Giving citizenship to bots

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The crypto friendly island of Malta wants to give civil liberties to bots and other forms of artificial intelligence. Some experts say this is a profoundly bad idea.

Six years ago, when Amazon started talking about using delivery drones, many people thought they must be joking. Far from it—drones are now very much a reality: in April, Google offshoot, Wing Aviation, won certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration to begin commercial drone deliveries. If you live in Blacksburg, Virginia, drones could be landing on your porch by the end of the year.

In a similar vein, it’s tempting to scoff at Malta’s plans, announced in November, to give citizenship to bots. Voting rights, healthcare, civil liberties—everything is on the table. In fact, states such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia have already granted robots citizens rights.

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Using molten salt to store electricity isn’t just for solar thermal plants

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Startup follows on a number of innovative ideas to make renewable energy more flexible.

How can we make wind a more versatile energy source? By adding storage.

An energy storage startup that found its footing at Alphabet’s X “moonshot” division announced last week that it will receive $26 million in funding from a group of investors led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund that counts Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg as investors and whose chairman is Bill Gates. The startup, called Malta, uses separate vats of molten salt and antifreeze-like liquid to store electricity as thermal energy and dispatch it to the grid when it’s needed.

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The tiny nations plotting to become tax havens for cryptocurrency

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Success could transform these territories into cryptocurrency tax havens and safe spaces, and models for smaller economies of the future.

Payday won’t be the same next year for the soccer players of Gibraltar United, a team in the premier division of the sport’s league in the British overseas territory. Only a part of their salary will hit their bank accounts, and the rest will come to them in the form of cryptocurrencies. But the soccer team is no outlier there. Nor is Gibraltar unique — it’s among a growing set of tiny territories betting on cryptocurrencies as economic weapons of the future.

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