This Week in Alternative Investments - June 2nd, 2023

Chinese tech giant Baidu is launching a $145 million AI venture fund


Bite sized market updates

Baidu is launching an AI venture fund. The Chinese tech giant is earmarking $145 million as AI continues to attract investor dollars.

A crypto mining tax is not part of the debt-ceiling deal. The proposed 30% tax on electricity used by miners has been removed from the bill.

An original “Star Wars” costume could sell for millions. Princess Leia’s ceremonial dress from the end of the first movie was previously believed to have been lost.

Christie’s is auctioning off items owned by the Rothschild family. Over 600 items, including art, jewelry and furniture, are expected to fetch in excess of $20 million in October.

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Smart Humans Podcast

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In this episode, Slava Rubin talks with Cult Wines' Tom Gearing about investing into wine as an asset class.

Market Updates

Chinese tech giant Baidu is establishing an AI-focused venture fund. They will be investing $145 million into startups focused on generative AI, only days after announcing the launch of a new version of its existing AI, Ernie Bot. This is just another example of large tech companies pouring resources into AI, following Google, Microsoft, and Baidu’s Chinese competitors Alibaba and Tencent.

The proposed debt ceiling deal removed a crypto mining tax. A 30% tax on electricity used by crypto miners had been part of the proposed budget for 2024 but has been eliminated from the most recent draft of the bill. The legislation was passed by the House is expected to pass through the Senate before Monday’s deadline.

Princess Leia’s ceremonial dress from “Star Wars” is being auctioned later this month. The costume had been missing but resurfaced recently and has been authenticated and screen and photo-matched to the final scene from 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope”. It is being sold in late June by Propstore and is expected to go for between $1 million and $2 million.

Christie’s is auctioning art, jewelry, furniture and more from the Rothschild family collection. Over 600 items will be featured in October’s auction with an estimated value in excess of $20 million. This will be the first major North American auction of items from the famed banking family.