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Fitbit Ace, MVIS, CTL, AES and Bitcoin notes +1


Fitbit has announced the global availability of its Ace tracker, for kids.  To an even greater extent than the rest of its product line, I have trouble seeing this being a big hit outside the U.S. While it may give FIT shares a bit of a push, it doesn't change my outlook at all, since we've known this was coming all year.

A similarly unimportant amended S-1 was filed by MicroVision.  It specifies that the company is seeking to sell 12.5M shares at $1.44 each, or 14.375M with over-allotment.  That represents 16-18.5% dilution, but I will be a bit surprised if the company can get its targer price per share.

Of more interest to me is further cloud partnership for CenturyLink, this time with Google.  Increasing cloud access should also be of minor benefit to Vodafone, which gets an upgrade from Credit Suisse this morning.  It's probably just coincidence that this comes out on the very day that Net Neutrality will be repealed.

Elsewhere in the world, though, the systems we take for granted are being rethought to better effect.  That's a segue to talk about two of the most interesting things I saw over the weekend.  One is a proposal in Switzerland to digitize currency and do away with the intermediate, semi-private banking system.  Subscribers question me about Bitcoin, which suffered yet another setback, almost as much as CenturyLink.  They get consistently negative responses from me for two main reasons:

  1. Governments benefit from having a sovereign currency.  Over the long-term, they simply can not allow a broadly usable replacement that they do control.  Thus eventually, they will seek of offer similar in-house technologies.
  2. Like many things, Bitcoin has inherent scalability problems.  Despite it being not nearly as broadly used as even niche sovereign currencies, the power requirements for each transaction are already becoming problematic, as are those for mining new coins.

Bitcoin gets so much interest because of its volatility, which has been generally upward because finite digital currencies solve the problem of fiat currency that plagues western economies.  The Swiss proposal brings both points together and can be thought of as a move back towards an asset-based economy, rather than a debt-based one.  It seems destined for rejection, but I will be on the lookout for other similar proposals, as the world really needs such a move.

An even more interesting find is a project to completely rethink electric distribution.  It's another thing the world needs, but even less likely to see widespread use in any predictable time frame.  I note it merely because it is interesting, and if such a movement ever did take hold it would be negative for utilities like AES and NRG Yield, but positive for AMSC, which I've continued to monitor and remain unwilling to buy despite many an interesting twist and turn.  Question are always welcome.