Why businessmen ditch fat salaries to chase cryptocurrencies
The new Gold Rush has begun
Richard Liu gave up a seven-figure salary this month to get into one of the hottest financial instruments around right now: initial coin offerings. The former China Renaissance deal-maker has since managed a boatload of cryptocoin sales that’ve raised millions, sometimes in seconds, often without a single product.
From Singapore to Hong Kong to London, accomplished bankers and businessmen are abandoning lucrative careers to plunge into the murky world of ICOs, a way to amass quick money by selling digital tokens to investors without banks or regulators. Cut out of the action, a growing number of banking professionals are instead applying their talents toward buying or hawking cryptocurrency.
Unlike the traditional financial sector, there are no ceilings or barriers. There’s so much to imagine. Cryptocoins bypass middlemen such as fee-absorbing banks and venture capital firms, and offer access to fast money. But that also means traditional checks and balances are absent.
This isn’t a happy development for blockchain idealists. The core engineers and programmers behind blockchain began dedicating their intellectual power in order to create a parallel, transparent, honest mechanism for financial transactions. Their idea was (and still is) to keep it serving people who desire an alternative path to big money and often dishonest business-making. Ironically, now bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are raking in millions. These large amounts in an unregulated ambiance are an invitation to manipulative and dishonest business. This precisely what many of the original bitcoiners feared: it could ruin the trustworthiness and integrity of what they have tried to build up.
Ryan X. Charles, cofounder and CEO of yours.org, tweeted on June 26, 2017: “In 10 yr I’m going to have a party for old school bitcoin people. There will be free beer. If you can see this, you’re invited!”
And “old school bitcoin people” are both excited and yet somehow disillusioned by the bandwagon effect that bitcoin and others have created. It just goes to show that the vultures will gather wherever there’s a carcass. Big money can be a big stinker for grass-roots revolutionary initiatives like the blockchain.