Transcription Episode 16

Hi everyone and welcome to another episode of Living on Blockchain. Today we are speaking to Colin. Colin is a blogger.

He is an award-nominated blogger, actually, and he’s a writer. He was a podcast host as well as, you know, now he’s guesting on these podcasts. His genre is basically comic writing, so to say.

He’s adding a lot of light to people’s lives and he talks, in this particular conversation, he talks a lot about mental health and how he got into the blockchain and crypto space. It’s something that I feel very passionately about as well, the importance of mental well-being and how it is increasingly becoming important to pay attention to our mental health. So this was a real fun conversation.

Let’s deep dive right in. Hi Colin, thank you so much for taking out the time to speak to me today. How are you doing? I’m doing okay.

We’re muddling through here. It’s been an interesting few days with new lockdown restrictions that have just come in but we’re getting there. Yeah, it’s a hard time for everybody.

I think it’s been a very strange year. It’s been nothing. I don’t know any other way to describe it.

There’s been, I think, too much going on. There’s always stuff happening but this year there has been more doom and gloom, more low points than any other point I can remember. And the sad thing is, as well, it’s been on everyone’s lips.

There hasn’t really been anything else to talk about. Yeah, it’s like, you know, trying to ignore the elephant in the room when you try to talk about other things. Somehow COVID and the lockdown and the hardship, it just makes its way into the conversation.

Well, we can try not to do that if you want. That’s absolutely fine, I think. All right, well, we’ll have it back.

We’ll see how we do. Yeah, yeah, we can try. So, you know, go ahead and tell us a little about your background and, you know, how did you get into blockchain and crypto per se? Sure.

So I grew up in the countryside of England. Moved to London when I was 17 and started working major financial institutions. Then moved into recruitment for that sector.

Moved out to New Zealand for a year, played rugby over there, came back to London. And yeah, so everything was kind of normal-ish life, I guess. Up until about 2007, we started getting really horrific neighbour problems.

This kind of came to a head in 2010 when I got acid attacks on my doorstep. Now, this is quite, yeah, it is not something I talk about very freely or easily. It’s not an easy subject to talk about.

But, you know, it happened and it is my history. I can’t pretend I’ve got someone else’s. So anyway, after that, I was, you know, I’m a big ex-rugby, ex-thai boxing, so I’m a big physical guy.

That cut me in ways that I think were unseen by most people. And this came to a head in 2014 when I almost got to the point where I took my own life. Again, not easy subjects to talk about.

Thank you. I mean, again, these aren’t easy subjects to talk about, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t talk about them. It’s a hard point to reach in your life when it doesn’t feel like there’s any way that’s up.

So gradually, I started clawing myself back, finding my way back out of the hole I put myself in. And I still am. You know, it is not an overnight process where you wake up one day and you go, I’m better.

No, it’s an everyday battle, right? Oh, yeah, it is. I got diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. There are three tags that I hate because there’s a lot of suggestion that comes with those.

Yeah, that’s true. Where you are too volatile, you could fly off the handle, your emotions are all over the place. And without the introduction that you’ve had to me, most people wouldn’t know this.

You know, you walk around and nobody really sees the real in you. You hit points in your life where you’re convinced that everyone judges you as at your worst. I certainly didn’t.

Yeah. And that’s not how most people see or saw me. Yeah.

Trying to find a way to recognize that myself is a lot harder. Yeah, it takes time to come to terms with that, right? We seem to think, OK, it’s coming from the thinking about the worst possible thing that we could think of. But at times people are not even privy to such, you know, they don’t have that perception and they have an entirely different perception about us, which we don’t know.

I mean, my other people’s perception of me is vastly different from mine. And that’s from people who are brand new to meeting me, you know, guys I’ve known for years. When you are when I found myself at my lowest, I was isolated a lot of the time.

I wasn’t talking to anyone. I wasn’t sharing anything. I was letting everything build up for me.

And small things that added up and those built and built and built, never shared it until it got to the point where I’d rationalized everything else in my own head. I’d had every conversation that needed to be had with every person I was ever going to see again. I knew the outcomes of those conversations.

I knew exactly the way that they’d go and all the while thinking the absolute worst of myself. And it’s a dreadful way to is an awful place to find yourself. Absolutely.

Yeah. Because you don’t have anyone else to as strange as they sound, share it with. Yes.

You have that ability to get these noises out of your head and into the air. That’s true. And especially when, you know, you’re isolated, as you mentioned, then, you know, some, you know, nobody can really kind of shake you out of it that, OK, or even try.

Right. And your mind kind of rules over everything else. And at that point, when you’re at your lowest, it’s like an abyss that you have difficulties of finding your way back from.

Yeah. I mean, in my case, I think a lot of other people’s cases as well. It doesn’t necessarily matter what other people say to you because you don’t think it’s sincere.

They’re they’re just saying it. Yeah. Yeah.

Just to appease you. Right. You feel that they’re just trying to be nice, perhaps.

Maybe not even that. Maybe they’re just doing it because that’s the right thing to say. There’s no real meaning behind that.

And you forget that people don’t have to say nice things. Yeah. You don’t have to go out of their way to pay compliments or ask you how you don’t have to do that.

They choose to. Yeah, that is absolutely true. And this is I and you know, you’ve made a very fair point.

I think people, you know, when obviously when you’re sort of down and out, you tend to not believe even your bestest friend or even your partner. So it’s more like a battle within yourself and you sort of have to come to a point, you know, sort of where you make that breakout, so to say. What was that point for you? Good question.

I, I spent a couple of years on antidepressants being told that, you know, you you will get better if you just keep taking the pills. And the answer was that that was not for me. And since finding out that they’re not brilliant for loads of other people either, they are the pills themselves are kind of a short term fix.

And a can throw your emotions around all over the place. So you can actually find yourself getting worse before you get better with these things. The difficult bit for me was that the pills don’t really mask the emotions, because whatever was causing the problems was still there and still is there.

It is how you actually deal with the stuff that’s weighing you down, that you find a route back when you’re having another one of those internal crazy chats in your head, where you’re convincing yourself that you are the world’s worst person, or you are ugly, or you are stupid, or you are worthless, or that you don’t deserve anything. And not that anyone else thinks that just that you’ve rationalized it yourself. The I’m writing and blogging now almost full time.

And most of my stuff tends to be more comedy based. But the more serious bits I’ve done have been on and around mental health, because I spent a long time trying to work out how I got to this point in my life. Because, you know, as a kid, you don’t wake up and the first thing you think, Oh, God, Monday.

And at some point, something clicks in with you in adulthood, where that changes, and you don’t notice these that the small changes that stop. I think it was when people really noticed the change in me, or rather, they noticed that I wasn’t around as much, you know, I wasn’t going out as much. I wasn’t going to see friends go to parties down the pub, wherever we were going.

There would be an excuse made where I’d be better off on my own. Yeah. The I mean, the example that I use for the piece I wrote on loneliness was Nixon, Richard Nixon, right.

And during the Watergate scandal, he bear in mind, he’s the leader of the free world, right? He had absolutely zero faith in anyone around him lost all belief in those closest to him and shut himself away. Yep. And it doesn’t work on any level.

You know, there’s, there’s only so long that you can do this on your own. Yeah, you do have people around you. And we all again, everyone does this from time to time, everyone has these these terrible thoughts where they beat themselves up, and they tear themselves down.

And I think there’s a degree of humility that comes with that, you know, you can’t wander around thinking that you’re 10 foot tall and bulletproof are about to be the emperor of the world. Yeah, maybe you are I don’t know. But yeah, at the same time, you also can’t walk around thinking you’re the world’s biggest piece of crap.

And, you know, there is literally nothing that is worthwhile, nothing that will make you smile, nothing that will make you happy ever again. Because as as cliched as it sounds, things do get better. Yeah.

But it does require a little bit of work from you as well. Yeah, it doesn’t magically happen. So, you know, this is something that I feel very strongly about.

So as a teenager, I think, I was suicidal, I was also depressed. And I started like, you know, being an entrepreneur, I started my own company when I was 19, I think. And yeah, so it’s just I think, you know, it that was a different phase in my life.

And I was a teenager, and I was like dealing with mental health in a different way. And then as an entrepreneur, I realized that it kind of doesn’t go away, it’s become a part of me. And I need to be a little more aware, you know, about it aware of my thoughts and mind my thoughts, so to say.

And as you said, they don’t everybody has like, days when they’re feeling low. But, you know, you need to be more aware about when that those days kind of add up to weeks and months. And that is perhaps when you need to sort of make an effort to do something.

And obviously, this sounds really, you know, it sounds wrong, because it’s not like people who go through these phases, they’re not making an effort. But it is, it’s just, that is essentially, that’s my perspective. And that is what I had to do, I had to become a little more self aware of what I was thinking.

And then coming as an entrepreneur, you know, there’s a lot of talk about how entrepreneurs kind of it is, it can get lonely, right? Yeah, so there’s, there’s something known as I think, founder’s depression, etc. So you know, that that is also kind of a battle that it’s an ongoing battle, I think it’s not something that kind of goes away, because there’s always the next big mountain that you want to conquer, or there is a new problem, you know, might really dismantle everything that you’ve built. But yeah, the mental health is very, very important.

The stigma associated with it is, I think that that, that I think would go away when people like you and I are talking about it constantly. But I, my key was that, you know, I just need to be a lot more self aware, you know, and take decisions and mind my thoughts in in on those lines. So that is that is what kind of works for me on a day to day basis.

And yeah, but you know, this is a more part you to be able to sort of share the story because it’s hard. I don’t think even I speak a lot about it, you know, how I perhaps was suicidal at some point. But I it’s not something no, you know, anybody likes talking about person because it’s a dark time.

It’s this is not glib, you know, happy go lucky conversation you have. Yeah, these are not normal conversations. But that doesn’t mean that it’s an abnormal situation.

Yeah, a lot of people go through this, like I did, and just never speak to a soul, but never say a word. And you hear all of a sudden people who do take their lives, or who do find themselves suddenly just in a complete breakdown. And it’s out of the blue, totally unexpected.

How could this person be like this? Yeah, but people don’t talk about it. And because I think that is more that is to do a lot with the stigma as well that you know, and how to sort of express it as well. Because at times, you just hear lots of words, right? Like, how do you even express that kind of utter sheer hopelessness that you’re looking at? And how to sort of put it in words so that somebody else will be able to understand? Well, certainly, I mean, your example of the entrepreneurship and back to meet the rugby, you know, I threw myself into that sport.

Yeah, I was training, I was doing gym work. It was a point where I was playing six, seven games in a month. And making sure I was still there every week and during the week.

And that became, you know, my thing for getting my stresses out, venting the bits that were on there. But again, it’s someone said to me a little while ago, you know, did you have a happy childhood? Or are you funny? And I think we know where this one’s gone. These things do stick with you.

And you find you find a way to process them at points in your life. You know, I when I was in my 20s, I was really living the party lifestyle had a lot of fire in me, a lot of energy to burn off a lot of places I wanted to go a lot of stuff I wanted to do and say still do. But I found myself at a time in life where that no longer held any appeal.

Right? Well, yeah, I think everybody kind of reaches that point, right? Like where that kind of this party life, so to say, like, as a teenager, you’re always wishing to sort of become an adult and do all of those things. But once you start, unfortunately, the energy level dips, right? Yeah, ever so slightly. I mean, I honestly, I do not know how I used to play rugby.

I was watching a match at the weekend looking at this. These people are gods. I don’t understand any of this.

What did I do? Yeah, but you know, you do find a way. I think where for me the it was a cumulative effect for a while I rugby was a big passion of mine for a very long time, absolutely loved it. And my career got cut a bit short through injury.

I say career, it wasn’t massively lucrative or, you know, very lucrative at all. But it was the thing that I to do was the thing that got my stresses out. And that left a big hole in my life that I wasn’t really sure how to fill because it’s quite it’s a very physical sport.

There’s a lot of camaraderie and there’s a brotherhood there as well. And when that’s no longer there, it was great for a few months, about a year, I think it was really good. It was quite nice not to be getting beaten up every weekend.

But I needed to find something to fill that void. I then took up Thai boxing, because that’s a natural progression, especially if you’re too injured to play rugby. Yeah, that was great as well.

And for me, it was the joy of being able to do a five minute round working pads or a bag and really thrash, you know, really go hard. And when that, you know, I felt that all of that suddenly got taken away from me one day, not that it had, it was just my perception. And the same thing again, with, you know, people who don’t succeed in business, they put this energy, this drive, this passion in their work weekends, they put hours in, you know, they do courses, they study, they do all this extracurricular stuff outside of the business to try and make it work.

Yeah. And then when it sort of doesn’t succeed, or it even fails a little bit, it takes away a part of you, I think. Oh, huge.

And you know, it’s the investment in time, investment in energy, sometimes financial too. You know, stuff doesn’t always work. You know, you don’t always play the perfect game, and you don’t always win.

Yeah, yeah. So, you know, I’ve been like an entrepreneur for now, I think more than around 12 years now. And I think, you know, every time I fail, obviously, it added to my experience.

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So that’s a good way to look at it.

But then at that point, you know, it seemed like the absolute end. And, you know, I think the pop culture kind of feeds us that as well, right? There’s always like, you know, that overnight success story that people tend to forget that overnight success, I think this was a quote somewhere that, you know, takes like 10 years or something like that. And yeah, so that is that is the part that is not really talked about so much that, you know, you have to fail a lot to actually reach a point where it is slightly working.

And you know, you might be not constantly worried that you may be crashing down on your head. I think that certainly with the the entrepreneurial thing, it can make a huge difference because you do view those failures as you know, those are the life changers at some times. But it again, it’s it is that mindset.

And as you said, it’s not an overnight success. Nobody just goes out, you know what, I’ve done this, you know, wow, you’re amazing. You know it all.

That’s not how life works. Yep, yep. Yeah, I I’m trying my best to carve out my my career as a blogger slash writer, freelance.

And if I were to look back from an outside perspective on how my year has gone, it’s actually gone really well. You know, getting some freelance work coming in. I came runner up in an award and got nominated for that to begin with.

You know, that’s a huge thing. I’m actually getting paid for my work something. Yeah, something I never thought 15 months ago would be a thing for me.

But I am nowhere near successful, not even close. And again, success is very, very, it keeps changing. It evolves, right? Like, you know, you will reach that particular point.

And then you’ll be like, there’s more. Absolutely. I mean, in my head, every time that I publish something, I have gone back and read it again.

I need to I need should go back and edit this. And it’s a real difficulty for me not to go back in not to go and put an apostrophe somewhere or change a colon to a semicolon. Something really inconsequential, you know, something if it was published, no one else would notice.

But in my head, it’s that little thing that needs changing. And I fight that urge with every piece I publish. You know, I do edit it very closely.

And I do double check and triple check. But every now and a mistake does creep in. I leave them there because it’s a reminder to me that when I do go back and check again, to be more careful to be a little bit more aware of what I’m doing.

And if I notice it again, perfect. It means that it’s it’s something I’ve learned from. Yeah, that’s true.

That’s that’s a wonderful way to look at it. I think it’s all about a learning experience. So, you know, there are a lot of failures, but then you know, they can be it sounds again, like a cliche or bad cliche that that it’s like a stepping stone to success, or at least where you want to be.

Yeah, it’s I mean, it’s a rocky road, I think for everyone, no matter which route you choose, you know, no one is no one gets the top of the game in sport without a couple of obstacles in the way likewise business. In life, too, you know, you don’t just breeze through it with nothing happening to you. That’s that’s not how it works.

Yep, yep. That’s absolutely correct. I think, you know, it’s it’s I think that is why it’s more important to sort of talk about failures as well.

And, you know, you should be wearing your failures. It’s it’s too much to say that you should be wearing it like a badge of honor. But ideally, that is what we should be doing.

You know, if you’re a commercial airline pilot, and you crashed your last 19 planes, maybe just think about a career change. But there’s a limit with everything. Sometimes you’re just not suitable for stuff.

Yeah, that is true. Yeah, I think finding the thing that makes you happy. And that doesn’t have to be with work, you know, work doesn’t have to be the thing that brings you all the joy in the world and you spring out of bed every day to get there.

But if you can do something that allows you to enjoy yourself outside of work, where you’re not your job, where it’s not your be all and end all. Whatever. Yeah, that is very true.

Nowadays, you know, people tend to sort of, they talk a lot about passion. They talk a lot about, okay, you don’t need to be happy about your work. But at times, that might not be the case, right? I’m certainly like, I’m pretty much very sure that it wasn’t the case for our parents that, you know, work was not making them happy.

But you know, I’m not talking about whether they found that other thing that was making them happy or not. But I am saying that right now, because there are so many opportunities, people tend to think that, you know, whatever opportunity the last one should also bring them a lot of joy, it should obviously not drain you. But it doesn’t need to be the sole source of your contentment or joy.

Absolutely. You know, you you do what’s right for you. And for some people, that’s not forging.

You know, you’re not not everyone can be a rocket scientist or university lecturer or CEO. And not everybody wants to be either. Exactly.

Yeah, I think, yeah, there’s an awful lot of pressure put on people that, you know, you should be the top of your game. You should be doing you this person’s doing this. Why aren’t you? And, you know, it’s different strokes for different folks is the old expression.

You have things to everyone. Yeah. Yeah.

This is what I call the episode. Different strokes for different folks. That that could that might work, actually.

Yeah. But it’s true. You know, you you have to find a thing that brings you joy.

I remember, again, being at my lowest when I was, you know, really just foul mood. I took the dog out one morning to go and watch a sunrise, because obviously a sunrise is a beautiful thing. And, you know, you get emotions and blah, blah, blah.

I sat down on the beach with my best friend and, you know, petted his ears and waited for the sun to come up. And I was absolutely dispassionate about it. It was some colors and then it got really bright.

And then it hurt my eyes. And then I went home. Yeah.

And I thought to myself, well, what was the point of that? Yeah. And it is you go down there to watch the sunrise and expect the sunrise to lift you up and cheer you up when you’re thinking the absolute worst about yourself. And you’re feeling like the and it doesn’t do that for you.

Yeah. Well, why is it not done that for me? It should do that for me. Yeah.

It’s kind of you getting there yourself as well. You’ve got to make a bit of an effort to to appreciate it. Absolutely.

That’s true. Again, I mean, I sat there that morning thinking, you know, God, I’m such a let go. I’m such a failure.

You know, this is what my life has come to. I got up at five o’clock in the morning. I’m watching this.

And even then I’m not happy. Yeah. And how on earth you were supposed to appreciate it when you’re absolutely thinking like it’s a lot of bad perception.

You know, life will throw a lot of curveballs at you and how you deal with it and how you perceive it would really change your day to day living. I think there’s an old rugby analogy. And for each game that you play, it’s like being in a car crash at about 40 miles an hour.

So that’s kind of where the levels of injury get picked up. You know, people do get broken legs, broken arms, busted ligaments, jaws, they lose teeth, same as in a car crash. In most cases, people walk away with a couple of cuts and bruises and they’re absolutely fine.

In some cases, they can be fatal. But you don’t get to choose the effects of that car crash that you’re in. Yeah, you don’t get to pick which injuries that you walk away with.

And that’s kind of how life is at points as well. You know, you don’t get to pick some things that happen to you along the way. They just turn up whether the universe likes playing massive cosmic practical jokes on you as it seems to like doing with me.

You know, whether it turns out you’re a dung beetle in a former life or Stalin or someone. Yeah, whatever it may be. But again, it is we talked about this a lot here.

Your perception of yourself is really important. Yeah. And you don’t have to be the king of the world.

You don’t have to feel superior to everybody else. You don’t have to feel inferior to everyone else or that, you know, you’re just slotting in nicely. You’ve got to find a way that you’re comfortable with you.

Comfortable with being you yourself and, you know, sort of figuring out your own rules regarding how you want to go forward with your life. It’s one life. It’s a short life.

Yeah, it is. And it’s not there to for you to spend your time beating yourself up over it. Absolutely.

You know, you can’t spend the rest of your life dwelling on every little thing. And as I did for so long, you know, going back and picking through how things used to be and why they didn’t go as you’d wanted them to and why you’re, you know, why you didn’t prepare enough for that, why you didn’t put enough thought into it, why you weren’t more aware of what was going on at the time, you know, any number of things, why you said the things you did, why you turned left instead of right. Yeah.

So I think most of our problems also sort of come from how we want things to be against as against how things are or how, you know, we think perhaps we could have done something else. So I think that that also kind of really messes it up for a lot of people, right? It does throw a spanner in the works, too, because we do have this perception of ourself, right, this idea of what’s perfect. And I honestly believe that if I ran the 100 meters in 9.5 seconds, I’d be happy for about three seconds and then immediately think, well, I need to do better than that.

Yeah. You know, I should I should probably take out long distance running now as well. I should do that.

And, you know, you’re not you’re not right for everything. And not everyone gets to be world champion. Yeah.

But that that is not what life is about. Yeah. So, you know, this is this has been very good, because I think we kind of we bear and think about how we feel about these things.

I think that, you know, life is about figuring out your own jam and, you know, trying to get better at it. But as you said, you know, you don’t have to beat yourself over it. No.

And, you know, this idea of perfection as well. It is. It’s a bit of a false one, because it’s your own idea of perfection.

Yeah, you’re absolutely correct. It is about the idea. It’s basically about the idea of how things should be in your head.

Yeah. I mean, I’ve never met anyone who has said to me, I wanted to be a millionaire all my life. And I got there and then I just stopped.

Yeah, exactly. That is what I’m telling you. You know, that is this is something that I realized sometime this year only that big moments that in my head, they were big moments that I thought that, you know, they’ll come to pass and I’ll be really happy.

So they come and go, right? Like, it’s a moment. And then, you know, you’re looking at the next big thing to do. And somehow, it’s actually, again, it’s, you know, we are talking in a lot of cliches, but it’s about just the journey, I think that you undertake.

And if you’re not going to enjoy the journey, you are not going to enjoy the, you know, when you reach that particular goal, either. No, you’ve got to find your joy in life, you’ve got to take some satisfaction, you’ve got to find something that feels good for you. Yeah, I mean, for some people that’s dancing or singing or playing an instrument, I cannot tell you how unsuitable I am for any of those, like literally any of them.

Yeah, that’s the worst idea I could possibly have. And I’m very lucky that my passion doesn’t lead me down that path, because God, I’d be awful at that. You know, I’m conscious of that too.

Likewise, I’m probably not going to be heading up a fortune 500 company anytime soon. And I’m actually very okay with that. Yeah, yeah.

But that’s, that’s not who I am, or who I wanted to be either. You know, even when I was working in that environment, coming to terms with that and recognising that, you know, that wasn’t where my my passion and my joy was, I didn’t take a great deal of joy from the jobs I was doing. I did, however, take a great deal from what I was doing outside of work.

But that kind of stays with you, then? Yeah, it can put you off. I think I mean, it’s certainly my my time working in in any form of banking is done. I’ve said last time, never again.

And I will stick by that. It’s one industry that I would never return to. Yeah, that’s that’s, that is, you know, understandable.

Now that you know, you have all this experience, that kind of brings me to what, what I want you to know next. So how did you get into, you know, blockchain or crypto space per se, considering your background? Okay. Yeah.

So I sat around, as I said, for a long time with me, myself and my thoughts. And as I gradually started to come out the other side, I started looking for a route back, because as bonkers as I am, I need to get, you know, comfortable in what I’m doing as well. So I started having a look around.

And I, there was a fairly innocuous conversation down the pub, I think it was about 2016. And Bitcoin got mentioned, right? We got talking about this. And so what is it? All right.

So how do you get it? All right, well, what’s it worth? This sounds like crap. And I did nothing. Absolutely nothing for about 18 months.

And then slowly, I started to hear a little bit more about blockchain and crypto and what was going on. So I managed to time it absolutely perfectly, which is I bought in to Litecoin just after the December 2017 bull run. So I literally bought in on the first of January 2018 was my first venture.

And I watched everything absolutely tank. Absolute disaster. I thought I’d done my research cryptos.

This is it. This is it. Moon, moon, moon.

Lo and behold, no. And after a few months of realizing that I wasn’t going to wake up hip deep in Lamborghinis, I decided that I needed to start finding out a wee bit more about what was going on. So I started looking at things that were being developed in the space.

What other cryptos were out there beyond the top 10? What use case was for blockchain? And I discovered something called the ILP, intellectual protocol, which is the thing that XRP runs on. There’s also something from that called web monetization, whereby you can earn for your content that you create based on views, link clicks, etc, etc. Right.

So I started to produce, I will freely admit this absolutely dreadful written pieces, really boring, uninteresting. I’m sure they were not that bad. No, they were.

This is me telling you this with my hand on my heart. Rubbish. Absolutely.

But this is me with hindsight now. And at the time, I was looking back over these having not really done a great deal for a very long time. There’s a real nervousness about actually publishing your first piece and putting yourself out there for critical internet acclaim from a load of strangers you’re never going to meet.

What will these people say? As it turns out, these people didn’t really say anything too horrible after all. And it was, yeah, I actually got quite encouraged. And I realized that I do have a bit of a talent for this.

I’m not going to say that I’ve honed this art form or anything even close to it. But I am finding my feet. I do feel like I’m getting there.

And I’m glad, you know, and your Twitter page is absolutely hilarious. I follow it. And yeah, Twitter is quite the thing.

I mean, bear in mind what you and I have talked about for this conversation. Most of my work is comedy writing, right? And is something that I’ve always liked. You know, I do love laughing, but I love to make other people laugh as well.

And finally, yeah, I’m not the world’s most serious guy at times. But I, for me, that was a real challenge, because this takes work to get something put together where I mean, it’s very easy. I mean, you’ve seen what my Twitter feed like.

Yeah, there’s a few experiments that go on there that then go on towards that some of the published stuff is kind of like my playground for testing things out. I am finding a way to use my words to make people’s lives a little bit better has been really rewarding. Because I get some I mean, I get some lovely feedback from people now really kind things.

And I touched on this earlier that people don’t have to say things. Yeah, they don’t. You know, I get really honestly flattering messages from people who I’ve never met who have never read my stuff before who just say thank you.

Or Yeah, I’ve never read something like this. Because you say blogger and it’s like a dirty word. Because I am not like a hobbyist blogger.

You know, I don’t write about recipe. That’s not true. I did try writing about kittens and recipes and it was an absolute disaster.

Terrible. So I acknowledge what I am good at and what I’m not good at certain things that I can turn my hand to better than I can to others with this, which is part of the finding my feet process. But the award nomination earlier this year was I was blown away by that to begin with.

And the fact I’ve managed to come third, even after the competition started six weeks before I found out about it. I’m pretty happy with that. That seems all right.

No, it’s wonderful. I think you know what you’re doing is keeping true to yourself. And I think that is very important that you know, if you’re if you’re being kind of that is I think that is a real sincerity, right? You know, you’re being sincere with yourself, you’re being sincere with your work, and you like doing what you’re doing.

And that kind of always makes whatever you produce a little more special. I think if you you need to have passion to any form of creative stuff, and this sounds terrible, I do acknowledge how much of a knob I sound. But you know, whether you’re music, art, writing, whatever your creative thing spills out towards, you know, that level of passion that you put into it is what other people see.

Absolutely. For everybody to see if you’re putting passion in your work. And if it is something that you like doing, then yeah, it’s visible to everybody to see and people are people acknowledge it like you were acknowledged with this particular award.

I mean, I was doing a podcast earlier this year. And I was doing this with a really, really sharp young lady who said something to me which has stuck with me, which is if you’re not interested in writing it, why would people interested in reading it? Right, yeah. And that has stayed with me the whole time.

And it’s one of the things that I think about before I even start doing it now is am I interested in this? Because if I’m not, then that’s not going to come through in what I’m putting out. Yeah, it’s like making a sale, right? Like, you know, it’s just a bad example, perhaps. But like, if you’re not convinced about the product yourself, you’re not going to be able to sell it to anybody else.

Yes. And having run my own business, I can tell you that’s unequivocally true. Yeah.

So, okay, so now that you know, you have been in the crypto and blockchain space for a while, are there any particular projects that you know, you especially vouch for? Are we talking specific coins or companies? Both actually, you know, you can start with coins and you can talk about more platforms as well. Sure. So I think for most of us who have got into crypto, the first thing we hear about is Bitcoin.

Yeah. And that is generally everyone’s routine, because it’s the thing that appears on TV stations and in financial papers all over the world now. Absolutely.

That’s normally for people’s first entry into the space. And once you kind of get your head around the concept of what Bitcoin offers, that is like the starting point. Yeah, it is.

It’s kind of the rabbit hole you fall down because my first question was, okay, well, what is there outside of Bitcoin? And lo and behold, I found six, seven thousand odd coins, hundreds of exchanges, you know, dozens of media sites. I found crypto Twitter. I briefly stumbled into crypto Facebook, then ran away screaming.

Yeah, don’t go on crypto Facebook for God’s sake. But, you know, there’s an enormous ecosystem that runs under the surface of blockchain. And I don’t think from the outside in people really appreciate how big the space is, how many people are looking at it on a corporate level as well, not just kind of the I don’t like this term, but it’s quite an apt one, the bedroom investor, where someone is, you know, doing their own research at home, putting money from their salary in.

Yeah. Someone who’s not traditionally trained in financial markets, who doesn’t work in borrowers, you know, someone who’s actually done this from scratch. Bedroom investor sounds like a really derogatory term, and it’s not meant to.

It’s where we all start out. In terms of projects. I, as I said, started off with Litecoin.

And yeah, we know that one. I then I basically, I seem to stumble from pillar to post disasters, because I, again, XRP was my, my follow up for me. I liked a lot of what we’re talking about.

When I started investing there, they were having conversations with Bank of India, central banks all over the place. And where XRP is now versus where it was a couple of years ago with the rumour mills grinding is a very, very different place. There’s other huge projects that I think people know less and less about.

I mean, there’s an awful lot of work going on with Litecoin that people don’t know about what’s happening with Ethereum is, I mean, very, very interesting times. Yeah. We then look at things like what’s happening with Bitcoin Cash, BNB, the forks.

Where did Chainlink suddenly come from out of the blue? Right. And there’s a, I’ve been in this space now for about two and a half years. I’ve seen projects come and go.

There’s the ones that seem to me to have the longevity are the ones that are making the strides to reach out to business, to work with others, to make life easier, to get into the space. To basically, you know, perhaps make this entire ecosystem a little more. It’s supposed to be inherently inclusive, but because of the technology aspect that, you know, at times doesn’t come across, it comes across as something that, you know, only nerds get into.

Oh, yes. I mean, again, I am quite proudly a nerd. I think it’s geek chic.

Maybe that’s it. It sounds a lot cooler, right? Yeah. She keeps changing the terminology.

It’s been annoying. So, yeah. Yeah.

Go with that. It’s a goodie. What else is in there? There’s a lot of different coins for a lot of different use cases.

So Vechain, for instance, I’m very interested in. Big fan of where that’s going. I like what Zilliqa’s up to.

OK. Zilliqa’s got some genuine use case and Ocean’s another one. There’s such a broad spectrum of this and it’s very hard to lump everything into the same box still.

Yeah. And there is so much going on in this space. It’s really hard not to keep an eye on everything.

You know, there’s how many coins now? Six thousand, I believe. Seven thousand and counting. Yeah.

I think that number keeps increasing every day. So there is a lot going on. But then, you know, now there is a lot of noise around DeFi.

So do you have, you know, do you have a take on DeFi? I have a really unpopular take on DeFi. I do. I’ve got a really unpopular take on it.

I don’t see it adding a great deal of credibility to the space. It feels a little bit like the days of the ICOs, the initial coin offerings. Yeah.

Where it was the traditional pump and dump thing. What I have seen so far seems to be that people get an airdrop and then rush for the exit as soon as possible. And whoever gets to the exit fastest is the one who might actually make some money.

And at some point, someone will be left holding something that’s worthless. That’s true. That is absolutely true.

I think with DeFi, it’s very hard to sort of, you know, figure out which projects are actually trying to move and create solutions, like long term solutions, as you talk about. Otherwise, there are a lot of scams and there are a lot of rug pulls, etc. Which is giving DeFi a bad name, frankly.

Oh, hugely. I mean, I fully admit, you know, it was one of the things that I did last year. I wrote, I put an entire scam website together.

I got turned over by an arbitrage bot. Again, I’m really honest about talking about this stuff, because I’d rather that people didn’t make my mistakes. My screw ups are there to be learned from by other people.

Make your new mistakes. Yeah. You know, I mean, realistically, if the Titanic are looking for a new captain, I’m available.

So it’s worth bearing in mind. So I, having worked in finance before, there was something called an arbitrage bot. And what it offered to do was arbitrage your crypto between exchanges, sell high one by low on the other, and there would be a profit generated.

You didn’t have to do anything other than send them some crypto. They then start sending it back. Now, this, with hindsight, and the way I’ve described it, sounds like the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme.

And it wasn’t the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme, but it was still a Ponzi scheme. Yeah. Really simply, what they did is they pocketed all the money, and the early investors, they paid out with the later investors’ money.

One day, there were technical problems, and the payouts stopped. So they had a quick period of time where they said, oh, no, this is a third party technical issue. In the meantime, went around taking down all their social media, destroying everything, deleting all accounts.

And they got away with millions of dollars. This was a scam they repeated for Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, Digibytes as well, I believe. And they did this very successfully for a period of months.

So at the end of this, when I discovered that I had been scammed, and I wasn’t getting any money back, and this future promise of wealth wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, I had another moment of beating myself up and going, God, you’re the world’s biggest idiot. You’re such a loser. Why are you like this? Oh, my God.

Because I should, there’s that word, have known better. I made a mistake. But you know, they are very convincing, right? Oh, hugely.

You know, they are designed to be convincing. The cut and thrust of most scams is that people who have a magic money printing machine, if they wanted to give you lots of money, they wouldn’t need your money to do that in the first place. Which is surprising when you put it like that.

If they’ve got this magic formula for creating infinite wealth, why are they taking your money to give you a tiny fraction of that? Yeah. No, so yeah, I think doing your own research becomes like very important. But again, you know, there is a limit to how much an individual can do considering these things.

I looked at this arbitrage bot for about a month before joining. And the reason that I joined it was because my social media feed was lit up with people saying this is great. This is working.

I’m getting this much back. Thank you so much. This is great.

And lo and behold, that changed almost overnight as fingers got pointed at people. You know, there were referral links where people could earn by bringing their friends on board. For the older people in the space, BitConnect was one that was an absolute disaster.

Huge and very similar along these lines as well, where you were encouraged to bring your friends and family in. It’s really difficult when there are still things like that going on and they’re highlighted. But the traditional financial world has just as many of these go on as well.

It’s very easy to forget that in crypto that there aren’t still people who are selling fake shares or fake bonds or setting up organizations that they know their investment portfolio is going to fail. And that’s what is being set up to do that. Yeah, I think it’s not.

Even though it does come into the news and stuff, somehow people tend to they’re more, it’s easier to forgive, I think, the traditional monetary system for people than, you know, an upcoming technology where there are too many naysayers, right? Well, exactly. And worst of all, because it’s crypto, it means you don’t really understand what’s going on, right? Exactly. Yeah.

You don’t understand it. And when you don’t understand something, you either fear it or, you know, or you just become a naysayer. And yeah, it’s really easy.

There’s the crypto analogies are toughy because the traditional, and I don’t like that word, but it’s the best I have. The traditional financial world, you know, views it as a criminal’s currency where it’s used to buy guns and drugs and people traffic and all the rest of it. So you’d be staggered to hear what people used and still use to buy guns, drugs and people traffic, because somehow it doesn’t all get converted to a crypto and sent elsewhere.

You know, there’s huge funds that still flow through the world’s major financial institutions. On a daily basis. Yeah.

And that is just, that’s happening right under our noses. And somehow, crypto gets like a, I think it’s more, it’s like, you know, any new technology kind of faces a lot of backlash, because again, it comes down to understanding, I think it was the same way when electricity came about, right? There were print media had like a field day saying that you’re everybody, it’s like, why fix something when it’s not broken? That was like their particular reasoning, why would you try to bring something in that has potential to electrocute people and people can get injured, etc. So I think there’s always, like, I think Andreas Antonopoulos, like said in his book or video, that there’ll always be criminals and people who kind of take to newer technologies in a much faster fashion.

Because they have, yeah, it’s a simple thing, really. I mean, the people adapt a lot faster to things than government law enforcement. It’s a much bigger wheel to turn.

And that’s been one of the things with regulations as well. And why crypto is viewed as such a shark tank sometimes from the outside, because of that perceived lack of regulation. I think a lot of it’s about reeducating people about how you need to start treating your money, because we’ve got very used to things like one click pay, or using your phone.

You know, cash is very rapidly becoming a thing of the past. And the security required to keep your phone locked, keep your funds on your phone or on your card, you know, for most of us, it’s kind of second nature now. Right.

Absolutely. So reeducation is key, I think, you know, it’s, I think financial literacy is very important as somehow it’s never really touched upon when we do our, you know, formal education. Yeah, it’s a school for me was not the greatest time in my life.

And I didn’t enjoy it. And I find out why because it’s not how I learned. Yeah, it’s not how I get up to store facts and information.

Not that some of it didn’t sink in. But it’s how I learned best is I learned best by doing not having something regurgitated back at me. Yeah.

And I think, yeah, that’s for me why a lot of the school stuff wasn’t wasn’t as great as it could be. I just lost interest in it because it was boring. Yeah, it becomes irrelevant.

Like, while you’re even going through it, you feel that it’s irrelevant. And, you know, the practical nature of things kind of does not align with what is there in the textbooks. Oh, Tarisha, I assure you, if you bet some of my teachers, the subject matter was utterly irrelevant no matter which subject they taught.

Really? Absolutely. Southern England in the early 90s, we had some strange characters in the world. So, yeah, I think it does come down a lot to who’s teaching it.

But then again, the way people absorb information is also, as you said, assimilation is different for everybody. Yeah. Again, for me, it’s one of the things that I’ve learnt with, I spent some time at Deutsche Bank back in, when was that? 2005, I think.

I’m just trying to remember when their e-learning system came in. We were revamping their e-learning system, all the courses that they run internally out of what used to be the head office in London. We were trying to get everything clear, concise and wrapped up for the company globally.

And the hurdles that we had to overcome, trying to get everything synced up, working at the same time, get it all stress tested, giving people access and making sure it ran without any hitches at all, wasn’t easy, but we got there. Yeah. And there was something I remember you said earlier, where we should have had this great sense of pride and satisfaction in our work.

And there were about four of us going, right, okay, we need to start doing stuff now and get working whilst everyone else was celebrating. Right. Where there’s that, you know, it doesn’t matter that, you know, yeah, we’ve done it.

Okay, fine. What are we doing next? There was that degree of, right, we need to really start concentrating now because we’ve done our thing. Yeah.

Okay. So, you know, now we’ve spoken about DeFi, we’ve talked about your background. There’s also a lot of noise around NFTs.

What is your take on NFTs in general, considering, you know, you come from, again, like from the kind of experience you’ve had in the traditional monetary system? What do you feel about NFTs in particular? NFT is huge potential. There are a lot of unseen things that are going on at the moment. The NFT art scene is what people are mostly focused on at the moment, because it gives someone a tangible asset that’s attached to the token.

Whereas traditionally, what we have is you have your ledger or your, well, maybe not your ledger anymore, your other cold storage wallet or your exchange, you see your balance that’s on there and you know what’s up. There’s nothing that accompanies that. NFT, just really briefly, non-fungible token, it allows the token to be transferred as well as the asset.

So in this case, if you own a painting, the NFT comes along with it. I spoke to a guy called Franklin Fitch recently. I don’t know if you know him.

I don’t believe I do. I’ll give you his bio after we finish up here, but he’s a really fascinating guy. He’s very heavily into the NFT scene and sees where it’s going.

The art scene has really embraced it because the traditional works that people do, they create stuff, they hang them in a gallery, they hang them in another area. There’s an accepted loss if, when they sell the piece. And that’s how they’ve always worked.

With COVID, which we’re trying not to talk about, all the gallery, all the museums, all the restaurants and bars where things would be on display, where people would see it, no one’s in there at the moment. And revenue streams have virtually dried up for a lot of artists. But this concept of digital art is quite a tough one, because most people see a meme and that’s it.

That’s what digital art, or maybe some sort of weird hentai thing that someone’s thrown together, as opposed to some of the incredible creations that are going on in the art scene. And it’s a bit like street art or tattoos. I’m not sure reticence is the right word, but maybe a wariness to embrace it, to accept it as you would other more traditional art.

But where NFT goes from here, we’re starting to see things where companies like Ubisoft are entering, where you’ve got companies like the NBA, who are also producing NFT. And we’re looking at people who are influencers outside of the crypto space, how to bring people in. Art’s doing that with the NFT scene.

So if you can imagine, let’s say somebody like a LeBron James or an Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama. If you can imagine something where their first original NFT piece hits the scene. It would be mad.

More than that. Yeah, absolutely. It’s a new art medium.

Yeah. And there is, there’s a lot of movement. There’s a lot of people doing a lot of things.

But there are artists who are carving out a career. Now, that’s how the art scene is taking it on and provided another route into crypto for normies. What it offers beyond that, could you have, let’s say, a car with an NFT where the physical real world asset comes with the token that provides a service history and ownership history, any repairs, any accidents? Would there be a use for that? I think that’s yet to be explored.

But you know, the possibilities are absolutely endless. Like, you know, when I think NFT, I’m also thinking real estate. I’m not just thinking art.

And I’m thinking, you know, when people kind of invest in all of these whiskeys and wines, that can be a good use case. Incredible use case. Again, the idea of attaching a physical asset to something digital is, I think, where we’re looking at in the next natural progression, because we’re quite used to the idea of loot boxes in games, whereby, let’s say, again, I’ll use the NBA as the example, you know, you buy a loot box, you get some new kit, you get a star player, and that is worth something.

It’s a digital good that is paid for with real world money, or, you know, in the case of the EA bucks, transferring that onto something physical, whereby, let’s say, you could have a piece of property attached to an NFT, which is registered, again, ownership history, government land registry, whichever one you have domestically, speeds up the process exponentially in terms of exchanges, cuts down on lawyers fees, cuts down on paperwork. Yeah. And a lot of confusion as well, right? There’s, you know, when it comes to property, there’s a lot of, it can become potentially litigious, right? And that can, that is also resolved if you’re doing it on blockchain.

Yeah, I’ve heard the number of people I know who’ve tried to sell something, and because of the length of time it’s taken, they’ve had buyers pull out, or they’ve had the buyers suddenly drop the price last minute, or, you know, suddenly wish to change the term. It’s been a nightmare on so many different levels. And a lot of that is down to the speed.

India bases a lot of its laws on UK laws. And some of our stuff is absolutely archaic in terms of paper exchange. I mean, when I started working in the mid-90s, late 90s, the idea of the paperless office was what was being sold to us.

Naturally, we got loaded up with more fax machines and photocopies. That was my early fighting those and a load of toner cartridges. But, you know, the paperless office has been on the way for a while.

It’s never quite been perfected. And NFT, sorry, excuse me, NFT really does offer something to be very seriously considered. I’ve been interested to see what Cardano has been up to and how they’ve been migrating some things to their blockchain.

I think a lot of people are doing very interesting things, especially, you know, as you mentioned already, like art is such a big use case. And it’s giving, it’s opening up a lot of doors, I think, for a lot of budding artists. And I think that, you know, the fact that it can, it is actually adding to opportunities in this horrid time that we are not talking about.

But I think… If you think about a traditional artist, I mean, I can’t think of, I’m not going to pull a name out of the hat, that’s unfair. But if you’ve got someone who produces, you know, really beautiful paintings, really spends time and effort and puts love into their work, and they hang that piece in a gallery to be sold. The only people that see that painting are those people that come into the gallery.

Yeah, in a very competitive, very small space. And it’s hard for artists to make a name for themselves. Yeah, what NFTs allowed them to do is suddenly get a global reach for their pieces, where they are no longer restricted by that gallery.

They are no longer restricted by that sales structure either, where they can put a fair price on their work, where they can see what other people are selling and what the prices on that is. And, you know, where they can get themselves set up for commission pieces, you know, produce series as they want. It is incredibly liberating in a number of ways, because the traditional print form of art, where you have, I mean, again, I’ll use the example of a painting where you’ve got the original and then you have print runs, the first edition, second edition.

Again, you can do that with NFT. Yeah. No, I think, you know, as you said, the future is with the right execution of NFTs.

And I think, you know, people should be looking at them more seriously, not just at CryptoKitties and, you know, sort of dismissing them. I mean, CryptoKitties is the one that came out first. I mean, it’s not the first one, but it’s the one that came onto people’s lips, because it was like a fun, easy little thing, you know, like an embracer into the space.

Yeah. You know, is it a long term? I don’t know. Probably not.

But, you know, I’ve been wrong. I’ve been wrong in the past. The options of things like Magic The Gathering was a conversation I was having.

So you enter the collectible card game, the CCG route. Now that throws up a whole host of other options, because you’re bringing, again, people like Ubisoft, you’re bringing them in. And you’re, they’re not going to be the only ones who are creating this either.

You know, there’s enormous bringing up already for these. Yeah, there’s always been like a huge, I think, market for collectibles, right? And this kind of, this is what it is. And if these are essentially collectibles, at least currently, like with the biggest use case that is there.

Totally. But in between those collectibles that are being carved out, there’s also the creator of the original Superman and creator of Batman number one. Or, you know, the person who first brought the Fantastic Four to the limelight.

Yeah, that first initial image that came through. But this time, they’re not just being seen in a very limited print form, they can have the option of being seen everywhere. And that is brilliant.

Oh, hugely, you know, the the revenue streams alone opens up. In terms of being able to make a sustainable living on this, you know, people are starting to, and artists are being recognised for their work. Yeah, I mentioned street art earlier on, you know, Banksy is the name that’s known around the world, as the graffiti artists that brought it all through.

You know, he still does pieces today, did one on London Underground recently, which they immediately cleaned because they viewed it as vandalism. It’s a good idea, right? Again, you know, you’ve got a similar thing in the tattoos, where you’ve had people who would never normally be considered artists, who have, I guess, limited canvases for their work. But thanks to the magic of the internet, suddenly get started to get their work seen more widely started to inspire other tattoo artists.

Yeah. And you get that degree of competition, you get that degree of talent, you get, you know, people coming into it, who would never normally touch it, who didn’t think it was for them. Right? Yeah, no, I think this kind of, you know, when somebody else does it, it, I think, encourages 10 more people to sort of at least look at it and consider their passion a little more seriously, or take it a little more seriously.

I’d hope so. Yeah, I mean, again, the NFT thing is huge. We’re only looking at this in very, very small aspects, which is the art slash collectibles thing.

Yeah. The use cases can be potentially really huge as, you know, as long as it’s executed. Well, I think, but definitely the future kind of lies there and it will converge into people taking NFTs more seriously and looking beyond the scope of just art.

I mean, there’s a level of efficiency that’s involved as well. Because I mean, we touched on this briefly with the house sale, you know, you have an exchange and it’s because everyone knows what they’re getting. Yeah.

It is what it is. There’s no hidden clause. There’s no secret thing tucked away.

There’s no, you know, double check, triple stamp from a team of legal professionals or estate agents. It’s just done. Yep.

It’s much more efficient. It’s probably the way forward, I think. What a radical concept, right? You can buy something.

It doesn’t take you nearly six months to do. Absolutely. Yeah.

Yeah. That is that is crazy, right? Right now, I think all of us slowly are moving towards solutions which are more efficient, right? Like we that is that is the reason why we order stuff online rather than going somewhere. Obviously, now we have to order stuff online because obviously we are not trying to talk about it.

But otherwise. Look, it’s going on and it’s ridiculous not to talk about it. We the conversations that I tend to have with people now because I’m I’m one of these people who isn’t glued to the news.

I was at the start. I was incredibly aware of what was going on. But my perception of this has changed over time.

Yeah. You know, we are where we are at the moment in the UK. I’m currently sitting in what’s called a tier four lockdown, which came into effect on Saturday.

Yeah, Saturday at midnight. So we’re quite new into this. What it looks like? I don’t know.

I think the best one I’ve seen from it so far was at the weekend, 371 more sleeps till Christmas. So I think you’ve just kind of got to take what’s in front of you at the moment. This year has been so utterly weird.

Yeah, the period is right. But I think I’m sorry, on some level, I think that this year kind of help people prioritize things because they finally pause for a little while. And so in that way, you know, perhaps it was essential.

We had it coming. I think that, you know, we’ve been kind of all of us in on this particular, you know, rat race and we are going on. And I thought that it was a good year to recalibrate.

But again, obviously, it’s been weird. And it’s the kind of loss and misery that it has brought in. Obviously cannot be undervalued.

Yeah, I mean, we we’ve had a couple of funerals this year. My downstairs neighbor died in May. She unfortunately had a heart.

Thank you. She unfortunately had a heart attack in her sleep. But we got woken up with her friend who was coming to take her to work trying to recess.

Anyway, long story short, we had to go to what’s called a Facebook funeral. And it is a very sad and empty looking room where there’s a few words spoken and a few songs played as you’d normally get. And then everyone looks like they’re, you know, about to do their thing, but the feed suddenly gets cut.

And you’re left sitting wherever you’re sitting. In our case, it was sitting in the living room with nothing. But you’ve just got this this depth of feeling where ordinarily, you know, you’d have the option to hug people to see other people to tell stories and catch up and all the fun stuff.

And that just, you know, that’s just vanished. You know, the ability to console other people around you is a huge thing. And we’ve had a couple of these and they’re absolute gut wrenches.

They’re really hard to do. Yeah, no, it’s been it’s been a really, really, I think, bad year. I try to look at it with, with like a little silver, I think, so that it doesn’t seem like another waste that, yeah, perhaps this was, it’s important for, you know, for people to sort of reprioritise, figure out where they what they want out of life truly, and get their priorities straight, I think.

And I think more than ever, this year, people discovered the importance of, as you said, like, you know, meeting people, your own family or whatever, whoever you call your family. Yeah, yeah, we we’ve had, I mean, it’s a strange one for me, because I actually feel that this year has gone fairly well, which is surprising hearing me actually say that out loud, especially considering how everyone else’s has been. You’re right, it has given me a lot more focus.

And it’s also given me a lot more realism about where I am with stuff as well. Yeah, yeah, that’s what I feel too. So you know, I even have lost some relatives to this horrible virus.

But then again, yeah, thank you. But then again, I think like everybody’s had like a year of loss, but there are some good parts to it as well. And as you said that, you know, it I think this year was surprisingly, like, you know, I work well, went kind of well.

So that was that was good, because it started going in the direction that we wanted to sort of go. And so that is why I can’t completely say that, okay, what a terrible year, because I think work went well. So I feel a lot grateful about it.

You know, we can all have good or bad years, despite what’s going on around us. And yeah, again, this year has been incredibly tough on so many levels. It’s not been one thing, it’s been multiple things.

And it doesn’t feel at the moment, like there’s an end. I think that’s the hard, you know, it’s different if you are three more weeks where I have to do this. And yeah, that’s not been how it is.

Yeah, there is no end, even now, right now, with even with the vaccine, there and people getting vaccinated, etc. Now, the damn thing is mutating. Well, it’s a good question.

And the, you know, again, we’ve seen the Pfizer vaccine come out, I’m trying to remember the name of the other one that recently got approved. I think there’s, I think it’s Pfizer. And it’s Moderna, I think.

That’s Moderna. Thank you. There’s the Sputnik one as well from Russia.

Yeah. And I’m sure I’ve heard noises about a Korean slash Chinese one that I can’t remember the name of. And it’s, again, having looked at what’s being rolled out, and where everything is going, things being marked for approval, what the world looks like next year, whether or not this succeeds or fails.

It’s I mean, look, it’s really challenging times ahead. And that doesn’t mean insurmountable. Yeah, yeah, that’s the important part.

Yeah, you know, there’s, this year has been, there’s been some incredible nastiness that’s gone on. But I’ve also seen incredible charity, you know, acts of kindness towards others. There’s been a lot of that.

There’s been a lot of generosity of spirit towards people. Yeah, absolutely. I think at times, the worst also kind of brings out the best in some people.

And, you know, we’ve sort of seen a lot of good also come out that kind of reinstates our hope in humanity. Yeah, it does. Yeah.

And that’s, those are the important bits not to lose sight of either. There are those people that do make a difference. They do, you know, whether you know it, yeah, whether they know it or not, they’re the person that cheers you up, the person that you read something, you listen to something that you know, you make a difference.

Yeah, yeah. So no, I think that is exactly what I was trying to tell you. Like, you know, when we had spoken earlier, you kind of made a huge difference to my day that day.

And then, you know, I started following you on Twitter. And I keep laughing and giggling in the most odd times. Yeah, I mean, again, I’ve done the corporate thing.

And I didn’t like it. And I’m not going to try and be something I’m not anymore. Yeah, I know what I’m good at.

And I don’t want to be some grey suited beige, tied wearing guy. That’s not me. Yeah, yeah, that that’s not where I’m right.

And it’s not where I fit. Trying to find a place where I do fit, of course, has been quite the challenge. Yeah.

But essentially, everybody kind of finds their balance. I don’t know if everybody does. I think maybe we are very lucky that we have and you don’t.

Or I think it’s a work in progress every day. I think of new things that perhaps I want to accomplish and do and then self awareness has to come there. You know, whether I really want to do it or whether it’s about hopping on the next bandwagon.

But yeah, it’s important and it’s important not to, as you said, lose sight of the important things when things are kind of hard. And that is essentially where we are. So you know, this particular conversation, it is been so free flowing that we have completely gone past our deadline.

Sorry. No, I just know I’ve just been having so much fun. But no, I would like to, you know, ask my last two perhaps questions.

Sure, sure. I’ll be quick. Yeah.

No, no, please take your time. This conversation has been really fun. And I’m sure that, you know, our listeners will enjoy it as well.

So yeah, so my penultimate question, who would you say are good thought leaders or good places to sort of absorb content if somebody is trying to get into the crypto space? Good question. If you’re trying to get into the crypto space, there’s a load of media sites that are out there, depending on your local your localization as well. So the I’m trying to put me on the spot now because I’m going to have to start reading off a load of people.

We touched on one of the biggest people who I first encountered, which was a guy called Andreas Antonopoulos. And I first found him on the Joe Rogan podcast. Right.

He was talking about places. Yeah. Two really good places.

So he has been one of the people who’s kind of flown the flag for Bitcoin. Oh, yeah. He is.

He’s a very inquisitive guy. And that inquisitive has led him to where he is now. And having listened to him talk a bit more and see where he sees things going as an end user, effectively.

Yes, he does have a vested interest in it. But he’s looking at this from the perspective of a person who uses crypto for their day to day lives. In terms of people who I’ve been following recently, there’s a few influencers who’ve caught my eye, but I don’t want to shamelessly plug these people.

One of the things about crypto that I’ve always believed in is that you have to do your own research. That’s true. Finding those starting points, finding the bits to have a look at finding the more trusted news sources is difficult.

Social media for me has been hugely beneficial. Yeah. Well, Twitter, in this particular case, there’s a lot of good crypto information on Twitter.

There’s a lot of bad information on there as well. So be careful. Yeah.

Yeah. I think everybody has to be careful with what and who they are listening to. That’s very, very important.

So, you know, this is something that I ask everybody who kind of comes on the show. What would be your advice for someone who’s perhaps peering in from the outside to essentially get into this space and start living on blockchain and get into crypto in a big way? Okay. The short answer is little and often.

Whether that is buying your coin of choice, whether that is researching, whether that is learning something within crypto, be that trading, be that what’s going on in NFT, be that what is what new project is working with whom. The ability to make small incremental changes in what you’re doing in the same way that people save money. Yeah.

There was a point in time where I. Yeah. I mean, there was a point in time when I was putting in five bucks a month. It’s all I put in five bucks a month.

Yeah. And that was what I could do some months. Yeah.

I did. Yeah. And in between that time, I learned what I was putting into beyond Bitcoin, beyond XRP, beyond Bitcoin.

It’s about the discipline, I think. One of the beautiful things for me is the amount of knowledge I’ve picked up just by osmosis. My mind is a lot more inquiring than it used to be.

And the osmosis you get from other people in the space, because there are a lot of smart people. That’s true. Has been really good for me.

I mean, learning things about the Greek political system, which is completely irrelevant to most things crypto, but learning about Indian regulations and what’s happening in Indian exchanges and how that affects global demand supply. Learning what’s happening with the states, seeing how the UK regs are tying up with the EU regulations. This is normally the most boring stuff alive.

I’d never read these things normally, but because I’ve got interested in what I’m actually putting into, I do want to know what’s happening and I do want to find out what it means for me. Yeah, absolutely. So, yeah, that is essentially, I think very true.

You get into a new space, you have to constantly learn, you’re constantly on your toes, right? Because this is such a dynamic space. It is. And it is.

I mean, DeFi is the good example. It is incredibly fast moving and there’s been made and lost overnight, which is one of the reasons why I’m not a big fan of it for the blockchain space. There is the evolution, the creativity.

And I think more importantly for me now as well, the type of people that are coming on board, you know, crypto and blockchain is traditionally being viewed as quite immature, not just in terms of the market itself, but more so the people who are around it. There’s a lot more high caliber business people who are starting to migrate over. Yeah, there’s much more need in the market, so to say.

Yes, very much so. And not necessarily from traditional industries you might expect. Yeah.

You know, the finance and banking side of things, sure, you know, absolutely, I understand that. But you’ll start to see, you know, major PR and marketing heads start looking at crypto very seriously. You’ll start to have international companies, they’re on everybody’s lips, start to look very seriously at long term partnerships.

And when that happens, it becomes exciting times. Yeah, these are exciting times. It’s a good time to sort of delve into the space because it’s only going to grow.

So yeah, essentially, if anybody is sort of peering in, all they have to do is perhaps stick their toe in and just get their hands dirty a little bit, I think. But there’s no better time to learn either. Yeah.

We are certainly in the UK, and sure in other places too, we are restricted in what we can and can’t do at the moment. And what you do with that time, you know, it’s entirely up to you. Absolutely.

Wow. Yeah. Again, this is something that needs to be said often.

I think, you know, I get that it’s a hard time. And obviously, self-care and taking care of your mental health is very, very important at this moment. And that is like the highest priority.

But then what else are you doing with your time, considering you’re so restricted all over the world? I think everybody kind of agrees to this particular notion. I don’t think there’s been any single point in history where people all over the world in every country could actually understand what you say when you say, you know, you’re under lockdown. It’s so strange.

It really is. But it’s become, I hate calling it the norm. But it’s become what people expect.

Yeah. And everybody understands, right? So I think this is like a good time for, I think people are getting more, becoming more empathetic, because they do understand what the other person is actually going through, on some level, because all of us are kind of having going through this together. And we are in it together.

So I think, yeah, I’ve said to people this year, friends of mine, if you do need someone to talk to, and you’re not comfortable talking to me or whoever else, you know, there are lines available, there are people who, you know, volunteer their time or who do actually do this professionally. Yeah, while they’re to help, you know, they, your situation will always be unique to you. Absolutely.

That’s true. And your stresses and the pressures that you have always be unique to you. So no one is going to completely understand.

But being able to talk about the things that are at the forefront of your mind, and maybe getting some of those noises out in the air, rather than them in your, just with your own thoughts with no one else involved. That’s where the destructive bit starts to come in, where it becomes unhealthy, and where you’re not looking after yourself as well. Yeah, because it manifests itself in weird ways.

Because it’s not just you feel a bit sad, you will find yourself snapping at people more easily, you’re more short tempered, you are not eating or sleeping as well. And all of a sudden, you find that you’re not eating or sleeping that well, you’re having really, really shitty thoughts about yourself. You’re struggling with work, because you’re not taking any enjoyment out of it.

And you’re hating everything else around you. But you know, there comes a point where that does have an effect. That’s, that’s absolutely, you know, again, hitting the nail on the head, I think, you know, it’s, it’s about, I had, I think, again, it must have picked it up from somewhere.

But it basically, somebody had a dialogue, and they said, it’s just about not like screaming into a pillow before sleeping. It’s like, you know, you’re just hoping that the screams are kind of heard by somebody who understands. Yeah, I, it’s a toughie, because, I mean, for me, again, having not talked to anyone, when you find that option is there to you, you’re not really sure what to do with it.

True. I mean, I felt incredibly stupid, unbelievably stupid talking about anything at first. But it, it does get easier.

It’s like with the writing, you know, I started off and it was terrible. And over time, I’ve got better at it, because I’ve put time in, you know, I’ve looked at what I’ve done before. It is a bit of self reflection, but it’s a bit of kind self reflection as well.

Knowing that you’re not perfect, knowing that you do make mistakes, and that you will every single day for the rest of your life. And that is okay. Yeah, 100%.

You should. Life would be so boring if we were all perfect. Oh, God.

Can you imagine if we’re all the same, no one ever screwed up? Yeah, it’s a dull existence. Yeah, yeah, completely. Who wants to live like that? Yeah, I really, you know, people want to sort of live in a scenario, in the head, they want to be in a place where there are no problems to deal with.

But honestly, that that kind of living will really, like, bore you out, I think, very quickly. Oh, yeah. Yeah.

I mean, it’s really boring to live in a struggle free existence where there are no problems. I don’t know how anyone gets any satisfaction out of life like that. Yeah.

It’s about relativity, right? You have to be, at some point, you need to struggle to actually, then, you know, enjoy the, you know, satisfaction that comes from your struggle events once they kind of grow fruitish. Yeah, I mean, one of the things that I found with me as well, and other people I’ve spoken to about this since I don’t mean, you know, I’m not a trained mental health professional, I’m just some guy who’s gone through it, and he’s still going through it. Yeah.

And there comes a point where you, you acknowledge that maybe you’re not doing everything quite right. And that maybe you’re not completely correct in what you do, and you say all the time. But, you know, there’s also an acceptance that other people aren’t doing that either.

And it is, you know, it does go both ways. Nobody is perfect. Everybody overreacts.

Yeah. And there are times in life when everybody does think the worst of themselves. Yep.

Staying like that is when it gets destructive. That’s when there’s a problem. Yeah.

And unhealthy. Yeah. Yeah.

And that’s when you, when you least feel like doing it is the time, normally, when you should be talking to someone. Yeah. Yeah.

Sounds crazy. Because, you know, I mean, I, I know myself, I didn’t want to share a thing, you know, I didn’t want to share that I was scared or tired or fed up with work or, you know, frustrated with my finances or anything like that. I just didn’t do it.

Not what I did. So lo and behold, after years and years of living like that, it came out in really unexpected ways. Yeah.

Where my, yeah, I found my intelligence working against me. Yeah. Where, you know, again, having pictured scenarios, had conversations in my head with the person before that even happened.

You know, I rationalized and justified everything. Unfortunately, I was wrong in that rationalization and justification. Yeah.

We only realized that a little too late. But you know, what you just said, all of it resonates so highly with me. I’m, I think we might be twins.

So. For your sake, I sincerely hope not. Okay, cool.

But no, I think if I, if I’m, if I’m like able to get to the point where I’m as self as a self aware as you are, and you know, can can really reflect, I think the turnaround time would be much quicker. And this didn’t happen overnight. You know, this has been years in the making.

And to get comfortable enough to talk to someone about this, and to actually have someone else, you know, anyone else listening to this, that may be a resident at some point, maybe they can actually get something from this. That’s really the ultimate goal. You know, we, we are all deeply flawed human beings who are walking disasters.

All of us. Yeah. There is a way back, you know, for just about anything, you know, as bad as stuff can get.

There’s there’s normally a way. Yeah, there’s very few things in this world that are utterly insurmountable. But trying to do it all on your own.

That’s, that’s not gonna be that’s one short way of sort of failing. Pretty much. Yeah, it’s like the entrepreneurial thing.

Again, you know, you can hire an you can hire a lawyer, you can hire an HR specialist, or you can do it all yourself and see how you get on. Yeah, exactly. Yes, fine, you can do that carry on regularly.

Yes, no worries. At some point, you have to have faith in other people to find that bit. And I lost mine for a while.

Yeah. And trying to stop it happening and other people is where I’d like to see this end up. Yeah.

Well, this is, this has been a great conversation. I think I can speak to you for hours at the end. But you know, just for our listeners sake, do you have any last thoughts, parting thoughts? Last passing thoughts.

Sure. If you are struggling with your mental health, it is okay to be doing that. Yeah, people are a lot more understanding than you might.

And that is across the board. The fact there’s more awareness and education is good. The fact there’s still the stigma attached to it bad.

But you would be surprised how many people who are absolutely insane and nuts wander around on a daily basis looking completely normal. That’s true. Absolute lunatics wandering around among us.

Every day, and they’re not stopping either. I hate to tell you this, that they’re everywhere. Finding the point where you recognize that you do need a wee bit help in whatever form that takes.

Sometimes can come too late. But there is no shame in it. Yeah.

There’s no shame in needing a little bit help every now and again, because everybody does. Yeah, all of us do. We weren’t really put here on this planet to do it all on our own.

Like that. That’s that’s stupid. Right? Like as a perception.

Otherwise, there wouldn’t be so many people. Yeah, right. Yeah.

Yeah, I think. Absolutely. Correct.

This has been such a lovely conversation. Thank you so much, Colin, for taking your time in your busy schedule to talk to me. It has been lovely.

I think I feel like I found a friend in you. And thank you so much. No worries.

Have a great week. We’ll catch you soon. Thanks, Tarusha.

Thank you so much, Colin.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *