#131 Farzam Ehsani – Money Against Injustice

“Our crusade is against injustice, not a group of people who call themselves a name.” – Farzam Ehsani
Grey Jabesi interviewed Farzam Ehsani, Co-Founder and CEO of VALR.com, a platform that bridges the gap between our traditional financial system and the new world of cryptocurrencies. He was previously the Blockchain Lead at Rand Merchant Bank and the FirstRand Group and was the inaugural Chairperson of the South African Financial Blockchain Consortium. He previously worked at McKinsey & Company in Johannesburg, Deloitte Consulting in San Francisco, the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, and the United Nations in Nairobi. He studied economics at the University of California – Berkeley.

VALR is a digital asset trading platform in South Africa with lower fees transactions, collaborating with Bittrex, one of the most advanced secured and compliant platform worldwide. And also partnered with Former FNB Bank CEO and Montegray Capital CEO, Michael Jordaan who was previously interviewed on this podcast on episodes 90 and 93 respectively. It allows customers to seamlessly and instantly trade between bitcoin or ether and over 50 cryptocurrencies. Valr has brought their close relationship with regulators in South Africa. The platform has both a take and a maker fee. The taker fee is 0.75% and the Maker fee is -0.1%. This means the makers get paid 0.1% of the fee transacted. Think of it as a rebate. Any trade has a buyer (taker) and a seller (maker). The maker fee is gotten from the 0.75% taker fee leaving Valr with 0.65%. This makes the platform sustainable.VALR Makes 0.65% out of any deal. The platform also includes a referral program which gives a referrer 15% discount of the fee. If you refer 2 or more people, you get 15% and 10% of the fees of all referrals.

In this fascinating podcast, we discussed the following:
-His Personal background
-How the banking system works
-Why he left Rand Merchant Bank and started Valr
-How Blockchain and cryptocurrency can contribute to financial inclusion in Africa
-His religious background, The Bahá’í Faith
-How Valr works and affordable company’s fee structure
Share this episode with family and friends. Enjoy!

Link:Valr: https://www.valr.com/invite/VAURZWMT

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#130 Llew Claasen – How To Value Cryptocurrencies

In this episode, Grey Jabesi interviews Llew Classen. Llew is the Managing Partner of Newtown Partners, a blockchain investment and advisory services firm, founded by him and Vinny Lingham. Newtown Partners specializes in token economics, token sale design and demand generation for both their portfolio of startups and in an advisory capacity. They operate out of offices in San Francisco, U.S. and Cape Town, South Africa.

Llew is a go-to-market strategist with almost two decades of senior management experience in cryptocurrencies, digital product management and digital marketing.

He co-founded Clicks2customers (rebranded to www.nmpidigital.com) with Vinny Lingham, now a global digital marketing agency with annual billings in excess of $100 million and Synthasite (rebranded to www.yola.com). Llew is also the Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation, the original, the oldest and the largest Bitcoin advocacy organization globally, headquartered in San Francisco, U.S. The Bitcoin Foundation coordinates the efforts of the members of the Bitcoin community, helping to create awareness of the benefits of Bitcoin, how to use it and its related technology requirements, for technologists, regulators, the media and everyone else globally.

Llew has a Masters Degree in the Management of Technology & Innovation and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

Topics Discussed:

-What Llew Classen is holding in his portfolio?
-How to assess and value coins
-His Bitcoin price prediction.
-The investment side. What they are investing in at Newtown partners
-Projects he’s excited about.

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#129 Grey Jabesi – Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Governance

Grey Jabesi is an entrepreneur, Blockchain Enthusiast, Cryptocurrency Evangelist, Analyst and Investor Based in Cape Town South Africa. He is also a seasoned podcast and event panel host, a producer of The Grey Ave Podcast, interviewer of prominent business personalities and influencer worldwide.

As an entrepreneur, Grey is passionate about job creation and growth, particularly in emerging markets. His chief goal is to play a crucial role in nurturing creativity and innovation in Africa to help harness the full potential and explore the lucrative opportunities the continent has to offer. Some of Grey’s most prominent qualities include a strong sense of self-empowerment, a curiosity for innovation, and the adaptability and open-mindedness to expand horizons across borders. Always taking a global view, Grey is optimistic, forward-thinking, and above all results-driven. He’s very passionate about peer to peer finance and decentralized systems especially for the African continent as it accelerates trade and give Africans an opportunity to do business with the rest of the world in real-time. He has just recently been appointed the new Director of Marketing for The Blockchain Association of Africa

Grey was interviewed by Gugulethu Mfuphi at Kaya FM Radio. He spoke about Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and Governance.

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#128 The Gold bug who converted to Bitcoin – Salvatore Burgio

“Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency is a fantastic system of payments and some people call it Gold 2.0” Salvatore Burgio, Cape Town Bitcoin Expert

The Grey Ave Podcast meet Salvatore Burgio, a professional Jeweler who become a Goldsmith by the age of 16. In early 2012, Salvatore Burgio remodeled his business of jewelry and Gold into Bitcoin. In 2013 made his Bitcoin paper wallet.

Salvatore Burgio and his company Cape Town Bitcoin established the first Bitcoin ATM in Cape Town. The rise of Bitcoin ATM’s clearly demonstrates the advancement of digital payments, as a result, a transition to real-world financial models is being seen as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies become more common. As part of his continued commitment to support new technology through accessibility, Cape Town Bitcoin provides the services of its ATM to the general public. At their ATM’s, people can be able to trade cash for Bitcoin or convert Bitcoin to rands and you can buy Bitcoin for a minimum of R100.

We talked about the fundamental principles of money, gold and crypto in this interview. Some of the key points include the following;
-How and when he got involved in Jewelry business
-Comparison of fiat money and Gold
-What are the Kruger Rands
-The perception of money in this real world
-What made him shift his business to start investing in Bitcoin
-How Blockchain technology is charging finance and the world at large
-How can artificial Intelligent change the ecosystem

Learn more about the Bitcoin ATM and Cape Town Bitcoin at: https://www.capetownbitcoin.co.za/

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#127 Marius Reitz – Lessons on Money, The Role of Luno in Africa

In this episode of The Grey Ave Podcast, I sat down and interviewed Marius Reitz, Luno’s Country Manager for South Africa to shed some light on Luno at their Offices in Cape Town.

Luno was founded in 2013 and is one of the world’s leading digital currency companies. Luno allows its users (people and businesses) to buy, sell, store and learn about digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. It also facilitates bitcoin storage through their bitcoin wallet services. They also operate exchanges between traditional currencies and bitcoin.

Luno and PayFast facilitated one of the first crypto-currency integrations into a payment processor in the world. In 2016, Luno took part in the FCA Sandbox programme. This allows businesses to test financial products with regulatory supervision.
In September 2017, Luno raised $9 million in order to introduce its bitcoin wallet, exchange and services in Europe. Since November 2017, Luno has also supported Ethereum. At the start of 2018, Luno announced they had reached nearly 2 million customers and processed over $5 billion. They are pro-regulation.In April 2018, Luno registered with the Bank Negara Malaysia as a reporting body for the digital currencies.

Marius joined Luno in its early days and has played a role in the company’s success. In this episode, we explore

  • His background,
  • Luno’s early days
  • Current state of Crypto
  • The future of Cryptocurrencies
  • Luno’s place in the market, considering growing competetion

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#125 Alakanani Itireleng – The State of Cryptocurrency in Botswana

Grey Jabesi caught up with Alakanani Itireleng also known as Bitcoin Lady at Blockchain Africa Conference 2019 in Cape Town. She is Co-founder and CEO of Satoshi centre, a blockchain hub in Gaborone Botswana. Alakanani is a determined entrepreneur, positive about the new possibilities that bitcoin as a currency and technology can bring to the life of many more Botswanans in the near future. She got into bitcoin in early 2012 in order to raise enough money for her son’s hear and lung transplant. She is also a well-known bitcoin evangelist who since has been involved in teaching people of Botswana about bitcoin. and has spoken at conferences in Amsterdam, South Africa, Europe, and Russia.

In this interview with Alakanani, we talked a lot about her journey into the blockchain, bitcoin, and crypto in Botswana.

Satoshicentre: https://satoshicentre.tech/

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#124 Vitalik Buterin – The Creator of Ethereum

In this episode, I caught up with Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum at EthCapeTown HackathonVitalik Buterin is a Russian-Canadian writer and programmer. Vitalik was involved in the Bitcoin community since 2011, co-founding and writing articles for Bitcoin magazine. But he is primarily known as the boy-genius behind Ethereum, the world’s second-most valued and recognized cryptocurrency platform behind Bitcoin.

Buterin learned about Bitcoin, from his father, at age 17. In 2012, he obtained a bronze medal in the International Olympiad in Informatics. In 2013, he visited developers in other countries who shared his enthusiasm for code. Buterin first described Ethereum in a white paper in late 2013. Buterin argued that bitcoin needed a scripting language for application development.

The project was publicly announced in January 2014, with the core team consisting of Vitalik Buterin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, Joe Lubin and Gavin Wood. Buterin also presented Ethereum on stage at a Bitcoin conference in Miami, and just a few months later the team decided to hold a crowdsale of Ether, the native token of the network, to fund the development. Around the same time, Vitalik himself received the Thiel Fellowship grant in the amount of $100,000.

We talked alot, some of the topics covered in this podcast were:
-Do you think blockchain will be a plugin to the current system?
-What’s the best Dapp have you come across in 2019?
-What was the initial idea of Ethereum?
-How has Ethereum evolved?
-Did you thought of ICOs before or they surprised you?
-Design in Blockchain, overvalued or undervalued?
-PoW has 51% attacks as a threat, what are threats to PoS?
-Are Government threats to Blockchain?
-How are you solving the privacy issue?

This interview was made possible by Linum Labs and EthGlobal

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#123 Jermaine Ellis – How To Make Passive Income and Travel the World

Grey Jabesi caught up with an American traveler, entrepreneur and YouTuber Jermaine Ellis from San Francisco, California USA. He’s busy traveling the world, so far he traveled 51 countries. Started backpacking traveling around the world 10 years ago.

I had an awesome time interviewing Jermaine Ellis. He’s really good at creating non formal jobs for himself to earn passive income while having fun doing it. Jermaine’s methods is applicable to everyone; nine to fivers, entrepreneurs, stay at home parents and jobs seekers too. I hope you find this inspiring.

His top favorite countries are:
1. South Africa
2. Israel
3. England


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#119 Helen Zille – Blockchain, Uber & Regulation

While at Blockchain Africa Conference 2019 in Cape Town. Grey Jabesi sat down with Helen Zille to talk about Blockchain and regulation. Helen is a South African politician, Premier of the Western Cape Province and a member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.

Zille is a former journalist and anti-apartheid activist and was one of the journalists who exposed the cover-up around the death of Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko while working for the Rand Daily Mail in the late 1970s. She also worked with the Black Sash and other pro-democracy groups during the 1980s. In the political arena, Zille has served in all three tiers of government, as the Western Cape’s education MEC (1999–2001), as a Member of Parliament(2004–2006), as Mayor of Cape Town (2006–2009), and as Premier of the Western Cape (2009–present).

In this interview, we discussed how governments are reacting to emerging technologies ie Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, Uber and more. As it stand, Malta is leading when it comes to regulating Blockchain and building an ecosystem that allows for such companies to thrive. This was not the only podcast conducted at the conference, I had a chance to speak with other experts including Leuw Carlsen, Lorien Gamaroff, Ray Youssef and many others.

I recommend you also check listen to my podcast with JP Fabri, an economist from Malta who has played a big role to make things happen in Malta. Episode 113 with JP Fabri


 

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#116 Lorien Gamaroff – The Bitcoin Split – BTC vs BSV

Lorien Gamaroff is the founder/CEO of Bankymoon, a blockchain and cryptocurrency consultancy and co-founder/CEO of Centbee, a cryptocurrency payments and remittance company.

As South Africa’s foremost blockchain expert, Lorien has been invited around the world to speak on digital/cryptocurrencies and decentralised/distributed ledgers and their benefits for emerging economies. He has addressed and advised the United Nations, IMF, World Bank, FBI and Commonwealth Secretariat, the South African Reserve Bank, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, TEDx and a host of professionals in multiple industries and attorney generals throughout the world. He offers insight and guidance to business executives and advises government on blockchain technologies and their implications.

He pioneered blockchain payments for utility smart metering and was the co-founder of the Blockchain Academy which educates professionals on all aspects of blockchains from regulations to software development.

An entrepreneurial and energised personality combined with extensive development experience. Creative and innovative, leading projects from inception to implementation and beyond.

Grey Jabesi met Laurien at Blockchain Africa Conference 2019:
– Why he thinks Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto
– Why he thinks Bitcoin is SV  as the real Bitcoin.
– His new startup Centbee
– What’s wrong with Bitcoin(BTC)
– Thoughts on what the cryptocurrency community should do to improve




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