China is clearly a threat to the United States leadership in many ways, one of which is in space. This week China launched a rocket to the dark side of the moon. They placed a satellite in orbit to serve as a relay station to send pictures and data back to Earth. The landing portion of the rocket hovered 300 feet above the lunar surface to pick a smooth spot for landing. After the landing, the vehicle drilled holes in the surface of the Moon and extracted 4+ pounds of samples. On Friday, ascent vehicle lifted off the Moon to rendezvous with the Chang’e 5 orbiter while still circling the moon. After a transfer of its precious cargo to a return capsule, the Chang’e 5 spacecraft will wait in lunar orbit for a number of days for a narrow window in which to fire its engines and head for Earth. The complex mission is quite impressive.
The question is what should be the priorities. Healthcare workers and others on the on the front line of assistance to others seems clear. But then who? Seniors and others with increased vulnerability would be pretty high on the list. Uber, in a letter to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, said its drivers provid critical transportation for essential workers and allow others to stay home and order food. Other industry groups, including in the food production, agricultural, consumer goods and trucking industry, are also asking officials to prioritize their workers for early vaccine distribution. Governors and local officials will call the shots. Healthcare workers will likely be universally at the top of the list, but after them we will see variations.
Bitcoin surged and then pulled back again due to concern about new regulations. In my opinion, some “light” regulation will be a good thing for Bitcoin. The price as of 3pm on Friday was $19,039, up substantially for the week. The market cap for BTC was $353 billion. Gold proponents believe gold is a sound store-of-value and a hedge against fiat currencies losing value. They argue gold has important and valuable attributes such as durability, fungibility, divisibility (into coins of any size), portability, and scarcity (Congress or the Fed can’t print more of it). I would argue Bitcoin has all these same properties. We shall see. Current forecasts for the value of Bitcoin range from $318,000 to Zero.