Posts

#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 Bahai 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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#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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#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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#76 SHOULD YOU INVEST IN CRYPTOCURRENCY? – MJ THE ACTUARY

Michael Jordan (MJ) is on track to getting his FASSA(in Finance) and CERA qualification. He passed all his Actuarial exams and now waiting for his graduation. He is now interested in Blockchain technology and digital currencies in which he has managed to pull out a few Blockchain based projects on his own.

He consults as an actuary, sometimes write for media outlets like Entrepreneur Magazine. He also has a Youtube channel MJ the Student Actuary where he post videos.

In this episode we discuss:
– Should you in invest in Cryptocurrencies
– What Cryptocurrency tokens represent
– Risks involved
– How to get started
– Governance
– Money
– Religion

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#69 SONYA KUHNEL – THE BLOCKCHAIN AFRICA CONFERENCE

Sonya Kuhnel has been interested in digital currencies since late 2013 and one of the first women involved in the industry in South Africa. In 2013, she started a bitcoin payment company called Bitcoin Payments, a BitPay Affiliate partner, which allowed online merchants in South Africa to accept bitcoin as a payment method for goods and services.

In 2014, Sonya co-founded Bitcoin Events, a company that hosts the Bitcoin & Blockchain Africa Conferences in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The conferences attract local and international venture capitalists, government delegates, top level executives from large financial institutions as well as experts in the industry.

In this episode, Sonya shares the history of Bitcoin events. A company she co-founded which is behind the Bitcoin Africa conference. We also discuss the state of cryptocurencies in South Africa, how she got herself involved with Bitcoin and more.

We give away free tickets to the conference. Listen to the podcast for instructions.

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