Bitcoin Prophet

OK, now that the bitcoin ETF, the spot ETF has been approved… truth be told, I don’t think there is really any more risk in regards to bitcoin, owning bitcoin, or the like. 

1. Before, it was really really hard to acquire and buy bitcoin

For me, acquiring bitcoin in around 2017 2018, I suppose around four or five years ago, the only practical option was using something like Coinbase, beautiful user interface and experience, to buy my bitcoins. At first I think I bought bitcoin around 6000 or $7000 a bitcoin… around $25,000 worth of it.

Even today, the thing that is really insanely annoying is that making wire transactions to purchase more bitcoin has been horrific. Simple wire transfers of around $120,000, I had to go into the bank at least three times, sign a bunch of things, Talk to real life being tellers, and then having to be stuck on the phone for an hour or two talking to some outsourced customer support labor and the Philippines or Manila, and then having to call back another week later, figuring out why my damn wire transfer had not gone through yet.

The more street for workaround has been using the built-in plaid integration with Coinbase, purchasing daily maximum of $50,000 USD worth of bitcoin at a time.  every time I do this it is insanely anger-fying, because when I have the right opportunity to buy, because I have this lame restriction put on me, I lose opportunities and I also lose the ability to purchase more bitcoins.

For example, when I wanted to buy bitcoin when it was low, when it dipped down a bunch, because the wire transfer took me about a week or two, I think finally when the money was available, or finally when the purchase went through, bitcoin up at least $10,000 a bitcoin, which means that I was able to purchase few bitcoins than I wanted to. 

Anyways, I’m so grateful that the technology even exist in the first place for me to purchase bitcoins at all. Sometimes I limit at the fact that me and my friend Kevin do not buy $100 worth of bitcoin, back in 2009, when my roommate Kevin told me about the bitcoin pizza incident. I will never forget how I shrugged my shoulders, and I said we should not, because I thought it was a scam. I think if we had bought hundred dollars worth of bitcoin the time, both of us would have owned thousands if not 10 and thousands of bitcoins, making both of us hundred millionaires, or potentially maybe even billionaires.

2. It is never too late 

So I think the main issue that we have is we always lament the fact that we are “too late”. This applies to almost everything in life, finding a life partner, getting married, having kids, getting into shape and doing fitness, investing whatever.

But, as I speak these words, it is still early! Apple has not yet integrated bitcoin support into their iOS or iPhone, once Apple does this, the price of bitcoin will explode.

3. Do you remember blockbuster? 

One thing that I’ve learned in life, it is easier to predict what will fail, rather than what will succeed.

For example, I think I’m really lucky that I was born in 1988, because I recall life before the Internet, in life after the Internet. And also the Internet came out around a formative time for me, when I was living in New York, and I got my first computer with AOL 3.0, a 38.8k dial up modem,  I think when I was around 11 years old. Maybe the fourth or fifth grade?

Anyways, back in the day, I recall how we used to go to Blockbuster to rent VHS tapes to watch movies. I remember in college, when I got really into investing in stocks and stuff,  blockbuster was still a publicly traded company. I remember my roommate Kevin, our freshman year, having a Netflix subscription when they still use to send DVDs in the mail. I knew with great certainty that blockbuster would go bankrupt and go under, and I wanted to short blockbuster stock, but I had no idea how to do it. my prediction was right. Blockbuster went bankrupt, I could’ve made a good profit had I done this.

Or on the other hand, if I had invested in that in college, in 2007 or 2008, this would have also been good.

Anyways the big pot was dematerialization. The fact that in my short life, I have already seen the transition from the materialized world of going in person to choose a blockbuster VHS tape, to rent or borrow or to watch, I actually used to do this with video games too… It actually made a lot of sense, Instead of paying $50 for the Nintendo 64 video game, which I would eventually beat, I rented for only like five or $10, and then try to beat it really fast, so economically as a kid, it made a lot of sense.

4. YouTube premium

I really random thing that my mom has been getting into lately has been tai chi, Cindy’s mom got my mom into it. It has been great every morning my mom has been practicing it, but no matter how many blockers I tried to install, google is smart enough to figure out how to disable the ad blockers. 

I suppose the genius of getting a YouTube premium family plan, whether it is $20 a month or whatever, then intelligence is you think about it… It might be the new most important utility that we got.

Even random things, like me preparing to change the oil in my 2010 Prius, watching YouTube videos on how to do it, is 1 trillion times better than written tutorials.

Even whenever I talk about house construction or maintenance or whatever, all the handyman I know tell me to just watch it on YouTube.

So if you think about the economics of it, assuming that having a studio membership for Pilates or yoga $200 a month, and technically you could just stream it on YouTube for $20 a month, economically it is extremely intelligent.

Anyways what is very interesting about the whole YouTube premium thing that is how it has dematerialized so many different things. 

And this is what I think is the genius of bitcoin, it has the materialized money. Yes bitcoin is money, even as time goes on I put less than less faith on field paper currency. To me it is like cotton candy.

5. Money philosophy

So I just finished watching the whole Michael Saylor series on money, and I feel like I just got a new PS in economics, economic theory, as well as corporate finance and accounting.

The main takeaways are the following: 

a) Inflation

The basic idea is because the money creation rate in America and beyond is expanding 7 to 10% a year, because the price of minimum wage keeps going up, out of thin air, this is what drives inflation, or another words, the price of everything going up. 

For example, I’ll never forget this moment; when me and Seneca bought  our typical single burger patty, just the patty nothing else, just a month ago for $1.50 at Patty, it going up over 90 to $2.50 just for a single patty! This was because minimum wage was raised from $16 an hour to $20 USD an hour.

The reason why this decision was bad is because honestly, it just seems like a political ploy, for politicians to get elected or reelected. The reason why this is a scam is this:

I want to get elected, and I promise you that I will raise your minimum wage. Vote for me!

And then, the real after effects of inflation is going to happen when I am out of office.

b) History of money

Some of this is a rehashing of Michael Saylor quoting the book, the bitcoin standard, which I find really fascinating not because of the whole bitcoin thing, but about the history of money.

Long story short, bitcoin might be the best money and asset because it is infinitely durable and will last forever, because it is so intensive to create it has value, it has a hard cap of 21 million bitcoins, which will be certain even 1000 years from now, And also… it is money perfected. 

6. My thoughts

I am very very happy and grateful that I did not study economics formally. I’m sure that I would have fallen into the same pitfalls as a lot of these loser economic peoples who has never done business in the real world.

I’ll give you examples; when I went to UCLA as an undergraduate,  we didn’t have a formal business major, only a Hybrid business – economics major. Out of all the people that knew who studied business economics, none of them became entrepreneurs, self-employed, none of them started their own companies, none of them worked for themselves, and none of them became successful. They all ended up just becoming low or mid-level managers at some company, probably clocking in the typical $80,000 thousand dollars a year to $120,000 a year salary. 

In fact, what made me so successful in my realm of Farsi, entrepreneurship, etc.… It totally up ended any traditional economic theories. For example my open source vision; it would probably had been deemed as heresy by any traditional school of economic thought.

Also as a side thing; I am very very happy that I did not study photography formally, and I am also grateful that I did not go to art school. Why? Once again, you get stuck in these loser ways of thinking, these incestuous ways of thinking about photography and the art world is quite filthy.

Anyways, as a general thought, true innovation and entrepreneurship comes from expertise domain expertise outside of that certain domain. For example, let us note that flight was invented by the weight brothers, who I believe were actually bicycle mechanics. 

I feel that I am well positioned to talk about money, economics, economic theory because I grew up poor, single mom working minimum wage jobs, also, becoming a successful self-employed sole proprietor, having zero debt, and applying my economic theories to real life.

Also, I am also moderately booksmart, and my wife has a PhD. And then helping Cindy get her PhD, I feel like I got a PhD.

And also other things which I have done which I consider very intelligent: I have never spent more than $2500 USD on a car, in my whole life, from age 15 to at age 36.

  1. 1991 Nissan Sentra XE (5 speed, manual transmission, $1000)
  2. 1991 Nissan Sentra SE-R (5 speed, manual transmission $1500 USD)
  3. 1990 Mazda Miata, five speed manual transmission, no air conditioning no power steering, $2500 USD
  4. 2002 Subaru outback, five speed manual transmission, $800 USD
  5. Current, 2010 Prius, free. ($0.00)– free 99

I put zero faith in any individual who has ever purchased any brand new car. It is a true signal that they are economically a fool.

Doesn’t matter if you bought the new Tesla or whatever, all fools.

7. Why does this all matter?

Whether you like it or not, our whole life revolves around money.

There are certain things which are negotiable, certain things which are not negotiable.

Nonnegotiable include paying rent, gas and electricity, Wi-Fi, food, coffee etc.

Negotiable things include purchasing any sort of clothing, eating out, drink alcohol or smoking marijuana or doing drugs, cars, purchasing a home or property etc.

Also, unfortunately I think 99.9% of the photography industry is predicated around purchasing your cameras, lenses, accessories etc. Was the first to start the anti-gear movement, by books not gear, and being the first to really make the Ricoh GR camera mainstream? 

Bitcoin as Religion

A thought and observation: perhaps bitcoin is the best investment because it is the new religion.

For example, that is consider that in modern day times, capital, capitalism, money is the new religion. Let us consider how much we sacrifice in our lives in order to accumulate more money, more capital, and we deify money above all.

For example, one self-worth is based on their capital worth. Their net worth is based on how much property they own, the amount of stock they own, bonds, CDs, investments, appreciating assets, power and influence etc.

However perhaps the problem about all of this is that money and things becomes the new carrot and stick.

For example, I’m a huge fan of cyber truck, cars in general, but the savvy investor and real rich person will always think:

Why spend $100,000 on a car, when I could invest that money into something else, and my money, instead of bleeding it?

For example, no matter how expensive your car is, it will always be a depreciating asset.

For example, even if you have a rare Ferrari or Porsche or whatever, the maintenance and upkeep cost for it are horrendous. Even if the market value of your car goes up overtime, maybe at your breaking even, most likely you’re actually bleeding money because of all the expensive parts maintenance cost, labor, having to run your car every once in a while, keep it clean etc. And therefore these trophy assets become toxic assets, negative liabilities:

You’re bleeding a slow death, your like a bathtub with a half working stopper, you have to keep filling up the water to just keep it even.

Stop the bleeding?

Apparently the first thing that you learn in medical emergencies is first, stop the bleeding. As long as the person doesn’t bleed to death, what that means is even if they suffer broken bones or whatever, with enough time healing and recovery they will be OK, but once a person has lost a critical amount of blood, they’re dead forever.

Going back to money in general, I look at all these people, and they’re all slowly bleeding themselves to death, being hooked on drugs and methamphetamines and painkillers and other weird things in order to just keep self flagellating themselves to produce.

Money as religion?

I wonder if in someways, we could actually think about the modern day government as almost some sort of religion. Consider taxes, it is like tithing. 

Death & taxes are the only two certain things in life.

Cash rules everything around me

A few weeks ago, the priest that my Korean Catholic Church did something very very funny, for Mother’s Day, during his homily, took out $100 bill, and said that he would give it to the mother at church with the most amount of children, which was five kids.

Everyone left in good spirits, because it almost felt slightly sacrilegious for a priest to talk about money, or bust out money, or even present money as a good thing.

However, the truth is all these institutions, churches etc. all rely on donations. A church cannot survive without donors, nor can your local pickle ball club.

Messiah figure?

Something which is actually really baked into Christian Catholic, Judeo Christian ethics morality and storytelling is  the notion of a savior, Messiah figure. Most likely crucified, or sacrifices their life for some greater cause. This is a common trope ever since Greek notions of Dionysus, maybe Egyptian notions of life after death, or whatever.

Basically the idea is one individual, one man, comes to save humanity or whatever. And he must sacrifice his life in order to give immortal life to everybody else.

So in the case of bitcoin, this becomes really really fascinating because Satoshi was a metaphorical messiah figure, who ended up disappearing into thin air, a picture perfect ending.

I think maybe Banksky is similar; somebody to essentially troll and reveal the ridiculousness of the art world, through his anonymity.

Death & immortality 

The other day my mom Cindy and Seneca we all went to the Broad Museum in downtown LA, insanely epic! Then infinity room is totally worth it, and the whole space is an architectural marvel and masterpiece. It makes me so proud to be a Los Angeles citizen.

Anyways, we stumbled onto this one room, and I was shocked… I saw the famous skull painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, one of my favorite paintings of all time. I said really loud, in shock “wait… Is that real?” a friendly fancy looking York artist appreciating woman to my right, laughed, and said, yes it is! I was more shocked that we had in Los Angeles, instead of it being in New York or New York City, which I imagined it should be. 

Anyways, I really appreciate it, but my mom was horrified. She said something really funny that the artwork and paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat was “disturbing”. I said that was true, because he was addicted to heroin cocaine and all these other weird drugs, and eventually died because of a drug overdose.

My sister Annette something interesting, which was that the theory is if Bard didn’t die so early, he probably would have eventually been demoted, from the art world, because of his overreliance on drugs, partying, and like in order to produce artwork. Any sort of art which is produced based on an artist being overly reliant on drugs alcohol, etc. is degenerate bad art. Even Jackson Pollock, he was notoriously an alcoholic, and the truth that a lot of art critics and collectors try to hide and obfuscate is the fact that he died because he was drinking and driving, under the influence. We should mark then Jackson Pollock as a bad one; sure he killed himself, but what if while drunk and under the influence of alcohol while driving, he killed a little kid running in the road, or even worse, a full car full of other human beings?

Limits & value

Anyways, my personal take on why Jean-Michel Basquiat ended up becoming so famous was he died early, and even my sister said that because he died so early, his stock of paintings is limited, and no more will ever be produced. This is what makes them so valuable.

This is where bitcoin gets so fasting, because everybody on the planet  knows that only 21 million bitcoin will ever ever ever be produced in eternity.

This is a big deal because with traditional fiat currency, the government could keep printing cotton candy paper fiat money currency forever. 

In fact, about a week ago, after tipping my masseuse a $20 bill, and I knew that I had to go to the ATM to withdraw more cash money currency, in case of emergency or tips or whatever, I paused and stopped, the thought:

Whenever I pull out paper currency or cash money, eventually it all eventually disappears, and have to keep refilling my wallet with more paper currency.

And this is actually the funny thing about holding paper currency and cash money; simply by having it on you, you will end up losing it. Why? To put a $20 bill in the church basket, to give it to a friendly waiter, to use it on silly things, etc.

So I suppose the tricky thing is this:

All of this, capital accumulation etc.… for the sake of what?


So the first thought I have is the prime obvious one: if you want to have the supreme amount of happiness in life, the true meaning and joy in life, I think you gotta have at least one kid. Two, maybe 2.2 kids to re-populate the planet or whatever. 

I think we’re going through a weird time, in which capital, capitalism is running a milk. Which means that I think the reason why a lot of people don’t wanna have kids anymore is because in some funny way it seems anti-capitalistic.

For example, if you’re a woman, and you get married, become a stay at home mom no longer work… Who is going to buy all of this Louis Vuitton clothing and whatever? Let us consider the capitalist dream is a single working career woman… All of this disposable cash and income they have to buy Subarus, Mercedes, Porsches, designer handbags, etc.

 Certainly there is still a big industry for people who sell kids stuff, but this is a super tiny market compared to the market for the average consumer.

Why this is a big deal

For myself personally speaking, I would not be shocked if we see a $1 million bitcoin, a $3 million bitcoin, maybe even a $10 million bitcoin or $50 million bitcoin price our lifetime. I still remember very vividly as a kid, being in becoming a millionaire was The dream! But now… Even if you’re a millionaire, it might buy you a mediocre condo in LA, the new ethos is being a billionaire.

Also, I will not be shocked if within a few years or decades we will see Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos or somebody become the worlds first trillionaire.

Spending money?

Certainly there are things that we must spend money on. Spending money on rent, food, gas, etc. Alao certain truisms I’ve discovered while living in Los Angeles is that owning a car is better than owning no car in Los Angeles, even if you live in a walking paradise like Culver City.

However, in terms of practicality, owning a 2010 Prius might be the superior option and decision then owning any Tesla car, any gas or electric vehicle.

People slowly bleeding themselves to death?

Now that gas prices are universally five dollars a gallon and above, I am very very certain we will never see us ever again at three dollars a gallon, two dollars a gallon, etc. Once the price goes up, it will never go back down to what they used to.

For example, minimum wage for fast food workers went from $16 an hour to $20 an hour, which means the rest of the economy must adjust to this new $20 an hour benchmark.  I’ve been talking to a lot of fast food workers, laborers, security guards, people at Shake shack etc. and I wondered to myself and asked them:

“Isn’t the optimal strategy for everyone to just get a job at McDonald’s and earn $20 an hour?”

One of the security guards at the Huntington Gardens and library laughed and said “That is true… But then you gotta work at McDonalds!”

The smell of money?

Apparently as a plumber, you can easily make a salary of $120,000, $200,000, $250,000 a year. But, the downside is you have to smell the horrendous smell of human excrement, and sewage in general for the rest of your life.

To me, no amount of money is worth that.

Also I saw an advertisement on the 405 or La Cienega that apparently starting salary for a CHP California highway police officer is $120,000 a year! Once again, not worth it.

People often make the wrong decision in life, choosing the bad job in order to get a higher salary. Even hearing to young Asian American 20 something-year-olds at the Huntington Gardens: a nerdy skinny Asian American guy, saying that he did not want to get a job at Amazon, but, he was tempted because the salary was so good… At least $200,000 a year!

The problem is this:

$200,000 a year ain’t what it used to to be. 

So what should we do about all this?

 if you own an iPhone or a smart phone, we are all implicated in this capitalist system. So the question is this:

How do we maximize the upside of living in a capitalist society, while clipping the downsides? 

1. Intelligent living

The first very pragmatic one is living intelligently. Being moneywise.

A very simple one is stopping the bleeding.

How do we bleed money? We bleed money by All of these stupid subscription services. They are all bad, mass unsubscribe to all of them. 

This includes your Disney+, Hulu, YouTube premium, Spotify, deliver services apps, Netflix, hbo max, etc.

My simple thought is this: 

There has never been a streaming TV series which has ever been created which is worth it.

Only good things which have been produced our movies and cinema, so if there is really really really a movie or something you want to watch, just pay money and watch it in the theater, or purchase it on Apple TV+.

Also let us consider and think, truth be told, in terms of overall value I think there have only ever been maybe three or four movies which had any real big impact on my worldview. Therefore the hard thing is trying to filter all of it.

Bitcoin Power

I’ve been following bitcoin ever since I lived in Vietnam off the grid, around 2016 2017. I still will never forget, when I was in my junior year living with my roommate Kevin, in our UCLA studio apartment housing, I think my friend Kevin was already, and told me about the whole bitcoin thing and the whole pizza thing, and he said –“Hey Eric, we should just buy $100 worth of bitcoin and see what happens to it.” I remember I think I was doing something else, slightly distracted and shrugged and said “Eh… let’s not bother… it’s probably a scam”. I think at the time bitcoin was worth a fraction of a cent, so in theory me and Kevin both could’ve just bought hundreds maybe even thousands a bitcoins, while we were still in college, I think this was 2009. Before either of us even owned a smart phone. I actually think the original iPhone 3 came out my junior of college.

Anyways, fast forwarding a bit when living in Vietnam, at one of my beloved coffee shops, I remember seeing bitcoin at around $300 a bitcoin, seeing at least spike beyond $1000, which the mind of anybody following it. I think other fantastic Limits included when it broke $10,000 a bitcoin, $20,000 a bitcoin, $50,000 a bitcoin, now over $70,000 a bitcoin. My personal thought is once it breaks $100,000 bitcoin, it is only uphill from here.

“If it is not going to zero, it is going to a million” – Michael Saylor