One Book at a Time – 2019

It’s not easy to squeeze quality time nowadays to finish a book, when we have so many good blog posts, online articles, and research reports available around the Internet. However, to become a better professional and a leader, we all need to invest time to improve ourselves and one of the best ways is still reading – one book at a time, with Kindle (the 10th generation, Paperwhite and Oasis).

Here is a list of my top 10+1 books of year 2019. 

  1. Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries – The author is indeed a gifted storyteller and he explains the idea of how to nurture innovation by way of three rules, with great details and stories. (https://amzn.to/2PNVEvW)
  2. Trillion Dollar Coach – It’s really a good read and I learned a lot about how Bill Campbell coached so many great Silicon Valley companies in the past few decades. (https://amzn.to/36G1mH8)
  3. 13 – 67 – The best detective story by a Hong Kong talented author. Period. (https://www.books.com.tw/products/0010637918)
  4. The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust – Even if you are not interested in Blockchain, read the chapter 1 : A Revolution in Nine Pages. https://amzn.to/2LUWLZm 
  5. Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence – Warning … just the tale in the prelude is already very frightening (well, at least to me). (https://amzn.to/2SlnaDM)
  6. The Heart to Start: Stop Procrastinating & Start Creating – Section 3 of the book “Winning by Beginning” is really a gem – all tips and tricks about start your own projects – The Fortress Fallacy, Inflating the Investment, The Linear Work Distortion, Permission to Suck, Motivational Judo, Crack the Whip. (https://amzn.to/2LXNfF1)
  7. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – It’s a good book and here is my reading guide – read Chapter 1 to 3 slowly (the meat of the book) … and then pick one of the Chapter 4 to 7 that suits you most – Sports, Business, Relationships and Parents. Lastly, skim through Chapter 8. (https://amzn.to/35kns1o)
  8. Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life – It’s like a reunion, a good chat with an old friend. (https://amzn.to/2YPsrEQ)
  9. The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth – So, you’re no longer a Lean Startup, what’s next to do for your bigger company ? (https://amzn.to/38Ag18t)
  10. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Be vulnerable. (https://amzn.to/2PnecnB)
  11. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know – Gladwell introduces three traps that we all need to be aware of – Default to Truth, Transparency, and Coupling. Certainly useful nowadays when we need to talk to strangers all the time. (https://amzn.to/2tmErSL)

In 2020, I will shift the focus of reading … more on Artificial Intelligence and Decentralised Identifier. Stay tuned.

Blockchain Resources

You can tell the Blockchain space is maturing, when you find that there are so many research papers, books, reports, and slide decks published by big consultancy companies, financial institutes, research firms and of course, geeks.

Here is a list of the resources that I think you may find useful.

History and Whitepapers

  1. Brief History of Bitcoin
  2. Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System
  3. Ethereum: A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform
  4. Libra: White Paper
  5. 33 Cryptocurrencies described in four words or less
  6. Smart Contracts (Visual Capitalist)

Books (via Kindle)

  1. Blockchain: Down The Rabbit Hole: (Discover The Power Of The Blockchain)
  2. Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain
  3. Blockchain: Transforming Your Business and Our World
  4. Blockchain for Dummies (IBM Limited Edition)
  5. Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust

Research Reports

  1. Capturing the Value of Blockchain (BCG)
  2. Blockchain and the General Data Protection Regulation (European Parliamentary Research Service)
  3. Inclusive Deployment of Blockchain for Supply Chains: Part 3 – Public or Private Blockchains (World Economic Forum)
  4. Building Value with Blockchain Technology: How to Evaluate Blockchain’s Benefits (World Economic Forum)
  5. Building Block(chain)s for a Better Planet (World Economic Forum)
  6. Central Bank Digital Currency Policy‐Maker Toolkit (World Economic Forum)
  7. Realizing Blockchain’s Potential (KPMG)
  8. Business Blockchains (Deloitte)
  9. 2019 Global Blockchain Survey (Deloitte)
  10. Blockchain, a catalyst for new approaches in insurance – Part 1 (PwC)
  11. Blockchain, a catalyst for new approaches in insurance – Part 2 (PwC)
  12. Security Token Offering : What, where and how (PwC)
  13. Establishing Blockchain Policy (PwC)
  14. Guidance on Cryptoassets (FCA)
  15. What’s next in Blockchain 2019 (CBInsight)
  16. Where’s Blockchain headed next (CBInsight)
  17. Blockchain and the GDPR (EU Blockchain)
  18. Blockchain Technology Overview (NIST)
  19. Blockchain – Opportunities for Private Enterprises in Emerging Markets (IFC)
  20. Can JPM Coin Disrupt the Existing Stablecoin Market? (Binance)
  21. China Central Bank Digital Currency (Binance)
  22. Accessing Blockchain’s Business Value (Accenture)
  23. Blockchain in Action (EY)
  24. Life of a Coin (EY)
  25. Rise of Digital Money (IMF)
  26. Comparative analysis of the regulation of crypto-assets within EU and EEA countries (Blockchain Advisory)
  27. Bitcoin 2019 Investor Study (Grayscale and Q8 Research)
  28. Blockchain Now and Tomorrow (European Commission)
  29. Blockchain for Digital Government (European Commission)
  30. Libra : Understanding Facebook’s CryptoCurrency (Consensys)
  31. Global Enterprise Blockchain Benchmarking Study (University of Cambridge)
  32. Blockchain Innovation Landscape Brief (IRENA)
  33. Legal context and implications for financial crime, money laundering and tax evasion (European Parliament)
  34. Blockchain Potentials and Limitations for Selected Climate Policy Instruments
  35. Crypto-Assets and Blockchain Technology (FireEye, Circle)
  36. China Blockchain Report (Forkast Insight)

Blockchain Use Cases

  1. Blockchain Building Blocks: Creating a world of opportunity for insurance from an evolving area of technology (The Institutes – Risk and Insurance Knowledge Group)
  2. Making Blockchain Real – LVMH and the future of authentic luxury (Certilogo)
  3. Blockchain meets Energy (FSR Energy)
  4. Real World Applications of Blockchain Technology (Zage)
  5. Blockchain for Development (GSMA)
  6. Blockchain Revolution in Education and Lifelong Learning (Blockchain Research Institute)
  7. Tokenized Securities & Commercial Real Estate (MIT Digital Currency Initiative)
  8. Industry Report : Blockchain in Real Estate (Fibree)
  9. Blockchain for Agriculture (FAO)
  10. Blockchain and Digital Identity (EU Blockchain)
  11. Blockchain in Travel (Amadeus)
  12. DLT in the Supply Chain (UCL CBT)
  13. Blockchain for Good (Accenture)
  14. Opportunities for Blockchain in Loyalty (Collinson)
  15. Decentralized Identity (Microsoft)
  16. Gateway for Sustainability Linked Bonds (HSBC)
  17. Tokenization of Accounts Receivable on Blockchain
  18. Blockchain in Commercial Real Estate (Deloitte)
  19. Blockchain for Social Impact (Stanford Business)
  20. Digital Voting using Blockchain (Tokend)
  21. Blockchain Explained (Blockchain Australia)
  22. Blockchain meets the Stock Market (EDC)
  23. Blockchain Solutions in Pandemics (BRI)
  24. Blockchain and Cyber Security (EU Blockchain)

From Notepad to Wix …

… and Blogger, Plog / Lifetype, PostNuke, DocuWiki, WordPress in between.

It’s been 24 years since I hosted my own website (you can find the history here), and one lesson I learnt is there are always better tools out there to develop your own website. Even though professionally I use other enterprise software to build websites and applications, I reckon you can always learn more by using other tools or platforms to build your own website.

While I use WordPress to build / host my personal website (yes, you’re reading this – michaelyung.com), I moved my photo website, 80days.com, from WordPress to Wix. I don’t exactly know why I made the move as WordPress served me pretty well to host my photos. However, the idea of trying something new pushed me to evaluate other options and eventually I settled with Wix.

The first thing I learnt from Wix was the tool is beautifully implemented, and the next was there were too many options, settings that it would take anyone a long time to complete a site. You will also need to understand a whole different set of vocabulary, before you know what you’re doing. You can control the locations of the elements on the page, pixel by pixel … and therefore you will likely spend many long hours to make your website looks perfect, pixel by pixel.

In summary, Wix is great for design focus websites, but shall you do it to move websites to the Wix ? Not likely, if the WordPress site is already serving you well.

Another Year, Another Book List …

It’s about time to have a wrap up of yet another slow-reading year. However, the Kindle Oasis is great !!

First, the top four that I really enjoyed a lot …

  1. Bad Blood
  2. The Code Book
  3. Measure What Matters
  4. The Three-Body Problem

Then a list of good read as well …

  1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
  2. The Startup Way
  3. The Messy Middle
  4. Who Can You Trust
  5. Holacracy
  6. Capitalism without Capital
  7. When Coffee and Kale Compete
  8. Founder’s Pocket Guide
  9. Venture Deals
  10. Factfulness
  11. Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy
  12. Principles : Life and Work

And lastly, those just not my type …

  1. The Secret
  2. Art of the Initial Coin Offering
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Beyond Blocks Seoul Summit 2018

Beyond Blocks Seoul Summit is a very energetic Blockchain event. Here is a wrap of my live tweets couple of weeks ago.

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South Korea is known for 3 things, Kimchi, K-Pop and Crypto-currency.

Follow the footsteps of – Integrate with eCommerce platform, Offer discount to grow adoption, Add credit, landing layer on top, Transform to FinTech.

Tink Labs from Hong Kong introduced their new platform – Passport, by spending 90% of the time talked about Handy … but one thing is true – travellers have no problem in “currency conversion”.

Michael Novogratz of Galaxy Digital Capital Management : Crypto industry is moving / growing fast in Asian countries, because … Asians love gaming / gambling, matter-of-factly.

Use Hybrid blockchains with layered architecture, sharding and rPoS to scale the system.

How can we tell an ICO is a success ? The product, the users / community, the team, the ecosystem … but not the cool whitepaper and price of the token.

Blockchain or not, Payment system or not, any new system needs to deliver good UX and features that the users don’t need to trade off any utility.

“Are you ready to disrupt the others, with Blockchain ?”, Jason Han, CEO, Ground X (Kakao)

Finally, a talk about Enterprise-level Blockchain platform, by Jason Han, which is exactly what we are doing for the past 12 months. Great stuff

Another down-to-earth talk, by Jon Choi, about Blockchain ecosystem – Blockchain is not all about Exchange, Protocol and ICO; but a lot of non-tech things to do as well.

A jump from theory to technical focus talk, JH Kim of ICON explains how they solve the BFT problem.

It’s not only about delivering a technical sound solution, but also how to compete with end users’ laziness.

Media, layman, “outsiders” always link hacks / insecurity to Blockchain and they don’t care about technical details.

#Beyondblocks #bbseoul2018