SoFi Enhanced Yield ETF (THTA), the brand-new active fund is designed to provide investors with a high level of monthly income. WisdomTree and some smaller fund families offer similar ETFs. What is unusual about THTA is the strategy deployed to generate periodic cash payouts. In addition to one- to three-month U.S. Treasury bills, the fund uses an options overlay strategy. Florida-based investment group ZEGA Financial, a leader in options-focused investing, manages this aspect of the portfolio. By combining short-term government bills with options trades, THTA is able to leverage its Treasury holdings to generate extra income. This income is captured through the sale of volatility premiums, i.e., put options that are based on the inherent risk in bond options spreads. The data-driven, opportunistic alternative to traditional short-term bond funds is taking advantage of volatility to give investors bigger monthly payout potential.
Ongoing Operations, a credit union information-technology firm, says it experienced a cybersecurity incident on Nov. 26. Ongoing Operations added that it has “no evidence of any misuse of information,” although it is “reviewing the impacted data to determine exactly what information was impacted and to whom that information belonged.” Neither Ongoing Operations nor its parent company, Trellance, responded to requests for comment. Before the ransomware attack, Ongoing Operations had failed to patch a vulnerability in the cloud-networking software NetScaler, according to Kevin Beaumont, a cybersecurity researcher who until October served as head of cybersecurity operations at the telecommunications company Vodafone. Cloud Software Group, the company that owns NetScaler, warned users on Oct. 10 about the NetScaler vulnerability, later dubbed Citrix Bleed, saying it could result in “unauthorized data disclosure.”
PayPal is reportedly working to add new features, with a special focus on improving the checkout experience. The effort is being led by teams across PayPal and is driven by the company’s efforts to bolster its competitive standing against rivals like Stripe and Apple Pay, according to the report. Together with enhancing its online checkout, the firm wants to add features to its digital wallet. The project, dubbed Quantum Leap, aims to streamline the checkout process, redesign PayPal’s consumer app and speed integration for merchants.
Experian has partnered with behavioral analytics firm NeuroID to enhance its fraud prevention solutions. The goal of the partnership is to combat identity theft, deter fraud attacks and protect against AI-powered bots, the company said. By integrating NeuroID’s behavioral analytics solution — which analyzes users’ real-time behavior, including keystrokes, mouse movements and typing speed — to determine if there are genuine or fraudulent intentions, Experian said its clients can now deploy a fraud detection tool that identifies user intentions through data-driven insights.
CBDCs could compete with banks in providing payment balances and services, potentially causing a reduction in deposit and credit creation. The main concern for banks is that households might end up preferring risk-free CBDCs over bank deposits, which represent a stable and cheap source of funding for lenders. There will be consequences for banks’ ability to meet their prudential requirements and extend loans to the economy at certain prices. The lack of deposits will inevitably change the liability side of the bank balance sheet. “What you want is that the banks can basically maintain their business model as it was. You don’t want to interfere in any way with what the banks are doing on the asset side of their balance sheet,” said Dirk Niepelt, leader of the Centre for Economic Policy Research’s Policy and Research Network on FinTech and Digital Currencies.
Institutional investors are cautiously managing their crypto assets, allocating 45% to stablecoins, 35% to Bitcoin, and 15% to Ether, according to the latest report by Bybit. Bybit’s journey of growth extends beyond user numbers. The platform has acquired licenses in prominent regions like the UAE, Kazakhstan, and Cyprus to boost its risk management strategies and enhance compliance with regulations. Recently, Bybit introduced TradeGPT, an AI-powered educational tool that leverages real-time market data, trading analytics, and technical analysis tools. TradeGPT serves as a mentor, offering personalized guidance and multilingual support to assist users in understanding market trends and formulating effective strategies. Bybit’s foray into AI-driven tools aligns with a broader trend in the cryptocurrency space. The integration of AI seen across platforms like Crypto.com and Binance underscores the synergy between artificial intelligence and the evolving needs of the crypto community.
IBM has released a cryptographic signing technology for handling digital assets in cold storage, reducing the risk associated with manual procedures while keeping assets at arm’s-length from an internet connection. The tech giant – often called the Big Blue – said that its IBM Hyper Protect Offline Signing Orchestrator (OSO) helps protect high-value transactions by offering additional security layers, including disconnected network operations, time-based security and electronic transaction approval by multiple stakeholders. The new OSO tech is being used by IBM’s long-standing partner in the crypto space, Ripple-owned custody firm Metaco.
DefiLlama data indicates that the total capital locked or staked across all decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols peaked at $49.6 billion, on Dec. 5, 2023. For the first time in six months, the value of underlying assets increased, and investors looked to secure a yield on their crypto holdings. Also, transactional volume in the past 24-hours hit $4.4 billion. In November 2023, more than $5.4 billion changed hands on a single day — the highest since March 2023, CoinDesk reported. In mid-October 2023, the sector experienced multiyear lows. Currently, it has increased by $15 billion from those levels. Blast, a newly announced Layer 2 project, received more than $700 million in deposits from traders and investors who remained not concerned that assets cannot be withdrawn until at least March 2024.
For true responsible governance of AI, we therefore need to avoid a single point of failure. we need strong independent and democratic oversight, involving not only a national regulator but also civil society, independent academics and the international community. The governance structure must be multi-stakeholder and multilateral. One objective is to minimise conflicts of interest with commercial goals and focus on safety-first R&D. Another is to protect against the possibility that a lab’s system falls into the wrong hands or becomes a dangerous runaway entity. Having labs share their results means the other institutions would be there to defend society. While a lot of uncertainty remains, wrestling with these questions is urgent. Reports suggest that OpenAI may have recently made a breakthrough, Q*, which may have greatly increased reasoning and mathematical abilities. If and when this is proven to be true, we could have become closer to AGI.
In their study, the U.C. Berkeley scientists explore a hybrid approach that leverages the strengths of reinforcement learning and interactive imitation learning. Their method, RLIF, is predicated on a simple insight: it’s generally easier to recognize errors than to execute flawless corrections. This concept is particularly relevant in complex tasks like autonomous driving, where a safety driver’s intervention—such as slamming on the brakes to prevent a collision—signals a deviation from desired behavior, but doesn’t necessarily model the optimal response. The RL agent should not learn to imitate the sudden braking action but learn to avoid the situation that caused the driver to brake. “The decision to intervene during an interactive imitation episode itself can provide a reward signal for reinforcement learning, allowing us to instantiate RL methods that operate under similar but potentially weaker assumptions as interactive imitation methods, learning from human interventions but not assuming that such interventions are optimal,” the researchers explain.