top of page
Urban Clouds

👉 Issue #54 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, 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] Daiwa Securities Launches Digital Bond on Progmat,  Bankhaus Scheich Tokenizes Money Market Fund on Polygon, Swiss Cities Embrace Digital Bonds on SDX Platform. Daiwa Securities, Japan's second largest broker, issued a 1-year, 1 billion yen digital bond using Progmat's tokenization platform. Progmat runs on R3 Corda and was founded by MUFG and other major Japanese financial institutions. Notably, interest on the public bond will be paid in Rakuten Edy digital money, targeting individual investors. A key goal is showing issuers the potential of non-cash interest payments like stablecoins or utility tokens. It is also participating in digital currency initiatives like the Digital Currency Forum linked to the DCJPY tokenized deposit project. For this bond, Daiwa and Rakuten Securities were underwriters, with Mizuho as administrator and MUFG managing the bond ledger. Meanwhile, Tradias, the fintech arm of German bank Bankhaus Scheich, has tokenized the Allianz Securicash SRI money market fund on Polygon. As a leading Frankfurt Stock Exchange market maker, Bankhaus Scheich uses existing licenses for the issuances. Benefits touted are 24/7 trading and cost structure, although current limited liquidity raises questions. CEO Michael Reinhard said it offers a forward-thinking liquidity management solution with money market returns. Also, the Swiss City of Saint Gallen will issue a CHF 100 million, 3-year digital bond on the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX). This is the fourth municipality to issue a digital bond on SDX in the last 3 months, coinciding with wholesale central bank digital currency trials by the Swiss National Bank to settle the bonds. Previous issuers include Zurich, Basel, and Lugano. Basler Kantonalbank, UBS, and J. Safra Sarasin are leading the St Gallen issuance. All SDX bonds so far are denominated in Swiss Francs under Swiss law, but euro-denominated bonds were approved last year. SDX removes counterparty risks through atomic settlement. Recently, SDX announced plans to list tokenized foreign conventional bonds held in recognized depositories. 

[AI] NVIDIA and Google Supercharge Gemma Language Models for Local GPU Use, Azure Launches OpenAI Service for Private Data, and EU Sets Up AI Office for Regulation Oversight. NVIDIA and Google have optimized Google's new open-source Gemma language models to run on NVIDIA GPUs, using NVIDIA's TensorRT-LLM software. This allows Gemma to run locally on over 100 million PCs with NVIDIA RTX GPUs, as well as on NVIDIA GPUs in the cloud including on Google Cloud. Developers can fine-tune and deploy Gemma using NVIDIA's NeMo framework and ecosystem of tools. Soon, Gemma will be supported on NVIDIA's Chat with RTX demo, which runs language models locally on RTX PCs for fast, private results without needing the cloud or sharing data. Meanwhile, Azure OpenAI Service On Your Data is now generally available, allowing customers to leverage OpenAI models like GPT-4 directly on their own data with enterprise-grade security on Azure. This transforms how users connect with data through conversational experiences. It eliminates extensive training requirements and provides accurate, coherent responses optimized for each model. Capabilities include enhanced security, more data source connections like Azure Search and Cosmos DB, incorporation of the RAG model for intelligent information retrieval, customizable parameters, OpenAI model availability, document access controls, swift deployment, and an updated SDK. Use cases span industries like customer service, legal, marketing, software development, and health. Also, the European Commission has established a European AI Office within its Directorate-General for Communication Networks, Content, and Technology. The Office entered into force on 21 February and will help implement upcoming EU regulations on AI by developing tools to evaluate general-purpose AI models, monitoring the implementation of rules, especially for providers that develop both the model and system, watching for unforeseen risks from general-purpose models, and investigating possible infringements. It will also contribute to EU AI policymaking, foster beneficial uses of AI, support trustworthy AI adoption for economic growth, work with stakeholders like scientists and developers, and collaborate with other stakeholders.

[Quantum Technology] IonQ Advances Networked Quantum Computing, Singapore’s Quantum-Safe Banking, and EU Funds Post-Quantum Cryptography Transition. IonQ has achieved a major milestone towards enabling networked quantum computing by demonstrating ion-photon entanglement, a key step in connecting multiple quantum processors via photonic interconnects. IonQ excited an interconnect qubit to decay and emit an entangled photon detected at a hub, confirming the ion and photon are entangled. This advances efforts to entangle qubits between processors and transfer entanglement to computation qubits to expand capacity. IonQ is transitioning the science into commercially viable technology. The next milestones are photon-mediated ion-ion entanglement between processors and multi-processor networking for parallel quantum circuits. Photonic interconnects are central to IonQ's vision of scaling trapped ion quantum computing. This week, Singapore's central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has advised financial institutions to adopt post-quantum cryptography (PQC) and quantum key distribution (QKD) to protect against future quantum computing threats. Recommendations include monitoring quantum developments and mitigation solutions like PQC/QKD, ensuring third parties and management understand the risks, assessing vulnerable cryptographic solutions and upgradability of systems, training technical staff, having contingency plans, and setting standards. The advice will likely influence financial institutions across Asia, where Singapore is a regional hub. Meanwhile, the European Commission has announced a funding call to support the transition to post-quantum cryptography (PQC) through standardization and awareness efforts. Key actions include organizing PQC events and producing white papers, supporting European expert participation in PQC standardization, formulating a collaborative European PQC migration roadmap for industries, promoting widespread dissemination of PQC achievements across platforms, providing specialized PQC dissemination services, and identifying training and infrastructure needs. Expected outcomes include contributions to PQC standards and regulations, workshops and activities to support cross-sector PQC adoption, a European PQC migration roadmap as a basis for industry roadmaps, and development of hybrid and PQC integration standards especially for critical sectors like energy, transport, health, and finance.

[Metaverse] Capgemini Acquires Unity's Digital Twin Arm Build Industrial Metaverse Team, Mumbai Launches Metaverse, XR Association Releases Key Whitepaper. Capgemini will acquire Unity's Digital Twin Professional Services arm to expand their strategic alliance and form one of the world's largest industrial metaverse and enterprise Unity development teams. The deal aims to accelerate iteration and implementation of Unity's real-time 3D visualization software for industrial digital twins. This will allow end users to visualize, understand, and interact with physical systems, enabling intelligent industry. Capgemini plans to embed Unity's capabilities into its business transformation services to help clients realize immediate and long-term benefits. The move will extend Unity's reach to more organizations across sectors like automotive and healthcare that seek RT3D software plus transformation expertise to derive value from digital twins at scale. Meanwhile, Mumbai has launched a free metaverse initiative called the Mumbai Metropolis Metaverse to showcase the city's major new and upcoming infrastructure projects. Users can explore the development initiatives, including new roads built over the Arabian Sea and underground/undersea tunnels, in 3D and virtual reality. The platform was announced by Maharashtra's deputy chief minister to showcase Mumbai's infrastructure transformation and allow citizens to virtually monitor progress on projects impacting daily life. This comes as India's central bank, the RBI, recently announced plans to explore offline functionality for its Central Bank Digital Currency to enable use in areas with limited internet connectivity. The metaverse provides an interactive way for Mumbai residents to view the city's infrastructure revolution. Also, the XR Association has released a white paper outlining 9 initiatives to responsibly advance immersive technologies like virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. It's based on insights from the Future of XR Advisory Council across areas like youth safety, privacy, diversity, and interoperability. Initiatives include authoring developer guidelines on well-being, creating a common taxonomy for privacy terms, establishing a conference privacy track, and sharing norms and behaviors tools.

[General technology]  SSH-Snake Cyber Tool Hijacked for Attacks, International Crackdown on LockBit Ransomware, Avast Fined $16.5M by FTC for Privacy Violations. Threat actors are weaponizing an open-source network mapping tool called SSH-Snake to conduct malicious cyber attacks. SSH-Snake spreads through networks using discovered SSH credentials to map dependencies and compromised hosts. Security company Sysdig observed attackers deploying SSH-Snake to harvest credentials, IP addresses, and command histories after exploiting vulnerabilities in Apache servers. SSH-Snake's developer says it helps system owners identify and fix weaknesses before attackers exploit them, but negligent infrastructure design enables simple scripts to take over systems. Separately, a Lucifer botnet is exploiting Apache misconfigurations to infect servers for cryptojacking and DDoS attacks, with over 3,000 attacks in the past month. Attackers are capitalizing on the widespread use of vulnerable Apache open source solutions. Meanwhile, a coalition of international law enforcement agencies including the FBI and UK's National Crime Agency have disrupted notorious ransomware gang LockBit by seizing its dark web leak site and critical infrastructure. LockBit has extorted millions through ransomware attacks since 2019. The operation involved compromising LockBit's primary platform and arresting alleged members. Officials obtained decryption keys to help victims regain data access.  Also the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is banning the antivirus company Avast from selling users' web browsing data to advertisers and fining them $16.5 million. Avast collected extensive browsing history through its browser extensions despite claiming they would shield users' privacy. The FTC alleges Avast then sold this sensitive data like searches, site visits, and location to over 100 companies through its subsidiary Jumpshot, making tens of millions in revenue before Jumpshot shut down in 2020. The FTC said the sold data revealed religious beliefs, health issues, politics, and other private information. Avast, which merged with Norton in 2021 under Gen Digital, disputes allegations but settled charges. The FTC said the fine would provide redress for users whose data was improperly sold. 

👉 Catchup: We had the pleasure of hosting Stephan Rind, Founder and CEO of BrickMark Group . We discussed real-world asset tokenization and more specifically, real-estate-backed digital securities. Brickmark has completed €160m and has €1.24b of projects in preparation.

An insightful conversation with very interesting case studies and relevant questions from attendees.

📢'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 such as Jerome Ostero, Director of Research and Risks at Coinchange Financials.

"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.


FEATURED: Tracking the Growth of Tokenized Assets

By: QualitaX

"In the rapidly expanding market of tokenized real-world assets, the importance of transparency, oversight, and adherence to standards is paramount. The ERC-3643 standard, designed for EVM-based smart contracts, addresses this need by offering a framework for compliant, regulated, and permissioned tokenized assets. Despite the significant tokenization of over USD 30 billion in real-world assets via ERC-3643 and the engagement of major entities like Citi, the industry lacked a mechanism to monitor ERC-3643's implementation and usage across blockchain networks. To bridge this gap, QualitaX, in collaboration with the ERC3643 Association and members such as Tokeny, introduced ERC-3643 Analytics to provide valuable, data-driven insights into the standard’s adoption, showcasing a commitment to enhancing transparency and efficiency in the realm of tokenized assets.

Why tracking ERC-3643 on-chain activities?

Tracking ERC-3643 on-chain activities is essential for maintaining transparency, ensuring regulatory compliance, providing market insights, enhancing security, managing assets effectively, facilitating interoperability, and simplifying auditing and reporting processes. The purpose of the solution is to focus on tracking the adoption of ERC-3643 for the key reasons below:

  • Growth of Tokenized Asset Market: The adoption of ERC-3643 can be a strong indicator of the growth and maturation of the market for tokenized assets. As more assets are tokenized using this standard, it reflects an increasing acceptance and utilization of blockchain technology for asset representation, potentially transforming traditional asset markets.

  • Standardization and Interoperability: The adoption level of ERC-3643 is a measure of how standardized the process of tokenization is becoming. A widely adopted standard promotes interoperability among different platforms and applications, facilitating a more seamless and integrated blockchain ecosystem.

  • Innovation and Development Insight: Monitoring the adoption of ERC-3643 can provide insights into the areas of innovation and development within the blockchain and fintech sectors. It helps in understanding which types of assets are being tokenized and the emerging use cases, guiding future developments and investments in the space.

  • Regulatory Landscape Understanding: The extent to which ERC-3643 is adopted may influence or be influenced by the regulatory landscape. Understanding its adoption can provide insights into how regulations are shaping the market and vice versa. It can also signal the need for new or adapted regulatory frameworks to accommodate the growing market of tokenized assets.

  • Investor Interest and Market Dynamics: Tracking adoption can shed light on investor interest and confidence in tokenized assets. A rising adoption rate might indicate a bullish market sentiment, while stagnation or decline could signal issues or a lack of confidence in the market."

Read the full article: here.


bottom of page