Clarifying Crypto, Tesla’s Self-Driven Debate & Intel’s Shifting Goal Posts
Tales From The Crypto Keeper
Great Ones, every now and then, we run into some … let’s say “gems” … in the financial media. Little nuggets of nonsense, some ill-informed info that’s inflammatory enough to end up as our Anti-Quote of the Week.
I just wanted to preface this junk before we dive in — it does not represent the beliefs of us here at Great Stuff, yada yada, insert disclaimer here.
So, yesterday, we mentioned China’s fast-encroaching digital currency supremacy … in so many words. In short, the longer the U.S. puts off our digital dollar destiny, the more China’s new digital yuan gains traction.
Wanna see what’s holding us back here in the U.S.? Look no further. Here’s an opinion article for The Hill, from contributor Robert Manning:
Anyone who knows anything about cryptocurrencies and blockchain knows that cryptos are anything but untraceable. There’s a freaking digital ledger that’s typically locked under 256-bit-encryption protocols.
You might be able to receive crypto from someone without anyone noticing — very unlikely — but once you put those coins on an exchange to get your value out, everyone’s gonna know who you are. Period.
Also, I wonder if Mr. Manning has heard about what criminals used before crypto! I personally like to pay off my ransomware threats with gold doubloons. Are those traceable, Mr. Manning?
Rough start, but it’s an opinion piece … so, let’s keep going:
Hold up. Wait a minute. Let’s pause right here.
According to Mr. Manning, cryptos are good for crime because they’re untraceable … but also, you can’t dodge taxes with digital currencies … since they’re better than untraceable cash?
So, which is it? Are cryptos an untraceable means of shuffling around dark money? Or are they completely traceable and make tax-dodging impossible? Inquiring minds (and the IRS) want to know.
The thing is, cryptos are definitely traceable. Let’s not kid ourselves: These so-called digital currencies are basically government-regulated cryptos. Manning admits as much right there.
But we can’t harp on Mr. Manning too much. I mean, he did state from the start that “I’ve never quite understood why cryptocurrencies are worth anything.” Maybe he should read my Great Stuff primer on why cryptocurrencies have value.
The problem that Manning runs into is a common misunderstanding when it comes to cryptocurrencies: that cryptos and cybercrime come hand in hand. They do not. Cybercrime existed long before cryptocurrencies were even invented.
Unfortunately, like all new technology, those who don’t understand it can be easily duped. I mean, how many people are scammed via email every day? How many by telephone? Ransomware smartphone apps? Facebook pages asking you: “What was the most popular song in the month and year you were born?”
It’s the same with cryptocurrencies. It’s time for investors to face the music: The problem is cybercrime and the world’s lackluster cybersecurity. Not crypto.
When you get trapped in that narrow mindset, you kinda forget the rest of what digital currencies are actually about. Paying for stuff. You know, like you already do with the U.S. dollar … but better. Digitized, decentralized and democratized.
There’s a reason why Amazon’s chomping at the digital bit to accept crypto: More ways to pay means more payments. More money. More income.
Amazon’s acceptance means the crypto movement is beyond mainstream now.
If we could get it together, we could be using a digitized U.S. dollar to get on par with the rest of the world — even China, which Manning is somehow both terrified by but also respects, because China’s security paranoia led it to start the digital yuan? It’s still too early in the week to be this confused…
By the end of this article — which is obviously pointed toward convincing you that banning crypto is a good idea — I’m convinced that Manning should’ve stopped with “I don’t understand crypto.” Get this:
Isn’t that … how fiat currency works? You know, the dollar, the euro, the yen are all fiat currencies.
The only reason any of these have value is that they are backed by their respective governments.
Try walking into a federal bank and asking for the value of your dollars in something other than dollars. Go ahead, try. See how far that gets you.
What is that bank gonna give you that’s an accurate representation of a dollar’s value? Some slice of the U.S. economy and the stability of the country itself? I really wanna know what that looks like.
We could be using bottle caps or wampum or Pop Figures right now if enough people agreed on their value. Heck, back in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s, you could’ve created a currency based on Beanie Babies.
Y’all longtime Great Ones can tell me this: How many times have we talked about the two reasons why cryptos have value? Utility and scarcity.
Cryptos have a built-in ledger via a 256-bit encrypted blockchain that allows you to see how they’ve traded before and where. This secures the currency. In the case of scarcity, this is doubly true for cryptos: There are only 21 million bitcoins in existence, and there will only ever be 21 million bitcoins. Period.
These notions of value form the basics of bartering. This is how all trading works.
Now, if you want a little more fun at Mr. Manning’s expense, replace “cryptocurrency” with “gold” in this opinion piece.
I’ll start: “If someone mines more gold, any value is based solely on convincing others it has value.” Better yet: “International banking officials say gold is a speculative asset, not sustainable, usable money.”
Too long; didn’t read: Cryptocurrencies are traceable. Cybercrime is the real problem. Fearing cryptocurrencies because you don’t understand them will cause you to miss out on one of the biggest investment opportunities literally ever. We’re talking about a sea change in how money and trade is handled at a local and international level.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s Paul Mampilly:
There is one asset class that stands out above all others. It’s the greatest investment you can own as we transfer into a new digital age.
Our world is undergoing a massive transformation — and by the time everyone understands what is happening, it will be too late. I personally have a lot of money at stake in this sector.
You need to act now while it’s still relatively early. This opportunity is moving fast.
Going: Does Elon Musk Read Great Stuff?
It’s not always about the Benjamins, Great Ones, and Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) bulls found that out the hard way today.
Tesla reported blowout second-quarter results, as revenue nearly doubled to $11.96 billion. The company even said that revenue from regulator carbon credits declined, meaning that Tesla’s money now actually comes from electric vehicle (EV) sales.
Well done, Slytherin! Well done…
However! CEO Elon Musk highlighted continued issues with semiconductor supply, and Tesla noted that it was “producing at the limits of available parts supply.”
Furthermore, there were indications that both the Cybertruck and Tesla’s new EV Semi will be delayed due to the shortage. That’s bad.
One positive, however, is that Musk said that switching the Full-Self-Driving (FSD) software to a subscription service was “debatable.”
Does it make sense for someone to do FSD subscription right now? It’s debatable.
I said as much back on July 19: “Just what you wanted, right? A subscription service for your car.” Does this mean Elon reads Great Stuff?
Laugh it up, fuzzball.
Going: ROK Stock & 2 Smoking Barrels
Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK) stormed through an already-jam-packed earnings week with a double-beat-and-raise mic drop.
Mind you, that’s automation, not animation — Rockwell designs industrial software and hardware, i.e., it makes the robots. I thought that was Kraftwerk? Never mind…
Rockwell’s automating prowess destroyed Wall Street’s expectations: Earnings came in at $2.31 per share and topped estimates for $2.09 per share. Revenue shot up 32.6% year over year to reach $1.85 billion, beating expectations by about $60 million.
What isn’t debatable — even to Elon — is that today’s supply chains and manufacturing sectors have proven to be fallible amid the Great Reopening. And Rockwell’s playing right into industrial efforts to overhaul and boost the efficiency of those.
In other words … if companies are having trouble making products and getting them to market, it’s not just the supply crunch that’s the problem. Manufacturing companies everywhere are tapping in Rockwell to help make their businesses more efficient to better meet future demand. It’s why Rockwell’s seeing $2 billion-plus in orders — record sales in pandemic times or otherwise.
The company is confident enough that it’ll keep cranking out orders for automation tech, boosting its previous sales growth guidance by a few percentage points. But what does all this get ROK investors today?
Nada. Squat-ski. Ugatz. ROK stock sank about 3% before regaining some ground by today’s close.
Gone: Move Those Goalposts!
Wanna know how you can tell that Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) has been at the top of the semiconductor industry for too long?
Today, the company outlined its path forward to reclaim its former dominance in the chip market. We’ve seen before that Intel is making a bigger push into chip manufacturing, but today’s path forward had nothing to do with that.
No, sir. Intel vowed to become the world leader in chips again by changing how it measures progress in semiconductor production.
According to Intel, the current measurement system gives its competitors an unfair advantage.
The unfair measurement system involves “nanometers” or billionths of a meter. As with all things semiconductor-related, smaller and faster is better. Furthermore, the smaller the measurement in “nanometers,” the less power these chips consume. That means greener devices and a lower electric bill for you.
Here’s an example: Taiwan Semiconductor currently makes five-nanometer chips and is shifting toward three-nanometer chips. Intel, meanwhile, makes 10-nanometer chips and is shifting to seven-nanometer chips.
Intel says this measurement is unfair, but it sounds to me like Intel is technologically inferior to its competitors and is just moving the goalposts. “The people you’re selling to understand very well that there are differences,” says Wedbush Securities Analyst Matt Bryson.
Indeed, Mr. Bryson. Intel was on top for so long that it got used to telling people the sky was purple and them believing it. Welcome to AMD’s brave new world, Intel. You don’t have that kind of pull anymore.
What do you think, Great Ones? Why’s Intel trying to change the rules of the game? Why must Elon Musk chase the Twitter ballyhoo? And what’s the deal with people still thinking crypto is only good for cybercrime?
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Until next time, stay Great!
Editor, Great Stuff