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Who's Grok? 🤖
AI chat's new player has entered the game, and it's wearing a Musk. "The Simpsons" NFT episode, ApeFest in Hong Kong and the fake Ledger app. NFTs hit a homerun with a $129 million trading week.
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Looks like the AI chat world just got a little more crowded — and a whole lot more interesting.
Elon Musk, the man who might as well be shooting for "Most Interesting Person in the Multiverse," has decided that electric cars and space rockets weren’t enough.
His latest brainchild?
Grok, an AI chatbot.
What's a Grok and Why Does It Sound Like a Space Frog?
Grok isn't a space frog, though that would be cool. It’s Musk’s shiny new AI toy from his company, xAI.
Musk's foray into AI with Grok appears to be driven by a desire to offer a chatbot that provides not just conversation or information but a commitment to truthfulness and accuracy.
His decision to launch Grok could also be seen as part of his larger vision for creating advanced AI that can benefit humanity and provide a transparent and accurate exchange of information.
Real-Time Knowledge: Grok has access to Twitter's content, providing it with a diverse range of real-time information and potentially offering on-the-spot fact-checking.
Fun Mode: It features a mode that enables it to generate jokes and humorous responses, making the interaction more enjoyable.
Native Internet Access: Grok can browse the internet to cross-reference and update information, enhancing its responses' accuracy.
Multitasking: It can handle multiple conversation threads and allows users to navigate between topics seamlessly.
Minimal Censorship: Grok aims to provide more authentic conversations by not over-filtering its responses.
The Misses and some concerns
Rushed Development: With only two months of training, Grok may not be as refined as its competitors.
Parameter Count: Grok's 33 billion parameters may not be sufficient for more complex needs compared to other LLMs like GPT-4.
Context Handling: Grok's context window is smaller than that of other advanced models, which may limit its understanding.
Cost: At $16 a month, Grok is more expensive than some competing models that are either free or offer more capabilities.
Fictional Basis: Grok is based on a fictional character, which could complicate the expectation for accurate information.
Overpromised and Underdelivered: There is scepticism whether Grok can live up to the hype, especially with its relatively conventional training approach.
Misinformation Risks: Like any LLM, Grok is susceptible to propagating misinformation, which can have serious consequences.
Lack of Multimodal Capabilities: Grok is text-only, which may seem outdated compared to multimodal models from competitors.
Can It Outpace the Giants?
Grok enters a market that's increasingly crowded. In the blue corner, we've got ChatGPT and Google Bard, heavyweights of the AI chat world.
In the red corner, Grok, the plucky newcomer with something to prove.
Musk's claim that Grok will offer more accurate and truthful interactions suggests a focus on quality and reliability, potentially setting it apart from its competitors.
Grok's success in the market will depend on several factors.
It must not only match but surpass the capabilities of existing AI chatbots in terms of learning abilities, adaptability, and the sophistication of interactions.
If Grok can deliver on these fronts, it could potentially reshape the landscape of AI chatbots.
The Surge of GROK Tokens
Thanks to the launch of GROK AI, there has been a surge in the creation of tokens named "GROK", with nearly 400 variants appearing over a single weekend.
These tokens have collectively reached tens of millions of dollars in market capitalisation, with early investors making significant profits.
The first GROK token appeared on Ethereum and quickly reached a market cap of $10 million, with significant trading volumes.
Some of the top holders have made considerable gains from their initial investments.
Precedent of Trend-Based Tokens: This is not a new trend in the crypto space. Tokens have been created based on various social media stimuli, including tweets from well-known figures or brands.
And, THE coin? After Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin made a joking tweet about creating a project called "THE Protocol," meme tokens with similar names started popping up on decentralised exchanges like Uniswap.
And of course, PEPE, which played a major role in the memecoin trend.
However, the hype around these tokens typically doesn't last, leading to a dramatic loss in value shortly after their initial popularity.
Everyone's had their say on Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and "The Simpsons," television's favourite animated family, is no exception.
The show that has a knack for weaving societal trends into its plots has now poked fun at the NFT craze.
But let's not forget, before the satirical arrows were slung, the show itself had dabbled in the digital gold rush.
Back in 2020, The Simpsons introduced viewers to blockchain and cryptocurrency in the episode "Frinkcoin" (S31, E13), where Lisa Simpson was educated on the concepts by a TV scientist, played by Jim Parsons, known for his role as Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory.
In November 2021, when NFTs were as hot as Springfield's nuclear reactor, "The Simpsons" teamed up with Disney and VeVe to release Bart and Homer-themed NFTs, encased in digital gold.
Fans could snag these golden moments for $60 each, a deal that included a 3-month Disney+ subscription.
Fast forward to a recent Sunday episode, and NFTs were the butt of the joke.
Marge Simpson, battling her way through a blockchain bonanza, even faced a blinged-out Poochie, one of the show's most infamous characters. The satire was not lost on VeVe:
What happens in the episode?
Bart becomes an NFT, valued at $1.5 million, sparking family chaos.
Episode references Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, and others.
Marge enters the NFT realm, highlighting market hierarchies and volatility.
The show mocks market FOMO as the driving force behind NFTs.
A dark twist on NFT value: Marge learns about 'disruption' via 'Cuddle Kittens.'
High-end digital art NFTs showcased with Marge finding Bart in an elite space.
Following the episode, real-world reactions included a surge in trading of Springfield Punks, an NFT collection inspired by the show's characters combined with the CryptoPunk aesthetic, illustrating the tangible impact of the show's portrayal of NFTs.
The Hong Kong government is reportedly considering the launch of a spot cryptocurrency ETF, which has excited the crypto community👇🏻
TTD Numbers 🔢
Guess what? NFTs are having a moment – again.
The latest figures from Nansen show a robust increase in weekly Ether sales volume.
Here's the deets
Rising Sales Volume: The weekly NFT sales volume measured in Ethereum (ETH) saw a continuous rise, culminating in 68,342 ETH (equivalent to over $129 million) in the week ending November 6.
Leading Marketplaces: Blur outpaced other NFT marketplaces in trading volume over the last 30 days, with OpenSea following behind. Blur's trading volume was 161,433 ETH (about $305 million), while OpenSea's volume was 52,307 ETH (around $100 million).
Top Collections: Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) led in trading volume among NFT collections for the past month, with Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) and The Captainz also showing strong volumes.
CryptoPunks: Despite having the highest market capitalisation, CryptoPunks' trading volume was comparatively lower at 5,773 ETH for the same period.
Increase in NFT Traders: There was a reported 12% increase in the number of NFT traders, with buyer and seller address counts indicating active participation in the market.
Stable Wallet Holdings: The count of wallets holding NFTs remained around six million, suggesting a steady base of NFT ownership.
TTD ApeFest 🙈
ApeFest hit Hong Kong like a digital fever dream, attracting a global congregation of NFT aficionados dressed in a cacophony of quirky fashion that could give Comic-Con a run for its money.
Held at Hong Kong's former airport, Kai Tak, now a cruise terminal and event space.
First ApeFest event hosted outside the United States, following two editions in New York.
Attendees and Attire
A diverse international crowd from the UK, US, France, Japan, China, Turkey, Russia, New Zealand, Brazil, and more.
Eccentric fashion reminiscent of VR avatars, including banana-print trousers, blue kimonos, neon tracksuits, and custom T-shirts.
The Event Turns Sore for Some Attendees 👀
A handful of ApeFest goers have reported severe eye pain post-event, prompting concerns over potential UV light exposure.
Speculation points towards photokeratitis, a condition similar to a corneal sunburn from excessive UV exposure, possibly due to the use of UV-C bulbs for illumination.
Yuga Labs, the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club, confirmed they are investigating the issue after being in direct contact with 15 affected individuals, a number they estimate to represent less than 1% of the 2,250 attendees.
They’ve stated they are reaching out to and supporting those impacted, highlighting the gravity with which they are treating the situation.
A counterfeit Ledger app surfaced on the Microsoft App Store, duping crypto enthusiasts into a download that cost them dearly.
Over $500,000 in Bitcoin vanished into the ether, and with additional losses in Ethereum and BNB Smart Chain, the total stolen crypto summed up to an eye-watering $767,238.
The Hook, Line, and Sinker
Blockchain sleuth ZachXBT sounded the alarm on Twitter, revealing the loss of 16.8 Bitcoin at the hands of this malicious app.
What appeared to be a gateway to secure crypto management was, in fact, a trap that redirected assets to the hackers' pockets. By the time Microsoft yanked the app from its store, the damage was done.
Microsoft's swift action to eliminate the fraudulent app from the store was a crucial step in damage control.
Their spokesperson assured the crypto community that efforts are underway to swiftly identify and remove such malignant content. But for those affected, this assurance came as cold comfort.
The Recurring Nightmare of Counterfeit Apps
This incident isn't the first of its kind, and it’s a stark reminder that the crypto world isn't immune to the long-standing plague of counterfeit apps.
For over a decade, Microsoft has been battling these digital doppelgangers, vowing to protect its users from such scams.
TTD Surfer 🏄
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has released guidelines for offering tokenised securities and other investment products.
Crypto startup Ava Labs network has laid off 12% of its employees, affecting various teams including communications and marketing.
XRP has experienced a significant rally, surging 12% overnight and becoming the best-performing cryptocurrency in the top ten.
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