Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cashless in Singapore

This CNA article about being cashless in China and this video from the ST should really be a wake up call to Singapore.

Cashless in Singapore?

Wait until neck long long.

Can just crawl to the corner in the hawker centre, roll into a ball and die of starvation.

Except for a handful of places offering the very fail DASH payment system (this is the SCB initiative, not to be confused with DASH, the $2B cryptocurrency), the new and unadopted LiquidPay and of course NETS FlashPay, I would imagine that 99% of transactions at hawker centres are still done by cash and coin.

Reading our own local reports on how it is going (CNA and Today) and comparing it to China clearly shows our lack of progress. It's both embarrassing and pathetic.

It is embarrassing af. That's right, af.

Pathetic why? Smartphones, check. 4G network, check. "Financial hub of Asia", check. Like a bazillion people in the financial industry, check. Cashless P2P payment method, er.... is PayNow counted? LOL.

After reading that articles I got second-hand embarrassed. Maybe we all should go back to our villages in China, kampungs in Malaysia? OH WAIT, the villages in China would still have more advanced payment methods than us, GAWD DAMNIT.

"How can we expect hawkers to suddenly embrace these kind of technologies? THEY ARE SO OLD, THEY DONT KNOW HOW TO USE HANDPHONES."

Well, I'd be damned if old people in China can learn and adopt the shit out of this, but we in Singapore can't.

While most people seem to think it is poor user adoption, I would also say that it is poor merchant adoption. I think 90% of people under 30 would be all for mobile cashless payments, not even a physical card is necessary. But of course, 50% of merchants still don't support NFC technology. "Sorry Sir, no PayWave". Okay, can.

Reluctant to change, lazy to press the buttons, lazy to check phone notifications...

I don't know, sounds like really bad excuses to me. Really. Bad. Excuses.

One of the biggest issues that I had with Japan was their unbelievably archaic way of using money to pay for stuff.

However, I was told that this is not because they can't, but it's largely because all small businesses under-declare taxes, and only businesses that accept cash can do this.

Then again, I can probably think of quite a few occupations in Singapore where the perk is "self-employed means can under declare taxes and don't need to contribute to CPF". Not I say one hor, is I heard people say.

Anyway, whatever.

I have a credit card with me and I always keep a minimum amount of cash, in a variety of small denominations because I am sure I'm going to end up somewhere "Cash only".

Majulah Singapura.

Friday, August 18, 2017

How to send $165,000,000 USD in 2 minutes for $0.67 USD

Bitcoins, that's how. A friend showed me this link and my jaw just dropped.

And of course, you should not just trust, but also verify.

Thank god we have the blockchain because that means we don't have to blindly trust shit on the internet. We can fire up the blockchain and check it and verify it for ourselves.

Here is the tx in question that you can look up yourself: 2248452e2122ff2d446565462cac276bbc8420c5874695a9b5c8e3bca8afa2b2

Check 1: Blockchain.info
Check 2: Blockexplorer.com
Check 3: Blockcypher.com

So there you have it. In 1 minute 55 seconds, 40,000.32 BTC worth $165,000,000 USD then was sent at a cost of $0.67 USD.

People tell me Bitcoins are worthless. The whole mainstream media are throwing around the "tulip" buzzword of the week.

Yet it is still shit on like it's some crazy kook technology used only by criminals and geeks.

But show me how you can move $165 mil in 2 minutes and I'll give you a standing ovation.

Wait, I take that back. Why should I give anyone a standing ovation for doing that?

It's nothing special. You'd just be doing something that can already be done.

Honestly, Bitcoins are the tip of the iceberg about how mindblowing blockchain technology is. I know I'm well on my way on being a full crypto-retard. Never go full-retard. I'm trying hard not to, but I see this is as the freaking biggest opportunity that I will ever get in my life.

Sorry, future GMGH reading this. Your past self is utterly convinced that we have passed the Point of No Return.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Let's talk Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

I've actually talked about ICOs before, but I just wanted to come back and touch a bit on this topic.

ICO stands for Initial Coin Offerings. In a nutshell, it is a digital Initial Public Offering (IPO).

That was actually in the Straits Times, and I think it's a timely reminder that ICOs are really dangerous and risky.

And I'm not just talking about the risks in investing in a early start-up company. There are plenty and plenty of risks. One of the biggest ones is that it turns out to be a scam. Some people found out the hard way and lost $7.6m of Ether last month, which is now worth $13m. Madness.

There are risks that the company sucks.
There are risks that the company is okay but the product sucks.
There are risks that the company is okay, product is okay, but the market is not ready.
There are risks that the owners run away with all the money.

And the lists goes on and on. Add in that there are also like 20 ways to get hacked or scammed along the way and you can probably realize by now that this is NOT a riskless path to be troding on.

If you currently only "invest" in fixed deposits and endowment products, this is DEFINITELY not for you.

tldr - PLENTY OF RISKS. If you can't handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

Now that we've got the MANY risks clearly spelled out, let's see why this is happening. Michael from Boxmining did a fantastic job in this video and that spurred me on to write this article.

The main thought that I have is that this does not prove a mania in cryptocurrencies. Why do I think that? I feel that the hype is actually surrounding the fact that average Joe investors like you and me can now actually get into and be involved in early round startup funding. This used to be exclusively meant for venture capitalist and deep pocketed angel investors, but blockchain and decentralization has quickly marked these people as the first people to be on their Death Note - the profits to be made there are TOO high, and its a no-brainer for blockchain to disrupt that market.

A very big point to note. Very very big. And this is important, so listen up. Investing in startups is risky. Period. With or without cryptocurrencies. The risk profile of a startup company is still very big either way, though I admit that there are pros and cons to each method that helps reduces risk in certain areas.

But the point is that even before cryptocurrency was a word, both the RISKS and REWARDS in startup funding are beyond comprehension for normal people.

So this "ICO bubble" that we are seeing here, to me it is just what happens if you allow the general public to take part in such high risk investments. Deals that would have previously be made behind the scenes (and probably with unfavourable terms to the startup) and now out in the open for anyone to fund.

Sure, the quality of the projects are dropping, the quantity of projects are increasing and the amount that they are asking for are increasing too. Who is to blame them? The market is signalling their intentions to be involved in more risky ventures.

Now that pandora's box has been opened, why would a startup choose to take VC money that has strings attached, when they can take the general public's money and retain much more control?

I think this is a good thing. People CAN invest in ICOs if they want to, but they should be willing to assume all the risks (and rewards) associated with such an investment.

Personally, the thing I'm peeved most about is regulations. Anyone that steps foot into the crypto space immediately denounces any form of recourse - there is none in the crypto world. It should go immediately without saying that touching an ICO is like the biggest risk you can take, and no amount of government regulations can save your ass if you made bad decisions.

Long story short - while ICOs might seem like digital IPOs, I think they are much riskier due to (1) the complicated and non-standard process of investing in it and (2) the much earlier start point of business development, which invariably leads to a much higher fail rate. Of course, that also means that the returns can be phenomenal.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

First Crypto Cash Out

Slightly over a month ago, I bought a certain crypto (I will not name it).

Today, I decided to sell some of it.... at a +446% gain.

I won't give you a dollar figure (obviously), but I can assure you that the profit is in the thousands, NOT in hundreds.

Actually, I don't mind revealing a slight ballpark figure, but I will not elaborate further. The profit from this single trade, which is only a portion of my total tokens in that crypto (<10%), which is in turn only a portion my entire crypto portfolio (<25%), is almost the same as the entire profit of my SGX portfolio, which I have been carefully and slowly investing since Mar 2014. You could argue that I'm a shit stock picker, therefore my stock returns are low, but I don't think my stocks returns are that bad. The STI was 3.08 when I started and it's 3.34 today + dividends along the way. By my calculations, I've outperformed the STI by a solid 7% in total returns.

So, the returns of <2.5% of my crypto porfolio in less than 2 months is about the same as the return of my entire SGX portfolio for the last 3 years.

And it would clearly be more if compared to a simple portfolio of only the STI ETF.

And mind you, this is without any leverage at all.


Again, you can take this post that GMGH has lost his marbles, forsaken traditional investing, has balls of steel and is now posting his returns from a good gambling run at a casino. What a douche. A lucky douche, but a douche nonetheless.

Or you can take it that cryptos have mindblowing potential and that people with SOME sort of investing experience and knowledge actually have an edge over all these self proclaimed crypto gurus, and can reasonably make very respectable profits in the crypto space.

I'm not telling you to jump into this. I'm just showing you what is possible.

Seriously, this isn't a shill. This isn't a sell. I don't even want to tell you what crypto it is that I bought and sold. Later you say I only say so that others can pump it while I dump it on them and cash out, no thank you.

It's up to you to decide what you want to do. And this is just me rambling on about stuff on my blog.

The big question of the day: What am I going to do with my profits?
Answer: Plow it right back into another crypto.

Wish me luck, it looks like financial freedom has just jumped forward 20 years earlier for me.

Oh, would you look at the time. I'm due for my medication now. Excuse me.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Don't Crybaby To Me About Bitcoins & Cryptos

The market bubble popped a while ago and went from 120b to 60b.

Now we're back above 120b. If you were in ANYTHING at that point of time, your portfolio would've been up about 100%.

I am currently up over 100%.

That statement is not meant to be a brag, but a fact verified by me that such intense gains are not just imaginary, they are possible.

(I have to point out that I am expecting another correction again. But hey, the crypto markets are volatile and random af, if you're getting into this you should already know the risks involved)

Screw bonds. I've liquidated all my Singapore Savings Bonds and I have put 100% of that capital into cryptos. Insane? Madness? Maybe.

Screw the stock market. I'll be liquidating large chunks of my stock portfolio too. At least 20-30% will be liquidated by the end of the month if things go as planned.

A lot of people cannot grasp the fact that 0.01% of the population that hold cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins and whatnot are getting and will be insanely rich.

Isn't it unfair? The wealth distribution gap is so wide!

My response: So what?

I am going to be insanely wealthy and fabulous because I put in real, spendable SGD and bought these online digital funny money that could be worthless the second after the SGD leaves my bank account. I took this risk. You didn't.

Let that sink in.

I gave away real money today for something that is extremely risky and could be worthless tomorrow.

What should my risk/reward be? It should be freaking high since normal people wouldn't even want to spend $1 on such things. They don't want to be involved in it. They don't want to know about it. Heck, I'm sure a lot of people would just want it to go away.

If Bitcoins goes to zero, who is going to refund me and pay me back? Nobody.
If Bitcoins go to the tens of thousands, who is going to get rich af? Me.

I take the risk, I reap the rewards.
You didn't take the risk, you don't reap the rewards.

Don't think of it as a loss to you and a gain to me. Just think of it as a missed opportunity.

If you want to sit on the fence, that is totally okay. I don't blame you. I was sitting on the fence looking over at Bitcoin and other cryptos occasionally over the past few years until I reached the point where I decided to jump the fence.

Now at this juncture, I have put real money in this thing. To me, it's real and it's the future. I see no signs of development in this area slowing down.

HUGEEEEEEEEEE RISKS. Very huge. I'm risking 100% of the capital that I put in. Could it go to zero? Yes. Will it? I'm betting thousands of dollars that it won't.

I have to reiterate it again - I'm taking huge risks, therefore I will be reaping huge rewards if it is successful.

You can use your SGD to save in the bank, invest in the stock market, buy new and shiny gadgets and eat delicious food. You are NOT taking the risks that I am, why should you be rewarded what I get?

Anyone who throws a bitchfit about cryptos being unfairly distributed ought to ask themselves this:

what the f*** is stopping you from getting in now?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

GMGH Crypto Blackbox Investing

I know a lot of people are curious about "investing in" cryptocurrencies like "the bitcoins" and whatnot, but this is NOT a post about that.

This is instead going to be an introductory post about a group of blackbox investments that I will be doing.

Why is it blackbox? What does that mean?

It's a blackbox because:
- I will not be proving my investment capital
- I will not be naming the actual investments
- I will not be proving the returns from those invesments
- I could make making up the entire thing and you wouldn't know

That means that I only will be listing down the amount of my capital invested, some arbitrary name to call the investment and the returns of those investments.

As far as you, the reader, are concerned, GMGH just put some capital into this blackbox and at the end of the month he shakes it out, counts it, records it, then puts it back in for another month.

Due to the nature of cryptos, I will not be answering most questions about my blackbox investing.

In my blackbox, I have a wide variety of funds within, each invested with a different strategy. To mask the names of the actual investments, I have given them all interesting names - easy for me to identify, yet mysterious but still intuitive enough for readers.

Steady Turtle Fund
Black Wolf Fund 1
Black Wolf Fund 2
Black Wolf Fund 3
Green Angry Kraken Fund 1
Green Angry Kraken Fund 2
Blue Crazy Dragon Fund
White Crazy Dragon Fund

As of now, only half of my funds are up and running, but I am hoping to have them all up and running by the end of Aug so I that I can officially start reporting monthly stats with all the funds running once 1st Sep comes. However, if I am unable to get into my investments at that point of time, I will just release the stats with those unfunded funds being dormant until they start running. I'd prefer nice monthly stats, but I've realized that a lot of capital will be moving in and around, so as much as I'd like to keep things simple and neat, I will not be doing that and forfeit potentially better returns by not re-balanacing and re-allocating my portfolio.

Right now my focus will be on getting into positions and to come up with a good tracking spreadsheet for me to track my portfolio returns, and also to create the censored version that I will be publishing every month, as long as it is profitable and it is of interest to people.

What kind of returns am I hoping for and expecting? Honestly, that is a hard question to answer. 

As this is cryptos, a lot of my invest profit/loss would actually come from "foreign exchange", since the crypto/SGD rate is in a constant flux. I cannot even begin to predict that, but it is in my view that foreign exchange will be a tailwind to the blackbox's profts.

However, in terms of crypto itself, I am looking at a wide possible range of returns, somewhere between 10% - 50%. My estimates are actually somewhere in the 30% range, but I think a conservative target is 20%.

Anyway, this is like asking a fund manager at the start of the year to predict his year end returns. Who knows, right?

As always, I would like to warn people who are not familiar with crypto that there are a lot of risks involved in crypto investing. Even all the investments in my blackbox are full of risks too. However, I am totally prepared for a 100% loss in my entire portfolio. Crypto is risky and dangerous, tread lightly and at your own risk.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

GMGH's Crypto Toolkit v1.0

Dear all,

With cryptos becoming more and more popular (I'm seeing even more and more sheep joining the herd, marching towards the slaughterhouse shouting "MOON MOON"), I thought that perhaps it would be of interest to some people to know what tools I use and if maybe they could be of use to you.

Since this is v1.0 and there are plenty of old tools being discontinued, and new tools and websites popping up, this might not be the most cutting edge list of tools out there. I have to emphasize that although I use all these tools myself, I am not perfect and right, so you also need to do your own due diligence when using these things!!!

Okay, let's get started!

1. Password Manager

Are you surprised that this is the first thing on the list? You shouldn't be, especially if you have made a few wallets and accounts. Every wallet has a public and private key which you need to know, and some wallets have a mnemonic phrase.

A password manager is infinitely useful for safely storing all this information. I use Dashlane (my referral link for 6 months free premium) to store all my login credentials to all the different exchanges and websites that I visit. I also use it to store all my keys and backup phrases.

Coinhako. Coinbase. Bittrex. Poloniex. Wallet 1. Wallet 2. Wallet 3. Etc, etc. You get the picture.

You don't have to use Dashlane if you don't want to. I use it because after much research and reviewing, I have determined that it was the best one at that point of time, and since then I have had only great things to say about it. You can use LastPass, 1Password, or even locally stored programmes like Keepass, which stores and encrypts your password databases directly on your computer or thumbdrive.

You can use Excel, Word or even Notepad, but I personally strongly recommend against doing that.

The benefit of having a cloud-based password manager is that your data is by default backed-up and accessible without your specific hardware. This means that if your house burns down along with your computer, safe and thumbdrive, you can still log-in via the web client, or even better yet (and more secure), you can download the programme onto a new trusted device and get back access to all your accounts and passwords. All your coins, safe and sound.

There is a reason why this is the first and probably the most stressed about tool. YOU NEED IT. If there's only one thing to take away from this entire post is that a password manager is essential in this day and age where we have hundreds of online accounts, and each password SHOULD be different, but yet we are somehow supposed to remember each and every one of them? Just like how handphones have removed the need to remember phone numbers, password managers have removed the need to remember passwords.

2. Wallets

Now that you've got a safe place to store your wallet keys, let's talk about wallets. I think Jackson Palmer (creator of Dogecoin) nailed it with this episode, but I think the order is a bit mixed.

Personally, I use a variety of wallets.

Exchange wallets are a definite no-go for anything more than just trading in and out, followed by sweeping it clean. OG clients require an every growing amount of space, so I don't really like it.

*NOTE* If you have stored your private keys and recovery phrase into your password manager, technically your account is not as secure compared to private key only being found on the paper wallet or hardware wallet. Private keys getting leaked out are the BIGGEST risk and you should be extremely aware of what method you choose and why. If you have a hardware wallet, I'd suggest keeping a backup of the recovery seeds it in case you lose or break your hardware wallet so the funds can be recovered by key regeneration. Also never ever digitally key in or record your private key else unless you are burning that account and migrating away to a new one.

Personally, between 1, 1.5 and 2, I don't see much difference for the security of the user. However, it is definitely better to have a full node and not rely on other nodes. However, that is with regards to security of making transactions, NOT with the security of your funds. This is a very important distinction. Not being connected to a full node does not increase your risks of your funds being stolen. The certainty that you can broadcast transactions and verify blocks yourself comes at the cost of having the entire blockchain on your harddrive, and constantly growing.

While paper wallets are great, I find them a major, major inconvenience. A better way to use paper wallets is to pair it up with a watch-only wallet (also applicable to hardware wallets!). This means you don't have to dig out your paper wallet to receive coins, you can fire up your watch-only wallet to generate your public key to receive funds. However, you do have to dig out the paper wallet if you ever want to send coins out though. As such, it's best to think of paper wallets like a piggy bank. Easy to deposit into, but troublesome to get the money out.

BTC watch-only wallet: Sentinel
ETH watch-only wallet: Lunary

I don't think I can go wrong by saying that I think hardware wallets are superior to paper wallets, though there are specific cases when a paper wallet would actually be pretty good.

3. Fiat-Crypto Exchange

In Singapore, the most commonly used exchange is probably CoinHako. I have a referral link, but meh, I personally think Hako is shit and I have a conscience, so sorry, no free $5 through signing up from me. You may ask your friends who also have no fiduciary obligation to you to recommend you to Hako. The margins and spreads are fat AF (I've seen conversion rates with premiums as high as 9%) and their exchange fee is a freaking 0.9%, lol. Actually instead of lol, it is more WTF. As much as I think Hako is pretty shit, I have to admit that they do offer a simple, easy-to-fund, easy-to-use platform with pretty decent support. It's a beginner's platform where they pretty much hold your hands the whole way. I guess that's what you're paying for? Expect final SGD cost over USD spot rates to be as high as 10%.

The next most common platform is Coinbase, which has actually been around for a while and it is also one of the biggest retail consumer exchanges. I use Coinbase because I find their rates very similar to the market, although their fees are high and flat. On the bright side, fees can be mitigated because they do allow you to charge purchases on your credit card. In my experience, the all-in fees ends up to be about 4.5%, so it depends on how you want to shuffle around your credit card purchases and which card you want to charge it to. I think it's a pretty good way to chalk up spending on your credit cards, especially if the bonus interest applied on your bank balance would more than offset the fees of Coinbase. Expect final SGD cost over USD spot rates to be as high as 4.5%, though credit card promos and rebates can drop that significantly HINT HINT.

Personally, I use the DBS/POSB + Gemini combination. It sounds complicated, but it really isn't. You just use SGD to remit USD to your Gemini account. Tadah. Done. The only fees in this equation is the SGD-USD conversion rate which I've calculate to be about 0.65%, and the exchange fee at Gemini for 0.25%. For a no-bullshit experience with this combo, you can expect a very good and reliable exchange with final SGD cost over USD spot rates to be just under 1%.

If you are going to buy buying large amounts of crypto on a regular basis, it's a no-brainer which option you should choose. I currently use DBS/POSB + Gemini for my bulk purchases and Coinbase for my impulse purchases. Please do your own diligence for these exchanges. These are just what I use, and as you know, the biggest risk and easiest point of failure (other than yourself) would be the exchanges.

Other known fiat-crypto exchanges are Kraken (I have an account but I do not use it) and Quoine (I have NOT used before, but I know they have SGD pairs. There seems to be no market depth though).

4. Crypto-Crypto Exchanges

This is probably the big question everyone wants to know about, eh? Especially since buying just plain ol' BTC and ETH is so boring and passe.

The main exchange that I use for changing cryptos is Bittrex. I feel that Bittrex offers plenty of pairs and has a very simple and non-confusing user interface. Withdrawals and deposits have always been smooth for me and I've not experienced any issues. They handled the BTC/BCC forking fiasco perfectly as well, so in my view, they are the best exchange out there.

My next most used exchange is Changelly (yes, I have an affiliate link there) and I use it to change crypto when the amount is either small, or if speed is a factor. Changelly is similar to the more popular Shapeshift (no registration needed exchange), but Changelly has more pairs, lower fees, better rates and more uptime. No registration is the real shining plus point here, so for those people who came into crypto because of privacy concerns, this point ought to win you over. Just as a casual mention, Moneroj is a supported coin on Changelly.

As much as I like Shapeshift (and their innovations like Prism), I find Shapeshift to be rather unreliable with rates always worse than Changelly... if you can get them to quote you. It doesn't bring much user confidence that half the time I can't even get them to quote me a rate. However, still a pretty decent option. It's okay to have a Plan C even if you already have Plan A and Plan B.

5. Portfolio tracking Spreadsheet

This can be done in a variety of ways, but I imagine most people will settle for the plain ol' Excel or a Google Spreadsheet. Personally, I use the Google Spreadsheet option because I can access it on multiple devices.

While prices can be linked, I personally prefer my spreadsheet to be completely static with only inputs from me, and formulas that I create.

I have 2 main spreadsheets:
- SGD to crypto purchases (capital cost)
- Summary of all cryptos (market value)

Essentially, the main thing that I am concerned about is what is the value of my portfolio compared to the capital I invested. Having the first spreadsheet allow me to know when, where and what crypto I bought and at what rate (capital) and the next spreadsheet allows me to find out what is the market price of the cryptos that I am holding (market value).

This document isn't really top secret, because there is no need for you to put down your account information. Even if this document is leaked, your accounts are not compromised as long as you never wrote down your private keys. That said, if you understand how blockchain works, with your balances, people would be able to search for your account on the blockchain and would be able to link that public address to your own person. It is generally never a good idea to let people know your holdings.

6. Crypto prices

This is a split between coinmarketcap.com and coincap.io.

Coincap.io seems to have a more accurate price. The prices are also periodically refreshed on the page, so you don't need to constantly refresh the page to get the latest prices. It also has the 24 Hour VWAP, which is a nice little metric if you know how to use it.

Coinmarketcap has it's own benefits too, and the main one is definitely the price graph chart. I love seeing the small 7 day price performance chart that it provides, and it takes but a glance to figure out how the market has been doing lately. Coinmarketcap also allows you to go deeper in each crypto and see bigger chart, but most importantly, to see the exchanges that the crypto is listed on and the last price and volume at those exchanges.

7. Misc

This is just a collection of stuff which I think could be useful.

Bitcoin Checker (Android widget app for live prices)
Blockfolio (App to check prices, can insert portfolio)
Cryptowat.ch (Best web charts INCLUDING MARKET DEPTH for the major cryptos)
Ether Gas Station (Best way to find out current Gas prices for ETH transactions)
Bitcoinfees.21.co (Best way to find out about BTC Tx prices)


Honestly, cryptos are in their very early stages. Yes, STILL. There are no guide books and no one is going to hold your hand and walk you through the entire process. While the whole scene may be overhyped as of now (and I do think it is), I am sure that the market has much much much more to grow over the coming years.

If you're dipping your toes into cryptos, please stay safe and be secure.

There are no laws, no rules, no police and above all, nobody that cares about you in the crypto world.

Stay safe out there. It really is the wild wild west.

If you don't know what you're doing, I strongly strongly recommend for you to NOT get involved.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

John McAfee on Security, Privacy, Cryptocurrency and Education

This is an interview by John McAfee.

Who is he? He's the anti-virus guy, yup.

He is also the guy that said he would eat his d*ck if bitcoin doesn't go to $50,000.

Hah, he's a funny and smart guy. Here's the interview.

GMGH notes:
- phones are all spying devices
- however, the risk is based on who is doing the spying and what is the spied data used for
- the paradigm of security has shifted and the focus on AV is outdated
- instead of facing the by-product of hackers, the focus should be on the hackers
- "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" BULLSHIT
- privacy is fundamental to the workings of society
- hackers don't hack small fries as opportunities appear because it would reveal their exploit
- zero-day exploits are run simultaneously at a specific time to maximize their profit
- don't store anything of value on a cloud not managed by you
- if you do store anything on a cloud, be sure to encrypt it
- Bitcoin came out of Pandora's Box - the technology has been released and cannot be supressed
- a lot of coins are SCAMS
- if you are going to be involved in any cryptocurrency, you need to educate yourself
- hardware wallets / offline wallets are the best way to secure your crypto wallets
- to create good security, you need to work with good security exploiters
- in 10 or 15 years, colleges or universities will not exist (I beg to differ)
- why store things in the human brain when you can use technology instead?
- education and the transfer of knowledge in its current form should be questioned if it will persist
- S7 cannot be remotely rooted (as of Mar 2017)
- iPhones are the most hackable phones

This interview is a culmination of many of my most passionate topics: cyber-security, privacy, cryptocurrency and education (hence, the title). I love it.

Cyber Security

I truly and honestly believe that most people have extremely weak and poor cyber security. I have made a series of posts on cyber security, but I've been too busy to finish the series.

#1 The security-convenience continuum
#2 "Safer than your neighbour" Theory

It's going to be a long while until I can go back to writing more, but the single, best tip and advice that I can give is for you to use a password manager. I recommend Dashlane and I use it myself for 95% of all my passwords. My referral link gets you 6 months free premium if you want to give it a shot. I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend a password manager. Use LassPass, 1Password, Keepass or whatever. Even a freaking paper and pencil notebook will do, as long as you don't re-use passwords. But by golly, have a system in place to manage your passwords.

Next, keep all your devices and software up to date. Security updates are pushed out for a reason.


I'm not paranoid... I'm just worried the MRT breaksdown

McAfee explained privacy really well given that he had to just pump it out and squeeze it into this short interview. I believe that privacy is a basic human right for everyone to have. If you decide to waive all rights to your privacy and live in the Google or Apple ecosystem, well congratulations to you, but don't drag me down with you.

Just because you decide to waive that right to privacy DOES NOT mean that others should have to waive their rights as well.

Likewise if you decide to go on a diet, be vegan, not eat a specific type of meat or food... hey, good for you, all right? But you have no right to force your dietary preferences on me. I WILL NOT BE DENIED.

Question: Why should I waive my rights to privacy just because you have?
Answer: I shouldn't and I will not. What I do is none of your damn business.

Allowing SOME people a certain magical power to decide who will have or will not have privacy is god-like powers to give anyone. It is a slippery slope that sets the precedence for power and abuse.

Imagine if someone can dictate what we can eat and how much. At first it's pretty legit stuff - banning the consumption poisonous things,and live human infants. Then it goes on to maybe.. GM food? Or maybe dog meat and cat meat? Then hamster meat? Then pig meat? Then chicken meat? Then McDonalds? Then pizza and hamburgers? Then then then.

Now imagine if someone can dictate who gets privacy and how much of it. At first it's pretty legit stuff - no privacy for known terrorists and criminals. Then it goes on to maybe... suspected criminals? Or the family and friends of those people? Then to all emails? Then to everyone on everything that they do. Then then then.

I hate and loathe the "but criminals use will it" argument. Hey, criminals breathe air, drink water, sleep on beds, use cars to travel around and telephones and the internet to communicate as well. OMG let's stop everyone from using all of them? NO SHOES FOR EVERYONE BECAUSE CRIMINALS ALSO WEAR SHOES. Hmmm, or maybe instead of a blanket ban we can control who is allowed to and not allowed to use certain things or do certain actions? Well it won't work. Guess who are the first people not to give a rat's ass about any official rules (laws)? That's right. Criminals don't give a shit if they are allowed to do something or not, that's the reason why they are criminals, jeez.

"Sir here is your new phone"
"Thanks. Can you teach me how to lock it?"
"Lock it? What do you mean?"
"I mean, how do I prevent people from accessing my phone"
"LOL sir, since the law changed in 2018, no phones are allowed to have passwords anymore! Only criminals need to restrict access from others because they have criminal activity they need to hide!"
"Aha that makes so much sense. Yeah, luckily I have no nudes or porn activity or private information to hide. Thank you!"


I won't say much here, except that you really need to understand ANYTHING that you are investing in, regardless of it being a cryptocurrency or an endowment plan from the cute xmm agent. Not knowing what you're doing is a guaranteed way to be unsatisfied with the outcome.

Store your crypto in a hardware wallet if you don't want to have it stolen. I use a Ledger Nano S.

Crypto is unregulated. It's the wild wild west. There are plenty of scams. A lot. So many. Beware.


I actually appreciate his random points of education that he brought up.

I find that the value of my education is NOT about acquiring and remembering knowledge and experience in doing various things.

I find that the value of my education is from learning how to learn to do things.

Don't know how to invest? Do you sign up for a business degree, take a module on finance and suddenly become Warren Buffet's Asian respawn? No. Fire up the internet and read until your eyes bleed and you get a headache.

At the end of the day, what is more important - having a piece of paper that SAYS you can do it? Or actually being able to do it?

I wouldn't say that our education system is shit. I'm a complete product of it. I think I turned out pretty okay. But I feel a lot of my educational journey was me trying to apply what I learnt to real life, through lots of trial and error.

No school teaches you how to buy cheap airline tickets. How to select an accommodation that suits both your budget and itinerary. A good way to track your investments. If buying a car makes financial sense. Which credit card you should use. No school will teach you that. No school can teach you that.

But you can learn how to learn. You can learn what's the best way to do all these things. And as McAfee says, the information is sitting behind the screen of whatever device you're holding. Unless you operate in a job that forbids internet access, there is no reason to handicap yourself and limit your knowledge to your brain space.

One of the biggest upgrades that I have done in my life is to have an Evernote premium account. It sounds stupid and weird, but it is my virtual brain. I type in and store anything that I think I might need to recall in the future. Mostly it is just smatterings of rudimentary instructions, or a short after-activity report about something which I think is important to know.

It's insanely refreshing not to have to remember ridiculous and trivial pieces of information in your brain and instead outsource it to this virtual brain. Just like how the address book have completely outsourced remember phone numbers, and Facebook have outsourced remembering birthdays, Evernote is helping me outsource the rest of the things I need to remember.

Anyway, this is a lot of ranting, but it's just some thoughts I had over the weekend. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, a bit hesitant to post it because it's bits of things here and there but oh well. I strongly urge you, dear reader, to take a few minutes and think about cyber security and privacy. You may realize that you are uncomfortable with your lax system and bad practices. The good news is that being self-aware is the first step to fixing your problems.

GMGH out.

Friday, July 28, 2017

[SGX Portfolio] Viva La Résistance!

Is P/B really too simplistic?

I'm struggling to try and structure my defense on something more complicated and sophisticated to make seem like I am a savvy investor, but alas, I am but a simple commoner with a simple commoner brain.

P/NAV is 1.17, based on their NAV of 79c and current price of 92.5c.

Occupancy is normal. Debt ratio is normal. Actually everything to me feels very normal.

They are holding a premium because they have business parks? Meh, someone else can take that risk. I'm fine exiting at these prices. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that they are outright over-valued. I just think that these levels are above fair valuation, and I'm willing to de-risk at these levels.

Sell price: $0.925
Total dividends collected: $0.12373
Average price: $0.795

Capital Gains: 15.5%
Yield Gains: 16.4%
Total Gains: 31.9%

After taking into account transaction costs, total nett returns would be about 31% over the past 2 years. About 14% annualized, nothing too much to toot my horn about. Nothing like the fat 75% gainz in Croesus. Similar to CDLHT at 38%, though the annualized rate of CDLHT is much higher.

Personally, after buying into Viva, I've always kind of second guessed my decision-making back then. Letting go of them now with these returns is really good for me mentally. I have exited a position that I have less confidence about, but at a higher price than I paid.

As you might have noticed, I have been pruning down my SGX portfolio as of late, especially recent stocks that have made huge gains. On a cost basis, I have pulled out 10% of my initial capital.

As always, I remain skeptical of most asset classes. The US stock markets still defy logic and gravity, but I doubt that it can continue to do so for long. But as I wait for things to get attractive, I am spending my time focusing on other investment opportunities and ideas. That said, even while waiting I still make my money across all asset classes work for me, though my emphasis is focused on minimizing risk while seeking returns as a secondary objective, not the other way around.

In times of ever levitating markets, I think it is prudent to be more conservative than risk-taking. When (not if) the markets are crashing, you can be rest assured that your GMGH is gonna be busting down the doors with both guns blazing away. For now, playing in the cryptomarkets is definitely honing my knife catching skills.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bitcoin and Blockchain for Babies

Aye, I know it's not really for babies, but I really wanted a catchy and an alliterated title, haha.

As most of you guys know, I am probably one of the handful of financial bloggers in Singapore that talks about and writes about blockchain and cryptos.

I had an interesting talk with some university friends the other day. Like I said, I know genius level people operating on a whole different level. Yet my genius friend had issues grappling with cryptocurrencies. I would say this is more of a failing of my explanation and of watered down mainstream media news reporting than the lack of intellect from my friend.

While thinking about how I could better help him understand the massive paradigm shift in blockchain techologies (speculation, making tons of money put aside), I came across these 2 videos which I think explained things very well.

The first video is comparing Bitcoin vs normal currency.
The second video is about the underlying technology of blockchain.

Why do I choose to present the first video first? Most people easily understand the context and application of Bitcoin used as money, and I think it is better to work backwards from that understanding.

GMGH Notes for the 1st video:
- Bitcoin has a capped, finite supply -> More money cannot be magically added into the system
- Normal currency is unchecked and it is never known how much is circulating in the system
- Central banks follow Keynesian economics where inflation is good
- GMGH follows Austrian economics and believe bitcoins follow that line of thinking better
- *Trust is embedded in the system*
- No one needs special permission or hardware to own a bitcoin bank account (bitcoin wallet address)
- Bitcoin itself, as of now, is "unhackable"
- All hacks related to Bitcoin has been at individual parties losing control of their bitcoin bank account
- Bitcoin can be used without government's or bank's permission, especially when permission is usually denied
- Transactions takes minutes, not days to occur
- Transactions costs are in the dollars and cents
- Bitcoin is NOT untraceable, in fact, it is even more transparent than normal currency
- *This traceability actually hurts it as money because it is not fungible*
- ColdFusion AND GMGH are both skeptical of the idea of a government-backed cryptocurrency
- "Investing" in bitcoin or any cryptocurrency comes with huge risks
- Not knowing what you're buying is a great way to lose money, regardless of the underlying investment
- Not knowing when to buy or sell is another great way to lose money, regardless of the underlying investment

GMGH Bonus Notes:

Why did I highlight that trust is embedded in the system? Because this is actually what blockchain technology is all about and it will be explained in the 2nd video.

Why is fungibility an issue? Fungibility is a key property of money (meaning every unit is interchangeable with each other, and holds no history of its previous usage and owners) and without it, bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency cannot be used without making a devil's pact and surrendering and forever putting data of their transactions on the blockchain. Oops, you "accidentally" went to a transgender bar in Thailand? That $100 bitcoin transaction for drinks and whatnots from your known wallet to the known wallet of that bar is going to look awfully suspicious to your wife, family, friends and co-workers. GREAT SHAME AND DISHONOR. That is one of the reasons why money HAS to be fungible and why bitcoin is still lacking in that department. Privacy should not be taken lightly, and everyone should have the right to privacy (in my opinion).

GMGH Notes on 2nd video:
- The internet started with almost zero adoption as well
- Every paradigm shift solved a major gap in how society functioned
- The printing press solved the (distribution of) knowledge gap
- The engine solved the (man)power gap
- The internet solved the distance (and communication) gap
- Blockchain was NOT designed to solve the gaps of money
- *Blockchain is a way to solve the TRUST gap*
- Cryptocurrencies is an application of blockchain in an experiment to use it as money
- Blockchain ledgers are superior to normal ledgers because they are tamper-proof
- Blockchain ledgers are superior to normal ledgers because they are decentralized
- That is why for normal ledgers, we must always "Trust, but verify"
- He sees strong applications for protecting personal identities and also for building reputation

GMGH Bonus Notes:

Trust, trust, trust. Why does it always appear? We all live by and transact based on trust.

How can you trust that your bank didn't overcharge your credit card? You check and verify
How can you trust that your employer paid your wages correctly? You check and verify

How can you trust xxxxxxx that yyyyyyyy was done? You check and verify.

This is a bonus bonus video that explains why trust and DISTRUST is important and how blockchain fits in. But since it's a bonus bonus video, there's no notes for this one.

Every time I hear talks like these, it gets me all riled up about how crazily and mindblowing radical and awesome blockchain technology is.

Really, put aside the obvious questions about making money regarding this and consider it more of an after thought. Do you not see how this technology is going to change plenty of things?

Before you jump onto the hype train, you might want to consider my thoughts on cryptos from an investing point of view, and also read the things that you REALLY need to know before buying cryptos.

Let me very explicit: I am not encouraging anyone to invest in cryptos. This shit is both volatile and risky af (note: volatility and risk are two VERY different things). What I am doing is encouraging people to read up more about it and get interested in it. It is going to be massively disruptive, both in terms of business and in our own futures moving forward. If you eventually do decide to jump down the rabbit hole after me, be my guest. But as always, GMGH is NOT a financial advisor, your investments are your own responsibility, not the responsibility of the anonymous 27 year old blogger (or so he/she claims) that you follow.

Monday, July 24, 2017

When the Obvious is not really that Obvious

 I was just browsing the interwebs lately and I stumbled upon this interesting quote:

Talent is hitting a target that no one else can hit.

Genius is hitting a target that no one else can see.

Now, that got me thinking.

I have quite a lot of smart friends. In fact, I feel that compared to some of them, they are operating on a whole different level of intelligence and brain processing speed. Like seriously.

I could understand each individual action. I could also understand how the sequence of each action relates to the other actions.

However, what I couldn't understand was how he was executing actions, updating the sequences, and re-calibrating all in real-time to optimize the output. What looked like a problem that would require of me at least minutes, if not hours of thought, was being done by him as just another everyday thought process and action, almost effortlessly. It was unreal. But it was real.

I had always thought of myself as a smart person, but after this experience that I had in university, I realized that there are plenty of people that exist in this world who are way smarter than me, operating on a whole different level.

I would never be about to beat these people outright. They could get things done faster and better than me. How could I beat someone with such talent? And most of them also have more resources too.


Ever since I became a gold bug a few years ago, I have struggled to understand why no one else can see what I see.

Am I wrong? Delusional? Is this really stupid? Am I dumb or something? 

But what I have come to realize is that nobody bothers to even look at it to form an opinion for themselves.

To reach the conclusion doesn't require years of studying. Probably just a few weeks at most, or within a day if you realize the importance and urgency of such knowledge and hit the most important points first and work your way down. If anybody bothered to take a look and understand it for themselves, the conclusion is blatantly obvious. Slap-in-your-face obvious. But no one looks and no one cares.

The global monetary system is broken. Period. Any argument defending that always precipitates to "the government won't allow it". You know, kind of like how the French government didn't allow the revolution.

Oh wait, hold on. Nobody gave a shit about that government? They all got beheaded? Oh yeah. Well, I guess you can trust every government except the French government then. /sarc

My point: If your only argument is "faith" in your government, or worse, in the governments of other countries, then that is not a very strong argument, in my humble opinion.

As long as this shell/shill game continues and fiat money is still useful as a currency, I will keep on playing this game. What am I to do? Buy food at the hawker centre with silver coins? 


After stumbling back into cryptos for the 3rd time, it finally stuck with me this time.

A system that not only operates on distrusts, but is stronger and more robust when people distrust each other. Every distrust requires more proof and verification and it makes the system that much stronger and tamper proof.

A system that is so distributed that no single party can exert authority on the rest of the participants. 

A system where holding nothing means you hold nothing, holding part of the system gives you utility, but holding everything makes it worthless. Where value comes from distribution and usage, not from hoarding and scarcity. What's the point of money if no one has else has it or is willing to use it as a medium of exchange?

It is a system that survives on mutual distrust and decentralization. Where all the players agree to be bounded by certain rules.

Not happy? Want to create your own rules? Fork from bitcoin and make AnyhowCoin. But unless you get other participants to join your game and agree by your rules, it is worthless.

Cryptos can survive because people have decided that they rather be bounded by these fixed rules, rather than the ever changing goalposts and standards set up by governments and central banks that could turn on a dime. 


Things are slowly changing. You CAN buy goods and services with precious metals. You also CAN purchase things with cryptocurrencies as well. Technology has bridged the gap to make these kind of things possible.

There are a few companies that issue precious metals backed debit cards (not credit). There are now a variety of companies coming up with ways to have crypto-backed debit cards as well. I've mentioned TenX before, but there is also Monaco, Tokencard, Metal and Plutus. 

The next possible big thing is paying with precious-metals backed cryptocurrencies through debit cards. It sounds almost ridiculous to say, but I believe that this mix and the final outcome is a better solution to fiat money.

A lot of people are confused and skeptical by gold-backed crypto or currency. Yet they don't see the hypocrisy of faith-backed fiat.

Of the few things that I can realistically see happening in the near future, a gigantic financial shit storm regarding the reduced value of government and faith-backed money and a need to find a better currency is something that I am quite certain of.

It is definitely not going to be a single moment where people just flip on a switch and everyone starts using the new system. It will happen in waves, as more and more people realize that having big stacks of monopoly money doesn't mean much.

People should not be forced to use shitty money where some unknown party can expand or contract the money supply with no oversight and no punishment. We're basically ending the beta testing phase of this new form of money soon, with 0.01% of the world's population already giving it a go for the past 9 years. 

Of course, the people who dared to get in early will be the ones who benefit the most. Fortune favours the brave, not the risk-adverse. The early adopters, not the herd of sheep. The hardworking who bother to learn, to understand and to try and to fail, not the lazy who want to be spoon-fed a the perfect, bug-free, government-approved product that is "safe" for all.

The fundamental movement into crypto is not a f-you to the government merely because it is a government. It is an f-you to any and every government for being shitty fiduciaries of people's money.

If they can't do it properly, then the people will.

But fine, I'll play this game as long as fiat money is worth something. It is not my preferred choice, but that's the best course of action at this point of time. I already have my exit strategies all planned out.


Now back to my story about all those super intelligent people that I've met. To big banks with prop trading departments and millions of dollars of that their disposal. To hedge funds with insider connections. To everyone smarter than me and with more resources than me.

I don't have to beat them by competing with them to hit their targets.

I get to beat them by hitting the target that they didn't even bother to look for or understand.

Yes I realize that it seems like I am implying that I am a genius, but I can assure you that I am not. I am just a lot more skeptical and contrarian than most. So far, that has been my only edge in the market and it has served me well. This is just the extended application of it outside the tiny world of SGX stocks.

Disclaimer, in case it was not obvious enough, I have positions in both precious metals and cryptocurrencies. Why both? Well, why not?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Why do I not invest with robo-advisors

By the way, I was inspired by this post from Finance Smiths.

Wow, shocking title, isn't it?

From the same shill that peddled why robos are so awesome? What has changed? Why the sell out?

Let me assure you, it has nothing to do with robos themselves per se. I have been watching both Smartly and StashAway come to market (StashAway is doing a way better job at marketing and acquisition imo).

I think both of them look great and it is definitely a step-up from the shitty offers that traditional financial institutes offer.

And I still stand by my entire article that robos are excellent.


But what?

But I think the timing is off. The product is great, but the timing is off.

I know that DCA is supposed to remove time from the equation, but for me diversifying and deploying capital into the markets even through a smart way like robos is still not good enough for me.

Perhaps it is because I am in the camp that every single freaking thing is bloody expensive, or because I walk around with a tinfoil hat warning about financial armegeddon, but I really don't think that anything in particular is a good buy.

And this isn't me just being contrarian for fun. This is me looking at the context of where asset prices are and what are the risks and rewards in all these trades.

Unfortunately, I don't really see much upside to almost anything.

Pfft, even with my pretty decent track record (my SGX portfolio's money weighted return has outperfomed the STI by almost 7.85% in absolute returns, and yes I included the dividends), I am very suspect about the future returns of a lot of stocks in Singapore.

So pray tell, what does GMGH invest in then?


Plenty of cash. This is my war chest to help relieve desperate sellers of firesale assets, hopefully sometime in the near future. Over-exposed to risk assets? We might trade in the future!

Gold, silver and cryptos. These are my low-beta investments, invested on the basis that they are going to be worth a lot, a lot more in the future. Sure, they have no cash flow. But hey, I heard people can flip Taylor Swift tickets for some good profits. Next greater fool theory still, isn't it? My time horizon just happens to be longer and the asset that I'm hoarding is different.

Sometimes I wonder why I've wandered so far out to the fringes. But once you've seen the Matrix, you know just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

$7,600,000 Crypto Scammed

I was out tonight when I read that the CoinDash ICO got hijacked and scammers managed to switch the real address with their fake address.

The result? $7.6m scammed over 3 hours.

Well done. Very well done, I must say.

Instead of launching scam coins and sham ICOs, I think a lot of scammers and hackers have realized that it is just more profitable to outright scam people.

Why come up with a huge elaborate ICO scam idea when simple scams work out so well?

Creating fake twitter accounts and slack accounts with admin-sounding names are all free too.

I think the loophole of slackbots and slack DMs were also quite effective.

After watching the evolution of scamming go, I really have to say that this takes the cake.

What these hackers did was freaking ingenius.

1) They managed to access the website
2) They posted their own address instead of the real address during the actual start of the ICO


$7.6m worth of Ethereum in the bank.

Honestly, it was a very smart scam because they took full advantage of the FOMO and rush of a popular ICO and just did a simple switch.

Unlike other silly ICOs that got compromised whose hackers tried to "launch early" and basically gave away that they were compromised, this tactic managed to trick a lot a lot of people.

They did not make the mistake of showing their hand too quickly.

I believe that this really sets the precedence for best practices for future ICOs. Part of the actual ICO address should be released beforehand. The address should be resolved to an ENS name which is also publicly known to have been legitimately acquired beforehand. Also, the address should be published slightly before the start of the ICO, so people can quickly look through the code and also verify the address. Finally, the smart contract should just be able to bounce all incoming early transactions.

To those points, I must say that TenX that launched last month did a perfect play that effectively would have rendered a similar hacking situation like this to not even be able to go through.

For hopeful ICO participants, I have some tips to share. Why trust me? I've successfully taken part in more than 1 ICO. Have you?

Tip #1: Only send from wallets which you own the private key. Don't have one? Generate one at myetherwallet. It's free and it takes like 2 minutes.

Tip #2: Double and triple check the ICO details and address from a few of their official channels: website, twitter, facebook, reddit, youtube, slack.

Tip #3: Etherscan an address before you send to it

Tip #4: Don't set gas limit too low, transaction will fail

Tip #5: Don't set gas price too low, transaction might take a very, very low time to go through

With these 5 tips, I hope that you guys can stay safe and will be able to participate in future ICOs safely and successfully.

Remember, Ethereum itself launched as an ICO for $0.30 an ETH. Even after ridiculous declines in recent weeks, it is still worth $175 (at time of writing). 500+ times returns investment? You tell me a stock that can give you that over the past few years and I will clap for you. In case my point flew over your head, "all ICOs are scams" is not a true statement.

Stay safe, remember, cryptos is the wild wild west. Anything goes. Like making away with $7.6m.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Weekend Crypto Bloodbath Aftermath

Bitcoin went down 20% just this weekend.
Ethereum went down 35% during the same time too.

I hope you managed to bunker down and dodge the massive shit storm in the crypto markets that happened over the weekend.

Well, you really can't say that I didn't warn you, right?

I mean, I even had a full length blog post with Hyuna bouncing around singing "Bubble Pop". If that wasn't enough, frankly, nothing would be.

 aiguuu, y u no listen to oppa GMGH~?

Bitcoin went down a whooping 40% from its high.
Ethereum, the new kid on the block, went down a massive 70%.

The entire crypto market is now at a more sane 60b instead of the 110b that it was at. This pretty much means that almost everything has had it's value cut by about half. (Didn't I say "60b" just a few days ago? Damn son, that's some good levels I've got targetted.)

I hope anyone heavily gambling on cryptos on margin was wearing pampers when they saw it crashing over the weekend. Cos they would've definitely shit their pants. Leverage with cryptos is a very, very bad idea. (pro tip #4)

That said, my crypto portfolio has finally turned negative. *booooooooooooo*

However, you know what they say about blood on the streets right?

Buy when there's blood on the streets, even when some of that blood is yours.

Personally, I don't invest in cryptocurrencies to flip them for a quick buck. I know many people do, and that has been a very, very profitable strategy.... until the last month.

I'm invested because I believe that cryptos are going to be a large part of the future, whether or not you care about the economics of it. Just the technological possibilities it opens and businesses that it disrupts is good reason enough. Add the fact that they can and are be used as an alternative currency, untainted by profit-hungry banks (can't blame them, but can't say that I like them either), shitty governments and stupid central banks and you've got 2 birds with 1 stone.

I honestly wouldn't be able to tell you if cryptos will be bottoming in the next month or so and if we take off from there (which we very well could, once we shake out all those weak hands), but alas what I hope for has nothing to do with the outcome in reality.

If cryptos drop another 50% from here, you can be rest assured that I will be buying even MORE.

For those who have reached maximum allocation, all I can say is to make sure that you aren't holding some shitcoin. As long as you've got something somewhat decent, once the killings are done and the recovery starts to happen, your coins would be the ones taking part in the recovery, not staying at zero valuation.

If you guys are here, you should know that huge market sell offs are a time to be buying, not selling. As a gentle reminder, the ONLY way to make money is to buy low and sell high.

Stay safe guys, it's crazy out there.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Things you REALLY need to know before buying Cryptocurrencies

This post is inspired by the IG-sponsored post on D&S.

1. You own the underlying asset when you trade

When you buy cryptocurrencies, once the coins are in a wallet which you have the private key to, you are the owner of the coins.

2. There is no counterparty

Unless you are leaving your coins within a centralized exchange to make trades, all the coins that you can access with your private key are yours and you don't have any counterparty. You directly interact with the blockchain to send your coins, or receive more coins directly to your ownership

3. There will be volatility

In a market with plenty of speculators, the volatility is high. Even for the "large cap" coins, it isn't strange to see swings of 20% within a day.

4. Don't use leverage

Related to #3, with the huge amount of volatility in the cryptomarkets, you don't need to use leverage. With a leverage ratio of 5:1, a 20% move is all it would take to wipe out your account.

5. Know your fees

There are a bevy of fees everywhere in crypto. There is the exchange rate "fee" for pricing the coins in a specific currency, there are exchange fees for using the exchange. There are payment processing fees for different types of payments. There are withdrawal / transfer fees for moving the coins out of exchanges. There are also transfer fees when moving coins to different wallets. There are deposit fees when sending coins to be traded on exchanges. There are exchange fees on those coin exchanges as well.

The good news is that there are plenty of people offering a wide range of fees. It is possible to buy coins and have them in your private wallet for less than 1%, after taking into consideration all the fees involved. It varies widely, so be careful.

6. Ownership has possible benefits (and downsides)

Some coins generate interest for owners. Most coins just sit around and do nothing. A rare minority of coins have a holding cost. Understand the benefits of having ownership of coins and what you would have to do to make them work for you.

7. After the fiat conversion portion, there are almost no regulations

From the point that you have coins transferred out of an exchange, you are on your own. There are no regulations. The decentralized nature of most blockchains make them extremely hard to be regulated.

8. You are trading a currency that is immune to central bank's policy

No country or central bank control's cryptocurrencies (unless they make one themselves), so they cannot influence how it works. This gives transparency and consistency to cryptos.

9. Risk management is key

With such crazy volatility and new technology, there are bound to be failures. Don't risk more than you can afford.

My 2 cents:

If you are buying because of the hype, the fear of missing out and stupid ads and articles saying "If you had bought $5 of Bitcoin 5 years ago you would have $5 million", you should definitely NOT be buying any cryptocurrencies.

However, if you:
1) Understand the technology and how it works
2) Understand why a particular crypto can be successful
3) Have money that you are prepared to lose

then, by all means, welcome to the wild wild west.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Crypto Bubble Pop

Presenting to you... Bubble Pop! (pro tip: pause at 0.27)

Wow, I'm impressed. It took the market this long to realize that it was in a bubble. But hey, it might obvious to you and to me, but look at all the people still in the S&P500, amirite? Hur hur.

As history as my evidence, on 13th June 2017, I did call out the ridiculous bubbly nature of the crypto market.

Anyway, I'm fairly certain that this is indeed mania. Will ETH be $380 still next week? I seriously don't know about that.... Drop back to $10 and let me get in, will ya?
Just a heads up, with such a massive pump, it is probably prudent to be on your toes and watch out for the possible massive dump that comes after. - GMGH, 17 Jun 2017

Hey, $114b compared to the $116b when it peaked is pretty darn good imo, less than 2% off!

Will crypto prices go down in the future? Actually, I really hope that it does. To me, it is a bubble for the current participants and the froth is still in the midst of settling. I wouldn't be surprised if cryptos continue to lose value over the next few months.  - GMGH, 6 Jul 2017

Another way that I could tell that this was absolutely coming was the fact that some shitcoin called Digibyte made it into the crypto Top 12 in June. Bytecoin was more fantastic and managed to get into top 6 in May. There were PLENTY more than have surged from dead projects and they are all going back to fair value now - zero. When people are just buying whatever for no good reasons, I think it's a pretty good sign of bad things to come.

Now that the market is down to under $80b (30% drawdown), I think it's safe to say that I am validated in my call that it was ridiculous just a few weeks ago, that and also for everyone to stop kidding themselves to HODL and that coin and that coin is going TO THE MOON. A lot of coins are NOT going to participate in the next bull market.

I hate the word HODL. What does it mean? It means to hold. Why do people type hodl? Because a lot of people that "invest" in crypto are unable to spell, that's why.

Now quite a lot of these people (not all, but a lot) who spell hold as hodl have not only been pumping shitcoins like Bytecoin, but they have been pumping up the entire market. Almost 99% of these people do not understand just exactly what they are investing in, other than that if you hodl, it goes to the moon and then you get to drive a lambo to work to resign in a week. Expected returns are 100% within a year. Well then lads, these prices ain't gonna cut it.

Blockchain technology is amazing, but I cannot stress it enough that the failure rate is astronomical.

Where we go from here, nobody knows.

We could go back to down 60b or even 45b. We could bounce around 40-60b for the next 2 years. We could go back up to 110b. Anything could happen. Personally, I'm positioned for a long, drawn out bear market to shake out all the weak hands who have just realized that the majority of their holdings are in some shitcoin peddled to them by a 16 year old kid with a crypto youtube channel who probably got paid peanuts to pump and hype coins.

All I can say is that if you invest in cryptocurrencies, be prepared for some crazy times. This is the wild wild west after all.

Cryptocurrencies are the wild wild west. You think buying shares in small caps are risky and volatile? Pfft, you've obviously haven't heard of cryptocurrency investors and speculators. - GMGH, 6 Jun 2017

Stay safe, stay level-headed and don't take risks that you don't understand.

Monday, July 10, 2017

PayNow is Released

PSA for all.

PayNow has been released as of today. ST piece is over here.

DBS landing page for it is over here. Took me 3 minutes to register my phone number. The other banks have their own pages too, but I like to use DBS to receive money because most of my friends have a DBS account and are familiar with it.

What is it? A system to link a bank account to a phone number or NRIC
Why have it? To simplify the process of sending money around
Why use it? You can designate internally which bank account to receive money while the sender still sends to the same details

Downsides: Traditionally kept private information of phone numbers and NRIC will circulate more widely.
Upsides: Maybe more spam, more phishing attacks. Possibly people will send you free money.

What you need to know: You don't HAVE to use this service if you don't want to, like if you feel that it is going to be a problem for your personal privacy. You can just not opt-in and instead just give people your long string of numbers for them to send you money. I mean, people still write and send letters these days, right?

Personally, I have registered for this service and I have linked it to my mobile phone number.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Why NOT Government-backed Cryptos

While many people are just waiting for the day that a government will back a crypto (I'm talking tokenization of a sovereign currency, not legalization as a form of payment), legitimize it and make it mainstream before they jump in on the crypto hype, I am personally not too thrilled with that idea (not thrilled with the idea of a government-backed crypto, but still thrilled about cryptos gaining mainstream traction).

In fact, this can already be EASILY be done, similar to the fashion that Tether is able to issue USDT which are supposed to be valued 1:1 with actual USD.

This is a short video clip, about 5 minutes.

At about 1.58, shit starts getting real. We can already see it happening, where governments are both openly and secretly racing to develop and push out their own STRAINS of digital currency (Project Ubin? Coming to a mainland near YOU soon!). And rest assured, your balance and activities will be watched and monitored.

Some people thought it was just crazy when China announced it is planning to monitor its citizens and grade them based on certain things. Some actions get you more points. Some actions deducts points. Points determine your standing in society. Imagine if the government has one extra way to watch you, and a massive crippling way of punishing you too. It's sounds crazy, doesn't it?

But just watch Season 3, Episode 1 of Black Mirror to see how ridiculous society can get in such a system, yet how such a system can be almost immediately adopted today if it was rolled out.

But I digress.

Personally, I do NOT see Bitcoin becoming the cryptocurrency of the future. Yes, it definitely is the cryptocurrency of today, mainly because of 2 reasons:

1) It is the main gateway from fiat into cryptocurrency
2) It is the base pair to trade into any other coin

However, will it be the cryptocurrency of the future? There are problems with its transaction cost, speed, governance, centralization and exclusivity (of mining, and hence securing the network).

Almost every new cryptocurrency out there have made changes to tweak and refine certain aspects to improve it - in their opinion. Each coin out there is working to find out the "secret sauce" to make the next global cryptocurrency and I would say that the study of this could be an entire field of its own.

Airdrop? Pre-mine? Fair start? Inflationary? Fixed supply? CPU / GPU alogrithm? Blend of hashing algorithms? Or should POW even be used? POS? Hybird POW-POS? POI? Blend of Proofs? Mining rewards? Nodes? Masternodes? Minimum stake? Staking deposits? Governance system? Foundation funds? Voting rights?

There are plenty more questions that can be debated about what would constitute the "perfect" cryptocurrency, but I think it would be a mix of perceived fairness (I feel that the current avenues of accumulation is more important that the mode of initial distribution), a store of value and real-world utility for the average user.

Maybe a globally pre-announced ICO that lasts a FEW years, that accepts all fiat, governed by a DAO? Hybrid POW-POS with multiple algorithms and see-saw rewards? I'm just thinking outloud here. Actually, it sounds a little bit like Decred. 

One of the things which Andreas does say, which I believe in, is that the initial early adopters who took massive risks in the beginning on a completely untested technology with barely any other users, should be rewarded and become rich.

Let's be honest here. If the knowledge that the government can, and will, and have been, printing ridiculous amounts of money hadn't scared you enough to move into hard assets like precious metals, this 5 minute Youtube video and my blog post certainly isn't enough to get you to move into cryptocurrencies.

Maybe it's disbelief. Maybe it really is ignorance. But the outcome is still inaction regardless of the reasons.

I am unfazed that the majority of the people are NOT in cryptocurrencies at this point of time. Just like I am unfazed that almost no one has any precious metals, yet it is my largest position. The best trades are the trades that everyone else don't even know about. You know me, I hate crowded trades. (Probably the reason why I don't really fancy BTC even as a crypto-enthusiast... but that doesn't mean I don't have any)

No doubt a government-backed cryptocurrency will have uses and be widely adopted, but that doesn't mean that unbacked ones are not worth looking into. The fact that they are not backed makes it even more attractive in my opinion.