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June 5, 2018, Hong Kong / Berlin — The LGBT Foundation, backed by Hornet Networks, and OST are pleased to announce a new partnership to launch an ecosystem powered by OST blockchain technology, to empower, connect and support LGBT+ people all over the world.

The LGBT Foundation will launch the LGBT Token in cooperation with Hornet Networks, one of the largest social networks for gay men with more than 25 million members globally, and Revry, the LGBT answer to Netflix, reaching 70 million homes in more than 100 countries. These two and other launch partners already reach 100 million people worldwide.

LGBT Token will activate the $4.6 trillion global LGBT+ economy, enabling members to assert and protect their LGBT+ identity, creating a new medium of exchange and loyalty for LGBT+ persons and businesses, and making a global social impact by allocating resources to projects that the LGBT+ community cares about, including tackling oppression, discrimination and inequality, education and healthcare.

The LGBT Foundation chose to launch the LGBT Token on OST technology following several months exploring its own ICO, and publishing the LGBT Token “Pink Paper” and “White Paper.” It aims for the Token to be a method of payment and loyalty for physical and digital businesses, as well as a decentralized system for LGBT+ people to verify and protect their identities, especially in countries where they face repercussions.

“We’re saving a ton of time, money and technical resources by teaming up with OST rather than pursuing our own ICO; allowing us to go to market faster, safer and fully compliant with financial regulations,” says Christof Wittig, President of the LGBT Foundation and CEO of Hornet Networks. “The fact that Jason has a stellar track record in tech, Blockchain and the LGBT+ community was something we definitely considered when looking for a partner to kickstart our project.”

The OST utility token enables any website, app, or marketplace to easily launch a branded token and integrate it into their businesses and communities.

“We’re thrilled to announce our support for LGBT Token during Pride Month 2018. We are humbled and excited to support the LGBT Foundation’s mission to make our world a better place for all members of the LGBT+ community. Blockchain technology is a perfect fit for the LGBT Foundation’s mission,” says Jason Goldberg, founder and CEO of OST and an advocate for equality himself. “The LGBT Token facilitates near-instant transactions between businesses, causes and members of the community; thus establishing a flourishing, Pink Economy. It also empowers people in countries where it’s illegal to be LGBT to safely and, if need be, anonymously connect with fellow LGBT people.”

Goldberg will join the LGBT Foundation as an advisor to the project.

Sean Howell, CEO of the LGBT Foundation, concludes: “Partnering with OST is based on their state-of-the-art technology to launch and manage the LGBT Token rapidly, safely, and securely. Working with OST gives us the confidence and ability to go-to-market and to develop a blockchain-powered network of LGBT-friendly businesses, to activate a global, Pink Economy.” Howell continues: “We’ll be driving major, global adoption of the LGBT Token by making it available to the 100 million audience of our launch partners, incl. Hornet Networks and Revry."

About the LGBT Foundation
The LGBT Foundation is an organization that aims to deliver equality for the global LGBT community through technology and non-profit uses of its tokens. By harnessing the power and potential of blockchain technology and other technological innovations, the Foundation aims to foster greater acceptance of the LGBT community, drive positive social change for the benefit of its members, and protect vulnerable community members. The aim is that the LGBT Foundation will evolve to become a self-governing body run by and for members of the LGBT community, and which directs its activities, resources and members to the benefit of the international LGBT-community. For more information, please visit: https://lgbt-token.org/

About Hornet Networks
Hornet is the world's premier gay social network. Founded in 2011 with the mission to build the digital home for the gay community, Hornet has grown to 25 million total users by utilizing cutting-edge technology for its dating platform and producing original editorial content to connect a community around common interests. Hornet provides a superior user experience and is number one in the key markets of France, Russia, Brazil, Turkey and Taiwan, and is consistently expanding its sizable user base in the United States. For more information, please visit: https://hornet.com

About OST
OST is building the complete blockchain toolkit for business. The company strives to be the blockchain technology partner of choice for businesses of all sizes and levels of technical sophistication, enabling any business to create, launch, and manage their own branded digital token economy powered by OpenST protocols and OST blockchain management software. The OpenST protocol enables companies to launch branded token economies on highly scalable, open, cryptographically auditable side blockchains. OST has offices in Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, and Pune India. For more information, please visit: https://ost.com/
——

Sean Howell for the LGBT Foundation
sean@hornet.com

Wouter Verhoog for OST
wouter@ost.com / @wouterverhoog

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June 1, 2018, LOS ANGELES  – Today, Hornet, the world's premier gay social network and LGBTQ media company, launched an all-inclusive digital content site that provides a single, dedicated Pride resource to LGBTQ users and allies across platforms and the globe — located at hornet.com/pride. Catering equally to app, mobile and desktop users, the hub delivers a month-long “one-stop shop” spanning Pride News, Pride Style, the Ultimate Pride Calendar (spotlighting 100 cities) and a diverse selection of Pride Guides for key celebrations worldwide. Simultaneously on social media, every day in June Hornet’s accounts will feature a new #HornetPrideHero — one of 30 LGBTQ trailblazers who represent the community’s fight to be seen and heard.

The globally scaled, content-forward Pride resource expands Hornet’s continued push to position itself as the go-to place for news, entertainment and LGBTQ information.

“Pride season is such an exciting time of year for the LGBTQ community, so we really wanted to do something special,” says Stephan Horbelt, Executive Editor of Hornet Stories. “Also, so many members of our community travel the world during Pride Month, and we want to simplify the process of celebrating internationally and not missing out on any of the amazing parties and parades.”

In keeping with the broadly inclusive spirit of Pride — equally celebratory and activist — Hornet will provide information that supports this multifaceted experience, ranging from exclusive video coverage of parties and events to an educational nod to the community’s history with Hornet Pride Heroes, and a call for members to “share their Pride” by using #ShareYourPride on social media.

“Hornet.com/Pride brings together a unique group of assets as only Hornet can — global scale, premium content, cross-platform digital solutions and an unmatched commitment to community needs. This reflects the mission and message of Hornet as the key player in today’s LGBTQ media landscape,” says Matthew Smith, Hornet's SVP of Global Sales.

Hornet's free social network app is available on iOSAndroid, and the web.

About Hornet Networks
Hornet is the world's premier gay social network. Founded in 2011 with the mission to build the digital home for the gay community, Hornet has grown to 25 million total users by utilizing cutting-edge technology for its dating platform and producing original editorial content to connect a community around common interests. Hornet provides a superior user experience and is number one in the key markets of France, Russia, Brazil, Turkey and Taiwan, and is consistently expanding its sizable user base in the United States. For more information, please visit hornet.com.

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The LGBT Foundation, the world’s only token and blockchain initiative aimed at empowering the LGBT+ community, has appointed its first CEO, Sean Howell. Howell currently serves as President of Hornet, the premier gay social network, where he has spent the last six years helping the company grow its user base to 25 million and its editorial division to become the largest global LGBT+ newsroom. At Hornet, Howell also oversaw the company’s corporate responsibility efforts under Hornet Impact, organizing thousands of social justice and health related activations annually, all over the world.

The Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with the mission to utilize blockchain technology to achieve equal rights and acceptance for all members of the LGBT+ community worldwide. The Foundation is designed as an economic model to finance causes and organizations that advance the rights of the LGBT+ community; those causes being identified, voted upon, and supported by LGBT+ Foundation members, creating a powerful and autonomous funding mechanism built and controlled by the LGBT+ community itself into perpetuity.

Prior to Hornet, Howell was a fellow of the World Affairs Council, as well as a trustee and President of the Young Professional International Network. He has helped hundreds of organizations leverage technology to expand their impact through his work with the MSM Global Forum along with serving on various nonprofit boards and committees including UNAIDS, E-CDC, PFLAG and Center for Public Health and Human Rights at Johns Hopkins University, and is a founding member of the UN Global Coalition for HIV Prevention and technical advisor to UNDPs and the World Bank LGBTI Index.

"I'm privileged to work with a talented team to execute on the exciting prospect to take cutting edge technology and make sure it benefits and empowers the LGBT+ community globally," said Howell. "I see tremendous opportunity for blockchain to help solve problems of security and equality for LGBT+, especially in regions where either unjust laws and state sponsored homophobia exist.

“The immense opportunity for blockchain technology to have an impact on the lives of LGBT+ people around the world will get a huge boost from Sean’s appointment,” said Christof Wittig, President of the LGBT Foundation. “With his background building the largest LGBT+ media app in the world, he is uniquely positioned to make blockchain technology available to the LGBT+ community and further projects which will advance LGBT+ equality and acceptance.”

Part of the mission of the LGBT Foundation is to launch the LGBT Token, an LGBT+-specific token that will help protect the identities of its users while showcasing the global power of the pink economy. “Blockchain can help the LGBT community flex its economic muscle and fight rights abuses globally - from Chechnya to Uganda - while safeguarding the identity of members, said the charity behind a new digital initiative,” reported Reuters.  

This idea has been well received by the crypto community looking for solid examples of new tokens working for good. “This kind of thoughtful use of technology, which not only caters to the needs of its community, but includes philanthropy from the ground up, undoubtedly offers a positive role model for other forms of social enterprise to build on,” said Diginomica.

The appointment of Howell as CEO means that Hornet is not just investing capital, but also personnel in its mission to bring equal rights and acceptance to every one of its members, with the help of blockchain.

The Foundation is carefully building technical technical and regulatory requirements before announcing its next steps with respect to implementation and public availability of the token to the 100 million users reached by the LGBT+ ecosystem with Hornet and other key partners. Once the platform is ready to launch, the Foundation will generate tokens that will be seeded to participating users and launch partners — so that they will be able to participate in the tokenized Pink Economy from day one.

LGBT+ and allies can stay informed by signing up to the LGBT Foundation and token newsletter here as well as following on social media:  

Twitter: @LGBT_Token
Telegram: lgbt_token

Facebook: Foundation.LGBT

About The LGBT Foundation

The LGBT Foundation aims to deliver equality for the LGBT community across the world. By harnessing the power and potential of blockchain technology and other technological innovations, the Foundation will foster greater acceptance of the LGBT community, drive positive social change for the community’s benefit, and protect vulnerable community members. By tokenizing the Pink Economy, the Foundation will empower the LGBT community to flex its considerable economic might, provide a safe and secure environment to access cryptocurrencies and other products and services, and enable members to verify and protect their identities as required. http://foundation.lgbt

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Hornet is a gay social network that was created to better our community. Our company values guided us as we built a product for our LGBTQ community that can, and does, improve lives and protect people. Any company that purports to serve the LGBTQ community should be expected to maintain the values of that community and advance them.

Hornet goes above and beyond what is expected of a traditional company because we are part of the LGBTQ community. We understand the challenge of cultivating a sexuality and gender identity. Together, we have lived through 37 years of the HIV epidemic. People living with HIV have a fundamental right to privacy and that right to privacy does not end when they opt to disclose their status in a personal profile within a closed community. One of Hornet’s guiding principles is to find innovative ways to use technology to combat stigma and discrimination not use technology and data to do harm to people living with HIV.

Hornet values, unequivocally, the trust that our users place in our platform. We never share the sensitive information that our users disclose in their profiles, nor do we use any other identifying information about our users. We invented the Know Your Status (KYS) feature in 2011 to allow users to openly communicate about HIV status and to foster conversations around sexual health. This program, participated in by millions of users, is essential to reducing stigma and providing critical prevention and treatment information.

“Building a product for the gay community, should mean working to improve the lives of our community members and keep them  protected. It should be a fundamental expectation that a company built to serve LGBTQ people would aim to advance our safety and security, not to simply profit off of us,” says Hornet Co-Founder and President Sean Howell.  

The recent accusations leveled against a gay hook-up app are all the more interesting now that the company in question is no longer owned by members of the LGBTQ community. Rather it is now owned and largely operated by KunLun based in China, an ostensibly heterosexual gaming company. Given this fact and recent developments, this company feels increasingly removed from the specific needs of our community.

“As someone who has been living with HIV for over 20 years, I know how critical privacy is, and I am appalled that any company would violate this basic trust, particularly a company that claims to serve the LGBTQ community. My experience with HIV informs all the work I do at Hornet, and the needs of people living with HIV are always front of mind,” said Alex Garner, Hornet's Senior Health Innovation Strategist.

We respect the privacy and security of our users and are committed to creating a space for people of all HIV statuses. The online space we create is a community. It is not a resource for third-party profiteering. We cultivate an dynamic online community that is supportive and affirming so that people can grow and thrive. Our users put their trust in us, not just around building good technology, but also around doing the right thing and living by a set of values that reflect the community.

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