Latest stories

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...

How to make an international transfer with TransferWise

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Having made my fair share of international transfers, I was mildly blown away by the speed and simplicity of TransferWise. For this very type of transaction, it blows banks, Paypal and yes (with the limited liquidity in markets) Bitcoin out of the water and is part of the reason I’m convinced Bitcoin isn’t a viable solution for remittances yet. I decided to take step-by-step screen...

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...

Startup Christmas

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Excerpt from a mailer that went out this week (not composed by me): #StartUp Christmas was conceived by Jens (Shopstar), Alex (StoneTree) and Werner (PayFast) over a glass of wine at an end-of-conference party. Conversations, which started with the classic “Sjoe! What a year its been!“, ended with a serious discussion on how to best bid it farewell. The biggest challenge –okay...

Separate your transactional and marketing emails

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Companies send out two very distinct, very different types of emails (or at least, they should). Transactional (or business) emails relate to the specific individual: welcome emails, invoices for payment, lost password requests, scheduled system downtime and the like. Marketing (or newsletter) emails relate to things that the individual might find interesting such as new features, opinion...

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...

How to track Bing Ads with Google Analytics

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Big platforms (and companies) don’t always play nicely together. Google is the search engine superpower in the one corner, Microsoft is the hardware giant in the other corner (in South Africa, at least). Why you should consider Bing Ads Despite your spiffy company Macbook Air running the latest version of Chrome (with Google set as the default search engine), most of your...

Code Corps is live(ish)

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Note: I was approached by volunteers for the Bernie Sanders 2016 US presidential campaign who now run the Code Corps project. I am not affiliated or involved with CodeCorps anymore. We have liftoff! So, for the past month or two, I’ve been slaving away (or outsourcing work) to create the first Code Corps course: How to Build Your Own Website. We’ve got great content, but we need...

About me

Werner van Rooyen

I'm involved with Business Development and Marketing at the fast-moving Bitcoin Exchange, Luno. Active in South Africa, Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.