Banks Embrace Tech to Navigate Economic and Cyber Challenges, ISG Highlights

In an era marked by economic disruptions and cyber threats, global banking and financial services (BFS) firms are increasingly leaning on technology. Their goal? To bolster customer experience and navigate the tumultuous landscape, as outlined in a comprehensive report by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III).

The ISG TechXchange event, slated for September 19-20 in Paris, promises to be a deep dive into this evolving trend. It’s an exploration of how BFS institutions can harness data, automation, and AI to carve out a niche in a saturated market. The conference will feature a who’s who of the BFS world, with leaders from prominent banks and financial institutions, including Standard Chartered, Citi, Santander Germany, and Crédit Mutuel, sharing their insights.

Colas Truong, an ISG partner and the event’s host, emphasized the transformative role of technology, especially during the pandemic’s peak.

Agile use of technology enabled these institutions to navigate the pandemic and it is now enabling them to meet consumer demands for new digital assets, personalized services and security, while demonstrating their shared commitment to social values.”

Truong noted. Especially pertinent is the realm of digital assets, personalized services, and security. Truong’s data suggests a shift in consumer sentiment, with up to 10% considering a change in their banking relationships if they sense a lack of commitment to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) principles.

But it’s not just about consumer demands. The backend of BFS operations, particularly cybersecurity, remains a paramount concern. An ISG study threw light on this, revealing that a significant 80% of BFS executives view emerging technologies, notably AI and machine learning, as top challenges. The rapid evolution of cyber threats, coupled with the integration of new tech, has made the BFS landscape a veritable minefield.

The event’s agenda is as diverse as it is rich. Discussions will span a range of topics, from the delicate balance between offering seamless customer experiences and ensuring robust security measures, to the potential and pitfalls of concepts like banking as a service and the metaverse. The future of banking, especially in the context of these emerging tech platforms, promises to be a highlight.

In a nod to innovation, startups like Welcome Place, Multiverse Computing, and Quandela will be in the spotlight, pitching their cutting-edge solutions to a discerning panel. Their innovations, which range from quantum computing to community-driven banking solutions, represent the BFS sector’s future.

The ISG TechXchange has garnered significant industry support. Major sponsors include industry stalwarts like Wipro, Accenture, and Cognizant. The event also boasts media partnerships with several outlets, ensuring a broad reach and diverse audience.

In conclusion, as BFS firms navigate the challenges and opportunities of the current landscape, technology emerges as the beacon, guiding them towards enhanced customer experiences and operational efficiencies. The ISG TechXchange promises to be a melting pot of ideas, innovations, and insights, shaping the BFS sector’s future.

Disclaimer & Copyright Notice: The content of this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. Always consult with a professional before making any financial decisions. This material is the exclusive property of Blockchain.News. Unauthorized use, duplication, or distribution without express permission is prohibited. Proper credit and direction to the original content are required for any permitted use.

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Unstable Diffusion: What Does It Truly Mean?


Unstable Diffusion stands out as the NSFW (Not Safe For Work) counterpart to Stable Diffusion, offering an unrestricted avenue for generating images from text prompts. Comparable to platforms like ChatGPT NSFW and the hypothetical DAN (Do Anything Now) GPT, Unstable Diffusion is perceived as a means to circumvent the constraints and limitations set by service providers, potentially leading to outcomes or concerns such as biases and the generation of explicit content.

Stable Diffusion: The Foundation

Definition: At its core, Stable Diffusion is an AI-driven model meticulously designed for generating images from text prompts. Developed by the renowned Stability AI, this model is a testament to the power of latent text-to-image diffusion techniques. It can craft photo-realistic images with resolutions reaching up to 1024×1024. While the model operates within certain constraints to ensure the content remains within socially accepted norms, it serves as a foundation for its unrestricted counterpart, Unstable Diffusion. Its applications span across research, digital art creation, and educational tools, making it a versatile tool in the AI toolkit.

Key Features of Unstable Diffusion

High-Resolution Image Generatio*: Beyond crafting detailed images, Unstable Diffusion ensures each generated image is of the highest quality, capturing even the minutest details from the provided text prompts.

Dynamic Algorithms: The latent diffusion technique it employs is state-of-the-art, ensuring image relevance and unparalleled quality.

User-Centric Design: With an interface tailored for all, from AI novices to experts, it promises a seamless user experience.

Diverse Use Cases

Digital Artistry: Artists now have a tool that can bring their textual concepts to life, offering a new medium to express creativity.

Content Creation: Bloggers, website developers, and digital marketers can prototype visual content, enhancing user engagement.

Education: With Stable Diffusion, educators can generate visual aids, making complex concepts more accessible to students.

Community, Development, and Support

Both the Unstable and Stable Diffusion communities are buzzing hubs of activity. With contributors from around the globe, these platforms are in a constant state of refinement and evolution. 

Official Websites:

The Ethical Debate: Freedom vs. Responsibility

The unrestricted nature of Unstable Diffusion is both its strength and its point of contention. While it offers unparalleled freedom in image generation, it also raises significant ethical concerns. The potential to generate NSFW content, especially pornographic images, has sparked debates about its misuse and the overarching moral responsibilities of AI developers and users alike.

Pricing, Licensing, and Accessibility

Unstable Diffusion’s business model caters to a wide audience. With both free and premium plans on offer, users can choose based on their requirements. The premium plans, packed with advanced features and higher resolution outputs, are priced competitively. However, users are always advised to peruse the official website for the most up-to-date pricing and licensing terms.


The advent of models like Unstable Diffusion underscores the rapid advancements in AI-driven image generation. These tools, with their vast capabilities, promise to reshape the digital landscape. However, as with all powerful tools, the onus is on us, the users, to wield them responsibly, ensuring a harmonious balance between unbridled creativity and societal norms.

Disclaimer & Copyright Notice: The content of this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. Always consult with a professional before making any financial decisions. This material is the exclusive property of Blockchain.News. Unauthorized use, duplication, or distribution without express permission is prohibited. Proper credit and direction to the original content are required for any permitted use.

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a16z: Top 50 Generative AI Revealed; ChatGPT, CharacterAI, Bard, Poe, QuillBot Rank Top 5

Generative AI (GenAI) has been making waves in the consumer space, with ChatGPT leading the charge. Nine months post its release, ChatGPT became the fastest consumer application to achieve 100 million monthly active users. But how are consumers engaging with other GenAI products? A recent analysis by Olivia Moore from a16z provides insights into this burgeoning field.

A Surge in New GenAI Products

According to SimilarWeb data from June 2023, 80% of the top 50 GenAI web products didn’t exist just a year ago. This indicates a rapid evolution in the GenAI space, with many new entrants. Interestingly, while big tech has made its presence felt with products like Bard (Google) and Clipchamp (Microsoft), 48% of the companies on the list are bootstrapped, having received no external funding.

ChatGPT’s Dominance

ChatGPT accounts for a staggering 60% of the monthly traffic to the top 50 GenAI products, translating to approximately 1.6 billion monthly visits and 200 million users as of June 2023. This places ChatGPT as the 24th most visited website globally. However, CharacterAI is emerging as a strong contender, capturing about 21% of ChatGPT’s scale, especially on mobile platforms.

GenAI Categories in Focus

General LLM chatbots, including ChatGPT, Bard, and Poe, dominate the GenAI space, accounting for 68% of the total consumer traffic. However, AI companions like CharacterAI and content generation tools such as Midjourney are gaining traction. Within content generation, image generation tools lead with 41% traffic, followed by writing tools at 26%.

The Competitive Landscape

While some early “winners” in the GenAI space have emerged, many product categories remain open for innovation. The traffic difference between the top two players in most categories is less than 2x, suggesting ample opportunities for new entrants.

Organic Growth and Monetization

GenAI products have witnessed significant organic growth, with the majority having no paid marketing. Remarkably, 90% of the companies on the list have already started monetizing, primarily through subscription models. The average GenAI product earns $21/month from users on monthly plans.

The Shift to Mobile

While most consumer AI products have started as browser-first, the trend is slowly shifting towards mobile. Currently, only 15 of the top 50 GenAI companies have a live mobile app. However, with consumers spending more time on mobile than desktop, a shift towards mobile-first GenAI products is anticipated.

In conclusion, the GenAI space is evolving rapidly, with ChatGPT setting the pace. As the technology matures, it will be interesting to see how consumer engagement and product offerings change. 

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Citi Joins BondbloX Bond Exchange as First Digital Custodian

Citi Securities Services announced its pioneering role as the first digital custodian participant on the BondbloX Bond Exchange (BBX). BBX, which was introduced in 2020, is recognized as the world’s inaugural fractional bond exchange utilizing advanced distributed ledger technology.

BBX’s inception aimed to streamline bond investing, offering investors an electronic platform to monitor and transact bonds. This innovative approach has democratized bond trading by fractionalizing full-sized bonds, thus mirroring many equities trading advantages, such as enhanced bond exchange access and the recent inclusion of settlement and custodial services in the BBX market.

This collaboration permits eligible Citi clients to swiftly become BBX participants, facilitating the trading of both fractionalized and full-sized bonds. Citi will oversee the seamless settlement and custody services.

In 2021, BondbloX selected Citi to safeguard the bonds traded on its platform as fractionalized assets, termed “BondbloX.” This deepened alliance presents Citi’s clientele and other BBX participants with augmented opportunities. Besides availing digital custodian services, participants can diversify their investment portfolios with broader global bond market access and experience instantaneous settlement upon trade execution.

Dr. Rahul Banerjee, CEO and Co-Founder of BondbloX, remarked, “The decision to partner with Citi was an easy one, given their reputation as a leading securities services provider and our history of collaboration.” He further emphasized the transformative potential of Digital Custody in the bond market, aiming for transparency, electronic operations, and universal accessibility.

Matthew Bax, Global Head of Custody for Citi Securities Services, expressed Citi’s dedication to advancing digital financial market infrastructure (FMI) by crafting products and services that cater to their clients’ evolving needs. Nadine Teychenne, Head of Digital Assets for Citi Securities Services, highlighted the scalability of their proprietary digital custody technology, which can integrate with emerging permissioned networks and offer a unified custody service.

Citi Securities Services, boasting approximately USD$27.8 trillion of assets under custody, administration, and trust globally, continues to pioneer digital asset solutions aligned with its strategic objectives. These innovations amplify Citi’s diverse offerings, encompassing digital money, trade, securities, custody, asset servicing, and collateral mobility.

About Citi and BondbloX

A leading banking partner for institutions with cross-border requirements, Citi excels in wealth management and is a trusted personal bank in the US. Operating in nearly 160 countries, Citi offers a comprehensive suite of financial products and services. 

Established in 2016, BondbloX comprises debt capital market bankers and technologists from Singapore, India, and Mexico, united by a vision to democratize bond access. Regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the BondbloX Bond Exchange stands as the world’s premier fractional bond exchange.

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SEC Charges Stoner Cats Over NFT Offerings

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken action against Stoner Cats 2 LLC (SC2), accusing the firm of conducting an unregistered crypto asset securities offering. The offering, which took place in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), was intended to raise funds for an animated web series titled “Stoner Cats.” The SEC’s announcement reveals that SC2 successfully raised approximately $8 million from this venture.

In a detailed breakdown, the SEC highlighted that on July 27, 2021, SC2 made available over 10,000 NFTs for sale at a price point of roughly $800 each. These NFTs were snapped up by eager investors in a mere 35 minutes. Further scrutiny by the SEC found that SC2 had set up the Stoner Cats NFTs to yield a 2.5 percent royalty from each secondary market transaction. This strategy, coupled with active encouragement for individuals to trade the NFTs, resulted in transactions exceeding $20 million across at least 10,000 trades.

Gurbir S. Grewal, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, commented on the matter, emphasizing that the nature of the offering, rather than its label or underlying assets, determines its classification as an investment contract and, consequently, a security.

In response to the SEC’s findings, SC2 has neither admitted nor denied the allegations. However, they have consented to a cease-and-desist order and have committed to paying a civil penalty amounting to $1 million.

The SEC’s decision has not been without its critics. Notably, SEC commissioners Hester Peirce and Mark Uyeda have voiced their dissent. They argue that the activities of SC2 could be viewed as fan crowdfunding—a practice they believe is prevalent among artists and creators. Drawing a parallel, the commissioners likened the Stoner Cats NFTs to Star Wars collectibles sold in the 1970s, suggesting that such ventures were not uncommon and should not be penalized retroactively.

The crypto community has also weighed in on the controversy. Crypto Tea, a prominent YouTuber, defended Stoner Cats, stating that the project successfully raised funds and delivered on its promises.

This incident underscores the ongoing debate surrounding the classification and regulation of NFTs, highlighting the need for clearer guidelines in the rapidly evolving digital asset space.

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Circle Partners With Grab for Web3 Pilot in Singapore

Circle Internet Financial (Circle), a global fintech firm, is joining forces with Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading super app, to pilot Web3 customer experiences in Singapore. This collaboration will see the integration of Circle’s new Web 3 Services platform directly into the Grab app, marking a significant step in the adoption of blockchain technology in the region.

Dubbed the ‘Grab Web3 Wallet’, this feature will be available exclusively to Singapore-based users. It promises a seamless experience where users can establish a blockchain-enabled wallet, paving the way for them to earn unique rewards, collect digital collectibles, and utilize non-fungible token (NFT) vouchers. As a starting point, the Grab Web3 Wallet will support the SG Pitstop Pack NFT vouchers, which can be redeemed at select stores and experiences in Singapore, timed perfectly with the buzz of the upcoming F1 Singapore Grand Prix.

The significance of this pilot goes beyond just a partnership between two tech giants. It aligns squarely with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) Project Orchid initiative. This initiative is a testament to Singapore’s commitment to exploring the potential of digital currencies and blockchain technology in real-world applications, aptly named Purpose Bound Money.

Jeremy Allaire, Co-founder and CEO of Circle, commented on the partnership, emphasizing its broader implications: “Circle is focused on partnering with global-scale consumer internet brands to bring everyday utility to users. Piloting our technology with Grab’s vast customer base brings us closer to realizing the full potential of responsible digital assets innovation.”

Circle’s Web3 Services are not just a new product offering. They represent a bridge between the current internet ecosystem (Web 2.0) and the emerging decentralized web (Web3). By facilitating the integration of stablecoins, digital assets, and smart contracts into consumer and enterprise applications, Circle is positioning itself as a leader in the transition to Web3.

Singapore has been a focal point for Circle in recent months. In June 2023, the company secured a Major Payment Institution (MPI) License from the MAS, reinforcing its commitment to the region. This was followed by the inauguration of its Singapore office in May. Earlier in the year, Circle made headlines by partnering with Tribe, Singapore’s first government-endorsed blockchain ecosystem developer. This collaboration aimed to foster and upscale the local Web3 developer talent, further solidifying Singapore’s position as a global hub for blockchain innovation.

In an era where digital transformation is more than just a buzzword, collaborations like these underscore the tangible shifts in the financial and tech landscapes. As Circle and Grab venture into this pilot, the eyes of the tech world will undoubtedly be watching, anticipating the ripple effects this could send across the industry.

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Alpha Season 3 Unveiled: My Neighbor Alice Enhances the Gaming Experience




My Neighbor Alice announces the relaunch of Alpha Season 3 to simplify players’ access to the game and NFTs.


STOCKHOLM-– SEPTEMBER 14, 2023  My Neighbor Alice, the leading blockchain gaming and NFT company, announces the integration of Venly. This cutting-edge blockchain technology tool enhances user experience and simplifies gameplay; with the relaunch coinciding with ALPHA SEASON 3 on August 29, players can look forward to a smoother and more accessible gaming experience.

The Alpha Season 3 was officially launched on June 27, introducing an exciting new feature that offered players a compelling purpose for engaging in activities like fishing and farming, enabling them to gather resources for crafting customizable Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). The response to this feature was phenomenal, with players creating a vast array of unique items at an astonishing number of over 100,000 NFTs.

However, on Friday, June 29, the team noticed an increasing delay in transaction processing times, which continued to escalate throughout the weekend, prompting them to take the difficult decision to temporarily place the game in maintenance mode on Monday, July 3. 

Working closely with My Neighbor Alice esteemed partners at ChromaWay, they swiftly identified the root cause of the performance degradation with an astonishing number of over 100,000 NFTs created by the players. The technical team has since resolved the issues, implemented Venly during an ongoing season, and provided a smoother and more accessible gaming experience.

My Neighbor Alice implemented Venly to facilitate smart contracts and distributed ledger functions. It simplifies setting up a digital wallet, making it incredibly easy for players to dive into tokens, NFTs, and other digital assets. With Venly, players no longer need to go through the tedious process of manually creating a wallet; instead, they can link it to their preferred social account or email and access it quickly and securely using a PIN.

Venly in My Neighbor Alice allows players to access My Neighbor Alice conveniently, eliminating the need to create a wallet and undergo complex setup procedures. While access to the wallet is secured with a simple PIN, this ensures players a quick and hassle-free login process.

One new feature that is also changing the marketplace of My Neighbor Alice is OnRamper, a new payment method. This system facilitates the purchase of $ALICE or $BNB tokens using various payment methods such as credit cards, Google Pay, and Apple Pay, streamlining the acquisition of in-game items. By integrating Onramper, the marketplace enhances convenience for gamers, offering them a seamless blend of gaming and easy payment options. Dive into the marketplace to experience this newfound ease in your virtual adventures.

The integration of Venly and OnRamper in My Neighbor Alice opens doors to a new era of decentralized web gaming, empowering players with smart contracts and digital assets. My Neighbor Alice remains committed to delivering cutting-edge blockchain technology and continuously enhancing the player experience.

Find out how you can play My Neighbor Alice and access its Marketplace here. 

As My Neighbor Alice embarks on this exciting new chapter, the team would like to thank the community for its unwavering support. My Neighbor Alice will share more updates and developments on social media platforms.




Telegram Announcement:




About My Neighbor Alice


My Neighbor Alice is a social online multiplayer builder game built on the Chromia blockchain platform. The project is designed to promote an end-to-end blockchain game ecosystem that allows for easy transactions within the NFT and gaming community. The technology behind My Neighbor Alice is based on a staking and renting system. The system is being developed and will debut next year, allowing users to rent their NFTs for even more significant earnings potential. Ultimately sets them apart from other play-to-earn games. My Neighbor Alice aims to become a dominant entity in the blockchain gaming space and seeks to maintain and develop a vibrant community for diverse players.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Media Contact:

Contact Name: Fati Hakim 

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