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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.

Highlights

-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

Lowlights

-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

Summary

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…

 

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Why do I keep getting screwed?

Well my worst fears came true. Looks like QuadrigaCX, the exchange I used to transfer my money back from the US to Canada, is going bankrupt and is probably a ponzi scam. Crazy. All sorts of conspiracy theories going on. Also, haven’t been able to sleep well these past few days. Been busy talking to other people on telegram who lost their money + getting lawyers into action, signing affidavits etc.

So basically I sold my beautiful SF apartment for nothing. Just great. Last year I thought I had reached the bottom. Lost $150k of my money to the crypto crash + ICO scams + masternode scams. Broke up with my gf. Forced to sell off my apartment to pay off loans.

Now as if that wasn’t enough, this year I’m having trouble finding a job again, the US probably won’t let me get another job again due to their strict border security and too many past TN visas and of course losing the rest of my money in a ponzi scheme (over $400k).

I’m an idiot. I fell to the same trap I fell in last year. I got too greedy, I was too impatient. Why did I put everything in one place? Why did I transfer all my money over when I never even got a single withdrawal from this exchange yet? I trusted them too much. They were Canada’s oldest exchange, I just never thought it would come to something like this. It’s unbelievable. That’s all my life savings gone because of basically just using the wrong exchange to send my money back. And now I have to deal with a lawsuit that will probably take years, just for me to see pennies on the dollar back.

So yeah, 2018 was not a good year. 2019 so far has been even worse. What’s worse than losing my apartment and 1/3rd of my net worth? well losing the remaining 2/3rds of my net worth of course!

I have really been stressed these days preparing for interviews in Seattle/Vancouver on top of that, but it looks like my plan will all have to be put on hold. Paying back my parents, buying a Vancouver condo, making passive income, renting a place out etc it will take me years and years to make back this money. On top of that, no Korean girl (or any other girl for that matter) will want to date a guy with no money or apartment anymore.

I don’t really know how it could get much worse than this. Most of my Korean/SF friends are busy with their own lives so I haven’t talked to them much. I guess the only solace is that at least I am still alive and breathing, and I’m not brain dead or paralyzed. My family is still there – for now. and that’s really it. Start over anew again just like in 2011, except this time I’m 30 years old, not 23 anymore :/ I suppose this is a life lesson on how I shouldn’t be greedy or materialistic and start cherishing the invaluable things in life.. not money, but rather my friendships and relationships and memories I’ve made over the years.

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Looks like I’ve just lost all my money …

So it appears QuadrigaCX, the Canadian crypto exchange I used to transfer my money from the US to Canada, is doing really shady things with that money. Not only is my money taking 3+ months to arrive so far but every time I ask support they have the same excuse and just asking me to wait another 2 weeks every time.

Now recently they announced their CEO passed away last month under mysterious circumstances in India, and haven’t been giving any updates since. I have over $500k+ CAD stuck in that account. They aren’t letting anyone withdraw anything anymore or cancel the withdrawals that went out before. This really isn’t good. As if losing $170k in crypto last year wasn’t enough – this time it just feels unfair.

At least last year it was definitely my fault for taking on so much risk – taking out 3 loans, investing in shady ICO scams and masternode scams – that’s all my fault for taking on so much risk, but this is just crazy. QuadrigaCX operated for over 5 years as Canada’s (formerly before this fiasco) biggest crypto exchange. I already had an account with them before in 2017 so I just decided to use them to move my US money over back to Canada – I thought I was being clever avoiding the bank’s commission fees and getting a 6% premium on top of that – and now as it turns out, I might have just lost the rest of my money too. For picking the wrong exchange and for trying to get my money back to Canada after selling my SF apartment. Unbelievably, my luck keeps getting worse.

This is so unfair. I wasn’t even trying to invest in anything this time! Now on top of that, I am also actively interviewing for jobs around Seattle as well – so lately I’ve been quite stressed.

Imagine having all your life savings tied up in a shady crypto exchange that might go bankrupt at anytime – and having to focus on doing coding exercises on top of that. And then I’ll have to deal with getting another visa after that which is always a hassle.

I really hope that I get my money back, hoping and praying everyday that it isn’t a scam. Everyday I go on reddit and twitter to check if there’s any updates from QuadrigaCX and so far nothing. I wonder if I’ll have to get a lawyer and contact the RCMP about this eventually. Hope it doesn’t come to that.