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Squid Game

I recently finished watching the #1 show on Netflix, which is, of all things, a Korean miniseries called “Squid Game.”

This isn’t going to be a conventional review, but don’t read any further if you want to watch it fresh.

First of all, I’m happy to say I really enjoyed the show. It was well done. The story, the style, the acting (with the exception of the English speaking actors, who are almost always bad in Korean shows and movies), and especially the satisfying ending.

It was the rare ending that made me do a little thinking. It made me reflect on the difference between my generation and my parents’ generation. About the importance of money, and the amount of importance each of us place on it. It also made me think about how much money is enough, and how much is too much.

I also can’t help but notice this seems to be a common theme in a lot of Korean entertainment. One of my favorite Korean movies of all time is one that no one has ever heard of called My Dear Enemy. It’s nothing like Squid Game except that the ending also makes you think and reflect about the value of money versus the value of people and the relationships between them. Only in My Dear Enemy, the ending is more hopeful, even if a little bitter sweet. The Best Picture Oscar winner Parasite was also about class and money. The same for shows like Itaewon Class, My Mister, and I could go on and on.

As a Korean-American, I can’t help but be impressed that a show from my motherland is poised to become the most watched show ever on Netflix. The fact that the hero is played by Lee Jung-Jae, who starred in two of my favorite shows of all time from back in the 90s, not to mention he’s also my wife’s first crush from when she was a young girl, only makes it even more surreal. Add to this the previously mentioned Parasite winning the 2020 Oscar for best picture, or that BTS has become a global sensation and just might be the biggest band in the world right now, and it makes you wonder how all this happened.

South Korea is a country of just over 50 million people. Not tiny, but not large by any means. Yet their culture seems to be spreading to every corner of the planet. Same with their Samsung phones, their Hyundai and Kia cars, and I’m sure there’s plenty of other things I’m not thinking of.

But what most people probably don’t realize is that despite all those successes, many Koreans are unhappy. I only have anecdotal evidence, but it seems much of the younger generation feel hopless about their futures. They work terribly hard just to scrape by. They have little time to have fun, or for loved ones, and it’s probably a big part of why so many have opted out of having children.

I’m guessing it’s also why crypto is so popular there. Many Koreans see crypto as their only chance at attaining financial freedom. I hope their dreams come true, but I also hope that anyone who becomes wealthy from crypto also uses that opportunity to make a difference, to change things for the better by educating others about eCash and other legitimate cryptocurrency projects and how this new technology can benefit everyone.

One of my biggest disappointments in crypto is that it feels to me like all the early adopters who have have made ridiculous sums of money care about nothing but lambos and citadels. They care more about protecting their capital rather than using their capital to create more value in the world.

As an early adopter of XEC, I hope that it brings me more wealth than I could have ever imagined, not so I can tell others to “have fun staying poor”, but so I can help others become wealthy, so they can help their friends and family, and so on and so forth.

For me, crypto is about leveraging technology and human capital to reimagine the way our world works, and I truly believe that XEC has the potential to play a key role in making that happen.