About me

A

Hmn, you really want to find out more about me? Well, I suppose an ‘About me’ page is just the place for that…

World map

I grew up in a small town in South Africa. A place to be from and not to be heading to in any great rush. After that, I earned a bachelors degree in Marketing and Business Management at the University of Pretoria.

I spent the next few years hopping around the globe: backpacking around Europe, hitch-hiking up the East African coast and eventually ended up in Asia, where I called Taiwan home for the following three years. There, I studied Chinese, taught English and had the opportunity to travel to most other Southeast Asian countries.

After that, I spent a year as a Marketing Assistant at The Smithsonian Associates in Washington D.C., and another two years as the Marketing Manager of a Chinese-Canadian design firm in China.

Then, I spent a seven-year stretch in the wonderful city of Cape Town. I headed to the Mother City, without clear plans; maybe do some networking and research, maybe complete an MBA at UCT, or maybe just drop anchor for a few months before moving on. After a week of networking (and after three beers with the person who became my employer), I decided to pursue career opportunities in my native South Africa instead.

I haven’t looked back since.

First, I held the position of Head of Marketing at the fast-growing online payments startup called PayFast for nearly four years.

I’ve always been very passionate about finance, payments and technology. I got involved in Bitcoin in 2013 in my personal capacity and in 2015 I joined a pioneering Bitcoin and cryptocurrency company: Luno (formerly known as BitX).

I was the third paid employee at the firm (after the founders) and in a few short and crazy years, we’ve grown to a staff of hundreds with offices on multiple continents. We were the first (and still largest) Bitcoin provider in Africa and we’re leading the market in many other countries. I’ve had the opportunity to get my hands dirty, build great things, travel and help grow our footprint across the world, including Great Britain, Singapore, Nigeria, Malaysia and Indonesia, the latter where I spent two months to help scale our operations there.

I keep my mind occupied with multiple side projects and experiments, mostly related to finance, Bitcoin, charitable causes, and my favourite “free three”: mountains, ocean and the sun. I’m obsessed with the modern-day struggle of centralisation of power, technology, music, travel, politics, long-distance running and home-brewed beer (in no particular order).

In 2018 I said goodbye to South Africa again. I’m currently spending a year (or two) to travel around the world, do research, write and scout out a new place to call home.

You can follow me on Twitter @werneravr, but I’m hardly on social media (and my bot might auto-like your comments there, not me) so rather send me a message.

About me

Werner van Rooyen

Formerly Business Development and Marketing at the fast-moving Bitcoin Exchange, Luno (South Africa, Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Europe). Currently travelling and doing research on a round-the-world trip.