Earlier this week, we attended a masterclass series at the entrepreneurs Hub East Africa. Founded by Liesbeth Bakker, the Entrepreneurs Hub is a great location on Waiyaki Way. It’s basically a 5-bedroom bungalow turned into a co-working space complete with a magnificent garden. Within the lush compound, entrepreneurs can rent out desk, office and meeting room space at startup friendly prices.
The guest speaker for the Masterclass, Mr. Eric Apollo, CEO at Point50 Capital and an expert at cryptocurrency started off the class by explaining how he got into trading bitcoin.
If I had invested 10,000 bob worth of bitcoin back in 2009, I would now be a millionaire sitting on 48M. Cryptocurrency is here to stay and people are going to make money out of it, so you can either start investing and get your piece of the pie or you can wait until it’s too late.
With such an introduction, you can bet Eric had us hooked.
3 Lessons Learned From The Masterclass
- Evolving From Internet of Information to Internet of Value
After explaining the basics of Fintech, cryptocurrency and blockchain, Mr. Apollo went on to point out that the blockchain technology is the 2nd version of the internet. The first version was laid back in 1990 (www.) and allowed the whole world to share information, this layer of the internet was underpinned by one killer app- email. However, with blockchain, the internet isn’t going to be all about sharing information but also value, and this is where bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like monero, come in- bitcoin is the killer app. As with the World Wide Web, the benefits for business and society of this second overlay on the internet are simply too compelling to ignore. We would recommend that you start looking at your website or online platform not only as an information sharing tool but also as a tool to store and transfer value safely.
2. A Blockchain-based Social Media Platform that Pays you for Content
When asked about the current trends on blockchain technology, Eric mentioned SteemIt – a blockchain-based social media platform where anyone can earn rewards. To understand this trend, try to remember when Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, Myspace and others were battling it out to become the next big thing in social media. The same is going on right now and the race has just started. This time around it’s the companies based on blockchain technology that are looking to become the next big thing in social media, content creating and sharing in general. When this bubble bursts, just like the dot-com bubble did once, it will create an entirely new generation of millionaires and even billionaires. Long story short, Steemit is cool, fun and a way to earn some money writing content. When it grows into something bigger, it has the potential to become the ONLY source of income for most people, all just by writing! Ajira Digital should borrow ideas here.
3. The Blockchain Developer Shortage in Kenya
Consequently, Mr. Apollo informed us of the shortage of blockchain developers in Kenya adding that Dr. Bitange Ndemo is in the midst of sourcing blockchain programmers to teach Kenyan programmers the new technology. Considering Blockchain is more likely to do to the financial system and regulation what the internet has done to media companies and advertising firms, such a fundamental restructuring of a core part of the economy is a big challenge to incumbent firms that make their living from it. Preparing for these changes means investing in research, experimentation and development of skills. Those who do so will be well placed to thrive in the new, emerging financial system.
Time flies when you are having a good time, in this case it rocketed. We learned so much from interacting with other entrepreneurs and techies who attended the masterclass and will definitely be back for more. We thank The Entrepreneurs Hub East Africa for facilitating the session and Mr. Erick Apollo for demystifying these emerging technologies while reminding us that the best way to predict the future is to create it.