Libra Moonshot

Why do we 'promote' Libra? Not at all, we have been following the payment space since ApplePay (2014) and GooglePay (2015). Not much has been happening until Facebook stepped up to the plate with Libra. The topic on hand is innovations in payments, with Libra as the particular example.

Libra has been savaged this past couple weeks by lawmakers and analysts. One of the issues is the possible monetary impact of a new currency on the currencies of other countries and even the USD. The concern is understandable given Facebook's rep for being a 800 lb (363 kg) gorilla. However, it is possible Libra's focus is on practical nano-economics rather than step on monetary turf:
  • Slightly more user friendly than payment processors (PayPal, Stripe)
  • Slightly more accessible than credit cards (Visa, Mastercard)
  • Slightly more fluent than crypto (Bitcoin, Ethereum)

This begs the question: why are PayPal, Mastercard and Visa in the Libra association to develop a possible competing product? As we speculate:
  • These services see Facebook's growing membership (currently 2.5 billion, more than than the population of CN or IN) as a 'country' and, true to their expeditionary roots, they are the first to open offices in this 'country'.
  • They see Libra as Facebook's 'moonshot' and are keen to get seats on the ride. To quote the tagline of PayPal (which has done a sterling job in cross-border payments): 'Access to financial services creates opportunity'.

Online Sampler

People are often encouraged to 'eat more veggies' for a balanced diet. Veggies can be relished in many forms: sayur lodeh, pav bhaji, dhal, herbal soup, salad and in one of its simplest form: tea, which is essentially a light beverage infused from leaves and boiled water. Purple Cane retails tea and related products, and is part of a sampler of online stores and ecommerce related firms from recent events: 1

  • Oribags - Your world in a bag
  • BigBigPlace - Lifestyle and outdoor products
  • Itoshi - Solar energy and energy saving equipment
  • Pudore - Halal perfume and beauty products
  • PurpleCane - Green, white, oolong, black tea & teaware
  • HomeDeal - Online B2B wholesale marketplace
  • MineBizs - Exposure for products locally and globally
  • DagangHalal - Source and promote halal products and services
  • NearU - Send and collect parcels at convenient locations
  • QiJangLite - Backend for online, offline and social sales

Pick of Events (W5-Jul-2019)

Link Esports Business @ KL tix
Link Youth Forum @ KL tix
Link Islamic Digital @ KL tix
Link Google Webmaster @ KL tix
Link Asean-CN Matrade Go @ KL 1 2 3
Link Capital Money @ KL 1 2
Link Retail 3DTech @ KL 1 2

Link Music & Design @ KL
Link BigPay Axiata UX @ KL
Link Quartet Salon @ KL vid
Link Nusantara Culture @ KL tix
Link Arts Meetup @ KL

Around The Region
Link Future Energy @ HK
Link Startup Scotland @ HK
Link Startup Academy @ HK
Link Data Community @ SG also
Link Tokopedia Grab @ JKT 1 2
Link Quantum Algorithms @ BKK

Swan Lake

Istana Budaya is hosting Swan Lake on July 26th-28th 2019 [ poster | tix ] with Irina Kolesnikova and the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre. The (SNSFW) video shows a rehearsal (by another ballet group) showcasing the coordination, tempo and bustle needed just to play 'swan-ettes'.

Money: From Eden to Ethereum

Version Currency Form
0 None 'Garden of Eden'
1 Barter Direct exchange of goods and/or services
2 Token Gold, silver, shells, barley, [share certificates]
3 Money Notes or coins backed by gold, silver etc
4 Fiat Notes or coins not backed by gold, silver etc
4.1 Global SWIFT, Western Union
4.2 Card Credit card, debit card, stored value card
4.3 Internet PayPal, card payments, online funds transfer
4.4 AppEwallet, QRcode, NFC, digital bank
5 Crypto Bitcoin, Ethereum, IOTA, Ripple, Libra

Functions of Money
  • Medium of exchange - Accepted for payment for goods and services.
  • Unit of Account - A hotdog cost $1 and a Tesla $35,000.
  • Store of Value - Can be saved in a bank (or tin box) and used later.

Properties of Money (Classical) 1
  • Fungible - Any dollar note is the same value & exchangeable with any other.
  • Durable - The note (or coin) does not wear or tear easily.
  • Portable - Can be readily carried from place to place for reasonable amounts.
  • Recognisable - And able to easily distinguish $1 from $5 from $10 etc.
  • Stable - Hotdog doesn't cost $1 one day, $10 the next and 20¢ the day after.

Properties of Money (Crypto 1.0)
  • Anonymous - 'Can buy weed' (preserve privacy)
  • Immutable - Once paid, it is paid, cannot be reversed.
  • Decentralised - Not controlled by authorities.
  • Programmable - Automatic contracts.

Properties of Money (Crypto 2.0?)
  • Accessible - Easy onboarding (no need specialised knowledge or procedures).
  • Sovereign - Not readily banned or money withheld ('like with PayPal').
  • Liquid - Widely accepted for online and offline payments.
  • Safe - Does not naturally attract scams.
  • Fast - Near instant transaction confirmation.

Fashion Tapir

Iconik, a new coworking space located at Icon City, will be hosting two events in the coming weeks. More details under 'Fashion Tapir' in the listings below.

Latest Coworking Startups
  • Wongnai - Co-cooking space
  • CoFamily - Coworking with childcare
  • Glitch - Gamer coworking that is open 24 hours
  • Workonomy - Office Depot's coworking (like IKEA going into coworking)
  • Hines² - Hines coworking (like MRCB or CapitaLand going into coworking)
  • Showfields - Online-to-offline mall provides coworking for merchants
  • Novel - Close to public transport, has private entrance and signboard
  • Discovery - $500M coworking space for manufacturing, pharma & biotech

Pick of Events (W4-Jul-2019)

Link Circular Economy @ KL tix
Link Omni FinLawRegTech @ KL 1 2
Link AirAsia WoM WeWork @ KL 1 2 3
Link Leet CSS SocEnt @ KL 1 2 3
Link Export Case Studies @ KL tix
Link Microsoft SME Day @ KL
Link Alibaba HLX CyberSale @ PG 1 2 3
Link Powering ePayments @ JB tix

Arts Humanities
Link Fashion Tapir @ KL 1 2
Link Lit Conference @ SG
Link Economic Volatility @ KL tix

Around The Region
Link Startup Nation @ BKK tix
Link Social Impact Startups @ JKT tix
Link Causal Inference @ SG
Link Flutter Animation @ SG
Link Angels: More Than Money @ SG tix

All In Together

Watch as a school choir renders a local version of the Under The Vast Sky. Food for thought: JP choirs seem to have a greater variety of faces compared to their CN and KR counterparts who may tend to pick the more photogenic, perhaps a reflection of  'all in together' vs 'putting your best foot forward'. With the former: if you are can't sing well or are not photogenic, join us anyway and try your best to sing along with us. Interested in the harmony of choir singing? Find out more from Scott Woo, the first speaker at the 10th edition of PechaKucha PJ, 7:30pm-10pm, Sat, 27-Jul-2019 @ RexKL.

Ride Hailing Accelerator

Grab has been in the news for gaining an impressive amount of investments, and, on the less glam side, for inexplicable surge pricing, having riders provide face-id to get rides, cancelled rides by drivers, cancellation charges for riders, and drivers' bans and licensing travails. It is said opaque surge pricing has made the service equivalent to the old days of unmetered taxi rides [SG is legislating against this]. Grab could be in a hurry because it has to IPO by 2023.

Seasoned riders will remember the headier days when Uber was still around, when cars seemed newer and drivers less hassled. Some competition could be good for Grab otherwise it will need to take on the responsibility for being the primary shared mobility provider. There are plenty of small ride hailing startups (in MY) but they don't seem to be gaining traction. Perhaps they could do with some help, like, say, a ride hailing, new mobility accelerator. Imagine being mentored by top guns from Grab, GoJek, Uber, Lyft, EasyTaxi, Waymo, AirAsia, ComfortDelGro, BlueBird and Katsana.

Ride Hailing Startups
  • BlueCab - Low fare everywhere
  • CallMe - Easiest way to book a cab to and from KLIA
  • CiaoZ - Ride your dreams
  • Dacsee - Finding joy in your journey
  • EzCab - Transport booking app
  • GoCar - Make your journey simple
  • JomRides - Get your ride on the go
  • KwikCar - Car rental community
  • Moovby - Unlock a thousand cars from MYR 6 [USD 1.5] per hour
  • Mula2U - We have TPMS, GPS, SOS and tinting
  • MyCar - Trusted e-hailing
  • NeoUrban - Transport, food, delivery, payments
  • PicknGo - Get access to 10,000 taxis, metered rates, no surge pricing
  • RidingPink - Women only ride sharing
  • SoCar - Car sharing network
  • Sunlight - Affordable and reliable
  • TaxiGo - Professional and licensed drivers

Razer Beam

RazerPay was in the news recently for partnering with Visa to allow RazerPay to be used at 54 million Visa merchants globally. Although Razer's CEO had proffered a few card designs, official information released mentioned only an app not a card. How then could an app be used with millions of standard Visa terminals? Two possibilities:
  • RazerPay members will indeed be issued a physical card, or
  • Visa plans to upgrade its merchants to be app (QR-code, NFC) capable.
The second option will dovetail with Libra's ewallet (Visa is a founding Libra association member).

Mobile payments and ewallets go well with wearables, perhaps we may see some Libra-esque movements in that space as well (not necessarily referring to Razer). To use a wearable for transactions, data needs to be exchanged or beamed between it and a payment terminal (or a peer device). Possible tech: light (QR-code, LiFi), sound (eg. Chirp) and radio wave (Bluetooth, RFID, FelicCa, NFC, 5G).

Latest Fintech Startups via
  • Current - Mobile-only bank for youngsters, which parents can chip in too
  • Qonto - User friendly digital bank for small businesses
  • Curve - One app, multiple cards
  • Raisin - Pan-European fixed deposits marketplace
  • GetSafe - Customise your insurance using an app and get it in 5 minutes

Pick of Events (W3-Jul-2019)

Link Belt and Road @ KL tix
Link Swiss Smart Factory @ KL
Link US-MX Foreign Policy @ KL
Link Ambank Digital Marketing @ KL
Link Cognitive Supply Chain @ PG 1 2
Link McKinsey CIMB DevOps @ KL
Link Shares for Employees @ KL
Link Future Investing @ KL tix
Link AgroTech Pitch @ KK tix

Link Art Battle @ KL tix
Link Film Festival @ KL tix
Link Arts Festival 1 @ PG tix
Link Arts Festival 2 @ PG
Link Poetry Festival @ SG
Link Fête Nationale @ KL tix
Link Curry Coworking @ KL

Around The Region
Link A/B Testing @ SG
Link Angel Investing @ SG
Link Women Cybersecurity @ SG
Link Smart Nation Update @ SG
Link Data Science Meetup @ JKT

  • KL=Greater KL, JB=around JB etc.
  • Events may fall before, during or after the indicated week.
  • Posts are crafted on the go and are often fine-tuned after posting.
  • The use of brand logos and names are for illustration only. If, for example, 'McKinsey' is mentioned in an event title, it may simply mean a McKinsey employee is a speaker at the event, and not necessarily the event is endorsed, supported or officially participated in by McKinsey.
  • Focus is on community and boutique events. Conferences, training and events which are already being extensively marketed are generally not given priority for listing..
  • Starting this week, we are trying out a more succinct format by listing only around five (or a bit more) events per category.

Journey To The West

Beijing Opera
The Monkey King is a character in the the novel Journey To The West. It's old scbool Spider-Man and Marvel Comics. The novel was later adapted for opera and is still performed by the famous Beijing Opera, of which Jackie Chan is an alumnus.

Jackie Chan
The theatrical influence of Beijing Opera can be seen in Hong Kong kung fu movies. Pre-Jackie Chan era, they were replete with explicit violence and gore. Jackie Chan came along and turned kung fu into into a tongue-in-cheek, slapstick-ish art form in which the kung fu is still evident but sans the violence. Post-Jackie Chan, it's all wired flying, CGI and Matrix.

Rainforest Fringe Festival
The Beijing Opera school of theatrical martial arts still lives on at the opera itself and its influence, though fading away in Hong Kong, can still be seen, for example, in some of Tony Jaa's movies. You might be able to get a glimpse of the Monkey King and Beijing Opera at Primates: At The Origin featuring Beijing Opera alumnus Ghaffar Pourazar, happening this weekend [July 6-7, 2019] @ Rainforest Fringe Festival, Kuching.

The first part, featuring a rising pirouette from a squatting position, shows the dexterity needed to play the Monkey King. The second, in the finest tradition of fugitive movies like First Blood and The Fugitive, an imperial officer, one of many sent on the same mission, tries to apprehend the Monkey King without success.

Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto
There have being a few guesses as to the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto [Satoshi=Intelligent, Nakamoto=Central, thus Satoshi Nakamoto=Central Intelligence], the anonymous founder of bitcoin and the associated blockchain. All turned out inconclusive or were false leads. Last week Decrypt reported cyber sleuth Kimberly Forsythe managed to piece together, using chronological, event, language and activity analysis, that four individuals are possibly, collectively 'Satoshi Nakamoto':

The four (Irish, Estonians and Japanese respectively) met at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and started Guardtime, an enterprise blockchain development company based in Estonia around the time bitcoin were launched. Guardtime is said to be highly successful, and its success could be the reason why 'Satoshi' did not continue spending time on bitcoin. Interestingly, here is what Guardtime has to say about blockchain [our summary and paraphrasing]:
  • Blockchain is misunderstood.
  • Taking what was designed for cryptocurrencies to do X, Y Z (eg putting X, Y or Z on blockchain) is like 'having a hammer, everything looks like a nail'.
  • DLTs fare no better.
  • They may overly focus on distributed governance and sales of cloud services.
  • The key is putting the subject matter first and cryptography (of which there are many methods and which blockchain is just one) after, not the other way round.

Ninja Satoshi Nakamoto and kudos to international collaboration. [Image credits (left to right): Mike Gault (TheCipherBrief), Märt Saarepera (Cybenetica), Ahto Buldas (Wiki), Joichi Ito (MIT).]

More On Libra

Some notes on Libra, as a topic of digital currency:

  • Libra might not be blockchain-based. Instead, it could be leaning towards hashgraphs as hinted by the Hedera community. Hashgraphs (capable of processing thousands of transactions per second) and blockchains (5 tps for BTC, 15 for ETH) are distant cousins under the DLT tree.
  • How to not get bogged down by many regulators across many jurisdictions? Possibly compliance is outsourced to resellers and exchanges, just as a central bank while issuing currency does not deal with individuals or businesses but have banks do that.
  • Wouldn't banking and exchange fees apply when Libra is converted to fiat eventually? That is if it is converted to fiat. But what if there is no need to because the ecosystem is a big enough to be 'self sovereign'. Imagine, having your burger, roti, nasilemak, fried noodle or sandwich priced and be purchasable in Libra. [Just a thought experiment, it is not OK in most countries to transact in non-local currencies for local transactions.]
  • How can the unbanked get banked when they don't have a bank account (like you need one to use PayPal)? Perhaps, Libra will operate on a threshold basis, say, if you have max USD 500 in balance and total transactions per month, you are subject to little or no KYC.
  • What is to stop people from mass converting local currencies to what they perceive as a more stable Libra? Likely through limits, you can use Libra for transactions but not move your entire savings there (also Libra won't be paying interest). But, it is not impossible to imagine a country going fully international and digital by adopting Libra (or similar) as its currency just as countries like Ecuador uses the USD as its currency. The advantage is (possibly) a stable currency, the disadvantage is the country's currency is at the mercy of Zuck (or the Libra association, or Trump, or Geneva).
  • What about privacy? You can assume there is none thus if you want to buy weed (or hold a company ransom by locking up its files), you will need to use...BTC. Or you can assume if privacy is so important, if Libra doesn't provide it, a competitor will come along to provide it.

Durian Snowball

Malaysian International Food and Beverage Trade Fair MIFB 2019 is happening Thursday to Saturday. Sample exhibitors [img]:
  • Bisgood - Durian Snowball Mochi
  • BabaBeng - Coconut Egg Jam
  • Kintry - Aromatic Palm Sugar Granola
  • Uinah - Sabah Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic shandy)
  • Sobaek - Red Ginseng Extract
  • Artin - Saffron Ice Cream

Latest FoodTech Startups
  • FlavorWiki - Quantify 'delicious' (flavor, texture, aroma, chew etc)
  • ImpactVision - Take a pic of an avocado and get how many days old it is
  • Apeel - Coat fruits with an extra layer of natural skin for extra freshness
  • OceanHugger - Plant-based tuna
  • Foodini - 3-D food printer
  • Ycook - Precooked food that is not canned
  • Dixie - Cannabis coated snacks [like poppy seed sprinkle?]

Pick of Events (W2-Jul-2019)

Link Women Startups @ KL tix
Link Women Coffee @ KL
Link Women Javascript @ KL
Link Ecommerce Risks @ KL
Link Future of Work @ KL
Link Genetic Health @ KL
Link Firebase Pizzas @ KL
Link Digitalpreneurs @ KL
Link Flunk Tales @ KL
Link Sustainable Cities @ CJ tix
Link Digital Animation @ KC
Link Let's Go Global @ PG tix
Link Taiwan Expo @ PG

Link MY-CN Animation @ KL tix
Link Artistic Boundaries @ KL tix
Link Classical Grandeur @ KL
Link Borneo Weekend @ KL tix
Link Busker Competition @ KC
Link Writing Storytelling @ PG tix

Around The Region
Link Digital Aviation @ SG
Link Deep Tech Talent @ SG
Link Neural Linear Bandit @ SG
Link Shopaholic Thinking @ SG
Link AI Quantum Leaders @ SG
Link Data Scientists Meet @ SG
Link Reimagining Banking @ SG
Link Product Management @ JKT
Link Investor Due Diligence @ JKT
Link One Day Accelerator @ HK
Link Banking Core Data @ BKK tix
Link GraphQL Meetup @ BKK
Link Mobile Journalism @ BKK

Food & Beverage
Link Kiosk to Chain @ KL tix
Link Future Restaurant @ KL
Link Future Food @ KL
Link Airline Catering @ KL
Link Durian Festival @ KL also
Link Self Ordering @ IP tix
Link Hawker Culture @ SG
Link Food Drawing @ SG
Link Food Festival @ SG
Link Restaurant Pub Bar @ SG

Leading by Gastronomy

We haven't been looking at property much since Cities within a City. One of the 'cities' covered in that post was i-City, which we visited a couple of weeks back. Some notes on that and other retail matters. [Image: Café Amazon @ i-City]

Leading by Gastronomy
  • As expected for a new mall, not all shops were opened. But most shops at the lower ground floor (mainly F&B) were and the space was buzzing.
  • Not bad for a pre-opening, suggesting a well thought out, diverse F&B mix is a good lead for a mall launch.
  • Contrast this to some malls which, though surrounded by many famous food outlets, were themselves initially rather sparse with F&B offerings.
  • IOI City Mall host a popular F&B lower ground floor too though i-City pushes the envelope further by being more compact and sporting an organic design (meandering curved spaces vs a straight avenue at IOI City Mall).
  • Pluses: no zig-zag escalators (they annoy more than 'increase foot fall') and Mr DIY's shop entrance cleverly facing the apex of the escalators at the top floor (the shop was well patronized).
  • Minus: the dedicated ramp to i-City from the Federal Highway (from PJ/KL) doesn't actually lead to the carpark.

Robot Retail
  • Speaking of Mr DIY, it recently opened its 500th outlet at 1Utama.
  • Compared to its earlier days, we noticed it has exchanged depth for breath, perhaps its data analysis suggested dropping slow moving items in favour of using its shelf space for broad A/B testing.
  • For example, it used to stock a large variety of screwdrivers of all shapes, sizes and quality but is now restricted to a 2-3 brands, and it no longer stocks niche items like aircon rods.
  • Mr DIY is an example of we we would call 'Robot Retail' in common with KK SuperMart and 99 SpeedMart.
  • Robots are not necessarily Terminator like, they could be envisaged as well-oiled, effective systems with capital and momentum.
  • While mom-and-pop hardware shops are holding well against Mr DIY (which despite its name is more a generic retailer), mom-and-pop grocers face a mighty threat from KK, 99, MyNews and FamilyMart.
  • [On the plus side of retail chains, they open up in less glam areas ahead of demand and are quick to spot opportunities to fulfil unmet demand.]

The Neighbourhood Grocer
  • This year, at least three Raya videos incorporated the humble kedai runcit (grocery store) in their story line: MediaPrima (the village hub), Sunway (the gift of rice) and MEA (dodol snacks),
  • As mentioned in the previous section, mom-and-pop grocery stores have been in decline in tandem with the rise of chains.
  • Chains are perhaps an example of the concentration of economic power, not necessarily through any untoward intentions on the part of the large retailers but as a result of technology and 'Robot Retail'.
  • In the days of yore, if you had home baked biscuits for sale, you could approach a mom-and-pop grocery store owner and asked if he (or she) was willing to resell them or sell them on consignment.
  • If the owner did not agree, you could try another (and another until you found a grocer who liked your biscuits.)
  • Now, you would probably need to run a gauntlet of stern corporate purchasing officers (or sell direct online if you have the savvy and resources).
  • In essence, the small stores (sample) each make their own decentralized purchasing decisions giving a different colour, depth and breath to retail.
  • How to give a helping hand to the mom-and-pop grocery stores? As consumers, buy from them (if not all the time, at least occasionally). Or maybe (as a thought experiment) KK, 99, FamMart and MyNews should accept e-payments only, and only small stores can accept cash.

Design Sprint

Facebook rolled out the basics of Libra in a little over a year starting from last May. Speed is of the essence not only as a competitive advantage but also to combat inertia and entropy. One way Silicon Valley speeds up rollouts is to use Design Sprints to arrive at validated prototypes in 5 steps over 5 days. Design Sprint 2.0 cuts the sprint down to 4 days and requires members for only 2 of the 4 days [rolling participation]. Level up on Design Sprint 2.0 this weekend with Nur Aina Azmi @ IPSMART 2019 [tix].

Pick of Events (W1-Jul-2019)

Link Boost x TnG x Grab @ KL tix
Link Romancing The Net @ KL tix
Link IR4 for Accountants @ KL tix
Link Product Management @ KL
Link Digital Commerce @ KL
Link Angular Meetup @ KL
Link Smart Business @ KL
Link Term Sheets @ KL tix
Link Youth Startups @ KL tix
Link Data Security Laws @ KL
Link Parameter Tampering @ KL

Arts Humanities
Link Film Self Regulation @ KL tix
Link Christine Lagarde @ KL tix
Link Economic Framework @ KL tix
Link Pacific Climate Change @ KL
Link Grow Your Own Food @ KL
Link Architecture Discourse @ KL
Link Tukar Tangan Market @ KL
Link Kelam Kabut Market @ KL
Link Sunny Side Up Market @ KL
Link Showing Up @ KL vid

Link Exporting F&B @ NS tix
Link Data Insights @ PG tix
Link Taiwan Industry 4.0 @ PG
Link Creative Hackathon @ PG
Link Weekend Hackathon @ JB
Link Female Founders @ JB
Link Classical Music Fest @ JB
Link Academic Festival @ ST
Link Rainforest Festival @ KC
Link Primates R Us @ KC

Around The Region
Link Kudo x Bukalapak @ JKT
Link Tokopedia x Ovo @ JKT
Link Digital Business @ JKT
Link Cyber Security @ JKT
Link ML for Business @ JKT
Link Lean Enterprise @ JKT
Link Global Scaling @ SG tix
Link Mushroom Tech @ SG tix
Link Taiwan Startups @ SG tix
Link Czech Startups @ SG tix
Link Food Revolution @ HK
Link One Person Corp @ MNL
Link Deep Learning @ BKK
Link Intent Identification @ BKK
Link Project Alpha @ Asean

Flying Together

Starlings Flying Together
Watch as starlings fly together in a murmuration in UK. Notes:
  • We used to see birds mass flying in the evenings returning to roost.
  • In the mornings, there would be a crescendo as they took off to forage.
  • After rains, we could hear insects chirp and frogs croak.
  • We don't see or hear them much now. Do take care of nature.

All Creatures Great and Small
On the note on nature, while MPO takes a summer interlude, Bentley steps up to the podium with two forthcoming shows, featuring performances like Praeludium and Allegro and Carnival of The Animals, and pianist Lyndsey Peng.
  • Link All Creatures Great and Small (next weekend)
  • Link Duo Recital for Violin and Piano (mid July)

Libra: A New Currency

The following notes are based on a quick read of The image above is a snippet from the whitepaper of Libra's Move programming language.

New Currency
  • Not long ago, texting costs USD 0.16 per message of 160 characters.
  • Now, you can send text, images and videos freely (with a data plan).
  • Exchange of information has progressed but the exchange of money hasn't.
  • Ditto finance, banking, capital and inclusion.
  • Facebook proposes to address these via a new currency named Libra.
  • In an internet of money, currency transactions can be as quick and frictionless as instant messaging.

  • Libra will be a blockchain-based, stable, crypto currency.
  • It will be backed by bank deposits and securities.
  • This backing is used as a reserve, not a peg [vs Tether 1:1 with the USD].
  • The reserve will be kept by multiple custodians [perhaps multiple countries].
  • The reserve and its mix are intended to provide stability to Libra, even in the event of a financial crisis.
  • Interests and dividends from the reserve will be used to fund the operations of Libra and reward the initial investors of Libra.
  • Libra will offer two tokens: an investment token [perhaps a STO that is restricted to accredited investors] to seed its operations, and Libra itself which is purchasable by the public.
  • The public will be able to buy Libra from resellers and exchange it for fiat at exchanges.
  • The Libra blockchain will allow smart contracts.
  • Smart contracts will be programmable using a new language called Move that is intended to make contracts easier to program and be more robust.

Libra Association
  • Libra - the blockchain, currency and reserve - will be governed by an association (not dissimilar to a central bank), headquartered in Geneva, which will issue Libra (when fiat is presented) or withdraw it (when cash out to fiat).
  • But unlike central banks, it can't 'print money' because each Libra issued must be backed by fiat.
  • The 28 founding members of the Libra Association are listed below.
  • The association is open to more members. To join: an organisation must have a market value of USD 1 billion or more, have USD 0.5 billion in customer deposits, reach 20 million people a year and be in the Top 100 (eg. top 100 in Fortune 500), or as an academic institution be ranked Top 100 in QS and CS.

Founding Members

The Future is Today: Act or Disappear

The closing weeks of H1 2019 see a bumper crop of conferences and events across the region, of which a sample follows. [The post title and image is from Beyond Paradigm.]

Innovest Unbound tix [ June 27 | SG | USD 150 ]

Seamless tix [ June 25-27 | SG | gratis ]
  • Driving Mobile Payments - GoJek
  • What's Next for Digital Banking - HSBC
  • One Platform, One Shop - Volkswagen
  • Payments as a Competitive Advantage - Stripe
  • Retail Space Redefined - CapitaLand

Techsauce tix [ June 19-20 | TH | USD 160 ]
  • The Future of Mobility - Open Motors
  • Enterprise Private Blockchain - R3
  • Alternative Protein & 3D Printed Sushi - FIA
  • TikTok 101: Make Every Second Count - TikTok
  • Can Autonomous Vehicles Handle SEA Roads? - Mobileye

Next Block tix [ June 25-26 | TH | USD 125 ]

Ignite tix [ June 24-25 | PH | USD 100 ]

MyFintechWeek tix [ June 17-19 | MY | USD 90 ]

Beyond Paradigm tix [ July 17-18 | MY | USD 100 ]

Pick of Events (W4-Jun-2019)
Next post will be in 1-2 weeks' time.

Link SME BizNet @ MY tix
Link Digital Women @ KL tix
Link Digital Health @ KL tix
Link On Demand Economy @ KL tix
Link Equity Crowdfunding 1 @ KL tix
Link Equity Crowdfunding 2 @ KL
Link US-Asean Smart City @ KL
Link Career LinkedIn Way @ KL
Link MicroBiz Empowerment @ KL
Link Mastercard x Visa @ KL
Link Data Governance @ KL
Link Central Europe @ KL
Link Female Founders @ JB tix
Link Startup Festival @ JB

Arts Food Ecommerce
Link French Silat @ KL
Link New Shorties @ KL
Link Mamakpreneurs @ KL also
Link Food Safety @ KL
Link JD Retail F&B @ KL
Link Ecommerce Conf @ CJ
Link SME Ecommerce @ KL
Link Lesser Brands Ecom @ KL
Link Stripe Tech Founders @ KL

Around The Region
Link Women Changemakers @ HK tix
Link Swiss Innovation @ HK
Link Getty Insights @ HK
Link Green Jobs @ JKT
Link Product Tank @ JKT
Link Lean Enterprises @ JKT
Link Connect Tech Asia @ SG
Link Zero Carbon Cities @ SG
Link Zero Waste Conference @ SG
Link Shopee Knowledge Graph @ SG
Link Lazada Business Intelligence @ SG

Street Lambada

Busker Violinist
We're back on street beat with junior busker violinist Karolina Protsenko in two clips: a slower Somewhere Over The Rainbow highlighted by a mesmerized pooch towards the end of the clip, and a faster paced 90s hit Lambada. On a related note, young violinist Grace Clifford will be performing at this weekend's Titan at KLCC.

Backlane Cinema
Backlanes are particularly suited for street cinema being dark (away from street lighting), private (shielded by buildings), access controlled (only ingress end egress) and cosy (alfresco, narrow thoroughfare). There's one happening this Friday (7pm, June 14th) behind RexKL (Chinatown KL). The first edition of the cinema a couple of weeks back was full house, and the present edition is fully booked. Interested parties can perhaps try for standing room, no-show replacement, or they can attend the soft launch of RexKL (next door, same time).

Also This Weekend
Link What Investors Want @ KL
Link Erasmus Exchange @ KL info
Link Places Less Explored @ KL
Link Phantom of The Opera @ KL
Link Iliza Shlesinger @ KL vid
Link Artist Meetup @ PG

Drone Intersection

In the news: Boeing Insitu ScanEagle

Drone Intersection
Armed with a hunting rifle, a human can fend off a tiger or elephant (eg. by firing into the air to scare off the animal). But against a swarm of bees, the rifle would be of little use. In an age of 'Weaponization of Everything' (WoE), drone swarms are an emerging field of interest  [1 2] in an intersection of:
  • Remote sensing - Macro view of the landscape
  • Computer vision - Micro view of objects
  • Artificial intelligence - Semi or full autonomous operation
  • Swarm intelligence - Working on a mission as a swarm
  • Advanced communications - Secure command, image streaming etc
  • IoT - A drone at rest can be a self-installed IoT device
  • Navigation - Maptech, satellites, day-night, all weather, all terrain
  • DroneTech - Flight, chips, motors, batteries, miniaturization etc
Catch up with the latest on drones at MyDroneX June 17th 2019 @ Cyberjaya.

Capital Coworking
True Digital Park, a startup, tech and entrepreneurs campus located at Punnawithi, Bangkok, is hosting a free coworking week from June 10 to 14, 2019 [tix] with the following VCs present on campus:
  • OpenSpace - Early stage tech
  • 500 - Find and empower founders
  • Siri - Property vertical
  • DV - Fintech arm of SCB bank 1
  • Expara - In SEA since 2003
  • PTT - Energy, digital and robotics
  • MonksHill - Entrepreneurs backing entrepreneurs
  • Gobi - Hypothesis-driven investing 2
  • Fuchsia - Venture arm of MTL insurance
  • TrueIncube - Venture arm of True telco 3
  • Amadeus - Travel ecosystem
  • Beacon - Venture arm of Kasikornbank 4
  • Singha - Fast moving consumer goods vid

Pick of Events (W3-Jun-2019) KL=GreaterKL

Tech Week sample
Link MY Tech Week @ KL
Link Global Ecommerce @ KL
Link Taqwa Tech Pitch @ KL tix
Link Asean VC Pitch @ KL
Link Smart City Pitch @ KL
Link Fintech Pitch @ KL
Link Fintech Week @ KL via
Link Fintech Shariah @ KL
Link Fintech Security @ KL
Link Digital Regulation @ KL
Link Asean-CN Synergy @ KL 1 2 3
Link Ecommece Landscape @ KL tix

Link UOB Accelerator @ KL
Link WTF Accelerator @ CJ
Link Sustainable Hackathon @ CJ
Link Digital Supply Chain @ KL
Link IoT Co-Creation @ KL
Link AML Regulations @ KL
Link Google Cloud Next @ KL
Link AI vs HR @ KL tix
Link BizStart @ KK tix

Arts Design Architecture
Link Architecture Conf @ KL tix
Link Urban Conservation @ KL
Link Trad Architecture @ KL
Link Sufi Architecture @ KL
Link French Music Day @ KL
Link Zero Waste Fest @ KL
Link Sea Blue Sunday @ KL
Link Travel Blogging @ KL
Link UXUI Strategy @ KL
Link UXUI Mini Summit @ KL tix

Around The Region
Link Blockchain Hackathon @ SG
Link People Culture @ SG tix
Link Story Telling Fest @ SG
Link Crypto vs Fiat @ SG
Link CTO Meetup @ JKT
Link Fintech Hackathon @ HK
Link Ecommerce Growth @ HK
Link Manufacturing Expo @ BKK