Pasadena Artificial Intelligence Company Co-Founds Pacific Blockchain Research Institute

Published : Monday, October 8, 2018 | 5:01 AM

Adam Zheng, ObEN COO and Co-Founder

Pasadena-based artificial intelligence company ObEN Inc. has partnered with the Lippo Group, a pan-Asian investment holding company based in Indonesia, to establish the Pacific Blockchain Research Institute (PBRI), which will support research, development, and proliferation of blockchain technology throughout Southeast Asia and beyond.

The PBRI will promote blockchain technology through partnerships with research institutions, industry players, and government organizations, an ObEN statement said. The areas of research will include blockchain technology using fundamental protocols, including Personal AI (PAI) and currencies such as PAI Coin, to help reduce poverty worldwide and to improve the tax system through greater transparency.

The Lippo Group and ObEN will be joined by the University of Indonesia and Universitas Pelita Harapan as PBRI founding members, with Mochtar Riady, Chairman of the Lippo Group, serving as the first Chairman of the institute’s Advisory Board.

“The Lippo Group sees great potential in the application of blockchain technology in our various areas of operation and are therefore eager to support the advancement of blockchain technology,” Riady said of the partnership. “Through the intersection of technology, industry, and research, The Lippo Group looks forward to helping make the PBRI a think tank and hub for blockchain activity.”

Adam Zheng, ObEN COO and co-founder, said the company is excited to partner with the Lippo Group.

“Southeast Asia has become an epicenter of activity for blockchain, and we see ample opportunity for blockchain to be integrated in many government, social, and commercial applications,” Zheng said. “The Institute will serve as a great way to connect industry players, like ObEN and Lippo, with researchers from leading universities in the region as well as government entities to explore how best to utilize blockchain to make a positive impact.”

Blockchain is a core component of ObEN’s technology, which features state-of-the-art, full-stack AI allowing users to create their own Personal AI with just a selfie and brief voice recording.

Participation in the PBRI will help bring ObEN’s technology to potential users and partners in the region, supporting further research on potential use cases for Personal AI on the blockchain, the company said.

Founded in 2014, ObEN Inc. has joint ventures with K11 in Hong Kong, Tencent in Shenzhen, Softbank Ventures Korea and HTC Corporation in Taiwan. The company is located at Idealab in Pasadena.

To learn more about the company, visit

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