top of page
Urban Clouds

👉 Issue #53 of QX Snapshots is out!

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 :)

If you are interested in emerging technologies and you like what you read, consider subscribing to our newsletter on LinkedIn!

Every Friday we share key snapshot news on AI, Quantum Technologies, Industrial Metaverse, and Enterprise Blockchain/DLT.

Join our +300 trusted readers at U.S Bank, Eurasian Development Bank, EY, Morgan Stanley, BNY Mellon, Microsoft, Verizon, Facebook, ServiceNow, ConsenSys, Polygon Labs, Duke University, Sky, Informa, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Santander, and others.

[Blockchain] Citi, Wellington, and WisdomTree Explore Tokenizing Private Markets on Avalanche; Taurus Integrates Lido for Liquid Ethereum Staking; Telefónica and Chainlink Labs Enhance Blockchain Security with Telecom APIs on Polygon. Citi collaborated with Wellington Management and WisdomTree on a proof-of-concept to explore tokenizing private markets. Using a Wellington-issued private equity fund as the underlying asset, they simulated workflows on Avalanche's Spruce test network. ABN AMRO acted as the fund investor, WisdomTree as the wealth platform, and Citi as the issuer's agent. By bringing these traditional assets onto Spruce as tokens, the partners demonstrated automation, faster settlement, and new use cases like using a private fund token as collateral. Overall, the PoC evaluated key considerations around digitizing analog assets via tokenization and bringing them onto permissioned blockchain networks. Meanwhile, Taurus, a digital asset infrastructure provider, has partnered with Lido Protocol to integrate Lido's liquid staking solution for Ethereum, stETH, into Taurus's custody platform Taurus-Protect. This allows Taurus clients like Europe's largest financial institutions and over half of Switzerland's banks to access staking rewards while retaining asset liquidity. Lido solves problems like illiquidity and accessibility barriers in native ETH staking. Taurus has also expanded its blockchain connectivity infrastructure Taurus-Explorer to support Lido. This integration bridges traditional finance and DeFi by combining banking-grade custody for security with a liquid staking solution for accessibility. Overall, it meets institutional demand for regulated and compliant exposure to Ethereum staking yields. Also, Telefónica is partnering with Chainlink Labs to leverage Chainlink Functions for securely connecting GSMA Open Gateway APIs to Polygon's blockchain network. This integration enables the verification of data from various sources, significantly elevating smart contract security. By using Chainlink to access the GSMA Open Gateway SIM SWAP API, an extra layer of security is introduced for blockchain transactions by enabling smart contracts to check if a device's SIM card has undergone unauthorized changes. Overall, this collaboration integrates telecom capabilities into blockchain to enhance the functionality and security of Web3 applications through a more robust and verifiable digital landscape.

[AI] OpenAI's Sora Unleashes AI-Powered Text-to-Video Magic, Google's Gemini 1.5 for Long Context, Meta Advances Video Intelligence with V-JEPA. OpenAI has released Sora, a text-to-video AI model that can generate up to 60-second videos based on text prompts. Sora demonstrates a deep understanding of physics and language to create complex, multi-character scenes with vivid emotions and accurate details. However, it still struggles with some spatial, temporal, and cause-and-effect details. Before potential product integration, OpenAI is adversity testing for risks, building misinformation detectors, and applying safety methods from DALL-E. They are also engaging policymakers, educators, and artists globally to identify beneficial use cases and address concerns. Meanwhile, Google has introduced Gemini 1.5, their next-generation AI model delivering dramatically improved performance and long-context understanding. The first 1.5 model released, Gemini 1.5 Pro, matches the quality of the largest 1.0 model while using less computing. It also enables an experimental 1 million token context window for processing vastly more information consistently. It can now understand long context such as 4+ Harry Potter books, several GitHub code repository (such as processing 100,633 lines of codes of Three.js), entire podcast, and 1-hour video. Developers and enterprise customers can access a limited preview of 1.5 Pro in AI Studio and Vertex AI, initially with 128,000 tokens and soon up to 1 million, as Google works on optimizations for full release. Also, Meta has released V-JEPA, a model that learns by predicting missing parts of videos, to advance machine intelligence with more grounded physical world understanding. Inspired by how humans gain contextual knowledge through observation, V-JEPA uses self-supervised learning on unlabeled video data for sample efficiency. By masking large spatiotemporal regions, it is forced to develop a complex understanding of scenes and interactions. While currently specializing for visual perception. It is released under a NonCommercial license for researchers to explore applications like embodied AI and AR assistants.

[Quantum Technology] UK's Tests Quantum for Rail Efficiency, Europe Eyes Quantum Valley Crown, Stony Brook Advances Quantum Internet Research. The UK's Department for Transport is trialing quantum computing to tackle train delays and disruptions. They are testing a quantum algorithm developed by Q-CTRL and Oxford Quantum Circuits designed to efficiently optimize complex train timetables at scale. Quantum computers' ability to simultaneously evaluate multiple timetable arrangements could determine the most efficient schedule to reduce passenger wait times. The department is also testing quantum sensors with MoniRail to detect track flaws in the London Underground, providing navigation where GPS fails in tunnels. These trials demonstrate growing real-world transportation applications leveraging quantum computing's potential superior processing capabilities over classical systems. Meanwhile, the European Quantum Flagship has unveiled a new roadmap positioning Europe as the world's first "Quantum Valley" - a global hub of quantum innovation. The agenda aims for technological and economic sovereignty, ending reliance on outside nations for quantum components and hardware. It states that with its research centers, startups, investments, and skilled workforce, Europe can lead in developing quantum computers, simulators, communications, and the quantum internet. The roadmap calls for expanding the quantum community and workforce, embracing industries like high-performance computing for integration, and continued EU collaboration and funding. Ultimately it outlines a strategy for Europe to consolidate its efforts and maximize investments to achieve global quantum excellence across scientific and industrial applications. Also, a Stony Brook University research team has achieved a key advance towards a functional quantum internet by demonstrating a network of identical, room-temperature quantum memories. This allows memory-assisted entanglement swapping - distributing entanglement over long distances - which is essential for quantum repeaters. They showed synchronized storage and retrieval of photons despite random arrival times. With further development to interconnect many memories, this brings the promise of quantum networks for more secure communication, precise measurement, and advanced computing closer to reality.

[Metaverse] Crurated for Wine Collecting in the Metaverse, Infinite Reality and Ethereal Engine Merger, Ozone to Power Open Metaverse with Spatial Computing. London-based Crurated is launching an innovative metaverse in Spring 2024 to enhance collectors’ connections to their wines. Each bottle is tokenized as an NFT, providing provenance transparency. Building on this with immersive spatial experiences, collectors can access VR representations of their cellars via a portal, showcasing and touring their prized bottles. Constructed using Unreal Engine 5 for heightened realism, the metaverse transcends spreadsheets to immerse users in wine knowledge and culture. With premium spirits also represented and features to further enrich engagement, Crurated aims to blend tradition with technology to redefine collecting wines and spirits. Meanwhile, Infinite Reality, a builder of virtual spaces, has acquired Ethereal Engine, a pioneer in social immersive web experiences, for $75 million in a share swap deal. Ethereal Engine brings robust backend technology for scalable multiplayer worlds accessible through any browser. Combined with Infinite Reality's front-end for cinematic-quality branded spaces, this establishes an end-to-end no-code platform for creators and brands to easily build their own virtual experiences. The merger marries accessibility with customizability to accelerate time-to-market and expand offerings. Together they aim to set a new standard in the virtual experience economy by making immersive social worlds mainstream. Also, Ozone, a new spatial computing cloud platform has announced that it aims to power the open metaverse. Led by former Unity VR/AR lead Tony Parisi and others, Ozone offers a cloud infrastructure with integrated AI and Web3 to help businesses easily build, launch, and profit from interactive 3D experiences from simple galleries to complex simulations. With enterprise traction and a game suite underway, Ozone eliminates technical barriers to make spatial computing, AI, and Web3 accessible for metaverse exploration. 

[General technology]  Sequoia Capital Announces Equity-Free Fellowship for Open Source Developers, Proton Mail Faces Potential Block in India, U.S. State Government Breached Through Ex-Employee Credentials. Sequoia Capital is launching a new equity-free fellowship to fund up to 3 open source developers annually. This aims to help address chronic underfunding in open-source software, which venture capitalists rely on to power their portfolio companies. Sequoia has invested in multiple open source-based startups and sees value in supporting foundational projects, even if they cannot be commercialized. The fellowship provides living stipends so developers can focus full-time on their open source work for up to a year without worrying about income. Applications are open to any developer on a rolling basis, aiming to support impactful real-world adoption. In other news, the Indian government may block access to Proton Mail after the encrypted email service was used to send bomb threats to schools in Tamil Nadu state. Tamil Nadu police requested the block after failing to obtain backend details on the threats due to Proton Mail's end-to-end encryption. The move raises privacy concerns, as sources and whistleblowers often use Proton Mail anonymously to communicate with journalists. It follows the 2022 removal of Proton VPN servers in India over local disclosure laws, marking another blow to the Swiss firm. Meanwhile, an unnamed U.S. state government's network was breached by threat actors using compromised credentials of a former employee's administrator account. The credentials, obtained from a data breach and publicly leaked, granted VPN access. This enabled lateral movement to obtain more privileged credentials stored on a SharePoint server, allowing exploration of the on-prem network and Azure AD. While no cloud infrastructure access occurred, info was stolen and posted on the dark web. Neither compromised account had MFA enabled. The incident reveals risks of unremoved ex-employee access and default Azure AD roles. It underscores securing privileged accounts and implementing least privilege principles to limit damage from valid account compromise.

📢 Announcing 'Navigating Risks in Decentralized Finance' Workshop

𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐞: Thursday 28, March 2024 - 1pm GMT to 4pm GMT


Location: Virtual Only

Workshop Lead: Chaals Neville, Technical Programs Director at the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) and invited experts from the industry.

"Navigating Risks in DeFi" is a 3-hour workshop aimed at deepening participants' understanding of risks associated with Decentralized Finance (DeFi). By immersing ourselves in the rapidly evolving world of DeFi, we will equip you with practical knowledge and foundational skills to identify, assess, and mitigate risks in this space.

The workshop leverages the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance's (EEA) DeFi Risk Assessment Guidelines - a framework for evaluating risks across DeFi protocols, smart contracts, data protocols, and more. These guidelines were developed through extensive collaboration between over 35 industry leaders from organizations including Consensys, DTCC, EY, SAP, OpenZeppelin, Hacken, and DeFi Safety, who contributed hundreds of hours of expertise.

👉 𝐑𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫:

FEATURED: Why One Chain Can't Rule Them All: Polygon Aggregation Layer Deep Dive | Brendan Farmer

By: Blockworks Research

If you enjoyed today’s QX Snapshots, consider subscribing! Join our +300 trusted readers at U.S Bank, Eurasian Development Bank, EY, Morgan Stanley, BNY Mellon, Microsoft, Verizon, Facebook, ServiceNow, ConsenSys, Polygon Labs, Duke University, Sky, Informa, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Santander, and others.


bottom of page