Welcome to QX Snapshots - a weekly recap of the key news on emerging technologies. In this newsletter, you will get a "digest" of the latest info on Enterprise Blockchain, AI, Quantum Technology, and Metaverse. Hope it brings you value :)
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Every Friday we share key snapshot news on AI, Quantum Technologies, Industrial Metaverse, and Enterprise Blockchain/DLT.
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[Blockchain] Fox Unveils Verify on Polygon's Blockchain for Media Copyright, Casper Labs and IBM Partner for Blockchain-based AI Transparency, SETL Tests Blockchain for Asset Tokenization, and Libre to Launch Fund Tokenization Protocol. Fox Corporation partnered with Polygon Labs to launch Verify, a blockchain platform tracking signed media content and negotiating AI licensing deals. As AI content generation rises, Verify ensures copyright compliance and provenance. Fox's brands can register articles, audio, and images to grant usage rights to AI, with individual pieces digitally signed on Polygon's blockchain. Since launching this month, Verify has logged 89,000 Fox content pieces so far. Meanwhile, Casper Labs and IBM Consulting will collaborate on a blockchain solution for enterprises to gain transparency into generative AI systems across organizations. Leveraging Casper's ledger and IBM's governance platform, it establishes oversight for tracking AI model changes, diagnosing issues, and managing compliant training data flows. By increasing accountability, auditability and quality control for growing AI use, they aim to mitigate risks as adoption scales while retaining intellectual property protections. Also, SETL launched a blockchain test network for its Regulated Liability Network concept enabling tokenized assets and money on one ledger. The open permissioned network uses SETL's LedgerSwarm software. SETL also open sourced the RLN protocol for community contributions towards standardization. This interoperability focus avoids lock-in, increases adoption chances and supports organic global spread of integrated regulated token networks. In other news, Libre, a joint venture between Nomura's Laser Digital and Alan Howard's WebN will launch a new fund tokenization protocol this quarter with Brevan Howard and Hamilton Lane. Targeting alternative investments, it automates legal, regulatory and policy workflows for compliant issuance and distribution. Beyond efficiencies, Libre aims to open access by connecting issuers and distributors to enable fractionalized tokens to flow to wealth managers and accredited investors. The first tokens will be issued in Singapore as shares in a Variable Capital Company, with subsequent launches planned for Abu Dhabi and Luxembourg later in the year. The protocol is built using the Polygon Chain Development Kit (CDK).
[AI] OpenAI Launches GPT Store, ByteDance Unveils Advanced AI Video Model, Walmart x Microsoft on AI Shopping Features, and EU Resists US on AI Treaty Exemptions. OpenAI launched its GPT store featuring community and partner created AI assistants. New featured GPTs will be highlighted weekly, starting with personalized recommendations from brands like AllTrails and Khan Academy. Builders can share compliant GPTs and may earn based on engagement. ChatGPT enterprise plans will enable managing private workspaces with admin controls over external vs internal content. We quote “choosing how internal-only GPTs are shared and which external GPTs may be used inside your business. Like all usage on ChatGPT Team and Enterprise, we do not use your conversations with GPTs to improve our models.”. Meanwhile, ByteDance (parent company of TikTok) introduced MagicVideo-V2, a new AI model for generating high-quality videos from text prompts. It outperforms leading text-to-video systems in evaluations. According to the paper, the multi-stage pipeline first generates an aesthetic image from text via stable diffusion, then creates video keyframes conditioned on the image. Frame interpolation between keyframes and video enhancement yield smooth, high-resolution results. The Github repo is available here. At CES 2024, Walmart unveiled new AI search features leveraging generative models and Microsoft Azure OpenAI to deliver personalized, conversational shopping experiences. It also provides employee assistants via a unique enterprise OpenAI build. The innovations aims to advance Walmart's digital growth, shifting search from scrolling to intuitive "goal finding". In other news, the EU prepares to resist a US-led push to exempt private sector AI systems from a new international treaty on responsible AI use. It counters that human rights protections should consistently apply across public and private contexts. While seeking alignment with its AI Act regarding scope, exemptions etc., it rejects proposals allowing too much discretion diluting obligations or diminishing the treaty's value in setting baseline standards. The EU urges unity on enforcing human rights in AI rather than fragmented opt-in rules.
[Quantum Technology] Entrust Unveils First Commercial 'Post Quantum Ready' PKI Platform, Researchers Achieve Quantum Coherence at Room Temperature, and Oxford Team Tackles Quantum Reality Gap with Machine Learning. Entrust launched the first commercially available "post quantum ready" PKI platform, enabling quantum-safe certificate authority hierarchies. The PKI-as-a-Service solution supports testing and implementing hybrid composite certificates or pure quantum-safe infrastructure, aligning with cybersecurity agencies’ guidance. After years of PKI innovation, Entrust extended its cloud-native offering for simplified enterprise PKI management to now address looming quantum threats. Letting customers rapidly issue certificates using latest draft standards, it aids the complex migration to future-proofed cryptography. Entrust assists organizations in strengthening zero trust frameworks and data protections before quantum attacks emerge. Meanwhile, Researchers from Kyushu University and Kobe University have achieved an important milestone towards practical quantum computing by generating quantum coherence at room temperature. This was accomplished by embedding a light-sensitive chromophore molecule within a nanoporous metal-organic framework crystal structure. Interactions between the dye molecule and framework enabled the required balance - enough molecular motion to transition electrons into a quantum state, but constrained enough to maintain coherence unaffected by thermal noise. While coherence only persisted for nanoseconds currently, the ability to manipulate quantum entanglement at room temperature shows promise for designing materials capable of stabilizing multiple quantum bits for future computing and sensing technologies. Also, a team of researchers at the University of Oxford, used machine learning to address the "reality gap" causing differences between predicted and actual performance of quantum devices. Their physics-informed model inferred internal disorder characteristics from electronic flow measurements. Like sensing a ball's speed at points along a mini golf tunnel to better predict exits, accumulating proxy data trained simulations to quantify and compensate for variability. Narrowing uncertainties in nanoscale materials defects will enable engineering higher quality qubits.
[Metaverse] Sony and Siemens Forge Industrial Metaverse with New Mixed-Reality Headset, Saudi Arabia Unveils Subterranean Metaverse Community 'Aquellum,' and Rokid Secures Major Funding for Metaverse Expansion in China. Sony and Siemens are collaborating on a new unnamed mixed-reality headset tailored for enterprise and engineering use, not consumers. Its high-resolution displays, sensors and remote collaboration capabilities are designed to enable "immersive engineering" via digital twins of physical systems modeled virtually. Engineers can simulate and optimize products by working jointly in an accurate 3D environment. Siemens' suite of offerings like NX Immersive Designer were already used by Sony to design this headset. By merging digital and physical, the industrial metaverse aims to accelerate innovation across sectors. Though details are still scarce, the powerhouse headset exemplifies technology partnerships realizing the transformative potential of extended realities. Meanwhile,Saudi Arabia's NEOM unveiled Aquellum, a striking subterranean metaverse community nestled within mountains along the Red Sea coast. The ultra-luxury inverted skyscraper concept features a 100-meter courtyard stretching from water to open sky with hospitality, entertainment, research labs and more. Residents and visitors access Aquellum via a concealed canal before revealing the digitally-immersive interior world. An omnidirectional transit system connects spaces and ascends to rooftop gardens with coastal views. Aquellum promises a glimpse into a revolutionary future driven by experiential technology and boundless creativity. Also, Startup Rokid secured $70 million in funding led by the Hefei government in China to fuel its metaverse expansion. The capital will establish Rokid's metaverse headquarters and ecosystem hub for developing immersive technologies. It signals robust confidence in Rokid's vision as China interest in the metaverse surges. By concentrating R&D and industry collaboration, Rokid aims to shape defining metaverse and augmented reality innovations.
[General technology] UK Government Departments Flagged for Poor Cybersecurity, Fidelity National Financial Suffers Data Breach Affecting 1.3 Million, and Cybersecurity Challenges Emerge for CBDCs. Data revealed 34 UK government departments have IT systems with the worst "red-rated" cybersecurity scores. The Ministry of Defence accounted for 11 of them, indicating extreme vulnerability. Other departments like Work and Pensions, Justice and Home Office also had multiple failing grades. An opposition MP criticized the lack of basics, questioning if it poses a national security risk. This follows a report slamming the Home Office's neglect of ransomware threats. With constant state-sponsored attacks, legacy challenges can't justify inaction anymore. As critics urge critical security investments, the Defence Ministry touts £4 billion to overhaul dated digital infrastructure threatening the UK. Meanwhile, the US Real estate services giant Fidelity National Financial confirmed hackers stole personal data of approximately 1.3 million customers in a November cyberattack that knocked systems offline for a week. FNF said an unauthorized third party deployed malware and exfiltrated information, though it's unclear what specifically. The company is offering credit monitoring to affected individuals and notified regulators. The attack froze operations and mortgages, with ransomware gang BlackCat claiming responsibility. Also, as most countries explore central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), cybersecurity is a top concern given increased attack surfaces and sophisticated threats exploiting financial networks. Speakers at a webinar on CBDC resilience said operational failures could also create vulnerabilities. They pointed to service disruptions hitting live CBDCs in the Caribbean and Nigeria. With the shift from closed to more open systems, and involvement of external tech partners, standards and skills must improve. Ensuring infrastructure and capabilities match fast-evolving risks is advised before optimizing a CBDC's security. Central banks also face challenges with centralized systems, identity management, and account-based transactions revealing information.
Stablecoin Issuer Circle Confidentially Files for U.S. IPO - Wall Street Journal
Decentralized Finance Policy Report - CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee
There is a Ransomware Armageddon Coming for Us All - The Haker News
👉 Mark your calendar: 'Empowering Interoperability in Tokenization with Decentralized Identity'
𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐞: Thursday, January 25, 2023 - 1pm GMT
As the momentum around real-world asset (RWA) tokenization accelerates, the need for standardizing decentralized ID (DID) becomes increasingly critical. Establishing a uniform DID framework is not just vital for achieving interoperability within the blockchain ecosystem, but it is also essential for ensuring compliance with evolving regulatory standards.
Join us on Thursday, January 25 to explore innovations in decentralized identity management, focusing on DigiShares and Polygon ID collaboration to develop the Decentralized ID for Tokenization (DITO) framework.
Claus Skaaning, CEO of DigiShares, Martin Hoťka, Blockchain Developer at DigiShares and Sebastian Rodriguez , VP of Product at Polygon ID will provide valuable insights into the collaboration and the potential impact of the DITO framework on the DeFi and tokenization landscape.
👉 Catchup: This week, I had the pleasure of hosting Roberto (Rob) Durscki , Senior Director of RWA Tokenization at the Stellar Development Foundation to explore why major players like Franklin Templeton, ABN Amro, and Wisdom Tree are turning to Stellar for regulated tokenization ventures across stablecoins, funds, precious metals, and more.
Recording is now available on Youtube.
FEATURED: Benchmarking Bridge Aggregators
By: Shankar Subramanian, André Augusto , Rafael Belchior
“Efforts to address the interoperability challenge have led to the development of various projects aimed at facilitating communication across different protocols and networks. These initiatives have introduced connectors such as cross-chain bridges, Decentralized Exchanges (DEXes), off-chain API-based protocols, and on-chain oracle services. Although these solutions have successfully addressed the issue of isolation, they fall short in providing a more integrated experience to users, lacking a significant layer of abstraction that could unify these disparate protocols and blockchains. The early evolution of the internet offers a parallel example, where e-commerce was initially fragmented, requiring users to navigate through a multitude of isolated vendors. Not only was the process time-consuming but also impractical for many, driving them towards alternative, albeit more expensive, physical stores. Early internet aggregators, like Amazon, Hotel Booking, and Uber, emerged as pivotal entities by consolidating these scattered resources, thereby enhancing user experience and becoming indispensable in everyday life. Aggregation extends beyond the application level to the very protocols that underpin the internet. Protocols such as the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)  and the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)  have simplified internet accessibility. Users are relieved from the complexities of acquiring IP addresses, configuring devices, or computing routing paths for data transmission.
Users can effort-lessly access websites without needing to reference directories for IP addresses, thanks to these aggregative mechanisms. Recognizing the significance of such aggregators in streamlining and enhancing user and developer experiences, this paper proposes the introduction of similar aggregative structures within the blockchain ecosystem. Aggregators can substantially augment the functionality and accessibility of blockchain technologies for both seasoned and novice users. A vital attribute of an aggregator is its capacity to conduct routing analyses on behalf of the user, thereby optimizing multi-protocol or chain transactions based on various parameters such as gas costs, trade values, security, and transaction speed. This paper specifically focuses on bridge aggregators, exploring their potential to revolutionize the blockchain landscape.
The benchmarking results contribute to helping academics and practitioners alike to reason systematically about aggregators. We provide future research directions, including cross-chain privacy and studies on the feasibility of enterprise-grade aggregators.”
Read the full article: here.