icon_hacks_b Created with Sketch. Garage Blog

Cryptocurrency, Sustainability, and Investment Tips: Q&A with Ed Lubrook

As part of our #BeTheChange series, we sit down and discuss how people and businesses have evolved, with change-makers in our community. 

This month, we chat with Ed Ludbrook ahead of the release of his new book, the ‘Future of Crypto’. Since Ed is currently based out of New Zealand, we connected over Zoom to discuss trends in cryptocurrency, the value in regenerative finance, and the importance of a growth mindset. 

Garage Society: Could you share a bit about your personal and professional background? 

Ed Ludbrook: I began as an army officer before joining an investment bank in London in 1987. I didn't stay in investment banking for long and instead went into strategic consulting, specifically in what is now known as network marketing. 

I've been in the cryptocurrency industry since 2015, and in 2017 I founded my own company, Crypto-VC. The company's main focus is the belief that cryptocurrency will evolve in the future.

GS: What, or who, are your sources of inspiration? 

Ed: I'm an economist who used to be an engineer and an army captain. So I’d say my previous experience influence my writing significantly.

My family is also a source of inspiration. I grew up in a family of doctors who were terrible with money! My grandfather, great uncle, father and sister were all in the medical field, so it’s always been about helping people for me. It’s my philosophy and value system. 

In Australia, I attended an army officer school where there was no emphasis on money but always on service and helping others. I began writing because I discovered people who desired and required those opportunities, so it was always a matter of how I could help those people get what they desired. 


GS: What is your philosophy towards work, and has it changed over time? 

Ed: The cliche is “love what you do, and you will never work a day in your life”. But this is 100% true for me, it is my philosophy towards work. 



GS: How would you compare the different professional roles you have: founder, educator, author, leader, marketer. What comes most naturally to you? 

Ed: Educator comes most naturally to me, and it is my true appearance and way of life. I'm also an entrepreneur because I'd rather do what I'm good at than talk about it. 


GS: You have a new book coming out soon. Could you share more about that?

Ed: I'm working on a book called Future of Crypto. I’ve been working on it since 2018.  The Future of Crypto will explain the next strategic path for cryptocurrencies, including asset tokens, exchanges, wallets, government currencies and more

GS: I came across in Audible.com that a few of your books have been published into audiobooks. What is your favourite part of publishing these books into audiobooks? 

Ed: I am a huge fan of podcasts and audiobooks. I decided to release my books in audio because I listen to a lot of audiobooks while working out at the gym or walking. Because it is impossible to read a book while riding a bike, an audiobook comes in handy! 


GS: We’ve had some challenging times over the last year. How has that affected you personally and professionally? 

Ed: Covid-19 has caused the world to advance by a decade. As a result, everyone is competing to use new technologies to grow their businesses and live their lives. Because of the pandemic, everyone had no choice but to work from home and use Zoom to make it happen. The world has just gapped, and the new world means that if your business is not aligned with this change, you must either pivot to the change or suffer the consequences. 

Even though I live in one of the least affected countries in the world (New Zealand), this has changed the way restaurants and shops operate. I have a friend who owns the country's leading printer company. Some thought he wouldn't make it, but he's having a great time because he simply adapted to the situation. 

GS: There is a lot of misinformation and speculation about Cryptocurrency in the media. Do you have any advice for people interested in this topic?

Ed: The speculation that goes around is difficult to gauge because it’s so hard to predict fundamental strategic developments in the industry. I believe cryptocurrency will evolve dramatically in the coming years, and it has the potential to be a financial asset to help users make money rapidly.


GS: Is Cryptocurrency able to assist in the communities that are overlooked or underdeveloped, and does Cryptocurrency help build a sustainable future? 

Ed: To be honest, I do not believe that cryptocurrency will lead to a sustainable future because it’s very unsustainable in terms of energy use. 

I am a firm believer in a concept known as regenerative finance. We examine the world's economic history, and look for ways to shift capital resources towards communities, environments that are experiencing systemic problems, and could use the finances. The goal is to catalyse further progress sustainably. 

This digital revolution has changed the world and made many people wealthy, but it has concentrated a lot of wealth in the hands of a smaller group of people. The next step is to decentralize our finances and technology so that innovation and wealth can extend beyond our traditional, Silicon Valley hubs.

GS: Do you think there’s any potential that Cryptocurrency will spread worldwide? 

Ed: Crypto has the potential to spread globally if it is decentralized, or, to put it another way, if the opportunity is spread. That decentralized opportunity is a true gift for cryptocurrency. 


GS: How can Decentralised Finance be useful in terms of money transfers across borders?  

Ed: To be honest, I’m not sure that most people truly understand that de-fi means.  Decentralised finance is a concept that I've seen evolve in recent years. Decentralised Finance was used to describe various theories such as cross-border transfers. The idea is to be able to transfer money in the form of digital currency within minutes. I have an office in Australia, and it used to take 24 hours to send money to me, however now with the concept of Decentralised Finance it takes just an hour. 

GS: Is it safe to invest in Cryptocurrency in the long term? 

Ed: Of course, you just have to concentrate on the blue chips, which represent priorities. Consider payment currencies as an example of a use case. Bitcoin is a bad currency, but it has a high store value. Take a look at what happened during the dot-com boom and try comparing it to what is happening now, infrastructure investment, which is the value we are seeing in Ethereum and Binance coins. These were previously some shady exchange coins, but as soon as they pivoted to providing tokenization infrastructure, the value increased by 60x in three months.

The key point is that before you put your money into any investment, you should look for assets that have a chance of winning based on the use case. When you look at Google, for example, Google obviously takes up the lion’s share, with other search engines making up for 5% or 10% of the market. They are not as powerful as Google, but they are still powerful. It's just a matter of understanding those facts so that when it comes time to invest in the smaller coins, you know what the underlying use case is.

Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity

icon_hacks_b Created with Sketch. Garage Blog Sustainability, Social Entrepreneurship, and the Joys of Growing Your Own Food: Q&A with Michelle from Rooftop Republic

As part of our #BeTheChange series, we sit down and discuss how people and business have evolved, with change-makers in our Garage Community. 


This week, we sit down with Michelle Hong, co-founder of Rooftop Republic, a social enterprise on a mission to introduce the joys of urban farming to the city folk of Hong Kong.


Rooftop Republic has been part of the Garage Community since 2018, and they have a rooftop farm on the terrace of our Wan Chai Lockhart space.


It was great to catch up with Michelle over sustainability, social entrepreneurship, and the joys of growing your own food. 

icon_hacks_b Created with Sketch. Garage Blog 6 Ways To Support Small Businesses

The advent of user-friendly e-commerce tools has made starting your own small business easier than ever.

With so many people embarking on their entrepreneurial journey, we thought we’d give you a reminder on how to support small, local business owners. 

We encourage everyone to be conscious consumers - whether this means voting with your dollar for locally farmed vegetables, or writing a positive review for the indie coffee shop in your neighbourhood.


Here are a few ideas to get started: 

icon_hacks_b Created with Sketch. Garage Blog Your 4-Step Wellbeing Toolkit

As part of our focus on growth, we asked the Garage Community what areas they would like they spend more time developing. It was very clear that you all wanted to dedicate more time to your mental and physical health! 


Considering that Hong Kongers have some of the longest working hours in the world, it’s important to carve out some time for yourself.


Here is a comprehensive wellbeing toolkit with guides, recommendations, and resources for bettering your mind and body. 


Want to take part in this month's Community Survey? Click here.