December Week 4 - 2023

1.) Can Solana overtake ETH? 2.) The Quest for a Longer Human Lifespan 3.) OpenAI Researchers Sound Alarm on Potentially Threatening AI Breakthrough

Good Morning! 

We hope you had an amazing weekend and a Merry Christmas!

Happy Tuesday! here are this weeks insightful reads:

1.) Can Solana overtake ETH?
2.) The Quest for a Longer Human Lifespan
3.) OpenAI Researchers Sound Alarm on Potentially Threatening AI Breakthrough 

The 'Flippening' Can Solana overtake ETH?

As the cryptocurrency arena heats up the battle for dominance ensues. We explore the prospect of Solana (SOL) possibly surpassing Ethereum (ETH) in market capitalization—the 'flippening.'

Solana has been on a tear these last few weeks, fueled by its exceptional transaction speeds and low fees, has gotten people speculating about its potential to outshine Ethereum. Solana's momentary position as the third-largest cryptocurrency, momentarily eclipsing Binance Coin.

Criticism aimed at Ethereum for high costs and network congestion provides a backdrop to this narrative. Solana's increasing adoption, reflected in surpassing Ethereum's daily active addresses and transaction volumes, intensifies the debate.

However, Ethereum maintains its stronghold in Total Value Locked within DeFi protocols. The fragmented liquidity across Ethereum's Layer 2 solutions, a factor potentially influencing its metrics.

Despite Solana's current momentum, Ethereum boasts enduring strengths. Its brand enjoys unparalleled credibility, especially in institutional circles anticipating the Ethereum ETF. Ethereum hosts the largest developer ecosystem, major DeFi and NFT projects, and has secured substantial funding with innovations like Optimism and Arbitrum.

Ethereum's historical resilience, suggests it will overcome recent criticisms, but Solana’s potentially in surpassing Ethereum in market cap, continues to fuel the debate.

In comparing investments between Ethereum and Solana, it is easy to stick with ETH because of its current undervaluation. Additionally it’s important to stay focused on Ethereum's proven resilience and adaptability. But this is crypto we are talking about here, and nothing should surprise us at this point.

So on one hand, the cool mind says “Stick with the tried and true” and on the other hand the degen mind says “You Only Live Once”
Lets see how this saga unfolds! 🍿🥤😎

The Quest for a Longer Human Lifespan

Retro Biosciences, a secretive longevity lab with a whopping $180 million investment from Sam Altman, co-founder of OpenAI, is setting its sights on a groundbreaking goal: extending human life by a decade. After two years shrouded in secrecy, Retro has finally opened its doors, revealing its audacious mission to the world.

In May 2021, founder Joe Betts-LaCroix and his team swiftly transformed an abandoned retail building in Redwood City, California, into a makeshift laboratory. Unconventional and cost-effective, Betts-LaCroix's team, working on a mere $200,000 budget, had experiments running within two months, in stark contrast to a nearby developer spending $15 million over a year for a similar-sized lab.

Retro's approach to longevity stands out in the biotech landscape. Instead of fixating on a single promising compound, it's simultaneously pursuing five tracks of research. This high-risk strategy is made possible by the extraordinary backing of a sole investor, Sam Altman, who, having invested $180 million, was ousted from his role as CEO.

The company, comprising about 50 people, has broken its silence, revealing three main areas of focus: autophagy (removing damaged cells), rejuvenating blood plasma, and partial cell reprogramming—a process where older cells are treated with proteins or molecules to transform them into younger cells.

While the scientific community has long sought to unravel the mysteries of aging, Retro, along with a handful of other startups, believes the time is ripe. They center their research around cell reprogramming, an innovative technique where cells can be reversed to a more youthful state. This has led to an emerging race in Silicon Valley to harness this technology and potentially find a way to extend life.

Retro's most promising venture is led by Anastasia Shindyapina, focusing on rewiring the human immune system. A rejuvenated immune system could offer a broad range of longevity effects, enhancing the body's ability to fight disease and repair itself.

Despite the optimism, these startups face significant challenges. The complexity of human biology and the need for extensive clinical trials mean that, while the potential is vast, the road to safe, approved treatments may be long. Retro, along with Altos Labs and NewLimit, is part of an unprecedented wave of investment in a quest that could reshape human life.

In the realm of longevity research, where many promising companies have faced financial hurdles, Retro's unique funding and nimble operations give it a fighting chance. The race to unlock the secrets of aging continues, fueled by the belief that a solution might be closer than ever before.

OpenAI Researchers Sound Alarm on Potentially Threatening AI Breakthrough

In the tumultuous days leading to the ousting of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman a few weeks back, sources reveal that staff researchers penned a letter to the board expressing alarm over a powerful artificial intelligence discovery with potential threats to humanity.

The letter, not publicly disclosed until now, played a pivotal role in Altman's dismissal, adding to a host of concerns voiced by the board, including apprehensions about the rapid commercialization of AI advances without a full understanding of their consequences. Over 700 employees had reportedly contemplated leaving and aligning with Microsoft in solidarity with Altman before his eventual reinstatement.

Referred to as "Q*" (pronounced Q-Star), the AI algorithm in question is believed by some at OpenAI to be a significant breakthrough in the quest for artificial general intelligence (AGI), surpassing human capabilities in most economically valuable tasks. Despite the inability to independently verify the claims of Q*'s capabilities, insiders suggest optimism among researchers who see it as a potential game-changer.

Q* has demonstrated proficiency in solving certain mathematical problems, marking a stride in generative AI development. While current AI capabilities excel in areas like writing and language translation, mastering mathematics, with its definitive right answers, implies enhanced reasoning capacities, akin to human intelligence.

Researchers conveyed both the prowess and potential dangers associated with Q* in their letter to the board, although specific safety concerns were not disclosed. The broader discourse within the scientific community revolves around the risks posed by highly intelligent machines, especially if they were to autonomously decide on actions detrimental to humanity.

Additionally, concerns were raised about the work of an "AI scientist" team, amalgamating the "Code Gen" and "Math Gen" teams. This group was focused on optimizing existing AI models to enhance reasoning capabilities and, ultimately, contribute to scientific endeavors.

Altman, who played a crucial role in OpenAI's trajectory, has been at the forefront of steering ChatGPT to become one of the fastest-growing software applications. While he teased major advances in AI at a summit of world leaders, the subsequent firing by the board raises questions about the complex dynamics within OpenAI and the challenges posed by groundbreaking AI discoveries.

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This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions or investments. Please be careful and do your own research.