You're probably here because you want to get an idea about who I am. To put it simply, I learn from my mistakes and I've learned quite a lot that way (read: I've made plenty of mistakes).2011
I've founded companies, been on boards, handled hundreds of thousands of dollars in bitcoins, but always had a problem with the lack of quality and overly serious tone of people on these forums (read: I trolled quite a lot until one prank in particular went too far and it forced me to grow up).
The following is a condensed history of my involvement in the community.
I made a game _____________________
Gifted to "BitOver" _____________________
|I spent a month developing a game (called BIT-FU) loosely based on the cult-classic "KungFuMadness". Bitcoins were wagered on the winner of a rock-scissors-paper style matchup. Unfortunately, at the time I chose to connect the backend to MyBitcoin to handle payments and that's when they ran off with everyone's money. The game hadn't caught on yet (thankfully) so no one lost anything and I learned that wallet services are not a solution.|
I stood up for myself _____________________
|Somebody didn't like waiting for their bitcoin and went on a libel campaign against me, releasing my commissioned (private) artwork to the community and instructing them to "abuse it freely". Not realizing that there were mods specifically to resolve problems like these I took it upon myself to "teach him a lesson" by not paying. Theymos blackmailed me to pay the fee for a product that was now worthless to me in order to have the scammer tag removed.|
I promoted a bitcoin BBB (in an arrogant and know-it-all way) _____________________
Gifted to Bitcoin Police _____________________
|Fresh off of an illegitimate "Scammer tag", I figured a much better system for reputation needed to exist and ran an ill-conceived BBB idea by a moderator here before posting it to the community. Despite the good merits of the idea (eBay style feedback, ratings, public dispute resolutions, etc), the "accreditation" aspect and my arrogant attitude garnered a massive amount of opposition, ultimately causing me to abandon the idea for the time being. I subsequently became a popular target for massive trolling and harassment.|
I'm not from a highly academic background _____________________
Still subject to occasional (misguided) trolling _____________________
|For religious reasons, my parents tried their best to keep me away from the real world through homeschooling and various restrictions (no girlfriends, jobs or friends until 18!). That never stopped me from participating actively in business from as young as 13 and while most kids were worrying about what their friends were doing, I was worried about memorizing the TCP/IP protocol and making games. I've had to make a lot of sacrifices in my life, one of them was the sacrifice to not go through 20 years of school and just rely on my own instincts and abilities. In order to meet the minimum rough standards of the world, I graduated a handful of crappy, quick, cheap online schools. Ironically, I would later become an ESL teacher in South Korea, find a passion for education and go on to found my own college prep school responsible for Korean student matriculation to American universities. While working on my TEFL certificate I learned one of the online schools I graduated was widely referred to as a "degree mill". For transparency, I kept a wiki user page about myself and decided to add that fact. It was later found by trolls who have attempted to use it as a means of character assassination (and failed on the very premise that I provided said information of my own accord long before entering bitcoin). Interestingly enough, my fascination with the legal and education systems led me to meet with Korean law enforcement officials. I presented my degree and after further meetings, they brought me on to help stamp out diploma forgeries in the country (a huge issue at the time, before immigration required Board of Education appostiles on documents). Since then I have worked closely with the same Foreign Affairs Division of the Korean National Police Agency on hundreds of cases of outright academic fraud. I am now retired from this.|
I learned to not feed trolls _____________________
Still subject to occasional (misguided) trolling _____________________
|During my stint in Korea I have run many businesses including a private school. While the school itself was accredited in Korea by the Ministry of Education, the curriculum and diplomas for completion of such were accredited by American schools. Many trolls have claimed that this translates to a lack of integrity on my part by claiming that our diploma programs were "American accredited". Neither I nor our students see the issue, especially since they were able to attend universities in the US without TOEFL or SAT requirements (possible only with accredited US diplomas). (Read: Trolls grasping at straws)|
I founded an incubator _____________________
|The first "Bitcoin Association", and probably one of the most entertaining groups of producers in the Bitcoin community was a group called the Digital Commerce Advancement Organization. In it's nearly 2 years of operation, it brought together over 50+ of our most active players in bitcoin (including names such as Roger Ver, Charlie Shrem, Erik Voorhees, Arthur Britto, Adam Harding, Vladimir Marchenko, Jim Lowry, Jon Holmquist, Andrew Lee, Eric Lombrozo, Jon Matonis, Yifu Guo, and dozens more) and facilitated the creation of dozens of useful and still existent services in the Bitcoin economy. Numerous currently active businesses were started by DCAO members directly as a result of discussions from inside the group's Skype chats. As the founder of this group, I was trusted to lead it with topics and issues and did so for the entire duration of the group's life. The DCAO began to split up as a result of aggressively conflicting opinions in relation to PirateAt40's then active ponzi. My childish prank only made things worse and I eventually resigned from the Board there in an effort to keep the place from being torn apart. Unsurprisingly to those who know me, after leaving it was reported that activity fell to almost nothing and eventually the group was dissolved.|
I co-founded a payment services company _____________________
|DialCoin was one of my favorite projects, and arguably one of my biggest lessons in fraud. After co-founding the site with Vladimir Marchenko (UK CTO), Vicente S. (CWO), and Jim Lowry/BigTimeCoin (US CEO), I managed the site design, front-end coding and branding myself (I even designed Vladimir's "VLADIMIR SECURE" avatar he uses right now!). I also personally secured a business loan for the company to create liquidity. It was shortly after defrauded of every single penny through a combination of SIM stuffing in the UK by an untrackable party. The reserves were also stolen during the first Bitcoinica hack as we had used Bitcoinica as a hot wallet for reasons of short-term liquidity loans (something many exchanges including MtGox also provided to select businesses at the time). I later privately recommended to Piuk to remove his SMS charging functionality from Blockchain.info as a result.|
I'm a donator _____________________
|I was one of the earlier donators to the forum and despite my feelings that there were some issues with moderation (and fair administration), I donated to the forum when it was made known that they were attempting to upgrade the forum software. There are now millions of dollars in bitcoins not being used and a year later we're still using the same forum software. I somewhat regret donating now. (I don't however being owner of one of the factiods shown in the advertising space). (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻|
I entertained people through videos _____________________
|I enjoy entertaining people almost as much as I enjoy creating things, and I simply can't stand dry, boring and unimaginative media. As a direct result of watching a few boring episodes of "The Bitcoin Show with Bruce Wagner", I decided to mock it at first with BitTalk.TV (previously known for podcasts under another owner) and created a few just-for-fun videos, later producing a 45-minute arrangement of absolute nonsense mixed with serious interviews called the "Bittalk.TV Christmas Special". At this time I was widely known for spending my time on the forums trolling and shaking-up scammers and idiots. I was banned quite often.|
I co-started a magazine _____________________
|After dicking around with BitTalk.TV, I decided to listen to Mihai Alisie and get serious with an actual magazine. We founded the corporation through Vladimir Marchenko in the UK and started taking money for pre-orders in December 2011 for the future endeavor, garnering quite a lot of criticism and trolling for being late. We printed our first issue in May 2012. After designing and editing the first issue, I was shoehorned into the position of Editor-in-Chief (completely unfitting for me) and was constantly looking for a more serious and well rounded replacement. I later went on to create articles and edit for the next few issues before resigning at the request of Vladimir Marchenko. Shortly after resigning, there was a falling out between the remaining directors which inevitably led to further resignations, lawsuits, infighting between directors and the company being in the process of liquidation, while a new company run by Tony Gallippi (Bit-Pay) continues to produce the magazine with the same general staff. In hindsight, I should never have agreed to resign without first assigning a replacement director, as Vladimir himself said "you [were] a heart and soul of the company and it turned out a voice of wisdom".|
I enjoy helping others _____________________
|I was the only one on our team at Bitcoin Magazine who could make advertisements for clients in the beginning (this is before we had a full team of paid designers). I agreed to make one for Chaang Noi (Fussy Prick), but he didn't bother to tell me until after I accepted, that he hadn't even bothered to make a website yet (one of the clearly listed requirements for placing an ad). Out of desperation he asked me to make a site for him, to which I advised him strongly against (I was just too busy to be reliable). He insisted and I agreed, not wanting to jeopardize Bitcoin Magazine revenue but he eventually got impatient despite never even providing me information to put on the site itself (something I requested repeatedly). I provided him a 100% refund, in addition to the nearly completed site and a year's worth of hosting (out of my pocket). His plan to argue "wrongdoing" publicly backfired though as everyone pretty much agreed he's just an impossible person to work with. This has earned him the well deserved title Fussy Prick.|
I stood up for a minor against an angry mob threatening violence _____________________
Lesson learned _____________________
|Zhou Tong, a then member of the DCAO, seemed like a smart enough kid. He was busy making money hand over fist of greedy people throwing all their money into his Ruby on Rails website. Even Roger Ver, the owner of Bitcoinstore had a reported several hundred thousand dollars worth of bitcoins sitting in Bitcoinica. When someone came by wanting to buy the site from him, I mentioned to him that it would probably be a good idea to sell while people still cared about his site. Later, without understanding all of the details of Bitcoinica's hacks and thefts, I had defended him publicly when the raging masses accused him of everything wrong with their lives (this is the part where I learned not to whitenight). Since then I'm not quite sure what to believe, except that Bitcoinica still owes me money.|
I continued to stand up for a minor _____________________
|As part of the witchhunt for Zhou Tong, AurumXChange joined in by illegally seizing large amounts of money from Zhou Tong (which have not been released to this day), as well as releasing private customer information, based on their personal opinion of what they thought he was doing. Although I agree that there are questions that need to be answered, I did not agree with AurumXChange's actions towards their own customer accounts (against their own TOS) and called them out on this publicly. Instead of explaining themselves and providing evidence, they threatened to sue me and others at Bitcoin Magazine (who are completely unrelated to the event). For what it's worth, I'm positive I could have handled that whole situation better.|
I got caught up in a mess _____________________
|A project intended to provide liquidity by protecting against double spending, ZipConf's crew wanted me to do a quick front-end site design for them, then later asked me to be a "personnel manager" given my well known connections in the bitcoin business community. After requesting documents of who was working for the company, I found out Alberto Armandi (BitScalper/BitDayTrade) was involved in it and reported it immediately to the owner. Before he could remove him, Armandi stole thousands of bitcoins from the hot wallet. I have since learned not to publicly announce involvement in projects until after I've met every single last employee myself.|
I created a bitcoin wallet device _____________________
|Before the Bitcoincard ever made a grab for attention, I had been working on a handheld bitcoin wallet device. Charlie Shrem of BitInstant agreed to help us find investments but was later removed from the project when it was discovered he was meeting with the Bitcoincard's developers without our knowledge. Despite the funding issues, I managed to secure personal loans of tens of thousands of dollars to facilitate development. We had 2 first prototypes but the final PCBs would cost up to a million. Vladimir Marchenko was also attempting to assist with investments in the UK, but before we could proceed, our French connection to Shenzen (someone affiliated with Alberto Armandi / Bitscalper / BitDayTrade) defrauded us of our design budget. Since then I have put the project on hold and paid back all but one of the initial investors out of my own pocket. The project is currently seeking a slightly less costly direction (and better management).|
I helped a girl accept bitcoins for modeling _____________________
Still subject to occasional (misguided) trolling _____________________
|During my job as an extra in Korea, I ran into a young Korean model who wanted to learn more about Bitcoin. She hired a photography studio to do multiple shoots of her, had a developer from the bitcoin community make a site for her, and asked me for my advice on some shoots (not knowing how to participate in the community herself at the time). Giddy about a Korean wanting to use Bitcoins and thinking she might be appreciated, I supported this site by telling others about it. Despite my honest intentions, some people made leaps and bounds to claim the photos were inappropriate and claimed that by supporting her I was somehow a sexual pervert. I understand the concerns and in hindsight see what made them think that way. I'll be sure to be more cautious about how and what I promote in the future.|
I was too quick to the draw _____________________
|Much like BFL, Bitcoin Magazine's staff didn't know much of what they were doing (new career for most of us), but we did know we wanted to make something fun to read that could tingle everyone as much as 2600 magazine does for hackers. We succeeded, but not before failing for 6 months to deliver the first issue after I made a public announcement about the magazine. This lesson has been learned by many, including BitInstant's Charlie Shrem when he inappropriately announced the BitInstant credit card and was met with immediately opposition from the card companies quite publicly. We all make mistakes. We all learn from them. I later resigned from Bitcoin Magazine in an effort to help support it better due to my then unfavorable "prankster" reputation.|
I trolled too much _____________________
|I made a huge bet with money I would never have had to give away if I lost to intentionally prove a point about people's insane amount of trust to strangers (no escrow? millions of dollars?), that Pirate was not a scammer (which he is) and continued to increase that amount for the pure comedy of it. What started as a horrible prank soon ended up a sad display of people's greed and desperation. I have since realized that almost any prank is acceptable, except ones that involve people's money. Despite the numerous individuals pleading for me not to pay those who would not have paid if they lost, I had decided to settle with all of the betters anyway and as of writing this have settled with almost all of them, the rest being paid slowly as I am able to.|
After being knocked down a notch and realizing my shortcomings, I've changed my attitude and habits quite a lot this year. I recognize lost opportunities from the past 2 years as a result of my own mismanagement and lack of focus, but most importantly I have better channels for my creative energy now outside of the forum (music production, acting, mobile development).
Despite my continued interest in doing business and creating valuable services and products, I'd like to take things slower this year and do only what I can be sure of managing properly. The following are endeavors I am publicly involved in this year:
So you've read of all of this and you're still wondering...
- "Why is your ignore color so dark!?". In short, because I am great at inflicting butthurt on forums. The literal explanation is that I enjoy doing entertaining things for others, including paying 5 BTC to Theymos to make the colors change based on ignores received. I accept my fate and my color as a sign that I bother people who needed bothering at one time or another.
- "Okay, but aren't you a scammer?" No, I've never scammed anyone and I have a lengthy history of business with hundreds of individuals in the community as proof. The people who would say I am a scammer are either trolls, parroting what they heard from trolls, or are newbies who don't know me.
- "Okay so you're not a scammer, but what about that pirate bet? Aren't you a deadbeat who doesn't pay loans or debts?" Well, as it says above, I have settled with almost everyone now and the progress on that can be viewed at https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=140654 and any loans I've ever taken out in the bitcoin community are either paid or being paid regularly.
Thanks for reading!
Below you will find feedback left by members of this community whom I have made loans with or done specific transactions with that required trust. Please be advised that any post that is not related to a specific transaction (e.g. off-topic posts, trolling, posts related to working relationships, personal opinions, requests for a date, etc) will not be allowed and will promptly be removed by moderators.