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Project Forbole [ˈfɔːbəl]

a social networking ecosystem of the users, by the users, for the users

Kwun Yeung (
Terence Lam (

Table of Contents


This Whitepaper and any other documents published in association with this Whitepaper relate to the intended development and use of Project Forbole. They are information purposes only and may be subject to change.

Nothing in this Whitepaper constitutes legal, financial, business or tax advice and you should consult your own legal, financial, tax or other professional adviser before engaging in any activity in connection herewith. Neither Forbole Limited (‘FL”), any of the project team members who have worked on Project Forbole or project in any way whatsoever (the FL Team) nor any third-party service provider shall be liable for any kind of direct or indirect damage or loss whatsoever which you may suffer in connection with accessing this Whitepaper, materials produced by FL, or accessing the website at or any other materials published by FL.

This Whitepaper contains forward-looking statements that are based on the beliefs of FL, as well as certain assumptions made by and information available to FL.

Project Forbole as envisaged in this Whitepaper is under development and is being constantly updated, including but not limited to key governance and technical features. The tokens involves and relates to the development and use of experimental platforms (software) and technologies that may not come to fruition or achieve the objectives specified in this Whitepaper.

This Whitepaper is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute a prospectus, an offer document, or an offer of securities or a solicitation for investment. The information herein below may not be exhaustive and does not imply any elements of a contractual relationship. There is no assurance as to the accuracy or completeness of such information and no representation, warranty or undertaking is or purported to be provided as to the accuracy or completeness of such information. Where this Whitepaper includes information that has been obtained from third party sources, FL and the FL Team have not independently verified the accuracy or completion of such information. There is no assurance as to the accuracy or completeness of such information and no representation, warranty or undertaking is or purported to be provided as to the accuracy or completeness of such information.


We have seen more and more problems were created by the corrupted social network service (“SNS”) providers such as Facebook and LinkedIn. These include the unresting scams and spams, the security loopholes, the privacy breaches and the oligopolistic behaviours of these SNS behemoths that infringe users’ interests and harm the industry as a whole. People are demanding for a new kind of social networks.

The root of the above problems is the structural deficiency of the business model of these centralized SNS providers. We believe a social network of the users, by the users, for the users will be a solution to reshape the scene of social networking. 

Project Forbole is an initiative to build an ecosystem of decentralized social networks. We advocate for a new business model and a new mindset of social networking. We will achieve this by applying blockchain technology and redefining the roles and mindsets of various players.

This Whitepaper aims at providing a deeper understanding of the scope and value proposition of Project Forbole to the audience who are interested in becoming an early mover in this initiative by participating the first private presale of the native token of ForboleChain, the Desmo Token.

Project Overview

Structure of Project Forbole

Forbole Limited

Forbole Limited (“FL”) is a for-profit company limited incorporated in Hong Kong in Oct 2017. The main businesses of FL will be technology solution service and digital asset management. FL is building Big Dipper, ForboleChain and Forbole Referral Network.

At the date of incorporation, FL was cofounded and owned by Kwun Yeung (52%) and Terence Lam (48% on document, while 15% will be an option pool for future employees). As at the date of this Whitepaper, a total angel investment amount of HKD630,000 (USD80,769) has been raised from 12 individuals using Simple Agreement for Future Equity (“SAFE”) with the latest valuation cap of USD1.5 million.

Cosmos and the internet of blockchains

Project Forbole is a Cosmos/Tendermint ecosystem project. Please refer to the whitepaper of Cosmos to understand the concepts such as validators and consensus, which also apply in Project Forbole.

For the sake of wide adoption of blockchain, there is a need for our audiences to understand the concepts of internet of blockchains in a non-technical way. Please refer to this layman’s analogy.


a blockchain for decentralized social networks

ForboleChain (“FBC”) is the blockchain we are developing. Powered by Cosmos Hub and Tendermint, FBC is a high-performant and byzantine fault tolerant blockchain based on proof-of-stake consensus.

In Cosmos terminology, a hub is a blockchain that hosts a multi-asset distributed ledger, where tokens can be held by individual users or by zones themselves. The hub is responsible for preserving the global invariance of the total amount of each token across the zones.

FBC will be a hub connecting to Cosmos Hub and IRIS Hub, the first regional hub of Cosmos in China. Based on the core developments of Cosmos Hub, FBC will develop its own modules specifically for decentralized social networks, these include the concepts of distributed reputations and contribution-by-engagement.

After reviewing the timeline of Cosmos ecosystem projects and our progress, Q1–2019 is a good timing to launch the testnet of FBC.

Desmo Token

As of the atoms of Cosmos Hub, FBC will also have a native utility token called Desmos. The name of Desmo [ˈdɛsmɒ] was inspired from Ancient Greek desmós (δεσμός) which means “bond, relationship”. Desmos are a license for the holder to vote, validate, or delegate to other validators on FBC. Desmos can also be used to pay for transaction fees to mitigate spam.

We suggest an inflation rate of 5–20% of the total supply of Desmos per annum. Inflationary Desmos and block transaction fees are rewarded to validators and delegators who delegate to validators.

Forbole Referral Network:

a decentralized professional fraternity

We will build the first dApp on FBC which is called Forbole Referral Network (“FRN”). FRN is a decentralized business social network based on users engagements that are relating to reputations, such as endorsement of skills, recommendation of profiles and referral of business or career opportunities to other members. These engagements will be encouraged through gamification and meta-moderation design. 

The purpose of FRN is to transform the trust attributes generated from close business relationships into secured, traceable and portable digital assets such that the circle of influence of a user can grow efficiently and various circles can connect with each other base on the same belief: help the people you trust to succeed by referring them opportunities. You can also see FRN as a decentralized professional fraternity.

The beta of FRN will be released in Jan-2019. Please click here for an animation explainer and here for the draft UX design. Furthermore, we are also considering to rebrand FRN to "Phanero Network" at a suitable time.

Phanero Token

Phanero [fəˈnærəʊ] is the token to support the crypto economics of FRN. The name is inspired from Ancient Greek phanerós (φανερός) which means “visible, manifest, evident”. We first knew about this word from Jae Kwon, the cofounder of Cosmos, in his speech in CryptoEconomics Security Conference 2017 (click here for the speech):

“… I feel like, between crypto and economics there’s another word that’s missing which stands for the transparency, so maybe crypto economics should be crypto phanero economics …”

“…there’s this duality between hiding something and sharing something, and what blockchain does or what bitcoin has done it’s shown us a way to coordinate ourselves in a new way by using cryptography to share information and not share information in ways that were not possible before and thereby creating a new ecosystem.”

The literal meaning of phanerós is exactly what we want to achieve in FRN. We encourage users to help each other to build reputations through serious and engaging interactions such as endorsements, recommendations and referrals. Users are incentivised to become more visible.

Creation of Phaneros

Every new Phanero will be created at a constant rate commencing from genesis except a number of Phanero will be created and distributed on a one-off basis to users who have made the contribution-by-engagement before genesis. In fact, the users’ activities before genesis will also give us valuable insights in designing Phanero.

Users have to earn the new Phanero purely by “sweat”: making contribution-by-engagement. There will not be any sales of newly created Phaneros. The final details and implementation of Phaneros will be decided by governance on FBC.

A new business model for social networks with dual-tokens

We believe in the philosophy of Cosmos to build an ecosystem of connected and interoperable blockchains rather than relying on one single dictating blockchain. We have further discovered that this notion can be integrated with more elements of economics and politics to become our version to create a new era of decentralized social networks.

A truly decentralized ecosystem need to be diversified and inclusive enough. This is important to connect the visionary layman users and hardcore developers. We achieve this by the Desmo-Phanero dual-tokens business model. FBC and its token Desmo provide the infrastructure for other decentralized social networking apps. FRN and its token Phanero provide an interface for layman users to join blockchain and crypto space. This is the relationship between Desmo and Phanero that makes us special in this space.

Desmo-Phanero Dual-Tokens Model

Redefining various stakeholders

We are not the first project which claims to disrupt social networks by incentivising users. But this is just one piece of the puzzle. We need a social networking ecosystem of the users, by the users, for the users. This is a movement similar to the French Revolution or abolition of slavery. The first important step is to reinvent the mindset of stakeholders of social networks.

Currently, SNS providers think they are the emperors who own every data of their users (the peasants) and turn that into gold. At the same time, the users (this time as the slaves) are bewitched to work (make engagements) for the SNS providers for free. By adopting the layman’s analogy we mentioned earlier, we want to redefine the stakeholders and entities of Forbole ecosystem as follow:

The internet of blockchains is the world of nations.

FBC is one of these nations. FRN is the first province in FBC.

Members of Forbole ecosystem are the citizens with various right depending on the passports they are holding

Validators of FBC are the congressmen of FBC who participate the governance of FBC and sometimes its provinces.

Desmo and Phanero are two types of passports that entitle the citizens different rights in Forbole ecosystem.

Desmo entitles its holder the partial ownership in FBC. Desmo will be used as the staking token to perform the operation and governance of FBC. Desmo holders will delegate their Desmo to their choices of validators.

Phanero entitles its holder the partial ownership in FRN. A funding pool will be created from the income of FRN and used to provide liquidity for Phanero (see below).

FL as a company, is the team to serve Forbole ecosystem at various capacities such as service provider, facilitator, tokens holder, validator and investor.

We are eliminating the preconception that the SNS provider (and its shareholders) is the sole owner of the social network. This is no longer valid and satisfactory. As a social network, FRN is owned by the holders of Phanero. By earning Phanero through contribution-by-engagement, every user can become the owner of FRN.

As such, there is no more saying like “we share profit with users”, as we cannot share things that we do not own. This is the owners of FRN who own its profit, and they share a portion of it with FL as a management fee.

Desmo: a new level of ownership

Ownership of FBC means not just economic benefits, but also the right to participate the governance of FBC, which is the backbone for FRN and other Forbole ecosystem projects. While our target early participants of Desmo will be the validators or investors of Cosmos or its ecosystem projects, we also want to encourage FRN users to participate the governance of FBC directly or indirectly in the long run.

Governments need to educate, encourage and sometimes force (by law) their citizens to vote in elections. Decentralization needs the same attitude. One of our challenges ahead is to educate and encourage users of FRN to participate the governance of FBC by earning, owning and delegating Desmo to their preferred validator candidates. We need to promote civic awareness of a decentralized ecosystem.

On the other hand, this maybe dangerous if laymen users (often outnumber knowledgeable validators and investors) have overwhelming influence on the governance. So a system like bicameralism may also be discussed in the future.

Phanero: connecting fiat and crypto economics

The idea of FRN was derived from our own experiences in business networking. We know there is a need for recording business interactions securely and transparently such that the true connectors will shine and influence other people. By tokenizing the trusts we generate from the endorsements, recommendations and referrals into portable digital assets, we can build reputations for each other, extend our close relationships and enlarge our circle of influence. The overall reliability both on-chain and off-chain of Forbole ecosystem will be enhanced and attract more users to do the same. A virtuous cycle is created.

The sources of income of FRN are membership fee and advertising income just like other social networks. To encourage wide adoption, we need to be inclusive enough for fiat currencies users. In early stage, we expect FRN will receive most of its income in fiat. After deducting the management fee for FL, the balance will become a reserve to provide liquidity for Phanero. Ones may regard this reserve as the “buyer of last resort” in the secondary market of Phanero. Through this arrangement, we convert the traditional centralized business model of SNS into a decentralized one where the business of FRN is owned by its true owners: Phanero holders.

A tale of two tokens

The interaction between Desmo and Phanero will be quite interesting from various perspectives.

Off-chain governance

FRN can play a crucial role in off-chain governance of FBC and other Cosmos ecosystem projects as the users who have made endorsements, recommendations and referrals to other users are in fact staking their own reputations.

As a member of Cosmos ecosystem, we have already seen the importance of off-chain governance during Game of Stakes. FRN can be used as a tool for doing KYC whether you want to join force with cartels, anti-cartels or anti-anti-cartels. This also applies to business world when ones want to partner with or recruit for other people. You may not know those people who made those endorsements, recommendations and referrals to your potential partners but you know that these engagements are made by those who have staked their reputations and are rated through meta-moderation.

Conversion between Desmo and Phanero

To encourage FRN users to participate the governance, we need to provide privilege for Phanero holder to convert their Phanero to Desmo. One possible way is to set aside a portion of Desmo inflation exclusive for Phanero holder to exchange for Desmo at a preferential rate. One question is whether this preferential rate is for one-way conversion only or two-way exchange between the two tokens. If Desmo can also be converted into Phanero, the economy of Desmo will then be partially supported by the business model of FRN. But this will further blur the value propositions of Desmo and Phanero which are in fact completely different. Anyhow, this will be decided through governance on FBC.

Price stability

Phanero will be back by the the reserve fund while the later will be created from the income of FRN. Due to the transparency of the size of reserve fund and its role as a liquidity provider, the market will derive the reasonable value (or "fundamental value" in financial literature) for Phanero. In other words, this may be something like a transformed gold standard: the price of Phanero will be derived by the size of the reserve fund. If the market price of Phanero is higher or lower than the theoretical fundamental value, the reserve fund (and other market players who see the arbitrage opportunity) will sell or buy the Phanero. This may provide some degree of price predictability and stability to Phanero.

Together with the exclusive conversion between Desmo and Phanero, will this provide a more reliable framework for delegators and validators to decide whether they should delegate and/or stake their Desmo, or speculate in the volatility of the token? Will the reserve fund policy for Phanero and the inflation of Desmo counter-balance the volatility to ensure the stability and security of Forbole ecosystem? These are all we want to find out.


To fund this revolution, a series of presale of Desmo will take place.

Initial Distribution of Desmos

The number of Desmos at genesis will be capped at 200,000,000. They will be distributed in different rounds of presale according to our development plan. The initial distribution of Desmo is as follows:

Number of Desmos Parties
10% (20,000,000): Investment arm of FL
5% (10,000,000): Community
5% (10,000,000): Current stakeholders
80% (160,000,000): A number of rounds of presale

Initial Distribution of Desmos

Investment arm of FL (10%)

To achieve decentralization, we need to create a diversity of projects on FBC. We cannot (and should not) develop all the projects by ourselves. Instead of solely relying on in-house team, we will create an investment arm under FL to invest in Forbole ecosystem projects.

As we have seen the limitations and administrative costs of a non-profit foundation, we propose to make this investment arm a for-profit subsidiary of FL and will evolve into its main business. This will replace the non-profit foundation we often see in ICO. We believe this would create a good incentive for FL to build Forbole ecosystem.

Community (5%)

The community we defined here is more than the normal scope we see in the market. Our community will be further divided into:

  • Future staff of FL (1%): Future staff should also be the active contributors to the community.
  • Consultants (1%): This means the future consultants, advisors and freelancers who provide their services in reward for Desmos as part or all of their remunerations.
  • Community bounty (3%): This is a pool for both developers community and early adopters community of FRN. This motivates developers to assist in the technical development. It will also boost the virality of FRN.

Current stakeholders (5%)

This is common in a crowdsale that the project company and/or its team will be allotted free tokens as an incentive. Most of them won’t have a sufficient transparency in disclosure, and we want to do it in a slightly modified way.

Instead of allotting all this 5% to FL as its incentive, we will allot half of them (2.5%) to FL and the remaining half (2.5%) directly to the 2 co-founders, the 12 existing SAFE investors of FL, 4 individuals who participated in our previous short-lived crowdfunding campaign and 2 individuals as teammates. We believe this arrangement can further decentralize the decision of how to handle these tokens. It also provides more transparency.

Although this 2.5% to FL and the 10% as described in section 3 are all allotted to FL, they will be managed separately. We hope the 10% as investment arm will be managed like a crypto VC.

Fundraisers (80%)

Many rounds vs one-off ICO

We decided to arrange a few rounds of private presale of Desmo, phase by phase, according to our development plan. The final round maybe a public crowdsale, which is subject to further advices. Reasons can be summarized as follow:

  • Sense of ownership play a crucial role in motivating the community. We noticed that in quite some crypto projects, a lot of late but engaging community members have missed the token sales. For example, even though we are active in Cosmos community, we have missed its fundraiser. We hope that people will have the chance to join at different stages according to their understanding in the project and risk appetites.
  • Currently, we are not back by institutional investors. While this seems to be a weakness, we see opportunity. We have the free hands to make the project as decentralized, diversified and inclusive as possible.
  • We want to kickstart as simple as possible and then get back to work.

First private presale of Desmo: "The Round Table" (10%)

“… (The Round Table) has no head, implying that everyone who sits there has equal status…” (Wiki)

The first private presale of Desmo is also called the Round Table of Validators as we hope to be decentralized as early as possible. We cordially invite validators or investors (delegators) to join this round. Validators who join this round will play a decisive role in cofounding this revolution of social networks.


Items: Details
Number of Desmos: 20,000,000 (10% of initial distribution)
Selling price: USD0.01/Desmo (Valuation: USD2,000,000)
Soft cap: USD40,000 (4,000,000 Desmos)
Hard cap: USD200,000 (20,000,000 Desmos)
Max. participation amount: USD20,000 (2,000,000 Desmos) per participant
Min. participation amount: USD1,000 (100,000 Desmos) per participant
Accepted currencies: USD (denominated), HKD, BTC, ETH
Exchange rate: as seen below
Date of completion: 14 Feb 2019

Selling price and valuation

The selling price is USD0.01/Desmo, which implies a valuation of USD2,000,000 at genesis assuming the initial distribution of 200,000,000. This valuation is approximately one-fifth of the market capitalization of some 200th ranked cryptos (as on coinmarketcap) at their recent trough levels in Dec 2018 (at the time when BTC dropped to USD3,200). We believe this is a very conservative valuation given the works, experiences and reputation we have developed so far.

Soft cap and hard cap

Soft cap of USD40,000 is already reached as Kwun Yeung and Terence Lam, both the co-founders of FL, will each invest USD20,000 in this round. Together with the remaining cash, Project Forbole can keep going at least until the end of Sep 2019. If we take into account our bootstrapping capacity, we estimate the runway can be further extended to Dec 2020.

Hard cap is USD200,000. If hard cap has not reached, the remaining Desmo will be allocated for future rounds.

Participation amount

We have set a maximum participation amount per participant at USD20,000 to keep the community as decentralized as possible. For people who are interested in participating with a larger amount, they may consider invest the excess amount in FL using SAFE at a valuation cap of USD1,650,000. Please be reminded that the business models of FL and FBC are different.

On one hand, we want to set the entry barrier low enough to include as many interested validators as possible, as we need more validators to join us in fighting the social networks behemoths. On the other hand, the amount needs to be high enough to be qualified as stakes to secure the network. We have set the minimum participation amount at USD1,000.

Accepted currencies and exchange rate

The denominated currency will be USD while we accept USD, HKD, BTC and ETH. The exchange rate between USD and HKD is USD1.0 to HKD7.8. For USD/BTC and USD/ETH, we will refer to the closing price of the respective cryptos on the previous day (UTC+8:00) of payment as shown on For example, if we receive the payment in BTC at anytime on 5 Jan 2019 (UTC+8:00), we will refer to the closing price on 4 Jan 2019 (UTC+8:00) which was USD3,857.72/BTC as the exchange rate.

Date of completion

We will send individual invitation to selected people within 30 days from the date of this Whitepaper. We also welcome interested parties who have not received our invitation to contact us regarding their intention (please contact by Certain KYC procedures may be required. We target to complete this private presale by 14 Feb 2019.

Use of fund

USD40,000 (20% of hard cap):
  • Launch the testnet of FBC and create new modules
  • Launch the beta of FRN and acquire for early adopters
  • Link up FBC and FRN
  • Kickstart Cosmos & FBC community in Taiwan
  • Complete the accelerator program (Please refer to the section “Timeline for 2019”)
USD80,000 (40% of hard cap):
  • Upgrade FRN with gamification design
  • Kickstart Cosmos & FBC community in China’s Greater Bay Area
- Enhance marketing of FRN
USD140,000 (70% of hard cap):
  • Revamp marketing materials
  • Setup the necessary legal structure
USD200,000 (100% of hard cap):
  • Pre-marketing for a larger scale token pre-sale

Future rounds (70%)

While the plan for future rounds has not yet decided, below will be a good roadmap:

15% (Private) — Q3/Q4, 2019
15% (Private) — Q1/Q2, 2020
40% (Private or Public) — Q3/Q4, 2020

By the end of 2020, we predict that the technology for decentralized exchanges will be quite mature and we will no longer need to ask questions like “when exchange?”. Public offering will come with the public listing of tokens, and both will happen at the same time.

Comparision of FL and FBC

While this is obvious, we need to emphasize the fact that FL and FBC have different business models and even different forms of existence. FL is a company limited for service income. This may come from providing technology solutions. This may also come from staking (we are currently on Cosmos Hub and Polkadot testnet, and we may explore other opportunities such as IRISnet, Tezos, Ethereum 2.0). FL will also form an investment arm to invest in Forbole ecosystem projects after FBC is officially launched. FBC is a public blockchain with a native token Desmo. Below is a quick summary of the differences of FL and FBC:

Comparison of FL and FBC

People may be interested in supporting FL and/or FBC according to their own appetites. Please read this article to know more about the business model of FL.

Related project: Big Dipper

Launched in Sep 2018, Big Dipper is an open-source real-time block explorer for Cosmos ecosystem blockchains. It has won the 2nd place of Alerting & Monitoring Category of HackAtom3 of Cosmos.

As at the time of this Whitepaper, Big Dipper is broadcasting Game of Stakes.


GitHub repo:

Timeline for 2019


  • launch the beta and build an evangelists community of FRN
  • Finish and review Game of Stake
  • launch the testnet and validators community of FBC
  • Complete the first private presale of Desmo


  • Accelerate at AppWorks in Taipei, Taiwan
  • Upgrade FRN with gamification design
  • Upgrade FBC with reputation module
  • Enrich our contents in Chinese language
  • Initiate Cosmos and FBC community in Hong Kong and Taiwan


  • Demo Day on 5 Jun 2019
  • Linking FBC and FRN
  • Upgrade Big Dipper as an independent brand
  • Initiate Cosmos and FBC community in China’s Greater Bay Area
  • Close the first institutional round (equity/token)


  • Explore our next locations for growth (Singapore/Shanghai)
  • Consolidate a distributed team
  • Complete a large scale of private and public sale of Desmo

About the name of “Forbole”

“Forbole” is a portmanteau word composed of English “for” and Chinese “Bo Le” (伯樂).

Bo Le” was the legendary inventor of equine physiognomy, which is a technique to “judge a horse's qualities from appearance”. In Modern Standard Chinese, “Bo Le” figuratively means "good judge of (especially hidden) talent”. “Bo Le” is used to refer to someone who can recognize special talent in people or offers opportunities for people to showcase their skills.

We are so lucky that we have met a lot of “Bo Le” in our life who have unleashed our potential and helped us to grow. We believe there are a lot of hidden talents around all of us. You can become their Bo Le by giving them endorsements, recommendations or referrals which help them to grow and contribute more to our society.

Relationship with CWG

Creativeworks Group Limited (“CWG”) is a digital solution provider cofounded by Kwun Yeung in 2005 in Hong Kong. As of the date of this Whitepaper, CWG is wholly-owned by Kwun Yeung and Terence Lam.

In early stage, this is important to keep things simple. To enhance the efficiency and minimize the administrative costs, FL has contracted with CWG to outsource all its operations (include staffing, productions and administrations) to CWG. We expect to operate in this way until Sep 2019 when FL is expected to close the first round of funding from institutional investors.

For more about CWG, please visit its website.

Team and contact

We may need to remove charismatic leaders in order to achieve true decentralization. But as the fire starters of this revolution, we need to let people know who we are.

Kwun Yeung, the Conductor

Kwun focuses on the technology, design and the developers community. He is also the Adjunct Lecturer in The University of Hong Kong. Kwun was graduated from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with a BEng in Computer Engineering, and The University of Edinburgh with a MSc in Design & Digital Media. He loves food, music and Batman.

For technical development, here is his email:

Terence Lam, the Evangelist

Terence focuses on business networking, finance & investment and marketing & operation. He started his career at a commercial banker, then joined force with Kwun to run CWG together. Terence was graduated from City University of Hong Kong with a BBA in Finance and a PGC in Professional Accounting, and EU Business School with a MBA. He loves history, meditate, bodybuilding, listen to heavy metal music. 

For investment, business and partnership, here is his email:

Please join our community at GitHub and Telegram