Latest stories

How to buy international stocks from South Africa

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Some South Africans want exposure to international stocks and ETFs. Reasons could range from just diversifying their investment portfolio, a devaluing rand, weak domestic and emerging market growth, local political shenanigans… or just playing around with some spare change to learn how these things work. Although there are some powerful trading platforms available to South Africans, the...

A case for pay transparency

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We don’t like to talk about how much money we earn (this is the case in the West, at least; when I was living in Taiwan, I believe my neighbours on both sides knew my age, weight and salary). We hide our salary from our friends, peers, colleagues and in some cases even partners. Now, there are reasons aplenty to keep things private and there is always a requirement for some degree of...

Multilingual site language list advice

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I’m currently working in Indonesia (and I’ll be here for a few more weeks) enjoying the hustle and bustle from sleepy, beautiful Cape Town.
A lot of apps and websites I use are now (and understandably) showing me their content in Bahasa Indonesia. Despite finding the language interesting and easy to study, I still prefer to see these sites in English.

Removing malware from first line of WordPress PHP pages

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Kudos to Carel van Wyk, for helping out with this one. I’m releasing it into the wild here to help other people who might have the same problem. The problem There are bots trying to gain access to websites, email and social media accounts, all the time. Don’t take it personally; they’re simply looking for (usually known) weaknesses to exploit and then once they’re in, they use your account to...

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...

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.