The return of the little paper ruble
For ten years this has not happened (since 2013), and here it is again: the Central Bank again began to print ten and five ruble banknotes. They say that processing green trees into banknotes is now cheaper than minting specie (the Witcher, I’m sure, does not approve of this news).
To be honest, I actually thought that in the wake of the news about the beginning of the circulation of the digital ruble – from now on, our Central Bank will carry out numismatic and bonistic innovations exclusively on the blockchain, but you see … (Just in case: bonists have nothing to do with bonheads – that’s what dudes who collect banknotes are called).
Criminal conviction for P2P
In Russia, they issued the first criminal term (in this case, 2 years probation) for participating in a P2P deal. The guy sold the access code to money on the Garantex crypto exchange – and received 900 thousand rubles on the card, which eventually turned out to be stolen. Wrote more about it Here.
Elon Musk wants to make a based neural network
In 2018, Elon Musk co-founded OpenAI, the company that released the thunderous ChatGPT in 2022 (we wrote in detail about the principles of its work here in this article).
At the same time, Musk is dissatisfied with the resulting ChatGPT – and not so much with its abilities, but with the fact that they are actively trying to make it politically correct. Elon himself believes that this is equivalent to trying to teach the language model to lie – and “his dream chat” should ideally cut the truth-womb, regardless of whether it can offend someone or not.
Well, here it is: in fact, the news is that Elon Musk is recruiting a team to develop its own artificial intelligence, free from the shackles of excessive moralizing – so to speak, “based AI”.
To be honest, at this stage it is not yet clear: which of these two types of AI will kill humanity first? It is quite possible that they will still fight among themselves first for the right to do this …
The neural network has learned to find out what you think
Okay, since we dealt with in detail, what amazing text neural networks can do – what can surprise us with models that work with images? Hmm, I don’t even know – how about mind reading?
The idea here is this: scientists have already tried to put people’s heads into fMRI scanners, show them all kinds of different things on the screen – and at the same time record data from the scanner about what changes are happening in their brain. A neural network trained on such a data set has long been taught to generate from the data from the scanner a very rough, very blurry version of what people could see at that moment – it looked about the same as a drunk person with -10 vision without glasses would see (well, that is – rather bad, some kind of muddy outlines in the main).
And here, then, figured outthat if all this is polished from above by running through the usual Stable Diffusion neural network (well, actually, through another intermediate model that generates a special request already to Stable Diffusion), then you can get high-resolution images that are quite similar to the original (which the neural network did not see – it only looks at the data from the fMRI scanner). Cool, right?
It can be said that Stable Diffusion here reconstructs the image according to very fuzzy outlines – in much the same way as a person, recalling some old memories, in a sense, partially re-invents them from scratch (and does not get the exact file with memories from the bins of the brain) .
If fMRI scanners were not so bulky, inconvenient and expensive, it would be scary, to be honest. They would hang such a scanner in the subway – and let’s scan the thoughts of all passengers! Well, how do they imagine anything seditious there ?!
New scandal with Binance
Remember we are in January discussed situation: meticulous cryptans discovered that Binance was doing some strange things with the BUSD stablecoin inside their own pocket blockchain – and as a result they were at some point underfunded by a billion dollars in real (with available dollar reserves) BUSD on the Ethereum network?
So, journalists writethat Binance did similar tricks with other stablecoins: the USDC-pegged B-token on Binance Smart Chain was also underfunded by $1 billion in places. It turns out that Binance, as it were, “temporarily used” real USDC, which were supposed to provide these very Binance bitcoins in reserves, for loans to all sorts of offices.
Do you know who else has done something like this? A guy named Sam Bankman-Freed, who is now on trial for embezzling $8 billion of FTX clients’ funds.
All this, of course, does not mean that Binance is about to go bankrupt in the image and likeness of FTX – apparently, Changpeng Zhao (head of Binance) still has much more decent reserves, and common sense too. But, nevertheless, the conclusion is obvious: in the absence of strict regulation by special authorities, almost all centralized crypto exchanges tend to quietly do dubious things with client funds.
And this, as it were, hints (for the umpteenth time) that holding large amounts on centralized crypto exchanges is such a thing!
Being a crypto bank during the crypto winter is a dubious pleasure
It is difficult for almost all crypto projects to get access to normal banking services – decent banks look at cryptans with great apprehension, and are afraid to cooperate closely with them.
But one American bank – Silvergate – on the contrary, decided to devote himself to servicing all sorts of crypto-exchanges and similar establishments. And this brought him great success: from the beginning of 2020 to November 2021, the bank’s stock quotes grew 14 times (by 1300%)! It’s fun to be the main bank for a fast-growing industry in the absence of strong competition, isn’t it?
But since the beginning of 2022, things have not gone well for the crypto industry: large projects began to go bankrupt one after another, crypt quotes dived down – in general, sadness. So Silvergate stock quotes have already decreased from the peak by 97.6% (that is, by about 40 times). Perhaps this is the answer why many respectable banks did not want to deal with cryptos…
Well, here’s breaking news – looks like Silvergate is doing really badly. They have not even been able to publish mandatory reporting in time (which seems to hint that it contains some kind of unpleasant information – the bank probably no longer meets the requirements for minimum reserves), and most of the large crypto projects have officially announced that they are more do not work with this bank.
In general, I think the guys from Silvergate have already regretted ten times that they once made a bet on a crypto horse. Well, we all may be waiting for another big scandal at the junction of finance and crypto…
Good news of the week: promises of visa simplifications
Russia trains visa facilitation agreements with six countries, including India, Syria and Indonesia. And they want to make a visa-free regime with 11 other countries: Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahamas, Barbados, Haiti, Zambia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago. And this is good!
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