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Weekly Recap - 08/21/2023
What happened last week.
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This is the first edition of the weekly recap where I will share some interesting things happening around the world.
Here’s the weekly recap for the week of August 21st, 2023
🇮🇳 Chandrayaan 3 Moon Landing
This is probably the most interesting news that happened last week when Chandrayaan 3 landed on the south side of the Moon. India became the first country to do that. As an Indian, it is a great feeling to see this happen. This is not only good for India, it is also good for humanity. The last time we went on Moon was in 1972 and after 50 years we have done it again. I am a big advocate of space exploration and I think investment in space tech is net positive for humanity. More power to ISRO and other space agencies around the world.
Here is the tweet from ISRO
Tornado Cash founder sanctioned
Crypto/Blockchain space is always interesting (both in positive and negative ways). Last week the US OFAC sanctioned, Roman Semenov, one of the three founders of Tornado Cash for his role in providing material support to the Lazarus group of North Korea. You can read about more details in the mentioned link.
For those who don’t know Tornado Cash, it is a fully decentralized mixer service on Ethereum Virtual Machine compatible networks that obscures the trail back to the fund’s original source for a given transaction. The claim is that since Tornado Cash's founder developed that open source code which practically anyone can use, they are responsible for this money laundering. The United States government is definitely pissed that it was used by North Korea for illicit activities which is fair on their part I think.
An analogy I can think of is that if a country develops a currency and then it is used for money laundering, do you punish the creator of the currency (the country itself) or the people who laundered it? Tornado Cash developers just wrote some code and someone else used it to launder money. Is it fair to punish the developers? According to the U.S. government, Yes. Something to think about yourself.
If you are into technology, stock markets, and of course AI, you must have heard Nvidia crushing the Wall Street estimates in their recent quarterly earning report for fiscal quarter Q2 2024. Their total revenue at the end of Q2 was $13.51 billion with data center revenue contributing $10.32 billion.
“A new computing era has begun. Companies worldwide are transitioning from general-purpose to accelerated computing and generative AI,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA.
This was majorly contributed by the advancement of generative AI since everyone is jumping on the AI bandwagon and there is more demand for AI-based solutions.
NVIDIA expects more demand in Q3 and an even higher revenue of $16 billion. It’s pretty fascinating to see how much will be the future demand and how long till things cool down.
The 15th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit was held at Sandtown, South Africa this week. The majority of news was around BRICS inviting six new countries, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina, and UAE, to join the gang. Their full membership will take effect on January 1, 2024. In addition to this, they are leaving doors open for other countries to join. This is a very exciting decade for BRICS nations as the growth in these nations is mind-boggling.
There has been a recent movement in shifting the global power from Global West to Global East/South and this is the best example where BRICS is expanding its membership to other countries. There was also been a lot of news lately about not using the US Dollar as the reserve currency and using local currency for trading. But writers like Noah Smith have written an interesting piece on this and is a very interesting read for folks who are interested. (I’ve been following his blog for a while now and it’s pretty good)
In any case, I am not sure if the West is worried about it or not but only time will tell how all of this is gonna play out.
Instacart IPO filing
Instacart, an on-demand grocery delivery platform has filed for IPO this week under the symbol $CART. In 2021 when it raided last funding, it was valued at $39 billion. There have been a lot fewer IPOs recently and there could soon be another big IPO that could break the IPO drought. Personally, I’ve used Instacart delivery using Costco's same-day delivery program which has generally been a pretty great experience. So it would be interesting to see how the IPO goes. You can read more about the filing in their S-1.
Podcast recommendation: Last week I listened to Jack Kornfield on the Tim Ferris podcast. One of the things I learned from this podcast is how to deal with anxiety. Everyone has anxiety and people get scared by it. What he says is, that a way to deal with this is to try to acknowledge what the anxiety is, what is it about and then just take a moment and think about how you can handle it. It’s just that a little pause and thinking about how to handle it can be a very powerful mechanism to calm you down. Do check it out if it looks interesting to you.
One interesting Tweet about the power of experimentation.
That’s all for this week folks. I hope this was interesting and if you have any comments or other interesting things to share, feel free to put in comments.