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Emerging Digital Asset Trends in Africa: A Closer Look | IDOs News

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Emerging Digital Asset Trends in Africa: A Closer Look | IDOs News
Emerging Digital Asset Trends in Africa: A Closer Look | IDOs News







Leading industry experts are discussing the growing adoption of cryptocurrencies throughout Africa. From the drivers behind it to the opportunities that asset tokenization can bring, various trends are shaping the digital asset landscape in the region, according to Ripple (XRP).

More Investors Jump into Digital Assets

Retail participation in cryptocurrency markets is soaring exponentially across Africa. Major sub-custodians estimate that roughly 8.5% of Kenya’s population currently own cryptocurrencies, as do 10% of all South Africans—approximately 5.8 million people. Meanwhile, a 2022 report by crypto exchange KuCoin reveals that 33.4 million people in Nigeria, corresponding to roughly 35% of the population aged between 18 and 60, either own cryptocurrencies or have traded them in the previous six months.

In contrast to cryptocurrencies, inflows into tokenized assets have been somewhat muted. However, experts believe these financial instruments could bring major benefits to investors in Africa. Tokenization allows assets to become more accessible to a wider range of participants, including those in frontier or emerging African markets.

“We recently saw BlackRock launch a tokenized money market fund, lowering the barrier to entry for investors,” said Maximilian Ruf, Director of Global Client Solutions at Ripple. Within a week of its debut, BlackRock’s tokenized fund had already attracted $240 million.

Cryptocurrencies Show No Sign of Slowing Down

Cryptocurrencies are being used extensively as a risk mitigation tool. As cryptocurrency price movements are broadly uncorrelated with those of equities and bonds, these assets have become a safe haven for many in Africa and elsewhere.

“Some, including BlackRock, have said that Bitcoin could be an effective hedge against inflation risk. Bitcoin could potentially complement gold as a store of value,” Ruf continued.

There are other reasons for these inflows beyond returns and hedging, particularly in Africa. A lack of liquidity in certain African equity and fixed-income markets is pushing many towards alternatives, including cryptocurrencies. The practical benefits of holding cryptocurrencies are also more obvious in Africa than in developed markets.

Regulators in Africa Go on the Front Foot

The rollout of crypto and digital asset regulation is helping to accelerate flows, especially from institutions, into cryptocurrencies. A handful of African markets are making significant headway in regulation.

“Having confirmed that crypto assets such as cryptocurrencies are financial products and subject to regulations aimed at protecting customers and preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) recently approved licenses for 75 Crypto Asset Service Providers (CASP), including the likes of Luno and VALR,” said Bradley Johnson, Custody Sales Director for Africa at Ripple.

Mauritius is also at the forefront of digital asset regulation. The country’s Virtual Assets and Initial Token Offering Act (VAITOS) came into play in February 2022, creating a regulatory framework for digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, and virtual asset service providers.

Meanwhile, other countries in the region, including Kenya, are in the early stages of developing cryptocurrency regulation. As countries increasingly introduce constructive regulations, institutions historically risk-averse about the asset class may become more comfortable.

Custody Drives the Institutional Inflows

Institutions are upping their digital asset game thanks to more enterprise-grade service providers and global digital asset custodians operating in the market today.

“Custody is the foundation of everything. When you speak to institutions about their conditions for entering the digital asset market, the first thing they want is a robust custody network,” explained Johnson.

High-profile examples include Societe Generale FORGE, the first and only bank in France to obtain a full Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) license, and HSBC, which announced plans to develop an institutional custody solution for tokenized securities.

Technology Providers are Shaping Digital Asset Trading

Technology providers play an instrumental role in facilitating the institutional adoption of blockchain and crypto technology.

Although some banks may choose to build their digital asset technology stacks in-house, others leverage the expertise of external digital asset custody providers like Ripple. Ripple’s crypto custody solution is used by some of the world’s largest global custodians to establish digital asset custody platforms and provide necessary tokenization infrastructure.

“Through Ripple, institutional investors can benefit from the company’s payment capabilities, its big network of liquidity, and sizable balance sheet,” said Johnson.

For more regional insights and digital asset trends shaping the finance industry, download the latest Trends in Regional Payments eBook from Ripple.

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Enhancing Agent Planning: Insights from LangChain | IDOs News

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Enhancing Agent Planning: Insights from LangChain | IDOs News
Enhancing Agent Planning: Insights from LangChain | IDOs News




Alvin Lang
Jul 21, 2024 04:57

LangChain explores the limitations and future of planning for agents with LLMs, highlighting cognitive architectures and current fixes.





According to a recent LangChain Blog post, planning for agents remains a critical challenge for developers working with large language models (LLMs). The article delves into the intricacies of planning and reasoning, current fixes, and future expectations for agent planning.

What Exactly Is Meant by Planning and Reasoning?

Planning and reasoning by an agent involve the LLM’s ability to decide on a series of actions based on available information. This includes both short-term and long-term steps. The LLM evaluates all available data and decides on the first step it should take immediately, followed by subsequent actions.

Most developers use function calling to enable LLMs to choose actions. Function calling, first introduced by OpenAI in June 2023, allows developers to provide JSON schemas for different functions, enabling the LLM to match its output with these schemas. While function calling helps in immediate actions, long-term planning remains a significant challenge due to the need for the LLM to think about a longer time horizon while managing short-term actions.

Current Fixes to Improve Planning by Agents

One of the simplest fixes is ensuring the LLM has all the necessary information to reason and plan appropriately. Often, the prompt passed into the LLM lacks sufficient information for reasonable decision-making. Adding a retrieval step or clarifying prompt instructions can significantly improve outcomes.

Another recommendation is changing the cognitive architecture of the application. Cognitive architectures can be categorized into general-purpose and domain-specific architectures. General-purpose architectures, like the “plan and solve” and Reflexion architectures, provide a generic approach to better reasoning. However, these may be too general for practical use, leading to the preference for domain-specific cognitive architectures.

General Purpose vs. Domain Specific Cognitive Architectures

General-purpose cognitive architectures aim to improve reasoning generically and can be applied to any task. For example, the “plan and solve” architecture involves planning first and then executing each step. The Reflexion architecture includes a reflection step after task completion to evaluate correctness.

Domain-specific cognitive architectures, on the other hand, are tailored to specific tasks. These often include domain-specific classification, routing, and verification steps. The AlphaCodium paper demonstrates this with a flow engineering approach, specifying steps like coming up with tests, then a solution, and iterating on more tests. This method is highly specific to the problem at hand and may not be applicable to other tasks.

Why Are Domain Specific Cognitive Architectures So Helpful?

Domain-specific cognitive architectures help by providing explicit instructions, either through prompt instructions or hardcoded transitions in code. This method effectively removes some planning responsibilities from the LLM, allowing engineers to handle the planning aspect. For instance, in the AlphaCodium example, the steps are predefined, guiding the LLM through the process.

Nearly all advanced agents in production utilize highly domain-specific and custom cognitive architectures. LangChain makes building these custom architectures easier with LangGraph, designed for high controllability, which is essential for creating reliable custom cognitive architectures.

The Future of Planning and Reasoning

The LLM space has been evolving rapidly, and this trend is expected to continue. General-purpose reasoning is likely to become more integrated into the model layer, making models more intelligent and capable of handling larger contexts. However, there will always be a need to communicate specific instructions to the agent, whether through prompting or custom cognitive architectures.

LangChain remains optimistic about the future of LangGraph, believing that as LLMs improve, the need for custom architectures will persist, especially for task-specific agents. The company is committed to enhancing the controllability and reliability of these architectures.

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Binance (BNB) Unveils CPT Framework to Analyze Crypto Market Dynamics | IDOs News

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Binance (BNB) Unveils CPT Framework to Analyze Crypto Market Dynamics | IDOs News
Binance (BNB) Unveils CPT Framework to Analyze Crypto Market Dynamics | IDOs News




Rebeca Moen
Jul 21, 2024 09:51

Binance Research introduces the CPT Framework to analyze crypto market dynamics, focusing on capital, people, and technology as key structural drivers.





Binance Research has introduced a comprehensive framework to analyze the current state of the cryptocurrency market, termed the CPT Framework. This model aims to shed light on both short- and long-term drivers influencing market dynamics, according to Binance Research.

The past few months have been challenging for the crypto markets. Following a rapid rise at the start of the year, the market has been trading within a range. June saw an 11.4% decline in total crypto market capitalization month-on-month, despite some recent relief. As of now, the market remains 14% down from its March peak.

Drivers of Market Weakness

Several market events have contributed to the recent decline in crypto prices. Key among these was the distribution of 140,000 BTC (approximately $9 billion) to Mt. Gox creditors starting July 5. Additionally, the German government transferred 50,000 BTC (~$3.2 billion) to centralized exchanges and market makers between June 19 and July 13. The U.S. government also transferred 3,940 BTC (worth $248 million) to Coinbase Prime on June 26. Despite these large-scale disposals, some mitigating factors suggest that the impact may be short-lived.

Introducing the CPT Framework

Binance’s CPT Framework categorizes structural market factors into three distinct areas: Capital, People, and Technology. Each of these factors plays a crucial role in shaping the long-term health of the crypto market.

1. Capital

The influx of new money into the crypto ecosystem has slowed. This stagnation has resulted in a “Player vs. Player” (PvP) market, where participants compete for returns. Indicators such as stablecoin supply stagnation, a slowdown in funds raised by projects, and outflows from spot BTC ETFs highlight this trend.

Key Takeaways:

  • New capital is essential for sustainable market growth.
  • Attracting new capital requires appealing to investors across primary, secondary, and traditional finance markets.
  • Strong fundamentals and clear narratives are beneficial in attracting and retaining investor interest.

2. People

Market participants have faced challenges in generating sustainable returns. Retail users, institutional investors, project teams, market makers, and regulators have all been impacted by high valuations and sell pressure from token unlocks. Falling trading volumes since March further indicate a challenging environment.

Key Takeaways:

  • High valuations and low initial circulating supplies pose long-term structural challenges.
  • Increased awareness and research on tokenomics can help mitigate these issues.
  • Support for high-quality projects with small to medium market capitalization is crucial for a healthy market environment.

3. Technology

Technological advancements in blockchain and crypto, such as scaling solutions and user-focused developments, are crucial for onboarding new users. However, the focus remains disproportionately on infrastructure projects, which need to be balanced with the development of diverse and innovative dApps.

Key Takeaways:

  • Technological innovations attract a broader audience by providing tangible use cases.
  • Funding should be redirected to develop user-friendly dApps to amplify the reach of the crypto ecosystem.

Market Outlook

Despite recent challenges, Binance Research remains optimistic about the market’s outlook for the rest of the year. Several upcoming catalysts could propel the industry forward, including potential approvals of spot ETH ETFs, a favorable macro environment with potential interest rate cuts, the U.S. Presidential Election, and the Bitcoin halving event.

Market cycles consist of periods of ups and downs. Pullbacks serve as a healthy reset when there are excesses in the market. Long-term investors might see market corrections as opportunities to add to their portfolios, while risk-averse investors may consider holding their positions.

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NVIDIA Advances AI-Driven 6G Innovation with AI-RAN Alliance, 3GPP, and O-RAN | IDOs News

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NVIDIA Advances AI-Driven 6G Innovation with AI-RAN Alliance, 3GPP, and O-RAN | IDOs News
NVIDIA Advances AI-Driven 6G Innovation with AI-RAN Alliance, 3GPP, and O-RAN | IDOs News




Rebeca Moen
Jul 21, 2024 05:27

NVIDIA collaborates with AI-RAN, 3GPP, and O-RAN to drive AI-driven innovations in 6G technology, focusing on AI-native tools and frameworks.





The development of 6G technology is accelerating as the 5G era advances. NVIDIA is at the forefront, working with key industry players to foster innovation and collaboration in AI-driven 6G solutions, according to the NVIDIA Technical Blog.

AI Blueprints for Radio Access Network

The Radio Access Network (RAN) is a critical component of cellular networks, and AI/ML methodologies are being integrated to manage its increasing complexity. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has proposed an AI-native air interface for 6G, aimed at enhancing performance through AI/ML. NVIDIA has contributed significantly to 3GPP’s Release 18 study on AI/ML for the 5G New Radio (NR) air interface and is now focusing on Release 19, which will expand AI/ML integration.

Digital Twin Networks

Digital Twin Networks (DTNs) are essential for simulating and validating AI/ML models in 6G. These networks emulate physical 5G/6G networks, allowing developers to create and test AI/ML models in a controlled environment. NVIDIA’s Aerial Omniverse Digital Twin is a next-generation simulation platform designed to support AI-native air interface research and development.

Over-the-Air Innovation Sandbox

An Over-the-Air (OTA) development platform complements DTNs by providing a real-world environment to validate and benchmark AI/ML algorithms. NVIDIA’s Aerial RAN CoLab Over-The-Air (ARC-OTA) serves as a 3GPP Release 15 compliant, full-stack network sandbox, enabling developers to test and refine their innovations.

Collaboration with Industry Leaders

NVIDIA is collaborating with the AI-RAN Alliance, 3GPP, and O-RAN to drive AI/ML-enabled innovations that will define 6G. The AI-RAN Alliance focuses on creating implementation blueprints and benchmarking AI/ML algorithms for the new AI-native RAN. Meanwhile, the O-RAN Alliance is working on an AI-focused transformation towards an open and interoperable architecture.

Future Prospects

The pace of AI/ML adoption in 6G is expected to accelerate as standards become clearer and commercial deployment approaches. NVIDIA’s 6G Developer Program, which includes over a thousand researchers, is a key platform for ongoing and future collaborations. Researchers are encouraged to join this program to contribute to the advancement of 6G technology.

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