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Urban Clouds

👉 Issue #65 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.

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[Blockchain] U.S. Financial Sector Trials Blockchain for Multi-Asset Settlements, UAE’ s Liv Digital Bank Explores Asset Tokenization, and First US Municipality Issues Blockchain-Based Bond. Members of the U.S. financial sector announced a proof-of-concept (PoC) to explore using shared ledger technology for settling tokenized commercial bank money, wholesale central bank money, U.S. Treasury securities, and other assets. The Regulated Settlement Network (RSN) PoC aims to improve multi-asset settlements for domestic users of U.S. dollar-denominated instruments through a 24/7, programmable shared ledger. Participants include the usual suspects i.e. major banks and financial organizations. The PoC will simulate transactions, analyze legal implications, and publish findings to contribute to understanding next-generation settlement models. Meanwhile, Liv Digital Bank, a subsidiary of the UAE’s second-largest bank, signs MoU with Ctrl Alt to explore tokenisation of real-world assets. The collaboration aims to provide Liv's customers access to the growing tokenized asset sector, addressing the demands of next-generation investors. Surveys indicate changing investment patterns among millennials and Gen Z, with a strong preference for private market assets. Tokenization is considered by some as the future of financial markets, offering benefits like lower costs and reduced settlement times. The partnership demonstrates Emirates NBD Group's commitment to innovation and serving the needs of their "Gen Now" customers by providing diverse, in-demand products. Also, the City of Quincy in Massachusetts has become the first US municipality to issue bonds using blockchain technology. The city issued $10 million in tax-exempt bonds on JP Morgan's private blockchain platform, Onyx Digital Assets. This move is part of Quincy's efforts to leverage emerging technologies to create better financial participation and economic outcomes for its constituents. The issuance process went smoothly, with the main challenge being navigating the regulatory process. The city collaborated with various partners, including JP Morgan, law firms, and financial advisers. Quincy plans to continue using blockchain for future bond issuances to democratize the bonding process.

[AI] OpenAI’s Google Search Competitor, Gradient AI Boosts Meta-Llama Model's Token Capacity, IBM Launches AI Copilot Consulting, and DeepMind Unveils AlphaFold 3 for Drug Discovery. OpenAI is set to announce its AI-powered search product on Monday, according to two sources, intensifying its rivalry with Google. The announcement, which may be subject to change, follows reports from Bloomberg and the Information about OpenAI's search product development. The move puts OpenAI, backed by Microsoft, in direct competition with Google and Perplexity, a well-funded AI search startup. The upcoming announcement raises the stakes in the battle for dominance in the AI-driven search market, as major players vie for a share of this rapidly evolving industry. Meanwhile, Gradient AI has unveiled an extension of the Meta-Llama-3-70B-Instruct model, increasing its context length from 8k to over 1048k tokens. The model was trained on 34M tokens for this stage and around 430M tokens in total, using compute sponsored by Crusoe Energy. Gradient employed techniques such as NTK-aware interpolation, progressive training on increasing context lengths, and the EasyContext Blockwise RingAttention library for efficient training on long contexts. The training data was generated by augmenting SlimPajama and fine-tuning on a chat dataset based on UltraChat. Gradient aims to deploy autonomous assistants that power critical business operations. Meanwhile, IBM has introduced IBM Copilot Runway, a new offering from IBM Consulting that helps enterprises create, customize, deploy, and manage copilots, including Copilot for Microsoft 365. The offering aims to enhance productivity and drive business success by integrating generative AI into organizations. The company will focus on helping clients across various use cases and industries, and is scaling its Microsoft copilot capabilities across its network of Global Innovation Centers. Also, DeepMind has released AlphaFold 3, an AI system that can predict protein structures and molecular interactions, with the potential to revolutionize drug discovery. Demis Hassabis, CEO of DeepMind and its spinout Isomorphic Labs, believes the AI technology could create a multi-hundred billion dollar business and greatly benefit society. 

[Quantum Technology] University of Melbourne and Manchester Pioneers in Silicon-Based Quantum Computing; Illinois Governor Proposes $20B Quantum Hub; SKKU Enhances Capabilities with Quantum Machines The researchers from the University of Melbourne and the University of Manchester have developed a groundbreaking technique to create ultra-pure silicon, ideal for constructing quantum computers at scale with high accuracy. This innovation involves implanting qubits of phosphorus atoms into crystals of pure silicon, enhancing quantum computing by providing robust coherence. The highly purified silicon chips protect qubits, enabling them to sustain quantum coherence longer, potentially impacting various sectors like artificial intelligence, secure data, vaccine design, and energy use. This advancement in quantum computing using silicon could lead to significant technological advancements and economic benefits, positioning silicon as a leading candidate for quantum computer chips. Meanwhile, Illinois Governor Jay Robert Pritzker is considering a $20 billion Quantum Manhattan-like project for the Chicago area, with photonics quantum computer developer PsiQuantum as the anchor client of a 150-acre complex. The project could create 1,000 construction jobs and 500 resulting quantum industry jobs. In February, Pritzker proposed $500 million in spending on quantum technology, including a cryogenic facility and a quantum campus. The greater Chicago area is already home to a vibrant quantum development ecosystem, with the Chicago Quantum Exchange playing a key role in fostering cross-sector partnerships. Also Quantum Machines (QM) has announced the deployment of three OPX1000 quantum controllers at Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) in Seoul, South Korea, as part of the country’s national project to enhance its quantum computing capabilities. The advanced controllers will significantly upgrade the research facilities at SKKU’s Quantum Computing lab, led by Prof. Yonuk Chong. This initiative is backed by a $45 million government investment and aims to develop a skilled quantum workforce, support quantum computing cloud usage, and establish a robust quantum device production infrastructure. 

[Metaverse/Digital Twin] Biden Administration Launches $285M Digital Twin Institute ; ITV Studios Ventures into Metaverse'; Korea Telecom Ends B2B Metaverse Service. The Biden administration has issued a $285 million funding opportunity through the CHIPS for America program to establish the first CHIPS Manufacturing USA institute focused on developing digital twin technology for the semiconductor industry. The institute will unite the semiconductor industry to advance digital twin research, establish shared facilities, pursue demonstration projects, provide workforce training, and ultimately enhance U.S. competitiveness in next-generation chip manufacturing. This first Manufacturing USA institute launched by Commerce represents a major investment in accelerating adoption of digital twin innovations critical to semiconductor design, production optimization, and advanced packaging processes. Meanwhile,  ITV Studios is bringing The Voice singing competition format into the metaverse with an immersive gaming experience called "The Voice Coach Battle." Developed in partnership with virtual gaming world The Sandbox and metaverse company Virtual Brand Group, the web3 game will allow players to take on the role of celebrity coaches from the TV show. By winning Coach Battle, players can win tickets to attend The Voice tapings around the world. The initiative aims to create an innovative metaverse experience that unites global fans of the hit singing franchise. Also, Korea Telecom (KT) has shut down its B2B metaverse service, "Meta Lounge," about 18 months after its launch due to difficulties in securing customer companies. KT will continue operating its B2C metaverse service "Giniverse" with a focus on differentiated services that converge Generative AI. Other major metaverse services in Korea have also been closed or are struggling to grow. SK Telecom's "Efriend" saw a decrease in monthly active users in the fourth quarter of last year. Telecommunication companies plan to add Generative AI functions to their existing metaverse services and expand into global markets to create growth momentum.

[General technology] Wayve Secures $1.05 Billion from Microsoft and Nvidia; Neuralink Faces Challenges with Brain-Implant; Dell Reports Customer Data Breach. Wayve, a UK-based company developing self-driving car technology, has secured $1.05 billion in funding led by SoftBank, with participation from Microsoft and Nvidia. Wayve's "embodied AI" technology interacts with and learns from real-world environments. The UK government expects self-driving vehicles on some roads by 2026 and is establishing a regulatory framework through the Automated Vehicles Bill. However, self-driving technology faces challenges, with US regulators investigating the safety of AI-powered assistive driving features following fatal crashes involving Tesla and Ford vehicles. Meanwhile, Elon Musk's Neuralink experienced a setback with its brain-computer interface implant in its first human participant, as some of the device's 64 flexible "threads" retracted from the brain, causing a decline in data transfer. The unique design of Neuralink's implant, which consists of a coin-sized puck connected to thin threads with electrodes, may have contributed to the mechanical issues. Despite the setback, the participant was still able to use the device for tasks like playing chess and video games. Neuralink modified its recording algorithm and user interface to compensate for the lost threads, but the incident highlights the challenges in developing reliable long-term brain-computer interfaces. Also, Dell has disclosed a data breach involving customers' names, physical addresses, and purchase-related information such as service tags, item descriptions, order dates, and warranty details. The company stated that no email addresses, phone numbers, financial information, or highly sensitive customer data were compromised. Dell downplayed the impact of the breach, claiming there is no significant risk to customers. However, the company declined to provide specific details about the number of affected customers or the cause of the breach. A hacking forum post claimed that the stolen dataset included information on 49 million people, aligning with the type of data Dell disclosed.

This week, we had the pleasure of hosting Garett Jones, Co-Founder and Chief Economist at, the pioneering independent stablecoin rating agency. Very insightful conversation and great questions from attendees!

We discussed :

➡📚 Key lessons from economic theory and history that shape Bluechip's approach to stablecoin valuation.

➡🛡️Critical factors that contribute to a stablecoin's long-term stability and success.

➡ 🔍How Bluechip's SMIDGE rating framework assesses stablecoins, providing market participants with a clearer picture of their safety and reliability.

➡ 🌍 Explore the potential of stablecoins in shaping the next wave of financial innovations and inclusion. 

🎥 𝐅𝐮𝐥𝐥 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠:


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