My First Anniversary of Being a Privacy Advocate in Lagos, Nigeria.
I first heard about blockchain, cryptocurrency and bitcoin, sometime in 2016, then I was the founder of a struggling startup — TaskBuddy, which was the Uber for domestic tasks. At the time, an old friend of mine was the only one I knew that was into cryptocurrency.
Being the curious person I’ve always been, I asked him to guide in crypto-verse. The first thing he did, was to make cryptocurrency sound like rocket science, shortly after he quoted a huge sum, as his service fee. A sum I couldn’t afford at the time, so, I had to keep paddling my dying startup until its eventual death which was as a result of inadequate funding.
How I Met BEAM
A couple of months down the line, I stumbled across Steemit, a blockchain-based blogging and social media platform. This was the portal that took me deeper into the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Being a writer, it was relatively easy to thrive within the blockchain-based blogging platforms like Whaleshares and Scorum.
I accidentally discovered Beam on Steemit, in a contest hosted by OriginalWorks. This weekly writing contest is usually sponsored by a given blockchain project hoping to gain awareness. To win this prize money, contestants are expected to read and understand the sponsor’s project. The sponsors provide basic details about their projects, and the contestants are expected to build on the information. The best posts with in-depth information about the project win the prize.
While I was studying about BEAM, I was intrigued by the project especially the complexities of the Mimblewimble protocol. So, I reached out to the marketing team, I was put through the selection process, and a couple of days after, I was selected to become an ambassador. And for the past year, I’ve been preaching the privacy gospel within my locality in Lagos, Nigeria.
My First Outing as A Beam Ambassador
On the 24th of September, a day after becoming Beam’s ambassador for Lagos, Nigeria, I had to represent Beam at Block Show Africa Roundtable which was a preparation for the Block Show Africa event. Present at the event were key stakeholders within Nigeria and Africa’s cryptocurrency ecosystem. They are the forces responsible for shaping the cryptocurrency ecosystem within the continent.
It was exciting interacting with these high profile people represented at the event. This shows the direction Nigeria and Africa as a whole is moving towards a decentralized economy, the people are tired of the centralized systems and it’s susceptibility to corruption.
Organizing BEAM Meet-ups
One of the primary tasks of an ambassador is to organize meet-ups in your locality. And with the help of a few friends, I was able to organize my first BEAM meet-up in Lagos. The event held on the 29th of September, 2018, and as you’d expect, the turn out wasn’t superb, but the experience was thrilling.
We had Alex Romanov Beam’s CTO on Skype, and we interacted on several levels about privacy and why Beam’s mimblewimble implementation will be a better solution in comparison to existing privacy tokens. Over 1 year, I organized 5 meet-ups and 1 webinar for Beam, across Lagos, and a neighbouring city called Ibadan. We’ve had a total of 195 participants since our first meet-up in Lagos. Most of the participants are crypto traders, developers, entrepreneurs, crypto enthusiasts and miners.
Although organizing and managing meet-ups can be daunting, they are quite fun and exciting. The best part tends to be feedback from the audience, those interested in blockchain and cryptocurrency, the crypto traders, the investors, the few miners and the enthusiasts that are interested in being part of the Beam project.
Representing Beam at 3rd Party Events
Privacy is a fundamental human right, and it’s important to share this message within my community, with the resources and opportunities at my disposal. The first of such opportunity came when I was at the CryptoTv+ studio for an interview on Privacy. The interview which took place barely a month after I became an ambassador, was great exposure for me, the studio can be intimidating, not to mention the host and her queens English.
Earlier in 2019, I represented Beam during the Techpoint Inspired conference which took place on the island of Lagos state, Nigeria. During the event, I interacted with key players within the blockchain space, as well as the technology space. After the event, I had a little chat with the guys at CryptoTv+, an indigenous blockchain media outfit.
Lastly, I was featured on the CryptoLife Podcast with Chris Ani, (a leader in the blockchain and crypto space in Nigeria) where we spoke about the cryptocurrency community in Lagos and Nigeria at large. We also spoke about my journey into the crypto space, and how I found Beam and other interesting crypto initiatives.
A few Other Contributions to the Community
If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. I stand for privacy, as a fundamental human right and I do everything in my capacity to speak this truth. I am vocal about privacy on Twitter, and other social media platforms. I wrote a post about Beam some time ago about Beam, and I also created a simple video about why privacy is important, and how Beam is in a better position to solve this problem.
What Lies Ahead for Me and Beam
The past year has been exciting and filled with learning and unlearning. Over the year, Beam has grown in leap and bounds, and I believe I’ve grown along with the project. I am ready to take on more responsibilities, in growing the Beam community beyond Lagos, and Nigeria.
Coming up with strategies, creating content, holding press releases, being part of bigger conferences, interview sessions, anything that will yield a bigger impact for privacy within the African continent. I will be dedicated towards these for the journey that lies ahead.
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