CategoryPoint of view

Why Bitcoin won’t work for emerging market remittances (anytime soon)

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Preface: I “drank the cool-aid” early on when it comes to Bitcoin. I bought my first few bits in 2013, made some money and then lost it all again. I’m a firm believer in the technology and I get to work with some of the brightest minds on some of the most intellectually stimulating work, something I believe is the future of finance. I just don’t think it’s the future of remittances in...

A farewell to PayFast

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This is a combination of my thoughts on quitting and the letter I sent to my colleagues announcing my resignation. I don’t want this site to really be about my personal life, but so much of what has become my personal life is intertwined with what is my professional life.  It is with a heavy heart –and an industry-appropriate sad emoticon– that I’m announcing my...

Lessons learned at the Lean Startup Machine

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The Lean Startup book, by Eric Ries has had a really big impact in the way I think about and approach various projects since the day I first read it. It’s applicable not just to work projects, but also for one of the many side projects, charitable causes and ideas I’m tinkering away at in my spare time. At the crux, it is about focusing on getting things done quickly: shortening the...

Lessons I learned at AfrikaBurn

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It has been over a few weeks since I participated in AfrikaBurn, the South African chapter of Burning Man. I say participate and not witness because as they kept explaining: “You don’t go to AfrikaBurn, you are AfrikaBurn”. It might be a bit insensitive to talk about marketing, consumerism and business regarding an event that tries actively to shun all of that. They...

Uber’s surge pricing

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Uber has been getting some flack for their infamous “surge pricing” that’s been in effect for the past few months. I was warned about it the first time on New Year’s Eve and saw on the app rates as high as 7.5 times the regular rate. Lisa Chow did a story on NPR, other similar stories got published and the general mood is that it is an asshole move by a company that...

Crowdfunding in South Africa: rewards-based, charitable and equity

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I like crowdfunding. It usually removes friction, barriers and middlemen and matches demand with (sometimes only perceived) supply. Crowdfunding, thus far, has mostly either been for products (you send us $99, we’ll send you a smartwatch) or for donations/social causes (let’s raise money for an animal shelter). These two (product crowdfunding and donation crowdfunding) have already...

So, Has Bitcoin Crashed Yet?

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I made a cheeky little website a few weeks back to give a quick answer to all the bitcoin naysayers, who are all predicting an imminent crash. I present: So, Has Bitcoin Crashed Yet? Visit it at:  For what it’s worth, I’m a borderline-naysayer as I don’t think that Bitcoin is currently a viable, stable crypto-currency (and I’ve sold all the coins I purchased early in 2013)...

Procrastination and Plugins: Read it later with Readability and Pocket

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“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.” – Don Marquis Working for an online company — or just having a constant internet connection at the office, at home and on your mobile devices on the go — it gets really easy to be distracted by digital interruptions. The never-ending emails, the torrent of tweets (mostly linked to pages, some which might even...

There’s no such thing as free shipping

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There’s this great shop down the street from me. Last Saturday I popped in on my way back from a late brunch with a friend and a particular jacket in the window caught my fancy. The price seemed good, but something stopped me from getting it: there was an extra 10% charge for a “shelf display fee”, not shown on the price tag, which I had to add to the total price! They explained...

Uber is in Cape Town!

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This city’s transportation system has momentum. It’s also a city that’s been doing well to assist with the transition of South Africans – of a broad economic rainbow – to be more supportive of public transportation, something that has a bit of a stigma of something you have to take not choose to take. It’s a place with a decent spread of rail, various buses, minibuses and private taxis; with...

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.