Patrick Long, CPA
Strategy and Operations
Many of us dream of suddenly striking it rich and making so much money that we no longer need to worry about employment. These days, the popular term for that much wealth is “F- you money”: once you’ve made “F-you money”, you can proceed to tell your boss “F- you” anytime you become disgruntled at work.
At only 23 years old, Patrick Long is among the few people who have made that dream a reality. One year ago, on an unseasonably cold March morning in the San Francisco Financial District, Patrick was sitting at his cubicle, in a completely empty office, showing up early to work yet again. It was busy season at the major accounting firm he worked at, which meant long hours and constant stress. Patrick found the job tedious, yet he still obediently showed up to work every day. After all, the job was providing him with a stable income. It was the job that he had studied very hard to prepare for as an Economics major at UC Berkeley.
But today was different. Always an avid investor, Patrick had just made a fortune investing in cryptocurrencies. For the past few months, Patrick had become fascinated by the crypto community, and had dived head first into understanding this new phenomenon. He was incredibly excited by the potential of cryptocurrencies to enable efficient transactions and decentralized applications, so much so that in January 2015, he created a cryptocurrency investment fund, with a significant investment from his close friends. Patrick was such a firm believer in the potential of cryptos that he dedicated every evening and weekend to learning more and investing in cryptocurrencies. He assiduously studied the white papers of all the cryptos on the market, using all the knowledge of financial markets he had gained during his education to make investment decisions. He came to the conclusion that out of all the actively traded cryptocurrencies, Ethereum held the most potential. Trusting his analysis and judgment, he invested most of the fund into Ethereum. In March 2015, Ethereum shot up in value, reaching more than twenty dollars at its peak. Patrick had made himself and his friends over 10x returns. It had been one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of his young life.
But now, sitting in his cubicle in a dreary gray office building, Patrick was feeling disillusioned. He began thinking about how meaningless his work was, how little real benefit it brought to society. It seemed like all he was really doing was acting as a cog in the financial machine, making the wealthy even wealthier. The rich were playing a rigged game, and he was helping rig it. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, had the potential to serve as an equalizer for the poor, to give the less privileged a fair chance at controlling their economic fate. The cryptocurrency movement was far more aligned with his personal beliefs.
Patrick’s eyes glazed over as he booted up his laptop and opened up yet another spreadsheet. “Why am I doing this?” he wondered. He had made enough from his cryptocurrency fund to be financially independent for awhile. He wasn’t passionate about his work, and didn’t want to live his life in regret that he didn’t ever try. He started thinking seriously about quitting his job. Before he knew it, he was tapping out an email to his manager. Patrick’s email began by politely thanking his manager for the opportunity, before explaining that he was no longer interested in the work and that he would be quitting his job, effective immediately.
Suddenly, Patrick stopped. Is this really what he wanted to do? After all, he had worked so hard for this job. And what would his friends and family think? His whole life, he had heard the same message: go to college, get a job, slave away making and saving money, get tied to a mortgage, and finally, retire at the end of it all. What he was about to do ran counter to everything society had told him.
Patrick decided to make himself a cup of coffee and think over his decision. Back at his desk, a cappuccino in his hand, Patrick took a deep breath and started thinking about what was important to him. He reflected on how lucky he had been. Yes, he had worked incredibly hard researching the cryptocurrency market before his big bet on Ethereum. But he was wise enough to realize that part of his success came down to luck: being lucky enough to have parents who imparted a great work ethic onto him, being lucky enough to be a citizen of a country with an excellent secondary education system, even being lucky enough to start paying attention to cryptocurrencies right around the time of the Ethereum rally.
He began to think about how all that luck carried with it a sense of responsibility, to make sure that what he did benefited all members of society, and not just a few. He couldn’t stop thinking about how well designed decentralized apps and cryptocurrencies could become an equalizer for the less fortunate.
Patrick reached down to his mouse, moved the cursor over the words “Send Message” in his email window, and pressed down with his index finger. Click.
Almost one year later, Patrick Long hasn’t forgotten that moment. He continues to work tirelessly, creating a new crypto application that will bring economic empowerment to those who lack access to insurance or credit. Follow the WeTrust blog as we release more details about his work!
Follow the WeTrust blog as we release more details about his work!
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