According to a report by the South China Morning Post, a 24-year-old man is said to have tossed bank notes from the top of a skyscraper in Hong Kong, triggering agitation from passersby below.

The man, who was identified as Wong Ching Kit (with aliases such as “Mr. Coin” and “Coin Master”) is the owner of Coin’s Group and Epoch Cryptocurrency, a Facebook page that provides promotions for cryptocurrencies and miners. Kit is said to be a crypto enthusiast who made a large percentage of his fortune in last year’s cryptocurrency boom.

A Facebook Live Video which captured the occurrence showed the crowd rushing to catch HK$100 ($13) notes as they rained down from a building in the Fuk Wa neighborhood, one of the countries most impoverished areas. Kit is said to have been raising awareness for an upcoming event, choosing to take a somewhat unconventional approach to market.

While he was tossing the bills from the top of the building, the video recorded Kit telling bystanders:

“Today, December 15, is FCC’s big day in announcing the trading race. I hope everyone here will pay attention to this important event… [I] don’t know whether any of you will believe money can fall from the sky.”

Although it still remains unclear who- or what- he referred to as the FCC in his declaration, a Facebook video was released shortly after the stunt where he declared that he was similar to the fictional character Robin Hood, telling anyone who cares to listen that he was “robbing the rich to give to the poor.”. The “Coin Master” also claimed that he felt it was his responsibility to teach the world about Bitcoin.

Image from the Facebook video.

His “charitable” action triggered a mass reaction, as passersby began to scamper in a bid to catch the bills that were falling from the air.

The police claimed that he was arrested on charges of “disorderly conduct in a public place,” and they have also urged members of the public who were beneficiaries of his lawlessness to return the bills to where they got them. Luk Wai-hung, a local attorney, argued that while his motives for raising advertisement were understandable, his approach was the reason why he was arrested.

He said, “How did he do his promotion? He wanted to create chaos to do it.” He also added that the maximum penalty for his offense is a 12-month prison term and a fine of HK$5,000. Innocent bystanders at the location attested to the total amount of money that was thrown away could be millions, although the police reported that they were only able to recover HK$5,000 (the equivalent of $639) from the streets.

Sky News, a British TV station and mainstream media outlet, reported that investors lost homes as the Bitcoin price crashed. But, the same argument can be applied to the stock market, real estate, and every other major market.

The report claimed that investors put up their homes as collateral to receive loans and invest in Bitcoin. As the price of Bitcoin dropped, their homes were taken away along with their assets.

The report read:

Married men accessed equity through their family homes, and often – whether because they felt they needed to act quickly to make the most money, or because they feared that their investment would be criticised by their spouses – did so without informing their families, only to see the value of their assets evaporate, followed by their homes.

Bad Investment Method, Not Exclusive to Bitcoin

Crypto assets like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are still at their infancy and are a part of an emerging asset class.

In February, Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, said that cryptocurrencies are a hyper-volatile asset class and it is not an intelligent investment decision to allocate more than an amount that can be lost, as cryptocurrencies could drop near-zero in a short period of time.

“Reminder: cryptocurrencies are still a new and hyper-volatile asset class, and could drop to near-zero at any time. Don’t put in more money than you can afford to lose. If you’re trying to figure out where to store your life savings, traditional assets are still your safest bet,” Buterin said at the time.

bitcoin price vs s&P 500
Bitcoin Price (Blue) vs. S&P 500 (Red) | Year-to-Date Chart

The phrases “the rich get richer” and “money earns money” refer to the ability of the wealthy to hold on to risky assets and survive bear markets without liquidating their assets. On the contrary, investors that invest more than they can afford to lose in a highly volatile asset class but need the money to cover short-term expenses have no other choice but to liquidate their assets and obtain cash.

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, which affected the economy of the United States throughout the following years, the suicide rate of Europe and the Americas surged. Investors, especially retail or individual investors, who lost money in the stock market found it difficult to deal with anxiety, depression, and high levels of stress acquired from previous recessions.

Wealthy investors that had not cashed out of real estate properties and assets in the stock market throughout 2008, however, recorded no losses because they were able to wait out the bear market.

Don’t Invest More Than an Amount That Can be Lost

Investments in hyper-volatile assets without necessary risk management which publications have focused on when reporting about Bitcoin throughout the 2018 bear market are not exclusive to cryptocurrencies.

Many investors in the stock market and real estate often rack up debt to engage in high-risk investments and deals without proper risk management, which in most cases lead to full-blown bankruptcies.

When investing, especially in emerging asset classes, it is of the utmost importance for investors to weigh the risks involved in the trade and expect to survive a long-lasting bear market if it arrives.

The former CEO of defunct bitcoin exchange Mt Gox has maintained his innocence during the closing arguments of his trial, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.

The France-born Mark Karpeles is on trial in Tokyo on charges of embezzling approximately US$3.1 million and data manipulation while heading the fallen bitcoin exchange.

During the closing arguments, Karpeles also offered his apologies over his failure to prevent the loss of 850,000 bitcoins, a fact which ultimately led to the closure of what was once the largest bitcoin exchange in the world. The apologies are unlikely to mean much since in this particular instance he is not on trial for the loss of the bitcoins but rather his handling of client funds.

The trial which has been taking place at the Tokyo District Court started last year in July. A verdict is expected on March 15, 2019.

A Decade in Prison?

bitcoin cryptocurrency theft
The former CEO of defunct bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, Mark Karpeles, faces up to a decade in prison for embezzlement.

Earlier this month, prosecutors indicated that they were seeking a 10-year prison sentence for the Mt Gox ex-CEO, as CCN reported.

Previously Karpeles has argued that the funds he is alleged to have embezzled were a temporary loan. Prosecutors, however, rubbished this claim saying that there was no paperwork to prove this line of argument.

At the start of the trial, Karpeles also insisted that the funds he is alleged to have embezzled were not really client funds but revenues generated by the cryptocurrency exchange. According to prosecutors, Karpeles used the embezzled funds to invest in a technology startup, purchase luxury items, and even hire prostitutes.

Civil Rehabilitation Proceedings

The trial is coming to a close at a time when plans to compensate investors who lost their digital assets following the hacking of Mt Gox is underway. In September the defunct bitcoin exchange opened its online claim filing system to corporate creditors, and this was about a month after Mt Gox had done the same for retail investors. The filing process ended in late October, and the trustee is expected to submit to the courts a list of rejected and approved claims by January 24 next year.

At the time of the hacking, the price of one bitcoin was approximately US$480. With Karpeles having later found around 200,000 bitcoins that had been kept in cold storage, this would have been enough to compensate all the investors had the exchange remained in bankruptcy and even left the ex-CEO millions of dollars richer at current prices.

However, a Japanese court ruled mid this year that the exchange could exit bankruptcy and start civil rehabilitation proceedings paving the way for creditors to be compensated in bitcoin as opposed to cash.