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Urban Clouds

👉Issue #67 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] ISDA Guides on Tokenized Collateral Legalities; REtokens Taps Polymesh for $30M Real Estate Tokenization; iCapital Debuts Blockchain Fund with UBS; Alphaledger Nets Series A for Blockchain Fixed Income Solutions. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) published a guidance note exploring the legal enforceability of tokenized collateral. It provides a high-level, jurisdiction-agnostic approach for legal opinions on the enforceability of collateral arrangements involving tokenized securities and stablecoins under ISDA documentation. It outlines a basic taxonomy of common tokenization structures (Bearer, Registered, and Claims) and key issues to consider when analyzing enforceability. These structures are compared to traditional securities markets and differentiated by token control, transfer mechanism, and property status. The note aims to facilitate nuanced legal analysis and meaningful comparison across jurisdictions, recognizing the complexity and variety of tokenization structures. Meanwhile, REtokens is tokenizing $30M USD in real estate assets via Polymesh, a permissioned blockchain built for regulated assets. REtokens chose Polymesh for its features, including simplified tokenization, regulated node operators, and a settlement engine that reduces counterparty risk and ensures compliance. The current assets being tokenized include an apartment building, a townhouse project, and a multi-family fund, all located in the USA. Also, iCapital has launched the first fund leveraging its new Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), distributed by UBS Wealth Management and administered by Gen II. All lifecycle activities – including subscriptions, capital activities, reporting, and liquidity for the fund – will be orchestrated through iCapital’s DLT. And  Alphaledger, a blockchain infrastructure provider for fixed-income assets, has secured Series A funding and collaboration with Tradeweb Markets. The funding will accelerate product development, expand its footprint, and support the adoption of Alphaledger's platform, which is focused on asset origination and autonomous clearing. The commercial agreement with Tradeweb Markets, the company that operates one of the main over-the-counter markets for fixed-income securities, is to jointly develop new products using blockchain technology, aiming to enhance market infrastructure.

[AI] Musk's xAI Nears $6 Billion Funding With Top VCs; Cohere For AI Debuts Aya 23 Multilingual Model; Microsoft Launches AI-Optimized Copilot+ PCs. Elon Musk's artificial intelligence start-up, xAI, is close to securing a $6 billion funding round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firms Lightspeed, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, and Tribe Capital. The funding will value xAI at $18 billion pre-money and $24 billion post-money. Musk aims to catch up with market leaders like OpenAI, Anthropic, and Google by leveraging connections to his other companies for technology, data, and early revenue. Despite concerns about xAI being behind rivals and questions about Musk's approach to fundraising, investors are backing the start-up to develop new versions of its Grok chatbot and pursue artificial general intelligence. Meanwhile, Cohere For AI has launched Aya 23, a state-of-the-art multilingual generative large language research model family covering 23 languages. The 8-billion and 35-billion parameter models are released as open weights, demonstrating superior performance in complex tasks across a wide linguistic spectrum. Aya 23 contributes to a paradigm shift in multilingual AI research by treating more languages as first-class citizens and supporting researchers globally. The 8B parameter version offers efficiency and accessibility for everyday developers. Aya 23 is available for research and safety auditing on Hugging Face, with more information and a technical report provided by Cohere For AI. Also, Microsoft has introduced Copilot+ PCs, a new category of Windows PCs designed for AI, featuring advanced AI models. These PCs enable unique experiences like Recall, Cocreator, and Live Captions. Microsoft has partnered with top OEMs to bring “the world's first AI PCs”, with the first wave available from June 18. Copilot+ PCs also prioritize security and privacy, and Microsoft has developed these AI experiences responsibly. Businesses can deploy and manage Copilot+ PCs using existing tools and processes.

[Quantum Technology] Aramco & Saudi Arabia's First Quantum Computer; IBM Launches Quantum Working Groups; Diamond Quanta Innovates in Lab-Grown Diamond Semiconductors. Aramco has partnered with Pasqal to install the first quantum computer in Saudi Arabia by the second half of 2025. The 200-qubit quantum computer will initially operate in "analog mode" and later be upgraded to a more powerful "analog-digital mode." This agreement aims to pioneer the use of quantum computing in the energy sector and contribute to the growth of the digital economy in Saudi Arabia. Pasqal and Aramco also plan to establish a powerhouse for quantum research within the Kingdom, involving leading academic institutions to foster breakthroughs in quantum algorithm developmentMeanwhile, IBM and collaborators have launched five quantum working groups to drive algorithmic development in healthcare & life sciences, materials science, high energy physics, optimization, and sustainability. These groups aim to identify problems of interest, potential first use cases, and where quantum can provide near-term and future benefits. Achieving quantum advantage requires demonstrating that quantum circuits are the best way to solve problems over classical methods. The working groups bring together subject matter experts and quantum researchers to explore quantum solutions for their respective domains, with the goal of realizing quantum advantage on utility-scale systems in the near term. Also, Diamond Quanta has emerged from stealth with a breakthrough in lab-grown diamond fabrication using its 'Unified Diamond Framework.' This innovative technique enables true substituent doping, transforming diamond into a high-performance semiconductor that supports both n-type and p-type charge carriers. The resulting diamond semiconductors offer exceptional thermal conductivity and high electrical breakdown strength, making them ideal for demanding aerospace, automotive, AI data centers, and consumer electronics applications. Diamond Quanta's technology has the potential to significantly impact these sectors by redefining the standards of performance, durability, and efficiency in semiconductor applications.

[General technology] EU Digital Identity Regulation Enacted While European Parliament Hit by Major Data Breach; Courtroom Software Compromised by Backdoor. The Digital Identity Regulation came into force on May 20, 2024. It mandates EU Member States to offer at least one EU Digital Identity Wallet to citizens and residents by 2026. The mobile app will enable users to identify themselves to public and private services, store and share digital documents, and electronically sign or seal documents. The European Commission has invested €46 million in Large Scale Pilots to test the wallet in everyday use-cases. The regulation aims to provide a transparent and secure framework for personal data protection while navigating the digital world. Belgium and Italy have already launched national digital wallets this month. Meanwhile, a data breach in the European Parliament's recruitment application compromised personal data of employees, including identity cards, passports, criminal records, and work experience documents. The breach, which occurred at the start of 2024, was confirmed on 25 April. Affected individuals were notified on 22 May, including former employees. The number of affected people remains unknown. The EDPS and Luxembourg's national authority are investigating the breach. Parliament's cybersecurity experts and Luxembourg Police are analyzing the circumstances. Employees expressed concerns about identity theft, data misuse, and the lack of sufficient information and recommendations from the Parliament regarding the breach and its potential implications. Also, researchers discovered that a software component used in over 10,000 courtrooms worldwide contained a hidden backdoor. The malicious version of JAVS Viewer 8, available for download on the company's website, allowed attackers to gain full control of affected systems. The backdoored installer, digitally signed by an unknown entity, communicated with a command-and-control server and downloaded additional malware. This highlights the risks of supply-chain attacks and the importance of thoroughly vetting software before execution. 


In the rapidly evolving world of blockchain and digital assets, the ERC-1400 standard stands out as a robust framework for the secure and compliant tokenization of securities. It is designed for EVM-based smart contracts and addresses regulatory considerations by offering a framework for compliant, regulated, and permissioned tokenized assets. 

Two months after releasing the ERC-3643 Deep Dive report, we will release the ERC-1400 Deep Dive report next week!

👀Stay Tuned!


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