As an extension of ourselves technology is supposed to make our lives better. Maybe it streamlines a process or produces an efficiency where it’s needed. True innovation should help us live our best lives. Anything else and the technology just becomes pointless. Why is it here?
If we don’t understand the purpose and use-value of a technology than promoting it becomes a pointless, cynical and mercenary exercise. But if a technology provides actual utility, then it’s important to get it out there.
Here are eight companies on various sides of this divide.
CoinShares shares the wealth by adding Cardano exchange traded product
Earlier this week CoinShares (CNSRF.Q) launched the world’s first physically-backed Cardano exchange traded product (ETP), which is designed to share staking rewards with investors.
Cardano is one of the so-called ethereum killers, a smart contract enabled platform that’s directly competitive with Ethereum when it comes to decentralized applications, and decentralized finance. The problem with Cardano is that it hasn’t fulfilled its promise of eliminating the scaling issue. Until it does, this is basically pointless, unless of course, you’re speculating.
The CoinShares Physical Staked Cardano uses the company’s tech platform to give investors exposure to Cardano, and the staking rewards.
Regardless, I know absolutely plenty of people who would be interested in cryptocurrency if the learning curve wasn’t so steep. It’s not that they’re not capable of learning it, but that their time and energy would be better spent elsewhere. Exchange traded products are made for these types of people.
An exchange traded product is normally a type of security that tracks underlying securities, indexes or other financial instruments. In terms of the cryptocurrency market, these securities offer exposure without the requirements of custody or the hassles of owning the asset itself. You can invest through an ETP and benefit from institutional-class custody, simplified trading via a brokerage, liquidity and transparency.
“Following the successful launch of our Staked Polkadot and Tezos ETPs on Xetra earlier this year, we are excited to add Cardano to our range of physically-backed staked products. This is the first Cardano ETP in the world to feature transparent staking rewards for investors, and we look forward to launching more digital asset ETPs with best-in-class structures in the coming months,” said Townsend Lansing, head of product at CoinShares.
LQwD Fintech adds more Lightning Network nodes in Europe
LQwD Fintech (LQWD.V) expanded their deployment reach for their Bitcoin Lightning Network infrastructure by adding new European routing nodes earlier this week.
This may require some unpacking.
Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is a technology built as an attachment or upgrade to Bitcoin that’s supposed to solve Bitcoin’s scaling issue by increasing Bitcoin’s ability to perform microtransactions on a global level. The number of microtransactions ranges in the seven figures allegedly along with dramatically reduced fees and instantaneous settlement times.
Except they’re not quite there yet. They haven’t been “quite there yet” for some time now. This one fits into the pointless category until it fulfills its promise.
The Lightning Network continues to experience explosive growth as follows:
- Since April 2021, node growth has increased 227%, from 10,394 to over 34,000 nodes now established.
- Bitcoin capacity increased from 1,060 BTC to 3,398 BTC, up 220% from January 2021 to the present.
- Payment channels are up 126%, rising from 38,000 to more than 86,000 established since January 2021.
At present, the company’s European nodes now include most of eastern Europe and Sweden, and also stretches in Singapore and Indonesia.
“LQwD’s launch of these additional nodes firmly positions us to increase our overall value on the network. Being a leading Lightning Network infrastructure and transaction facilitator has a lot of value: First, Lightning Network’s early-movers (like us) are best positioned to strategically expand our position on the network. Second, the more nodes LQwD establishes worldwide, the more transactions can be routed through our node network. And each transaction represents a routing fee,” said Shone Anstey, LQwD FinTech’s CEO.
Curiosity Ink Media and Maz Jobrani Team Up to Make a Show
Let’s get away from the blockchain related stuff for a bit and talk about streamers.
Grom Social Enterprises’ (GROM.Q) subsidiary Curiosity Ink Media, itself a creator of original family entertainment spread out over multiple platforms, announced earlier this week they’re partnering with Maz Jobrani for an animated sitcom.
Who the hell is that? He’s a Iranian born comedian and yes, he’s hilarious.
The quote gives a much more detailed explanation of the concept Jobrani’s put together.
“Only the mind of Maz Jobrani could conceive an Iranian teenage standup mistaken for Oprah and aiming to please an emotionless race of aliens on the verge of extinction… and we love it. Maz has an incredible ability to use his comedy to build cultural bridges and we’re thrilled that he’s partnering with Curiosity to bring his humor and endless good energy to this animated sitcom,” said Russell Hicks, chief content officer of Curiosity Ink Media.
Grom Social Enterprises is a social media platform and content provider for kids under 13. Curiosity is a global media company involved in developing, acquiring, building, growing and maximizing the commercial potential of kid friendly entertainment properties.
Presumably they’re going to discover that Jobrani isn’t exactly family friendly and either adapt or have a heart attack.
Is it a productive use of the technology? Is it somehow not pointless? Yes. Streaming services provide entertainment value and relaxation, and this deal is a good one, because Jobrani is actually funny.
Now let’s talk about something truly pointless.
Remember when companies did actual business with products that society actually needed? I’m talking about cars and refrigerators and industrial fans. Each of these products served a purpose and made people’s daily lives easier.
When did that end, do you think?
Now we have companies like ImagineAR (IP.C) producing holograms of professional baseball players for their mobile app. It’s called FameDays, and it gives fans the ability to get hologram video messages in their houses from their favourite baseball players.
Who needs this frivolous, pointless shit?
But don’t listen to me. I’m getting even more crotchety as I get older.
Here’s a list of the professional types you can get in your house.
- Boxing heavyweight champion Tyson (Gypsy King) Fury,
- Von Miller,
- David Ortiz,
- The Nature Boy Ric Flair,
- Professional wrestler and strongman Adam Scherr
- Baseball stars Johnny Damon and Pete Alonso
- Denver football stars Brandon McManus and Courtland Sutton.
I know who most of those people are and I cannot imagine letting any of them in my house. Especially not this asshole.
Now onto something infinitely more useful than weird, pointless holograms.
Diagnos wants to help you see better—now isn’t that more worthy?
Quebec-based Diagnos (ADK.V) joined the Coordinated Accessible National (CAN) Health Network in the fight against diabetic retinopathy earlier this week.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause in blindness, and early detection has proven to be the best preventative measure. Patients who miss screenings run the risk of needing expensive procedures later, if they don’t outright lose their sight due to a missed diagnosis. Hard pass. Diagnos’ solution, computer-assisted retina analysis (CARA) will help professionals identify patients who are overdue for a screening, making sure retinopathy is caught early.
The procedure involves using a low-cost, non-invasive tech and a simple ear eye camera image, which quickly screens patients. Assessments come back in minutes and the patient and doctor can both save time and money.
“Our solution for screening diabetic patients uses artificial intelligence. The CARA application is approved by Health Canada and is in use today in hospitals and primary care clinics. This new local screening program will give accessibility to all patients in Canada to a fast and low-priced medical test,” said Andre Larente, CEO of Diagnos.
The CAN Health Network is funded by the Canadian government and works with health care providers to find their biggest challenges, and then match them with Canadian-made technology solutions. This model gives Canadian innovators access to the healthcare market, and thereby, affords them opportunities to grow across the country and internationally.
Blockchain Foundry to host another NFT drop featuring evolving NFTs
Blockchain Foundry (BCFN.C) arranged their third non-fungible token drop through their LastKnown NFT marketplace subsidiary. This time it features Dutch illustrators Laurens and Chantal Schellekens (Loulou & Tummie), who will be selling their Mutant Bio-Morphans NFTs on April 13 with presale for April 12. The NFTs evolve from egg to child, and then collectors can evolve them twice further, if they want.
Do you ever wonder what Andy Warhol would think about NFT art? He’d probably love this pointless shit.
There’s probably a market for this kind of thing, but I have to wonder, a lot like the ImagineAR entry above, whether or not this is an adequate use for this technology. What purpose does it serve, except maybe to give collectors another avenue to get in on collecting digital pogs reminiscent of 80’s cartoon mutants.
Couldn’t this technology necessarily be used for something a little less pointless? Like fractional ownership of houses, or medical records or authenticity of intellectual property? Nah. Art. Just art. If that’s what this is.
Regardless, the collection is from 1,200 unique characters than can be adopted for 0.065 ethereum, or about a USD $180.
“We wouldn’t have done this unless we can do something really different and push the boundaries well beyond the regular profile picture NFTs (PFP). These NFTs not only evolve, but collectors can choose not to evolve. It throws an interesting rarity dynamic and secondary market excitement into the mix. There is no turning back, so as some push to a rare Gen 5, the Gen 3s become rarer too. And of course, some Morphans might escape or overevolve, and that’s rare as well. There’s nothing like it, and the LastKnown team had the technical chops to execute something this wild,” said Laurens Schellekens.
Plurilock Security (PLUR.V) subsidiary Aurora Systems Consulting picked up a $284,000 purchase order from the U.S. Department of the Navy as part of ANA’s Solution for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP.)
National defense is the absolute opposite of a pointless use for technology. If anything, it’s one of the key reasons we have technology—to keep us safe from our enemies.
Plurilock is a cybersecurity company offering an alternative to standard multifactor identification that involves the biometric signature of the individual. Their artificial-intelligence guided system takes into account the mouse usage, the keystrokes, the specific words used, and other behaviour related signifiers to determine that the user of said computer is who they say they are.
There were 83 data breaches and cyber attacks reported, giving an indication of the level of growing importance of an efficient cybersecurity suite, and why various departments in the United States military have been reaching out to work with companies like Plurilock.
All contracts and orders from Plurilock since the new year have brought in a total of $1.44 million in sales.
Beyond the pointless: we aren’t asking the right questions
A lot of the time companies and people will find a new technology and ponder it for awhile while trying to find a way to monetize it. It’s all about the cashflow.
Sometimes they get it right—meeting a base human need, like Plurilock or Diagnos above.
Sometimes they’re off-base or don’t understand the specifics of the technology—like Blockchain Foundry (which definitely understands this tech, but is merely going where the money is right now) or ImagineAR, a purveyor of cheap tricks that will do anything for a bump in stock price.
The question we should be asking is what are these technologies doing to us?
Here’s technology scholar Marshall McLuhan to deepen the point:
“The effects of technology do not occur at the level of opinions or concepts. Rather they alter patterns of perception steadily and without any resistance. A new medium is never an addition to an old one, nor does it leave the old one in peace.”
Technology is ecological, even if we may not see it that way. Tech stocks? Come and go.
The post This Week in Tech: Valuable or Pointless Divide Edition appeared first on Equity.Guru.