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Solana tumbles, Global stocks see a good start to 2023, and Microsoft plans to integrate ChatGPT into Bing. Newsletter #5
In This Issue:
Good start to 2023 for global stock markets
OpenAI in Takeover Talks and ChatGPT Bing Integration
Solana Soars Thanks to BONK
BONK, a dog-themed meme coin released on Christmas day 2022, exploded in value earlier this week after traders and Solana fans began to embrace the memey nature of the ecosystem now that SOL’s price has collapsed.
Solana’s value has been declining for months, and fans of BONK have begun pushing the price of coins built on it in a half-joking effort to try and save the ecosystem. BONK’s value shot up 3,300% between December 25th and January 5th, peaking at $0.000004892, before falling 54% in 11 hours to $0.000001907 as of Sunday morning.
The developers behind the coin burned their allocation of 5 trillion early on Friday to try and stabilize the price; it doesn’t seem to have helped.
It’s just the latest meme-coin to see a price rally. Some of the other well-known ones include Shiba Inu (SHIB), Dogecoin (DOGE), and Floki Inu (FLOKI). All of them are inspired in part by the Shiba Inu dog from the “doge” meme, which the crypto community has embraced.
BONK’s rally will likely be short-lived, but it’s already helped push the value of Solana up. The blockchain platform has had serious problems recently. It soared 12,000% in 2021 to a market cap of ~$78 billion ($258 a coin) but then lost about $74 billion of that in 2022 and now sits at a market cap of ~$5 billion ($13 a coin).
The broader crypto market had a great start to the year. Bitcoin and Ethereum rose 2% and 5%, respectively, and the total value of the entire crypto market sits at $858 billion, roughly 5% higher than on Monday.
Great end to the week for stocks
2023 got off to a good start for all the major US indices. Things were relatively flat until Friday, when the S&P 500 and NASDAQ shot up 2.2% and 2.64% respectively.
The US economy added 223,000 jobs in December, lower than the 263,000 in November but still higher than the expected 200,000. The unemployment rate declined to 3.5%.
The high number shows the strength of the US labor market at the moment. 2021 and 2022 were the two best years for the jobs market since the 1940s (obviously because we were coming out of the pandemic layoff and resignation), so it’s great to see 2023 starting so strong as well.
Hong Kong stocks also marked their best start to a year since 2018. The Hang Seng index was up 4.8% for the week on hopes of a Chinese boom after the reopening and a softening of the crackdown that’s been plaguing tech companies since 2021.
It was announced early yesterday that Jack Ma would give up control of Ant Group, the company that runs Alipay - China’s primary online payments system. Ant’s $30 billion stock market listing was canceled in November 2020 after authorities cited regulation issues with the firm and fined it roughly $1.2 billion.
After the cancellation, regulators said the firm had two years to restructure, and the stepping down by Jack Ma is likely part of this restructuring, as is the capital raise announced on Wednesday.
The FTSE100 rose 2.8% in the week, taking it to a four-year high. Slowing wage growth in the US brought renewed hope that global efforts to bring down inflation are working, and it seems the outlook for the global economy is getting better.
If this is the case, the Fed won’t have to raise interest rates much more to cool inflation, and lower interest rates generally allow stock values to go higher.
OpenAI Selling Shares and ChatGPT-Bing Integration
OpenAI is reportedly planning to sell shares to two outside investors. The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that it’s looking to sell $300 million of stock to Thrive Capital and Founders Fund at a total valuation of $29 billion; it was valued at $14 billion in 2021.
The investment would give OpenAI even more money to develop more advanced publicly accessible AI programs. It’s already planning to release GPT-4 in the first half of this year, which is supposedly a lot better than the GPT-3 technology that ChatGPT was based on.
Microsoft - ChatGPT Integration
In other OpenAI related news, it seems that Google will finally have some competition in search (at last).
There were reports on Tuesday that Microsoft is preparing to integrate ChatGPT into Bing, and the integration could launch before the end of March. The feature would use the AI behind ChatGPT to answer search queries rather than just display a list of links to the user. Microsoft has also said it’s looking at incorporating it into Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other apps for customers to use.
Microsoft announced last year it plans to integrate Dall-E 2, OpenAI’s prompt-image generation software into Bing “soon”, but there’s still no date set yet.
The release of ChatGPT reportedly led Google management to declare a “code red”, seeing the chatbot – which answers questions or prompts with clear explanations instead of just links – as a significant threat to how consumers currently use search engines.
If Microsoft can successfully integrate ChatGPT into Bing and add a few other improvements, it would, in my opinion, finally put it on the path to being a serious competitor to Google. ChatGPT’s capabilities are mind-blowing, and it’s only going to get better; even Elon Musk is impressed by its capabilities.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has already seen advertising revenue slow in 2022, so competition now is the last thing it needs, although it’s still far and away the leader in the search space, at least for now.
Google is reported to have even more advanced chatbot AIs but doesn’t want to release them publicly and says they can’t yet be run cost-effectively at a large scale. Last year, one engineer left the company after publicly declaring that he believed its AI had become sentient.
If you haven’t used ChatGPT yet, I’d really recommend you give it a try; it’s entirely free to use at the moment. Thousands of people online say it’s saved them hours at work, and even if it’s not particularly useful to you, it’s always fun to play with.
If you have used it, what have you found it most useful for? Have you had any funny interactions with it? Let me know below 😀
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