance.

It is also important to recognize that we can not know what we cannot imagine.  Meaning, there will be scores of unexpected advancements made possible through the abilities one day provided by this technology.

“Quantum computing is the future of computing. It will open up new possibilities for scientific discovery and technological advancement that we can’t even imagine today.” – Arvind Krishna, Chairman and CEO of IBM, in an interview with CNBC

With quantum computers representing such a monumental technological achievement, it should come as no surprise that there have been, and remain, significant hurdles and limitations that must be overcome in time.  For example, quantum computing currently faces challenges in error correction, scalability, and developing practical algorithms.

In time, there are bound to be other hurdles that pop up, which were previously unexpected due to a rudimentary but growing understanding of quantum mechanics.  The complexity and potential of quantum physics was emphasized in the following quote.

“If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics.” – Richard Feynman, Nobel laureate in Physics

As it stands, these limitations mean quantum computers are not yet ready for widespread use.  With recent advancements, optimistic timelines point to another decade before this is the case.

Education the Future Quantum Computing Workforce

In past decades, quantum computing seemed to be in such a distant future that courses teaching it were few and far between.  Now that a future in which they are actually in use is beginning to come into focus, the need to train the next generation of scientists and engineers who will be responsible for continuing this advancement is only increasing.  As a result, many universities are now offering specialized courses and programs in quantum computing to prepare a skilled workforce for this emerging field.

  • The Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo is a notable example, combining academic research with a drive to commercialize technology.  Funded by Mike Lazaridis, creator of BlackBerry, it employs about 296 researchers and has published over 1,500 research papers.
  • University of Oxford has a long history in quantum computing, with significant contributions to the field, including the first working pure state NMR quantum computer.
  • Harvard University’s Harvard Quantum Initiative focuses on advancing the science and engineering of quantum computers and their applications, preparing for what it calls the “second quantum revolution.”
  • MIT’s Center for Theoretical Physics delves deep into quantum information and quantum computing, exploring quantum algorithms, quantum information theory, and the experimental realization of quantum computers.
  • National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University’s Centre for Quantum Technologies and University of California Berkeley’s Center for Quantum Information and Computation are also pioneering in quantum computing education, focusing on research and development of quantum devices.
  • University of Maryland’s Joint Quantum Institute collaborates with major institutions like NIST and LPS, conducting extensive research programs dedicated to controlling and exploiting quantum systems.

Industry Players Advancing Quantum Computing

While the aforementioned schools may be training the next generation of quantum computing specialists, the following few companies are currently paving the road to this future.

1.  International Business Machines Corporation

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IBM has long been a leader in the development of quantum computers.  The company aims to democratize quantum computing development through initiatives like Qiskit Patterns.  IBM has also expanded its roadmap for achieving large-scale, practical quantum computing, focusing on new modular architectures and networking that could enable quantum systems with hundreds of thousands of qubits, essential for practical quantum applications.

2.  Microsoft Corporation

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Microsoft’s efforts in quantum computing are centered around cloud integration and collaboration.  The company has introduced quantum machines with the highest quantum volumes in the industry to Azure Quantum, including partnerships with IonQ, Pasqal, Quantinuum, QCI, and Rigetti.  This integration facilitates experimentation and is a step towards scaled quantum computing.  Microsoft emphasizes the importance of a global ecosystem to realize the full potential of quantum computing and plans to deliver its quantum machine as a cloud service through Azure, ensuring secure and responsible use of this emerging technology.

3.  Alphabet Inc.

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Alphabet, through its Google Quantum AI lab, has made significant strides in quantum computing.  In 2023, Google scientists announced a major milestone in reducing the rate of errors in quantum computing, a long-standing challenge in the field.  Its research, published in the journal Nature, describes a system capable of significantly decreasing the error rate and implementing error-correcting codes that can detect and fix errors without compromising the information.  Previously, in 2019, Google claimed to have achieved “quantum supremacy” with its Sycamore machine, performing a calculation in 200 seconds that would have taken a conventional supercomputer 10,000 years, demonstrating the potential of quantum computing in solving complex problems far beyond the capabilities of traditional computing.


Quantum computing represents a groundbreaking leap in the world of computing, offering the potential to revolutionize a plethora of fields.  While IBM’s recent advancements with the Heron and Condor quantum processors signify significant progress toward practical quantum computing, the technology continues to face significant challenges in error correction, scalability, and algorithm development – highlighting the need for continued research and innovation.

While these challenges remain, quantum computing holds the promise of unlocking possibilities we can’t even imagine today, ushering in a new era of scientific discovery and technological advancement.  Its full potential is still unfolding, and its impact on various industries and society promises to be profound.

The post Taking Flight with Heron and Condor: The Latest Advancements in Quantum Computers appeared first on Securities.io.

EVs Can Help More than the Earth – They Can Save Lives


Despite a recent slowdown in sales, it is undeniable at this point that electric vehicles are the future of transportation.  Whether fueled through battery packs or hydrogen, EVs are on a clear path to replace the internal combustion engine (ICE) in time.  The reasons for efforts supporting this are varied and are typically built around the idea of saving the planet from irreversible climate change.  Interestingly though, new studies are showing that it is not just the Earth that will benefit from this inevitable transition, but human lives.

The Study

The aforementioned study is one that looked to assess the potential effect a rapid phaseout of fossil fuels would have on humans.  It was published in The British Medical Journal (BMJ), after being put together by researchers from the following universities.

  • Germany’s Max Planck Institue for Chemistry
  • The United Kingdom’s London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • The United States University of Washington
  • Spain’s Barcelona Institute for Global Health
  • Germany’s University Medical Center Mainz

The broad scope of participating entities behind the study goes to show that this is not an isolated issue but one relevant on a global scale.

The bottom line is that air pollution remains a major public health challenge, with previous studies offering varying estimates of its mortality impact.  By employing updated atmospheric models and recent satellite-based fine particle data, the researchers behind this latest study estimate that about 5 million excess deaths globally each year can be attributed to air pollution from fossil fuels.

The Findings

Looking closer at the deaths attributed to fossil fuel pollution will show various recurring ailments that span from myocardial infarctions, cerebral vascular accidents, respiratory ailments such as chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder, and more.

The paper states that the team was able to achieve these insights through the development of a “…data constrained, global, atmospheric modelling method to compute gaseous and particulate air pollutants and attributed them to source categories.”  From there, it found that, primarily due to PM 2.5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns, which is particularly harmful due to its ability to bypass the body’s natural filtration mechanisms), 82% of air pollution deaths could be directly attributed to fossil fuels.  The effects of its elimination are shown in the following chart.

Source: www.bmj.com/content/383/bmj-2023-077784

The team did recognize that there were limitations to the study, stating that, among other things, it was reliant upon the studies of ‘epidemiological cohorts’.  As such, there were various ‘under-represented’ parts of the world (e.g. South Africa).

Regardless of limited data in certain regions, it would appear as though the study’s findings were clear – lives are unnecessarily lost every year due to fossil fuel use.

‘Diesel Gate’

This study’s implications are vast, particularly in light of events like the “Dieselgate” scandal, where certain automakers were found to have cheated on emissions tests.  Such incidents have drawn public attention to the broader issue of air pollution and its sources, reinforcing the need for swift action towards cleaner energy alternatives.

The “Dieselgate” scandal was a major automotive industry controversy that erupted in September 2015 when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that Volkswagen had been using software in its diesel vehicles to manipulate emissions tests.  This software, known as a “defeat device,” enabled the vehicles to meet emissions standards during regulatory testing, while emitting up to 40 times more nitrogen oxides (NOx) during regular driving conditions.  This deceit not only violated environmental laws but also misled consumers about the vehicles’ environmental impact.  The scandal quickly expanded beyond Volkswagen, with allegations involving other manufacturers such as Audi, a Volkswagen subsidiary, and Porsche.

A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimated that the excess emissions from 11 million affected vehicles globally could contribute to around 1,200 premature deaths in Europe alone.  This figure was based on the excess emissions’ impact on air quality and subsequent effects on health, particularly respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Dieselgate had far-reaching consequences, leading to massive recalls, legal actions, and a global reevaluation of diesel vehicle emissions and their regulation.  A silver lining from this debacle, would be the resulting increase in interest surrounding more sustainable alternatives and practices – a shift which has no doubt helped fuel recent growth in the EV industry and associated government regulations.  Unfortunately, the study recently published in the BMJ shows that there is still a mountain to climb on the path to sustainability.

Industry Players

Never before has there been such a broad array of vehicles available to the public for transportation – be it diesel, gas, hybrids, battery EVs, hydrogen EVs, or something else entirely.  However, for investors interested in the automotive industry that keep sustainability in mind, a few names stand out in a growing field.

*Figures provided below were accurate at the time of writing and are subject to change.  Any potential investor should verify metrics*


1.  Tesla, Inc.

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As a pioneer in the electric vehicle (EV) market, Tesla represents a compelling investment opportunity.  Founded in 2003, it has established a dominant position in the EV sector with its innovative models like the Model S, 3, X, Y, and Cybertruck.  Tesla’s commitment extends beyond vehicles to battery storage and solar technology, diversifying its portfolio.  The company’s ability to consistently lead in EV technology, expand its global footprint, and maintain a strong brand makes it a potentially lucrative investment, particularly for those looking to capitalize on the growing trend towards sustainable energy.

2.  Rivian Automotive, Inc.

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Rivian stands out as an attractive investment in the electric vehicle space, particularly for its focus on electric trucks and SUVs, a relatively untapped segment in the EV market.  Founded in 2009, Rivian has garnered attention with the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, which combine eco-friendliness with adventure and off-road capabilities.

3. Polestar

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Investing in Polestar offers a unique opportunity in the electric vehicle sector, combining the appeal of high-performance and luxury with environmental sustainability.  Since its 2017 inception as an independent brand, Polestar has focused exclusively on electric vehicles, such as the hybrid Polestar 1 and the all-electric Polestar 2.  Its commitment to minimal environmental impact, coupled with advanced Scandinavian design and technology, positions Polestar as a strong contender in the luxury EV market.

Equity Crowdfunding

Aptera Motors

While not publicly traded, Aptera Motors has emerged as an intriguing investment prospect within the electric vehicle industry – especially for its unique focus on ultra-efficient, solar electric vehicles (SEVs).

The company, revived in 2019, distinguishes itself with the Aptera SEV, a three-wheeled, aerodynamic vehicle boasting an impressive range and minimal energy consumption. Its solar integration allows for self-charging capabilities, reducing reliance on charging stations.

Olympian Motors

Olympian Motors, though lesser-known in the electric vehicle landscape, presents an investment opportunity with its focus on blending luxury with sustainability. The company’s commitment to crafting high-end electric vehicles that do not compromise on performance or environmental responsibility sets it apart.

While specific details about their vehicle lineup and technology are not as widely publicized as larger companies, their vision aligns with the growing market trend towards luxury EVs. This focus on upscale, eco-friendly vehicles may appeal to investors seeking to diversify their portfolio with a company that has the potential to innovate and capture a niche segment in the luxury EV market.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the research team emphasized the urgency of transitioning to renewable energy sources.  It stated that,

“A major proportion [of air pollution] is potentially avoidable, caused by anthropogenic emissions, of which globally 82% is attributable to using fossil fuels in industry, power generation, and transportation. Given the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050, the replacement of fossil fuels by clean, renewable energy sources would have tremendous public health and climate co-benefits”

Past events like diesel-gate may have been needed to nudge the transportation sector in the right direction, and the findings of such studies should hopefully continue this trend towards sustainability.  While EVs are by no means perfect, as the industry needs to become better at recycling and less harmful battery compositions, they remain one of the best solutions for battling the effects of fossil fuels.  If we were to wait for a perfect solution, we would never move forward.  EVs provide enough benefits to warrant adoption, with a goal of ironing out its major kinks along the way.

The post EVs Can Help More than the Earth – They Can Save Lives appeared first on Securities.io.

Dancing With the Stars – CHEOPS and TESS Space Telescopes Discover Synchronized Planetary Orbits


Over the past few years, interest in astronomy has been skyrocketing – and with good reason.  Between efforts made by companies like SpaceX to bring humans to Mars or the stunning discoveries made by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), there has been no shortage of stunning achievements to revel in.  To wit, astronomers have just announced the discovery of a sextuplet of planets engaged in a synchronized orbiting pattern and ‘precise waltz’.  This discovery, which was originally touted as an ‘unsolvable riddle’, was made possible by a joint effort involving teams at the University of Bern and the University of Geneva.

The HD110067 System

The sextuplets of planets exist in a system dubbed ‘HD110067′.  What makes them so interesting is a rare harmonic resonance, where the planets follow a synchronized orbital pattern.  This intriguing arrangement was initially a puzzle, as only the orbits of the inner two planets were clear from initial TESS data. However, precise observations from CHEOPS clarified the orbits of the remaining planets, revealing a unique chain of resonances in successive pairs (3:2, 3:2, 3:2, 4:3, 4:3).

A resonance chain is expressed as a ratio based on rotations around a star given a fixed amount of time.  The antecedent/numerator refers to the number of rotations completed by the inner planet, while the consequent refers to those completed by the outer planet in the pair.  What is significant about this finding is the extent of synchronization.

“Amongst the over 5000 exoplanets discovered orbiting other stars than our Sun, resonances are not rare, nor are systems with several planets.

What is extremely rare though, is to find systems where the resonances span such a long chain of six planets” – Dr. Hugh Osborn, CHEOPS fellow at the University of Bern

Essentially, the ratios found (3:2, 3:2, 3:2, 4:3, 4:3) indicate that each of the following will occur in the exact same amount of time.

  • 3 revolutions of planet one = 2 revolutions of planet two
  • 3 revolutions of planet two = 2 revolutions of planet three
  • 3 revolutions of planet three = 2 revolutions of planet four
  • 4 revolutions of planet four = 3 revolutions of planet five
  • 4 revolutions of planet five = 3 revolutions of planet six

As a result, this discovery has now marked HD110067 as a key system for future studies, as the bright nature of the star should facilitate detailed investigations into the planets’ atmospheres and compositions, potentially uncovering whether they are gas- or water-rich.  Astronomers have noted that these findings hold significant promise for future explorations, particularly with instruments like the James Webb Space Telescope, in understanding the nature of exoplanetary systems.

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Leveraging the Transit Method with Telescopes

The aforementioned discovery was made possible primarily through the use of what is called the “transit method” – a widely used technique for discovering exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system.  This method involves monitoring the brightness of stars over time to detect periodic dimming, which indicates a planet might be passing in front of the star, blocking a small fraction of its light.

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Here’s a more detailed explanation:

Observation of Starlight: In the transit method, astronomers observe the light emitted by a star over an extended period.  Using space telescopes like Kepler, TESS, or ground-based telescopes, they continuously monitor the brightness of thousands of stars.

Transit Events: When a planet orbits a star, there’s a chance it will pass directly between the star and the observer.  This event is known as a “transit.”  When this happens, the planet blocks a tiny portion of the star’s light, causing a small but noticeable dip in its brightness.

Regular Dimming Patterns: If a star’s light dims at regular intervals, it suggests that a planet is orbiting the star and repeatedly transiting across it.  The amount of light that the planet blocks can tell astronomers about the size of the planet.  Larger planets block more light, causing a more significant dip in brightness.

Orbital Period and Distance: The frequency of the transit (how often the light dims) gives information about the planet’s orbital period, which is how long it takes to complete one orbit around its star.  This, in turn, helps in estimating the distance of the planet from its star.

Orientation Specific: The transit method only works if the planet’s orbit is edge-on, as seen from our vantage point.  If the orbit is tilted such that the planet never passes in front of the star from our perspective, the transit method won’t detect it.

Advantage in Size and Atmosphere Studies: The transit method is particularly effective for determining the size of the planet.  Additionally, when combined with spectroscopy, it can provide information about the composition of a planet’s atmosphere.

Follow-up Observations: After a potential exoplanet is detected through the transit method, further observations and analysis are often conducted to confirm its existence and study its properties in more detail.

To date, the transit method has been highly successful in the exoplanet hunt, contributing to the discovery of thousands of exoplanets since the early 2000s.  It’s particularly effective for finding planets that are close to their stars, such as those in the habitable zone where conditions might be right for liquid water — a key ingredient for life as we know it.

Space Telescopes

While it may be the James Webb Space Telescope that has captivated the public’s attention since its launch, it is by no means the only such device in use by astronomers today.  In fact, the discovery of these synchronized plants was made by the following.

CHEOPS (Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite):

Launched in 2019, CHEOPS is operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), with contributions from several European countries.  It was designed to observe known exoplanets orbiting bright stars.  Its primary goal is to measure the sizes of these planets with high precision.  By determining the planet sizes and combining this information with existing data on the planets’ masses, scientists can calculate their densities and hence infer their compositions.

Space Telescopes

*Image for illustrative purposes only*

More specifically, CHEOPS focuses on exoplanets ranging from Earth-sized to Neptune-sized.  It aims to provide more detailed information about these worlds, many of which were discovered by other missions like the Kepler telescope.  This is done through the use of the previously described ‘transit method’, where it measures the dip in starlight as a planet passes in front of its host star.

TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite):

Launched in 2018, TESS is operated by the United States-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration – better known as NASA.  While CHEOPS is meant to observe known exoplanets, TESS is tasked with a main objective to discover them by monitoring the brightest stars in the sky.  It’s particularly focused on finding Earth-sized and super-Earth-sized planets.

To achieve its goal, TESS surveys the entire sky, dividing it into numerous sectors, with each being observed for about a month.  This comprehensive survey approach has allowed TESS to discover thousands of new exoplanets.  Like CHEOPS, TESS also uses the transit method to detect exoplanets.  Its all-sky survey approach helps identify planets around a wide variety of star types, including those that are nearest and brightest and, therefore, easier for follow-up studies.

Both telescopes are significant contributors to the field of exoplanet research.  While CHEOPS is more focused on studying known exoplanets in greater detail, TESS is designed to find new exoplanets and add to the rapidly growing catalog of these distant worlds.  Their findings not only help us understand the properties of exoplanets but also contribute to the broader quest of searching for potentially habitable worlds beyond our solar system.

Industry Players

Humans are explorers by nature.  Over time, we have continually sought out, and adapted to living in all but the most extreme environments around the world.  Looking forward, if humans are to continue satiating an innate desire to expand our horizons, it will be advancements in science and the Aerospace sector.  With that in mind, the following are a few of the many companies working towards such a future.

*Figures provided below were accurate at the time of writing and are subject to change.  Any potential investor should verify metrics*


1. Northrop Grumman Corporation

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Northrop Grumman Corporation, a leading global security company, plays a pivotal role in advancing space travel and exploration.  Renowned for its innovation in aerospace technology, Northrop Grumman has been instrumental in several high-profile space missions.  A key highlight of its space endeavors includes its significant contribution to the James Webb Space Telescope, showcasing an expertise in developing complex space systems.

The company’s involvement in space extends to manufacturing satellites, contributing to the International Space Station, and developing launch vehicles.  With a strong focus on next-generation technologies and a robust portfolio in defense and aerospace, Northrop Grumman continues to be a key player in shaping the future of space travel, positioning it as an attractive prospect for investors looking toward the expanding frontiers of aerospace and defense.

2. Lockheed Martin Corporation

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Lockheed Martin Corporation stands as a titan in the aerospace and defense sector, significantly contributing to the realm of space exploration.  As a major contractor for NASA, Lockheed Martin’s expertise spans across designing and building advanced spacecraft and satellites.  Notably, it has been integral in projects like the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, aimed at enabling human exploration of deep space.  The corporation’s involvement in satellite technology, space probes, and participation in Mars exploration missions, including the Mars Rovers, underscores its pivotal role in advancing our understanding of space.

Lockheed Martin’s continued investment in space technology, including initiatives in missile defense and space exploration, positions it as a compelling choice for investors who are interested in the growing space industry.  This forward-looking approach aligns with the global push towards new frontiers in space, making Lockheed Martin a key player in both national defense and the future of space exploration.

3. Boeing Company

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Boeing has a long history in aerospace and is a key contributor to numerous space missions and initiatives.  The company has been involved in projects ranging from satellite manufacturing to the development of spacecraft.  Notably, Boeing is a major partner in the International Space Station (ISS) program and has been developing the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, designed to transport crew to the ISS and other potential destinations in low Earth orbit.

Boeing’s involvement in space exploration is a significant part of its extensive portfolio in aerospace and defense, making it a prominent player in the industry.



SpaceX, led by visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk, stands at the forefront of the private space exploration industry.  Although not publicly traded, SpaceX has garnered significant attention from investors and the space community alike for its groundbreaking achievements.

The company has revolutionized space travel with its reusable rocket technology, significantly reducing the cost of access to space.  Its Falcon rockets and Dragon spacecraft have become central to both cargo and crew missions to the International Space Station.  Additionally, SpaceX’s ambitious Starlink project aims to provide global internet coverage via a constellation of satellites, showcasing its innovative approach to space-based services.  The company is also leading the charge towards Mars colonization with its development of the Starship spacecraft.

SpaceX’s continued advancements and disruptive approach in the space sector make it a company of great interest for potential future investors and a key player in shaping the future of space exploration and travel.

Blue Origin

Blue Origin, founded by Jeff Bezos, is a key player in the private sector of space exploration and aerospace.  The company focuses on making space travel more accessible and has developed a range of technologies towards this goal.  Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft, designed for suborbital space tourism, demonstrates its commitment to opening space travel to private individuals.

Additionally, the development of the New Glenn orbital launch vehicle reflects its broader ambitions in the space industry, targeting both commercial satellite launches and potential crewed missions.  Blue Origin is also actively involved in NASA’s Artemis program, aiming to return humans to the Moon.

The company’s vision of enabling a future where millions of people live and work in space positions it as a significant and influential entity in the evolving landscape of space exploration, making it a potential interest for investors in the future.

Final Thoughts

While discoveries like the one discussed here may seem far removed from everyday life, each and every one like it increases our understanding of the Universe.  This understanding is then applied to endeavors already underway by companies such as those highlighted – whether it be a mission to Mars or mining astroids for precious metals.

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Radiative Cooling Combats Climate Change By Using Space as a Heat-Sink


Urban environments are becoming increasingly sprawling and dense, resulting in more concrete and pavement than ever before.  The problem with that is the amount of heat absorbed by buildings and roads.  Surrounding areas become hotter, climate control systems must work harder, and greenhouse gas emissions skyrocket.  With that in mind, a team of researchers based out of the University of Maryland has come up with a simple but effective solution.  This is a recently developed material dubbed ‘cooling glass’, which can help to mitigate this growing problem and its effect on climate change through radiative cooling.

The Radiative Cooling Breakthrough

Battling climate change isn’t just about finding clean energy sources.  It is also about efficiently using the electricity we already create.  In this instance, cooling glass is a breakthrough that leverages the Albedo Effect and radiative cooling to essentially prevent thermal energy from the Sun from being trapped in typical building materials by reflecting it back into the emptiness of Space – a vacuum and limitless heat-sink that sits at a brisk -270ºC.

In its research article, the team states that it,

“…developed a randomized photonic composite consisting of a microporous glass framework that features selective LWIR [long-wave infrared radiation] emission along with relatively high solar reflectance and aluminum oxide particles that strongly scatter sunlight and prevent densification of the porous structure during manufacturing.”

The resulting product, or ‘cooling glass’, is said to perform well in a variety of conditions, which, alongside a relatively easy manufacturing process, might just make it viable for large-scale applications in urban environments.

Battling climate change with radiative cooling.

Source: www.cera.cool

As far as performance goes, the team indicates that,

“This microporous glass coating enables a temperature drop of ~3.5° and 4°C even under high-humidity conditions (up to 80%) during midday and nighttime, respectively.”

In doing so, the paper indicates that a building leveraging cooling glass has the potential to reduce its carbon emissions by as much as 10% annually.  When scaled across urban landscapes, this is significant.

While the idea of leveraging radiative cooling to battling climate change is nothing new, it is the performance and potential scalability of this new product that makes it particular interesting.

What is a ‘Heat-Sink’?

For those wondering, a heat sink is a device or substance that absorbs and dissipates heat from another object using thermal contact (either direct or radiant).  Man-made variants are commonly used in electronics and mechanical systems to manage temperature and prevent overheating.  In the case of cooling glass, it is through radiation into the vacuum of space that this thermal dumping occurs.

Here’s an overview of the science behind heat sinks:

Thermal Conduction: The primary principle behind a heat sink is thermal conduction, a physical process where heat is transferred through a material. When a heat-generating component (like a CPU in a computer) becomes hot, it transfers its heat to the heat sink.

Material: Heat sinks are typically made from materials with high thermal conductivity, such as aluminum or copper. These materials effectively transfer heat away from the component and spread it out over a larger area.

Design and Surface Area: A key aspect of a heat sink’s design is its surface area. Many heat sinks have fins or other structures to increase their surface area. This allows more air to come into contact with the heat sink, enhancing heat dissipation.

Convection: Air or liquid moving over the surface of the heat sink facilitates convective cooling. In passive cooling, natural air flow dissipates heat, while in active cooling systems, fans or pumps are used to increase the flow of air or liquid, respectively, enhancing the cooling effect.

Radiation: Heat sinks also dissipate heat through radiation. The heat absorbed by the heat sink is emitted as infrared radiation, which further helps in cooling the device.

The effectiveness of a heat sink depends on several factors, including the material’s thermal conductivity, the design (especially the surface area), the ambient temperature, and the flow rate of air or liquid over the heat sink. By efficiently managing thermal energy, heat sinks play a crucial role in the reliability and longevity of electronic and mechanical systems.

What is ‘Radiative Cooling’?

Meanwhile, radiative cooling is a natural process where objects release heat in the form of infrared radiation. This process already plays a role in nature with the Earth’s energy balance and has important applications in various technologies.

Here’s a closer look at the science behind radiative cooling:

Infrared Radiation: All objects emit energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation, the intensity of which depends on their temperature. At the temperatures commonly found on Earth’s surface, this radiation is mostly in the infrared spectrum. Radiative cooling occurs when an object, such as the Earth’s surface or a building, emits more infrared radiation than it absorbs.

Emission into Space: One of the key aspects of radiative cooling is the ability of certain materials or surfaces to emit heat directly into space. This is possible because the atmosphere has specific ‘windows’ that are transparent to certain wavelengths of infrared radiation, allowing this energy to pass through and escape into space.

Day vs. Night Cooling: Radiative cooling is most effective at night, as during the day, the absorption of solar radiation tends to offset the cooling effect. At night, without the input of solar energy, surfaces can cool down by emitting infrared radiation more effectively.

Relation to Albedo Effect: The albedo effect primarily concerns the reflection of visible sunlight, while radiative cooling is about the emission of infrared radiation. However, they are related in terms of energy balance. A surface with a high albedo reflects more solar radiation, absorbing less heat during the day. This can enhance radiative cooling at night, as there’s less absorbed heat to be re-emitted. Conversely, a low-albedo surface heats up more during the day, potentially emitting more infrared radiation if it has high emissivity.

Applications: Radiative cooling has practical applications in passive cooling systems, such as in buildings and vehicles. It’s also being explored for use in sustainable technologies, like the cooling panels discussed here, that can reduce reliance on electricity-powered air conditioning.

Radiative cooling is an important natural process that helps regulate temperature by emitting infrared radiation. While distinct from the albedo effect, which involves the reflection of sunlight, both contribute to the thermal dynamics of surfaces and play critical roles in both natural and engineered environmental systems.

Industry Players Tackling Climate Change

For those interested in learning which publicly traded companies are actively developing solutions to battle climate change, consider the following.

*Figures provided below were accurate at the time of writing and are subject to change.  Any potential investor should verify metrics*

1. FuelCell Energy, Inc.

finviz dynamic chart for  FCEL

Market CapForward P/E 1 Yr.Earnings Per Share (EPS)

FuelCell Energy is a leader in the development and deployment of fuel cell technology. It focuses on designing, manufacturing, operating, and servicing highly efficient and clean fuel cell power plants. Its solutions are aimed at reducing reliance on fossil fuels and lowering carbon emissions, thereby contributing to the battle against climate change. The company’s fuel cells provide a unique combination of clean, reliable, and efficient power generation, making them a valuable part of the transition to sustainable energy.

2. Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P.

finviz dynamic chart for  BEP

Market CapForward P/E 1 Yr.Earnings Per Share (EPS)

Brookfield Renewable Partners operates one of the world’s largest publicly traded, pure-play renewable power platforms. Its portfolio includes hydroelectric, wind, solar, and storage facilities across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. With a strong commitment to sustainability, Brookfield Renewable Partners focuses on long-term value creation through renewable energy assets, playing a significant role in the global shift toward clean, renewable sources of power to combat climate change.

3. ChargePoint Holdings, Inc.

finviz dynamic chart for  CHPT

Market CapForward P/E 1 Yr.Earnings Per Share (EPS)

ChargePoint Holdings is at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution, operating one of the most extensive and open EV charging networks. The company provides innovative and accessible charging solutions across multiple sectors, including residential, commercial, and public spaces. By facilitating the adoption of electric vehicles, ChargePoint Holdings is directly contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the shift away from fossil fuel dependence, marking a crucial stride in the fight against climate change.

Notable Companies Leveraging Radiative Cooling

While not publicly traded, there is a particularly noteworthy startup already working to implement and scale the science behind this cooling glass.  In fact, it was founded by the very same researchers behind this breakthrough.  This company is Ceracool.

Ceracool has developed a ‘radiative cooling paint,’ which functions based on the same concept of the cooling glass.  The company touts its radiative cooling paint as offering “…free air conditioning by reflecting over 95% of solar irradiance and simultaneously emitting heat into the near-absolute-zero temperatures of deep space through the atmospheric transparency window.”  What makes this product particularly interesting is that it can be applied easily to surfaces prone to thermal build-up (roofs, roads, etc) by either spraying or brushing.

Another example of a privately held company innovating with radiative cooling technology is SkyCool Systems.

SkyCool Systems is a clean energy company developing advanced cooling solutions that leverage radiative cooling. Its approach involves a radiative cooling material that is integrated into a panel system designed to significantly enhance the efficiency of vapor-compression based cooling systems.  Like Ceracool, SkyCool Systems’ pioneering work in this field represents a promising step forward in addressing the world’s cooling challenges, offering both environmental benefits and energy cost savings.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, efforts surrounding climate change need to extend beyond solely tapping into sustainable energy sources.  While this is obviously a vital and important approach, it is essentially akin to juggling with one hand.  Rather, we need solutions that also address inefficiencies in our power consumption – which is exactly what radiative cooling products are about.  In an illuminating TedTalk from Aaswath Raman, he touched on the importance of addressing a potential feedback loop resulting from our cooling needs, and how radiative cooling may help.

YouTube Video

Combined with other breakthroughs like back-contact micrometric photovoltaic cells, it should be interesting to see the resulting benefits of initiatives being undertaken by companies like Ceracool in the coming years.

The post Radiative Cooling Combats Climate Change By Using Space as a Heat-Sink appeared first on Securities.io.

Micrometric Photovoltaic Cells a ‘Technological Breakthrough’ for Device Miniaturization


In an age where sustainable energy solutions are as crucial than ever, the evolution of photovoltaic (solar) technology stands at the forefront of innovation.  A recent example of this comes from the University of Ottawa (U of O), where a team of scientists has successfully “achieved a world first by manufacturing the first back-contact micrometric photovoltaic cells.”  This is being described as a “crucial step” in facilitating the continued miniaturization of electronics.

The team responsible for this breakthrough was spearheaded by,

  • Mathieu de Lafontaine, a postdoctoral researcher at U of O and part-time physics professor
  • Karin Hinzer, vice-dean, research, and University Research Chair in Photonic Devices for Energy at the Faculty of Engineering

While the U of O was central to this breakthrough, the team was also supported by Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec and the Laboratoire des Technologies de la Microélectronique in Grenoble, France.

What Are Photovoltaic Cells?

Photovoltaic cells, commonly known as solar cells, are devices that convert sunlight directly into electricity.  They operate on the principle of the photovoltaic effect, where light energy (photons) striking semiconducting materials such as silicon induces an electrical current.  This process occurs as the photons dislodge electrons from their atomic orbits, creating a flow of electric charge.

YouTube Video

These cells are the fundamental building blocks of solar panels and are critical in harnessing solar energy, a renewable and clean source of power.  The recent advancement by the U of O in developing micrometric photovoltaic cells marks a significant leap in this technology, offering more efficient and compact solutions.

What are ‘Back-Contact Micrometric Photovoltaic Cells’?

As mentioned, Back-contact micrometric photovoltaic cells represent a groundbreaking advancement in solar technology.  Unlike traditional solar cells, where the electrical contacts are located on the front and back surfaces, back-contact cells have all their electrical contacts on the rear side.

This unique design significantly reduces the shadowing effect caused by electrodes on the cell’s surface, thereby enhancing the cell’s ability to capture sunlight.

What is the ‘Shadowing’ Effect?

The ‘shadowing’ effect in solar cells refers to the obstruction of sunlight caused by the presence of electrical contacts on the surface of the cell.  Traditional photovoltaic cells have metallic contacts (usually made of silver or aluminum) on the top surface that collect and transport the electrical current generated by the cell.

These contacts, however, can block a portion of the incoming sunlight, preventing it from reaching the photovoltaic material underneath.  This blockage reduces the amount of light available for conversion into electricity, thereby decreasing the overall efficiency of the solar cell.

Source: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666386423005325

Reducing this shadowing effect is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Increased Efficiency: By minimizing the area covered by contacts, more of the cell’s surface can actively participate in light absorption and conversion to electricity.  This enhances the overall efficiency of the cell, allowing it to generate more power from the same amount of sunlight.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness: Higher efficiency means that the same amount of energy can be produced from fewer cells.  As a result, the overall cost of solar power systems can be reduced, making solar energy more competitive with other forms of energy, thereby increasing its accessibility to a wider range of users.
  3. Versatility and Design Flexibility: Reducing shadowing allows for more innovative and flexible solar cell designs.  It can lead to the development of cells that are not only more efficient but also thinner and lighter, which can be particularly beneficial for applications subject to space and weight considerations, such as in aerospace, portable devices, and integrated building solutions.

Reducing the shadowing effect is key to advancing solar technology – which is now being addressed with these back-contact micrometric photovoltaic cells.  As a result, we can soon expect more efficient, cost-effective, and versatile solar cells that should ultimately contribute to the broader adoption of solar energy as a sustainable power source.

Why is Miniaturization Important?

Beyond reducing the shadowing effect in traditional photovoltaic cells, back-contact allows for greatly improved miniaturization.  This is crucial in the field of electronics and renewable energy technologies because it allows for more efficient use of space and resources while enhancing performance.

The miniaturization or ‘micrometric’ aspect of these cells sees them come in about twice the thickness of a human hair.  As a result, these smaller, more efficient photovoltaic cells developed by the U of O can also significantly reduce production costs (purportedly as much as a threefold decrease).

“This technological breakthrough promises significant benefits for society. Less expensive, more powerful solar cells will help accelerate the energy shift.

Lightweight nuclear batteries will facilitate space exploration, and miniaturization of devices will contribute to the growth of the internet of things and lead to more powerful computers and smartphones” Mathieu de Lafontaine

Interestingly, this miniaturization is not just about making devices smaller; it’s about making them smarter and more adaptable to various environments.  In the context of an increasingly connected world, where the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart technologies are becoming ubiquitous, miniaturized photovoltaic cells can power an array of devices without the constraints of traditional power sources.

As such, this advancement can facilitate a greener, more sustainable approach to power generation and consumption, directly contributing to the shift towards a carbon-neutral economy.

Where Are They Used?

Photovoltaic cells have a wide range of applications that are constantly growing with advancements like back-contact manufacturing.  This versatility and appeal are largely due to their ability to generate electricity in a clean, renewable manner.

Beyond conventional power generation, they are integral in remote and portable power systems, like those used in space exploration, where they power satellites and spacecraft.

With the miniaturization of these cells, their applications extend to denser electronic devices, potentially transforming industries such as telecommunications and the Internet of Things (IoT).  As previously mentioned, miniaturization can lead to more efficient, compact, and versatile solar-powered solutions, broadening the scope of where photovoltaic technology can be applied.

Industry Players

As it stands, there are a few noteworthy companies facilitating growth within the sustainable energy sector that maintain a focus on solar applications.  The following are a few of these, along with multiple noteworthy additions.

1.  NextEra Energy Resources

finviz dynamic chart for  NEE

Market CapP/E RatioEarnings Per Share (EPS)

NextEra Energy Resources, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, is making significant strides in the solar energy sector.  In the first quarter of 2023, the company added about 2,020 MW of renewables and storage assets to its backlog, which included approximately 1.3 GW of solar, along with storage and wind assets.  This addition brought its project backlog to over 20.4 GW, showcasing a strong commitment to expanding its renewable energy portfolio​​​.

A notable project is the Sebree Solar 400-MW solar project in Henderson County, Kentucky, which is being developed by Sebree Solar, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources.

Additionally, NextEra Energy Resources is also involved in another 200-MW solar project through Green River Solar, another of its subsidiaries.  These initiatives reflect NextEra Energy Resources’ commitment to advancing solar energy as a key player in the renewable energy market.

2.  First Solar

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Market CapP/E RatioEarnings Per Share (EPS)

First Solar, a prominent U.S.-based company specializing in cadmium telluride thin-film solar modules, has shown significant strides in solar initiatives as of 2023.  With $801 million in revenues and shipping 2.7 GW of solar module orders in a single quarter, the company is demonstrating strong growth and an emphasis on solar technology.  To meet the increasing demand, First Solar is expanding its manufacturing capacity both in the U.S. and internationally, aiming for a global capacity of 25 GW by 2026.

Notably, First Solar has pioneered the production of bifacial thin-film modules, a first in the industry.  This innovative technology allows for bifacial energy gain and higher energy yields, marking a significant advancement in solar module efficiency.

3.  SolarEdge Technologies

finviz dynamic chart for  SEDG

Market CapP/E RatioEarnings Per Share (EPS)

SolarEdge Technologies is widely viewed as a leader in smart energy technology.  This company made significant advancements in the solar energy sector in 2023, boasting record revenues of $943.9 million, with $908.5 million coming specifically from its solar segment.  This achievement is indicative of SolarEdge’s robust presence in the solar industry.  In the first quarter of 2023 alone, SolarEdge shipped 3.6 Gigawatts (AC) of inverters and 221 MWh of batteries, underlining its substantial contribution to the solar energy market​

Notable Mentions

Brookfield Renewable Partners (NYSE: BEP)Clearway Energy (NYSE: CWEN)

Final Thoughts

The advancements in photovoltaic cell technology, particularly through the development of back-contact micrometric cells, represent a potential quantum leap in solar energy.  This innovation not only enhances the efficiency and reduces the cost of solar power but also opens up new horizons for its application across various sectors.  The reduction of the shadowing effect and the focus on miniaturization are pivotal in propelling solar energy to the forefront of renewable energy sources.

As we embrace these technological strides, we edge closer to a future where widespread sustainable and clean energy is not just a possibility but a reality.

The post Micrometric Photovoltaic Cells a ‘Technological Breakthrough’ for Device Miniaturization appeared first on Securities.io.

Bluetooth is Finnicky and Power Hungry…and No Longer Needed


While Bluetooth technology has been around for ages, it is only in the past decade that the underlying technology has advanced to the point where it has become commonplace.  From phones to cars, speakers, and more – Bluetooth is everywhere.  Its development marked a significant advancement in wireless communication, shaping how we interact with technology in our daily lives.  However, this may soon change with the development of a new technology by researchers at the University of Sussex that promises to be more energy-efficient and requires a smaller footprint inside electronic devices through the use of electric field modulation.

Understanding Bluetooth

Before diving into electric field modulation and the benefits it can afford, it is important to understand what Bluetooth is, and how it works.

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a wireless technology enabling the exchange of data over short distances.  It’s named after Harald Bluetooth, a 10th-century king who united Denmark and Norway, symbolizing the technology’s intent to unify communication protocols.

Ericsson, a Swedish telecommunications company, initiated the development of Bluetooth in 1994 in an attempt to create an alternative to RS-232 data cables.  It wasn’t until 1999 that Bluetooth found its way into a consumer device.

Bluetooth’s initial versions, like 1.0 and 1.0B, had significant issues, including a lack of communication between devices.  It wasn’t until Bluetooth 4.0, which was released in 2010, that the technology finally had the polish to become commonplace in everyday electronics.

Over the years, Bluetooth has become ubiquitous in various devices, including smartphones, laptops, speakers, and car systems, for activities like file transfer, audio streaming, and as a means for IoT (Internet of Things) devices to communicate.  However, its usage has faced criticism for being finicky in terms of connectivity and pairing and for being relatively power-hungry compared to other wireless technologies, especially in its earlier versions.

As technology has advanced, alternatives like Wi-Fi Direct, NFC (Near Field Communication), and now electric field modulation have emerged, offering faster data transfer rates and more reliable connections for specific use cases.  This evolution has led to discussions about the decreasing necessity of Bluetooth in a world where more efficient and reliable wireless communication technologies are available.

How does it work?  Electromagnetic Modulation

Electromagnetic modulation is a fundamental technique used in wireless communication, including Bluetooth, to transmit information over electromagnetic waves.  With regards to Bluetooth, this involves encoding digital information onto radio waves in the 2.4 GHz Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) band.

YouTube Video

Essentially, Bluetooth works by sending data through the air using electromagnetic waves.  This is done by changing (modulating) these waves in different ways to carry information.  There are three main types of changes that can be made:

  1. Amplitude Modulation (AM): Changing the height (amplitude) of the waves.
  2. Frequency Modulation (FM): Changing the spacing (frequency) between the waves.
  3. Phase Modulation (PM): Changing the starting point (phase) of the waves.

For Bluetooth specifically:

  • Gaussian Frequency-Shift Keying (GFSK): This is the basic way Bluetooth sends data.  It slightly changes the wave frequency to represent digital data, which is a stable and efficient method.
  • Enhanced Data Rate (EDR): Used in newer Bluetooth versions to send data faster.  It combines GFSK with advanced methods of Phase Modulation, allowing more data to be sent in the same amount of time.
  • Frequency Hopping: Bluetooth also changes its frequency in a pattern known to both the sending and receiving devices.  This makes it more secure and less likely to be disrupted by other devices.

Simply put, electromagnetic modulation in Bluetooth involves varying the frequency, phase, or amplitude of radio waves to transmit data.  This is achieved through methods like GFSK and enhanced schemes in EDR, all while utilizing frequency hopping for improved security and interference resistance.

Understanding Electric Field Modulation

Now that you’ve taken the time to learn about the advent of Bluetooth, and its inner workings relying on electromagnetic modulation, a better grasp on its potential replacement can be attained.

What is Electric Field Modulation?

As previously stated, there are now ongoing discussions surrounding the necessity of Bluetooth in modern devices.  This brings us to Electric Field Modulation.

Electric field modulation is a new technology developed and being shopped to manufacturers by Professors Robert Prance and Daniel Roggen at the University of Sussex.  If this team of researchers is correct in its interpretation, Electric Field Modulation may represent a significant leap forward in wireless data transmission technology – potentially replacing traditional electromagnetic modulation used in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 5G.  The teams’ approach utilizes short-range electric waves for data transmission, which are inherently more energy-efficient than electromagnetic waves.

From a more technical standpoint, electric field modulation differs significantly from its electromagnetic counterpart by controlling variations in electric fields, rather than encoding data on electromagnetic waves.  Electric fields, which are an aspect of the electromagnetic spectrum, are created by electric charges and can influence other charges in their vicinity.  By modulating these fields, data can be transmitted between devices that are in close proximity.

The proximity limitations of electric field modulation make it particularly suitable for personal and wearable devices as they are often close to whatever it is they are interacting with.  The researchers behind the technology note that this approach significantly reduces power consumption, thereby extending the battery life of devices.

Moreover, the team indicates that electric field modulation opens up novel interaction paradigms.

“The development could advance how we use tech in our day to day lives and evolve a wide range of futuristic applications too. For example, a bracelet using this technology could enable phone numbers to be exchanged simply by shaking hands or a door could be unlocked just by touching the handle.”

This aspect of the technology not only enhances user experience but also paves the way for a range of futuristic applications, seamlessly integrating technology into everyday interactions.

How is it superior?

Commenting on how this technology is superior, Daniel Roggen, Professor of Engineering and Design at U of S, states,

“We no longer need to rely on electromagnetic modulation, which is inherently battery hungry. We can improve the battery life of wearable technology and home assistants, for example, by using electric field modulation instead of Bluetooth. This solution will not only make our lives much more efficient, but it also opens novel opportunities to interact with devices in smart homes.

Important to note is that over the years, there have been many technologies that are simply too cost-prohibitive to become practical, hindering widescale adoption.  If the team behind Electric field modulation is correct, it will not be one of them.  Rather, Roggen states that,

“The technology is also low cost, meaning it could be rolled out to society quickly and easily. If this were mass produced, the solution can be miniaturised to a single chip and cost just a few pence per device, meaning that it could be used in all devices in the not-too-distant future.”

The bottom line is that electric field modulation could be set to revolutionize how we connect our devices in the coming years.  It offers a low-power, efficient, and intuitive way to transmit data, especially in scenarios where devices are within close range of each other.  This advancement promises to extend battery life, reduce costs, and enable new forms of interaction with technology.

Furthermore, the low cost and potential for miniaturization make it a practical and scalable alternative.  These qualities position electric field modulation as a superior choice for personal and smart home devices, promising enhanced user interaction while conserving energy.  Simply put, in most instances, this technology is more affordable, flexible, and efficient than Bluetooth.

Real-World Applications

As mentioned Electric field modulation technology, with its innovative approach to data transmission, has the potential to revolutionize various aspects of our daily lives.  Some of the most likely real-world applications include:

  • Wearable Technology: Devices like fitness trackers and smartwatches could communicate more efficiently with smartphones, greatly enhancing battery life.
  • Smart Home Interaction: This technology could allow users to interact with home appliances in an intuitive way, such as turning on lights or adjusting thermostats by simply touching them.
  • Social and Professional Networking: The exchange of digital information, like contact details or social media profiles, could be made easier, possibly through actions as simple as a handshake.
  • Security Applications: Keyless entry systems could become more convenient and secure, with doors being unlocked by just touching the handle, eliminating the need for physical keys or complex security codes.

These applications highlight the potential of electric field modulation to seamlessly blend technology into our everyday interactions, making them more natural and energy-efficient.

Industry Players

While it is unclear if any major manufacturers have eyes on electric field modulation at this time, there are a few clear leaders in the world of wireless technologies.  The following are examples of this.

*Figures provided below were accurate at the time of writing and are subject to change.  Any potential investor should verify metrics*

1.  NXP Semiconductors

finviz dynamic chart for  NXP

Market CapP/E RatioEarnings Per Share (EPS)

NXP Semiconductors, a Dutch semiconductor manufacturer, is notable for its extensive portfolio in wireless technologies.  It offers products including Bluetooth Low Energy, Wi-Fi, NFC, and Ultra-Wideband for diverse applications in automotive, IoT, and smart home sectors.  Its technologies facilitate precise localization, wireless control, and connectivity standards like the Matter protocol.  NXP’s acquisition of Marvell’s wireless assets in 2019 has further expanded their wireless capabilities.  Its solutions are used in various sectors, including industrial IoT, medical, and consumer electronics.

2.  Broadcom Inc.

finviz dynamic chart for  AVGO

Market CapP/E RatioEarnings Per Share (EPS)

Broadcom Inc. is a global leader in semiconductors, serving the wired infrastructure, wireless communications, enterprise storage, and industrial markets.  As an American multinational company, it designs, develops, manufactures, and supplies a wide range of semiconductor and infrastructure software products.  Broadcom’s extensive product portfolio includes complex digital and mixed-signal CMOS-based devices, analog III-V based products, storage adapters, controllers, and integrated circuits.  The company operates in two primary segments: Semiconductor Solutions and Infrastructure Software.  Notably, in the wireless technology sector, Broadcom contributes significantly with components essential for wireless communications.

3.  Intel Corporation

finviz dynamic chart for  INTC

Market CapForward P/E Ratio 1 Yr.Earnings Per Share (EPS)

Intel Corporation, an American multinational technology company, is one of the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturers.  Founded in 1968, Intel was instrumental in developing the SRAM and DRAM memory chips and created the world’s first commercial microprocessor chip in 1971.  Its success with personal computers in the 1980s shifted its focus primarily to microprocessors.  Intel supplies microprocessors for most computer system manufacturers and also produces motherboard chipsets, network interface controllers, integrated circuits, flash memory, and graphics chips.  In recent years, Intel faced increased competition, particularly from AMD, which led to a reduction in its market share and spurred attempts to diversify beyond semiconductors.

Notable Mentions

Outside of the trio of companies listed above, the following are each notable, publicly traded, companies working in similar fields.

  • Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL): Trades on NASDAQ.
  • CEVA, Inc. (CEVA): Trades on NASDAQ.
  • Socket Mobile, Inc. (SCKT): Trades on NASDAQ.
  • STMicroelectronics (STM): Trades on NYSE.
  • Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM): Trades on NASDAQ.
  • Texas Instruments (TXN): Trades on NASDAQ.
  • Sony Corporation (SONY): Trades on NYSE.
  • Nokia Corporation (NOK): Trades on NYSE.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the evolution of wireless communication technology, from Bluetooth to Electric Field Modulation, marks a significant leap in how we interact with the world around us.  While Bluetooth has laid a solid foundation for short-range digital communication, the team of researchers developing Electric Field Modulation believes it stands poised to redefine these interactions, offering greater energy efficiency and a more intuitive user experience.

This transition not only highlights the rapid pace of technological advancement but also opens new possibilities for integrating technology into our daily lives seamlessly and sustainably.  The future of wireless communication looks set to be more efficient, more intuitive, and deeply integrated into the fabric of our everyday interactions.

The post Bluetooth is Finnicky and Power Hungry…and No Longer Needed appeared first on Securities.io.

Why Are Heat Pumps Touted as a Top Option for Home Climate Control?


Heat pumps are increasingly recognized as a premier choice for in-home climate control, offering a blend of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental friendliness.  Before diving into the finer points of what makes them appealing, yes – these devices work below freezing.  In fact, modern heat pumps can work efficiently at temperatures as low as -13°F (-25°C).

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a versatile climate control device that transfers heat from one place to another.  Unlike traditional heating systems that generate heat, heat pumps move heat, which is a significantly more energy-efficient process.  In the winter, they extract heat from the outside air or ground to warm a home, and in the summer, they reverse this process to cool the interior.

The Appeal of Heat Pumps

The appeal behind heat pumps is varied, extending beyond solely environmental concerns.  In fact, they have the ability to save consumers money through amazing efficiency, in addition to boasting year-round home climate comfort.


Heat pumps are generally more efficient than traditional heating systems like furnaces and baseboard heaters.  The efficiency of a heat pump is often measured by the Coefficient of Performance (COP), which can range from 2 to 4 or higher.  This means that for every unit of energy consumed, a heat pump can produce 2 to 4 times more heating energy.

In contrast, electric resistance heaters (like baseboard heaters) have a COP of 1, meaning they produce 1 unit of heat for every unit of electrical energy consumed.  Gas furnaces can exceed 100% efficiency (measured as Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE), but they typically range from 80% to 95%.

Cost of Energy Sources

The cost savings also depend on the price of electricity, natural gas, or other fuels in your area.  In regions where electricity is relatively inexpensive and natural gas is pricier, heat pumps can offer significant cost savings.  However, in areas where natural gas is cheap, the cost advantage of heat pumps might be less pronounced.  It’s important to compare the cost per unit of heat produced (e.g., per BTU or kWh).


Although early-model heat pumps are most efficient in moderate climates only, modern variants, such as cold-climate heat pumps boasting variable-speed compressors, are designed to work efficiently in colder regions.  While homes in the coldest of climates often supplement a heat pump with more traditional means (i.e., Wood) on the harshest of winter days, the ability for heat pumps to operate efficiently down to -13°F (-25°C) means that this is rarely needed.  The bottom line is that a heat pump will serve the heating and cooling needs of the vast majority of the population for the vast majority of the year.

Dual-System Flexibility (Air Conditioning)

One of the advantages of heat pumps is that they also provide air conditioning.  If you’re comparing a heat pump to a system where you have separate heating (like a furnace) and cooling (like a central air conditioner) systems, the heat pump can offer savings by consolidating two systems into one more efficient unit.

Long-term Savings

Heat pumps typically have higher upfront costs than traditional heating or cooling systems.  However, their higher efficiency can lead to significant savings on utility bills over time, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Cost Savings

Heat pumps are lauded for their energy efficiency, which translates into lower utility bills.  They use less energy compared to conventional heating and cooling systems, making them a cost-effective option in the long run – especially if capitalizing on government grants/rebates.

Environmental Concerns

With a growing emphasis on reducing carbon footprints, heat pumps stand out as an eco-friendly solution.  They rely less on fossil fuels and more on electricity, which can be sourced from renewable energy, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

It is also important to note that, climate change is primarily driven by secondary emissions.  As heat pumps do not create heat but simply transfer it, the only associated emissions come from energy use.  As it stands, the World Economic Forum forecasts that by 2030, adoption of heat pumps has the potential to prevent 500 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere.

Good and Getting Better

Even in their current state, heat pumps are already a good solution for in-home climate control.  Promisingly, they are only getting better.  Moving forward, there are companies and research teams tapping into artificial intelligence (AI) to both design and run heat pump systems.  For example, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems is working on its AI for heat pumps, aka ‘AI4HP‘, which it states is a,

“new intelligent AI-powered heat pumps integrate new functionalities and interactions with a changing environment for the first time to provide the highest energy efficiency and comfort to the user, facilitate maintenance tasks, and avoid performance degradation due to fault detection.”

It believes that through the integration of AI energy consumption can be reduced by another 20%, along with the associated emissions.

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

Heat pumps are marvels of thermodynamic engineering, operating on the principles of heat transfer and the refrigeration cycle.  At their core, they use a refrigerant, a substance with a low boiling point, to efficiently move heat from one place to another.

YouTube Video

In the heating mode, the heat pump starts by compressing the refrigerant, increasing its pressure and temperature.  This hot, pressurized refrigerant then travels through a set of coils (the condenser) where it releases its heat to the surrounding air or water.  As it cools down, the refrigerant condenses back into a liquid.

This liquid refrigerant, still under high pressure, passes through an expansion valve, where it undergoes a rapid decrease in pressure.  This sudden drop in pressure causes the refrigerant to cool down rapidly and turn back into a low-temperature, low-pressure gas.

Now in its cold state, the refrigerant travels through another set of coils (the evaporator), absorbing heat from the outside air—even in cold conditions.  As it absorbs heat, the refrigerant evaporates back into a gas, starting the cycle anew.

The key to a heat pump’s efficiency lies in this cycle.  Unlike conventional heating systems that generate heat by burning fuel or using electric resistance, a heat pump merely moves existing heat from one place to another.  This process requires significantly less energy, as the only power needed is for running the compressor and the fans.  This is why heat pumps can have a coefficient of performance (COP)—a measure of efficiency—greater than 1, meaning they can move more heat energy than the electrical energy they consume.

In cooling mode, the process is simply reversed.  The heat pump absorbs heat from the indoor air and expels it outside, effectively cooling the indoor space.  This versatility and the ability to reverse the cycle make heat pumps a highly efficient solution for both heating and cooling needs.

Different Types of Heat Pumps

One of the greatest strengths of a heat pump is its versatility.  Although the science behind each is the same, there are various sub-classes of heat pumps that make use of different energy sources, and adapt to both climate and installation restrictions.

Energy Sources

  • Ground Source: Also known as geothermal heat pumps, they harness heat from the ground and are known for their high efficiency.
  • Air Source: The most common type, these extract heat from the air and are easier to install than ground-source pumps.
  • Water Source: These use nearby water sources like lakes or wells for heat exchange.


  • Ducted: Integrated into a home’s ductwork, these provide centralized heating and cooling.
  • Mini-Split: Ideal for homes without ducts, these allow for individual control of room temperatures.


  • Cold Climate: Specifically designed for regions with harsh winters, these heat pumps maintain efficiency even in extremely cold temperatures due to advanced features like variable-speed compressors.
  • Normal Climate: Ideal for moderate climates, these are standard heat pumps suitable for typical heating and cooling needs.

Government Initiatives

Both Canada and the United States have recognized the potential of heat pumps in achieving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.  Various incentives, rebates, and programs are in place to encourage homeowners to adopt this technology.  For instance, the Canadian Federal government offers the Canada Greener Homes Grant alongside provincial counterparts, while the U.S. has initiatives like the Energy Star program, providing substantial subsidies and tax credits for installing energy-efficient heat pumps.

Industry Players

With the rapidly increasing popularity of heat pumps, it is no wonder that the list of manufacturers continues to grow.  Below are a few of the most well-known, publicly traded companies building such solutions.  Other popular manufacturers include international giants like LG Electronics, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, and more.

*Figures provided below were accurate at the time of writing and are subject to change.  Any potential investor should verify metrics*

1.  Carrier Global Corporation

finviz dynamic chart for  CARR

Market CapP/E RatioEarnings Per Share (EPS)

Carrier is a renowned name in the HVAC industry, specializing in the development and manufacturing of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, including heat pumps.  Known for its innovation and sustainability, Carrier offers a wide range of products for both residential and commercial applications.  The company’s commitment to energy efficiency and advanced technology has established it as a leader in the HVAC market.

2.  Lennox International, Inc.

finviz dynamic chart for  LII

Market CapP/E RatioEarnings Per Share (EPS)

Lennox International is another prominent manufacturer of HVAC systems, including highly efficient heat pumps.  The company is known for its cutting-edge technology, reliability, and energy-efficient products.  Lennox’s product line caters to both residential and commercial markets, focusing on delivering high-quality, environmentally friendly heating and cooling solutions.

3. Trane Technologies plc

finviz dynamic chart for  TT

Market CapP/E RatioEarnings Per Share (EPS)

Trane Technologies is a global leader in the HVAC industry, offering a wide array of heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, including advanced heat pumps.  Like others listed, Trane is recognized for its durable and efficient products, designed to provide effective climate control in both residential and commercial settings.  The company emphasizes sustainability and innovation in its product design, striving to reduce environmental impact while enhancing user comfort.

Final Thoughts

Overall, heat pumps often represent a smart investment in home climate control.  They offer an efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective solution over traditional heating and cooling methods, particularly in regions where electricity costs are lower than gas.  Their ability to both heat and cool efficiently, coupled with advancements in technology for colder climates, makes them an increasingly attractive option supported by favorable government policies.

As the world moves towards more sustainable living, heat pumps are set to play a pivotal role in this transition.

The post Why Are Heat Pumps Touted as a Top Option for Home Climate Control? appeared first on Securities.io.

EV Classic ‘Electromods’ – Blasphemy or Ingenious?


The world of classic automobiles is witnessing a revolutionary trend: the rise of ‘Electromods’. This fusion of electric vehicle (EV) technology with vintage cars has sparked a debate among enthusiasts: is it a brilliant innovation or an affront to classic car purism?

Understanding Electromods in the Automotive World

An ‘Electromod’ refers to the conversion of a classic car into an electric vehicle. This transformation involves replacing the traditional internal combustion engine with an electric motor and battery pack. The purpose is multifaceted: to reduce environmental impact, enhance performance, and maintain the aesthetic appeal of classic cars.

The target audience for Electromods is diverse. It includes environmentally-conscious individuals seeking greener transportation options, tech enthusiasts fascinated by the amalgamation of old and new, and classic car owners desiring modern amenities without compromising the vintage charm of their vehicles.

Adoption Speed Bumps: The Road to Acceptance

Adopting Electromods, however, is not without challenges.

  • EV Infrastructure Issues: The lack of widespread and reliable EV charging infrastructure is a significant hurdle. Potential Electromod users often face range anxiety due to insufficient charging stations, particularly on longer trips. This gap in infrastructure can be a deterrent for those considering an electric conversion.
  • Overcoming Classic Car Purist Mindsets: Perhaps a more profound challenge is addressing the skepticism of classic car purists. To them, modifying a vintage vehicle with modern electric technology is often seen as diminishing its authenticity. The sensory experience of the engine sound, the smell of gasoline, and the tactile feedback of a traditional powertrain are revered aspects that Electromods alter or remove.

Electromods vs. Restomods: The Distinctive Divide

While discussing Electromods, it’s crucial to differentiate them from Restomods. A Restomod involves restoring and modifying a classic car with modern features and technology, which may include but is not limited to electric conversions. Restomods focus on overall modernization – enhancing performance, safety, and comfort – while maintaining the vehicle’s classic look. In contrast, Electromods specifically focus on the electrification aspect, replacing the engine with an electric powertrain.

The Technical and Costly Journey of Creating an Electromod

The process of converting a classic car into an electric vehicle (electromod) involves several intricate and technical steps, which contribute to the overall high cost of the procedure. Here’s a breakdown of why each step in the electromod process can be expensive:

Engine Replacement with Electric Motor:

  • Complexity: Removing the original combustion engine and fitting an electric motor is a complex process. It often requires custom fabrication to ensure the motor fits and functions correctly within the vehicle’s existing framework.
  • Components Cost: Electric motors, especially those powerful enough to provide a satisfying driving experience, can be costly. High-performance motors that are both compact and efficient are at the higher end of the price spectrum.

Battery Installation:

  • High-Cost Batteries: The battery is one of the most expensive components in an electric vehicle. For a decent range, a large, high-quality battery pack is required, which significantly adds to the cost.
  • Customization and Safety: Custom fitting a battery into a classic car, which wasn’t originally designed for such technology, can require significant modifications. Additionally, ensuring that the battery is safe, well-cooled, and efficiently integrated into the car’s systems adds to the complexity and cost.

Upgrading Wiring and Control Systems:

  • Sophisticated Electronics: Integrating modern electric vehicle technology with older vehicle systems necessitates advanced electronic control systems. This includes the battery management system, charging system, and possibly regenerative braking systems.
  • Labor Intensive: This step often requires extensive rewiring and testing, which is labor-intensive and requires specialized expertise.

Interior and Exterior Adjustments:

  • Customization Needs: Adapting the vehicle’s interior and exterior to accommodate electric components (like digital displays or charging ports) often means custom work. This can range from dashboard modifications to structural changes for battery accommodation.
  • Restoration and Preservation: Maintaining the classic look and feel of the vehicle while integrating modern technology is a delicate and often expensive task, especially if preserving or restoring vintage elements is important.

Safety and Compliance Checks:

  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensuring the vehicle meets current safety and environmental standards can involve costly testing and certification processes.
  • Engineering and Testing Costs: Professional evaluation, from the safety of the electrical system to the overall roadworthiness of the vehicle, can add significantly to the cost.

Specialized Labor:

  • Expertise Required: The skills needed for electromod conversions are specialized, combining classic car restoration with modern EV technology. Professionals with such dual expertise are rare and can command high fees for their work.

Unforeseen Challenges:

  • Custom Solutions: Each classic car is unique, and unexpected challenges often arise during conversion, requiring custom solutions that can increase costs.

Overall, the high cost of electromods is attributed to the need for specialized parts and labor, the complexity of integrating modern technology into vintage vehicles, and the importance of adhering to safety and regulatory standards. This process involves not just a simple replacement of parts but a comprehensive reengineering of the vehicle, blending old and new technologies.

Industry Specialists

The costs typically associated with an electromod mean that those who can afford it are not, typically, looking to convert a Toyota Corolla.  Rather, this clientele has its eyes set on striking cars like a Porsche 911 to Ford GT40 replicas and more – although this may change in time as the practice becomes more affordable.  Naturally, due to the complexity of an electromod conversion, this is not a process that is undertaken in the average-joe’s garage.  Thankfully, for those interested, there is a growing crop of industry specialists offering these services for striking cars, such as the following examples.

  1. EV West (San Marcos, CA): Known for kits like “The Electric V8” and “PowerBlock”.
  2. Electric GT (Chatsworth, CA): Offers the “Tesla Crate Motor”.
  3. Zero Labs Automotive (Los Angeles, CA): Specializes in “Classic Electric” conversions.
  4. Electrify America (Reston, VA): Provides kits such as “eBuggy” and “eBeetle”.
  5. Green Shed Conversions (Fort Collins, CO): Offers the “Rivet” kit.
  6. Zelectric Motors (San Diego, CA): Known for “ZM2” and “ZM3”.
  7. EVolution Autosports (Tempe, AZ): Offers conversions like “EV Porsche” and “EV Ferrari”.
  8. Flux Hybrids (Raleigh, NC): Provides “Hybrid EV Conversion” services.
  9. Revolt Electric Classics (Austin, TX): Offers “REVOLT GT” and “REVOLT Coupe”.
  10. EV4U Custom Conversions (Payson, AZ): Known for “Tri-Magnum” and “Speedster”​

Conclusion: Blasphemy or Ingenious?

Electromods are reshaping the landscape of classic car restoration and electric vehicle technology. While they face challenges in infrastructure and acceptance within the classic car community, the ingenious blend of preserving historical beauty with contemporary technology cannot be understated. Electromods offer a sustainable future for classic cars, balancing nostalgia with innovation, making them an exciting prospect in the automotive world.

Whether viewed as blasphemy or brilliance, Electromods are undeniably a significant stride towards a greener and more technologically integrated future in automobile restoration.

The post EV Classic ‘Electromods’ – Blasphemy or Ingenious? appeared first on Securities.io.

New Understanding of Evaporation May See Photons Improve Desalination Processes Through ‘Photomolecular Effect’


Until recently, there were a few agreed-upon variables that could result in/affect the evaporation of water – the process by which water transitions from a liquid to a gas.  However, new research coming out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is set to upend this, pointing to a new understanding of how simple photons (light) can play an outsized role in the process.  With that in mind, researchers have found that photons can evaporate water both alongside and in the absence of heat.

Pre-Existing Variables

Before diving into why this discovery matters, take a moment to refresh on the previous list of variables that play a role in evaporation.

  1. Heat: The primary cause of evaporation is heat. Water molecules are always moving, and as they gain heat energy, their movement increases. When the energy is sufficient to overcome the intermolecular forces holding the molecules together in the liquid, they can escape into the air as vapor.
  2. Surface Area: The rate of evaporation is also dependent on the surface area of the water. A larger surface area allows more molecules to be exposed to the air, where they can evaporate.
  3. Humidity: The amount of water vapor already in the air affects evaporation. If the air is already saturated with water vapor, evaporation will be slower. This is because the higher the humidity, the lower the rate of evaporation due to the decreased capacity of the air to receive more water molecules.
  4. Air Movement: Wind or air movement can carry away water vapor as it forms, reducing the humidity right above the water and allowing more water to evaporate.
  5. Pressure: Atmospheric pressure also affects evaporation. When the atmospheric pressure is lower, water boils at a lower temperature and evaporates faster. High atmospheric pressure can inhibit evaporation.
  6. Temperature of the Water: Aside from external heat sources, the temperature of the water itself is a factor. Warmer water evaporates faster because its molecules have more energy on average.

Essentially, water evaporates when its molecules have enough energy to break free from the liquid phase and become water vapor. This process is influenced by temperature, humidity, pressure, wind, and the physical characteristics of the water body itself.  Now, we can put exposure to photons on the list.

Not to Be Confused

It is also important to understand the distinction between evaporation and the following processes.

Vaporization: A general term that includes evaporation but also encompasses boiling, where the liquid turns into vapor at its boiling point throughout the entire volume of the liquid.

Condensation: The reverse process of evaporation involving the cooling of a gas, which results in its transition to a liquid phase.

Evaporation, on the other hand, is a type of vaporization that occurs at the surface of a liquid below its boiling point.

How Was It Achieved?

So how did MIT Researchers discover that photons can be added to the list of variables associated with evaporations? The team’s findings were achieved through a series of experiments and simulations focused on the evaporation behavior of water when contained within a hydrogel. This work was first undertaken as the team looked to understand and reaffirm past experiments that yielded results in which water evaporation rates surpassed the expected thermal limit – the maximum amount of evaporation possible when a given amount of heat is applied.

To recreate these results, the researchers utilized a ‘solar simulator’.  Here, saturated hydrogels were subjected to various wavelengths of light in the absence of heat. Interestingly, results showed that despite no influence by heat, a measurable loss in mass occurred over time, with the most pronounced differences being found when green light was used.  With the response being independent of thermal effects, it affirmed that light, not heat, was the cause of evaporation.

In the end, the researchers discovered that, against conventional expectations, a combination of water and hydrogel enabled the energy from photons to be harnessed to drive evaporation beyond known thermal limits.  The process is now being called the ‘photomolecular effect’.

Why Does It Matter?

This discovery of the photomolecular effect could revolutionize several industries and environmental sciences. They may extend to include renewable energy storage and recovery systems, where controlled evaporation rates are critical.  For instance, this could lead to the development of new materials or surfaces designed to maximize water evaporation for energy storage in dry climates.

In agriculture, this principle might be used to develop more efficient irrigation systems that minimize water loss by restricting exposure to certain wavelengths, thereby conserving water while sustaining plant growth.

In the field of meteorology, understanding the photomolecular effect could improve weather prediction models by providing a more accurate representation of water cycle dynamics.

Additionally, the pharmaceutical and food industries, which often rely on precise drying processes, could see improvements in the efficiency and control of moisture removal from products.

Lastly, in urban planning and the development of sustainable architecture, this discovery might inspire innovative cooling systems that use solar energy more efficiently, reducing reliance on traditional air conditioning and contributing to energy-saving building designs.

First to Benefit from Photons

While there is a large variety of industries that may see process efficiencies improved through this new understanding of evaporation, the researchers behind its discovery believe that the most obvious example would be those involved with the solar desalination of salt water.

Desalination is simply the process by which salt and minerals are removed from water, making it suitable for both consumption and irrigation.  With the rise of renewables, this process is increasingly powered through solar energy.  The following are each companies involved with solar desalination, which could soon benefit from the findings discussed above.

Consolidated Water (NASDAQ: CWCO): Based out of the Cayman Islands, Consolisated Water has grown since its founding in 1973 to become a multinational company specializing in seawater desalination plants.

YouTube Video

At time of writing, Consolidated Water boasted the following metrics.

Market Cap:$465,675,764

Forward P/E 1 Yr.:  20.06

Earnings Per Share (EPS): N/A

Solar Water Plc: This UK-based company has developed a solar dome technology intended to desalinate seawater, particularly targeting regions with high solar irradiance and scarce freshwater resources.

YouTube Video


Abengoa: A Spanish multinational corporation that has been involved in the development of large-scale solar-powered desalination plants, particularly in areas like the Middle East and North Africa.

YouTube Video

Despite the scope of its operations, Abengoa has been on the verge of bankruptcy for multiple years.  New processes that have the potential to raise operational efficiencies greatly may be key to surviving.

These companies are active in various parts of the world, addressing the freshwater needs of arid regions and areas with limited access to clean water – a need that will only continue to grow in time.

Final Thoughts

While such a discovery may seem mundane at first glance, it is anything but.  Not only does it show how limited our understanding is of concepts and processes that have long been thought to be mastered, but it also holds the potential for widespread applications.

Innovative and forward-thinking companies are reliant on scientific advancements such as this to build out and offer solutions leveraging new capabilities and efficiencies.  Now, companies like Consolidated Water, Veolia, and Solar Water PLC need to adapt and run with it.

The post New Understanding of Evaporation May See Photons Improve Desalination Processes Through ‘Photomolecular Effect’ appeared first on Securities.io.

Investing in Real Estate in 2024? EquityMultiple Shares Market Insights


EquityMultiple is a company that describes itself as sitting “at the intersection of real estate capital markets and the needs of individual self-directed investors”.  With that in mind, the company has recently released a whitepaper titled ‘Market Perspectives & the Voice of the Investor’, which evaluates the current and anticipated approaches investors are taking towards real estate.

Real Estate: A Dynamic Investment Channel

In the ever-evolving landscape of the investment world, the real estate sector holds a unique position. Gleaning insights from recent investor surveys and market reports, we can gain a more comprehensive understanding of investor sentiment and the potential of real estate as an asset class.

Notably, real estate boasting the following attributes, particularly in key urban areas, has continued to demonstrate remarkable resilience based on current trends.

  1. Infrastructure Projects: New infrastructure projects, particularly those aimed at reducing traffic congestion and improving transportation, have the potential to boost the value of nearby properties significantly.
  2. Green Spaces and Recreational Areas: The availability of green spaces and recreational zones enhances property values. Investors and homeowners alike value the balance between urban development and natural spaces, recognizing the importance of environmental sustainability and quality of life.
  3. Education Institutions: The proximity to esteemed educational institutions can be a significant driver for property values. Such regions often witness stable demand and can offer consistent returns on investments.

The resilience of urban properties that hit each of these points is clearly being leveraged by investors which view them as an opportunity to not only diversify portfolios, but provide predictable income, function as a hedge action inflation, and more.  As EquityMultiple states, “Real Estate debt can offer attractive returns while minimizing risk”.

Moving Ahead: A Glimpse into the Future

People will always need a place to live, which is part of the reason real estate never truly goes out of style as an investment class.  Is this set to change in the coming few years, though? The results of EquityMultiple‘s investor survey have further confirmed the generally positive outlook on real estate. Some of its key insights and recommendations moving forward include:

  1. Private Real Estate Investments: Diversifying by investing across different sections of the capital structure can yield consistent returns and alpha. Such strategies also enhance the robustness of traditional portfolios.
  2. Demographic Changes: Increasing demand in the multifamily housing sector, backed by shifts in demographics, is noteworthy. Inflationary pressures are also playing a role, especially in the short-term lease sectors.
  3. Opportunities from Banking Crisis: The mid-sized banking crisis has carved pathways for investments in private Commercial Real Estate (CRE) debt. The current market scenario, marked by dislocations and rising cap rates, presents investment avenues with high return potentials.

In conclusion, the voice of the investor and market perspectives appear to be converging on a promising note for the real estate sector. With organizations like EquityMultiple maintaining a ‘focus on rigorous underwriting’ and a proactive approach, the horizon looks bright for stakeholders.

What is EquityMultiple?

EquityMultiple – the company behind this recent whitepaper – is one that offers investment opportunities in the real estate sector, facilitating a platform for investors to diversify their portfolios and potentially achieve higher returns. The company connects individuals with real estate operators and projects, providing them with unique investment avenues.

EquityMultiple touts the following as examples of popular opportunities already on offer for its clientele.

  • Alpine Note: A highly favored offering, especially for newcomers to the investment world. It offers interest rates of 6.00% for a 3-month term and 7.05% for a 6-month term. Updated information and promotional materials related to the increased rates are available on the affiliate dashboard.
  • Ascent Income Fund: Another attractive entry point for investors. The fund was in high demand, being quickly oversubscribed during its first closing. Investing in this fund provides a diversified portfolio in U.S. commercial real estate loans. The fund targets an annual return of 11-13%, requires a minimum investment of $20,000, and offers redemption options after a year.

Final Thoughts

Based on the findings of the aforementioned report, real estate was, is, and should continue to be an attractive asset class for investors.  Real estate brings the opportunity for investors to diversify their portfolios and safeguard against inflation.

The research also brought to light promising trends for the future: the benefits of private real estate investments, the rising demand for multifamily housing due to demographic shifts, and lucrative investment avenues stemming from the mid-sized banking crisis.

With all that in mind, EquityMultiple looks to continue acting as a bridge between investors and real estate opportunities by offering a growing list of enticing investment products.

The post Investing in Real Estate in 2024? EquityMultiple Shares Market Insights appeared first on Securities.io.

Insights and Predictions at the TokenizeThis Summit by Carlos Domingo, CEO of Securitize


On the third and final day of the inaugural TokenizeThis Summit, the first guest was none other than Carlos Domingo, CEO of Securitize.  What followed was a discussion on not only what the company has to offer but where Domingo sees the digital securities sector going in the coming years, highlighting a few of the hurdles expected along the way.

Securitize and the Role It Plays

Before diving into some of the insights shared during this discussion, it is important to understand what Securitize is and the role it plays in the digital securities sector.

Spearheaded by CEO Carlos Domingo, Securitize has managed to stand out as a pioneering platform enabling the secure issuance and management of digital securities on the blockchain, fostering compliant trading across secondary markets. The firm aims to revolutionize private securities by facilitating its digitization and ensuring streamlined, compliance-friendly operations.

Interestingly, Securitize was born out of the 2017 ICO boom when Domingo recognized the ability for them to raise capital efficiently.  Domingo stated that along with taking inspiration from companies like Polymath, he wanted to recreate the ICO process but in a proper and regulated manner that would also entice traditional investors.

So, while the digital securities sector began spinning its wheel by 2018 due to the proliferation of unlicensed companies and a widespread underestimating of the complexities surrounding tokenization, there were positives to arise from this period – like Securitize and Security Token Market.

As it stands, Domingo states that Securitize boasts the ability to operate as a transfer agent, has tax reporting capabilities, as a broker/dealer, and even as an ATS for secondary market trading.  These abilities have already resulted in various promising partnerships with companies like the following,

  • Inveniam
  • Stonegate
  • Hamilton Lane

Domingo has attributed Securitize’s ability to stay at the forefront of the sector to a few simple approaches.

  • Good execution
  • Focused approach
  • Financial cognizance

It was noted that timing and the ability to endure are the space’s biggest uncertainty.  Domingo believes that not only will digital securities become commonplace but that by sticking to this approach, Securitize has the ability to stay as long as it takes.  In the meantime, it plans to continue building out its ecosystem through a focus on investor participation and liquidity mechanisms such as lending.

Little Love for DeFi

With Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocols and platforms essentially being the antithesis of a regulated, KYC/AML-compliant entity like Securitize, it was interesting to hear Domingo’s thoughts on the former when the topic arose.

Unsurprisingly, the prevalence of hacks, anonymity, and lack of compliance with regulations have each made it hard for Domingo to see real adoption of DeFi.  Simply put, most people and companies see too many risks and wish to operate in a regulated environment.

While the above may currently be true, Domingo did not go without acknowledging his love for the great technology and ingenuity on offer within DeFi.  More specifically, it was noted that certain approaches towards lending and automated market makers could be adopted by Securitize in time.

A Look Forward

So, what does the CEO of Securitize see when taking a broader look at the digital securities in the coming years?

First addressed was a series of needs that require fulfilling.  Describing the sector as a two-sided marketplace comprised of assets and investors, Domingo noted that the asset side of the equation has already been solved.  Where the issue lay is in a lack of investor adoption – something that can be addressed by bringing more utility to tokenized assets and working collectively to ensure non-compliance among industry participants does not rear its head.

Furthermore, Domingo echoed a similar sentiment shared on day two of the TokenizeThis Summit by Graham Rodford, CEO of Archax, who stated that bringing bad assets on chain does not make them good.  Rather, a concerted effort needs to be made to only tokenized assets that are already good, and solid.

It isn’t all uphill from here, though.  Over the next year, Domingo predicts big things, which will see the first $1,000,000,000+ tokenized fund created.  When this happens, he believes that investors will finally begin realizing the benefits on offer through tokenization (i.e., flexibility and efficiency) and that the sector is here to stay.

Once this occurs, the sector will reach an inflection point.

The post Insights and Predictions at the TokenizeThis Summit by Carlos Domingo, CEO of Securitize appeared first on Securities.io.

Global Adoption of Tokenization Underway as Benefits Pique Interests


One of the most bullish and referenced papers on the global potential of asset tokenization was released roughly 1 year ago.  Titled “Relevance of on-chain asset tokenization in ‘crypto winter’“, it listed improved liquidity, accessibility, and the democratization of investing as being key benefits behind the practice that will see it grow into an expected $16 Trillion opportunity in the coming years.  Fast forward to today, and this narrative has not only remained but strengthened in its likelihood, with the past year being filled with examples of global adoption.

Below, we take a look at what a group of panelists – speaking on Day 2 of the inaugural TokenizeThis Summit by STM – had to say on this very topic and where they see future trends surrounding tokenization.

What is Tokenization?

Before diving into who these panelists were and the insights they shared, it is important to have a rudimentary understanding of what it means when someone uses the phrase ‘tokenization’.

Tokenization in the context of blockchain refers to the conversion of rights to an asset into a digital token on a blockchain. Essentially, it involves issuing a blockchain token (secure digital representation) that digitally represents a real tradable asset. These tokens can represent any asset, such as real estate, stocks, or commodities, and enable fractional ownership, easy transfer, and the ability to transact on decentralized platforms, thus enhancing liquidity and facilitating access to investments.


Kickstarting day 2 of the TokenizeThis Summit, the first panel shared insights into the global adoption of tokenization.  Those participating included,

  • Oi-Yee Choo, CEO at ADDX
  • Jacobo Ochando Orti, Head of Tokenization at Deloitte
  • Lorenzo Rigatti, CEO at BlockInvest
  • Graham Rodford, CEO at Archax

The global nature of these participants only further highlights just how widespread adoption is becoming, with panelists hailing from Singapore to Italy, Spain, and the UK.

Key Themes and Commentary

Throughout this discussion, it was interesting to see varying perspectives formed by each panelist as they have learned to operate under different regulatory environments.  When asked whether the future of tokenization will occur on a private or public blockchain, there was a clear consensus that regulators currently prefer private variants.  However, both Choo and Rodford did elaborate, stating that much of the reasoning behind this preference is existing KYC and AML requirements.  The entire panel seemed to agree, though, with the idea that we are building toward a future in which public blockchains become the norm among tokenization efforts.

“We support both, but I am very much in the camp of ‘public is really where this takes off in the future’” Graham Rodford, CEO at Archax

Rigatti also pointed out that while this transition must eventually occur due to the lack of scalability and interoperability of private blockchains, their public variants must also be proven environmentally sound.

A few of the other key themes to come from this discussion include,

  • Capital raises have shown promise, despite how tough success can be to find in the current macroeconomic environment
  • Further research needs to be completed on which investor information should be kept on vs. off-chain
  • Tokenization does not automatically make a product appealing.  Efforts still must meet demand and the industry should only tokenize already strong assets
  • A regulated Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) is a long way off

Interestingly, the group as a whole appeared to agree that while the Real Estate Market is often viewed as the perfect environment for disruption through tokenization, early efforts should be focused on underlying assets that are less localized/niche.  For BlockInvest, Rigatti indicates that this had led them to concentrate on corporate bonds fund shares, and similar products.

Final Thoughts on Tokenization

In light of recent advancements and adoption levels, tokenization stands poised to sculpt a future where assets are more easily accessible, trades are executed with increased efficiency, and investments are democratized. The leap in global adoption stands to herald a financial era where the merging of tangible assets with digital counterparts not only bridges traditional finance with decentralized finance but also opens new opportunities for investors and businesses alike.

As can be gleaned from commentary made on day 2 of the TokenizeThis Summit, for this potential to be realized, the market must first address a prevailing lack of interoperability and uniform regulations.  Thankfully, it would appear as though these are issues already being considered, making that oft-referenced $16T potential not as far-fetched as it first may have seemed.

Overall, the integration of blockchain technology, demonstrated through thriving tokenization practices, subtly underpins a bright, inclusive, and innovative financial future for all.

The post Global Adoption of Tokenization Underway as Benefits Pique Interests appeared first on Securities.io.

The Liquidity Problem in Digital Securities: Insights from the TokenizeThis Summit


On day one of the inaugural ‘TokenizeThis‘ summit, organized and hosted by Security Token Market, various topics were/are set to be addressed, with each touching upon the current state and ambitions of the burgeoning digital securities sector.

One particularly intriguing panel took the time to look at a longstanding hurdle plaguing many real-world-assets (RWAs) when viewed as investments – Liquidity.

The Panel

Before taking a closer look at how tokenization can solve liquidity issues among various asset classes, here are those who took part in the panel to share unique insights and analysis.

  • Cass Sandford – Deputy General Counsel at OTC Markets Group
  • Richard Luftig – Managing Partner at Castle Placement
  • Jamie Finn – President and Co-Founder at Securitize

Key Themes of the Discussion

A recurring theme among the conference’s first panel centered around the importance of interconnectivity among industry participants and strategic marketing to educate investors on the nuances and potentials of tokenization if liquidity is ever expected to improve.

The robustness of any investment environment, particularly one tethered to technological innovations like tokenization, is typically significantly improved by seamless interconnectivity among industry participants. Interconnected networks facilitate the creation of a more unified, fluid market, enabling the effortless exchange of assets and, consequently, bolstering liquidity. Jamie Finn emphasized the importance of a cohesive ecosystem, highlighting that “there is a real need to work together across this ecosystem and really connect the dots” to propel the digital securities sector forward.

Meanwhile, Richard Luftig pinpointed just how critical strategic marketing can be in highlighting the potential of tokenization to the investment community. He ardently stated, “You can’t just throw up a marketplace and hope that people will come. You can’t do a capital raise and hope that people will come…you have to build a system to bring investors to the opportunity.” This underscores the need to dismantle knowledge barriers and enhance investor enlightenment regarding digital securities and tokenization through meticulously crafted marketing strategies.

Lastly, inevitability over time emerged as a pivotal theme. The progress of digital securities, propelled by tokenization, is not merely a transient trend but appears to be an inevitable progression, gradually morphing from an alternative investment strategy into a mainstream conduit for asset trading and investment. The transition may not be free of challenges, but the trajectory towards a tokenized future is as clear as it has ever been.

Solving the Liquidity Problem

Liquidity has perennially remained one of the pivotal aspects underpinning the dynamics of investment among any and all asset classes. The ‘TokenizeThis’ conference – which is the first to be held by the team at Security Token Market – illuminated this, particularly zeroing in on the role of liquidity in the growing digital securities sector as it grapples with navigating the intricacies of making tokenized real-world-assets (RWAs) lucrative investment opportunities.

Liquidity refers to the ability to quickly buy or sell an asset in the market without affecting its price significantly. High liquidity implies an easy conversion, while low liquidity indicates a slower, potentially more price-impactful sale process.

Importance to Investors:

Liquidity within an asset class is of importance to investors for a variety of reasons.  The include,

  1. Easy Entry/Exit: Investors can enter and exit investments effortlessly.
  2. Price Stability: Highly liquid markets tend to have more stable prices.
  3. Reduced Costs: In liquid markets, the spread between buying and selling prices is typically lower, reducing transaction costs.
  4. Risk Management: Enhanced liquidity allows investors to better manage their risk, adapting to market changes swiftly.

Tokenization and Liquidity in Illiquid Assets:

So, with liquidity playing such an important role in investing, where does tokenization fit into the picture?  This process refers to the conversion of physical, tangible assets, or even intangible ones, into digital tokens on a blockchain. This involves issuing a blockchain token (security token) that digitally represents a real tradable asset. These digital securities can then be bought, sold, or traded on a secondary market. A key advantage of this is that it allows assets to be divided into smaller, more affordable shares, making them more accessible to a wider range of investors and potentially providing additional liquidity to the asset owners.

  1. Fractional Ownership: Tokenization allows assets to be divided into smaller, more affordable units, enabling more people to invest with lower capital, thereby increasing the investor base.
  2. Global Accessibility: Tokens can be traded on a global scale, enhancing accessibility and expanding the potential pool of investors.
  3. 24/7 Markets: Blockchain enables around-the-clock trading, providing continuous opportunities for buying and selling.
  4. Smart Contracts: Automated compliance and transaction management via smart contracts streamline processes, reducing barriers and delays in trading.
  5. Secondary Markets: Creating a secondary market for tokens representing illiquid assets can further enhance their liquidity by providing an additional platform for buying and selling.

In essence, tokenization democratizes investment and broadens access to capital markets, particularly for traditionally illiquid asset classes like real estate or fine art, by breaking down financial barriers and enhancing market fluidity.

Final Thoughts

After hearing everything that each panelist had to say, it is quite clear that while tokenization efforts may hold the solution to many issues surrounding liquidity, there is still plenty of road to travel before getting there.  As previously touched upon, the following are a few key themes that were made clear.

  • Interconnectivity among industry participants is required.
  • Marketing to educate investors and companies on tokenization is needed.
  • Tokenization of RWAs is inevitable – the only question is over what timeframe.

Each of the panelists left viewers with these final thoughts on the future of digital securities.

“There are friction points in our markets today that I do believe can be solved with some of these innovate products”Cass Sandford, Deputy General Counsel at OTC Markets Group

“It comes down to a couple of things that the people on the panel discucessed – quality, credibility.  The technology, although complex, plays a huge role in facilitating trust and credibility – and that’s the opportunity”Richard Luftig, Managing Partner at Castle Placement

“The products are there.  The platform is there.  Come out and try it – that’s the key thing here is we’re all learning together, and you’ve got to use this stuff.”Jamie Finn, President and Co-Founder at Securitize

To continue learning about digital securities, a recording of day one of the TokenizeThis Summit can be found in its entirety HERE.

The post The Liquidity Problem in Digital Securities: Insights from the TokenizeThis Summit appeared first on Securities.io.

Polestar, Rivian, Lucid – Can EV Specialists Survive Competition from Ford and GM?


Despite the promise behind electric vehicles (EVs), it would appear as though many companies in the sector, not named Tesla, are struggling.  Just days ago, Polestar – the former performance division for Volvo, that spun off into its own brand for Chinese made EVs – posted a second-quarter loss of $304M.  Notably, this is not the only sign of EV manufacturers ‘spinning their tires’ in recent months.  The following is a brief look at a few examples of this, which, along with the inevitability of EV adoption, may have created a prime buying opportunity for savvy investors.

Notable Manufacturers

Before taking a closer look at the struggles currently being faced by EV manufacturers, we have highlighted a few key industry players below.

Polestar Automotive (NASDAQ: PSNY)

Prior to going its own way in 2021, Polestar functioned as the performance division for Volvo.  While the two companies retain close ties, Polestar now operates as an independent company specializing in the production of high-end EVs.   In its first two years of operation, Polestar saw its revenue double to $2.46B in 2022.

YouTube Video

Polestar is based out of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Market Cap: $6.99B

Forward Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E) 1yr: N/A

Earnings Per Share (EPS): N/A

At the time of writing, Polestar Automotive (PSNY) boasted the above metrics and is listed as a ‘Buy’ among most major investment firms.

Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ: RIVN)

With early backers like Amazon and Ford, Rivian was able to generate massive interest in its fully electric truck known as the ‘R1T’ and its SUV counterpart, the ‘R1S’.  While units shipped by the company failed to impress in 2022, its future still looks bright, as it still has a winning product on its hands without any real competition to be found.

YouTube Video

Rivian Automotive is based out of Irvine, California.

Market Cap: $22.10B

Forward Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E) 1yr: -3.96

Earnings Per Share (EPS): $-6.47

At the time of writing, Rivian Automotive (RIVN) boasted the above metrics and is listed as a ‘Strong Buy’ among most major investment firms.

Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID)

As it looks to make a name for itself, Lucid Motors opted to go the luxury route with its offering known as the Lucid ‘Air’.  These premium offerings showcase the future of what EVs will look like, boasting astounding performance metrics without sacrificing range.

YouTube Video

Lucid Group is based out of Newark, California.

Market Cap: $14.52B

Forward Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E) 1yr: -4.21

Earnings Per Share (EPS): $-1.51

At the time of writing, Lucid Group (LCID) boasted the above metrics and is listed as a ‘Buy’ among most major investment firms.


Tesla, Inc. is both an electric vehicle and clean energy company.  While it is renowned for its lineup of electric vehicles, it has increasingly expanded operations over the years to include solar energy products and energy storage solutions as well, such as the Powerwall and Solar Roof.

Regardless of the product, Tesla’s goal is to promote global energy sustainability through electrification and automation.  Notably, Tesla has also become a major data aggregator, allowing it to develop the foundations for future autonomous taxi services, in addition to ancillary technologies like artificial intelligence.

YouTube Video

Tesla was founded in 2003 and is based out of Texas, United States.

Market Cap: $777.66B

Forward Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E) 1yr: 83.05

Earnings Per Share (EPS): $3.53

At the time of writing, Tesla (TSLA) boasted the above metrics and is listed as a ‘Buy’ among most major investment firms.

David vs. Goliath

For multiple years, niche EV manufacturers like Polestar, Rivian, Lucid, and Tesla boasted a slight first-movers advantage with regard to full electric vehicles.  While industry goliaths like Ford and General Motors now have offerings of their own, there was a period in which hybrid variants were as good as it got from each.  Aside from Tesla, it is now unclear if the aforementioned EV specialists were able to take advantage of being a first mover to the extent needed to survive.

To date, Lucid and Rivian have each struggled to meet forecasted production numbers, while Polestar has seen its shares decline by as much as 65% since going public.  Now that Ford, General Motors, and various other established automotive manufacturers have essentially caught up in the race, will each company’s vast resources result in the demise of more niche manufacturers?

Heck, even Ford has struggled, having already been forced to drop the price of its F-150 Lightning as sales failed to live up to expectations.  The difference is that Ford can rely on sales from its existing lineup of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to keep its EV aspiration afloat until industry kinks can be worked out.

Macroeconomics At Play

Whether it be a niche manufacturer or an industry mainstay, the fact remains that various macroeconomic factors are currently acting as an anchor on EV adoption.  With central banks around the world doing their best to stave off inflation through manipulation of FIAT via rising interest rates, skyrocketing property values, etc., a question arises – who among the general public has enough liquid capital to purchase a rapidly depreciating asset like an EV?

For proof of this, just look at the average length of time car owners are keeping their vehicles in the United States.  In 2017 a new record was set, with the average length of ownership rising to 11.6 years, with rising prices on new vehicles being one of the driving factors behind this.  Fast forward to 2021, and this trend only continued, with new record length of ownerships being seen at 12.1 years.

With the cost of living and vehicle MRSPs only continuing to rise in the time since, it would stand to reason that EV adoption is clearly being held back from reaching its potential.  At the end of the day, who has money for a luxury item like an EV at such times?

Has Tesla Won the Game?

While manufacturers like Polestar, Rivian, and Lucid are reliant on EV sales and fresh investment capital to stay afloat, Tesla has long since branched out, expanding on its revenue streams.  Whether it be licensing access to its charging network, offering in-home battery solutions, or developing commercial offerings like its electric transport truck, Tesla continues to diversify while simultaneously building a strong foundation that can support its consumer EVs during trying times.  Due to these reasons and many more, Tesla appears to be the only truly safe bet among pure EV manufacturers with a clear place among existing industry goliaths in the years to come.

Looking Forward

In the coming months, there are big developments expected from various EV manufacturers that may help each get back on track.

  • Rivian puts the next-gen in-house powertrain known as the ‘Enduro Drive Unit’ into production.
    • Will provide performance and efficiency boosts, while lowering production cost
  • Lucid will launch its first SUV in 2024, known as the ‘Gravity’
    • Targets the much more popular SUV segment in North America
  • Polestar is set to begin production of the Polestar 4, a mid-size SUV, in October
    • Also set to target one of the market’s most popular segments, bringing the functionality of a full-size SUV combined with the performance of a car

While only time will tell if these developments are enough to spur increased adoption/sales, they underscore a continuing drive by each company to persist and thrive.

Final Word

The bottom line is that despite recent struggles experienced by companies like Polestar, the transition towards EVs is inevitable at this point.  Whether the public likes it or not, an increasing amount of governments have already, or are preparing to, enact laws incentivizing such adoption.  Within a decade, EVs will be so widespread that any woes currently experienced may be looked back upon as mere hiccups, making the current share pricing of the aforementioned companies look like a steal.

Although there are no guarantees that niche manufacturers will be around to see that day as industry giants like Ford continue entering the fray, the potential for real growth remains.

The post Polestar, Rivian, Lucid – Can EV Specialists Survive Competition from Ford and GM? appeared first on Securities.io.

Justin Banon, Co-Founder of Boson Protocol – Interview Series


Justin Banon is the Co-Founder of Boson Protocol, a company specializing in the tokenization of both tangible and intangible assets.  Made possible through the use of an ‘optimistic fair-exchange protocol’, this company and its services are poised to change the way asset ownership is viewed.

To kick things off, tell us about yourself! How did you become Co-founder of Boson Protocol?

My background is a combination of business and academic. I started out doing a physics degree and then ended up working for a company called Priority Pass, which sold airport lounge visits through paper and plastic vouchers. In parallel, I started a Master’s in digital innovation and combined the two to begin a digital transformation of Priority Pass. This involved selling physical products and services as digital vouchers and turned out to be a successful idea, as I then scaled that business from 50 million to a billion-dollar turnover. I continued on to do a second Master’s, but this time in crypto. During this time, I considered what would happen if we moved from paper and plastic to digital and then blockchain vouchers for physical things — leading to the birth of Boson Protocol.

What services are on offer by Boson Protocol, both now and in the future?

We’ve recently finished the core build detailed in our 2019 (v1) and 2022 (v2) whitepapers. We have also achieved our initial goal, which was to construct the decentralized commerce infrastructure for the emerging Web3 economy. This comprised, firstly, a decentralized commerce protocol, enabling the trust-minimized exchange of real-world assets, without centralized intermediaries, just code. We then built a suite of dCommerce dApps, enabling anyone to sell physical things as NFTs online, in-metaverse and on NFT marketplaces.

In terms of what’s next, by early Q4 2023, we will have completed the build of Web2.5 bridges, including fiat onramps, custodial wallets, and web widgets; enabling mainstream buyers and sellers to use Boson. We are also partnering with WooCommerce, the world’s largest e-commerce platform, enabling millions of Woo sellers to use Boson.

In the past, you have spoken on Web3 and how, by 2025, it has the potential to transcend e-commerce beyond its use of siloed, closed, and proprietary systems.  How is this possible, and what benefits will it provide?

To quote an article that I featured in published by the World Economic Forum:

“By 2025, Web3 technologies will have revolutionized the world of commerce, in much the same way that Web2 transformed access to information. Physical and digital (phygital?) ‘things’ will be listed and traded on an open, liquid, digital market… With the exchange of physical assets, the need to manage counterparties’ risk, mediate disputes, and ensure settlement, requires trust. This trust is vested in either trusted intermediaries or trusted sellers. Consequently, e-commerce transactions are mostly siloed within one of many, closed, proprietary systems” (Yoon, 2022).

In terms of benefits, “just as decentralized finance’s ‘money lego’ applications have begun to unbundle traditional finance, an ecosystem of decentralized ‘commerce lego’ protocols and applications will evolve to create an open marketplace for things, where everyone can share in the value they create” (Yoon, 2022).

NFTs are often pigeonholed, only being thought of as whimsical .jpegs among the general public. Can you elaborate on how leveraging smart contracts and non-fungibility make them so much more?

The first use case for NFTs is, dare I say, expensive JPEGs. However, NFTs do have the potential to be canonical digital objects and needn’t be just images. Boson NFTs are connected to smart contracts which escrow funds and are encoded with game theory to provide strong and verifiable assurances to buyers that either they will receive the physical goods or their money back.

Redeemable NFTs address the problem of how to digitally represent a physical asset, by providing assurances to the bearer of an rNFT that either they will receive the item or their money back.  rNFTs represent the right to redeem physical assets on-chain, thus enabling the vision of a single, digital market for physical things, built on Web3 infrastructure.

Over the years, we have seen examples of companies tokenizing cars, art, wine, real estate, and more.  What makes such assets ideal for tokenization, and can we expect to see similar offerings made available through Boson Protocol?

I think we’ll see almost all assets tokenized. I subscribe to the thesis that our future civilization will run on blockchain and it would be deemed negligent to transact any value on a system other than a blockchain.

The base layer of Boson Protocol is opinionated and a highly generic protocol for transacting any physical or digital asset. However, the higher application levels that we’ve built are tailored towards the exchange of the tokenization and decentralized exchange of physical products, which could include cars, art, wine, and potentially real estate.

However, that is not to say that we or others could not build applications on top of Boson’s base protocol.  These applications would then be more tailored towards, for example, property rentals, commodities or other specific services and offerings.

Any time an asset is tokenized, a question must be posed – is the resulting digital representation a security?  Can you elaborate on why, or why not, assets tokenized through Boson Protocol may be classified as such?

In general, the classification of a security is given by the nature of the underlying asset. With Boson, we tokenize what can be thought of as NFT vouchers but the fact that we’re using blockchain technology doesn’t make this a security. As I explained previously, you can have a paper, plastic, or digital voucher that is redeemable for a physical item. With Boson, we create an NFT voucher that is redeemable for a physical thing and so our vouchers are not per se classified as securities.

“One Button, three lines of code.  Any site, anywhere.”  What does Boson Protocol mean by this, and why is it important?

You can embed redemption functionality on any website by merely adding three lines of code to embed the widgets. This is so people can sell redeemable NFTs anywhere, whilst ultimately bringing the users back to their site to redeem physical NFTs, in order to develop direct relationships with Web3 customers- rather than ceding these relationships to NFT platforms, and to retain control of the customer experience, whilst developing a Web3 community on their own site.

Despite its potential, the idea of Real-World-Asset (RWA) tokenization remains somewhat niche within the world of digital assets. What do you believe it will take for this to change?

This is already rapidly changing. In addition to Boson signing partnerships to integrate with eCommerce market leader WooCommerce, the current state of play is that traditional finance giants, such as Blackrock, as well as RWA startups, such as Tzero, Securitize, and Polymath, are using the blockchain to tokenize RWAs. A quote from Blackrock CEO Larry Fink springs to mind here: “the next generation for markets, the next generation for securities, will be tokenization of securities.”

Over the past year, various reports have pointed to tokenization efforts representing billions in capital in the coming years. Do you give credence to these claims?

To give credence to these claims, we simply need to give credence to three premises. Firstly, blockchain tokenization is a superior technology for representing real-world assets. Secondly, you have the CEO of the world’s largest investment company, BlackRock, confirming that tokenization will be the de facto technology for securities moving forward. Finally, RWA tokenization represents a multi-trillion-dollar industry that will only grow over the next five years.  Put those together and you get a strong argument that: “tokenization efforts will represent billions in capital in the coming years”

Is there anything else that you would like to share about Boson Protocol?

Yes! When crypto recovers from the current winter, Boson Protocol will be product-complete and mass adoption-ready. We aim to seize the multi-trillion dollar opportunity to become the TCP and IP of commerce in the forthcoming Web3 economy.


Thank you to Justin Banon for the interview!  For readers interested in learning more about this promising company, make sure to visit our investing guide, or Boson Protocol directly at bosonprotocol.io

The post Justin Banon, Co-Founder of Boson Protocol – Interview Series appeared first on Securities.io.

30 Years of Data Disproportionately Links Climate Issues with Wealthy Households


In a recent study, published in PLOS Climate, researchers found that there is a disproportionate link between wealthy United States households and their impact on climate change.  More specifically, the study found that the top 10% of income earners in the U.S. are behind a staggering 40% of the country’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Even worse, are the top 0.1% – which the study has labeled ‘super emitters’ – that are linked to a lifetime worth of GHG emission for those in the bottom 10% in a mere 15 days.

How Has This Happened?

When arriving at its conclusion, the paper indicates that while 40% of greenhouse gases can be linked to the top 10% earning households, “investment holdings account for 38-43% of their emissions”.

This is key to understanding the situation at hand, as efforts to mitigate GHG emissions to date have focused primarily on changing consumption habits that span to include transportation, food, etc.  With this study now showing that investment holdings play a much more significant role in GHG emissions, it is clear that existing consumer-based approaches are inherently flawed.

Recognizing this, it is crucial for households that take climate issues seriously to re-evaluate where their capital is allocated.  This means doing due diligence on an investment/company beyond solely the potential for financial return, but also including a closer look at environmental and sustainability efforts being made by the companies being invested in.

While overall emissions were linked to household wealth, the study also shed light on several other factors, such as race, and age.  It indicates that predominantly white households were responsible for more emissions, while black households were responsible for the least.  Furthermore, it found that age played a notable role as well, with linked emissions rising over time, peaking between 45 and 54.  This is a logical finding, as households typically have the most excess capital for investments in the final career years before retirement, and as previously established, GHG emissions are highly correlated with investments.

Arriving at a Conclusion

In order to arrive at the conclusion that GHG emissions are disproportionately linked to wealthy homes, researchers behind the study poured through over 30 years of data from 5 million U.S. residents.  Parameters utilized to link GHG emissions with wealth included a look at the following and more, from 1990-2019.

  • Wages
  • Investments
  • Retirement

The team noted that in doing so, it was able to shed light and “offer a new perspective on emissions responsibility, to fill in a key knowledge gap for a major GHG emitting nation,”.

This existing knowledge gap was attributed to the often elusive nature of investment income data, which contributes significantly to the wealth of the elite. In order to work around this obstacle, the team of researchers behind the study poured through “2.8 billion inter-sectoral transfers from the Eora MRIO database to calculate both supplier- and producer-based GHG emissions intensities and connect these with detailed income and demographic data,”.

Why So Important?

While disbelievers still remain, the majority of the populace and scientific community believe that climate change is not only real but a significant threat to the modern world.  More to this point, there is a general agreeance that if the world expects to avoid the worst potential effects of climate change, temperatures must not rise more than 1.5°C.  Unfortunately, we are already well on our way to not only approach but surpass this threshold in the coming years.

With this being the case, a closer look must be given to understanding exactly what is responsible for GHG emissions, so that nations can form more effective responses and mitigation strategies surrounding the issue.  This is what the recently released paper sought to achieve.

Moving Forward

As it stands, equal treatment has trumped accountability with regard to GHG emissions in North America through both existing and proposed action plans.  This means that, despite the most wealthy households being disproportionately linked to such emissions, they are typically placed on the same pedestal as poor and impoverished ones.  This approach essentially punishes households that do not have excess capital to invest, as they may be forced to pay for the actions of those that do.

Taking the above into account, the team of researchers responsible for the paper put forth a proposal that would see a migration away from “consumer facing carbon taxes that rely on individuals decarbonizing the economy,” towards a more effective approach involving “income or shareholder-based carbon tax”.  Essentially, this means targeting shareholders based on the carbon intensity of any investment gains.

When discussing this study, Head Researcher and Lecturer in Environmental Conservation, Jared Starr, stated,

“we could really incentivize the Americans who are driving and profiting the most from climate change to decarbonize their industries and investments. It’s divestment through self-interest, rather than altruism. Imagine how quickly corporate executives, board members and large shareholders would decarbonize their industries if we made it in their financial interest to do so. The tax revenue gained could help the nation invest substantially in decarbonization efforts.”

Concluding its findings, the paper drives home the following point – “It is clear that the economy needs to decarbonize faster than its current trajectory and that more money is needed to both fund this transition and equitably adapt societies to a warming world”.  Whether its tax proposal is the answer is yet to be seen, but the fact remains that more needs to be done, and effective accountability is key to a solution.

The post 30 Years of Data Disproportionately Links Climate Issues with Wealthy Households appeared first on Securities.io.

Mid-Week Reality Check: Is the Grayscale and X Hype Warranted?


Inconvenient or outright bad news can spread like wildfire, changing the sentiment surrounding entire markets.  Over the years, this has been commonplace within a digital asset sector rife with volatility.  However, this works both ways, with yesterday being a prime example of how potentially good news can spread quickly, changing market sentiment at a moment’s notice.  Based on social media, though, a mid-week reality check may be needed to reign in some of the excitement.  The following is a brief look at the two storylines that have been circulating as of late, and why sunshine and roses are not a sure thing.

A Grayscale ETF Has NOT Been Approved

In a hotly anticipated verdict, courts presiding over Grayscale vs. SEC sided in favor of the former.  This has resulted in many believing that the company’s application to convert its GBTC Trust into a Spot-Bitcoin ETF, which was denied by the SEC only to now be overturned, allows for the conversion to occur.  This was simply not the case.

While the verdict was most definitely a resounding win for Grayscale and the looming mainstream adoption of digital assets like Bitcoin, the courts simply found that the SEC did not adequately explain or prove its reasoning behind its denial, agreeing that its past actions were both ‘arbitrary and capricious’.  With this being the case, the Grayscale application will simply re-enter the growing queue of similar products for re-evaluation.

“The Commission failed to adequately explain why it approved the listing of two bitcoin futures ETPs but not Grayscale’s proposed bitcoin ETP. In the absence of a coherent explanation, this unlike regulatory treatment of like products is unlawful. We therefore grant Grayscale’s petition for review and vacate the Commission’s order.”

Much has been made about this development, pointing to a bulk approval of multiple applications this week. However, the SEC may full well opt to continue delaying the approval of such products for as long as possible.  This means potentially waiting until early 2024 before a final yay or nay is required.

The bottom line is that with this ruling, approving a Spot-Bitcoin ETF is looking more likely than ever before.  It is important to recognize that this has not yet occurred, and may not for some time – if ever.

Notably, this loss marks the second such result experienced by the SEC in as many months, with the divisive regulator having also failed to prove its assertions against Ripple in court.

X’s Intentions Are Not Clear

Another development yesterday, which saw X (formerly Twitter) awarded a currency-transmitter license in the State of Rhode Island, has been painted as a move showing the company’s progress towards the integration of digital assets in its platform.  This may be the case, but at this point, it is purely speculation.

While X already holds money transmitter licenses in various other States, these are specific to assets deemed money (i.e., FIAT).  Although a currency transmitter license may extend to include digital assets, the company has not indicated that it was attained for this purpose.

As it stands, we know that X is set to transition to an ‘everything-app’, with the company already having said as much. Also, these licenses only represent a small portion of the United States and do not directly point to any immediate integration of digital assets.

Like the ruling on Grayscale vs. SEC, it is difficult to deny the path that X appears to be headed down, but for the time being, prudence is a practical approach.

Final Word

The bottom line is, with both of these developments – don’t count your chickens before the eggs hatch.  There are no guarantees that either will amount to anything positive, regardless of shifting sentiment.  Plan for the worst, and hope for the best.

The post Mid-Week Reality Check: Is the Grayscale and X Hype Warranted? appeared first on Securities.io.

BlockFi Opens Withdrawals for U.S Based Wallet Holders


For months now, BlockFi has been mired in languishing bankruptcy proceedings that have been mired with controversy.  Today, the former lending platform has announced a step forward in the process, noting that it is officially opening withdrawals for a subset of its users.

Source: X @BlockFi

BlockFi was once a market leader among lending platforms, only to fail spectacularly due to poor risk-management practices, and exposure to the collapse of FTX, among other things.

Who is Eligible?

As it stands, BlockFi has a shortage of funds – meaning its liabilities outweigh the assets it controls.  As a result, many of its users can expect to only receive a small portion of any funds locked on the platform.  This applies mainly to those with funds in an interest-bearing account, as such clients are viewed as having ceded control of said assets.

However, those with funds locked in a wallet account are being viewed differently by the court presiding over this bankruptcy case.  These individuals are being viewed as maintaining full ownership of their funds, and as of today are being granted permission to begin withdrawals.  There are multiple caveats that clients should be aware of, such as the following.

  • Only applicable to U.S. clients
  • Did not withdraw or transfer more than $7,575 worth of digital assets from their BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) or BlockFi Private Client (BPC) on or after November 2, 2022.
  • Did not hold any trade-only assets in their Wallet at the time of Platform Pause on November 10, 2022, at 8:15 P.M. E.T.

While international clients of BlockFi are not currently eligible for withdrawals of any kind, the company has noted that it is “…working with the Joint Provisional Liquidators to begin opening withdrawals for BlockFi International clients”, and expects this to occur in the coming weeks.

Despite clearly listed parameters for eligibility, there have already been various BlockFi users having issues with this withdrawal process.  Various, which received emails stating they ‘have been identified as an eligible client to begin withdrawing digital asset’, have attempted to complete the process only to then be greeted with a statement indicating otherwise.

Hard Hit

While the digital asset sector has clearly exited its most recent crypto-winter, there is still a crop of companies dealing with the fallout.  For the most part, these are a crop of lending platforms that include not only BlockFi, but Celsius, Voyager, Vauld, and more.

Interestingly, despite the collapse of so many like-minding lending platforms – or perhaps due to it – there are still options like Ledn.io that continue to operate as usual, capitalizing on a now much less competitive field.

Moving forward, it should be interesting to see if new practices are adopted, mitigating counterparty risks that have come back to bite so many people over the past year, or if such platforms fade in to non-existence.

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Securitize Set to Acquire Strategic Partner, Onramp Invest


In late March 2023, Securitize announced that it had partnered with the digital asset wealth platform, Onramp, with a goal to ‘streamline private equity investing’.  Five months later, news has broken that this partnership has evolved into an acquisition that will see Onramp become a subsidiary of Securitize.

Details of the Deal

While full terms of this acquisition have yet to be released, investors can expect to see Onramp boast higher levels of integration surrounding services on offer by Securitize.  This means that registered investment advisors (RIAs) will now be able to provide clients exposure to the following asset classes.

  • private equity
  • private credit
  • secondaries
  • real estate

Importantly, by integrating Securitize services into the Onramp platform, existing users will gain access to such opportunities through the use of a platform they are already familiar with.

Source: X @Securitize

Currently, Securitize notes that the Onramp platform boasts a community “…representing over $40B in cumulative AUM,”.


Upon announcing this development, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo stated,

“Our acquisition of Onramp is another big step forward in expanding investor access to top-performing alternative assets and in democratizing private capital markets. Onramp already offered RIAs easy access to digital assets, so it is a very natural extension to offer them tokenized alternative assets to complement their portfolios…Most wealth is generated in private market alternative assets and bringing Securitize and Onramp together enables registered investment advisors to give their clients access to that wealth generation.”

Meanwhile, Onramp CEO Eric Erving stated,

“We started Onramp with the goal of breaking down barriers for advisors to access meaningful investment opportunities for their clients, and there’s no better way to continue that mission than working with Securitize…More advisors would choose alternatives for their clients because the benefits are clear, but challenges like illiquidity and restricted access were previously significant problems to overcome. Securitize solves for this through offering lower minimums, lower fees, and potential for exit liquidity through secondary markets. Tokenization will be a major player in the investment space, and it’s imperative that all financial professionals are able to embrace this change.”

Final Word

This pending acquisition marks yet another step forward for Securitize, further cementing it as a leader in the world of asset tokenization.  Once a niche subset of the broader digital asset sector, digital securities are increasingly being viewed as one of the more potential-laden implementations of blockchain technology.  So much so that many believe tokenization efforts will represent billions in assets in the coming years.  If such beliefs become reality, Securitize should be well positioned to capitalize.

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PayPal to Integrate Ledger Live, and Pause UK Crypto Services


It has been quite a busy few weeks for payment processing giant, PayPal.  Not only has the company appointed a new CEO in Alex Chriss, and launched its own stablecoin in PYUSD, but it has also now announced increased integration of services with popular hardware wallet maker, Ledger.  The following is a brief look at what this integration entails, along with news that the company will be hitting ‘pause’ on its crypto services in the United Kingdom.

Ledger Live

By integrating Ledger Live with PayPal, the pair of companies can now offer U.S. residents the ability to automatically send cryptocurrencies purchased through PayPal directly to a hardware wallet.

Source: X @Ledger

Regardless of the desired destination for an asset, purchases made with PayPal through the Ledger Live platform will also not be required to provide additional verification.

Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier states,

“Both PayPal and Ledger are focused on creating secure, seamless, and fast transactions no matter where you are in the world. PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years, and we are thrilled to come together in this next period of asset innovation with our integration…We’re combining the uncompromising security of Ledger with PayPal’s leadership in secure payments technology to help facilitate a secure and seamless platform for user crypto transactions. Ledger is committed to simplifying the world of crypto, and PayPal is committed to making the movement of money as simple, secure, and affordable as possible. This integration provides greater optionality while giving users peace of mind converting dollars into crypto.”

This ability extends to include assets such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC).

A Temporary Pause

PayPal is not a company that is looking to operate in regulatory grey areas.  It is a payment processing giant that is integrated into just about every online merchant you will come across.  With this in mind, the company has also just announced a pending pause on certain cryptocurrency services in the United Kingdom.

“We’re taking this measure in response to new rules enacted by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that require crypto firms to implement additional steps before customers can purchase crypto.  While we work to satisfy these new regulations, you won’t be able to buy crypto using PayPal.”

The pause is the result of regulations being enforced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and will come into effect as of October 1st.

It is important to note that PayPal is not withdrawing its crypto services from U.K. markets.  Rather, this move is simply a pause that is set to be reversed in a few months.

In the meantime, PayPal has made it clear in the past few weeks that it intends to push forward with its adoption and integration of digital assets.  With that being the case, will we soon see payment processor rivals do the same?

PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL)

PayPal is a global financial services company that enables digital and mobile payments on behalf of consumers and merchants. It allows users to make payments and money transfers securely online without sharing financial information, using either a credit card, debit card, or bank account. PayPal operates in more than 200 countries and supports various currencies, making it a popular choice for international transactions. It also owns the mobile payment service Venmo.

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Market Cap: $65.34B

Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E): 16.62

Earnings Per Share (EPS): $3.58

At the time of writing, PayPal (PYPL) boasted the above metrics and is listed as a ‘Strong Buy’ among most major investment firms.

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Coinbase Approved to Offer Crypto Futures in the U.S Days After Expansion to Canada


Despite being in the midst of a battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Coinbase has done well to not only continue operations as normal but expand upon them.  The most recent example of this sees the popular exchange granted approval to begin offering futures trading in the United States.  The following is a brief look at this announcement, in addition to two others from recent days.

Greenlight From The National Futures Association (NFA)

Coinbase has just announced that, after a multi-year process, it has been granted approval to operate as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM).  By granting this approval, the FCM opens the door for Coinbase to begin offering U.S. customer access to trading crypto-based futures.

“Coinbase will now be the first crypto-native leader to directly offer traditional spot crypto trading alongside regulated and leveraged crypto futures, on an integrated trading solution for our verified customers.”

Coinbase notes that this approval, which saw its process begin in 2021, highlights the company’s “…commitment to operate a regulated and compliant business,”.

Interestingly, there is a clear undertone in this announcement by Coinbase, that indicates its continued disapproval of the SEC and its approach of regulating through enforcement.  This is made clear through statements like “Where regulations are clear and sensible, we will work with regulators”, and, “…regulation and transparency are critical and build confidence for individual customers and institutions”.

In Solidarity

Tired of waiting, Coinbase has recently led the large alongside a growing group of like-minded companies to unify and advocate for “clear, sensible regulation” surrounding cryptocurrencies in the United States.

This initiative, which has adopted the slogan ‘Stand with Crypto‘, has a goal of leveraging “…the underlying technology of the blockchain to help organize the community into a powerful voice advocating for policies that will update our financial system and support economic empowerment”

Coinbase notes that this initiative is of particular importance to U.S. citizens, with 87% believing that the financial system needs to be updated.  Interestingly, Coinbase goes on to show through various statistics that of the 50M U.S. citizens that own cryptocurrencies, party lines do not play a notable role.  What is skewed, however, is an increase in positivity towards the sector among young investors, showing that the important of cryptocurrencies should only grow over time.

Coinbase has also developed an accompanying website that allows individuals to show their support through donations and a petition.  The site also goes as far as listing and ranking politicians by their stances and actions.  For example, Brad Sherman and Elizabeth Warren are each listed as being ‘strongly against’ cryptocurrencies, while others like Ritchie Torres and Josh Gottheimer as listed as being ‘very supportive’.

Servicing the Great White North

Over the past year, a crackdown by Canadian regulators on crypto exchanges has resulted in a small exodus of companies from the nation’s borders.  No longer can most Canadians access services from exchanges like KuCoin, Binance, etc.  However, there have been a select few that have taken this change as an opportunity, looking to capitalize on a newfound lack of competition.  This was most recently on display with Coinbase after the exchange announced that it was officially entering the Canadian market.

Explaining its decision to expand north of the border, Coinbase states,

“Why Canada, you ask? Our decision to delve into the dynamic Canadian crypto landscape was informed by a myriad of compelling factors.

Ranked as the world’s third-most crypto-aware nation, Canada boasts an enthusiastic local tech ecosystem that, combined with its strides towards a robust regulatory framework, positions it as a potential global cryptoeconomy leader.

This sentiment is reinforced by the Ontario Securities Commission’s survey, indicating that over 30% of Canadians are poised to venture into the world of crypto assets within the year.”

From the get-go, Coinbase indicates that it will support simple fund transfers, interact payment rails, staking rewards, priority support, and more.  While there may be cheaper-to-use solutions on offer within Canada, the reputation and easy-to-use platform on offer by Coinbase will no doubt go a long way in making the exchange one of the most popular in the country.

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Netflix to Expand Supported Content with In-Home Gaming


While Netflix originally began its foray into gaming in 2021, access to such content was only available on select mobile devices.  Now, Netflix is looking to expand these horizons, having just announced support for its gaming features on both televisions and computers.

“By making games available on more devices, we hope to make games even easier to play for our members around the world. While we’re still very early in our games journey, we’re excited to bring joy to members with games.”

Streaming Services

Before taking a closer look at gaming on Netflix, make sure to learn more about the following top streaming services currently on offer.

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX)

Netflix is a popular global streaming service that offers a vast library of movies, TV shows, and original content across genres. Subscribers can access content on various devices and enjoy ad-free, on-demand entertainment. With its user-friendly interface and personalized recommendations, Netflix has revolutionized the way people consume entertainment, becoming a dominant force in the streaming industry.

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Market Cap: $1.88B

Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E): 45.56

Earnings Per Share (EPS): $9.39

At the time of writing, Netflix (NFLX) boasted the above metrics and is listed as a ‘Strong Buy’ among most major investment firms.


Apple Inc. is a giant multinational technology company that is renowned for its innovation. The company designs, manufactures, and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and online services such as Apple TV+. Its most famous products include the iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers.  Beyond hardware, Apple also boasts some of the most intuitive software to be found, with offerings like iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS.  Overall, Apple is a company globally recognized for its suite of polished products boasting best-in-class designs, quality, and user experience.

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Market Cap: $2.80T

Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E): 30.16

Earnings Per Share (EPS): $5.95

At the time of writing, Apple (AAPL) boasted the above metrics and is listed as a ‘Strong Buy’ among most major investment firms.

How Does it Work?

If interested in playing games through Netflix, you might be wondering how this is achieved.  To that end, Netflix states that it is “introducing a controller that we already have in our hands most of the day – our phones”.  This is a logical and convenient approach that lowers the barrier to entry by eliminating the need to buy a standalone controller.  A phone also provides significantly more capabilities than the rudimentary controls that would be available via your TV remote.  Netflix does note that, for those on a PC or Mac, a keyboard and mouse is able to be used.

YouTube Video

Initially, there will be two games available to play as Netflix rolls out support for gaming on TVs and computers.  These include ‘Oxenfree’, as seen in the above trailer, and ‘Molehew’s Mining Adventure’.

Learning from Google

As access to high-speed internet becomes available to the masses, there may come a time when consumers cease to purchase home console units in favor of a gaming streaming service.  To get an idea of what this may look like, just consider the now-shuttered Stadia platform by Google.

Stadia was ahead of its time, and despite access to many quality games without the need for a console, there simply were not enough gamers with access to high-speed internet that had an interest in becoming monthly subscribers.

Clearly, Netflix has taken the failure of Stadia into account and is opting to tread lightly.  This can be seen through its decision to forego graphically intensive games, selling a standalone controller, etc.  For now, Netflix offering access to short and easily accessible games is a good way to set itself apart from a growing crop of rival streaming services (Disney+, PrimeVideo, AppleTV+, Paramount+, Max, etc.).  In time, it may just grow into what Stadia had once hoped it could be.

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PayPal Continues Revamp with New CEO, Crypto Hub, and Stablecoin


Whether one is purchasing an item on eBay, sending an invoice for services rendered, or giving a gift – PayPal and digital value transfer go hand-in-hand.  Now, after capitalizing on a mini-boom in activity during COVID, when online shopping sharply increased, the company has seen its stock and usage begin to wane.  Not content to sit idle, PayPal is clearly undergoing a revamp as it attempts to continue an upward trajectory.  In the past few weeks, this has come in the form of announcements detailing a new President and CEO, the launch of its own stablecoin, and the opening of a ‘cryptocurrency hub’.

Alex Chriss – President and CEO at PayPal

PayPal has just announced that its current CEO, Dan Schulman, is set to step down on September 27th and transition to a role as a Director.  In his stead, PayPal has hired Alex Chriss, who has had an influential hand in the growth of Intuit in past years.

On his appointment, Chriss states that,

“PayPal is an extraordinary company that plays a critical role in the lives of consumers and merchants all over the world…Throughout my career, I have championed small and medium businesses and entrepreneurs, who are the backbone of every economy in the world. I am proud to take the baton from Dan and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with PayPal’s talented and committed team to build on PayPal’s remarkable history and draw on its unique capabilities to deliver outstanding products and services to businesses and consumers.”

PayPal describes Chriss as a “seasoned and highly successful business leader, steeped in technology and product leadership experience,”.

A Homegrown Stablecoin – PYUSD

It has now been one week since PayPal announced that it is launching its very own stablecoin, known as PayPal USD (PYUSD).  This offering, which is made possible through a strategic partnership with token issuer Paxos Trust, is set to be tethered to the U.S. Dollar and built atop the Ethereum network.  In order to ensure the asset remains tethered to the USD, PayPal notes that it will be utilizing a basket of “…U.S. dollar deposits, short-term U.S. Treasuries and similar cash equivalents”.

This stablecoin offering comes at a time when PayPal is clearly making a strong push into the digital asset sector.  With its COVID boom having dissipated long ago, the company is now leaning into digital assets.

An Expansion of Capabilities – The Cryptocurrency Hub

In order for PYUSD and its existing digital asset services to thrive and draw in customers, PayPal is also revamping what it refers to as its Cryptocurrency Hub.  Here, services on offer will include the ability to,

  • Buy Crypto Assets;
  • Hold Crypto Assets;
  • Sell Crypto Assets, including to use the proceeds to pay for purchases through your PayPal account;
  • Convert between PYUSD and another Crypto Asset;
  • Send Crypto Assets;
  • Receive Crypto Assets; and
  • View market information and educational content.

Essentially, PayPal is turning its Cryptocurrency Hub into a comprehensive offering that will provide users with nearly any service they would ever need surrounding digital assets.

Final Word

Naturally, there is a healthy amount of excitement surrounding each of these developments.  While there is no substitute for self-custody of one’s assets, the ability to easily access and actually spend digital assets on a platform as widely accepted as PayPal is a major step towards true mainstream adoption.

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SEC Delays ARK 21Shares ETF Application and Opens 21-Day Commentary Period


Unsurprisingly, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed its approval/denial of the Ark 21Shares Spot Bitcoin ETF.  The application, which had an official deadline of August 13th, will now undergo a 21-day period in which the SEC accepts commentary on the proposal.  If it so chooses, the SEC can continue to delay such proposals for up to 240 days, putting the definitive deadline for this particular application in January 2024

Market Reaction

Days ago, ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood indicated that she expected this delay to be the case.  Between this insight, and the scores of times digital asset investors have been through this before, the effect on the market was quite muted.  Essentially, a delay had already been priced in.

Bulk Approval?

Notably, there appears to be a growing belief that when an ETF is finally approved, it will not be for a single proposal.  Rather, many feel as though when the day comes, the SEC will opt for bulk approval.  This may be the case for multiple reasons,

  • each active proposal is essentially a mirror image of the others, with each putting forth similar surveillance mechanisms
  • to prevent any one company from attaining a first-movers market advantage

While the idea of preventing a first-movers advantage may sound ideal at first, it does also undermine the persistence put in by digital asset-focused companies over the years, only to finally be approved when TradFi decides to enter the fray.

Waiting on Grayscale?

Another factor that has no doubt influenced this decision by the SEC is the ongoing lawsuit involving Grayscale.  As the operator of the world’s largest Bitcoin Trust, GBTC, Grayscale took the SEC to court last year as it felt full-heartedly that its proposal to convert GBTC to a spot-BTC ETF should be approved.  While its reasons for this belief are varied, much of its argument hinges on the fact that the SEC has already approved BTC futures ETF, which are in the eyes of many, riskier than a spot-ETF.

With this case expected to be resolved in Q4, this most recent denial may simply be a strategic punt down the field, as the SEC waits on a verdict before announcing its next move.

The Pressure is On

At the end of the day, the pressure is on the SEC.  The current, growing crop of Bitcoin ETF applications is no longer comprised of proposals from niche, digital asset-focused companies.  Rather, is it comprised of proposals from the world’s largest asset managers.  If companies like Blackrock feel as though the market is mature enough to put its name behind such a product, and for its CEO to tout the benefits of BTC to the world, a denial becomes harder to justify.

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RCMP Cites Criminal Activity in Tender for Seized Digital Asset Repository


As of August 10th, the RCMP has put forth a tender for companies to develop a repository meant to safely store seized digital assets associated with criminal activity.  The Government of Canada states,

“The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Shared Services Canada (SSC) are seeking the development of a digital asset solution to facilitate the seizure and storage of cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) from multiple public blockchains.”

This tender notice was issued as agencies such as the RCMP have observed a growing trend in the utilization of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in unlawful activities.

What is the RCMP?

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or ‘Mounties’, are Canada’s national law enforcement agency.  The agency is charged with the enforcement of federal laws and statutes, with the RCMP playing a crucial role in maintaining peace and order across the nation.

Its responsibilities extend to the prevention and investigation of criminal activities, in addition to also offering policing services to provinces and territories without their own dedicated police forces. The RCMP’s distinctive red serge uniforms have become an iconic symbol of law enforcement in Canada.

Why Is A Repository Needed?

This proposed system will be structured with the goal of facilitating the storage of confiscated digital assets “until their eventual disposition at the conclusion of any legal proceedings”.  The proposed solution is designed not only to simplify the process of seizing these assets for law enforcement officers but also to incorporate robust security measures, thereby preventing theft while the assets are in storage.  As new and inventive ways to store and transfer assets continue to emerge, Canadian law enforcement needs to keep up by developing safe storage procedures.

While it does not reference any official statistics, the RCMP puts forth that digital assets are increasingly being used as a means of payment and store of value, in addition to illicit activity.  It notes that this is most evident through leveraging ransomware and malware attacks.

This tender notice, which looks to “leverage the private sectors innovation”, was put forth with the goal of creating a system that not only aligns with ongoing technological advancements but also maintains the highest standards of security.


Upstarts excited at the premise of building out a solution for the RCMP should note that there is a long list of checkboxes required for a solution to be considered.  A few of these include,

  • “Be able to accept and process transactions for the top 20 cryptocurrency blockchains by market capitalization as detailed on CoinGecko on August 10, 2023″
  • “Be scalable to onboard and support new blockchains in the future”
  • “Develop a secure process to protect assets in custody ensuring protection of private keys from exploitation resulting in loss of assets”
  • “Develop a native android application that can be deployed onto police mobile devices to interact with system”

In total, there are 17 mandatory, and 3 proposed requirements for any proposed solution submitted by companies.

Growing Holdings

Notably, despite companies like MicroStrategy being routinely referenced when discussing large BTC holdings, one of the world’s largest holders is actually the U.S. Government itself as the result of past seizures.  While it has auctioned off large batches of BTC in the past, its supply is often buoyed by fresh seizures stemming from criminal activity.  As it stands, there is no clear figure as to how much BTC the U.S. government has in its possession, however, past events indicate that the total is in the hundreds of thousands.

The tender notice by the RCMP does not indicate if transparency surrounding seized assets will be afforded to the general public.

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James Webb Space Telescope Delivers More Questions than Answers – Here 5 of Its Top Images to Date


Every year in mid-August, North Americans are treated to a spectacle in the skies.  Over the coming days, the Perseid meteor shower will be in full sight, often resulting in up to 100 shooting stars per hour.  While this particular event can be seen with the naked eye, the cosmos holds even more astounding mysteries in distant space that are only now being discovered with the use of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).  While these discoveries may provide us with certain answers to the Universe, each also opens up new questions of their own, spidering in to endless possibilities.  The following is a brief look at some of its top imagery captured to date, and the companies that made the JWST a reality.

What is the James Webb Space Telescope?

The James Webb Space Telescope is a large, space-based observatory, that became the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope after it successfully launched in late 2021.  Notably, the JWST was a collaborative effort between agencies such as NASA, ESA, and CSA.  Its construction was overseen primarily by Northrop Grumman and Ball Aerospace Corporation.

This state-of-the-art telescope is equipped with a 6.5-meter primary mirror and has the ability to observe in the infrared spectrum, allowing it to peer through dust clouds and study various astronomical phenomena.

Who Was it Named After?

The James Webb Space Telescope is named after James E. Webb, who served as the second administrator of NASA from 1961 to 1968.  During his tenure, Webb oversaw the development and early years of the Apollo program, which aimed to land humans on the Moon.  He played a crucial role in leading NASA through a transformative era, focusing not only on human spaceflight but also on a broader science agenda that laid the foundation for future space exploration.  His leadership, vision, and support for space science and exploration contributed to naming the telescope in his honor.

What is its Goal?

The primary goal for the JWST is to increase our understanding of the universe.  This entails the following, and more.

  • Investigate the Formation of Stars and Planetary Systems: By observing in the infrared spectrum, JWST can penetrate dust clouds where stars and planets are forming, providing unprecedented insights into these processes.
  • Study the Evolution of Galaxies: The telescope will observe galaxies across cosmic time, shedding light on their formation, evolution, and the interplay between galaxies and their environments.
  • Explore the Conditions for Life: JWST will characterize the atmospheres of exoplanets, potentially identifying the chemical signatures of habitable environments.  This could further our understanding of the potential for life beyond Earth.
  • Probe the Early Universe: The telescope is designed to observe the most distant objects in the universe, enabling it to look back in time to the era shortly after the Big Bang.  This can provide key insights into the early formation of structures in the universe.

To achieve these goals, the JWST is positioned at what is called the second Lagrange point (L2).  There, gravitational forces and the orbital motion of the telescope, Earth, and the Sun interact in a way that allows the telescope to remain in a stable position relative to Earth.  This positioning will enable JWST to stay cool and provide an unobstructed view of the universe.  Its mission represents a significant leap in our understanding of the cosmos.

1.  Earths Protector

The Universe is a staggeringly large place.  There is no need to look that far though, as there remain scores of beautiful, and influential features to be found within our own Solar system.  The JWST demonstrated this perfectly after capturing one of our best looks yet at Jupiter – auroras, rings, and all.

Webb NIRCam composite image from two filters – F212N (orange) and F335M (cyan) – of Jupiter system, unlabeled (top) and labeled (bottom).  Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Team; image processing by Ricardo Hueso (UPV/EHU) and Judy Schmidt.

Many believe that Jupiter plays a role of particular importance by acting as Earth’s protector.  Due to its gigantic size, and gravity to match, it is believed by some that Jupiter is responsible for either re-directing or capturing comets and asteroids before they have a chance to approach Earth.  It should be noted that while it may have gained the moniker of Earth’s Protector, there is no science to definitely prove this.  For now, Jupiter is our best option for learning about gas giants.  In doing so, this knowledge can then improve our understanding of similar planets found in the depths of space.

2.  Living in a Simulation

At first glance, it would appear as though a pair of actively forming stars in the center of the image below are the ‘stars’ of the show.  Interestingly though, this is not what has recently captured the imagination of many.  Rather, if one looks closely enough (1/10th from bottom, slightly skewed right) there is a distant formation that closely resembles a question mark.

Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA. Image Processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)

Naturally, this odd formation has resulted in some taking the unlikely hood of its existence as proof that we are living in a simulation.  However unlikely as this may be, the imagery has managed to stoke conversation surrounding the origin of such a formation, along with a widespread interest in astronomy among the general public.  For now, scientists believe that the formation is the result of two galaxies colliding/merging.

3. Colors of Earendel

At first glance, the following image showing the ‘Colors of Earendel’ does not appear as visually impressive as some others on this list.  What makes it astounding is that Earendel is the most distant star to ever be imaged.

CREDITS – Image: NASA, ESA, CSA, D. Coe (STScI/AURA for ESA; Johns Hopkins University), B. Welch (NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center; University of Maryland, College Park).  Image processing: Z. Levay

The star, Earendel, is believed to be situated roughly 28 billion light-years from Earth.  Due to its distance from Earth, the light we see now being emitted from it originated 12.9B years ago.  The name Earendel, which means ‘dawn or morning star’, and was taken from the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, was given to this star due to its suspected creation close to the dawn of time.

4.  Star Formation

In celebration of its first year in operation, the JWST released the following imagery showing the birth of various Sun-like stars.  This formation is in what is currently believed to be the closest region of space to Earth where such activity is taking place.

Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Klaus Pontoppidan (STScI), Image Processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

The image above shows a region of space situated ~390 light-years from Earth, known as the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex.  It shows the formation of roughly 50 stars similar in size to our Sun.  Such imagery is of particular importance as it provides insight into the formation of our own Sun and the solar system.

5.  Re-Imaging the Pillars of Creation

One of the most iconic images ever taken was of the ‘Pillars of Creation’.  First captured in 1995 in the Eagle Nebula, the Pillars of Creation captured the imaginations of scientists around the world with its beauty.  Now, nearly 20 years later, the JWST has re-imaged the Pillars of Creation.

Hubble (2014) vs JWST (2022)

Pillars of Creation – Hubble (2014) vs. JWST (2022)    Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI; J. DePasquale, A. Koekemoer, A. Pagan (STScI)

By leveraging its infrared cameras, the JWST was able to peer through vast layers of dust to reveal more detail and beauty in the Pillars of Creation than ever expected.  This formation, which is situated within the Eagle Nebula, is located roughly 6,500 light-years from Earth.  Its name is derived from both its appearance and proclivity for star formation in its vast plumes of dust and cloud.

Making Deep Space Astronomy Possible

As previously stated, there were two main companies responsible for the construction of the JWST and its components.  Each of these publicly traded companies is listed below.

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC)

Northrop Grumman Corporation, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, is a global leader in aerospace and defense technology.  Founded in 1939, the company specializes in cutting-edge systems, including autonomous systems, cyber, space, and strike technologies.  Notable projects like the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber and the James Webb Space Telescope illustrate their innovation and expertise.  Northrop Grumman serves government and commercial customers worldwide, employing thousands of skilled professionals.  Traded on the New York Stock Exchange under “NOC,” the company stands as a prominent figure in the defense and aerospace sectors.

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Market Cap: $65.89B

Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E): 14.43

Earnings Per Share (EPS): $30.19

At the time of writing, Northrop Grumman (NOC) boasted the above metrics and is listed as a ‘Buy’ among most major investment firms.

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BALL)

Ball Corporation, based in Broomfield, Colorado, is a global leader in metal packaging and aerospace technology.  Established in 1880, it originally specialized in glass jars but has since expanded into aluminum products, serving the food, beverage, and personal care industries.  In the aerospace segment, Ball’s subsidiary, Ball Aerospace, has contributed to significant projects like the James Webb Space Telescope, providing advanced optical technologies and space systems.  The company’s commitment to sustainability and innovation is reflected in its products and practices.  Traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “BALL,” Ball Corporation represents a fusion of traditional manufacturing with cutting-edge technology, showcasing its adaptability and prominence in both the packaging and aerospace fields.

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Market Cap: $17.40B

Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E): 21.92

Earnings Per Share (EPS): $2.52

At the time of writing, Ball Corporation (BALL) boasted the above metrics and is listed as a ‘Hold’ among most major investment firms.

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An Accidental Splash of Ethanol May Transform a $1T Industry


If you ask Bob Ross, there are no mistakes – only ‘happy accidents’.  With that in mind, a recent accident may have inadvertently led to a new development in the manufacturing process for nanosensors that could upend what is believed to be a $1T industry.  This new process is said to involve “Capillary-driven self-assembled microclusters for highly performing UV detectors“, and was achieved through the introduction of ethanol to nanosensor base surfaces, prior to activation.

Simply put – a new method for manufacturing nanosensors was developed that significantly increased efficiency, versatility, and cost-effectiveness.

What are Nanosensors?

Nanosensors are sensors that are constructed on the nanometer scale, with one nanometer being one billionth of a meter.  Due to their incredibly small size, nanosensors often boast unique properties and capabilities that are not found in larger sensors.

Here are some key characteristics and applications of nanosensors:

  1. Sensitivity: Because of their small size, nanosensors can be incredibly sensitive. They can detect changes in temperature, pressure, chemical concentrations, or other environmental factors at very low levels.
  2. Speed: Nanosensors can often provide real-time or nearly real-time monitoring. Their small size allows them to respond quickly to changes in their environment.
  3. Medical Applications: In the medical field, nanosensors can be used to monitor biological processes within the human body. They can be designed to detect specific molecules or conditions, such as glucose levels in diabetics or the presence of specific cancer markers.
  4. Environmental Monitoring: Nanosensors can be used to detect contaminants in air, water, or soil. They may be utilized in pollution monitoring and control or to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
  5. Material and Structural Monitoring: In the industrial sector, nanosensors can be embedded into materials and structures to monitor their integrity. They can detect stress, strain, or other mechanical properties, which may be crucial for safety in buildings, bridges, airplanes, etc.
  6. Energy Efficiency: Nanosensors can be used in energy applications to enhance the efficiency of energy production, storage, and consumption.
  7. Integration: Nanosensors can be integrated into larger systems or even combined with other nanodevices to create complex monitoring or control systems.

Due to the sheer variance in potential applications, nanosensors play an understated yet pivotal role in modern technology.  As such, nanosensor research involving these tiny devices has the potential to revolutionize many aspects of our lives.

Their small size enables them to operate in environments and under conditions that would be impossible for larger sensors, opening up new possibilities in various fields from medicine to environmental science.  While they offer incredible opportunities, nanosensors also present challenges, such as potential toxicity (especially in biological applications), issues with reliability, standardization, and of course – difficulties in manufacturing.

What Is the New Process?

Engineers at Macquarie University have developed a groundbreaking method to manufacture nanosensors that is less carbon-intensive, cheaper, more efficient, and versatile.  Interestingly, this discovery was the result of a ‘happy accident’, which saw a postgraduate student inadvertently splash ethanol onto a sensor while performing routine lab duties.  This resulted in a functional nanosensor that had yet to undergo a typical activation process, which lead a team to dive deeper into how this worked and the optimal conditions for reproducing it.  Macquarie University Associate Professor Nasiri states,

“Adding one droplet of ethanol onto the sensing layer, without putting it into the oven, will help the atoms on the surface of the nanoparticles move around, and the gaps between nanoparticles disappear as the particles to join to each other…We showed that ethanol greatly improved the efficiency and responsiveness of our sensors, beyond what you would get after heating them for 12 hours.”

After extensive testing, it was found that the ideal amount of Ethanol needed is five microlitres, resulting in an activation time of ~1 minute.

How Are They Traditionally Activated?

The world of nanosensors, with applications spanning from medical diagnostics to environmental monitoring, hinges significantly on the delicate process of heating. This vital step in activating nanosensors is as multifaceted as it is essential, as it allows for the necessary bonds between nanoparticles to be formed, allowing for electrical signals to be transferred.  Here, we explore why this is a necessary process, and how it can be tailored for specific applications.

Thermal Activation

Many nanosensors are engineered to require a specific temperature for activation. This is achieved by heating the sensor to a designated temperature using sophisticated tools like lasers or electrical currents. It’s a precise art, where a targeted temperature triggers the sensor’s responsiveness, tailoring it for its specific mission.


Precision is paramount in the world of nanosensors. In some cases, heating is meticulously controlled to calibrate the sensor, ensuring its accurate response within its intended temperature spectrum. Subtle variations in temperature are mapped to understand the sensor’s behavior across different thermal conditions.


Beyond mere activation, heating plays a role in enhancing the very capabilities of the sensor. It’s used in a process called functionalization, where specific molecules are bonded to the nanosensor’s surface. The heating ensures the correct chemical conditions for these molecules to attach, fortifying the sensor’s detection abilities.

Deactivation or Resetting

Heating’s role is not just in initiation but also in control. It may be harnessed to deactivate or reset a sensor, managing its lifecycle and function. This phase of controlled heating ensures that the sensor serves its purpose and is either halted or primed for reuse.

Challenges of the Heating Process

Of course, the use of heat is not without its challenges. The process must occur under tight parameters, where excessive or uneven heating could spell disaster, damaging the delicate nanosensor or skewing its readings. The world of nanotechnology demands specialized equipment and pinpoint techniques to master this crucial phase.

The realm of nanosensors opens a window into a universe where the minutiae matter. The heating process, with its diverse roles, shapes the functionality of these tiny yet powerful devices. From activation to calibration, from enhancing capabilities to integrating systems, heating is the unsung hero – until now.  Its nuanced applications reflect the complexity and potential of nanotechnology, whether it’s a matter of external control or resonating with the natural thermal rhythms of the environment.

Why Does The New Method Matter?

When considering the role that heating plays in the activation process of nanosensors, as described above, it is easy to see how this new method involving ethanol may be so disruptive to their manufacturing.  As a result, the discovery is already sending ripples throughout the scientific community and the trillion-dollar global nanosensor industry as manufacturers consider how to leverage and adopt the technique. Here are a few reasons why this development is potentially a game-changer:

Efficiency Unparalleled

Traditionally, the nanosensors activation process involves a 12-hour heating cycle. The discovery of the ethanol treatment method has slashed this time to around a minute. This is a remarkable reduction in activation time that has the potential to introduce massive efficiency gains across the industry.

Opening Doors to Versatility

The old heating method limited the materials that could be used, as many couldn’t withstand high temperatures. With the introduction of this ethanol-based method, a broader range of materials can be utilized. This newfound versatility opens up exciting possibilities for sensor design and application, enabling innovations that were previously unattainable.

Cost-Effective Revolution

The energy-intensive heating process came with substantial costs. In contrast, the new technique is likely to be far more economical. This cost-effectiveness can lower barriers to entry, making cutting-edge nanosensor technology more accessible to a broader market, and potentially reducing costs for consumers.

A Green Approach

In an era where the world is striving to reduce its carbon footprint, this discovery is perfectly aligned. By circumventing the traditional carbon-intensive heating process, the ethanol treatment lessens the environmental impact of nanosensor manufacturing.

Final Word

Currently, the team behind this discovery notes that companies in Australia and around the world have already expressed interest in leveraging the technique. With patents pending, the commercial value of this method is evident as it stands to have a significant impact on the nanosensor industry.

The discovery at Macquarie University is an understated yet large step forward in the field of nanotechnology. By enhancing efficiency and versatility, all while reducing costs, this breakthrough has set a new standard. It is a perfect example of how a ‘happy accident’ and innovative thinking can lead to changes that resonate around the globe.

Nanotechnology Specialists

Considering the new manufacturing method described above, the following a few publicly traded giants within the nanotechnology industry that stand to benefit.

1. International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM)

IBM has played a pivotal role in nanotechnology since its researchers invented the scanning tunneling microscope – a tool enabling the visualization of atomic structures.  More recently, IBM developed a 2-nanometer semiconductor chip using nanosheet technology, which is set to enhance various widespread technologies from autonomous vehicles to IoT.  The company believes that,

“As the world becomes more instrumented, with billions of transistors embedded in everything from cars to appliances to livestock, nanotechnology will play an increasingly important role in the design of future computer chips that are smaller, smarter and more energy efficient.

To achieve these performance goals, sophisticated nanotechnology processes are needed to fabricate these increasingly small transistors. Just as cells are the basic building blocks for the human body, IBM envisions a world in which nanotechnology processes are the basic building blocks for transistors and microprocessors.”

This ability to scale and approach toward nanotechnology has allowed IBM to position itself as a leader in the field.

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Market Cap: $130.11B

Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E): 66.15

Earnings Per Share (EPS): $2.16

At the time of writing, International Business Machines (IBM) boasted the above metrics and is listed as a ‘Buy’ among most major investment firms.

2. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO)

Thermo Fisher Scientific, a Fortune 500 company, uses nanotechnology to produce a variety of scientific instruments, reagents, and consumables.  This has allowed the company to capitalize on the growing healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.

Venturing into nanotech has also positioned the company as a leader in the growing biophotonics market – a segment that could be worth in excess of $100 billion by 2027.

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Market Cap: $211.98B

Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E): 37.64

Earnings Per Share (EPS): $14.63

At the time of writing, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO) boasted the above metrics and is listed as a ‘Strong Buy’ among most major investment firms.

3. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE: TSM)

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is a key player in the nanotech industry.  It was the first to develop 22nm magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM) technology, which stores data through the use of magnetic orientation, and outpaced Intel in producing the first 7nm chip.  TSMC is also increasing the production of 3nm chips for 5G devices, positioning it as a leader in consumer electronics components that support 5G technologies.

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Market Cap: $486.48B

Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E): 16.24

Earnings Per Share (EPS): $6.06

At the time of writing, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM) boasted the above metrics and is listed as a ‘Strong Buy’ among most major investment firms.

The post An Accidental Splash of Ethanol May Transform a $1T Industry appeared first on Securities.io.

Too Good to Be True? Veracity of LK-99 Claim Called into Question


When news broke last month, detailing the discovery of LK-99 – a purported room-temperature, ambient-pressure superconductor – the excitement was palpable.  Such a discovery would result in world-changing advancements in a variety of technologies.  After anxiously awaiting verification on the veracity of claims surrounding LK-99, results are just now being reported from various labs around the world.

Source: X @condensed_the

The results?  As seen above on its public X feed, in the eyes of the Condensed Matter Theory Center (CMTC), which operates out of the University of Maryland – they are not good.  In addition, a separate short paper detailing the findings of a team operating out of the CSIR-National Physical Laboratory in India states that “The freshly synthesized sample does not show any signature of superconductivity levitation on a magnet (diamagnetism).”  The team continues, “…there is no sign of superconductivity in LK-99 at room temperature.”

Continued Testing

Despite these early results showing a high likelihood that the original findings behind LK-99 that led to such excitement were either aberrations, inaccurate interpretations, or simply false claims, there remain a variety of labs around the world that continue to attempt recreating the material through different approaches.  With groups like the Korean Society of Superconductivity and Cryogenics stating to Bloomberg that its review process will take up to 4 weeks, there is still a chance that recreation could occur – however unlikely that may seem at this point in time.

Buy the Rumor, Sell the News

Interestingly, Bloomberg notes that in the wake of various claims now refuting LK-99 as a superconductor, various stocks associated with the field have begun to crash after investors began to ‘buy the rumor’ last week.  The publication notes that shares in companies like Duksung Co. and Sunam Co., which are each involved in material sciences, dropped precipitously early in the day to the tune of ~30%.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

If there is an established agreeance across the scientific community in the coming weeks that LK-99 is indeed NOT a superconductor, then this event will mark yet another false call in 2023 after a team out of the University of Rochester thought it had also found the answer after combining lutetium, hydrogen, and nitrogen.  Notably, the last time that a major step forward in superconductors occurred dates back 36 years ago with cuprate compounds that leverage layers of oxidized copper ions.

With that being said, it is widely believed that the discovery of a room-temperature, ambient-pressure superconductor will eventually occur.  When it does, the world will look like a very different place

The post Too Good to Be True? Veracity of LK-99 Claim Called into Question appeared first on Securities.io.

Cement, Carbon Black, Electrolytes, and Water Make Up Simple Recipe for Versatile New Supercapacitor


If recent developments involving material science pan out, our world will look like a much different place in only a few years.  Over the past week, there is not only a lengthening list of scientists attempting to recreate and prove the validity of recent claims surrounding a potential room-temperature, ambient-pressure superconductor being called ‘LK-99′, but the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) also announced an interesting discovery of its own.  This would be a cost-effective supercapacitor made from non-exotic materials.

What is a Capacitor?

Capacitors are devices that store electrical energy by accumulating an internal imbalance of electric charge across two conductive plates separated by an insulator or dielectric.

What Makes One ‘Super’?

A supercapacitor, also known as an ultracapacitor or double-layer capacitor, is a type of capacitor that has an exceptionally high capacitance.  Here’s how supercapacitors differ from standard capacitors:

  • Storage Capacity: Supercapacitors can store a much larger amount of electrical charge compared to standard capacitors. This is due to the high surface area of the electrodes and the very thin distance between them, which allows for more charge to be stored.
  • Energy and Power Density: While capacitors generally have a higher power density (they can deliver energy quickly) but lower energy density (they store less energy), supercapacitors bridge the gap between capacitors and batteries by having both high power density and a relatively high energy density.
  • Construction: Supercapacitors often use different materials and construction methods. They typically utilize porous carbon materials for the electrodes, which provide a large surface area, and an electrolyte that allows for the movement of ions. The large surface area and special construction enable the supercapacitor to store more energy.
  • Charge and Discharge Rates: Supercapacitors can be charged and discharged much more rapidly than batteries, and they can endure many more charge and discharge cycles than batteries without significant degradation. While standard capacitors also charge and discharge quickly, supercapacitors can hold the charge longer due to their larger storage capacity.

Simply put, while standard capacitors and supercapacitors operate on the same basic principle of storing energy in an electric field, supercapacitors are distinguished by their much higher storage capacity, different construction materials, and their ability to combine the characteristics of both capacitors and batteries.

Where are Supercapacitors Used?

So now that you know what a supercapacitor is, where are they useful?  Supercapacitors are commonly used in applications where quick energy delivery and efficient storage are essential. Here are some of the typical areas where you might find supercapacitors:

  • Electric Vehicles (EVs): Supercapacitors can provide the rapid bursts of power required for acceleration and can also capture energy during regenerative braking, improving the overall efficiency of the vehicle.
  • Public Transportation: In buses and trams, supercapacitors can be used to store energy quickly during brief stops and then provide the energy needed for acceleration, reducing the strain on the main power source.
  • Renewable Energy Systems: Supercapacitors can store energy from renewable sources like solar and wind, releasing it when needed. This helps in smoothing out fluctuations in energy supply when the sun and wind are in short supply.
  • Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS): In systems that require a continuous power supply, supercapacitors can provide temporary power during short outages or until backup generators come online.
  • Consumer Electronics: In some devices, supercapacitors can provide the quick bursts of energy required for certain functions, such as flash photography in cameras and high-end car audio installations.
  • Medical Devices: Supercapacitors can be used in medical devices like defibrillators which require reliable and instant power delivery.
  • Industrial Equipment: In industrial settings, supercapacitors can provide the high power needed for short durations in various machinery and tools.
  • Grid Stabilization: Supercapacitors can be used in the electrical grid to provide rapid response to changes in demand or supply, helping to stabilize the grid and prevent fluctuations.
  • Wireless Communication Devices: They can be used to provide the energy needed for transmitting signals, especially in remote or hard-to-reach locations where battery replacement is challenging.
  • Smart Grid and Microgrid Applications: Supercapacitors can be part of intelligent energy management systems, helping to balance loads and store energy locally for more efficient use.
  • Aerospace and Defense: In aerospace applications, supercapacitors can provide reliable power for critical systems that require high reliability and performance.

Overall, the versatility, high power density, and rapid charge/discharge capabilities of supercapacitors make them suitable for a wide range of applications where both energy storage and quick energy release are required. As you can see from the above list, supercapacitors are already in use in a plethora of industries.  As such, the recent discovery made by MIT is particularly intriguing due to its potential to advance so many different implementations.

A New Recipe

Per MIT, the researchers involved with this discovery developed the method to produce a cement-based material with a high internal surface area by introducing carbon black into a concrete mixture. The resulting material, when soaked in a standard electrolyte like potassium chloride, forms a powerful supercapacitor. Notably, the amount of carbon needed is minimal, which makes the process both inexpensive and easily reproducible.

When creating a supercapacitor, it is important to remember that its performance is largely based on the internal surface area of its conductive plates.  MIT states that,

“The key to the new supercapacitors developed by this team comes from a method of producing a cement-based material with an extremely high internal surface area due to a dense, interconnected network of conductive material within its bulk volume.”

What is key to this discovery though, is that it was achieved with such mundane materials, found cheaply around the world – making it an extremely accessible technology.

Where this discovery gets interesting is when thinking of its potential future applications in stabilizing energy grids and demands.  The team describes one implementation in which the foundation of a home is made of the material.  Not only can the material be made just as robust as normal cement, the foundation of a home would have the capacitance to provide an entire day’s worth of electricity.   This could be drawn upon in power outages, during peak-rate hours, or other similar circumstances.

It is also useful for homes that leverage renewable energy, where supply is not constant.  During periods of excess creation, the energy stored in the foundation could be topped-up, while in periods of energy drought, it could be drawn upon.  Other implementations include wireless charging technology, serving communities and homes disconnected from traditional power grids, and more.

Final Word

The importance of a cement-based supercapacitor is huge, given humans’ proclivity for building with the material.  Overall, the team believes that its,

“…material design of porous carbon-cement composites provides a scalable material solution for energy storage to support the urgent transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies.”

Not only would it be easily accessible, it could see fairly easy implementation in both small and large-scale projects.

The post Cement, Carbon Black, Electrolytes, and Water Make Up Simple Recipe for Versatile New Supercapacitor appeared first on Securities.io.

PayPal Enters the Stablecoin Game with PayPal USD (PYUSD)


PayPal has just announced that it is launching a stablecoin called PayPal USD (PYUSD).  The stablecoin is set to be issued by Paxos Trust and will be pegged to the US Dollar.

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The company states that, as it rolls out this offering in the coming weeks, eligible customers will be able to:

  • Transfer PayPal USD between PayPal and compatible external wallets
  • Send person-to-person payments using PYUSD
  • Fund purchases with PayPal USD by selecting it at checkout2
  • Convert any of PayPal’s supported cryptocurrencies to and from PayPal USD

PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL)

PayPal is a global financial services company that enables digital and mobile payments on behalf of consumers and merchants. It allows users to make payments and money transfers securely online without sharing financial information, using either a credit card, debit card, or bank account. PayPal operates in more than 200 countries and supports various currencies, making it a popular choice for international transactions. It also owns the mobile payment service Venmo.

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Market Cap: $70.14B

Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E): 17.78

Earnings Per Share (EPS): $3.58

At the time of writing, PayPal (PYPL) boasted the above metrics and is listed as a ‘Strong Buy’ among most major investment firms.

What is a Stablecoin

A stablecoin is an asset that is structured to provide its holder with a digital value that is pegged/tethered to another asset – typically USD.  This is achieved either through use of asset-backings, or through the use of algorithms that manipulate circulating supplies.

These assets are particularly useful, as they provide investors and traders with a reprieve from more volatile digital assets, without needing to ‘cash out’ and incur capital gains/losses.  In addition to this, stablecoins function like most other digital assets, in that they do not recognize borders.  This means that they are transmissible on a global scale, facilitating cheap value transfer anywhere, and at any time.

Why Now?

While AI may currently be garnering the most attention of any game-changing technology, this does not diminish the potential for digital assets to upend the way we transact value in the coming years.  PayPal has recognized this and indicates that it designed PYUSD to support ‘digital payments and Web3′, marking a continued foray by the company into the digital asset sector after launching support for assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum in 2020.

“The shift toward digital currencies requires a stable instrument that is both digitally native and easily connected to fiat currency like the U.S. dollar…Our commitment to responsible innovation and compliance, and our track record delivering new experiences to our customers, provides the foundation necessary to contribute to the growth of digital payments through PayPal USD.”Dan Schulman, president and CEO, PayPal

How Will PayPal USD (PYUSD) Work?

PayPal indicates that PYUSD is built atop the Ethereum network, and is the only asset of its kind to be supported by the payment processor.  The company’s decision to build its stablecoin atop Ethereum means that it can be seamlessly integrated and supposed by existing exchanges and custodial options that support digital assets.

Diving deeper, PayPal has opted to structure PYUSD as an ‘asset-backed’ stablecoin – meaning that its value and stability will be derived back a basket of underlying assets.  PayPal states that these will be comprised of “…U.S. dollar deposits, short-term U.S Treasuries and similar cash equivalents”.  With this being the case, each PYUSD token is redeemable at any time on a 1:1 basis with the USD.

Top Options

As it stands, the stablecoin market is dominated by Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC).  While this may be the case, there is a lingering distrust of these assets among digital asset enthusiasts that stems from opaque offshore operations, and potential counterparty risks.

Even though it is entering the race years later, PayPal and its PYUSD offering may soon prove to be a formidable opponent for existing stablecoin options, as the company is able to leverage its strong reputation and standing as a trusted payment processor boasting widespread integration among online merchants.

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