I was Born for this Crypto Revolution


My Beginnings

I grew up in San Francisco from the time I was a baby. I was born to a father and mother who went across the world together to embark on the journey in the land of the free. After some early struggles finding a job, my father ended up finding a job in the SF city government as a probation officer while my mother had her hands full taking care of me, my brother and sister. 

There was good stability since then and I had mostly a middle class upbringing in a beautiful and diverse city. From an economic perspective, San Francisco changed from being a global financial center to one of the tech capitals of the world. 

It only seems natural that today the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the hotbeds of the cryptocurrency revolution and leading this convergence of finance and technology. I’m fortunate to be from a city on the forefront of innovation.

After high school, I went across the Bay to UC Berkeley. I was clueless about what I wanted to do with my life so I went the practical route and got a BS degree in mechanical engineering. My first real job was in the Southbay at Pacificbell (ATT) as an outside plant engineer and manager responsible for telecom infrastructure for the quaint city of Mountain View. 

In roughly two years I felt I had accomplished a lot at my job. I was eager to make a bigger impact on the company and was confident about having greater responsibilities, but my manager led our group and higher level managers were above him and the chain of command extended even higher. Ultimately our fate was at the whim of those at the top of the chain for better or for worse. 

I learned that if I wanted to make the biggest difference I need to expand my skillset and learn more about business and management. At that time we were also in the midst of the dotcom bubble. The startup scene became feverish. I made a few selective attempts to join in (and even dropped a resume off at Google HQ), but nothing materialized and the bubble burst.

The dotcom boom was a huge learning lesson. I lost a tremendous amount of my savings investing in tech stocks. I even lost a significant amount of money that my mother & sister entrusted in me. The loss shook me. How could so much value vanish so quickly? 

The total loss on most of my stocks made me question how to value companies and accelerated my desire to learn more about value, cash flow and the fundamentals of investing. I engorged myself with investment knowledge during my MBA program at UC Irvine. It seemed I had a natural talent for everything involving business, finance, economics & investments, but perhaps it was my thirst for understanding that made it easier. 

I continued my education in investments and earned my CFA charterholder soon after graduating from business school. The dotcom experience and online resources in Austrian Economics struck a good balance with my formal education and enabled me to question everything about the economy in more depth.

I thought I’d be able to bring the greatest value helping people in finances and investments. I also wanted to have more control over my destiny, be independent and be my own boss. I decided to go into financial advisory and planned to help others with their finances and investments. 

Unfortunately I wasn’t much of a salesperson so I was never able to grow my business and instead took more of a support role in financial planning.  I focused mainly on investment research & analysis for other independent but established firms. 

It was also hard to stay excited about advisory because I was so skeptical about the foundations of our entire economy.  I was a bearish gold bug and it was difficult to find alternative assets to believe in. Of course now I’m excited about the prospect that we can build and invest in new businesses and a new financial future based on blockchains and cryptocurrency.

Freedom

I started looking for answers not only about the economy, but the broader society. In 2007 I started actively following Ron Paul who was one of the only politicians against the unjust Middle East wars based on lies. He understood sound monetary and economic policies. He was against banker bailouts, wanted to stop excessive spending and was against adding to our enormous national debt. He was against money printing (ie. quantitative easing) and wanted to end the Federal Reserve. 

I was inspired to volunteer for grassroots operations for Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in ‘07 & ‘08. I lead several grassroots operations in ‘11 & ‘12. I even created a SuperPAC that raised tens of thousands, knocked on thousands of doors, made thousands of calls, and led a grassroots ground operation for the Iowa caucus that ultimately led to Paul’s delegation win at the convention. 

One highlight of the campaign was when I led a strategic, stealth & unusual grassroots outreach operation that led many thousands more to vote and propelled Paul to an unexpected 2nd place victory in the Washington state primary right before Super Tuesday. 

It felt great to make an impact on political campaigns, but even a greater satisfaction knowing how many people we were able to enlighten, energize, inspire or simply just share ideas with — ideas about truth, peace, freedom and free markets.

Crypto

I first heard about Bitcoin very early in 2010 from a fellow political activist, but dismissed it since I was an ardent gold bug and the idea of people printing their own money using their computers as it was vaguely explained to me sounded pretty crazy and not much better than our current Federal Reserve and fiat system. 

It wasn’t until I heard Bitcoin mentioned again a few more times and I read Erik Voorhees’s blog article “BITCOIN – THE LIBERTARIAN INTRODUCTION” in mid-2012 that I realized a digital money system that is useful and scarce like Bitcoin could work and could be the foundation for a new economy. 

From then I was actively attending monthly meetups in SF and meeting people like Brian Armstrong when Coinbase was just an idea, “Bitcoin Jesus” Roger Ver who was already spreading the Bitcoin gospel, Jesse Powell from Kraken and Jed McCaleb who was already working on Ripple. I also briefly experimented with mining and eventually got more inspired after reading Satoshi’s monumental whitepaper. 

While continuing to follow Bitcoin I started actively following Ripple and switched my attention to Stellar, Bitshares and Steemit before expanding my attention to many other ecosystems like Ethereum and EOS as well as many other new crypto and token projects in the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem.

From Finance to Tech Startup

I had been working in the financial services industry for nearly a decade helping a few small firms help clients with investments, but also with personal cash flow, tax, insurance, and estate planning.  I decided to make the switch from financial services to tech startups because I was convinced crypto was the future and that it would transform our entire economy. It didn’t make sense to continue planning around traditional investments. 

My main goal was to help make blockchain technology become mainstream. I studied everything I could about startups. Luckily I’m in the SF Bay Area and we’re imbued with startup culture and resources. I gained incredible insights at local meetups about software development, growth marketing, funding, product-market fit and everything about bootstrapping startups. 

Peerhub was the first project that I started around 2014. It was meant to be a marketplace website like Ebay that would allow people to use cryptocurrencies to pay. After building a minimum viable product (MVP) I quickly realized it would take time for most people to transition to using cryptocurrencies and their price volatility so in 2015 I started another complementary payment app called Bitcash that would enable people to use a US dollar stable crypto coin using Bitshares technology. 

Although the concept of a stable currency was helpful, I finally realized that only a small percentage of people actually wanted to spend cryptocurrency and that the biggest demand for cryptocurrency was for those people who wanted to invest, hold and grow their wealth, and not spend it.  I’m currently working on a way to help people get in and out of crypto more easily through an application called 100x Trade.  I also created a virtual organization called bitcashDAC that aims to create a new global banking system that’s focused on the developing world. 

Building Wealth With Crypto

I’ve been in the thick of crypto for years. Running meetups. Going to meetups. Investing. Trading. Learning. There’s a steep learning curve in this space that covers a variety of subjects including technology, economics, business, and law. It’s not easy.  There are thousands of cryptocurrencies and tokens to learn about and so everyone has differing opinions about which ones are good. 

It was apparent that the first step to getting people to be comfortable and confident about entering this space was education. There was so much activity going on each day and it was impossible to follow it all. That led me to create 100x, a crypto investor content and education platform to help new and experienced crypto investors.  100x started out as a virtual web conference in 2017 that drew 500+ attendees and many great speakers. 

I then co-organized the World Crypto Economic Forum in 2018 and was fortunate to get the godfather of crypto Nick Szabo to headline it. We had over 1000+ attendees. I finally had a couple startup projects with success and traction! I understood  what people wanted and demanded. People wanted to invest and grow their wealth. People want to be financially independent and crypto is the way to make it happen. 

Today if I go back to my old advisory clients I would strongly recommend them an allocation of crypto in their portfolios.  We’re probably witnessing the greatest wealth transfer in our generation and no one should miss out.  It’s also a hedge against the risks of our current economic system that’s fraught with bad fiscal and monetary policy and excessive debt.  I’d even recommend some crypto allocation to my parents and the older generations who are more likely to be the most skeptical.  I’m confident crypto will be as important to their daily lives as the Internet has become.   

In the near future our economy will be built on crypto.  A new Internet will be built on it.   A new government and society will eventually be as well.  Yes a sovereign digital society.   And we won’t need as much traditional political campaigning to make that happen.  I’m determined to help make crypto mainstream even if I have to go door to door. But with the advent of digital mediums and through 100x and Bitcash it’ll be faster to go from computer to computer.   If you want to follow me on my journey through this crypto revolution, sign up for my email list at: jun@100xinvestors.com or join me on the 100x Crypto Telegram channels…see you there!

Jd.