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“Start putting people at the heart of everything” With Jason Hartman & Czhang Lin

In order to improve financial literacy, I think jurisdictions should start putting citizens at the heart of everything they do. Firstly, start by motivating the nation through tax incentives or small public giveaways. Secondly, address private groups by educating the newer generation and encouraging them to improve financial literacy earlier by offering more courses or […]

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In order to improve financial literacy, I think jurisdictions should start putting citizens at the heart of everything they do. Firstly, start by motivating the nation through tax incentives or small public giveaways. Secondly, address private groups by educating the newer generation and encouraging them to improve financial literacy earlier by offering more courses or grants. Thirdly, re-educate the ones who have failed in the financial sector. Offer more consultants to let them know what went wrong and provide more resources for them.

As a part of my series about the The 5 Essentials of Smart Investing, I had the pleasure of interviewing Czhang Lin, the CEO of PIEXGO, an innovative leading global digital currency trading platform that provides a one-stop seamless experience for institutional and individual traders. PIEXGO’s platform is the first to launch an IXO, essentially an upgraded IEO which seeks to promote an ecosystem of protocols, dedicating resources and opportunities for emerging blockchain networks. Czhang was initially an Investment Director at PreAngel, a blockchain fund focused on early-stage internet startups, and was a Partner at JRR Crypto where he handled Blockchain Ecosystem Investment and Incubation. Back in 2014, he successfully public listed his own family business in the Warsaw Stock Exchange (Poland), which continues to be the only Taiwanese firm to be listed in Central Eastern Europe. Czhang is also an advisor for the Asian Israel Blockchain Association. Czhang holds an EMBA from both Tsinghua University and INSEAD where he met classmates from NGC, Foxconn. Additionally, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Western University and he speaks 5 different languages.


Thank you for doing this with us! Our readers would like to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the finance industry?

My first exposure into the finance industry was in an exchange and I feel like exchanges are the centrepiece of the blockchain industry. After being involved in it for years, I feel like it truly has great potential with a strong revenue model.

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occured to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?

This is a hard one to answer! If I had to choose, I’d pick my recent career change — which spanned from mid 2017 to my current job. It was a completely radical process from all dimensions. To begin with, I relocated to China and the eastern culture truly was a refreshing change for me, considering I haven’t visited the region for close to 23 years.

I moved from business operations of consumer electronics into financial investments (specifically the blockchain industry), and gained a new working status of company CEO to Investment Director. This epic shift was a big leap forward for me and required a lot of determination, given the blockchain industry moves very quickly.

One lesson I learnt from it all was to never stop exploring, and never stop learning. If I did not step out of my comfort zone and stepped into the blockchain industry back in 2017, I would not have been the CEO of an innovative crypto exchange.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

One thing I wanted to flag at PIEXGO, is we pride ourselves on being an innovative crypto exchange that puts our users at the heart of everything we do. We constantly encourage feedback and implement them, so users feel like they too are making a difference.

Here in PIEXGO, we intend to solidify a stronger presence in other international markets. Having offices in South Korea, Singapore and China, we intend to develop further to make our platform accessible and bring value to various international stakeholders. Being the first to launch an IXO, we are on the lookout to identify and support quality projects to generate value for the public chain ecosystem. Our plans for the future would be to create a sustainable growth of the public chain ecosystem, and that in terms helps to provide trust between investors and projects with exchanges.

Ok. Thanks for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. According to this report in Fortune, nearly two-thirds of Americans can’t pass a basic test of financial literacy. In your opinion or experience what is the cause of these unfortunate numbers?

In my opinion, social groups in America are first classified into three different categories.

The first, would be Americans who live above the average global standard, but yet were never taught to be financially savvy and are satisfied with their current status, leading them to not be open to financial opportunities.

The second, would be Americans who do not have extra cash for investments, disallowing them to learn or find out more about various ways of growing their money.

The third, would be the Americans who are financially savvy, open to investment opportunities and not being afraid to tap into the market.

As a result, Americans do not feel the need to be very financially literate or exposed to the financial markets, leading them to not have much knowledge on knowing about bond prices, or interest rates etc. This would probably differ when being compared to other young wealth-hungry nations.

If you had the power to make a change, what 3 things would you recommend to improve these numbers?

In order to improve financial literacy, I think jurisdictions should start putting citizens at the heart of everything they do. Firstly, start by motivating the nation through tax incentives or small public giveaways. Secondly, address private groups by educating the newer generation and encouraging them to improve financial literacy earlier by offering more courses or grants. Thirdly, re-educate the ones who have failed in the financial sector. Offer more consultants to let them know what went wrong and provide more resources for them.

Ok, thank you! Now to the main question of our interview: You are a “finance insider”. If you had to advise your adult child about 5 non intuitive essentials for smart Investing, what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each.

If I had to provide 5 non intuitive essentials, I would mention the following:

1. Risk balancing between financial product portfolios

2. Understand the indexes for secondary market, and the short term jumps from a stock to another might not be the best for a person who does not work in the financial industry

3. Understand how LP works as compared to a VC and try to be one if possible, even if it’s a small ticket size, as its vital to get exposure as early as possible

4. Real estate is essential, learn about it

5. Cryptocurrency — get on the bandwagon. It’ll prove very useful to be up to date with it.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Firstly, it’ll be my father and my boss who I’ve worked with for over 11 years in my family business. We may not have completely got along as we had different business decisions and thoughts, but both of them have thought me that life is a constant learning journey, and everyone brings a whole wealth of experience. I truly appreciate their wisdom they’ve showed me.

My father used to write a Chinese sentence to motivate me or when he thought I was too proud to listen — 尚儒,万物皆我师 which basically translated to “Czhang, Everything is mine teacher”. I am proud to say he has shaped me to be the person I am today, and I have him to thank.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

It’ll have to be a quote from Thomas Edison which goes — “If you wish to succeed, you should use persistence as your good friend, experience as your reference, prudence as your brother and hope as your sentry”.

This is a brilliant example of an explorer, discoverer and business entrepreneur combined in one.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

My main goal would honestly be to improve financial literacy amongst the average user. I think its so important for citizens to take control of their finances and be literate. By being the CEO of PIEXGO, I hope I can make a change and a difference. Thank you for this interview!

Thank you for the interview. We wish you continued success!

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