Two noteworthy things happened this week in my world and a huge one in the bigger crypto world, and I wondered if they could be related.
The first was one of minor shame. After a very long lunch in Soho that lasted 13 hours, I realised that I didn’t want to join my friends in a nightclub and decided to walk to Victoria station and do the ‘Green Park walk’ that people who love London love to do, hoping I could still get a train back to Brighton.
Although things were not a blur, I had no idea of the time (although I hadn’t lost my phone) so when I sat down in the park opposite Buckingham Palace for some reflection and my last cigarette, I realised it was 1.30am and all the trains for Brighton were long gone.
There was nothing for it but to listen to the ducks in the pond, hope not to be mugged and enjoy the rain on my face and contemplate the meaning of my present life.
I listened to the ducks in drunken happiness for a couple of hours until I realised that refreshing rain had rendered me soaked and I needed somewhere dry to possibly lay my head.
Victoria train station was closed, but with much experience of sleeping in Greyhound bus stations in the US when out of money, I managed to bunk into Victoria bus station and grabbed an hour of uneasy sleep.
I previously described this as minor shame, but in many ways I enjoyed it. My son has just left for his Gap Year and is currently on an island with his mates in Panama so perhaps I was doing some long-distance empathy, but I bet my son wasn’t shivering and talking in his sleep, as I heard myself doing.
I staggered into Brighton around 7am as if I’d been in a Bowie hangover song… “it was cold and it rained and I felt like an actor” etc, and after some home-sleep went to the bookies in the afternoon where I somehow won £180 on a horse at 5/1 that paid for most of the excesses of the long lunch the previous day.
While there, a gentleman went to the counter asking, more like begging, the cashier to lock him out of the gambling machines because he was losing and losing. It was a profound moment to eavesdrop and he seemed like a very nice man, albeit one with a terrible problem.
I wondered if this is something that could be done with checking crypto prices. I’m sure I’m not the only one who never checks my portfolio when it’s a bear market, but does it all the time when the lines are green.
I’m supposed to be experienced
I don’t think this makes me a better person – it underlines my greed, and I’m supposed to be experienced in all of this.
While I’m confident I will never have a ‘crypto problem’ or a gambling problem, I only use cash and have no gambling apps, this obsession with checking green portfolios can only create future addictions for those who are maybe new to this type of life.
Perhaps the likes of Kraken, Coinbase and Binance could have a system in place, rather like the Brighton Ladbrokes betting shop, where people are blocked from checking their portfolios. Once a day is surely enough and it could stop future addictions. Just an idea.
And then I read that Binance had had a bit of a gamble itself and invested $200 million dollars in the Forbes publishing empire. Well that should create some unbiased crypto reporting in the world’s probably most reputable business publication/website.
This is huge news. It’s like an episode of Succession and CZ waltzing in with the 2022 equivalent of a cheque. Maybe he paid with crypto, probably he didn’t, but it’s a nice idea.
Instead of sponsoring Premier League teams’ shirts where upcoming gambling legislation means crypto money is very much welcomed, he’s bought a huge share in the US’s formidable business organisation.
What next? Bloomberg sponsored by Coinbase? The FT by Kraken. Not out of the question. It’s a new world, baby, and it’s moving at terrific speed.
But what is nice to know is that the long lunch is not dead, the wonder of London is not dead and the world, especially at 3am in a park with ducks opposite Buckingham Place in the rain, is not dead.
It’s so alive that I’m not going to even check on my portfolio for at least a week. Who cares? There are more important things.
He is a keynote speaker/emcee/moderator/interviewer at prestigious events around the world and has spoken at more than 200 global events interviewing figures such as the late John McAfee, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Wozniak (twice in Beirut and Vienna), Kim Kardashian (once in Armenia), Amitabh Bachchan, Ghostface Killah, ZZ Top, Guns N’ Roses and many others.
He was previously a weekly tech columnist for Forbes in New York, the Telegraph in the UK and continues to write regularly for the BBC, The Economist, The FT and… City AM.