On the second last day of January 2014, which happened to be the Chinese New Year’s eve a new word entered my world, “Bitcoin.”
Oh yes, like many others my first reaction was “what the *%$# is that?” Is it a game? Is it a scam? Trust me, I haven’t the slightest idea of what it really or actually is at the time. I tried to make a few calls to some “Bitcoiners” I know and they seem to put forward a pretty sunny image of it.
Anyway due to an investor’s instinct and the acceptance of ‘affordable loss’ I bought a few, at a price of about $650 each then, knowing at the back of my mind that it touched $1,280 just barely 2 months ago. As I was going to enjoy a long vacation with my family in Beijing I thought nothing much of it thereafter.
I have always been an investor, with an accountant’s background, actively investing in stocks, share options, forex, funds, gold and other semi-liquid investment tools. I am also a civil activist, political analyst and a part-time writer with a dozen books to be completed. Spending time with my family keeping my head free and cool is my life’s prerequisite.
By the time that I come back from my long vacation covering Macau and Sri Lanka, it was end February. It was the time when the Chinese government issued directives discouraging Bitcoin transactions in China. The price of Bitcoin crashed to under $400 amid fears of holding on to something untradeable, rendering it worthless eventually.
In March 2014 I spent time researching Bitcoin as an investment tool, but the outcome pleasantly surprised me. I found Bitcoin to be more than just a coin, an investment tool but more, representing something that I have always been fighting for as a civil activist i.e. fairness and freedom. The concept of decentralisation in practice is a dream come true! Am I an anarchist? Well, if you consider distrusting politicians anarchical, then yes! And why not?
What I did thereafter was, like they say, history.
First of all I enraged my fund manager by diverting most of my “bullets” into Bitcoin in April 2014 when the price was floating around $400. He is a talented manager, growing funds consistently with double digits for the past three years. He said I was crazy, a description that I am always proud of, anytime. There I was, sticking my finger into every Bitcoin opportunity there is, speculating, investing, mining, networking, you name it.
Then I booked a ticket to the Netherlands after hearing the news that a Bitcoin Boulevard is being set up there. For me personally, it’s not enough just to hear about it, I must be there to experience for myself. Then I can share it with my friends and those who wish to know about it. The initial motive was plain and simple and can be boiled down to just one word, curiosity. (Not to worry too much at the moment, the cat is still very much alive, with nine lives to spare)
As can be seen from my Bitcoin World Tour video now I had a terrific time then, meeting all those Bitcoiners, listening to their stories and sharing our views on the future development of Bitcoin! This has somehow aroused my hunger for more adventure and prompted me to continue my visit to other Bitcoin outlets. I was then introduced to www.coinmap.org where I can find some (yes, only some, not all) Bitcoin merchants around the world.
I thought, how nice if there’s somebody who could go to these places, find their exactly location, find out how they get involve with Bitcoin and then share this with the Bitcoin community. So far most of the Bitcoiners I know are either professional miners or techies and investors or entrepreneurs in the Bitcoin industry. What about the ordinary folks, the man on the street and the housewives who shop almost everyday? Aren’t their involvement crucial to the forming of the foundation of Bitcoin? Isn’t popularity the key to consistent growth of its value?
Come on, someone ought to be doing a world tour, telling the world that Bitcoin is not just for financial and technical experts but also for people like you and me. Someone ought to go shoot a video showing how Bitcoin can be bought, sold and exchange for goods and services of choice anytime anywhere in the world. Someone ought to have gone around proving all those dots you see on the website and all those people are real. Someone ought to…
Thing is, is there someone or some organisation doing that? Reporting on the ground, sharing everyday life Bitcoin experiences? I googled and found none, disappointing. But hey, come to think of it, who is crazy enough to spend money and time doing something that is still questionable in the public eye?
Then a name crossed my mind, Mahatma Gandhi. The great man, one of my idol once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Well, for those who don’ know me for the past few years I have participated in demonstrations in not less than five countries until I was in the headlines of international media and risk being detained by the affected authorities. If I am crazy enough to do that why not this for Bitcoin then? After all I love travelling and a part of my assets is Bitcoin!
For almost two months since I went in big (for my capability) the price of Bitcoin had largely remain weak and unenergetic. On the historical date of 22nd May when Bitcoin had its first transaction in 2010, it was another dramatic event in 2014 when a coup d’état happened in Thailand and you know what? The price of Bitcoin shot over $600 in a single day! My calculated profits were realised and I managed to at least triple my investment in just that short period of time. No, don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to show how much I have profited and in the Bitcoin world this “achievement” is not even worth mentioning. I am sharing this because as a professional investor this feat has later brought me to a very rare opportunity stage sharing with the legendary world record holding investorJim Rogers, presenting on the topic of “The Future of Finance & Investment.”
During my Bitcoin adventure thus far I have played the role of:
- A practical researcher
- Contract miner
Maybe I am just one of the more active Bitcoiners around contributing my very limited resources to the Bitcoin world, but most of the people I come across tends to refer to me as the Bitcoin Ambassador! In order to live up to this billing I have hereby promised to continue my voluntary work to the development of crypto-currency, hence the launch of the following:
To date my journey covers:
- The Hague, The Netherlands
- Athens, Greece
- Dubai, UAE
- Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Japan
- Seoul, South Korea
- Taipei, Taiwan
- Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhanjiang, China
- Hong Kong
- Bangkok, Pattaya, Thailand
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Bali, Indonesia
- United State America
- South Africa
So far, covered 6 continent, 25 countries, over 50 cities. Guess what, the list is still adding up.
Upcoming destination?! Stay tuned !
Watch out this space for all the latest pictures and videos!