Every decade or so, a catalyst is provided for a major economic crisis. The nineties had the dotcom bubble, the noughties had the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the twenties will have cryptocurrencies.

Rush hour traffic was a different kettle of fish on the Mekong. (Photo by Hieu Do on Unsplash)

Living on the banks of the mighty Mekong River that flows from the Tibetan Plateau across thousands of miles through Indochina and into the South China Sea, Tran Nguyen knows how high his home needs to be built above the banks.

Nguyen and his family have farmed and fished the Mekong for generations, through war and strife, they have carved a living for themselves, by reading the signals of the river that gives and takes.

But over the past decade, and thanks to numerous hydroelectric projects upstream on the Mekong, the once bountiful river that provided much-needed nutrients downstream has…


Bitcoin is at a pivotal moment in its evolution as an asset class, and where it goes from here could make all the difference for what a future investment portfolio looks like.

Hall of the Presidents was strangely familiar. (Photo by Colin Watts on Unsplash)

Later, they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to catch Jesus in His words.

“Teacher,” they said, “we know that You are honest and seek favor from no one. Indeed, You are impartial and teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay them or not?”

But Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to inspect.”

So they brought it, and He asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they answered.

Then Jesus…


Portfolio construction has to do with opportunity cost and with bond yields plunging, Bitcoin is starting to look attractive.

Traffic marshal became unlikely highlight of the day. (Photo by Thomas Evans on Unsplash)

For Ju Anh Kim, up to the time she left North Korea, the only face she hasd ever known was that of the Dear Leader.

She sees him in her sleep, he buzzes in her head like white noise throughout the course of the day, and everyday at 5 a.m. she wakes up with a jolt, expecting to hear the ominous tone of the “call to adoration,” that echo through the streets of Pyongyang.

Even after a decade having fled North Korea, Kim still has nightmares of the regime and when asked about her family that she left behind after…


The Chinese cryptocurrency mining cull may have been the best thing to have happened to the Bitcoin blockchain since its hard fork with Bitcoin Cash.

Palace may be here, but the Emperor lives elsewhere now. (Photo by Ling Tang on Unsplash)

On a windswept autumn morning near the entrance of the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey in Catalonia, a small crowd of tourists gathered around a nondescript bench selling Spanish cheeses and Iberico ham.

Catering to the throng of Chinese tourists, Mary Xu was struggling to cope with the mad push to buy her wares whilst not far off, another vendor selling a similar selection of wares looks on enviously.

A relatively new arrival to Catalonia, Mary spoke fluent Spanish despite having just arrived in Spain only sixteen months ago.

Like so many other Chinese emigres to Europe, Mary carries with…


Algorithmic stablecoins are a good idea on paper, but hard to implement because of competing economic incentives as even seasoned investor Mark Cuban can attest.

Financial calculators got complicated pretty fast. (Photo by Andrés Dallimonti on Unsplash)

“Why is it doing that?” the somewhat perplexed copilot looked over to his Captain.

Not the words he wanted to hear from his deputy commander, as Captain Francois Gerard, an experienced airline pilot with over ten thousand hours under his cap, looked to see what was amiss.

In their brand-spanking new cockpit of the (at the time) state of the art Airbus A330–200, something was indeed amiss, but both Gerard and his young copilot Didier Arnaud couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was.

Referring to various checklists, it appeared that the fuel they had onboard their aircraft was far below what…


Tether is no stranger to controversy, but as it turns out, the oft-maligned stablecoin may have more than a few aces up its sleeves.

Massive Multiplayer Online Investing got real. (Photo by Marga Santoso on Unsplash)

For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property.

To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more.

So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.

Now after a long time…


If central banks and governments wanted to finish off cryptocurrencies, that moment has now passed and each day that they continue to exist, is a challenge to the legitimacy of fiat-based institutions.

“Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

— Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 5:38–39, New International Version

Getting change for the strip club was always an embarrassing endeavor. (Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash)

In the economic life of man, what constitutes value and qualifies as a medium of exchange is a far more plastic concept than anyone living in that age often gives credit for.

At its core, currency is about efficiency.


From dismissive to damning, central bankers have run the full gamut of attitudes towards Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and instead of regulating, are leaning towards cracking down, but can they?

“Now where did I put my ledger?” (Photo by Jason Pofahl on Unsplash)

In November of 2018, and in the depths of the crypto winter, warmth for cryptocurrency maximalists came from an unlikely place, the IMF.

Then head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, in a speech at the Singapore Fintech Festival, offered these warm words of comfort to the cold crypto-faithful who at the time may have been questioning their life choices,

“We float through a world of information, where data is the “new gold” — despite growing concerns over privacy, and cyber-security. A world in which millennials are reinventing how our economy works, phone in hand.”

“And this is key…


Elon Musk’s significant influence over the price of Bitcoin has been both a boon and a bane for the cryptocurrency industry.

Don’t look behind the curtain, it can only be disappointment.

It’s been said that true power never need not be expressed overtly, but in the shadows. It’s why the Wizard of Oz operated from behind an emerald curtain, and former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was the most powerful man on earth whom very few actually knew about.

If you actually need to flex your muscles to demonstrate your power, than you’ve already lost, but good luck trying to explain that to the well-oiled muscled men on Venice Beach.

Which is why for the better part of a decade, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has held off on…


If the world needs a higher level of functioning democracy, then a central bank digital currency should see to the end of such aspirations.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it looks like it was never really built. (Photo by Jonathan Skule on Unsplash)

“No denarius,” the pot-bellied Gaul threw the Roman silver coin back at the Roman merchant.

“I’ll need you to pay for your stay in real silver.”

In the northern fringes of what would eventually become modern-day France, Rome’s power was at its weakest, and its currency, not universally accepted.

At its zenith in 117 AD, the Roman Empire spanned some 1.5 million square miles and the Emperor ruled over 130 million Roman subjects.

And during that time, the denarius, was the lifeblood of the Roman Empire.

In the early days of Roman rule, the denarius held about 4.5 …

Patrick Tan

CEO of Novum Alpha, an all-weather digital asset trading firm that uses Deep Learning tools to deliver dollar-returns in all market conditions.

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