Forbole Newsletter #3 – The Road to Giver

You will become more successful by helping others to succeed. An effective way to achieve this is to help people to seize opportunities. If more people choose to become a giver, a powerful community of givers will arise. This post suggested how this would work.

Whenever there is a community, no matter it is online or offline, there will be some kind of central authority to run it. But central authority tends to corrupt. I have cited a real life example how an offline business community could go wrong and how Forbole would solve this problem.

As we want to build an inclusive and diversified community of givers, the culture of our team should be the same. That’s why we need people who are different from us to join us.

And we are not alone. Institutions are now more concern about diversity. AppWorks is one of them. As a leading accelerator in South East Asia, they are now inviting blockchain/AI startups all over the world to join their next cohort. Diversity matters.

Polkadot World Map

Forbole is on Polkadot now!

Polkadot World Map
Polkadot World Map

Forbole is on Polkadot testnet now! Thanks to the generous referral and guidance by Melea! It seems like Greater China Region and the entire Southeast Asia have quite good potential!

Forbole Validating Polkadot
Forbole Validating Polkadot

Polkadot is a heterogeneous multi‑chain technology. It consists of many parachains with potentially differing characteristics which can make it easier to achieve anonymity or formal verification. Transactions can be spread out across the chains, allowing many more to be processed in the same period of time. Polkadot ensures that each of these blockchains remains secure and that any dealings between them are faithfully executed. Specialised parachains called bridges can be created to link independent chains. Let’s take a look how Dr. Gavin Wood, Co-founder of Polkadot made the introduction:

Forbole Newsletter #2 – A Year Of Change

A year ago, we wrote Forbole has been born (officially).

Wow! We have changed a lot in this exciting year. In the first Forbole Annual Letter, we talked about ICO hype, the USD8,500 tour (that we have not joined), “outright scam” and the grassroots movement we are initiating.

Grassroots is everywhere, and hence Forbole will be a stateless project. In fact, I am finalizing this newsletter in Taipei, Taiwan. We hope to explore the blockchain space in different cities.

Forbole Annual Letter 2018 – A grassroots movement

Put aside the difficult terminology and technical discussions of blockchain, let’s talk about what the technology means as a grassroots movement.

A year of change

It has been a year of rapid advancement for us at Forbole. We have evolved and dealt with change, and even our pitch deck has been revised from time to time.

However what we know is that human nature has not and will never change. It starts with greed and ends with fear.

ICO hype

Looking back to Nov 2017, people were lost in the hype surrounding ICO’s. It was thought that ICO’s would fundamentally disrupt traditional startup financing. However we soon learned that we were wrong. What ICO’s in fact created were new kinds of intermediaries and centralizations, which set a high barrier for startups trying to access the ICO ecosystem.

The unavoidable truth of this time is that information asymmetry creates intermediaries. Intermediaries will evolve into centralized authorities. This evolution is inevitable regardless of the underlying technology, no matter if it is block-chain or block-rope. To make matters worse, blockchain has created a large information asymmetry due to its inherent difficulty. The result is a hotbed of scams and industry spam. Suddenly countless people have become “crypto investors”, “ICO experts”, “family office” investors and “venture capitalists”.

Luckily for us, two core messages could be pulled from this that helped keep us on track.


In early September of this year, a friend told me there was a 5-day tour being organized in mainland China. Participants would be given the opportunity to connect with various famous VCs. The fee? Not cheap. USD8,500 per person. The tour didn’t even disclose the names of the representatives for those VCs. I had no idea of the potential ROI for this trip, but one thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t have the money. We already had a trip planned to Shanghai in the same month. Despite my friend’s opinion that the cost was in fact cheap when compared with other similar events in the crypto space, I gently declined applying for that tour.

During the Shanghai trip, we directly connected with the co-founders and key people in some of the leading blockchain projects such as Cosmos, IRISnet and Polkadot. We also connected directly with some of the most well known VCs in the crypto space, some of which were even listed in the above USD8,500 tour.

I finally came to the realization that crypto hype has twisted people’s minds. Startups are asked to pay large sums of money for just a small chance (not even a guarantee) of getting in front of the right people who have access to funds. This is akin to farmers in the Middle Ages who were forced to pay tariffs just to enter the castle to sell wheat.

What’s really striking to me is that people think this is normal.

“Outright scams”

Here’s the second message: A friend tried to refer us to another potential angel investor – before we even had the chance to send our deck, our friend delivered the investor’s reply: “These are all outright scams. Don’t waste my time.”

Honestly, I thought this was a reasonable response. People should be skeptical: No tractions, no finished product. That’s it. Period. (Later I found out that the angel investor was a bitcoin maximalist – lesson learnt.)

Back on track

Why do people think that paying a considerable intermediary fee is normal? Why do people think all these projects are scams? While seemingly negative, these experiences have in fact helped us clear our minds and focus on our mission. Our initiative is to disrupt the centralized business models of social networks. We need to first disrupt ourselves through a ground-up movement, a grassroots movement.

Most startups fail because the founders quit. Founders quit mostly because they are starving. With two co-founders that have a combined skill set of coding, hardware, design, coaching, finance, marketing and sales, all we need is to survive long enough to gain tractions and hit our targeted growth metrics. To accomplish this, we have hit some key milestones:

  1. Raised funds from individuals again
  2. Restructured the business of previous venture to provide passive income
  3. Assembled a team of talented professionals to moonlight for us
  4. Explored the opportunity of becoming validators (Cosmos and Polkadot, then Tezos & IRISnet)

The above measures provide us with a 12-18 month runway. We will also earn validation income once those mainnets have launched. As Adam Draper of Boost VC put it, be the nuclear cockroach.

Big Dipper  – Lead you the way to explore the Cosmos

We are excited to announce the launch of the Big Dipper (beta), a Cosmos explorer, and it is also our contesting project for Cosmos HackAtom 3: The Validator Series.

The Big Dipper is an opensource explorer tool to monitor the status of any Cosmos compatible blockchain using the BPoS. We aim to provide a better user experience with nearly real-time response to show different information and metrics in different aspects regarding the network. We utilize different endpoints from Tendermint, Cosmos SDK and the Command Line Interface to aggregate data into a single web interface.

Governance proposal details being updated on the Big Dipper in a very short time.

Currently, the Big Dipper offers the following features.

  1. Monitor the consensus status of the network
  2. View blocks created time and number of transactions
  3. Monitor the change of validating power
  4. Show short term uptime and latest seen time of validators
  5. Track proposals creation, details and status update
  6. Easy to switch colour theme with any Bootstrap CSS themes.

We do not stop here. We keep enhancing the Big Dipper to show more information about the Cosmos. Features on user registration, status alerts, WebSocket event subscription on transactions, Prometheus metrics integration, etc. will be available very soon. Stay tuned.

You are welcome to give us feedbacks and fork the project to run with your blockchains. Please visit the project Github.

Souvenirs from Global Blockchain Summit 2018 in Shanghai

Forbole Newsletter #1

Souvenirs from Global Blockchain Summit 2018 in Shanghai
Souvenirs from Global Blockchain Summit 2018 in Shanghai

Dear Bo-Le,

Thanks for your support to Forbole. As the number of our stakeholders are growing, it’s time to start our regular newsletter. Below is our recent progress:

  1. As of 30 Sep 2018, we have 12 individual investors based on SAFE. The latest valuation cap is USD1.5M.
  2. Our resources can support our development for the next 12 months, and invest in the network infrastructure we need.
  3. We have become an active validator on Cosmos (current testnet version: gaia-8001).
  4. We have developed the Big Dipper, which is a real-time block explorer on Cosmos Hub. Big Dipper helps people to keep updated on the status of Cosmos Hub.

The last 12 months was our age of enlightenment. We finally chose to use Cosmos, which aims at creating the Internet of Blockchains. And that has made all the difference. After joining the Cosmos community, our value and philosophy about blockchain have changed completely.

What’s next:

  1. Join Cosmos’s HackAtom3 and Game of Stake competitions
  2. Launch the beta of Forbole Referral Network
  3. Apply for blockchain-specific accelerators in Shanghai or Singapore

Thanks for your support. Feel free to follow us on Telegram and Twitter.

Forbole Green Paper

A lot of blockchain and crypto enthusiast has accepted my invite on LinkedIn (here is my profile). Thank you! Our world needs more startup supporters like you! Especially we are now in the world of centralization governed by internet big brothers.

That’s why we started Forbole, a decentralized ecosystem based on recommendations, referrals, and rewards. We want to tell the world that the law of reciprocity is true. When we help each other to succeed, we would all become more successful. This is what we need in a decentralized community.

We are not another Ethereum project. We build our own chain powered by Cosmos. Why? See section 7 of the Green Paper.

Why do we call this green paper? This is my Google result: “a preliminary report of government proposals that is published in order to provoke discussion.”. Feel free to join us on Telegram.


Forbole has been born (officially)

[中文按此] On 24 Oct 2017, Forbole has been born. Who else was born on 24 Oct? One of them is Stephen Covey, the author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, one of the best selling self-help books ever.

Covey coined the idea of abundance mentality, a concept in which a person believes there are enough resources and successes to share with others. We are not playing a zero-sum game. Your success is not necessarily made at the expense of mine. If I help you this time, and you help me next time, both of us will become better. If more people think like this, our world will become a better place.

So, what is Forbole?

“Forbole” is a portmanteau of “for” and “Bole”. We are sure you know what is “for”. What is “Bole” then? Time for a Chinese lesson.

“Bole” was the legendary inventor of equine physiognomy, which is a technique to “judge a horse’s qualities from appearance”. In Modern Standard Chinese, Bole figuratively means “good judge of (especially hidden) talent”. (

We are so lucky that we have met a lot of Bole in our life who unleashed our potential and helped us to grow. We would like to help more Bole to discover more hidden talents. That’s why we founded Forbole, a reliable social ecosystem based on recommendations, referrals, and rewards, enabled by blockchain.

The pre-ordering of our premium memberships (which will include Boleus Tokens, the crypto-tokens we will develop) has started. Join us as a Bole to make this world a better place full of opportunity, success, and happiness.



Terence Lam
Co-Founder of
Forbole, a blockchain startup


Forbole 正式誕生了

[English here] 2017 年 10 月 24 日,布樂誕生了。還有誰是在 10 月 24 日誕生呢?其中之一,就是暢銷書「高效能人士的七個習慣」的作者史提芬柯維。


那麽,Forbole 是甚麽?

“Forbole” 是我們以 “for” 及 “Bole” 混合新創的字。”Bole” 就是伯樂的普通話拼音。或許各位都聽過「世有伯樂,然後有千里馬」,伯樂就是懂得鑑別有才者的人。Forbole 的中文名為「布樂」,有布施快樂之意,亦是我們人生的意義。

我們非常幸運,在人生路上一直遇到很多伯樂,釋放我們的潛能,幫助我們成長。我們希望協助更多的伯樂發掘更多的千里馬。所以,我們成立 Forbole – 一個以區塊鏈技術開發,基於推介、引薦及獎勵的可靠社交生態環境,

我們的尊貴會籍 (包括我們自建的加密代幣布樂幣) 現正進行預售。我們誠意邀請你加入成為伯樂,令這個世界變得更美好,並充滿機遇、成就及快樂。


區塊鏈初創 Forbole