Thank you, for reaching out!
I have been a busy bee for the past 8 years or so. I think my career chose me.
I never had ambitions to become a fund manager or work in finance. I just craved knowledge.
I wanted to read every book I could get my hands on, and whenever I met smart people that I could learn from, I clung them in order to absorb all of their knowledge.
I was basically pursuing truth regarding health and economics, and that led me to Liechtenstein — a country with no public debt and no unemployment.
They have good laws that support property rights and efficient courts that enforce the laws.
I am originally from Florida, and I made my first couple hundred thousand dollars buying houses in Tampa for 30,000 apiece in 2009 after the real estate crash.
Some of the properties were going for 1,000 dollars because the banks had thousands of foreclosed homes on their balances sheet and the City of Tampa was fining the banks for not mowing the lawns, so the banks just wanted to get rid of them.
Later, I worked for the US Department of State in Punjab for two years, then I moved to France where I did my Master’s in Economics at the Toulouse School of Economics, and then I started my Ph.D. in Business Economics at the University of Liechtenstein.
My doctoral supervisor, Professor Dr. Andrei Kirilenko is currently at Cambridge University, and he is the former Chief Economist of one of the regulatory agencies in the US called the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.
I have been publishing papers and researching cryptocurrencies since 2013. I have also been invited to speak at the Federal Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio and for the Bundestag in Germany, and for the European Commission in Brussels, amongst other honors.
I started my first crypto business in 2014, where I was buying and selling cryptocurrencies in France.
Unfortunately, my partner in the business had a knife pulled on him, and we had 40 of our Bitcoin stolen in Rotterdam in the Netherlands when we were doing a cash trade with someone we met from Localbitcoins.com when they still had the local cash feature on their website, which they recently got rid of because of Know-Your-Customer and Anti-Money Laundering compliance.
It was a tough loss of 40 Bitcoin as that was all of my savings. I still haven’t fully recovered my Bitcoin stash, unfortunately. I learned my lesson regarding cash trades in the hard way.
After that, I decided to go ahead and make a Bitcoin ATM business in 2015, because that’s the same as me buying and selling crypto to people in person, except I don’t need to be in person — there is a machine instead. A whole lot safer!
Out of the blue, I just sent an email to the financial regulators in Liechtenstein, and I asked them if I could meet with them to discuss my business idea.
I met with them in February of 2015, and my partner and I were the first people to present Bitcoin and crypto to them in person. They accepted our proposal for a Bitcoin ATM, and we got to work on founding a business.
We named the business “Blockchain Büro” because Büro means an office in German. It’s still in operation today, but we do not have any Bitcoin ATMs anymore. We do mostly government consulting and advising banks.
We built a distributed ledger points system for green carpooling for the Amt für Umwelt in Liechtenstein, which translates to Bureau for Environment two years ago to name an example.
My partner in business, Philipp Büchel runs the Büro and he is from Liechtenstein, and he helps people who are interested in doing crypto business in Liechtenstein get started with the right contacts.
We also helped advise them on the Blockchain Law that Liechtenstein is making official in November of this year. We have been working on that for almost three years now with the Ministry of Finance in Liechtenstein.
On the other hand, the University of Liechtenstein asked me to develop a class on the topic of cryptocurrencies in 2016, and I began teaching it in 2017, and I have been teaching it every year since. I also teach other courses at the University like corporate finance and principles of finance.
In 2017, I joined Incrementum AG as a fund manager, which is a licensed wealth management firm that has 6 funds and $100 million in assets under management.
I’m actually in the process of becoming a shareholder this quarter. We are launching a regulated cryptocurrency fund for professional investors this August 16th. The fund invests in physical gold and cryptocurrencies because we do not think the current monetary system is sustainable.
People will increasingly turn to hard assets over the next couple of decades. When they do, they will choose between Gold and Digital Gold. If the price of gold becomes too high, then people will buy gold substitutes like Bitcoin.
On the other hand, if Bitcoin’s price becomes too high, then people will buy Bitcoin substitutes like gold. Our fund arbitrages between these two asset classes.
I hope to finish my Ph.D. this winter and start a family soon enough. Even though I’m good at making money, my passion is cooking.