Mercedes Hits the Gas on Blockchain
The parent company for Mercedes Bena, Daimler, announced it was piloting a blockchain project focused on data sharing. The initiative between the German-based Daimler and Singapore-based Ocean Protocol will be focused on data collected from self-driving cars. The announcement came on Tuesday, leaving some to wonder what a “Mercedes Chain” could achieve.✓
But Why Tho?
The autonomous driving space is moving forward at full throttle. With Tesla’s autopilot the current gold standard, other car manufacturers are scrambling to play catch up. Instead of hoarding data, Daimer is looking to collaborate with other car companies to pool data analytics. This would allow them to iterate more quickly on their own autopilot version.
In an interview with Coindesk, Ocean Protocol Bruce Pon explained that Ocean would also add to Daimler’s bottom line. “Daimler’s IT departments can handle it and the business wants it. Blockchain can turn the company’s IT system from a cost center into a profit center.”
Self-driving algorithms require massive amounts of information. Organically collecting this data can take years, which is how both Google and Tesla operate. Car companies are regularly using this data to refine their self-driving algorithm to be more accurate and predictive. However, due to the costs of testing and acquisition, automakers hold onto proprietary data like gold. This testing is a significant drain on resources. Running calculations and analytics on other automakers’ data could significantly reduce the time and cost of software development.
The Ocean Protocol is the solution to this problem. Launched in early 2018, it will be used to analyze third-party data metrics without revealing the data itself. This will allow other companies to run their algorithms on partners’ data. A proof-of-concept has been run utilizing the blockchain protocol to test storage, access control, and decentralized storage. As previously mentioned, Ocean allows these calculations to take place while monetizing the data. Frank Schur, Senior Manager of IT Technology at Daimler Singapore, puts it simply.
“The Decentralized data marketplace is an interesting proposition and gives us an exciting opportunity for aggregation of data with a clear compensation approach. Using Ocean Protocol, we want to implement this in a secure and transparent way.”
The Future of Vehicles
The autonomous vehicle is still in its infancy and not going away. Every major car manufacturer has a self-driving car roadmap, ranging from assisted parking to full autopilot. Mercedes/Daimler’s use of Ocean represents another use-case for blockchain and a technological leap in collaboration.
RobinHood Traders Take the Wheel
(Image Courtesy of CNBC)
A side effect of the coronavirus and self-imposed quarantine has been a lack of live sports on TV. As a result, entertainment-starved people have begun turning to day trading to fill the void. Popular online trading platform Robinhood has been widely used by the mobile generation, attracting millions of new traders to the financial markets with varying results.
Robinhood is a mobile app that offers commission-free trades of stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrencies. The lack of commissions means that there is no associated fee for buying or selling stocks/options. The platform also uses a friendly interface, one-push investing, referral bonuses, and push notifications to ensure that users spend more time trading.
Columnist Matt Levine of Bloomberg compared Robinhood to addictive mobile games.
“You can analyze Robinhood as a mobile gaming company. It makes an app that you can download to your phone, and then you can play a game on the app. As with many mobile games, there are in-app purchases, and you can end up spending a lot of money on the Robinhood game. The game is, of course, a stock-trading game. The purchases are stocks.”
Simplifying the act of trading has shown to bring more investors to the field. It has achieved this goal in a more accessible way than other established brokerage firms like Etrade or Charles Schwab. By allowing Millennials and Zillenials to invest in the markets will enable them to join the rest of the financial world and benefit from the rise in the stock markets.
The Robinhood subreddit currently has 314,000 members who post their gains, losses and seek answers that would have been considered trade secrets just 20 years ago.
In fact, it could be argued that Robinhood serves as a gateway to a better understanding of personal finance and the financial markets.
Even with the coronavirus, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up over 100% since 2013, when Robinhood debuted. Even more expensive stocks like Apple and Tesla can be traded as fractions of shares, similar to how cryptocurrency trades.
Speaking of cryptos, Robinhood also allows a select number to be traded. Bargain hunters have posted Tic Tok videos advertising potential gains on Dogecoin, a popular meme-coin. One video sounds like a bad imitation of an infomercial.
“Let’s all get rich! Dogecoin is practically worthless. There are 800 million TikTok users once it hits 1 dollar, you’ll have $10,000. Tell everyone you know.”
This video, and others, caused the price to increase by 100%+ over 48 hours before dipping sharply. Seeing these kinds of gains dramatically encourages users to search for other “undervalued” assets over a short time.
But not everything is roses and puppy dogs. Last month Illinois resident Alexander Kearns committed suicide after allegedly seeing a loss of $730,000 in his Robinhood account. Alex was trading options, complicated leveraged financial products that allow users to make, and lose, large amounts of money over short periods. He was unaware that negative balances can occur during a trade when the order has not been filled. At no point did Alex actually owe Robinhood close to a million dollars.
For such a tragedy to occur over an interface error has raised considerable concern. In response, Robinhood has pledged to better inform its users of how high-risk options trading works, including emails and in-app messages.
Wrap it up for Me
The world of international finance can be an intimidating space. While traditional brokerage firms like Vanguard can be a challenge to navigate, Robinhood has taken a cue from mobile games to make their interface inviting and user-friendly. But no matter how easy the user experience is, Robinhood still accesses the same legacy markets that have been used for decades. Users should always do their due diligence before jumping into investments, no matter how encouraging their peers are.
FomoHunt, with the help of ModernMarkets, is analyzing new contemporary finance data every day on these markets. Our team does this through written analysis, community forums, and portfolio tools to track important metrics such as Marketcaps, ROI, Trading Volume, Popular sectors, Trends, etc.
Operation Warp Speed Bets Big on Novavax
(Image Courtesy of Twitter)
Time continues to move forward, as does the coronavirus. Treatments and vaccines have been in progress for the past 5 months, and now Novavax is getting ready to kick it into high gear. The biotech firm received $1.6 billion from “Operation Warp Speed,” the Trump administration’s plan to accelerate a vaccine’s development. Novavax’s stock price shot up 40% immediately following the news, hitting a high of $111 before settling at $94 on Friday. The company plans to use part of the funds to begin Phase 3 vaccine trials in Fall before rolling out production.
Brazillian President Tests Positive
COVID-19 continues to be a hotly contested issue in political circles. Some officials openly don masks, while others see them as a sign of weakness. Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, is one of the latter examples. On Tuesday, President Bolsonaro revealed his COVID-19 test came back as positive on live television. This makes him one of the highest-ranking officials to publicly contract the virus.
Carnival Cruises Cuts Capacity
Carnival Corp is selling 13 of its cruise ships as it projects a slower travel season because of the coronavirus. The company accounts for 45% of cruise passengers around the world between its 9 brands. Carnival had previously opened up reservations Pre-COVID capacity is not expected to be reached until 2022.
According to their CEO, Arnold Donald, cruises will begin running on a limited region-by-region basis.
From a charting perspective, CCL looks pretty bad. A dead cat bounce in early June failed to turn into a positive reversal.
This newsletter, analysis, research, and commentary provided by Modern Markets, lead analyst Kaltoro, with contributions from TytanInc and Digital Lawrence. The publication incorporates data from numerous sources including, but not limited to, CoinMarketCap, Bloomberg, CNBC, Lunar Crush, and the team at FomoHunt.
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