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👉 Issue #63 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] Franklin Templeton's Peer-to-Peer Share Transfers on Blockchain; Globacap & Tokeny partnership for private assets tokenization; Archax tokenizes BlackRock MMF on Hedera. Franklin Templeton has announced that shares of the Franklin OnChain U.S. Government Money Fund (FOBXX) can now be transferred peer-to-peer on a public blockchain network. Launched in 2021, FOBXX is the first U.S.-registered fund to use blockchain technology for transactions and share ownership records. As of March 31, 2024, the Fund held over $360 million in assets under management. The Fund invests primarily in government securities, cash, and repurchase agreements, aiming to provide high current income while preserving capital and liquidity. Investors can access the Fund through the Benji Investments app or web portal. FOBXX initially ran on the Stellar network only, but last year, it was made available on Polygon. Meanwhile, Globacap and Tokeny have partnered to enhance the distribution of tokenized private assets. Tokenization improves accessibility, efficiency, transparency, and liquidity in private markets. The ERC-3643 token standard, created by Tokeny, ensures post-issuance compliance and interoperability with distribution platforms. Globacap joins the DINO Network, an interoperable distribution network for digital securities using ERC-3643, with Tokeny as a connector provider. This partnership aims to bring public market-like efficiency to private markets by streamlining workflows and ensuring record integrity. Globacap has digitized over $20bn in investment vehicles and executed $600m+ in secondary transactions, while Tokeny has tokenized €28 billion in assets. Also, Archax, the first FCA-regulated digital asset exchange, broker, and custodian, is expanding its tokenised money market fund (MMF) offerings by adding the BlackRock ICS US Treasury MMF, tokenised on the Hedera blockchain, in partnership with The HBAR Foundation. This addition to Archax's existing tokenised MMFs from abrdn allows for a broader range of offerings to cater to different client needs. The tokenised MMF shares are available directly on the Archax platform and through connected networks like Ownera's FinP2P. 


[AI] Microsoft's releases VASA-1; SenseTime announces SenseNova 5.0; and Sequoia releases 2024 AI 50 List. Microsoft Research introduced VASA-1, a framework for generating lifelike talking faces of virtual characters from a single static image and speech audio clip. The model produces lip movements synchronized with audio, captures facial nuances and natural head motions, and delivers high-quality videos with realistic dynamics at up to 40 FPS. It supports controllability of gaze direction, head distance, and emotions, and exhibits out-of-distribution generalization. The latent representation disentangles appearance, pose, and facial dynamics. While the technology has positive potential, Microsoft acknowledges the risks of misuse and is committed to responsible AI development, with no immediate plans for public release. Meanwhile, SenseTime, a US-blacklisted Chinese AI company, unveiled SenseNova 5.0, a generative AI model with improved linguistic and creative capabilities. The company is among many in China racing to develop an answer to ChatGPT, with Beijing encouraging local firms to compete with US counterparts. The company emphasized SenseNova 5.0's ability to create both text and visual content, comparing its performance to GPT-4 Turbo. According to their statement, the model offers enhanced comprehension, summarization, and Q&A capabilities for various industries. It excels in mathematical, coding, and reasoning tasks, supports high-definition image parsing and generation, and extracts complex data across documents. The model underwent extensive training, expanding its context window coverage to around 200,000. Also, Sequoia released its ‘2024 AI 50 List’ highlighting the transformative impact of generative AI on enterprise productivity. Companies are integrating AI into their workflows, leading to increased growth and decreased costs. The list showcases the blurring lines between consumer and enterprise applications, the emergence of an industrial AI sector, and the importance of infrastructure providers. 


[Quantum Technology] Quantum Tech Investment Dips but Patent Filings Soar; EU Pledges €40 Million for Quantum Research; IDEMIA Secure Transactions' latest solution. The Quantum Insider's Q1 2024 report reveals that private investment in quantum technologies has decreased by 7% compared to Q1 2023, reflecting a broader trend of reduced venture capital backing. Despite this, research and intellectual property in the quantum field have seen significant gains, with around 2,500 quantum-oriented patents submitted by approximately 1,000 organizations during the quarter. Notable advancements include Quantinuum's $300 million funding round and research breakthroughs from Microsoft-Quantinuum and QuEra. While funding remains hesitant due to macroeconomic and geopolitical factors, the rapid research progress suggests that practical quantum computing may be achievable in the near future. Meanwhile, the European Commission is investing €40 million in quantum technologies research, with €25 million allocated for creating a pan-European network of quantum gravimeters. These gravity sensors will provide high-precision measurements crucial for sectors like Earth observation and civil engineering. The remaining €15 million will be invested in transnational R&D projects focused on next-generation quantum technologies. The goal is to maintain the EU's position at the forefront of the global quantum technology race by fostering collaboration and innovation in this cutting-edge field. This investment demonstrates the EU's commitment to advancing quantum research and harnessing its potential for various applications. Also, IDEMIA Secure Transactions (IST) has introduced a crypto-agility solution that enables service providers to future-proof the security of their products against quantum threats. The solution, based on NIST-standardized algorithms, allows for continuous upgrades to more secure cryptographic algorithms, ensuring long-term protection for physical and digital products. The solution is applicable to various products, such as smart meters, automobiles, payment cards, and 5G and eSIM cards. 


[Metaverse/Digital Twin] Meta Opens Horizon OS to Third-Parties; Siemens & Mercedes-Benz Digital Energy Twin Project; Digital Twin Consortium Releases Composability Framework V1.1.  Meta is opening up the Meta Horizon OS, the operating system powering its Meta Quest devices, to third-party hardware makers. This move aims to create a more open and diverse ecosystem of mixed reality devices, offering more choices for consumers and businesses. Meta is collaborating with leading technology companies like ASUS, Lenovo, and Xbox to develop new hardware running on Meta Horizon OS. The OS combines core mixed reality technologies with social features, allowing developers to create immersive experiences. Meta is also expanding app distribution by integrating App Lab into the Meta Horizon Store and introducing a new spatial app framework for mobile developers. Meanwhile, Siemens and Mercedes-Benz have jointly developed a Digital Energy Twin to enhance sustainable factory planning in the automotive industry. The innovative tool simplifies and accelerates the early phase energy planning process for both brownfield and greenfield sites, significantly reducing planning time. Designed and tested at Mercedes-Benz's 'Factory 56' in Sindelfingen, Germany, the Digital Energy Twin simulates energy usage scenarios, provides recommendations for optimization, and supports the automaker's goal of running all fully owned production sites on 100% renewable energy by 2039. This collaboration showcases the potential of Siemens' Xcelerator platform in driving digital transformation and sustainable progress across industries.  Also, the Digital Twin Consortium (DTC) has released Version 1.1 of the Digital Twin Capabilities Periodic Table (CPT), a framework for designing, developing, deploying, and operating digital twins based on use case capability requirements. The CPT, part of the Composability Framework, promotes interoperability, scalability, and design reuse. Version 1.1 introduces responsibility as a core capability, emphasizing ethical considerations, and includes a search capability for navigating complex datasets. The update also consolidates capabilities, refines domain-specific data management, and introduces structured abbreviations for improved reference. 


[General technology] iSharing Vulnerability Exposes Users; ICICI Bank Data Breach; and Darktrace's £4.3bn Acquisition. Security researcher Eric Daigle discovered vulnerabilities in the popular phone-tracking app iSharing, which has over 35 million users. The bugs allowed anyone using the app to access other users' precise location data, name, profile photo, email address, and phone number, even if the user wasn't actively sharing their location. iSharing's servers were not properly checking user permissions. Daigle demonstrated the vulnerability by locating a TechCrunch reporter's precise location in seconds. iSharing fixed the bugs shortly after being contacted by TechCrunch and blamed the issue on a feature called "groups." The company found no evidence of prior exploitation. Meanwhile,  ICICI Bank, a leading private bank in India, accidentally exposed the sensitive data of approximately 17,000 newly issued credit cards to the wrong customers through its digital channels. The issue was discovered when customers reported seeing unknown credit card details, including full card numbers and CVVs, on the iMobile Pay app. The bank confirmed the error, assuring customers that no misuse of the affected cards had been reported and promising compensation for any financial losses. ICICI Bank has blocked the compromised cards and is issuing new ones to the affected customers. The incident impacted about 0.1% of the bank's credit card portfolio. Also, US private equity firm Thoma Bravo has agreed to acquire UK-based cyber security company Darktrace for £4.3bn, marking a significant premium over its IPO price in 2021. The agreement comes after previous discussions and unsolicited offers from Thoma Bravo. Darktrace's cyber security services protect companies against cloud attacks. The acquisition is expected to provide Darktrace with access to Thoma Bravo's financial resources, sector expertise, and support for expansion into the US market. Thoma Bravo, a leading software investment group, has been increasing its presence in Europe.







👉 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐫: 'Navigating Stablecoins Ratings: Insights from Bluechip's Chief Economist'


𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐞: Tuesday, May 07 2024 - 2pm GMT






As the top five stablecoins are approaching an all-time high with a $150 billion market cap, with almost 100 million holding addresses, it is more crucial than ever to assess the risks associated with these digital assets and understand the significance of stablecoin ratings. With the rapid growth and adoption of stablecoins, investors and other market participants must be equipped with the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions about the stability, transparency, and reliability of the stablecoins they choose to hold or transact with. Join us for an insightful webinar with Garett Jones, Co-founder and Chief Economist at bluechip.org, the pioneering independent stablecoin rating agency to discuss how Bluechip's SMIDGE rating framework assesses stablecoins, providing market participants with a clearer picture of their safety and reliability. 


🎥 Catchup: The recording of our last webinar: 'Driving Digitization of Trade Finance & RWA Tokenization' is now available on Youtube








FEATURED:  ERC7683: The Cross-Chain Intents Standard


By: Nick Pai, Archetype


"This post is divided into two sections. First, I describe my belief that chain abstraction infrastructure is vital for consumer adoption of crypto and that intent-based architecture is the best way to engineer it. Second, I describe the main obstacle toward broader adoption of intents: solver network liveness.

I end the piece with a solution and introduce the standard that Across and Uniswap have collaborated on, using feedback derived from the CAKE working group. This standard is designed to optimize for the solver UX, lower barriers to entry to a universal solver network that most intents can be routed to, and ultimately enable a larger, more competitive solver network to flourish.


Agenda


The Problem


0. Defining the end state: what makes crypto applications "usable"

1. Why "chain abstraction" is a solution to a UX problem that arises out of the fundamental topology of modular blockchains

2. Why usable crypto applications must be built on top of chain abstraction infrastructure


The Solution Space


3. How intent-based architecture will give rise to chain abstraction

4. Understanding that intent marketplaces perform best when the solver network is large and competitive

5. Bootstrapping the intent solver network requires onboarding more applications that will produce intents


The Proposal


6. Why we need a cross-chain intents standard that prioritizes "solver UX" to grow the solver and intent marketplace to large enough scale to achieve network effects"


Read the full article: here.





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