Tesla uses three free months of ‘Full Self-Driving’ to push year-end sales

The “Full Self-Driving” system that Tesla sells as a $10,000 option isn’t available in subscription form yet, but the car company is already using that idea to boost sales. Reported earlier by Electrek and confirmed in a tweet by Elon Musk, “All Tesla cars delivered in the final three days of the year will get three months of the Full Self-Driving option for free.” https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=Rjcc&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1340592138829099009&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.engadget.com%2Ftesla-fsd-3-month-offer-011341156.html&siteScreenName=engadget&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

For buyers going all-in at purchase, the option is like about more advanced capabilities that may come in the future, but with just three months new Tesla owners can use the features currently available:

  • Navigate on Autopilot: automatic driving from highway on-ramp to off-ramp including interchanges and overtaking slower cars.
  • Auto Lane Change: automatic lane changes while driving on the highway.
  • Autopark: both parallel and perpendicular spaces.
  • Summon: your parked car will come find you anywhere in a parking lot. Really.
  • Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control: assisted stops at traffic controlled intersections.

While Musk recently said the subscription package will be available early next year, adding the tech for good has come at varying prices over the last few months. Now, as Tesla pushes to meet goals for record deliveries by the end of the year, it’s become an incentive.

Not everyone is happy about the offer however, particularly because of how Tesla advertises its Autopilot “advanced safety and convenience feature” and the “Full Self-Driving” tech. As the the Tesla website notes in slightly smaller print “The currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”

NTSB member Jennifer Homendy noted the difference in a thread of tweets, saying “‘Full self-driving’ suggests that the vehicle can drive itself right now, without input from a human operator. That’s not true. There should be safeguards in place to prevent such deceptive claims.”

Tesla: Soaring share price creates army of ‘Teslanaires’

Tesla’s rocketing share price this year has created an army of millionaires – self-named ‘Teslanaires’.

Shares in Elon Musk’s electric car firm have risen more than 700% during 2020 to become the world’s most valuable car company.

But it’s been a roller-coaster ride for long-term investors with wild swings since it joined the stock market a decade ago.

For those who have stuck with Tesla, it has been a very wealthy journey.

This month was a milestone for the car company as it joined the S&P 500, an index of the biggest stocks in the US which includes the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Facebook. Tesla shares rocketed and it became one of the top 10 most valued companies on the index.

Tesla stock is now worth more than the combined valuations of General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Toyota. Yet, Tesla makes just a fraction of the cars of its more established rivals.

“Tesla is a very polarising stock. It has its fans, many of whom do own Tesla cars, and its fair share of critics, particularly in the financial community, who say the company’s shares are overvalued,” said Will Rhind, chief executive at investment firm GraniteShares.

“Investors that bought shares early on, have done very well and some are now millionaires as a result.”

Much of Tesla’s share price growth has come from its improving car sales, boosted by strong demand from China and hopes of subsidies for electric vehicles. The shift towards electric cars globally has put car companies like Tesla in the sweet spot.

Many investors also believe there is strong growth to come from other parts of Tesla’s business including its self-driving software and battery power storage.

Tesla's billionaire Elon Musk.
Elon Musk took Tesla public in 2010

Overvalued?

Tesla went public in June 2010 at a price of $17 per share. This week, the price stood at more than $650 – and that’s even after a 5-for-1 stock split earlier this year that boosted the number of shares in circulation.

Given its rapid share price rise this year, even more surprising given it has come during a global pandemic, Tesla critics say it is overvalued.

In a research note earlier this month, analysts at JPMorgan wrote:”Tesla shares are in our view and by virtually every conventional metric not only overvalued, but dramatically so”.

But other investment experts argue not to look at Tesla as just a car company. “Part of the appeal of Tesla for many investors is that it is more than a car company and the success of their batteries will open many revenue streams,” said Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

“Think about the role Tesla is playing in the transition from fossil fuels to electric power and storage. In that sense, the question for investors today is how do you value the technology of tomorrow?” added Mr Rhind.

Tesla also sells solar panels and back-up residential power for homes.

“Teslanaires”

There is an army of fans who believe strongly in Tesla and predict the share price to continue rising, based on a bright future for Elon Musk’s car firm.

Los Angeles-based engineer Jason DeBolt’s first investment in Tesla was 2,500 shares which cost him $19,000. “I first started investing in Tesla in 2013 after purchasing a Tesla Model S and going on a factory tour,” he said. Since then, he has been buying more shares, and the 15,000 he now owns are worth around $10m.

Jason DeBolt's has become a millionaire from his Tesla investments.
Jason DeBolt’s has become a millionaire from his Tesla investments.

He agreed it has been a roller-coaster ride as a long-term investor and that “it was very difficult seeing the media attack Elon and Tesla. That was worse for me than the share price decline, which I knew would eventually bounce back.”

Mr DeBolt is a member of the Tesla Shareholders Club and regularly chats with other investors via the Facebook group.

New York-based Scott Tisdale began investing in Tesla when he first laid eyes on the Model S back in 2013 and has built up a holding of around 4,000 shares which are currently worth around $2.8m.

“I am not finished investing in them yet because I think their real story is just about to begin and people have been saying the stock is ‘overvalued’ since before the time I began to buy it,” he said.

“As amazing as it is to be included in this growing group of ‘Teslanaires’, it is almost as satisfying to be able to tell all the naysayers ‘I told you so.'”

The road ahead

Experts say it is unlikely Tesla’s share price will see growth of more than 700% again next year, limiting the number of new Teslanaires created.

They also point to growing competition from the likes of Apple which has revitalised plans to build an electric car along with Chinese rivals. “Tesla’s competition has bigger pockets and can afford to take bigger risk,” added OANDA’s Mr Moya.

Investment experts also caution about investing in a single stock and recommend funds that spread your money across a number of companies.

Buy a Tesla before 2021 and get Full Self-Driving for free, Elon Musk says

Well, free for three months, according to the CEO. That’s still quite a deal, considering its price.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is out here making marketing moves on Twitter as we head into the final few days of 2020. Tuesday evening, Musk tweeted that anyone who purchases a new Tesla will receive three months of the company’s Full Self-Driving mode free of charge. Access to the software, which remains in beta and not complete, typically costs $10,000 extra just to experience it. https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=CNET&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1344044584712728581&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnet.com%2Froadshow%2Fnews%2Fbuy-tesla-full-self-driving-free-elon-musk%2F&siteScreenName=CNET&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

All new Teslas come with a form of the firm’s Autopilot system, a Level 2 partially automated technology on the SAE’s scale of autonomy, but Full Self-Driving hopes to one day live up to its name. The company rolled out the technology to limited groups of drivers earlier this year and plans expand the invites to those who paid for the option to take advantage of the features. Even Tesla says the system may do the wrong thing at the wrong time, so it’s definitely not ready for hands-free driving, but many owners found it works well with lots of supervision.

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To take advantage of Musk’s latest flash deal, buyers need to complete all documents and take delivery by Dec. 31 at midnight, so it’s probably best to shop Teslas currently in stock if you really want the Full Self-Driving freebie. We also heard earlier this month Tesla authorized its staff to toss in free Supercharging once again for anyone purchasing a new EV as the automaker pushes for record deliveries in 2020.

We won’t know if the tactics worked until early next year, but Musk is sort of the master of spurring fans to purchase when it counts.

Tesla’s Model 3 simplifies the EV

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Filecoin Founder Accuses Justin Sun of Spreading Lies About FIL Tokens as Fresh Dumping Allegations Emerge

Juan Benet, a founder at Filecoin, is attacking Justin Sun for spreading completely false accusations about the movement of the FIL tokens soon after listing. In his long Twitter rebuff, Benet accuses Sun of spreading lies with the intention of harming the Filecoin project financially. Calling the accusations ridiculous, Benet says no one from the Filecoin team sold the FIL token on the day of listing.

Filecoin Founder Accuses Justin Sun of Spreading Lies About FIL Tokens as Fresh Dumping Allegations Emerge

Soon after the FIL token went live on many exchanges, Sun unexpectedly tweeted alleging that Benet and others at Filecoin had exit scammed. This follows reports the Filecoin team had dumped 1.5 million tokens on some exchanges. Sun alleged that the community had not been informed about the transfer of tokens to exchanges. He went on to encourage the United States-based FIL token buyers to report the matter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Sun Filecoin Hard Fork Theory

However, in a long Twitter thread in which he also responds to the other allegations against Filecoin, Benet speculates the motives behind Sun’s attack on the FIL token as he writes:

My guess is that Justin plans to fork Filecoin as well, and hopes to trump up a reason. Sorry, Justin, you’re nobody’s saviour.

Benet, who uses an expletive to dismiss Sun’s allegations, reminds his followers about his controversial takeover of Hive.

In March, reports emerged that some prominent community leaders of Steem, possibly dissatisfied with Sun’s hostile takeover, were hatching a plan to hard fork. Eventually, the hard fork occurred leaving Sun without access to the developer’s reward.

Meanwhile, continuing his attacks on Sun, Benet warns Filecoin miners against supporting any such hard fork saying:

Look at the history of projects associated with Tron, and confirm you want that. [And] you may become the victim of a huge pump and dump scam. Good Luck.

Benet, however, admits that there are questions about some of the “unvested FIL sent to some exchanges.” Still, he insists that these “were not sales of FIL from PL or any team members.” Benet explains the elaborate steps taken by the Filecoin team to stabilize the token “in the early days after launch when prices are at risk of being volatile.”

The FIL token, which had opened at $200 on some exchanges, lost more than half of its value in the first 24 hours. At the time of writing, the token had lost further ground and was trading at $30.

New Dumping Allegations

However, as Benet insisted that no token dumping had occurred, fresh reports emerged suggesting that even more FIL Testnet tokens were moved to exchanges and sold. Explaining the events as they occurred, one Twitter user, Crypto Chris G says:

“Basically miners dumped their testnet coins crashing the price then complained they should change the locking schedule since more supply was on market. Filecoin had to accept the miners’ proposals & 25% immediately unlocked. How did testnet coins become real? Was there a code bug?”

In the long thread, Crypto Chris G explains why he thinks miners are not as innocent as they have been portrayed. The user concludes his analysis by stating that “miners aren’t victims of the Filecoin team releasing coins early.” Instead, he says “they played this great, pulled huge profit from testnet coin selling for real $ then crying wolf to gain more.”

Filecoin Founder Accuses Justin Sun of Spreading Lies About FIL Tokens as Fresh Dumping Allegations Emerge

Soon after listing, Filecoin miners went on strike alleging the ineffectiveness of the economic model used. However, in his own thread, Benet dismisses the reports while claiming that miners are “following protocol and making a ton of money doing so.”

However, in comments that appear to corroborate Crypto Chris G’s account, Benet says:

“There are many people hoping to get rich quick with Filecoin without contributing value to the network — that’s just not how it works. This isn’t what the protocol rewards.”

$10 Billion in BTC Reserves: Companies With Bitcoin Treasuries Command Close to 4% of the Supply

The web portal bitcointreasuries.org now shows close to two dozen firms with a large number of bitcoin reserves. Currently, the aggregate total bitcoin held in reserves by the 23 companies listed is roughly 785,999 BTC worth well over $10 billion dollars.

This past August the billion-dollar firm Microstrategy announced it purchased 21,454 BTC for around $250 million. Then the Nasdaq listed company bought another 16,796 BTC and Microstrategy raised its reserve status to 38,250 bitcoins.

Following Microstrategy’s lead during the first week of October, the firm Square Inc. revealed it purchased 4,709 bitcoins for its treasury reserves. Since these two companies made the announcements it sparked the creation of a web portal called bitcointreasuries.org, which highlights an aggregate list of companies holding bitcoin treasuries.

When news.Bitcoin.com first reported on bitcointreasuries.org there were 13 companies listed with a combined total of 598,237 BTC ($7.6B) or 2.85% of the total supply on October 10. Fast forward to today, and there’s now 23 firms represented on the bitcoin treasury list and a lot more crypto added to the equation.

$10 Billion in BTC Reserves: Companies With Bitcoin Treasuries Command Close to 4% of the Supply
Prices for this bitcointreasuries.org report were recorded at approximately 3:00 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, October 21, 2020.

The list is now broken up into three categories which include publicly listed businesses, private firms, and ETF-like organizations. 15 of the companies are public firms including Microstrategy, Square Inc., Galaxy Digital Holdings, Hive Blockchain, Coin Citadel Inc., and Argo Blockchain. These 13 public firms have an aggregate total of 67,536 BTC worth $863 million today.

Below the catalog of public companies, is a list of three private organizations including Block.one (140,000 BTC), the Tezos Foundation (24,808 BTC), and Stone Ridge Holdings Group (10,889 BTC). These three private firms have an aggregate total of 175,697 BTC worth $2.2 billion today.

In the ETF-like section of businesses listed on bitcointreasuries.org, there are five organizations mentioned. The ETF-like firms include the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (456,537 BTC), Coinshares XBT (69,730 BTC), 3iQ The Bitcoin Fund (8,295 BTC), ETC Group Bitcoin ETP (5,215 BTC), and 21Shares AG (2,989 BTC). These five ETF-like organizations have an aggregate total of 542,766 BTC worth $6.9 billion today.

The combined total of all 23 companies listed on bitcointreasuries.org holds 785,999 BTC worth over $10 billion using current exchange rates. The 785k BTC is approximately 3.74% of bitcoin’s 21 million capped supply. The list does not include Tahinis restaurant chain or the company Snappa, two firms that claimed a percentage of bitcoin reserves but not an actual BTC count.

Bitcointreasuries.org says that companies like Tahinis were not included because they only added firms “that can be easily verified.” In addition to the firms’ Tahinis and Snappa, another company called Mode announced on Wednesday it acquired bitcoin for reserves as well. However, according to calculations, the number of bitcoins Mode holds in reserves is only around 6.7 BTC.

Chainalysis and Integra Win $1.25 Million IRS Contract to Break Monero

Crypto intelligence firm Chainalysis and data forensics company Integra Fec have won a combined $1.25 million contract to provide tools that break the privacy-focused coin, monero, for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Floated early September, the one-year contract specifically covers transactions involving monero (XMR) and second-layer payment solutions such as bitcoin’s lightning network (LN) – features considered by the IRS as conduits for criminal financial activity.

Privacy coins are primarily built for the purpose of hiding financial transactions from unwanted attention, such as law enforcement.

But the IRS is paying both Chainalysis and Integra up to $625,000 each – a total of $1.25 million – to do just that, trace obfuscated wallet addresses and transaction amounts.

Per the original request, the firms will be advanced $500,000 each to develop the required tracing tool, and then another $125,000 if the submitted solution proves successful and is approved. A working submission is due in eight months. Testing and development will occur in the ensuing120 days.

The IRS hopes that the solution will help it track transactions to a specific user, identify specific transaction details as well as provide specific information on network activity.

Chainalysis has previously said that it can track 99% of transactions involving Zcash, and almost all of Dash’s – coins that both fancy themselves as private and untraceable.

But that’s only because the majority of users do not utilize the optional privacy-enhancing features available on the two blockchains.