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Powering over the success of ChatGPT, OpenAI founder Sam Altman is currently touring the world to market the chatbot. After launching the ChatGPT app in the US on iOS platform last week, and its downloads reaching 500k in six days, the rise and popularity of Altman’s venture is reaching new heights. With chatbots on one side, Sam has invested in other technology companies as well. From investing in biosciences to eye-scanning crypto ventures, his diversified portfolio is a future bet on technology. But, does his investments have a real future?
In a September 2021 tweet, Sam Altman made future tech predictions where he said that by 2030 the costs of intelligence and energy will be on a ‘path towards near-zero’, and that AI revolution and energy (renewable and nuclear) will help in getting there.
Ironically, the tech that Altman predicted will cause ‘major societal changes’ are the ones that he has invested in.
Betting Big on Crypto
The most surprising venture of Sam Altman is WorldCoin– an eye scanning crypto venture. Timing with Sam’s EU world tour, the Germany headquartered company raked up $115 million in a Series C funding. The company claims to be building ‘the world’s largest identity and financial network as a public utility’ by giving ownership to all. A global digital currency which is handed to people who are willing to scan their eyeballs with an orb, Altman is not only betting big on crypto but is taking privacy breach to another level. But, the bigger question is, how does the future look for a crypto venture?
Cryptocurrency, known for its volatility, has always had a tumultuous history. The collapse of Sam Bankman Fried’s FTX, led to crashing crypto markets with huge sell-off and reduced liquidity. However, it is picking up again.
Cryptocurrency Market Capitalization. Source: Statista
With external events leading to fluctuating crypto markets, the future growth is unpredictable. Future policies and regulations for the decentralised market can affect the market value. However, growth is imminent. As per a report by Statista, the revenue in the cryptocurrency market is projected to reach US $37.87 billion in 2023 and the revenue is expected to grow at 14.40% resulting in US $64.87 billion by 2027. No. of users is expected to grow from 8.8% in 2023 to 12.5% in 2027.
Drawing parallels to Greesham’s law which states that ‘bad money drives out good’ or rather ‘overvalued currency will drive legally undervalued currency out of circulation’, continuous investments by leaders in crypto products is probably in positive anticipation of the digital currency gaining prominence in the future.
In The Dark
Altman has always been in the limelight for lack of clarity on AI Safety measures on ChatGPT. With the WorldCoin venture, which is available in 80+ countries and has over 1.5 million users, Altman is proving to side with technology where user data can be exploited. There has been a lot of backlash online with people criticising it for collecting biometric databases of the poor and profiteering from people keeping AI at the centre of it.
Pay To Stay Young
Sam Altman has invested $180 million in Retro Biosciences, a bio startup that works with cellular reprogramming and plasma-inspired therapeutics that aims to add 10 years to a human lifespan. Altman’s investment in anti-ageing technology is a calculated move considering how the market is growing for this sector. The global anti-ageing market size was $67.2 billion in 2022 and is said to reach $98.6 billion by 2028.
The tech mogul’s investment is stemmed from his personal fascination for anti-ageing as well. With specific food diets, exercises, and even admitting to consuming metformin, a drug that purportedly extends one’s lifespan, Altman is health-conscious to the extent of defying ageing. It is also said that he had previously concentrated on ‘young blood’ research which is said to rejuvenate ageing people.
The Biggest Power Source
Continuing on building a diversified portfolio, Altman’s next and possibly the biggest investment is betting on nuclear fusion energy. OpenAI has invested $375million in fusion startup Helion. Recently, Microsoft even signed a power purchase agreement with the company to buy electricity from it in 2028. It is said that Altman is also actively involved in the Helion’s operations.
With the energy market always on an upward trajectory, Sam’s investment will reap a positive outcome. The global fusion energy market is said to reach $429.6 billion in 2030 and is said to reach $840.3 billion by 2040.