Alibaba is already China’s biggest R&D spender, forking out $2.6 billion in 2017. DAMO will effectively triple its research budget, to more than $7 billion. That most likely means Alibaba will overtake IBM, Facebook, and Ford and will narrow the gap with the world’s leaders, Amazon and Alphabet, which spent $16.1 billion and $13.9 billion respectively on R&D in 2017.
“This does not seem realistic,” say Wheatley and co. Their finding is that each user is on average linked to N2/3 other users. “For instance, for N = 1 million, a typical user is then connected to ‘only’ 10,000 other users, a more realistic figure,” they say.
It’s straightforward to calculate a value for Bitcoin based on the number of active users. Wheatley and co fit the data to a generalized Metcalfe’s Law that allows them to tweak the parameters, arriving at an exponent of 1.69 rather than Metcalfe’s original square of the number of users (i.e., an exponent of 2).