What is your background briefly?
I started my career in investment banking in New Zealand. There, I mainly worked with early-stage companies conducting initial public offerings. When I decided to go off on my own and start my own venture, I focused on helping startups with equity crowdfunding – a similar line of work to what I was previously doing in the corporate world. This resulted in my first book: Equity Crowdfunding – The Complete Guide For Startups & Growing Companies, and from there I became enamoured in other areas of the wider fintech space.
Does it seem like a logical background to what you do now?
My time in banking gave me a deep insight into how the status quo financial system works. I saw all the inefficiencies, high fees, and bureaucracy first-hand. For example, the investment advisors still needed to get physical pieces of paper signed and stamped to do the simplest of procedures. In this digital age, that immediately struck me as silly. It was probably what spawned my interest in alternative finance, and how things can be done better.
Give us a one-minute pitch for what you are doing now.
I am now working on my next book, Citizens of the World, scheduled to launch in March 2019. This will be a significantly different book to my others. The topic is the world of digital nomads and online entrepreneurs. The aim is to tell the untold story of the Internet gold rush, showcase the creative methods that people are using to ‘hack the system’ as they make money online from their laptops. I will also be investigating what it means to have a global identity, and how they are a force for breaking down borders among broader society.
What inspired you to write the book?
Cryptocurrency is one of the hottest topics in finance and tech circles. When I became interested in it (as many did, during the height of the 2017 boom), I couldn’t find a decent book with the exact steps a newcomer needs to get started. There were plenty on the history and potential impact. There were also highly technical books, written for computer programmers. But nothing really on how to sign up to an exchange, buy crypto for the first time, start using it, and keep it safe. So I decided to write it myself.
Which thought leaders do you read or follow for inspiration & insights?
As it relates to cryptocurrency specifically, Taylor Pearson does one of the best jobs of making crypto and blockchain accessible to ordinary people. Michael Lewis is one of my main role models as an author, for the depth and honesty he brings to his writing style.
How can people find out more about you & your work?
The best place is my personal website: www.citizensoftheworld.io. There, they can grab sample chapters of all of my books for free, and read about my journey in startups, alternative finance and borderless living.
Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?
Readers may be interested to know that I live in Tbilisi, Georgia. It’s a big hub for crypto mining, and an up-and-coming location for startups.