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#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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#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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#126 Julia Anastasopoulos – Creating Suzelle DIY

In this episode of The Grey Ave Podcast, I had a chance to sit down and interviewed Julia Anastasopoulos at her studio in Woodstock, Cape Town. She is a South African artist, illustrator, designer and actress. She became a local internet phenomenon in May 2014, with her do-it-yourself web series known as SuzelleDIY. Before she became a YouTube personality, Anastasopoulos created hand-drawn illustrations on the walls and windows of a few MyCiTi bus stations in Cape Town.

Born in Johannesburg, Julia obtained her BA degree in Theatre and Performance majoring in Acting at the University of Cape Town. She started her SuzelleDIY YouTube channel in May 2014, with a “bite-size, do-it-yourself web series”. She plays an Afrikaans woman, along with animator and filmmaker Ari Kruger. Suzelle collaborated with Takealot, an online retailer and created four videos for the Takealot brand.

In 2015, Suzelle took first place in the Superbalist 100 campaign.

In this fascinating interview with her, we discussed the following:
-Her involvement in the generic acting career
-The challenges faced by most Youtube content creators
-Best ways how to monetize Youtube video content
-Parenting
-Her upcoming movie series on Showmax Tali Wedding Diary

Subscribe on her Youtube channel:https://www.youtube.com/user/SuzelleDIY
Follow Suzelle DIY on Twitter: @SuzelleDIY
Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/julia_knolc/?hl=en
Sketchbook Studios:https://www.sketchbookstudios.co.za/

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#122 Mamadou Toure – Building a Better World, Education, Values, AI

Mamadou Toure is Founder and CEO of Ubuntu Capital Group, a leading Investment, and Advisory firm focused on designing and implementing integrated innovative investment solutions uplifting projects ecosystems. Mamadou is also Founder of Ubuntu Coin (UCoin), an Asset-Backed Digital Currency aimed at fostering, shared wealth, financial inclusion and fair trade.

Toure is the founder and Chairman of Africa 2.0, an initiative-driven advocacy group that brings together emerging leaders representing African countries and the diaspora, who share a common vision of the continent’s future. As the Managing Director with General Electric (GE) Africa, Toure currently leads a regional Investments and Project Finance team supporting all GE businesses (power, water, mining, oil & gas, transportation, healthcare, aviation) with financing solutions across sub-Saharan Africa. Toure received a distinction as “New Leader for Tomorrow” by the Crans Montana Forum in 2011. He was selected in 2012 as of one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by the New African Magazine. In 2013, Toure was ranked among the “25 Faces of the new Africa” by BRICS Business Magazine.

Topics
– His work experience(General Electric, World bank)
– Africa 2.0 Story
– His educational background(Education system)
– Work
– Values in technology
– Society and Critical thinking
– Decentralization

Links:www.africa2point0.org

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#118 Meir Ezra – How To Become Jewish in 10 Minutes

If you want to know how powerful you are. Count the times you’ve been punched or whacked by life” – Meir Ezra

This a 3rd of my on-going snippet episodes with Meir Ezra. We all know the stereotype of Jews being financially successful and in this episode, Meir took a tongue and cheek approach to why Jews tend to be more successful.

To listen to my very 1st interview with Meir, see How to make a 100 million dollars.

Remember to share if you find it helpful.


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#114 Steve Distante – Tesla’s No.1 Fan, Impact Investing

Steve Distante is an entrepreneur and CEO (as he likes to say, “Chief Entrepreneurial Officer”) of Vanderbilt Financial Group. He started his first business when he was only 5 years old. He is also the Founder and Chief Disruption Officer at Impact U, a platform that educates students, investors, & financial advisors, alike about Impact Investing.

He is known as “Tesla’s biggest and /or #1 Fan. His love for Tesla first started when he saw Revenge of the Electric Car. Tesla is a great thing for the world.

I did a couple of interviews with Steve, but in this episode, we talked about these key points;
-How can he advice an average person or someone who wants to buy a car?
-The current Project Impact U. What is the main aim of Impact U firm? a documentary that would be the ideal tool for attracting people interested in using their businesses and investments to make the world a better place.
-What does impact Investing mean?
-What is the role of impact investing and entrepreneurism in achieving the SDGs?
-At what point did Steve become an impact investor?
-Steve’s thoughts about Cryptocurrency etc
I recommend that you check it out other podcasts I did with Steve and listen to his advice and learn his lesson in this episode.
Episode 27 – Driving Tesla – Living Electric
Episode 28 – Lesson on Entrepreneurship


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#112 Meir Ezra – The Power of Cause and Effect

This is the first part of our ongoing digestible series with Meir Ezra. These are snippets from a long interview I had with him. The first interview with Meir can be found here: How to make a 100 million dollars.

Meir Ezra is an international entrepreneur with multi-million dollar businesses and clients in the US, Canada, Israel, Italy, Colombia, Russia, India, China, Romania, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Germany, the Czech Republic, Turkey and many others.
Entrepreneur with years of experience across a wide range of fields and an inventor with many patents registered to his name. Established the most successful distributor of gasoline management systems, a company that within three years grew to $100,000,000.


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#107 Meir Ezra – How to make a 100 Million Dollars

Support the Grey ave Podcast on https://www.patreon.com/greyjabesi

In this episode, Grey Jabesi interviewed Meir Ezra. Meir Ezra is an international entrepreneur with multi-million dollar businesses and clients in the US, Canada, Israel, Italy, Colombia, Russia, India, China, Romania, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Germany, the Czech Republic, Turkey and many others. As part of this drive to make a difference in people’s lives, Meir has been involved in working with high level government officials on projects related to education and business development.

One of his most notable accomplishments includes establishing the most successful distributor of gasoline management systems, a company that within three years grew to $100,000,000. He has consulted companies such as BP (British Petroleum), Motorola, IBM and loves working with entrepreneurs and small business owners. Meir’s most recent company, Guaranteed Prosperity, is a training, coaching and implementation company that helps it’s clients succeed beyond their wildest dreams.

Meir’s passion is helping others. Active in many personal activities such as karate, motorcycling and kite surfing, Meir is very much a family man, deeply in love with his wife of over 30 years and three beautiful children.



The notable things we discussed in this episode includes:
Childhood
-How did the disability affected you
-What kind of kid were you. (Did you possess any special skills)
-What was your passion
-Did the disability motivated you more

Electronics
-What were you building
-The difference between knowing and understanding
-How did you hear of the South African opportunity
-Moving to South Africa

Business
-What made it very successful
-Hiring
-Solutions to challenges

Money
-What is not true that’s common knowledge
-How do you not lose it
-Traits that someone would make money

Misc
-How much of your life was planned/designed
-Go to routine during tough times(specific situation)
-How do you get out of comfort zone
-Work life balance?
-How to not be weak

Now
-You have a great understanding of people
-Why do you still do it?
-How to stop complaining

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#106 Maps Maponyane – Inside the Mind of South Africa’s Top Model

Support the Grey ave Podcast on https://www.patreon.com/greyjabesi

In this episode, Grey Jabesi interviewed Maps Maponyane. Maps is one of South Africa’s favourite personalities. He is considered as one of SA’s most stylish and sexiest men and is a greatly admired media personality. Multi-talented as a tv presenter, model, actor, style icon, designer, businessman and philanthropist, he makes waves both locally and internationally. Maps is loved and followed by his fans on social media platforms because of his down to earth, professional yet warm personality. He is known for his talent, fashion sense, charm, innovation, versatility and good looks.

Maponyane was named GQ’s “Best Dressed Man” in 2011 and Cosmopolitan Magazine’s “Sexiest South African Man” in 2013.




Notable Awards obtained:
Current ambassador for Samsung
Current ambassador for Investec
GQ’s Best Dressed Men List (2011) and the youngest nominee.
GQ’s Cool 35 Guys Under 35 (2013)
Vuzu 10over10 #1 Most Stylish Man (2013
Cosmo SA Sexiest Man (2013)
SA Style Award – Most Stylish Model/Media Personality (2013)
GQ Magazine Cover (March 2015)
Philanthropy:
Community and Organisational work with NGO Doctors Without
Borders/MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres)
Volunteer at Ethembeni Children’s Home
Bursary network

Follow maps on instagram:https://www.instagram.com/mmaponyane/?hl=en
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mapsmaponyane?lang=en

 

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