September 3 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By September 2, 2019 Insight

1. HSBC processes first blockchain letter of credit using Chinese yuan

  • like many of its competitors, has been looking to use digital ledger technology, or blockchain, to streamline the traditionally paper-based and bureaucratic business of financing trade
  • 1.2 million letters of credit, documents issued by a bank guaranteeing a buyer’s payment to a seller, worth US$750 billion were issued into and out of China alone in 2018
  • The exchange of the electronic documents was completed in 24 hours, compared to the typical five to 10 days for conventional document exchange, the bank said

2. 3D printers on the final frontier: Made In Space is building satellites that build themselves

  • save volume by sending dense feedstock for 3D printers rather than capacious constructed objects
  • don’t have to build to survive the traumatic forces of launch, you can use more fragile designs, and hence less mass
  • 70% moondust can be mixed with 30% polymer nodules into a mix that can be heated into 3D feedstock for a remarkable one-thirtieth the energy cost of sintering

3.  Billionaires Jack Ma and Elon Musk debate good, evil and AI at conference in China

  • “The biggest mistake I see artificial intelligence researchers making is assuming that they’re intelligent,” Musk said. “Yeah, they’re not, compared to AI. And so a lot of them cannot imagine something smarter than themselves.”
  • Ma implied that humans would be able to keep the machines under control. “We invented a computer,” he said. “I never saw a computer invent a human being.”
  • Musk and Ma agreed that it’s hard to predict the future. Ma said “99.99% of the predictions that human beings had in history about the future — all wrong.” Which led Musk to ask, “Including that one?”

4. Scaling In Lower Cost Locations

  • tight technical labor markets in the bay area, NYC, and a number of other regions in the US are making it hard to scale software businesses without burning massive amounts of cash
  • see a growing number of our portfolio companies succeeding with scaling engineering/technical teams in secondary labor markets in the US, as well as going outside of the US to build engineering locations
  • move from a centralized engineering structure to a decentralized one is a process and takes time to get right

5. Meet Olli 2.0, a 3D-printed autonomous shuttle

  • Campuses, on the other hand, are a sweet spot for companies like Local Motors that want to deploy now…places where mobility is needed and people are able to get up close and personal with a “friendly robot” like Olli
  • manufacturing process has been improved, and Olli 2.0 is now 80% 3D-printed and has hub motors versus the axle wheel motors in its predecessor. In addition, there are two more seats in Olli 2.0 and new programmable lighting
  • AR and VR can also be added…interior can be changed to suit different needs as well…a hospital might want fewer seats and more room to transport patients on beds…customization…will give Local Motors an edge over autonomous shuttle competitors