Strong points:

  • People of Asian descent are generally more daring when it comes to emerging asset classes, says cryptocurrency entrepreneur
  • There are a lot of investors who can be crypto rich but cash poor because until they sell they haven’t realized their gains, says cryptocurrency investor
  • ASIC’s MoneySmart website cautions against investing in virtual currencies and initial coin offerings are highly speculative

The first time Ting Wang traded bitcoin was by accident.

He was playing the Runescape video game in 2015 and in order to trade in-game items, the main cryptocurrency had to be used as a medium.

He sold 10 bitcoins worth AU $ 300 each.

“It’s obviously a mistake with hindsight. We all make these kinds of mistakes. Back then, bitcoin was never something on my investment horizon, ”Wang said.

Fast forward a few years, Mr. Wang not only invested in cryptocurrency and other alternative digital assets known as “altcoins,” but he also made his fortune by creating a local trading platform that allows investors to ” access the emerging market.

“I can definitely retire now. I am quite comfortable. I have no financial pressure at the moment, ”said the Australian of Chinese origin.

A capital increase next year should make Ting Wang a very wealthy individual.


With a background in taxation, law and fintech, Mr. Wang, 32, quickly achieved strong growth in the field.

“We have seen arbitrage opportunities between Australia, China and the United States. Sometimes there can be a price gap of just 10 percent between the Australian and US stock exchanges.

“That’s what made us very successful in the beginning, and then we built Coinstash from there.”

From an April crowdfunding that raised $ 2.8 million for the company, Mr. Wang said the plan for Coinstash now is to allow Australians to spend, earn interest and borrow. on their digital parts, pending regulatory approval.

The surge in the price of bitcoin ($ 77,600 at the time of this writing) and the growing adoption of institutions have helped spur innovation in the space.

He made a lot of people rich too.

Recently, Mr Ting’s Brisbane-based company, in which he owns a 42% stake, was recently valued at $ 20 million.

Another capital raise slated for next year is expected to push Mr. Wang into the very high net worth group for those with assets of $ 30 million or more.

I’m not the type to be very concerned with the lifestyle. A private jet would be nice but that would be used for business purposes.

Although Mr. Wang and others can be classified as rich in crypto, it is not easy to get quick cash.

“Just because you’re worth X amount, you’re worth millions of dollars on paper, even just in bitcoin or through a business, it’s not as easy as cashing it out and starting to spend,” he says. .

Coinstash co-founder Ting Wang.

Coinstash co-founder Ting Wang.


Wang says he will have to wait for a liquidity event where his company is publicly traded or bought by a bigger player before shareholders, himself included, are rewarded in dollars.

“I think it will take a number of years to get to this point,” he says.

Targeting the rich in Australia

Another prominent Sino-Australian in the cryptocurrency space is Jeff Yew.

The 27-year-old stepped down as Australian director of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance in April to launch his own Monochrome Asset Management start-up for high net worth and institutional investors.

Many of Monochrome’s clients are family offices and self-directed super fund investors who may be looking to add digital assets like bitcoin or ethereum to their balance sheets.

Asian investors currently account for 30% of demand for Monochrome, according to Yew, although they have not entered the Asian Australian market.

Australia has a large and wealthy Asian population. Asians are generally more daring when it comes to emerging asset classes.

The Singapore-born entrepreneur says the bitcoin-rich community is sensitive to disclosure of their net worth.

“Starting a business like Monochrome, a regulated financial service in this industry, specializing in a niche asset like bitcoin is not a cheap endeavor. That’s why not many people do it, ”he says.

Mr. Yew, who comes from a family of architects and has practiced as such himself, believed in bitcoin as a store of value early on, having heard about it for the first time on Reddit on April 4, 2013, after the financial crisis in Cyprus.

Screenshot of Jeff Yew's first social post related to Bitcoin.

Screenshot of Jeff Yew’s first social post related to Bitcoin.


“The government basically forfeited people’s savings to bail out. To me, that doesn’t seem right. You work hard your whole life, you saved all that money. What gives the government the right to enter and confiscate all of your property? ” he asks.

“People started offering bitcoin as an alternative in the comments and that’s how I came across this post.”

Mr Yew says he has over 30%, but less than 60% of that personal wealth allocated in digital currency, which equates to “a conservative allocation in the bitcoin world.”

I see bitcoin as a digital property. I am the mega owner of digital assets. I do not trade my land. I plan to monetize them as a loan or lease.

He says more and more people are warming to the idea of ​​bitcoin being part of their investment portfolios.

“Everyone wants it, but no one wants to be seen to have it.”

Derek Rose, a Sydney-based cryptocurrency reporter who lost $ 9 million worth of cryptocurrency in a Christmas 2018 crash, says no one wants to be seen if they’ve lost money either.

“It’s not something that people really want to be known for,” he says.

How risky is investing in cryptocurrencies?

Every now and then, investors who have been swept away by the bitcoin boom and are losing their savings share their heartbreaking accounts of their experience as a warning to others.

In August, an anonymous Reddit user said he had put all his savings into a type of trade called leveraged futures – betting the value of bitcoin would continue to rise.

“I started future trades and managed to turn 1.7 BTC into 2.1 BTC, classic beginners luck,” he wrote.

When he fell unexpectedly, he said he couldn’t look at himself in the mirror.

“I screwed up guys completely, my savings are gone for good, I learned a hard, devastating lesson,” he added.

To prove his story, he posted screenshots of his future transaction going into liquidation as bitcoin fell rather than rose in value.

Prudent_Plum_7644 / Reddit

Screenshot showing the investor’s fund slowly running out.

Prudent_Plum_7644 / Reddit

The federal government’s Moneysmart website lists the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, warning that investors could lose “a lot of money” if they buy into an ICO or cryptocurrency without doing research first.

The financial regulator has also warned Australian traders to be careful when trading through unlicensed entities to invest in other financial products such as crypto futures and options.

Stephen Diehl, a UK-based software engineer who studies bitcoin, says the assets produce no economic value.

“This is pure speculative activity of people playing on random price movements and the only result is simply moving into a business at insane cost,” he previously tweeted.

He added that bitcoin remains a “pyramid-shaped investment plan” that requires “crazier” investors for the investment to be successful.

The crypto-rich, poor in money

Jemma Xu was a traditional banker before turning to the digital asset space.

The Australian crypto investor and venture capitalist, based between Sydney and Beijing, describes himself as a regular investor who may even have lost money.

After an unprecedented boom in 2017, the price of bitcoin fell 65% in one month in early 2018.

“If I had held on, I would have had a lot more wealth, by and large,” Ms. Xu explains.

Since the 2018 crash, Ms. Xu says she considers any 50-80% collapse in the price of bitcoin to be temporary and believes in the fundamentals of the digital asset.

“Will it be a store of value in 20 to 30 years? I do not know. There may be better coming. But, as of yet, I haven’t seen that best thing yet, ”she says.

Unless she needs the money, Ms. Xu says she considers herself a “holder” or “holder” for life, a crypto language for investors who swear never to sell their crypto. -coins.

Ms Xu says there are a lot of crypto-rich Australians in the community, not just Asians.

“If they haven’t realized their earnings, they can’t live luxuriously. Maybe that’s why most people lead very normal lives. Some might even be strapped for cash because they’ve tied it up and aren’t ready to sell, ”she says.

When cashing in, the ATO warned investors earlier this year that they have data matching capabilities to ensure taxpayers don’t hide cryptocurrencies and avoid their tax liability.

Until then, Ms Xu says there are a lot of investors who have long-term belief in digital assets like bitcoin.

“They won’t want to sell anytime soon.

DISCLAIMER: This article is not advice or technical analysis of investments. Do careful research and consider the opinions of financial experts before choosing the type of investment.

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