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👉Issue #71 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] Fnality and HQLAᵡ Set to Launch Intraday Repo Settlement on DLT; Infineo Tokenizes Life Insurance ; OpenEden's TBILL Tokens Earn 'Investment-Grade' Rating from Moody. Fnality and HQLAᵡ have completed end-to-end testing to enable intraday repo settlement, with plans to allow trades on the Eurex Repo F7 system to settle via their DLT networks. The production launch is scheduled for Q4 2024, subject to UK regulatory approvals. The key advantage is the ability to settle trades at a specific time of day, enabling institutions to execute intraday repurchase agreements and have granular control over their liquidity. Meanwhile, Infineo, a blockchain-based life insurance company, has tokenized and transferred $9.4 million worth of life insurance policies using the Provenance network. This marks the first instance of tokenized life insurance policies being transferred on a distributed ledger system. Infineo is also developing secondary markets for tokenized policies to enable peer-to-peer transactions and new offerings backed by tokenized life insurance.  Also, Japan's three largest banks - MUFG, SMBC, and Mizuho - are collaborating with regional banks Fukuoka Financial and Shizuoka on a distributed ledger technology (DLT) based digital identity solution. The initiative aims to enable individuals to store and share personal data securely on their mobile phones, with plans to trial the solution later this year and potentially launch in 2025. And, Moody's Ratings has awarded an "A-bf" bond fund rating to Hill Lights International Limited, the regulated fund that issues OpenEden's tokenized U.S. T-bills (TBILL tokens). The rating places TBILL tokens within the "investment-grade" quality category, making it the first and only tokenized US T-Bill product globally to receive a credit rating. FalconX has begun accepting USTB, a digital token representing short-term U.S. government debt securities, as collateral for trades. The move comes as tokenized government securities gain popularity among investors seeking low-risk, high-yield alternatives to stablecoins. FalconX executed its first USTB-collateralized trade on June 11, following its earlier acceptance of BUIDL, another Ethereum-based token backed by U.S. Treasury bills.

[AI] DeepMind Develops Video-to-Audio AI; OpenAI Co-Founder Launches AI Safety Startup; Meta Releases AI Tools; Elon Musk Teams Up with Dell for xAI Supercomputer. DeepMind has unveiled video-to-audio AI for generating soundtracks and dialogue. DeepMind's V2A technology generates music, sound effects, and dialogue synced to videos using diffusion models trained on audio, transcripts, and visuals. While not ready for public release yet, V2A could bring AI-generated movies to life and aid archivists with historical footage.  Meanwhile, Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI's former chief scientist (and co-founder) who recently left over AI safety disagreements, launched Safe Superintelligence Inc. (SSI) with ex-OpenAI colleagues. The for-profit startup solely focuses on ensuring advanced AI systems remain safe as capabilities increase. SSI aims to advance AI capabilities rapidly while prioritizing safety through "revolutionary engineering and scientific breakthroughs." The well-funded venture has offices in Palo Alto and Tel Aviv. Also, Meta's Fundamental AI Research (FAIR) team has publicly released several new AI models and datasets including Meta Chameleon: 7B and 34B models for mixed-modal inputs and text output, Multi-Token Prediction: Pre-trained models for code completion, JASCO: A text-to-music generation model with improved control, AudioSeal: An audio watermarking technique for detecting AI-generated speech, and more. These releases aim to foster innovation, creativity, efficiency, and responsible AI development. And, Elon Musk has announced that Dell Technologies and Super Micro Computer will supply server racks for xAI's upcoming supercomputer. Few key points: 1) Dell is assembling half of the racks, with Super Micro providing the rest, 2) Dell CEO confirmed they're building an "AI factory" with Nvidia for xAI's next Grok chatbot version, 3) the supercomputer aims to power Grok 2, requiring about 20,000 Nvidia H100 GPUs, 3)future versions (Grok 3+) may need up to 100,000 Nvidia H100 chips, 5) Musk plans to have the supercomputer operational by fall 2025. This development underscores xAI's ambitious plans to compete with OpenAI and Google in the AI space.

[Quantum Technology] D-Wave Launches Advanced Hybrid Quantum Solver; IBM and Japan's AIST to Build 10,000-Qubit Quantum Computer; Germany Debuts Hybrid Quantum-Supercomputer. D-Wave has announced a new hybrid quantum solver that can handle up to 2 million variables and constraints, enabling customers to solve large-scale, complex optimization problems across workforce scheduling, production planning, logistics routing, and more. Available via D-Wave's Leap quantum cloud service, the solver combines quantum and classical computing to explore vast solution spaces more efficiently than classical methods alone. It excels at optimizing nonlinear relationships between variables, providing flexibility to accurately model real-world problems. Meanwhile, IBM is reportedly partnering with Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) to jointly develop a next-generation quantum computer targeting 10,000 qubits by 2029. The ambitious project aims to create a quantum system vastly more powerful than current hundreds-of-qubit machines, capable of high-level calculations with minimal errors without needing assistance from classical supercomputers. This planned large-scale collaboration, to be formalized soon, marks IBM's first such foreign partnership in quantum computing development. It will focus on advancing critical quantum components like semiconductors and cryogenic circuitry alongside the 10,000-qubit hardware. Meanwhile, Germany has launched its first hybrid quantum-supercomputer at Leibniz Centre.The Q-Exa consortium, led by IQM Quantum Computers, has integrated a 20-qubit quantum processor with the SuperMUC-NG supercomputer at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) in Germany. This €40 million project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, marks the world's first full integration of a quantum computer into a conventional supercomputer. Also, SK Telecom, South Korea's largest wireless carrier, has officially launched X Quantum, a new alliance with six companies including Nokia and IDQ Korea, to explore quantum technology opportunities. The alliance introduced Q-HSM, a next-generation quantum cryptography chip developed with KCS, featuring quantum-tolerant cryptography, hardware-based quantum random number generators, and post-quantum cryptography communication technology. 

[General technology] HumanPlus System Teaches Humanoid Robots; Russian Group Qilin Targets UK Lab; LockBit Drives Surge in Global Ransomware Attacks; EU's 'Upload Moderation' Proposal. Researchers have developed HumanPlus, a full-stack system enabling humanoid robots to learn motion and autonomous skills from human data. Through reinforcement learning on existing 40-hour human motion datasets, a low-level policy allows humanoids to shadow and follow human body/hand motions in real-time using just an RGB camera. Human operators can then teleoperate the humanoid while shadowing to collect whole-body data for training task-specific skill policies via supervised behavior cloning on egocentric vision. Their customized 33-DoF 180cm humanoid successfully completed diverse tasks like dressing, warehouse unloading, folding clothes, rearranging objects, typing and greeting - with 60-100% success rates after learning from up to 40 human demonstrations per task. Meanwhile, Russian hacking group Qilin is demanding a $50 million ransom from Synnovis Group LLP, a UK lab services provider, following a ransomware attack that disrupted London hospitals. The attack affected blood testing and transfusion services, causing thousands of canceled operations and appointments. Qilin threatens to publish stolen data if the ransom isn't paid. The incident, which has been ongoing for two weeks, has forced some hospitals to use handwritten records. Qilin, known for global attacks, operates on a ransomware-as-a-service model, meaning the actual attacker could be from anywhere. Also, LockBit resurgence drove record high tansomware attacks in May. NCC Group's 2024 Threat Intel report reveals a record 470 global ransomware attacks in May, up 32% from April and 8% year-over-year. LockBit 3.0 led with 37% of attacks, surging 665% to 176 incidents. North America and Europe were targeted in 77% of attacks, with South America seeing a 60% increase. The industrial sector remained the most targeted, with 143 attacks. And, Signal President Meredith Whittaker criticized EU proposals labeled "upload moderation" as fundamentally breaking end-to-end encryption despite rebranding from previous "client-side scanning" plans. Whittaker stated that any mandated scanning of private communications before encryption necessarily creates vulnerabilities that undermine encryption's security.


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