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 …


Decentralized finance is threatening to undermine the very role and function of banks, but can the technology live up to the hype?

Bit of an oxymoron if you ask me. (Photo by Jonathan Cooper on Unsplash)

Trekking the twenty miles from her little coffee stand in La Paz, to her family homestead in the foot hills of the Andes isn’t physically challenging for 40-year-old Maria Flores, it’s financially daunting.

Having taken out a microloan from a United Nations-backed non-governmental organization, Flores has improved the lot of her family, selling piping hot mugs of thick, freshly-brewed coffee in the outskirts of Bolivia’s capital. The only problem? Travelling around with all that cash.

Flores loves the independence of her work and the ability to make her own money, but it’s also a constant source of worry for her…


Since the U.S. abandoned the gold standard, the value of a currency is what it represents, not what it’s backed by, digital or otherwise.

Years later and still as relevant (Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash)

Ma Tun rubbed his beard between his fingers and surveyed his substantial property in a lush green suburb of the ancient Chinese city of Luoyang.

The 17th century merchant and trader, Ma had made his fortune plying the lucrative trade between the port city of Shanghai and the eastern end of the Silk Road of Xi’an.

Yet trade and industry in 17th century China was anything but straightforward, with imperial palms needing to be greased and greedy officials always looking for more than their pound of flesh.

So when a particularly greedy Qing dynasty official inspected Ma’s substantial storehouse of…


Every generation has its asset class, could Bitcoin be the one for the current age?

Adulting never looked this good. (Photo by José Ignacio Pompé on Unsplash)

When Julio Rodriguez was a young boy, he remembers fondly the Sunday dinners that his mother would prepare.

Coming back from soccer practice on a Sunday afternoon, Rodriguez would be greeted with the familiar aroma of his mother’s asado.

The son of a college professor, Rodriguez remembers growing up fairly well off, and what most would consider, decidedly middle class.

But by the mid-1970s, Rodriguez, who was just starting elementary school started noticing that things in his family were changing.

Instead of the prime cuts of asado that his mother would prepare on Sunday evenings, off cuts were used.

Instead…


Could Bitcoin form part of a family’s legacy the way collectible art, jewelry, classic cars and real estate have?

Paper wills for digital assets seems somewhat ironic. (Photo by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash)

At the reading of the last will and testament of Timothy Calderon Smith (a.k.a toophunkcypher) in the year 2104, his descendants listened disinterested as the estate lawyer rattled off a list of possessions that Smith had acquired throughout his long life.

“One, painting by Picasso, entitled Girl before a mirror, I bequeath to…”

the lawyer droned on.

Until finally, he came to the part that everyone sat up for,

“And for my holdings of cryptocurrencies, 10,045.4678 Bitcoin I bequeath to…”

There were audible gasps in the lawyer’s office.

At the back of the room, one of Smith’s great-granddaughters had fainted…


More companies are holding on to Bitcoin then you may know about and they’re using tricks worthy of the Panama Papers.

Door treatment seemed unnecessarily stealthy. (Photo by Stefan Steinbauer on Unsplash)

For years, Thomas Rosemont had finished off every Friday evening with a pint of IPA at a local bar and his favorite pizza off their “home style” menu.

And for years Rosemont had raved about the bar’s pizza, claiming that it was the best pizza in town and he couldn’t understand why no one else seemed to like it as much.

The flaky, doughy, perfectly crisp crust, just the right amount of pepperoni and cheese, and a thick, luscious rich marinara sauce made it the perfect greasy accompaniment to be washed down with the cool bubbly-sweet bitterness of his favorite…


Bitcoin maximalists have been selling the value of Bitcoin as a potential investment portfolio diversifier, but increasingly there are very few, if any, assets which can effectively diversify a portfolio.

Students celebrating the fact that they were able to read the building sign reached new heights. (Photo by Vasily Koloda on Unsplash)

To Meghan Reid, her college application strategy made absolute sense — after all, hadn’t her Mom told her not to put all her eggs in one basket? So rather than have her hopes and dreams dashed by not being able to get into her top choice college, Reid, a senior at New York City’s Stuyvesant High School used a complex algorithm to determine how best to stretch her limited college application resources as far as possible.

Instead of focusing her efforts on writing one inspired college admissions letter, she would build a generic template and then tailor specific points for…


Why is a Bitcoin ETF so important to Bitcoin maximalists? Because of the way market structure has evolved over the past decade, a Bitcoin ETF has the potential to push Bitcoin to levels even higher than what we’re seeing today.

Getting in is one thing, how do you get out? (Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash)

Samantha Reid was holding her phone and tapping away to ensure that the QR code that was her ticket to see her favorite black metal band didn’t disappear from her phone.

As Reid made her way towards the concert hall, which was an old college theater, she realized that many like her were also making their way to the venue.

Around the block a steady stream of bodies was lining up to see the band “Saltpeter” live in concert.

Right away, Reid noticed that part of the reason the line kept growing was that there was only one entrance into…


It’s one thing when your worst fears remain in your mind, but when they manifest in your markets, then it’s time to gear up for action. A growing number of high profile investors and institutions are cottoning on to cryptocurrencies and central bankers are running concerned.

It was easy for Samantha Reid to ignore the signs at first — a tracking cookie on her computer (who didn’t have those?) and the sense that someone was following her after she knocked off work.

But she dismissed those fears, convinced that they were always bigger in her mind than they were in her reality.

It wasn’t until whoever was stalking her started leaving more overt signs that she began to grow slightly more concerned.

And when whoever it was that had taken an unhealthy interest in her had started leaving notes outside her apartment, she seriously started…


Thought you knew what an asset is? Unprecedented times are fostering unconventional ideas about the very essence of our financial existence, including what is characterized as an asset.

For all intents and purposes, Tony Chung led a privileged life. Chauffeured to school in his own Daimler, his afternoons were spent whiling his time away at the Singapore Cricket Club.

Throughout the 1930s, Chung’s father ran a prosperous business, supplying the British troops that were garrisoned in the island fortress of Singapore with the creature comforts of home, Chung senior had made his family fabulously wealthy in the process.

But even before the ink had dried on the documents of surrender, as the British, who were thought to be undefeatable, ceded control over Singapore to the invading Japanese…

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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