AuthorWerner van Rooyen

Formerly Business Development and Marketing at Luno (where we went from eight nerds in a tiny office to hundreds of people spread over three continents) and before that Marketing at PayFast. Currently a full-time nomad, learning, running long distances and doing research, mostly in Mexico.

How I built an Afrikaans AI Poetry Bot

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After letting go of my childhood dreams of building my own Terminator (or Chappie or JARVIS) I settled for something that writes (pretty bad) Afrikaans poetry, among other things. Here’s how I did it. First, What is AI? Read ten books about it and you’ll probably end up with ten different definitions. Broadly, however, it is about software’s ability to make sense of data and take the action that...

Chasing the spirit of Caballo Blanco in the bottom of a Mexican canyon

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“If you’re going through hell, keep going” Winston Churchill. “Wait, why exactly are you doing this again?”, came the Nagging Voice, who sometimes joins me on my more adventurous runs. I’d been running for more than seven hours under a merciless sun pelting down on me, amid a harsh landscape of gleaming rocks, dirt, and cactuses. I was thirsty, sunburned and tired…and I had at least...

How my friend and I created a fake group and performed at a Taiwanese music festival

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Preface  I’ve been hesitant to write about this fun episode, mostly because of my immense respect for Taiwan and the original Spring Scream festival organisers. I do not want to sour any relationships or future opportunities. That said, it was an immensely successful (and funny) marketing exercise and I’ve been asked about it by many friends, so here goes. Taiwan. Touch your...

Living with less. Everything I own now fits into a single carry-on bag

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I don’t own a lot. A grand total of 116 items, to be precise. That number includes things like my iPhone’s permanent bumper case and spare charging cable, but not necessarily each individual headache tablet in my toiletries bag (the bag is also counted, however). I rotate between two t-shirts most of the time and do a quick small load of laundry in the bathroom sink after each jog, five...

How to calculate your Bitcoin gains and taxes with Luno

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This is a work in progress. Please send me feedback if you have any questions, updates or spot any mistakes. I’ll update this and the demo spreadsheet as things evolve. Odds are that if you’re an early Bitcoin adopter – tinkering, investing or otherwise getting involved in the industry, anytime before October 2017 – your digital tokens have probably increased quite a bit in value. And, unless you...

How to improve your online privacy

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My views on online privacy have evolved a lot in recent years. This is partly because I better understand why privacy is valuable, why it’s important to pay for online media and services, and because of all the recent cases of abuse of our online data by the big online platforms. My reasons to value my privacy might be different from yours, but I’d encourage you to do some reading (and thinking)...

No, it’s not too late to care about Bitcoin

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(This article first appeared on the Rand Merchant Investment Holdings AlphaCode website) And you should care about Bitcoin, even if you don’t believe in it No, you can’t pay for your groceries at the supermarket with Bitcoin (yet). You can’t pay your taxes, your mortgage or your rent, and you certainly won’t be able to persuade your boss to pay you in Bitcoin either. Yes, you...

Making sense of the (latest) Bitcoin crash

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It seems, if you’re following finance and technology news, that Bitcoin is a bubble (again) it has crashed (again) and is left for dead (again). Go ahead and open Google News and do a search for “Bitcoin crash” and filter for articles published in the past month. These attention-grabbing headlines are probably not going to go away, so in this article I’ll try to give some context about why they...

How to sell Bitcoin Cash (BCC or BCH)

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I recently wrote two articles; one outlining the background to the scaling debate and recent near-forks, the other about Bitcoin Cash and how Luno will (and won’t) support it. Update: you can now instantly sell your Bitcoin Cash on Luno, without the need to send it to another platform. Information further down. In a nutshell: forking a digital currency is taking the rules of the current...

How to get your credit report in South Africa

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tl;dr: I recommend these guys. In the same way that countries are rated by their creditworthiness –how likely they are to pay back their debt and the rate of interest they need to pay– individuals also have a score which serves as a financial résumé of sorts. In this article, I’ll discuss what your credit score is and how to get a credit report in South Africa. What is a credit...

About me

Werner van Rooyen

Formerly Business Development and Marketing at Luno (where we went from eight nerds in a tiny office to hundreds of people spread over three continents) and before that Marketing at PayFast. Currently a full-time nomad, learning, running long distances and doing research, mostly in Mexico.