Blog

14Jan

Parallel Export, AKA Smuggling

These are just some of the issues that surround getting into China to sell.  So most products, even well-known ones such as Starbucks frappuccinos and Kirkland nuts, are smuggled into the country. The smuggling happens at various ports; the one I’ll discuss is Hong Kong.  There are many ways items are smuggled into China via Hong Kong, driven across the border from the sea port, but my favourite is through old grannies.  Hong Kong is unique in that it is connected to mainland China via a their subway system.

In Hong Kong, Sung Shui, a subway station is one stop away from either Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau which are the entry points into Shenzhen, China. On any given day at Sung Shui, you can see hundreds of of people lining up to get into the MTR. All of them are carrying large suitcases or large boxes on wheels, just full of goods to smuggle into China. These are things like Starbucks coffee, cookies, milk powder, baby formula; anything you can think of that you would want to consume, but are too afraid to locally in China, so you buy these illegally smuggled products.

9Jan

51% is all you need to destroy bitcoin

Some of you may have heard of the currency Bitcoin, a digital currency that is created by a network of computers.  These computers act as verifiers to ensure that the coin is mined correctly and that transactions are valid.

Because the task of mining a Bitcoin is computationally large, there are organizations called pools that group a team of miners together.  These miners of Bitcoins work together to generate new Bitcoins. Whe a coin is successfunlly generated by the pool, it is split amongst the miners, usually based on their computational efforts.

Recently one such pool, ghash.io is getting very close to collecting a majority of the miners.  This can be a problem because if a pool or a miner makes up 51% or more of the total computational power for mining and reviewing the transactions, they are able to do many things that normally would not be possible.

Bitcoin relays on trust. When you make a transaction, or mine a coin, it is verified by the network. If the majority of the network says that the transaction or coins are good, then it is accepted into the ledger.  If an agent has 51% of the network, they are always the majority, as a result, they can, at least in theory, accept and reject transactions as they please.  This means they can reject coins that are mined outside of the network, effectively mining all coins.  They could even rewrite history: if a transaction has happened, they can reverse the transaction at a later date.

If anyone reaches 51% they gain a lot of power, and there is no regulatory body to enforce that they will play nice.  This means that the Bitcoin can lose it’s value overnight, as people will not be able to trust doing transactions anymore.

Just food for thought for those people looking to do their own mining or dumping cash on investing.

 

Further reading:

The Block chain

51% attack

9Jan

The First Step

When one take a journey that is a thousand steps, how does one begin?

Every journey that is worth taking begins with the first step.  Welcome to Swimming With Asian Sharks, a community of entrepreneurs that want to learn the tricks of dealing with executive level business in Asia.

I am your humble guide to the process.  I’ve worked on over 9 business in Asia, and have been to countless executive level business interactions as an executive assistant, director, even as a partner.  In my journey I have witnessed many people get bitten, been bitten and have learnt to bite back.

In this blog we will discuss the psychology and cultural aspects of playing business at the highest level to give you an edge.

We will cover business topics and technology, as those are core to the changing business landscape.

Welcome once again, and remember to practice that front crawl, because you need to know how to swim before you learn to hunt.

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