Patrick is an innovative entrepreneur and a lawyer passionate about cryptocurrencies and the business world. He is the CEO of Novum Global Technologies, a cryptocurrency quantitative trading firm. He understands the business concerns of founders and business people helping them to utilise the legal framework to structure their companies to take advantage of emerging technologies such as the blockchain in order to reach greater heights. His passion for travel, marketing and brand building has led him across careers and continents. He read law at the National University of Singapore and graduated with Honors in the Upper Division and joined one of Singapore’s top law firms, Allen & Gledhill where he was called to the Singapore Bar as an Advocate & Solicitor in 2005. He created Purer Skin, a skincare and inner beauty company which melds the traditional wisdom of ancient Asian ingredients such as Bird's Nest with modern technology. In 2010, his partner and himself successfully raised $589,000 from the National Research Foundation of Singapore under the Prime Minister’s Office. He has played a key role in the growth of Purer Skin from 11 retail points in Singapore to over 755 retail points in Singapore and 2 overseas in less than a year. He taught himself graphic design, coding, website design and video editing to create the Purer Skin brand and finished his training at a leading Digital Media Company.
As Henry Harianto rode his ubiquitous scooter up to one of the many makeshift gas stations in Bali to fill it up with petrol from a re-purposed Absolut Vodka bottle, he grumbled about how the price of gasoline has been steadily increasing over the past year and that it’s been eating into his living expenses. Harianto is not alone. In the archipelago of 168 million people, the fall in the Indonesian rupiah (the local currency) has been progressively making oil — the feed stock gasoline and other petroleum products much more expensive. With the rupiah having taken a battering over the past year. in late October, Indonesia, in an effort to stem the tide of foreign exchange outflows asked suppliers of diesel and crude to stop charging in dollars and offered them a variety of other options such as the rupiah, Chinese yuan, euro, Japanese yen or the Saudi riyal. And while Jakarta is hopeful that as many suppliers as possible will opt for the rupiah to relieve downward pressure on its embattled currency, such hopes are wishful at best.
Amidst the popping of Cristal and the revving of Lambos, the “get-rich-quick” ethos of the early, heady days of the cryptocurrency revolution are well and truly behind us. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I was there in the thick of things, on the yachts, sipping MUMM (they ran out of Cristal), watching the newly minted crypto-rich rev their Lambos (there were Ferraris too), watching them talk of buying properties and living lives of carefree excess.
On a particularly pleasant afternoon in Penang, I was about to pay for one of the Malaysian island’s most famous delicacies, char koay teow. The rice noodle-based dish is a rare treat, but on this unfortunate occasion, I had absent-mindedly left my wallet back at the hotel and with no physical currency to part with (I was not about to trade my mobile phone for some sustenance) had to take the walk of shame back to my hotel room, unsatisfied. Malaysia continues to remain a very strongly cash-based country.
A friend of mine casually remarked the other day in the midst of the highly destructive Bitcoin Cash hash war — “but surely Bitcoin is now trading below the cost of mining? Isn’t there a minimum floor price?” Unfortunately, there is no floor when it comes to cryptocurrencies — the same way that there is no ceiling. To try to postulate what drives cryptocurrency prices one way or the other is akin to telling the future in tea leaves — whatever you’re looking for is there. The cost of mining Bitcoin differs from country to country and the figures that we do have for the cost of Bitcoin mining is an estimation at best.
The next time someone remarks casually that cryptocurrencies are not “real money” because nobody would use real money to buy digital goods, ask them if they’ve ever played the highly addictive mobile game Clash of Clans or any one of the other hugely popular mobile gaming titles available. In Clash of Clans, prices start as low as US$2.60 for 500 gemsbut can go much crazier from there. Yet not only are players happy to fork out real cash for virtual goods, at least in the case of Clash of Clans, they’re forking it out to the tune of a cool US$1.5 million a day, making the Helsinki-based company enormously rich. What are the developers going to spend all that real gold on anyway? A better ice house? Nowhere is the addictive nature of gaming more apparent than in China — the world’s largest biggest video game market. But just as the Chinese have been plonking down some hard-earned yuan for some virtual armor, the Chinese government has been coming down hard to limit what it has determined to be a highly malicious influence on Chinese society.
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