Exclusive Interview with Colonel Timothy Monroe, Commander, 25th Attack Group, U.S. Air Force Ahead of the 6th Annual UAV Technology Conference

 With the highly anticipated UAV Technology conference taking place next month, on the 27th and 28th September 2021 in London, UK, SMi Group caught up with keynote speaker, Colonel Timothy Monroe, Commander, 25th Attack Group, U.S. Air Force to discuss current developments, priorities, and his involvement as a speaker at the conference.

For those interested in attending the conference, there is an early bird discount of £100 when you register by 30th June 2021. Register at http://www.uav-technology.org/pr5.

A snapshot of Colonel Timothy Monroe’s speaker interview:

Question: What are the key areas for the development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles?

“We have made considerable strides in how we integrate unmanned systems across the spectrum of warfighting capabilities, but this integration remains a matter of forced compliance rather than intentional development. Follow-on generations of unmanned technologies stand to vastly increase in performance when they are considered from the outset of purpose, design, and manufacturing. The key to this is a close partnership with industry, focusing on building capability rather than specific platforms. We primarily use unmanned platforms for strike and ISR, but we are seeing other uses for unmanned systems in the civilian sector. By working with our industry partners, we can increase our unmanned capabilities through multi-function platforms and looking at manned and unmanned teaming.”

Question: What excites you most about this year’s programme and what tangible lessons will it offer attendees?

“As always, the opportunity to see what advancements have been made in unmanned systems across the globe is my personal draw to the UAV Technology Conference. I am intrigued to hear from field experts and dialogue with peers about the technology that I am passionate about. These types of conferences, drawing from different backgrounds and experiences, and sharing knowledge is what makes us better and stronger.”

Delegates will hear from Colonel Timothy Monroe’s who is set to present on “Guard With Power – The MQ-9 Capabilities of the USAF’s 25th Attack Group,” covering:

– The 25th Attack Group’s mission and structure

– Operational UAV capabilities of the 25th Attack Group

– Training and simulation to develop effective UAV operators

– Future operational requirements for USAF UAV missions

The full interview as well as the brochure, agenda and speaker line-up are available at http://www.uav-technology.org/pr5.

UAV Technology

27th – 28th September 2021

London, UK

Gold Sponsor: Leonardo | Sponsors: AeroVironment, Mynaric, PBS Velka

SMi Group offer direct access to key decision makers through tailored sponsorship and exhibitor packages. Please contact Justin Predescu on +44 (0) 20 7827 6130 or email jpredescu@smi-online.co.uk.

For all delegate enquiries, contact James Hitchen on +44 (0) 20 7827 6054 or email jhitchen@smi-online.co.uk.

About SMi Group:

Established since 1993, the SMi Group is a global event-production company that specializes in Business-to-Business Conferences, Workshops, Masterclasses and online Communities. We create and deliver events in the Defence, Security, Energy, Utilities, Finance and Pharmaceutical industries. We pride ourselves on having access to the world’s most forward-thinking opinion leaders and visionaries, allowing us to bring our communities together to Learn, Engage, Share and Network. More information can be found at http://www.smi-online.co.uk.

SMi Group

Trizsa Ardael

(0) 20 7827 6086




  • Aerospace & Defense

The Executive Interview: Silicon Craft Technology PCL (SET:SICT)

Silicon Craft Technology PCL (SET:SICT) Co-Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Bodin Kasemset discusses the company’s strategy and outlook in The Executive Interview (TEI) by ShareInvestor.com.

TEI: Please share your background and your work experience in the semiconductor industry.

I graduated my bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University. That was the first batch of the Automotive Engineering Department. After my graduation, I pursued my master’s and doctoral degrees in Hamburg, Germany in Automotive Electronics, which was truly a dream-come-true experience for me. It was fortunate of me that the Head Professor at the laboratory where I used to work was the former Head of Research & Development at Infineon; the world’s first or second largest semiconductor company that specializes in automotive electronics. So that has earned me the opportunity to work with this professor.

When I was granted the scholarship for my doctoral degree, I had a chance to work and live in Germany for 8-9 years; from college years to my career as a researcher. After my doctoral degree graduation, I did my post-doctoral degree in electronic sensors, which is in the semiconductor sensor family. My role has been orientated towards design and development. There are certain products that I designed and developed 10-15 years ago that have just been launched as end products today. This is something that is quite exciting.

After completing my post-doctoral degree, I joined with Philips Semiconductor, or what is known as NXP Semiconductor today. Philips is a home electrical appliance manufacturer. I worked in the semiconductor division that manufactured chips for Philips and also supplied to other companies. I started my career at the headquarters, in the RFID business unit, so my experience has been in RFID security and identification-related products since 2006. My roles were both designer and project manager, where I was the only Thai person and being able to speak German was necessary to work with customers. I got to capitalize my technical knowledge and project management skills, to understand the flow of business operations by coordinating directly with customers. I think my experience during those 4-5 years in this business have earned me the understanding of the flows and processes of the RFID business significantly.

In 2011, Philips Semiconductor sent me back to Thailand to set up a Research & Development center, as they believed that my understanding in the business and the technology would be a helpful contribution, as the focus in Thailand’s operations was solely based on production back then. About half a year after coming back, I got promoted to be a Senior Manager, responsible for a number of areas; business flow, project management, and internal audit. I also had an opportunity to work at NXP Semiconductor in the Philippines for almost 2 years. I spent most of my time firefighting business issues and the collapsing R&D operations due to the change in the management team. The R&D Department had always depended upon expatriates all along and so they needed someone to help set up the operations and solve the problems.

About after 2 years in the Philippines, I came back to Thailand and continued the R&D operations in the customer facing side of things. I had an opportunity to work with customers, get audited by customers and received unusual requirements. I also learned how to approach customers, develop business models and step up to the corporate level management. The semiconductor business is categorized into 2 major parts; wafer and back-end technology. I advanced my career from being the Head of Back-End R&D to Head of Business Unit, responsible for the revenue of 4 billion USD. I had about 100 staff members under my supervision, working in 8-9 countries worldwide. It was considered a good opportunity for a Thai person to work in the management level and understand managerial approaches in a large-scale organization. I learned to work with customers and executives, learn the in-depth business dealings with large organizations. This has served as my important foundation and knowledge base in every dimension of the semiconductor business.

I think that my experience of 4-5 years at Philips Semiconductor was the key enabler that has brought me to SICT today, as I can say that those who have experiences in the RFID business and understand the procedures, customer base, customers’ production, and with similar experiences that I have, are quite rare, especially those who are Thai nationals.

TEI: What has brought you to join SICT?

I have a friend whom I met in my Executive MBA class. He owns Star Microelectronics; an assembly business that got registered in the Stock Exchange of Thailand. He wanted to set up the R&D Department at the time, as they would get requirements from customers most of the time but did not focus too much on proactive development of the products. In order to build the right capabilities, we need to forecast future trends, and so my friend persuaded me to join the team. I had a lot on my hands at that time; my full-time job and some side hustle on the weekend. The work that I helped my friend with was the set-up of the R&D Department and recruitment of staff members.

On the managerial aspect, I contributed my strategic viewpoint on how the business should be heading towards, who should help drive the business forward. Once we recruited the CEO and COO who have the desired competencies to join our team, my role was considered completed. To be honest, operations are not my passion, as my whole working life has always been in the business side. I like meeting with customers, working with them and my passion is more towards R&D.

At that time, I got to know Khun Apinetr, who is a professor and knows my friend. He introduced me to be the technological advisor at SICT, which is a lot of fun. The founder was of the view that I should be ready to work here full-time, so we discussed the matter in early 2020, which is how I got to be here.

TEI: What made you decide to join SICT?

If you ask me why I decided to join SICT, the reason is that I have proven that Thai people can step up to be the key person in large organizations, and I am a living proof of that, when I got to be the number one in the R&D operations at NXP Semiconductor, which was considered the peak of my career that a Thai person can achieve. So I thought that if we could capitalize our knowledge and skills to develop this company, how far can we go?

One of the reasons that technological start-ups in Thailand rarely make it is because the foundation is not strong enough. SICT has been in the business for 17-18 years, and we have a strong R&D team. But if we want to see an exponential growth from 300 million Baht to 600 million Baht, we need to think of which direction we should be heading to. My dream is to see the Company grow by 10 times, or at least 2 times in the next 3-4 years. That is when I came to analyze the Company’s strengths, weaknesses and I also need to reflect upon myself of the values I can contribute if I were to join with the Company.

My previous experiences in the RFID business and SICT’s business quite match with one another; the knowledge in product development, procedures, customer understanding, and customers’ RFID applications. We work collaboratively with customers in partnership, trusting each other. The company founder asked me to supervise the commercial side of the business, the market and new product ideas. If I need deep technical knowledge in chip design, I can always consult with highly skilled team members, and many of whom have PhD degree, to discuss whether my ideas are feasible, or whether we can do better than what the market already has.

Our intention is not to sell at low prices. If you look at our financial statement, you will see that our gross profit margin is somehow different from that of the service business. Since we are an asset-light company, we sell ideas and knowledge. We must be able to identify our strengths that exceed that of others, to determine how we can compete with Chinese manufacturers, who mostly compete with price, but performance is another issue.

Nowadays, we compete with NXP Semiconductor, Infineon or Texas Instrument. The reason we are able to compete in certain markets is because our products are genuinely of good quality, which means that Thai people are full of potential, and we are able to do what westerners do. And sometimes we are capable of doing better than them. We also registered patents to prevent our ideas from getting developed further. But if our ideas are interesting to someone, we are willing to sell them too. That is why I am interested in this Company, and I want to see how far Thai people can go. With my doctoral degree and personal passion in technology and innovation, I think that my interests and the Company’s vibes are aligned, so we got to work together.

TEI: How has your global experience benefited the management of SICT’s business towards strong and sustainable growth?

I was fortunate that I had a chance to work at NXP Semiconductor in Thailand for a short while. That was the period of time that I had to adapt myself quite a lot, and the thought of going back abroad also crossed my mind. Workplace politics was one thing, but you are likely to experience it somewhere else too, though it might be less intense than here in Thailand. I think that the advantage of working here is that it is the headquarters. I had experiences working at a number of headquarters before, for instance, in Texas, the Netherlands and Germany. I think that organizational culture varies from places to places. The value I have contributed quite significantly is my knowledge shared to sales team, from my diverse experiences working with different people, different ways to approach them, and different techniques to do so. Each culture does not have its own drawbacks, we just need to learn and adapt. It was fortunate of me that I got to work with diverse teams and customers, with the exception of Africa where I have never been involved in before. This should have made my team learn from me. Apart from the Co-CEO role, I also supervise the business and sales & marketing, so I have a chance to provide consultation with my team on how they should prepare the information prior to meeting with customers. They will usually send the information to me to review first, and that leads to coaching opportunities. I think that over the course of the previous year that I have been working here, our team has adjusted their ways of working in terms of speed of execution, working mindset, as well as English conversation. I think these are the values I can contribute to the Company.

TEI: Regarding SICT’s view on the IC or microchip industries compared to the global market, how can we enhance our potential to compete in the international level?

As a matter of fact, we are already operating in the international level. Our 4 core businesses are Animal ID, Access control/reader, Automotive and Advanced NFC, with 99% of the business being overseas customers, which is somehow aligned with my expertise. However, Thailand is an uncovered market, and Thai people still view technology as cost, rather than as value-added features to the product that can be the selling point. This is the key difference. Technology can eventually drive costs down. The viewpoint on cost of ownership is more receptive. But at the end of the day, there is no right or wrong. The first thing that comes to mind for Thai companies is procurement, but in some other countries, especially large organizations, they see it as the total package of the product; what exactly the added features mean for the product. We are not just producing standard products and distribute them as they are, but what we do is that we discuss with our key accounts, who are specialists in their industries, and we share with them of our execution plan. Recently, I met with the Vice President in R&D of the number one company in the animal industry. We shared our development plan of 3-4 new products that should be launched in the next few years. The customer is very interested to discuss deeper into the details. I think this is how we do technical marketing on what we have studied, and this kind of approach is as if we are part of the customers’ company. We need to see ourselves as part of the customers’ growth, to have the willpower that our customer will be the number one in their business, with higher market share and revenue. If we can see it this way, our thinking or product development mindset will immediately solve customers’ problems. This is because we understand what the customers will use our products for, for instance, how should we design a chip and how should it be positioned to serve the customer’s applications? If we have this kind of thinking, we can outpace our competitors. This is the thinking approach of overseas companies. If we can think like this, our competitors can as well, depending on who can come up with the ideas faster. Partnership is critical in this kind of business; either with customers or suppliers, as well as universities, institutes, or R&D centers. These are the most important partnerships in my point of view.

TEI: As you regard SICT as the Data Shuttle Company, please elaborate further of the background or its meaning.

Technology is the enabler of the applications or use cases to materialize. For instance, IoT is the topic that has been widely discussed in the past few years. When I was the Senior Director in IoT R&D at NXP Semiconductor, we talked about it a great deal. Sometimes it took months to develop a product portfolio. On the other hand, IoT is also a fancy technical terms that simply means the connection of things with the Internet system. This is because the Internet connection has become faster and devices have become ‘smarter’. Our true objective is not to be an application-based company, but instead a data shuttle company; essentially the transmitter of data. Everybody talks about cloud, which is something we cannot see, but we know exists. Hence, we serve as the data shuttle that sends the data up to the cloud, allowing those who do data analytics, software analytics or marketing analytics to process the data, to do marketing, to develop new products from the data we contribute. Our focus is not on communication data, but instead on different types of applications. For instance, our focus is not on WIFI, but rather on wireless application that can further enable other utilization.

If our company has a hundred years of history like some other companies, we might have a more diverse products than them today. However, we have been a start-up before and our success over the past 17-18 years has been built upon wireless communication using RFID as the connector between devices or applications and the cloud or data server, which is our expertise. We hope to be the data shuttle that transmits data from customers’ devices or from animals up to the cloud to enable more value-added applications. I think our role is about bringing these data to contribute some positive changes to humanity, and I want us all to be proud that Thai people are capable of doing this. Despite many overseas companies that are in the RFID industry, but they definitely know SICT’s expertise in animal ID or after-market automotive parts industry, as we are a big player in these areas. As for NFC, major competitors are aware of our presence as well, since some large companies also imitate our features. With that being said, the challenge in launching new products is that we need to build our own ecosystem, and we cannot build it as fast as large companies can. But once we can do it, those large companies are likely to follow suit.

TEI: COVID-19 has forced changes and transitions in several industries, including supply chain shortage globally. Has SICT been affected by these changes or are there any opportunities arising from them?

We started to encounter the supply shortage in the fourth quarter of 2020. This crisis has led to an immediate requirement of laptops, cameras for video conference, and speakers, which need chips and Bluetooth, to connect several speakers. We need a lot of chips for these teleconferencing devices. This had called for a rapid surge of demand, and the whole world was not ready to accommodate this abrupt change. We did not bring in advanced technology because we wanted to achieve cost optimization in order to secure the lowest cost in product development, so advanced technology was not that necessary, also due to the fact that our device is quite small in size. All in all, I think COVID-19 has caused an abrupt demand surge, while the supply in the market cannot keep up. Everyone has to wait as production capacity is full everywhere. They might have to wait until the middle of 2022. This is the thing that I have said before, that we should start to see signs of improvement in the second half of 2022.

Though our sales bookings have increased, the supply issue has affected us as well. However, we have developed a business contingency plan, which is typical of large companies, where I got to capitalize my experience from when I was in the business contingency plan team. When I sensed the formation of crisis in the fourth quarter of 2020, I started planning right away, determining which products or procedures needed second sources of supply or outsourcing. The impact can be realized to a certain degree due to higher demand, so we needed to manage lead time and delay some delivery as we got delayed by our suppliers too. This is the issue commonly encountered worldwide. Some overseas manufacturers chose to increase prices in order to manage cost and delivery lead time. But I value long-term partnership more. We always treat our long-standing customers in a special way, helping each other out. I think that the 80:20 rule can apply here; 20% of our customers have strong relationship with us. We do not increase their prices without prior discussion or if it is really necessary, we need to discuss first. Mutual relationship management and business plan management are really important. We need to understand that customers want to increase their revenue, and if we cannot facilitate customers’ business continuity, their revenue will be affected, and consequently our revenue will be impacted too. The impact is on both sides. If we treat customers as partners, the relationships will remain positive and we will have our customers’ understanding. The rest is just goal management on a daily basis.

TEI: Are we going to see any different or new changes from SICT the next year?

I have to admit that the time it takes to develop semiconductor-related products is at least about 2 years, or at most about 5-10 years, or maybe longer. Products that take about 2 years to develop are mostly the derivatives of existing products. It might not sound very exciting but there are some added features. Of course we are going to launch some new products but I cannot say what they are at this point. I can only say that it is a new business line that will serve the applications that we have not yet touched on. We plan to invest the fund raised from the IPO in the R&D activities that will increase the advancement in the sensor business, which is not only limited to medical sensors but also environmental or food sensors, emphasizing on advanced innovation NFC. The other portion of the fund will be invested in the studies of something new, which our competitors will know right away if I say it. It is something that has been talked about but has not gained much of a popularity, but it will be a key differentiator from available products in the market as it consumes less energy but has higher efficiency, and also reduces waste. A good number of new products will be launched next year, though our focus this year is to meet the target according to the milestones, meeting delivery due date as much as possible. The next year will be the year of new product development, reaping the harvests we have made, and new product marketing. Speaking of which, I would appreciate your good wishes for our team and support for Thai people’s products too.

TEI: How is the growth outlook of the IC or microchip businesses, in terms of innovation for new products?

I believe that our mobile phones are going to change the world. Almost everyone has NFC phone, meaning that we have ‘readers’ with us at all times. For instance, when we buy a certain product that comes with a warranty, instead of scanning the QR code and filling out the information, we can just use chips and all we need to do is authenticate our identity on our mobile phones from the chips attached to the products. When you scan and verify, you will be automatically linked to the product’s warranty system right away. This will solve several pain points, i.e. in logistics. We can enable a temper detection to determine whether our parcels have been opened, as the data will be sent directly to the cloud, allowing manufacturers, vendors and buyers to know immediately. In my opinion, I think this is the technology that will make changes and I am very excited about it. This has been widely used overseas, for instance, sensors are attached to wine bottles, tracking whether the bottle has been refilled. The application in Thailand has not yet reached that point but I hope we will one day. With our increased exposure and growth, we should be able to market the products and solution more intensively, but now we aim to focus on the global market first. Our aspiration is to expand the business as much as we can.

TEI: From now on, how would you drive both SICT and the microchip industry personnel in Thailand for future growth?

At the end, it goes back to my decision to join SICT. I want to take part in developing younger generations and Thai people to be able to think differently, in terms of innovation, media, knowledge, finance or technology. I want to see those in engineering or science backgrounds to have opportunities to work in a great company like this, being able to capitalize their knowledge to get hands-on experiences. I think this is the important stage for younger people who wish to be microchip designers to have a great place to work in Thailand. This is considered a way of building brand for Thai people all at the same time.

About The Executive Q&A Series

The Executive Q&A Series is presented by ShareInvestor, Asia’s leading financial internet media and technology company and the largest investor relations network in the region. For more information, email admin.th@shareinvestor.com. Website: www.ShareInvestorThailand.com

Topic: Press release summary

Exclusive Interview Released: Richard Denk, SKAN AG: Co-Chair and Speaker at SMi’s Aseptic Processing Conference

 The inaugural Aseptic Processing conference will be convening on 20 –21 September 2021 in London, UK. The industry is seeing crucial changes in regulation and guidance – fundamental documents and principles of implementation are in a pressing need to be dissected and discussed.

Interested parties can register at http://www.asepticprocessing.co.uk/PR4.

SMi Group caught up with co-chair Richard Denk, Senior Consultant Aseptic Processing & Containment, SKAN AG in the run up to this event, see below an exclusive snapshot of the interview:

How would you like to see the aseptic processing market develop in the future and where do you think the biggest growth area will be in the next few years?

“Aseptic Processing will be facing a major growth in the next decade and beyond. One reason is the current pandemic and the need to increase the capacities for the manufacturing of sterile products as vaccines, beside this the fast growth of Novel Pharmaceutical Products such as Cell and Gene Therapies.”

What topic will you be addressing in your presentation and what would you say will make it relevant to the audience in 2021?

“As ‘Mr. Containment,’ I’ll be certain to cover the topic of Contamination and Cross Contamination prevention for Biopharmaceuticals which also includes Cell and Gene Therapies.”

What are your thoughts on the developing regulatory environment in this field and how is this impacting your work at the moment?

“The EU Draft Annex 1 for sterile manufacturing does require a robust Contamination Control Strategy which includes Barriers as Isolators and automation in critical aseptic operations with sterile products. One additional point to mention here is the requirements for CLEAN to prevent Contamination and Cross Contamination.”

Richard Denk is co-chairing the conference and speaking on “Fulfilling GMP compliance in aseptic processing and ATMP Manufacturing.”

Attend the Aseptic Processing conference and explore novel tools and technologies pushing innovation in the world of aseptic processing and sterile manufacturing.

To register, please visit: http://www.asepticprocessing.co.uk/PR4

This conference will bring together industry experts that will explore aseptic facility design and operation to implement agile contamination control strategies.

Sponsored by: 3P Innovation, ILC Dove, Innerspace, Solo Containment and Exhibitor: STERIS

For tailored sponsorship and branding packages, contact Alia Malick, Director on +44 (0)20 7827 6168 or email amalick@smi-online.co.uk.

For media enquiries, contact Simi Sapal, Head of Marketing on +44 (0)20 7827 6162 or email ssapal@smi-online.co.uk.

SMi’s Aseptic Processing Conference

London, UK (Virtual Attendance Option Available)

Conference: 20-21 September 2021

Workshop day: 22 September 2021

LinkedIn & Twitter: #SMiAseptic


About SMi Group:

Established since 1993, the SMi Group is a global event-production company that specializes in Business-to-Business Conferences, Workshops, Masterclasses and online Communities. We create and deliver events in the Defence, Security, Energy, Utilities, Finance and Pharmaceutical industries. We pride ourselves on having access to the world’s most forward-thinking opinion leaders and visionaries, allowing us to bring our communities together to Learn, Engage, Share and Network. More information can be found at http://www.smi-online.co.uk.

SMi Group

Simi Sapal

020 7827 6162




  • Trade Shows & Events

Interview with Shigeki Kakutani, CEO and Founder of QURAS: The Role and Future of Blockchain in Privacy Protection

As an increasing number of corporations and governments worldwide continue to explore efficiencies gained by blockchain technology, we continue to gain a better understanding of how the technology can take data security and consumer privacy to the next level. With major companies like IBM, ING, and Ernst & Young all delving into scalable, private transactions on blockchain over the past year, these endeavors are seen as a gateway to mainstream adoption of the technology itself. 

To learn more about advancements in privacy brought forth by blockchain technology, I sat down for an interview with Shigeki Kakutani, the CEO, and Founder of QURAS. QURAS is a next-generation blockchain protocol that enables anonymous, private transactions in public smart contracts, enabling ‘Privacy 2.0’.

  1. What advancements have you witnessed with privacy technologies in recent years?

The focus on privacy technology has increased over the last few years, and many hopes in the technology have been confirmed. For example, adoption of the privacy-focused MimbleWimble protocol by Grin and Beam, two blockchain companies, has brought us two privacy-by-default payments cryptocurrencies. Privacy advancements stemming from MimbleWimble include increased ability to perform confidential transactions on a blockchain, the ‘cut-through’ feature which allows for smaller block sizes, and CoinJoin, which is a trustless method for combining multiple Bitcoin payments from multiple spenders into a single transaction. All of these advancements aim to achieve both scalability and security. Today, privacy technology applications include their implementation in smart contracts, such as QURAS using both ring signatures and Zero-Knowledge Proofs for privacy protection. In addition, a new privacy concept of an Ethereum mixer has surfaced which makes it nearly impossible to trace your Ethereum address.

In order to enhance blockchain-related services, privacy protections must be considered from various points of view. Even with privacy protection, there are many things left to solve, and it is not easy to cover everything with one solution. For example, QURAS does not specialize in specific technologies and we regularly discuss internally whether integrating other technologies can be used to evolve the QURAS platform, such as MimbleWimble, the open-source software known as Tor, and distributed VPN.  

  1. What are the challenges we face today in protecting customer and business data? 

The challenge of protecting customer privacy is a balance between usability and information protection. The trade-off between security and privacy is in the background of the increasing convenience of internet technology, and we must find a way to balance the two. 

Our society’s privacy continues to be exposed and exploited on a constant basis. It’s worth highlighting a few examples, including Facebook having been breached and compromising its users’ personal information, Google’s continued monitoring of our actions, and the open advertisement of our hobbies and preferences that suggest targeted online ads. It’s important to always keep in mind the trade-off between convenience and privacy.

At the end of last year, the QURAS platform announced the ability to store documents on the blockchain using multi-signature in highly confidential environments. Companies and governments are often required to securely store confidential information and they are now presented with another way to do so. However, the risk of hacking and data breaches is still vast for companies, governments, and digital asset exchanges alike, and the cybersecurity industry has to continuously monitor for new threats while coming up with new solutions.

  1. How can blockchain technology assist with privacy and data protection within existing consumer applications? 

Blockchain can assist existing applications from many perspectives. The privacy of payments has been a focal point of the blockchain industry for quite some time, but I feel that there are many data protection challenges that need to be tackled with blockchain-enabled applications.  

For example, in the medical field, there is a high need for data protection in order to protect the personal information of patients and medical service providers. For example, a medical service that shares information between multiple operators requires privacy protection for specific information when sharing medical information. Coordination between organizations and diversification between segments or regions is required. Blockchain technology can help with coordinated trust and privacy without the need for a centralized system, a single point of failure, housing and transferring the data.

In addition, blockchain technology can help within the gaming industry by ensuring the privacy of item transfer history, verifying the scarcity of in-game collectibles, and giving gamers full control of their virtual assets to use and sell as they wish. 

However, with the world steadily becoming a flow of shared information with greater decentralization activity, you will always face the question of how to protect your privacy. 

  1. What role do you expect privacy-focused blockchains to play in terms of adoption of 2020? 

I believe that in 2020, the importance of privacy protection will increase as the social implementation of blockchain will become more advanced.  

It will also be a year that blockchain becomes more regulated. The news that cryptocurrencies may be handled on the Korean stock exchange could not have been imagined in 2016. The world is progressing with such a sense of speed that the more people get involved in the blockchain industry, then the more evident it will become that human nature by default does not want to be monitored. 

  1. With governments continuing to spotlight anonymous cryptocurrencies, what differentiates QURAS from everyone else in the field? 

The delisting of anonymous cryptocurrencies on Japanese exchanges has strengthened the image that anonymous currencies are bad in Japan. However, it has been found that the Japanese Yen is also used in various places where it cannot be tracked. So a real question here is does the central bank, the Bank of Japan, print Japanese yen in such a way? Looking at the Japanese Yen monetary base, as of the end of last year the monetary base was 512 trillion Yen. Of this, about 110 trillion Yen was paper money and about 5 trillion Yen of hard currency, and we cannot identify the remaining 397 trillion Yen. The Yen is a traceable digital Japanese virtual currency itself, and it is the very nature of Japan’s current economic policies that this monetary base is increasing every year. 

In example, a company can buy its stock with traceable digital Japanese Yen and then distribute potentially untraceable banknotes and money, but in fact, the Bank of Japan will not allow such usage. The Japanese Yen is not bad. The people who use it are bad. 

The same goes for anonymous currencies. Few people are willing to announce that third parties will be able to see how much you own. Currently, the news is flowing that China is also pursuing a digital RMB project, and it is trying to implement traceable privacy protection technology, and yet it is known that many Chinese citizens have assets with third parties. There is a need to want privacy in your money matter, and at the same time, the Chinese government needs to track down issues of money laundering, so it may be developing a traceable anonymous digital RMB. 

At QURAS, we’ve developed a traceable anonymous technology to solve various privacy issues. The QURAS platform gives users and enterprises options in choosing the suitable privacy level for any type of transaction while also being able to adhere to regulatory compliance. The uniqueness of the QURAS platform is not only in anonymous technology but also in smart contract transactions. From 20% to 40% of smart contract transaction fees on the QURAS platform are returned to the token issuer. On the project side, the aim is not only to sell tokens, but also to generate and monetize transactions with tokens, and to promote the long-term growth of any application that is built on our platform. 

  1. With the main net launch of the QURAS blockchain this quarter, what are your other major initiatives this year? 

We are focusing heavily on mass adoption initiatives. This includes enhancing and scaling the QURAS project through new service launches and value-add partnerships. First, to increase the number of projects that use the QURAS protocol, we are strengthening the relationship with digital asset exchanges so that tokens issued under the QURAS protocol can themselves be listed on exchanges smoothly. Next, we plan to partner with blockchain developer groups, which have a large number of engineers, to train and onboard more engineers who will develop applications on the QURAS protocol. More is being worked on that I cannot announce now, but will be announced on a continuous basis throughout 2020. This is a pivotal year for all of us at QURAS.

Interview with Our Strategic Partner TZ Ventures for Tezos on Moonstake’s First Anniversary

This April, Moonstake celebrates our first anniversary and in this article, we’re interviewing one of our strategic partners, TZ Ventures from South Korea, with whom we’ve been working since September 2020 to accelerate industry adoption of staking within Tezos’ ecosystem. Representing TZ Ventures is Jaywon Lee, Director of TZ Ventures, who is also the author of a best-selling IT book in Korea titled, “Path to becoming a blockchain company”.

TZ Ventures incubates early stage blockchain startups based on Tezos. They provide support to projects building on Tezos and venturing into equity financing. They mainly incubate projects on Tezos and aim to build real business use cases of blockchain technology. They run a regular program that assists startups with technical support, mentoring, marketing, partnerships, fund-raising and more. Tezos (XTZ) is one of the 11 market-demanded PoS coins currently supported by Moonstake alongside Cosmos, IRIS, Ontology, Harmony, Cardano, Qtum, Polkadot, Quras, Centrality and most recently, Orbs.

Here is the full transcript of the interview.

1. Moonstake is celebrating its 1-year anniversary. In 1 year, Moonstake has reached $900 million in total staked assets and rank #8 among global staking service providers. As a partner, what do you think about Moonstake and its achievements as a staking provider?
Congratulations. This is amazing progress! I think the key to your success is your continual commitment to being reliable/trustworthy and pursuing the highest technology.

2. What is your project about and what is its current focus?
Tezos is an advanced blockchain protocol that can avoid buggy codes. For more info, please refer to: https://tezos.com/. TZ Ventures incubates projects that build on Tezos. We assist projects with technical support, mentorships and funding introductions. TZ Ventures is especially interested in assisting DeFi, NFT and entertainment/gaming projects this year. For more info: www.tz.ventures.

3. Why did you decide to partner with Moonstake?
We are always in search of reliable and tech-savvy stakers (in Tezos terms, bakers). Moonstake satisfies both criteria. Last and this year, in particular, we witnessed a dynamic growth of DeFi and how it breathed life back to crypto. Moonstake was at the forefront of dealing with this change and was adept in making DeFi and staking exist in harmony.

4. Which areas of collaboration are you working on?
We collaborate in all fields: Staking, DeFi, R&D, meet-ups, marketing, and etc. We are always open to giving and receiving advice and technical support. We serve as “mutual mentors” for our respective organizations since no one is an expert in all blockchain fields.

5. How do you see the synergy between your project and Moonstake in the future?
Moonstake is a great partner that is sensitive to change. In this dynamic crypto environment, synergies are sure to arise when we can better prepare for the future together.

Moonstake is honored to partner with leading projects and institutions like TZ Ventures at the forefront of driving global adoption of blockchain technology. We’re working non-stop to expand our service offering for both staking and from now on, DeFi, as well as strengthen our partnership network to continue to deliver great value to both users and businesses worldwide. We would like to thank all of our partners for joining us on our quest to accelerate global adoption of staking and look forward to closer collaboration with TZ Ventures in the future to further promote adoption of XTZ staking.

About Moonstake

Moonstake was recently established to develop a staking pool protocol to satisfy increasing demands in regional and global blockchain markets. Moonstake develops a staking pool protocol and provides business services through partners and companies.

Moonstake aims to be the largest staking pool network in Asia by providing an active environment for crypto asset holders. Establishing a clear partnership roadmap with Moonstake represents another significant milestone for continuing to strengthen ties with leading platforms across Asia’s burgeoning Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) ecosystem. Partnership has been announced with Emurgo, Ontology and NEO to boost staking adoption, Binarystar, Japan’s biggest blockchain hub, OIO Holdings Limited (SGX: OIO), a Singapore-listed company. Industry’s reputed advisors, such as Lisk and Lawrence Lim of RAMP DEFI support Moonstake’s innovative journey.

With a full-scale operation launched in August 2020, we expanded our business and as of now, our total staking assets exceeded over USD 900 Million. https://www.moonstake.io/

About TZ Ventures

TZ Ventures incubates early stage blockchain startups on Tezos. They provide support to projects building on Tezos and venturing into equity financing in Southeast Asia. They mainly incubate projects on Tezos and aim to build real business use cases of blockchain technology. They run a regular program that assists startups with technical support, mentoring, marketing, partnerships, fund-raising and more. https://www.tz.ventures/

Topic: Press release summary