Bangkok is a city brimming with talented personalities and charming characters who have pushed their way through to really make their mark. There’s no doubt that they’re truly living their best life, and doing it in great style. In our Good Life Gurus series, we explore and ask the city’s millennial tastemakers and cultural arbiters to reveal what the good life means to them, and give us a little insight into how they live it up.
Cryptocurrency is all the craze right now and has been for a while. When you think cryptocurrency, you think Bitkub, and when you think Bitkub, you think Jirayut ‘Topp’ Srupsiposa. The 31-year-old Oxford-educated entrepreneur and blockchain technology visionary is the epitome of pursuing your interest and turning it into a triumphant career. Established merely three years ago, Bitkub has become a phenomenon in the crypto world, thanks to Topp.
In the ever-evolving world of crypto, the Bitkub founder and CEO has been making a name for his company and himself. In fact, he has really made his way to the top (pun intended). From a financial consultant to an esteemed entrepreneur, meet the man behind Bitkub, Thailand’s leading regulated cryptocurrency exchange.
Please give us a little background about yourself and what you do.
I’ve dedicated more than eight years of my career to the blockchain industry. As one of Thailand’s leading bitcoin and open blockchain experts, I’ve talked about crypto and fintech at over 1,000 engagements, with the intention to spread knowledge and promote innovation to the public.
Now, I’m the founder and Group CEO of Bitkub, the largest blockchain and cryptocurrency group of companies in Thailand. I’m also the Executive Board Member and Vice President at the Thai Fintech Association and a Subcommittee at Thailand’s Office of the Trade Competition Commission.
What is the story behind Bitkub? How did it all begin?
While my peers were working at global firms like Goldman Sachs and McKinsey, I started a Bitcoin company. It all began at a spare room in my parent’s small clothing shop. This sounds crazy to many people. As expected, there were many challenges along the way, such as persuading financial institutions and authorities that Bitcoin isn’t a Ponzi scheme. From operations to customer support to legal to accounting to market, it was all me towards the start.
After Bitcoin was announced a legal tender by Japan in 2017, my next step was to convince regulators that blockchain is beyond Bitcoin. This technology is so disruptive that it’s going to change everything.
Then, I participated and won the Thailand Securities Exchange Commission’s first FinTech challenge, resulting in the opportunity to work directly with changemakers to regulate the cryptocurrency space. I started fundraising for what was essentially the prototype of my winning idea and that was the start of Bitkub.
Who are your customers? What are they like?
Everyone. Tech users and non-tech users like.
What role do you think cryptocurrency plays in living a ‘good life?
Underserved people who lack government identification or access to a banking institution are often excluded from the financial system. This is where crypto comes in. I believe in crypto’s transparent and decentralised nature and its impact on the entire economic system. The blockchain infrastructure allows rapid financial transactions while unblocking real-life impactful use. Thus, democratising value for greater autonomy.
What does the ‘good life’ mean to you? How would you describe how you live the ‘good life’?
A good life is meaningful, it’s fraught with hurdles and setbacks. The good life seeks to improve the status quo, seizes opportunities, and expand future possibilities.
What are your five ‘good life’ essentials?
- The ability to unlearn and relearn
- Passion and perseverance
- Self-control and discipline
- Concentration and inner peace
What is your self-care ritual?
Self-awareness and development. More specifically, understanding how my mind works, my strengths and weaknesses, and ways to evolve. It is consciously built into everything I do. It’s the core of authenticity, and authenticity leads to trust.
Work smart, time management, and mindset management are also part of my self-care ritual. A leader who is disconnected emotionally can’t persuade, guide, or inspire.
What do you do to be more sustainable and eco-conscious (in work and privately)?
I’m quite selective of what to focus on as to leave more energy to deal with the relevant matter. I keep an eye on healthier habits to create a life that wins both work and well-being.
What do you do to keep fit and healthy?
I used to go for a short walk when I had the time. Nowadays, I make an effort to have healthier food options.
Where do you go for… the best breakfast in Bangkok?
Tom’s Coffee at Asoke.
Where do you go for… the best date night in Bangkok?
Around the Chao Phraya River.
Where do you go for… the best drinks in Bangkok?
Tom’s Coffee at Asoke.
Where do you go for… the best place to shop in Bangkok?
Siam, Esplanade, and EmQuartier.
Where do you go for…the best escape from Bangkok?
Lastly, a word of advice for living the ‘good life’ in Bangkok.
Don’t let your obsession die. Embrace it, revel in it, and use it to stand apart. Follow your passion and not the crowd.