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Urban Clouds

👉Issue #68 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] DTCC, Clearstream, Euroclear, and BCG Unveil Framework for Tokenized Asset Integration; Swift Institute on Tokenized Liquidity for Financial Operations; BIS Proposes Tokenized Correspondent Banking; Marketnode Raises Series led by HSBC. DTCC, Clearstream, and Euroclear, in collaboration with BCG, have developed a framework to promote the adoption of tokenized assets and digital asset securities. The blueprint is presented in the whitepaper “Building the Digital Asset Securities Ecosystem”. It outlines six principles: legal certainty, regulatory compliance, resilience and security, safeguarding customer assets, connectivity and interoperability, and operational scalability. The paper also presents risk management controls to underpin digital markets. The partnership aims to drive industry-wide collaboration and establish unified standards for the seamless integration of digital assets into the global financial ecosystem, addressing evolving customer needs and creating new business opportunities. Meanwhile, the Swift Institute has released a paper exploring the potential of tokenized money, specifically Single Pools of Liquidity (SPooLs), to improve intraday liquidity management for financial institutions. It discusses the challenges of managing timed payments and surprises in payment flows, and how decentralized finance and Web 3.0 technologies can reduce cost and risk. The paper proposes creating single pools of liquidity (SPooLs) for each institution in each transacted currency, using directly held and addressable money to achieve atomic settlement. SPooLs can be implemented using distributed ledgers or centralized databases, supporting near-real-time liquidity exchange markets and reducing collateral requirements and counterparty risks.  Also, the BIS released a paper titled  "Next generation correspondent banking" that introduces Project Agorá. The project proposes tokenizing correspondent banking to enable streamlined pre-screening, atomic settlement, and improved customer verification and AML procedures. Tokenization has the potential to minimize duplication and miscoordination, ultimately revitalizing cross-border payments by creating a robust network of correspondents and corridors. And, Marketnode, a Singapore-based DLT market infrastructure operator, has secured Series A funding led by HSBC, with participation from existing shareholder Temasek. The investment will enable Marketnode to scale its platforms and develop a multi-asset ecosystem in Asia-Pacific, spanning digital fixed-income and structured products.

Interested in more? You may enjoy our new monthly video roundups starting next week on our Youtube channel:

[AI] Mistral AI Unveils Codestral; Higgsfield Partners with Nebius and Scale AI Introduces SEAL Leaderboards. Mistral AI has introduced Codestral, an open-weight generative AI model for code generation. Fluent in 80+ programming languages, Codestral assists developers by completing functions, writing tests, and filling in partial code. It outperforms competitors in various benchmarks and is accessible through a dedicated API endpoint, La Plateforme, Le Chat, and integrations with popular developer tools. So far, Codestral has been praised by the developer community for its speed, accuracy, and performance. It is available for research and testing under the Mistral AI Non-Production License and can be downloaded on HuggingFace. Meanwhile, AMD, Broadcom, Cisco, Google, HPE, Intel, Meta, and Microsoft have formed the Ultra Accelerator Link (UALink) Promoter Group to develop an open industry standard for high-speed, low-latency communication between AI accelerators in data centers. UALink aims to enable easier integration, flexibility, and scalability of AI-connected data centers. The 1.0 specification, expected in Q3 2024, will allow the connection of up to 1,024 accelerators within an AI computing pod. The specification will be available to member companies. The initiative aims to advance AI connectivity innovation and create an open AI ecosystem. Also, Higgsfield, the text-to-video platform for creative marketing and consumers, is partnering with Nebius to introduce NOVA-1, an advanced text-to-video model. NOVA-1 allows marketers to create custom AI-generated videos featuring their products with precise control over the look and feel. The model relies on Nebius' cloud GPU network for efficient L40S inference, resulting in 40% cost efficiency gains without sacrificing quality or speed. Higgsfield utilizes Nebius' managed Kubernetes, networking resources, object storage, and Terraform infrastructure management. And, Scale AI launched SEAL Leaderboards, its first LLM Leaderboards. The ranking system for large language models is based on private, curated datasets. The leaderboards evaluate LLMs in common use cases such as coding, instruction following, math, and multilinguality.

[Quantum Technology] JPMorgan and Partners Demonstrate Quantum Algorithmic Speedup; Pasqal and Tech Mahindra Forge Alliance to Advance Quantum Computing Applications; Terra Quantum Sets New Distance Record for Quantum Key Distribution Without Repeaters. Researchers from JPMorgan Chase, Argonne National Lab, and Quantinuum have shown evidence of a quantum algorithmic speedup for the quantum approximate optimization algorithm (QAOA). Using large-scale simulations on Argonne's Polaris supercomputer and small-scale implementations on Quantinuum's trapped-ion quantum computers, they found QAOA can solve increasingly larger problems at a slower scaling rate than classical methods. Error mitigation reduced impacts by up to 65%. QAOA has applications in logistics, telecommunications, finance and materials science. The advance demonstrates progress toward realizing practical quantum advantages and leveraging quantum and classical computing capabilities. Meanwhile, neutral-atom quantum computing company Pasqal and global technology solutions provider Tech Mahindra have announced a multi-year collaboration to accelerate the development and industry adoption of practical quantum computing applications worldwide. The partnership will focus on upskilling Tech Mahindra's workforce on Pasqal's technology, identifying high-impact use cases across finance, manufacturing, sustainability and other sectors, and educating clients on the potential benefits of quantum computing. The alliance aims to bridge the gap between cutting-edge quantum research and real-world industry implementation by leveraging the strengths of both companies. Also, Terra Quantum has demonstrated a new record distance of 1,707 km (1,060 miles) for quantum key distribution (QKD) over a fiber optic cable, without using quantum repeaters. Their Quantum-Protected Control-Based Key Distribution (QCKD) protocol utilizes physical control over signal losses to extend the feasible range. While the key rate drops to 0.9 bits per second at this extreme distance, it showcases significant progress in overcoming range limitations for QKD networks. The achievement highlights ongoing efforts to enable secure quantum communications over metropolitan-scale distances as researchers continue developing quantum repeater technology.

[General technology] DOJ Disrupts 911 S5 Botnet, Cisco Uncovers 'LilacSquid' Espionage, and Europol Takes Down Malware Operations. The U.S. Department of Justice has crippled the 911 S5 botnet, a global network of 19 million compromised devices used for cybercrime schemes costing victims billions. The botnet facilitated fraud against government lending programs, credit card issuers, and financial institutions. Over 600,000 U.S. IP addresses were part of the network, resulting in $6 billion in losses from fraudulent unemployment claims alone. The man behind the network allegedly made $99 million running the operation, which used malicious VPN software to infect residential devices globally. The FBI seized servers, domains, and luxury assets tied to the criminal enterprise. Meanwhile, a new report by Cisco Talos unveils that LilacSquid, a previously unknown cyber espionage group, has been targeting IT, energy, and pharmaceutical sectors in the U.S., Europe, and Asia since at least 2021. The threat actor exploits vulnerabilities in internet-facing servers or uses compromised RDP credentials to deploy open-source tools and custom malware, including MeshAgent, InkLoader, and PurpleInk RAT. PurpleInk, actively maintained by LilacSquid, enables various malicious activities. The group's tactics, techniques, tools, and procedures (TTPs) overlap with those of North Korean APT groups, such as Andariel and Lazarus. LilacSquid aims to establish long-term access to compromised organizations to exfiltrate data of interest. Also, Europol has shut down over 100 servers linked to various malware loader operations, including IcedID, SystemBC, PikaBot, SmokeLoader, Bumblebee, and TrickBot, in a coordinated law enforcement effort called Operation Endgame. The operation, which took place between May 27 and May 29, resulted in the arrest of four individuals and the seizure of more than 2,000 domains. Loaders are malicious software designed to gain initial access and deliver additional payloads, such as ransomware, onto compromised systems. The takedown, involving authorities from 13 countries, is the largest-ever operation against botnets and aims to minimize the impact of organized criminal gangs.

🔊We released our latest deep dive, 'ERC-1400: Enabling Secure and Compliance Digital Securities'Download here:

➡ According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the Real-World Asset (RWA) tokenization market could reach $16 trillion by 2030, representing 10% of the global GDP.

➡ With the current forecast of tokenized digital securities at $4 trillion to $6 trillion by 2030, the tokenization of financial instruments opens up new opportunities to enhance market efficiency, increase liquidity, and expand investment possibilities.

➡ The ERC-1400 report is a deep dive into ERC-1400, which is used for tokenizing financial instruments such as equity, private credit, treasuries, and real estate funds in a compliant and regulated manner on Ethereum and EVM-compatible networks.

➡ Companies that have contributed their expertise and insights include Talium, DigiShares, Hacken, Kaleido and RWA World!


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