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👉 Issue #57 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 :)


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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] Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon and others Test Canton Network; ClearToken Draws Major Investment; MetaMask and Mastercard Unveil On-Chain Payment Card. Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon, Cboe Global Markets, and other financial institutions have completed pilot tests on the Canton Network, a blockchain platform connecting banks and financial firms. Over 350 simulated transactions were executed, exploring benefits such as reduced risks and optimized capital. The pilot involved a diverse group of participants, including asset managers, banks, custodians, exchanges, and a stablecoin issuer. Digital Asset's co-founders highlighted the network's ability to move collateral in real time and its potential for private funds and fixed-income issuance. The Canton network allows different blockchain applications to connect while maintaining privacy and control. Meanwhile, ClearToken, the first horizontal clearing house for digital assets, has received over $10 million in investment from institutional participants, highlighting the importance of regulated clearing infrastructure for the market's growth. Investors include Laser Digital (Nomura's subsidiary), Flow Traders, GSR, LMAX Digital, and Zodia Custody. ClearToken aims to enhance market structure, reduce systemic risks, and protect investors, supporting further institutional adoption. The company plans to obtain clearing house recognition from the Bank of England and launch CCP services within 12-18 months. Investors believe ClearToken's approach will contribute positively to counterparty risk management and capital efficiency in the digital asset ecosystem. Also, Consensys MetaMask is testing the first entirely on-chain payment card in collaboration with Mastercard and issuer Baanx. The card aims to allow users to spend their digital currencies on everyday purchases wherever Mastercard is accepted. This partnership brings together MetaMask's 30 million monthly active users with Mastercard's global payment network. The move is part of Mastercard's efforts to engage with blockchain developer communities and self-custody wallet providers, while rival Visa has been working on similar initiatives with USDC and Solana. The MetaMask/Mastercard card is being marketed as the first truly decentralized web3 payment solution.


[AI] European Parliament Passes AI Act; Cognition Unveils Devin, the Autonomous AI Software Engineer; Figure Integrates ChatGPT into Humanoid Robot. The European Parliament has approved the Artificial Intelligence Act, the landmark law aiming to ensure AI safety and compliance with fundamental rights while fostering innovation. The regulation bans certain high-risk AI applications, such as biometric categorization and social scoring, and sets obligations for other high-risk systems. Law enforcement use of biometric identification is restricted. General-purpose AI must meet transparency requirements, and "deepfakes" must be clearly labeled. The law supports innovation through regulatory sandboxes and measures for SMEs. It will fully apply 24 months after entry into force, with some provisions taking effect earlier. The Act responds to citizens' proposals from the Conference on the Future of Europe. Meanwhile, Cognition has emerged from stealth and has introduced Devin, the first fully autonomous AI software engineer capable of planning and executing complex engineering tasks. Devin can learn unfamiliar technologies, build and deploy apps, find and fix bugs, train AI models, and contribute to open-source projects. On the challenging SWE-bench benchmark, Devin correctly resolved 13.86% of real-world GitHub issues, significantly outperforming the previous state-of-the-art models. Cognition, an applied AI lab focused on reasoning, aims to unlock new possibilities in various disciplines by building AI teammates with advanced capabilities. Devin is currently in early access as Cognition scales up its capacity. Also, Figure, an AI robotics company, has integrated OpenAI's ChatGPT voice feature into its humanoid robot, Figure 01. A newly released video demonstrates the robot having natural conversations and following instructions, combining Figure's neural networks for dexterous robot actions with OpenAI's high-level visual and language intelligence. Figure recently raised $675 million in Series B funding from investors including OpenAI, Microsoft, NVIDIA, and Bezos Expeditions. OpenAI's collaboration with Figure aims to develop advanced AI models for humanoid robots, making Figure 01 the first humanoid with a voice.


[Quantum Technology] Google Advances Post-Quantum Cryptography Plans; Alice & Bob Join France's PROQCIMA Initiative for Quantum Leap; Rolls-Royce Embarks on Quantum-Enhanced Jet Engine Project.  Google has published its plans for post-quantum cryptography covering post-quantum cryptography (PQC) migration and focusing on the threat model and prioritization considerations. They emphasize the urgency of deploying PQC key encapsulation schemes like Kyber for encryption in transit to mitigate store-now-decrypt-later attacks. Firmware signatures also require immediate attention due to their long lifespans. The team provides recommendations for various use cases, including software signatures, public key infrastructure, and tokens. They discuss potential threat actors, such as nation-states and financially motivated attackers, and present a timeline estimating a 10-15 year window for the emergence of cryptographically relevant quantum computers. Meanwhile, Alice & Bob, a French quantum computing startup, has been selected to participate in the PROQCIMA initiative, part of France's €1 billion National Strategy for Quantum. The program aims to deliver a universal fault-tolerant quantum computer demonstrator with 128 logical qubits by 2030 and a 2048-logical-qubit computer by 2035. Alice & Bob, along with four other startups, will have access to €500 million in funding as they compete and collaborate to advance the French quantum ecosystem. The company's pioneering "cat qubit" technology significantly reduces the resources needed for quantum error correction, potentially leading to industry-relevant quantum solutions. Also, Rolls-Royce, Riverlane, and Xanadu have secured over £400,000 from Innovate UK and CAD $500,000 from the National Research Council of Canada to develop a hybrid quantum-classical framework for modeling air flow through jet engines. The CATALYST project aims to accelerate the evaluation and implementation of quantum algorithms, reducing the time from hours to minutes. As the first industry-led quantum computing collaboration, the project draws on each partner's expertise to improve quantum algorithms and align with the UK Government's targets for reliable quantum operations. The shared vision is to benefit from fault-tolerant computers and unlock world-changing applications sooner.


[Metaverse] HTC Vive Report Highlights XR's ROI in U.S. Manufacturing; Cromwell Hospital Innovates with Apple Vision Pro in Surgery; Ernest Cline Unveils Ready Player One-Inspired Metaverse Game at SXSW.  In a report released this week, HTC Vive Business states that nearly half of the U.S. manufacturing professionals surveyed already use extended reality (XR), with 75% reporting clear returns on investment, including reduced waste, time, and cost savings. Of those not using XR, 74% plan to adopt it within the next decade. More than 90% of respondents felt safer on the job after XR-simulated training. The primary motivations for incorporating XR include enhanced training, cost reduction, and improved efficiency. This trend is supported by projections indicating the XR market's expansion from $105 billion in 2023 to $472 billion by 2028. Meanwhile, Cromwell Hospital in the UK has become the first in Europe to use Apple Vision Pro for surgical logistics and organization. Introduced by eXeX, the technology was used by surgeons Fady Sedra and Syed Aftab to successfully perform two microsurgical spine procedures. The partnership between Cromwell Hospital and eXeX, started in 2023 aiming at enhancing surgical procedures, including the streamlining of equipment setup, inventory management, and the optimization of resource distribution.  The eXeX software offers holographic and touch-free access to surgical setup and procedural guides, improving efficiency and patient outcomes. The successful use of Apple Vision Pro demonstrates the adaptability and versatility of eXeX's platform. Also, Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One teased its first metaverse game, Open, at SXSW this week. The game, described as a "genre-defining AAA metaverse gaming experience," will be a multi-biome, multi-IP, multi-mode battle royale, playable on PC and next-gen platforms. Open will feature nostalgia-infused biomes with characters from iconic franchises. Despite the irony of Cline creating a metaverse company after writing a cautionary tale about virtual worlds, the game aims to provide a diversion from the current hellscape. A waitlist for Open is now available.


[General technology]   Meta Advances Interoperability with WhatsApp and Messenger; Microsoft Scraps Azure Egress Fees with Caveats; UK Invests £35M in EU's Semiconductor Push. Meta has outlined its plans to implement interoperability between WhatsApp, Messenger, and third-party messaging services in compliance with the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA). Third-party providers will be required to use the Signal Protocol for end-to-end encryption and package communications into XML message stanzas. Meta proposes a "plug-and-play" model that allows third-party clients to connect to its infrastructure using the XMPP-based protocol. The technical architecture also includes provisions for third-party providers to add intermediaries between their client and the WhatsApp server. However, this approach may expose chat metadata to proxy servers, increasing the risk of data leaks. Microsoft has announced that it will remove "egress fees" for business customers transferring data out of its Azure cloud infrastructure, following similar moves by AWS and Google. The decision aligns with the European Data Act, which aims to promote competition by making it easier to switch cloud providers. However, Microsoft's move has been criticized for its caveats, as it only applies to customers completely exiting Azure and requires them to cancel all their subscriptions to qualify for a rebate on egress fees. Additionally, the free transfer only applies to storage data, while other Azure services will still include standard charges. Also, the UK has pledged £35 million to join the European Union's Chips Joint Undertaking (Chips JU) programme, which aims to strengthen the European semiconductor ecosystem. The Chips JU, with an initial EU funding of €1.67 billion and a total budget of €3.3 billion, supports semiconductor research and innovation. By participating, British semiconductor companies gain access to grants from the larger European fund. This move follows Britain's reentry into the Horizon Europe science programme, a crucial EU funding scheme for research and innovation projects. The decision aligns with global efforts to secure domestic semiconductor supply chains and drive technological advancements.









🔊Announcement: 


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. Next week, we will release our ERC-3643 Deep-dive report!


👀Stay Tuned!





👉 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐫: 𝐍𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐑𝐢𝐬𝐤𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐃𝐞𝐅𝐢: 𝐈𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐲, 𝐀𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐌𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐞𝐝 𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐑𝐢𝐬𝐤𝐬


𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐞: Thursday, March 28, 2024 - 3 pm GMT






Join us for an insightful discussion on understanding and assessing risks in decentralized finance. 


We will explore:


➡ 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.


➡ The benefits of developing an in-house risk assessment framework aligned with the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance guidelines.


➡ The process of creating risk risk-finding summary with asset allocation recommendations for asset management teams.



FEATURED: Tokenizing Real-World Assets


By: Bankless and Robert Leshner, CEO of Superstate, creator of Compound





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