⛏️ Our green future is short on minerals


May 11, 2021

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The big idea
mineral

An oncoming mineral shortage may derail our green future

Humans can’t catch a break, even in the future.

A recently released report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), highlighted the at-odds relationship between the surging demand for rare minerals and their tight supply.

Experts believe this mismatch could derail countries’ efforts to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the most recent UN goal.

The reason…

Green energy production is a mineral junkie

Popular green energy solutions use a variety of rare earth metals and minerals. Two examples:

  • An electric vehicle (EV) uses 6x as many mineral resources as a fossil fuel car.
  • An offshore wind plant requires 9x as many mineral resources as a comparable gas power plant.

According to the IEA’s analysis, manufacturers will need 6x the amount of minerals being produced today by 2040.

Predicted demand for “White Gold” lithium used in EV batteries is otherworldly, expected to 70x in the next few decades. Accounting for existing global lithium mines, we’d only be able to meet about half the demand expected in this decade.

And there’s the supply chain…

… it’s delicate, like one-country-produces-most-of-it delicate.

In 2019, 70% of world’s cobalt production comes from the Demorcatic Republic of Congo. And not to be out-dug, China produces nearly 60% of all rare earth metals — AKA fancy elements ending in “-ium.”

But there’s hope. The IEA report outlined 6 areas of action to avoid the oncoming shortage, which included developing green technologies that aren’t so mineral-dependent.

So if we all work together, we can avoid Armageddon… sounds promising.

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  • Hold up: Attorneys general from 44 states have asked Facebook to scrap its plan to launch an “Instagram for Kids”. Seems reasonable.
  • Sorry, we guess? The group that hacked into the 5.5k mile Colonial Pipeline issued an apology saying that its goal is to “make money and not [create] problems for society.” Parts of the pipeline are slowly coming back online.
Earnings
Roblox

Source: Roblox Press Kit

Why time is Roblox’s secret weapon

For much of the world, “Roblox” probably sounds like an off-brand Lego company or a board game about a smoked salmon heist. (It’s not.)

Roblox is a ~$35B juggernaut game-creation platform that just yesterday filed its first quarterly earnings report.

And if one thing’s for sure, it’s that time is on Roblox’s side.

By ‘time,’ we literally mean time since birth

Roblox-ers are young: 67% of Roblox’s daily users are under 17. Roblox knows this. “Safety” comes up 88 times in the company’s IPO filing. (In Facebook’s it came up 11.)

During the 9 months that ended September 2020, users spent 22.2B hours on the platform. That’s 2.6 hours per user, per day.

Earnings showed monetizing the youth is working

Revenue in Q1 was up 140% YoY to $387m, and Bookings — deferred revenue Roblox gets from sales of its virtual currency — increased 161% to $652.3m.

Roblox knows its users are human, and therefore age. So 2 of its stated growth strategies are built to retain its younger population in the coming years:

  • Demographic expansion: Appeal to older folks (think: 20-year-olds) through new platform expansion (e.g., social, edtech, VR) and higher fidelity content
  • Monetization: Expand subscription offerings and brand partnerships as users get jobs

For now, with of all US kids 9-12 on Roblox, don’t expect the company to fall into “fad” territory anytime soon.

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New Startup Alert
MILLIONS

Meet MILLIONS: the platform helping combat athletes monetize their audiences

Earnings in combat sports is a power-law game.

Top stars like Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor make millions. Conversely, the average MMA fighter earns ~$68k per year, while the average boxer pulls in ~$35k.

Enter MILLIONS: an ecommerce and fan engagement platform…

… that provides a new stream of revenue for combat sport athletes.

MILLIONS’ co-founder Matt Whitteker tells The Hustle that the platform — released earlier this year — has already seen success.

Sonny “The Bronco” Conto, a 25-year-old heavyweight prospect, spun up a shirt for sale on MILLIONS the day after one of his early knockouts.

“He sold thousands of dollars of shirts,” Whitteker said. “We had created this new value stream for Sonny to monetize his audience and capitalize on big moments in his career.”

The platform is more than just a merch store.

Users can also do video AMAs with their favorite stars, or watch live sporting events with famous athletes and sports personalities (a la Joe Rogan’s “Fight Companion”).

Only a few months old, MILLIONS has already signed up 100 athletes, with another 200 in the pipeline.

And they’re bringing some heavy hitters.

The company will announce later today (that’s right, you heard it here first) that one of its co-founders is the legendary sports announcer and “Voice of MMA” Bruce Buffer.

Bruce “It’s Time” Buffer has been announcing for the UFC for 25 of the organization’s 28-year history and is reportedly the only person who — at $50k-$100k a pop — earns more per fight than Joe Rogan.

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Tom Brady news of the day
new profile pic meme

Tom Brady rumors popped up over the weekend. But it had nothing to do with his on-field performance. The 7x Super Bowl champ was reportedly negotiating his salary to be paid in bitcoin.

Early Monday morning, Brady updated his Twitter profile picture to include laser eyes —  the go-to symbol to show online support of crypto. It’s unclear if he’ll actually get paid in bitcoin, but the internet went wild nonetheless.

If Brady succeeds in his crypto-quest, he’ll follow in the footsteps of Russell Okung, a Carolina Panthers player who is converting half of his $13m salary into bitcoin.

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