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Forkast.News is a digital media platform that covers stories about emerging technology at the intersection of business, economy and politics. From Asia, to the world.

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October 2019

Explaining Blockchain to Unwilling Enterprises: Accenture’s David Treat

As the Managing Director, Global Blockchain Lead at consulting firm Accenture, David Treat spends his days engaging with enterprise leaders across various industries about blockchain, from understanding the topic until implementation. Forkast.News spoke with Treat on the sidelines of OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum to find out how these conversations play out, and how Treat […]

Making it Rain in Bahrain – Joseph Dallago talks Cryptocurrency in the Middle East

What is the world of cryptocurrency like in the Middle East? How does it differ from other markets, and what challenges and opportunities arise from dealing with the industry in that region? Forkast.News Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau sits down with Joseph Dallago, Co-Founder and CEO of Rain, the first Bahrain-based digital currency exchange, in order to […]

How Catalonian Minister Jordi Puigneró is Using Blockchain to Change Governance

Catalonian Minister of Digital Technology and Policies Jordi Puigneró talks regulation, popular appeal, and what blockchain can do for a country. As a member of an elected public administration, Puigneró believes that he has the obligation to serve the people. In the case of blockchain, Puigneró expects that the technology will create a new class […]

September 2019

Is the World Ready for a Federated Currency?

Incorruptible. Improved funds flow. Transparency and traceability. These are all promises of blockchain / digital technology to help the modern-day issues of cash-based economies. But should this responsibility be held by companies or governments? David Shrier, author of upcoming book from MIT Press in November 2019, “Trusted Data,” dives into the debate of a digital […]

In Conversation with Joseph Lubin, Founder of ConsenSys: Blockchain is a Paradigm Shift for the Planet

What is the next big thing? As far as Joseph Lubin, Founder of Consensys, is concerned, we are already experiencing it as you read this. Lubin shares how blockchain is already a killer app, being used globally as a new database technology. He notes cryptocurrency is already enabling cross-border transactions that help facilitate trade and […]

China Telecom Introduces its Blockchain SIM Card Project

In anticipation of China Telecom’s new blockchain SIM card project, Director of its Blockchain Research and Development Departments, David Wei Liang, peaks to Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News, about the reasoning behind embarking on the project, the product’s uses and implications, and the timeline of its adoption. The time is ripe for telecom companies to […]

It’s All in the Nuance: French Blockchain Investor Translates Le Maire’s Libra Remarks

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire spoke at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Blockchain Policy Forum on September 12, 2019. He offered a spirited defense of French and European technology policies and spoke frankly about the deep difference in values over the regulation challenging French relations with the U.S. and China. In his […]

WATCH: Why is China’s Central Bank Launching a Digital Currency? Chicago Booth Economist Explains the Impact

Key Highlights “[A central bank’s digital currency is] a huge database using the hash function, chain technology. There’s no distributed ledger portal.” “[The People’s Bank of China] have been working on CBDC for about four years now.” “One of the areas where I really think blockchain could help is on trade finance. When I say […]

What Regulators Think at OECD and Why it Matters; R3’s Regulatory Head Says Adoption Relies on Governments

What are the rules? For most blockchain companies and projects, the complex landscape of regulation and policy creates business risk, which impacts not only innovation but also ultimately, mainstream adoption.  But at OECD’s second Global Blockchain Policy Forum, regulators are increasingly becoming aware of the need for concerted efforts at every government and agency levels. […]

LISTEN: Private vs Public Blockchain: Why Enterprises Need Both

Listen to the podcast In its genesis, blockchain was designed with the intention of it being a decentralized peer-to-peer network. However, these networks can either require permission by a controlling entity (a private blockchain) or be truly permissionless and everyone can make modifications (a public blockchain). But when it comes to enterprises and businesses, which […]

August 2019

BOE Governor Says Global Digital Currency Should Replace the US Dollar – Rabobank’s Michael Every Breaks It Down

In this last week, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney made waves in the crypto industry by espousing, as a pillar of traditional banking, an alternative to the very system he heads. At a speech in the U.S., Carney put forward the idea of a “synthetic hegemony currency” – in other words, a central bank-banked […]

LISTEN: Why Blockchain Compares to the Rise of the Internet, with Steven Nerayoff

Key Highlights Digital currencies on the blockchain can only go global if transactions can be expedited Mass adoption could yield micro-economies, where millions of public businesses could theoretically take off Blockchain technologies are in their infancy, but are projected to yield a 17 trillion-dollar economy when combined with AI and the Internet of Things In […]

WATCH: Why Blockchain Compares to the Rise of the Internet, with Steven Nerayoff

Key Highlights Digital currencies on the blockchain can only go global if transactions can be expedited Mass adoption could yield micro-economies, where millions of public businesses could theoretically take off Blockchain technologies are in their infancy, but are projected to yield a 17 trillion-dollar economy when combined with AI and the Internet of Things In […]

Blockchain for Bananas? Why Technology Will Transform Food Traceability and Supply Chain

Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that has the potential to be a complete game-changer for many industries, including supply chain. With the rise of globalization, supply chains are now much more complex than ever before in history. Consequently, the time is ripe for a disruption of this process; blockchain is one possible instigating factor. With distributed […]

LISTEN: From Myanmar to South Korea: Breaking Down Blockchain’s Future in Asia with Paul Ulrich, GSMA

Key Highlights “For the blockchain technology itself, there’s universal acceptance. I haven’t come across one government either in person or having read about any that are at all negative about the underlying technology. They are ambivalent about a key application, which is financial cryptocurrencies, because of certain things that have happened over the last two […]

WATCH: From Myanmar to South Korea: Breaking Down Blockchain’s Future in Asia with Paul Ulrich, GSMA

Key Highlights “For the blockchain technology itself, there’s universal acceptance. I haven’t come across one government either in person or having read about any that are at all negative about the underlying technology. They are ambivalent about a key application, which is financial cryptocurrencies, because of certain things that have happened over the last two […]

LISTEN: U.S., Lithuania, and International Regulators Discuss the Potential and Need for Cooperation in Governing Cryptocurrency (Part II)

Key Highlights The inherent differences in policy that result from country-specific priorities and demands lead to opportunities for arbitrage across borders. It is in the interest of all parties involved to prevent this from happening, even if that means compromising on certain rules. The input of drastically different nations on their experiences with regulating cryptocurrency […]

WATCH: U.S., Lithuania, and International Regulators Discuss the Potential and Need for Cooperation in Governing Cryptocurrency (Part II)

Key Highlights The inherent differences in policy that result from country-specific priorities and demands lead to opportunities for arbitrage across borders. It is in the interest of all parties involved to prevent this from happening, even if that means compromising on certain rules. The input of drastically different nations on their experiences with regulating cryptocurrency […]

Paris Blockchain Week Summit (Part I) — Leading Financial Regulators Shed Light on the Universal Struggle to Regulate Cryptocurrency

Key Highlights From a regulatory standpoint, there is ample reason for governments and institutions to be interested in the cryptosphere. Giles Ward references how it stands to pose “investor protection and market integrity risks.” Marius Jurgilas, Board Member of the Bank of Lithuania, thinks about the potential for blockchain technology to be used in the […]

July 2019

LISTEN: Government vs. Technology – Bitcoin.com CEO on Why Governments Fear Blockchain, the Threat That Regulators Pose, and the Likely Outcomes

Key Highlights “There is, from an enterprise standpoint, a desire to engage in this new technology and in this ability to move money globally without any barriers at a very efficient cost basis. Speed is what the market is looking for, particularly as we move towards a global organization. Governments are still trying to regulate […]

Government vs. Technology – Bitcoin.com CEO on Why Governments Fear Blockchain, the Threat That Regulators Pose, and the Likely Outcomes

Key Highlights “There is, from an enterprise standpoint, a desire to engage in this new technology and in this ability to move money globally without any barriers at a very efficient cost basis. Speed is what the market is looking for, particularly as we move towards a global organization. Governments are still trying to regulate […]

LISTEN: Why Blockchain is the Hot Topic at Asia’s Leading Event for Next-Gen Technology

It wasn’t even on the agenda last year. Ling Wu, Founder and CEO of TBCASoft, tells us why blockchain is taking the Shanghai Mobile World Congress 2019 by storm. Wu is the Chairman of the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) Consortium, an initiative between TBCASoft and SoftBank to build a cross-carrier blockchain platform with leading global telecom operators. […]

Why Blockchain is the Hot Topic at Asia’s Leading Event for Next-Gen Technology

It wasn’t even on the agenda last year. Ling Wu, Founder and CEO of TBCASoft, tells us why blockchain is taking the Shanghai Mobile World Congress 2019 by storm. Wu is the Chairman of the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) Consortium, an initiative between TBCASoft and SoftBank to build a cross-carrier blockchain platform with leading global telecom operators. […]

So Many Blockchain Platforms… Is One Better Than Two? NEO and Ontology to Launch Interoperability Platform in Q4

This week, NEO, an open-source blockchain platform based in China, announced “a partnership to build an open cross-chain platform and establish the foundation for next-gen Internet.” Both NEO and Ontology were founded by Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang.  Interoperability is significant in world of blockchain because the future of the distributed web lies in the ability […]

LISTEN: Can Taiwan Be Silicon Valley Without the Price Tag? Jason Hsu, Taiwan Congressman, is Optimistic

Taiwan faces an existential threat. It is a nation that is dependent on exports, but like other developed nations, recognizes that in order to survive, it needs to champion high-technology industries as labor-intensive industries leave for nations with cheaper workforces like Vietnam or China. Could blockchain and cryptocurrency be part of the answer? Jason Hsu […]

WATCH: Can Taiwan Be Silicon Valley Without the Price Tag? Jason Hsu, Taiwan Congressman, is Optimistic

Taiwan faces an existential threat. It is a nation that is dependent on exports, but like other developed nations, recognizes that in order to survive, it needs to champion high-technology industries as labor-intensive industries leave for nations with cheaper workforces like Vietnam or China. Could blockchain and cryptocurrency be part of the answer? Jason Hsu […]

What’s Next for CZ? Binance CEO on Getting Hacked, Being Compliant, and His Future

Changpeng Zhao, better known as CZ, is one of the most influential figures in cryptocurrency / blockchain circles. From flipping burgers at McDonald’s to getting his computer science degree at McGill University, to now Founder and CEO of Binance; CZ has built one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. In this unreserved 40-minute conversation, CZ […]

No Permission Needed — How Arthur Hayes, BitMEX CEO, is Self-Made with a Multi-Billion Dollar Trading Platform

In a candid conversation, Co-Founder and CEO of BitMEX Arthur Hayes defends why BitMEX is set up in Seychelles, the promise of blockchain for everyone, why ICOs are not a problem, and why his industry is not a “scam.” This self-proclaimed “economics-history nerd” and former Deutsche Bank banker, who joined then lost his job at […]

Blockchain Crop Insurance Big Boost For Farmers in Sri Lanka

LONDON — Aon, one of the world’s largest insurance companies, has teamed up with respected charity Oxfam and blockchain start-up Etherisc to deliver blockchain crop insurance policies to small farmers in Sri Lanka. “Farmers in Sri Lanka represent a third of the workforce and account for almost 20 percent of the economy. Yet, very few […]

Why AAX Built a Crypto Exchange with London Stock Exchange Technology

Forkast.News Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau sits down with Peter Lin, CEO of AAX at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai for this episode of “In Conversation With” Lin is about to launch a new digital asset exchange using London Stock Exchange trade-matching technology to provide an institutional grade platform to attract investments from hedge funds and […]

Geco.One Launches IEO, Promising To Make Crypto Trading Easier and Safer

TALLINN, Estonia – Innovative trading platform Geco.one launched its Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) today. Geco.one is novel because lets users invest with a professional cryptocurrency trader. Any user can select a trader on the platform and let that trader manage their assets. The trader combines the assets with their own trades. The company says since […]

June 2019

Taiwan Releases STO Guidance — Now What?

Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Committee (FSC) has recently released guidance on STO rules. What does this mean for the regulation in Taiwan, particularly as it emerges as a hub for blockchain growth and development? Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News sits down with Sam Reynolds to learn more. Read the related piece from Sam Reynolds: Innovation versus […]

Telecom Giants Collaborate On Blockchain Settlements Platform

Greenwood Village, Colorado — Many of the world’s largest telecoms will team-up to launch a blockchain-based platform to make contracting and payments between themselves faster and cheaper. Known as the Communications Blockchain Network (CBN), it will go live in the coming months. Currently, 11 carriers have agreed to join: A1 Telekom Austria, China Telecom Global, […]

Facebook’s Libra Gets Rough Reception From U.S. Congress

Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency faced strong political headwinds from U.S. lawmakers. Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, demanded Facebook stop development of Libra, the cryptocurrency the company unveiled on Tuesday. “Given the company’s troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a […]

American Corporate Giants Use Blockchain To Make Drugs Safer

Armonk, NY — IBM, KPMG, Merck, and Walmart have been picked by the United States Food and Drug Administration to develop a blockchain system to improve drug safety. The four corporate giants will work together on a solution to track and trace some prescription medicines and vaccines as they move through the supply chain. Each company […]

The Advantages of Not Being Open Source (Part II)

Key Highlights In lieu of being open source, Hedera Hashgraph aims to bring stability to its platform Hedera Hashgraph’s cryptocurrency is called HBAR Listen to the full podcast version of this interview Transcript of Part II But Hashgraph in of itself is patented… Hashgraph is an algorithm, correct. The IP for Hashgraph is privately owned. […]

How Hedera Hashgraph Will Spend $100M (Part III)

Key Highlights Fundraised $100M at a $6B valuation Hedera Hashgraph has proposed a new regulatory language Listen to the full podcast version of this interview Transcript of Part III Well, it’s very exciting in the space. You raised 100 million dollars on a 6 billion dollar valuation. What are you doing with 100 million dollars? […]

How the U.S.-China Trade War Impacted Hashgraph (Part IV)

Key Highlights Hedera Hashgraph will devote capital from the fundraise to grow enterprise sales and double down on regulatory The governing body for Hedera Hashgraph was designed to be distributed and representative of all constituencies from a global perspective Listen to the full podcast version of this interview Transcript of Part IV Liquidity and market. […]

When Will We See Real-World Solutions? (Part V)

Key Highlights Hedera Hashgraph is focused on enterprise solutions of distributed ledger technology (DLT) adoption Several large brands, including Nomura, Deutsche Telekom, Swisscom, and DLA Piper are already users of Hashgraph Listen to the full podcast version of this interview Transcript of Part V What’s the road map for you? Testnet, Mainnet, what do we […]

Can Hashgraph Co-Exist With Other Blockchain Players? (Part VI)

Key Highlights The market of players will consolidate over time to a handful of large players Hedera Hashgraph will continue to start with enterprise applications in an effort to become the leader in that space within distributed ledger technology Listen to the full podcast version of this interview Transcript of Part VI Can you co-exist […]

Facebook Unveils Libra – A Cryptocurrency With Big Goals

Facebook today unveiled its long rumored cryptocurrency, which will be known as Libra, and you won’t need a Facebook account to use it. That’s because Facebook says it wants to help those without bank accounts. “Libra holds the potential to provide billions of people around the world with access to a more inclusive, more open […]

In Conversation with Mance Harmon (Full Interview)

Key Highlights Hashgraph is an alternative to blockchain Hashgraph optimizes both security and performance In lieu of being open-source, Hashgraph aims to bring stability to its platform Hedera Hashgraph’s cryptocurrency is called HBAR Fundraised $100M at a $6B valuation Hedera Hashgraph has proposed a new regulatory language Hedera Hashgraph will devote capital from the fundraise […]

Capital Flees Crisis Hit Hong Kong, Crypto Among Safe Havens

Hong Kong – The fallout from a controversial extradition bill proposed by Hong Kong’s pro-China Chief Executive Carrie Lam has reportedly triggered capital flight and Bitcoin trading at a premium in the city. Massive demonstrations against the bill, including one that saw an estimated 2 million of Hong Kong’s 7.5 million people march on Sunday, […]

Students Create Canada’s First Blockchain Diplomas

Calgary — The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) will be the first post-secondary institution in Canada to issue digital diplomas through blockchain. More than 4,800 graduating students in SAIT’s Class of 2019 will receive blockchain-based documents along with their traditional parchments. Fittingly, the idea was inspired by a group of students. “Last year we […]

Legal & General Launches World’s First Blockchain Reinsurance Platform

Legal & General, Britain’s largest manager of corporate pensions, today announced the launch of the first reinsurance platform driven by blockchain. Known as ‘estua-re,’ it will initially be used to handle bulk annuities, which involve L&G taking over companies’ defined benefit or final salary pension schemes. “We believe that blockchain is uniquely suited to the […]

Visa Launches Swift Payments Killer Using Blockchain

SAN FRANCISCO — Credit card giant Visa has launched its blockchain-powered business-to-business payments service B2B Connect. B2B Connect can now be used by businesses seeking to make payments to 30 markets, with 90 more expected to be added by the end of this year. To start, it’s available for B2B transactions of $15,000 and up, which […]

US Government’s Massive Archive Explores Blockchain

Washington, DC — The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the agency tasked with preserving the U.S. government’s colossal archive of historical records, wants to use more blockchain. Of immediate interest to NARA, verifying tamper-free versions of documents to guard against deep-fake videos, which are created by machine-learning algorithms that can manipulate images and audio […]

Big Brewer Invests in Blockchain to Help Small Business

Minneapolis, MN – The world’s biggest brewer is increasing its stake in a blockchain trailblazer helping some of the world’s smallest businesses. Anheuser-Busch InBev announced today it boosted its Series A investment in Minnesota-based BanQu (pronounced Bank-You), a blockchain startup working to help entrepreneurs and small-business owners, most in the Third World. Exact terms of […]

First Big European Football Club Takes Cryptocurrency

LISBON — Portuguese champions Benfica are the first major European football team to accept cryptocurrency. Fans can now use crypto to purchase tickets and merchandise directly from the club. “We recognize that many of our supporters are now digital users first, so we want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting […]

Blockchain Voting Pioneer Voatz Scores Series A Funding

BOSTON — Blockchain voting platform Voatz announced today it raised $7 million in Series A funding, including backing from Medici Ventures, the subsidiary of Overstock.com created to boost blockchain. “Voting is a great application of blockchain technology,” said Medici Ventures President Jonathan Johnson. “Many of the key issues facing the world today cannot be addressed until we have […]

Facebook’s Foray Into Crypto: How It All Began

Adding Blockchain Faces to Facebook: the Acquihire of Chainspace Facebook hired the founding team of Chainspace in Feburary 2019. Chainspace is a blockchain startup developing new technology to scale and speed up the execution of smart contracts on the Ethereum platform. The social media giant seems to be more interested in acquiring Chainspace’s talent than […]

Facebook to Launch Cryptocurrency?

Reports say Facebook will announce its rumored cryptocurrency sometime in June, and will allow employees working on the project to take their salary in it. Facebook appointed former PayPal executive David Marcus last year to explore opportunities with blockchain. Insiders say Marcus has focused on a digital currency, which users will be able to store, […]

US Insurance Giants Team Up on Big Blockchain Solution

American insurance giants State Farm and USAA want to use blockchain to speed up auto claims.  They’re focusing on the last part of the claims process called subrogation. Subrogation is the legal right that allows one party (e.g., your insurance company) to make a payment that is actually owed by another party (e.g., the other […]

Blockchain’s “Voice” Takes on Facebook

Move over Facebook, a new kid is on the block. Voice, a new blockchain-based social media platform, will launch promising users more control over their posts and photos. “The truth is, current social media platforms are designed to use their users,” said Brendan Blumer, CEO of Block.one.  “By design, they run by auctioning our information […]

May 2019

In Conversation with Charles Hoskinson (Full Interview)

Key Highlights Open-sourced platforms face bottlenecks In a truly decentralized community where there is no direction or leading voice, it can be difficult to gain consensus and make progress; establishing governance for a more disciplined and coordinated team can quicken decision-making and maintain quality Creating a bridge between centralized and open-source blockchain is a critical […]

Revolution or Evolution? The Philosophy of Blockchain with Charles Hoskinson, Co-Founder of Ethereum and IOHK (Part IV)

Key Highlights Hoskinson says using open-source is a prerequisite to get governments and universities to adopt a system Blockchain allows the producer and the consumer to find each other, and interact as if Uber or Airbnb existed, but without these middlemen  Listen to the full podcast version of this interview Transcript of Part IV The […]

Of All the Programming Languages in the World, Why Haskell? (Part III)

Key Highlights Cardano is both a cryptocurrency and a decentralized computing platform Cardano is often criticized for building its smart contract platform on Haskell, a programming language used mainly in academia in which programmers are difficult to find Hoskinson says Haskell is more precise and helps secure open-sourced blockchain to internet-based platforms Listen to the […]

Launching a Blockchain-Powered Coffee Supply Chain Project in Africa with Cardano (Part II)

Key Highlights In Ethiopia, Cardano is training up a team of Haskell developers to work on supply chain pilot for coffee farming  Cardano hopes to expand the model to many different government services like voting services, property registration, and business registration Listen to the full podcast version of this interview Transcript of Part II We […]