Libra, and Some Numbers

♻️ Facebook Does Money

Libra was announced this week. I documented some of my initial reactions 👇

On Libra &:

I’m optimistic about the project. Early adopters of cryptocurrencies raise legitimate concerns about the faux-decentralization, but the industry desperately needs a strong product to bring digital currencies mainstream. Consider what Internet Explorer did for the internet.

Microsoft put Internet Explorer on every desk, expanding on the work of early, less ubiquitous web browsers. They didn’t hold the monopoly for long. Once users were familiar with the experience of interacting with the web through a browser, other players were able to out-innovate Microsoft and gain market share. I believe the same thing will happen with digital currency. It starts with Facebook (used daily by >15% of the world), and expands to other use cases.

📚 Reading

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2019. Lots of numbers, lots of stats. 30% of internet users use Facebook more than once per day. Link.

The White House released an update to the National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan. Link.

Inferred large-scale DNA microscopy image

Researchers at the Broad Institute have created a novel way to image cell to cell interactions using a “DNA microscope.” Link. Biorxiv Link.

A study from Berkeley examined the neuroscience of curiosity. The question of digital addiction appears to have scientific grounding; the study discovered that our brains assign “weights” to certain types of information in much the same way that we assign dollar values to goods or experiences. Link. Paper.

Two Earth-like planets were found orbiting a nearby star 12 light-years away. Link.


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