2019: Year in Review

Every year, I do a year in review, with highlights and lowlights and a summary so this is my year in review for 2019.


-I found a great job at a great company with great co-workers at Kong
-Had a great time in Korea this year, met all my friends again, made a Korean gf
-Went on a nice cruise with my family this year


-Still recovering from all the financial issues I suffered last year mainly losing the majority of my life savings because of the QuadrigaCX crypto exchange collapse
-More difficult to make new friends in Vancouver than I expected


I don’t have a whole lot of updates for this year, because this year was pretty much a recovery year from the disaster that was last year. Last year took away my San Francisco apartment, my life savings, and most of my best friends away from me. I started out this year with almost no savings, no house, unemployed and with no friends in Vancouver.

The start to this year was really rough. I was told that the exchange that I used last year to transfer my savings over to Canada, QuadrigaCX had gone under with over $215M CAD owing to creditors once the CEO died under mysterious circumstances in India. The rest of this year was basically waiting for updates from the ongoing lawsuit – Ernst&Young being the bankruptcy trustee and Miller Thomson being the lawyers.

So far they are still processing claims, and have been doing so for the last 4 months with no updates to us creditors so far. They have roughly $33M + $12M (the CEO and his widow enriched themselves by purchasing Nova Scotia property so there’s extra assets here) for us but roughly $7M I estimate will be in legal fees paid to EY and MT. After that there’s roughly $38M left in the pot for us creditors, depending on how much people claim. There’s $215M in total claims outstanding but me and several other creditors theorize that at least half of those claims are not real or left on the exchange by money launderers. And then there’s the CRA (Canada’s IRS) waiting to take even more money from us.
So I calculated it and I think roughly we’ll get back anywhere from 15% (worst case scenario) to 40% (best case)  with 25-30% being the most likely percentage we’ll get back. I have no idea how long this process will take but hopefully sometime next year we’ll get it back.

So that being the backdrop, a hammer that was dropped on me at the beginning of the year, you can see the rest of the year takes a backseat to this whole lawsuit thing.
I did manage to luck out finding a great SF company to work for (Kong Inc) that I could work remotely for, and everything about that company I liked better than my previous company. My manager, coworkers, the type of work I was doing etc I learned way more in 6 months than I did in a whole 1.5years at my previous company.
And I did manage to have some time to travel to Korea for a bit and that was a really great experience, much better than last year (God really had it in for me last year), got to meet all my friends again and dated a bunch of girls, etc it really transported me back to the days when I lived there (2015-2016). I also got a chance to go on a cruise with my family (to the Bahamas) which I haven’t traveled with since late 2013 and especially getting to see my brother again is nice since he’s usually busy and very isolated since he lives in Winnipeg.

But once I got back to Vancouver, it became lonely again, and I think it might be just because its hard in general to make friends once you’re out of school but even harder when you work from home and have no co-workers to really talk to. At least in San Francisco I still have one really good friend to hang out with. In Vancouver I didn’t know anyone. I tried going to some language exchange meetups but the people I meet there are always very transient, they change every time so its hard to meet someone stable.
I did get into a relationship with a girl I met in Korea but its long distance and that’s always really difficult to maintain. I hope I can though, because she seems much more stable than my ex gf was, and much more mature (she’s 3 years older than me). On top of that, I don’t really like my landlord and am looking to find a new place to move to next year. He is incredibly strict with his house rules and seems always ready to fine me since he blames me for  everything that happens around the house (I have 6-7 housemates) and raised my rent by $100 because he said I ‘stayed at home too much thus using more electricity’ which is ridiculous. 

So yeah this year is mostly a recovery year, but after the initial shock that happened early this year and lucking out into finding a good company to work for, the rest of the year went reasonably smoothly. Let’s hope that next year will continue to go smoothly and hopefully I’ll have some luck finally with crypto (I still have some reserves but its down a whopping 80% and I missed a good chance to sell it in the summer, hopefully it will go back up next year), and with the lawsuit as well (oh please don’t let that $215M in claims be a real number, hopefully most of those big claims are fake).

Otherwise I’m just slowly saving up money again trying to afford a place in Vancouver eventually. This process might be considerably faster or slower depending on how much crypto goes up/down next year and how much/when money I get back from the QuadrigaCX lawsuit…



This year isn’t getting any better…

So another update so far. I’m in the middle of my Korea trip. Met a lot of my Korean friends which was good, but most of them were in Seoul. I spent 6 weeks in Seoul, and now I got 3 weeks in Busan before I head out to Osaka/Shanghai/HongKong for a nice 2 week trip before returning back to Toronto to see my parents for Christmas.

Busan is a nice city. Weather and air is much better than Seoul. I haven’t been able to enjoy it much though, the past week I’ve been sick with the flu. Some guy gave it to me on my last day in Seoul staying at my dorm. So I haven’t been really able to go outside that much. In addition, my Google Pixel 2 that I was using Project Fi to get data for, suddenly died on me about the same time. So I have no phone to use for data anymore. I ordered a replacement Pixel 1 (since I can’t send back the Pixel 2 for warranty in Korea, gotta wait until I’m back in California for that) and that takes 2 weeks to arrive from the US. I don’t want any international data plans or roaming plans so I guess I’ll just have to wait. I also don’t have many Busan friends anyways, so I am not meeting many people these days either.

Update: The Google Pixel 1 replacement I got sent, arrived 2 weeks later but IT DIED AS WELL, unbelievable. As soon as I started charging it, it died. I drained the battery fully then charged it again and then it started working, but I promptly then lost it 3 days later in a taxi while I was drunk from clubbing. FML. That’s gotta be a new record for shortest amount of time with a phone. Now I’ve got no phone number or data abroad anymore…

In addition to all this, QuadrigaCX, the Canadian Bitcoin exchange I’m using to transfer my money back to Canada, apparently has withdrawal problems that will take 3-4 months to resolve. Yeah, I had no idea either. So most of my money (over $500k CAD) is stuck in that account well into next year it seems. Just my luck.. I really hope they are trustworthy else God really has it in for me this year. As if losing $250k (1/3rd of my net worth) this year from the crypto crash wasn’t enough! I really hope the rest of my money will be ok! Oh – and ofc I invested in the stock market at the all time high on Oct 3 and everything has gone down since then – AND the crypto market is at its lowest point this year! Investments really hate me this year. Oh yeah and my Google Authenticator codes were all on my dead Google Pixel 2 -I don’t have the backup keys so I have to manually contact all the exchanges just to disable the 2FA so I can access my money again! Dammit…

Also.. finding another Korean girl? Yeah I am beginning to lose hope. I thought about my ex a lot these days. Most of my Korean friends don’t have anyone to introduce to me because at my age (30 years old) they are all already married or in long term relationships. I don’t have enough time in Korea to really meet someone anyways. Tinder as I already mentioned has a bug for me. MEEF/HelloTalk/Conversation Exchange seems to be full of girls who ignore my messages. And I don’t like to go to bars/clubs. Korean matchmakers and dating sites explicitly ban foreigners from using it. Korean girls abroad in Canada/USA are mostly students who will go back to Korea anyways. And even if they find someone, they will want a white dude. So yeah, its almost hopeless for me. I’m going to be lonely for a while, it seems…

Nothing else to really say. I need a miracle to save me now. Next year just has to be better than this year right?


..Can you tell I still miss Korea alot?

Yeah… SF is soooo boring and lonely compared to Korea I can’t even…