In one place, relevant information about what the people linked to Forctis will be doing, are doing or have done that might be of interest to you.
It's been some months since our last news update, as work has been very intense. Our Engineering Team is moving both steadily and on-schedule to get v0.1 of our MVP ready by mid-August, as a first step towards its v0.2 version by mid-October; the versions will differ in the functionality of some features (v0.1 is a pure prototype; v0.2 should incorporate feedback from industry and academia). Our RC version is slated for March 2020. For those in Zurich, a meetup at Trust Square to showcase the MVP is planned for September 12. In the photo, Hugo discussing with the team implementation facets of our novel, quantum-proof crytographic protocol.
We wish to congratulate our Advisory Board member Anton, Emmanuel and the broader team at Flov Technologies AG for winning the Swiss ICT Investor Club (SICTIC) Swiss Blockchain Investor Day 2019. SICTIC is a Switzerland based non-profit association that connects smart money investors to seed and early stage Internet startups. Flov Technologies is a financial technology company with a vision of a global peer-to-peer marketplace that utilizes distributed ledger technology as a settlement infrastructure. Onwards and upwards..!
We're very pleased to announce that Simon Tobler, currently Head of Trading at Crypto Broker AG and member of its ExCo, will become part of our Board of Directors. Crypto Broker AG is one of the leading institutional brokerage companies in the crypto space, part of Crypto Finance AG. He was elected by the unanimous vote of the shareholders present in our AGM, representing 87.5% of the share capital in Forctis. Simon will no doubt make key contributions to our decision-making process, backed by his experience in the crypto sector and in finance in more general terms, the latter homed by a long track record in the banking industry.
On March 22 our first AGM took place at Trust Square in Zurich, followed by an Apéro. It was a great opportunity not only to provide an overview of 2018 and discuss our plans for 2019 (in the photo, our CEO Eduardo delivering the Board presentation) but also to meet with our shareholders. The nomination of a new member to Forctis' Board of Directors was also put forward for consideration. Following an affirmative vote, Simon Tobler, also a Member of the Executive Committee and Head of Trading of Crypto Broker AG will be joining our Board. Simon will provide his invaluable experience to help consolidate our positioning and growth plans.
March 27 is the date for the 2019 CV Summit to be held in Zug, Switzerland. Our CEO will be talking about Stablecoins in an ad-hoc panel on the subject, under the heading 2019 - The year of the Stablecoins, looking at the landscape, drivers and prospects for this asset class. The CV Summit is a unique event held in the heart of Switzerland's Crypto Valley. Together with Swiss President Uli Maurer's attendance, it is expected to attract a large audience (over 1,000 attendants) and to showcase both the established and cutting-edge developments in the blockchain and cryptocurrency verticals.
We're incredibly pleased to announce that our Advisory Board member Ivan Markman has been appointed Chief Business Officer for Verizon Media, the re-branding of the company previously known as Oath Inc. and a subsidiary of the American multinational conglomerate Verizon that serves as the umbrella company of its digital platforms. With brands like Yahoo, AOL, HuffPost and TechCrunch, Verizon Media is set to transform how people stay informed and entertained, communicate and transact. We take this opportunity to send our best wishes to Ivan in his new challenge.
Forctis is quite happy to have been asked to participate in the 2019 IFZ FinTech Study, the fourth review of the Swiss FinTech sector conducted by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts under the direction of Prof. Dr. Thomas Ankenbrand. The results of the study indicate the continued strong growth and increasing importance of the Swiss FinTech sector, of which Forctis is an active player. The full report can be freely accessed through this link.
We've started 2019 on a roll and we're looking forward to it being a transformational year for Forctis. Besides recently completing a successful funding round we're working simultaneously on multiple fronts towards product readiness in H2 2019. We're doubling-up on our work on research, product development, progressing in our discussions towards launching a real-world use case this year or latest Q1 2020, welcoming new members to our team and to our Board. Our first AGM (Annual General Meeting) is due to take place at Trust Square in Zurich on March 22.
Our AB member Sergio was invited to Uruguay by the Fundacion Astur (founded and presided by the former ECLAC Executive Secretary, former Minister for Foreign Relations of Uruguay and former IADB President Enrique V. Iglesias) to deliver the closing speech at an international conference on Algorithmization: AI as an Opportunity for Inclusive Development in Latin America. The event was co-sponsored by the IADB and the Fundacion Astur. Sergio took the opportunity to deliver his vision on the opportunities and challenges posed by AI and his presence was widely acknowledged by the press, through press and TV interviews.
We recently hosted our second Meetup at Trust Square in Zurich, aimed at providing an update on our steady progress on multiple fronts (e.g. technology development, use cases, potential partnerships). Our CEO Eduardo took the stage to also comment on his recent participation in the C20 Bitcoin+Blockchain Conference in Buenos Aires (panel on Stablecoins) and the Blockchain Leadership Summit in Basel (panel on Tokenomics). The audience, as ever, was engaged and we were pleased by the outcome. We're therefore looking forward to organise a third Meetup, which we plan to schedule at some point during Q1 2019.
Our CEO Eduardo participated on a panel on Blockchain and Tokenomics at the Blockchain Leadership Summit that took place in Basel between November 23-24, 2018. It was a great opportunity, once again, to share Forctis' vision at this major industry event, where Eduardo shared the stage with Tom Trowbridge (Hedera HashGraph), Makoto Takemiya (Soramitsu), Max Lyadvinsky (Bloomio) and Denis Dovgopoliy (UCommunity) under the moderation of Artem Tolkachev (Sputnik DLT).
Forctis has been present during the C20 event in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at a panel about Stablecoins that was widely expected by the audience. Organised by Cripto247, the conference became the largest Bitcoin and Blockchain event (measured both by attendance and number of companies and organisations represented) ever assembled in the Spanish speaking world. A great opportunity for our CEO Eduardo to deliver Forctis' vision and engage in a lively debate about this booming vertical in the cryptocurrency space alongside Max Carjuzaa (Money on Chain) and Ramon Lafee (Emergent Technology).
Our CEO Eduardo has just returned from a conference under the lemma Stablecoins: Collaboration Towards Mass Adoption organised by Stable.Report in London's Reform Club and Army & Navy Club. Quite a valuable opportunity to exchange experiences, viewpoints, for exploring partnerships with other players in this field, engage with investors and overall not only to contribute as a panelist but also for keeping abreast of the developments in the Stablecoin (or as some would perhaps appropriately argue, "stabilised coins") domain. In addition, Forctis will become a founding member of the Stablecoin Foundation.
Urs, one of our Advisory Board members, was invited to deliver a keynote speech at the 2018 Hangzhou Bay Forum organised under the theme FinTech: The Link to a Smart Future. Urs shared his experience and delivered his vision on how a sound regulatory framework, sandboxes and RegTech could help getting FinTech to the next level in China. He was also interviewed for the occasion by Xinhua News, the official Chinese news agency.
As we approach the end of 2018 we have some further news about our participation in events. This time Eduardo will be heading to Buenos Aires to join a Panel discussing Stablecoins during the C20 Conference on November 16-17 sponsored by Cripto247. With already 3,700 participants registered and hosting high calibre speakers and panelists, it will become the largest Spanish-speaking event to have ever taken place debating the latest trends and the future of the blockchain and DLT in a wider sense. A great opportunity to be able to deliver our vision in a region that is leading crypto adoption worldwide.
We are very pleased to inform you of the addition of two great professionals to Forctis' Advisory Board. They are Nicholas Verwilghen, CEO of 1741 Distribution Services Ltd and Suresh Pillai, lead for the Data Science & Intelligence Program at Microsoft To-Do, who will decisively contribute their expertise and know-how in a number of key areas: FinTech, Complex Systems, Network Science and Product Development. Nicholas and Suresh add to the breadth and depth of knowledge, but also to the transversality (in terms of domains of expertise) of an Advisory Board that is unmatched by any other player in the blockchain and DLT sector.
Our Board member Marc has been named in the annual list of Switzerland’s 100 digital shapers by Bilanz and digitalswitzerland. Bilanz is the leading magazine for business and economics in Switzerland, published bi-weekly, whereas digitalswitzerland is a cross-industry association that was formed to strengthen Switzerland as a digital hub. Each year, these two institutions select the 100 individuals who, through the use of digital technologies, are building upon visions that make Switzerland, and the world, a better place.
Last night, in front of a very engaged and motivated audience, our CEO Eduardo presented Forctis in Trust Square, Zurich's vibrant Blockchain hub and start-up incubator. It was planned to be a 45 min. presentation but ended up being a 2 hour "passionate and thought provoking" exposition followed by great questions from the audience. We wish to thank everyone for their time and interest. For those who didn't make it, a (slightly edited) copy of the deck has been uploaded in the resources area of the website.
Our Advisory Board member Sergio was recently interviewed by XLSemanal, the leading Spanish current affairs magazine, to talk about the algorithmic strategies that can be used to influence people on Social Media. Most of Sergio's insights come from his experience on algorithmic trading and his own research at SciTheWorld. For example, Sergio's latest work has focused on Twitter bots and the analysis of their behaviour to attempt influence the market price of a number of cryptocurrencies.
We are pleased to announce the publishing of our Technical Series Document (TSD) 001-18 where we discuss (at an introductory level) the design and engineering features of our token ARES. This TSD will be the initial section of our White Paper #2 which we have decided to first release as a series of decks, rather than in long-handed form as White Paper #1. The emphasis of our TSD is placed much more on visuals (graphics and diagrams) than in mathematics or pseudo-code. The document is freely available and downloadable from the link above, or just visit our Resources area.
Digital consultancy firm Econsultancy released today a freely available Best Practice guide by Sean Donnelly about "Demystifying Blockchain: Guidelines for Marketers" featuring contributions from leading industry practitioners, including our CEO Eduardo Salazar. Econsultancy provides leading brands with support from setting strategy and planning, to applying best practice and learning, as well as profile building and networking in digital business, marketing and e-commerce. This report is aimed at marketers to equip them with the knowledge they need to evaluate blockchain use cases and make informed decisions about them.
Today's edition of Clarín (the largest newspaper in Argentina, published by the Grupo Clarín) published an opinion piece by our Advisory Board member Luis about the current (and quite fluid) state of Argentine politics. Those wishing to read Luis' article can access it through the following link.
The IHEID (The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva) is promoting a special edition on Latin America of its open-access, peer-refereed journal International Development Policy. The journal embraces cutting-edge research and policy debates on global development, bridging academic research with policy issues. This special issue will be debated at a seminar about "Policies for Sustainable Development in Latin America" taking place in Lima, Peru, on August 9. You can watch Ugo's video presentation by following this link.
Ugo has recently contributed an article about Venezuela under the running title W la democrazia dei mercati (W the democracy of the markets) in the August 2 printed edition of the Italian newspaper Il Foglio where he broadly discusses the situation of PDVSA, Venezuela's state-run petroleum company, the so-called "Hunger Bonds" and freedom of press. Those interested in the "Hunger Bonds" (a term coined by Harvard and Venezuelan economist Ricardo Hausmann) can read Ugo's recent Working Paper (joint with Mito Gulati) by the title The Hausmann-Gorky Effect.
Luis Tonelli, one of the most renown Argentine political scientists of his generation, has today joined Forctis' Advisory Board. He works as Senior Advisor to a number of Argentine provincial and local governments, writes about politics in the press and is regularly invited to comment on current affairs in the Argentine radio and TV. Luis is also full tenured professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Political Science of the University of Buenos Aires. His hands-on experience in dealing with political institutions becomes invaluable towards implementing our platform to real use cases that seek to positively influence the lives of real people.
Anton has been invited to the 2018 Blockchain Partners Summit in Seoul, South Korea, to integrate a live panel (alongside Hen Yi, Binance co-founder, plus other notable speakers) about a "blockchain-empowered future" and more generally, to provide his perspective about the future of crypto. For more information about the speakers and topics covered in this event please refer to the agenda section in their website.
We are pleased to announce the availability of our Information Pack providing top-line content regarding our approach and technology, in this case having a specific focus on financial inclusion. Needless to say, our technology opens the door to a broad scope of applications. The presentation can be accessed from the link provided above or simply by going to the Resources section in our website. Updated August 2018.
Hugo has been asked to contribute a review of his journey through life and science for the AAPC (Asociacion Argentina Para el Progreso de las Ciencias) series on "Autobiographies of Prestigious Argentine Scientists" that appeared as Issue 6, Number 2 (2018) under the title "Half a Century in Applied Mathematics (Optimisation, Models, Cryptography)." The article (in Spanish) is freely downloadable. The AAPC is an NGO founded in 1933 by the Argentine Nobel Prize laureate in medicine Bernardo Houssay as a precursor to CONICET, and is the leading voice of the Argentine scientific community.
We are greatly pleased to announce that Iván Markman, a seasoned professional in the technology sector (across marketing, media and consumer analytics; AI and emerging technologies) has joined Forctis' Advisory Board. He is currently a Senior Advisor at Abundant Venture Partners and a Special Advisor to the CEO and Board of Directors of comScore, Inc., a leading American media measurement and analytics company. Iván brings to the table his unrivalled knowledge of the technology landscape having been engaged in Senior roles, at the forefront of the industry, for 20+ years.
Can the blockchain bring complete democracy into finance? Hear what our Advisory Board member Anton has to say in the "Thoughts of the Week" series curated by Deutsche Bank. To access Anton's video please use this link. Other videos from the "Thoughts of the Week" series can be accessed from Deutsche Bank's dedicated YouTube channel.
On May 28, our Advisory Board member Hugo and his team (Rodrigo Castro, Santiago Laplagne, Daniel Foguelman and Alejandro Danos) will be presenting their work on "Advances in Time Series Forecasting" at a special IIEP-BAIRES Research Seminar. If you want to know more about the IIEP follow this link. Hugo and team will be discussing VAR (vector autoregression) models, which have become the "bread and butter" in much econometric work, and then introduce novel alternatives to include non-linear structures using robust non-linear optimization methods and regularisation techniques.
Our Advisory Board member Anton gave a talk on "Cryptocurrencies - An Emergent Asset Class" at Quant Minds, the world's leading quantitative finance conference, that took place in Lisbon between May 14-18. Anton's was the first-ever session on crypto at Quant Minds, where he talked about cryptocurrencies as a new asset class, explaining in detail blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies as an investment vehicle, realities, and challenges.
We are greatly pleased to share the news that Ugo Panizza, one of our Advisory Board members, has been appointed as Director of the International Center for Monetary and Banking Studies (ICMB) in Geneva, effective from September 1, 2018. This Think Tank is associated to the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. Its aim is facilitating the exchange of ideas, information and research in the fields of international money, banking and finance by bringing together central bankers, private bankers and academics.
Organised by The Asian Banker in Beijing and running between May 23 and 25, 2018, The Future of Finance Summit will bring together industry leaders and disruptors from all over the world to present their latest achievements and ideas to banks, internet finance companies, asset managers, insurance companies, investors and customers. Our Advisory Board member Urs Bolt has been invited to provide his insights in a panel about the future of blockchain in finance.
Anton Golub, one of our Advisory Board members, spoke yesterday to Hannah Wise in a live interview for CNN Money Switzerland about the challenges facing the banking industry and where the disruption is coming from. "The same way the Internet transformed the way we exchange information, Blockchain will transform the way we exchange assets." The interview can be accessed from the following CNN link.
Forctis has been included in the May 2018 edition of the Swiss FinTech Startup Map compiled by the Think Tank e-foresight, a research unit set up by Swisscom to recognise, monitor and analyse trends as well as behavioural and technology developments in the global financial sector and digital ecosystem. Of the 232 companies nowadays making the Swiss FinTech ecosystem, Forctis has been included as one of the 36 startups engaged in the "blockchain application" space. More information about the FinTech Startup Map is available here, from where you can also download a free copy.
Matthew Allen, Zurich bureau chief for Swissinfo.ch (the digital news portal of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation) has published an article by the title Will price volatility be the death of bitcoin? where he analyses the impact of bitcoin price volatility (and that of cryptocurrencies, in more general terms) on acceptance, also commenting on the Stablecoin projects currently under development in Switzerland, Forctis' GenS being one of them.
Our CEO Eduardo retakes the discussion about money’s role in a new blog post discussing whether fiat currencies do, in fact, have any intrinsic value. This debate is certainly not new and has deeply permeated in everyday talk (highly infused by ideology, rather than theory) amongst crypto-enthusiasts. It’s a scaled-down version of the content already presented in Part I of our White Paper (available from our resources page) and a recommended read for anyone having an interest in token economics.
In Forctis' Medium blog our CEO Eduardo gives his take on the topic of trust, identified in Barclays' Research 2018 Equity Gilt Study as one of the key challenges that crypto-technologies need to overcome. Eduardo discusses how trust is created and disputes, using both theory and factual evidence, the idea of a “non-trust-based platform” advanced in 1998 by Satoshi Nakamoto. For those wishing to go deeper, a number of selected references from the broad literature on this complex (and equally fascinating) subject is also provided.
We're very happy to announce that one of our Advisory Board members, Sergio, has been appointed as Senior Advisor by Oliver Wyman, becoming the youngest ever advisor in the history of the company. Sergio will be setting out the strategic steps needed to optimally on-board digitization at a corporate level for Oliver Wyman and its clients, with a specific focus in the financial services vertical.
We're pleased to announce the release of our Research Paper Series (RPS) 001-18 where our CEO, Eduardo Salazar, embarks in a detailed review of cryptocurrencies. This paper looks at the actors involved, their underlying motivations, emergence, recent developments and prevailing trends, through the lens of economic theory, history, sociology and economic anthropology as they have been (competitively) used to explain the genesis and logic of money. Richly documented, it's a unique academic work in this field and also Part I of our White Paper. Part II will focus on Forctis' technology. Freely available for download in the resources area.
Marc, one of our Directors, delivered a talk about Alternative Cryptocurrencies (or Altcoins, as they are usually known) at the EY Auditorium in Zurich, in an event sponsored by the Bitcoin Association Switzerland. Designed as an entry level seminar, Marc spoke about the history of Altcoins, the differences between Coins and Tokens, explained what POW and POS are, provided examples of different generations of Altcoins, and more. The video of Marc's talk is available here.
Anton, a member of our Advisory Board, will be speaking at the WBC Summit in Moscow. The Summit brings together key figures in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space that are shaping the global digital agenda and driving positive changes in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sphere. More information is available through this link http://www.wbcsummit.org and hashtag #WBCSummit
Organised by Prof. Martin Angerer and Demelza Kelso Hays of the Finance Institute at the University of Liechtenstein, two of our Directors will be in Vaduz to showcase their experience in ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) to an audience of academics and professionals in banking and finance, insurance, asset management, regulators and specialists from top-tier consulting firms.
To know more about this event and access the day programme, please follow the link http://bit.ly/2G0kgMl
Matthew Allen, business correspondent and Zurich bureau chief of Swissinfo.ch, recently interviewed Marc for the lead article "Is blockchain the solution for the next financial crisis?" published by the SBC news portal as part of their coverage of the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos. Those interested in knowing Marc's views can freely access the article through the link http://bit.ly/2Dzfi7l
Swissinfo.ch is the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC).
Marc, one of our Directors, will be speaking at this big event taking place in St. Moritz about investment guidelines in alternative cryptocurrencies. CFC'18 is the first and largest investor conference on cryptocurrencies and blockchain investments, bringing together both private and institutional investors and the leading providers of the crypto and blockchain space.
For those interested to know more, the link is https://www.crypto-finance-conference.com/en
Ugo, one of our Advisory Board members, presented at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) in Washington D.C. the findings of the 2018 Geneva Report on the World Economy, of which he is one of its authors. The report is freely available as a PDF from the CEPR VoX portal. The Peterson Institute is a private, nonpartisan and nonprofit institution for rigorous, intellectually open, and in-depth study and discussion of international economic policy.
A member of our Advisory Board, Quentin, received the Lovie Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 for his myriad contributions to computer science, and most notably his role in the invention of the first webcam. The Lovie Awards is the most prestigious, and the only, truly pan-European awards honouring online excellence. It has a sister event in the USA, the Webby Awards. It is named in honour of Britain's Ada Lovelace, who is credited as being the first computer programmer and a lasting symbol of European innovation and creative excellence. Follow the links to watch Sophie Wilson's presentation of the award and Quentin's acceptance speech.