Why Crypto Needs Africa with Yoseph Ayele

July 6, 2023

In today's episode, we're talking about why Web3 and crypto need Africa. We're joined by founder and investor Yoseph Ayele, who we first met in Nairobi earlier this year, during a four-country learning and listening tour he organized with the Ethereum Foundation, for which they were joined by Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin.

Yoseph believes that crypto needs Africa, and he's working to build bridges between the global crypto ecosystem and the communities and builders on the ground across the continent.

In this episode, we talk to Yoseph about that work, about his thesis that crypto needs Africa, about his vision for a borderless Africa, and much more.

00:00 - Intro
03:39 - Yoseph's background
08:00 - Why does crypto need Africa?
19:46 - Ethereum Foundation's Africa trip
24:37 - Global crypto's interest in Africa
32:44 - Borderless Africa
36:12 - Recommendations + follow us on Twitter


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[00:00:00] Yoseph Ayele: “Since the beginning of Bitcoin, and decentralization, Ethereum, a lot of Web3 three applications, there's always been this narrative of, let's bring this technology for mass adoption, let's build real world applications. That narrative is still very present, and we're still having the same types of conversations today. When we look at the types of needs and problems in many sophisticated economies, generally things are working for the masses.

When you look at Africa, on the other side, we have immense amount of unmet needs, that centralized bodies haven't even tried to scratch the surface for. So, there's a lot to build, there’s a lot of infrastructure to create. When I look at these different dynamics happening on one side, incredible amount of technology just trying to find product market fit, and then a mountain of problem areas, and a very large population base that is really hungry for sophisticated infrastructures. That's a really amazing match. That's really where, I believe, actually, for the crypto world to reach mass adoption, bring the next billion users, and actually solve real world problems that people will use these tools for on a daily basis. Africa is going to play a massive role in it.”

[00:01:24] Justin Norman: Welcome to crypto@scale. I’m Justin Norman, and in today's episode, my co-host, Gwera Kiwana and are talking about why Web3 and crypto need Africa. We're joined by founder and investor Yoseph Ayele, who we first met in Nairobi earlier this year. During a four-country learning and listening tour he organized with the Ethereum Foundation, for which they were joined by the one and only Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin.

Yoseph believes that crypto needs Africa, and he's working to build bridges between the global crypto ecosystem and the communities and builders on the ground across the continent. In this episode, we talk to Yoseph about that work, about this thesis that crypto needs Africa, about his vision for a borderless Africa, and much more.

If you enjoyed this episode, please hit that subscribe button on YouTube or your favorite podcast app and share with a friend or a colleague who you think may enjoy it as well. crypto@scale is not an investment advice, and it's for entertainment purposes only.

This episode of crypto@scale is brought to you by Ripple. Anyone who sent money across borders to or within Africa knows how cumbersome expensive and slow the process can be. When it comes to remittances, Sub Saharan Africa remains the most expensive region to send money to. For businesses, trapped capital, slow settlements, and high failure rates pose major challenges. The current financial infrastructure just doesn't work very well for the modern global economy.

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[00:03:19] Gwera Kiwana: Yoseph, thank you so much for joining us today. We're going to take a deep dive into your thesis as it relates to crypto in Africa. What has shaped that and what future you envision with the work that you're contributing to? But before we do, please give a quick intro to your background. Give us a rundown of the work you're doing now, and what led you down this path?

[00:03:39] Yoseph Ayele: Amazing. Well, thank you so much for having me on the show, Gwera and Justin. I’ve been a listener of your show for since you started it. So, it's a pleasure to be on it. A little bit about myself. I am Ethiopian. I grew up between Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, and a little bit in Nigeria. Quite Pan African in my life and still spent the majority of my life on the continent. The Internet changed my life and opened up the world like many people in my generation. I don't know how many people can kind of relate to the experience of the world without Internet and the world with Internet quite radically different. But the Internet has always been gated for many young Africans and that was my experience of it.

The narrative that I grew up in is that if you want to do something great in the world, you got to leave. The best building we had was the airport, and the best road was the road to the airport in Addis Ababa. That's what I did. I decided to leave home and I was one of the few lucky ones who was able to find interesting opportunities around the world. I got a scholarship to go study at Harvard, and I did my undergrad there. I moved to the Bay Area to work in tech, which was an incredible eye-opening experience. But then I got kicked out of the US because my degree and my qualification work didn't match on the very ancient nineties database of what makes professional and specialized work.

That's just one of many immigration related scars that I have accumulated as any Ethiopian passport holder. That led me to kind of think about the world quite differently, and I decided to move to New Zealand because I wanted to stay in the Western world. I didn't feel I had something unique to contribute back home, but I wanted to be in a smaller, more agile environment. So, I packed up my bags and went to a trip to New Zealand from Silicon Valley. One of the main things that I worked on there, which kind of happened randomly is collaborated with the New Zealand government to help them design a new immigration policy. That was quite an incredible opportunity to try to hack the system from within and build an API into the government apparatus for founders, builders, creatives, who don't fit in a box, to have a different pathway to access a visa.

The vision there was that we can build v1 there and go and convince a whole lot of other governments to create something like this and create a borderless world. That program is called the Global Impact Visa. It turned into a beautiful community called Edmund Hillary Fellowship. While I was running that, we built it as a public private partnership, which is something we can get into if it's of interest. But as I was running that program, there was a lot of Web3 and crypto interest that was attracted to the program, as well as in New Zealand, one, just from a lens of visa program run as a startup. The idea of a country opening its borders up, and New Zealand being an incubation nation to world changing ideas and innovations. That gave me an amazing experience of being at the front seats of learning from some of the best builders in the space. What's happening in the Web3 world, what's happening in crypto, what’s happening in centralization from both the technical side as well as the building side, as well as just the consumer and set of applications, and just the deeper, I went into that world, the more excited I became about the applications in Africa. That's kind of like what led me to say, “Okay, maybe changing immigration system one at a time is going to take multiple lifetimes, maybe the best path forward is to actually plug as many young Africans into a borderless world powered by Web3 technologies. And that's what I've been focused on the last few years.

[00:07:27] Justin Norman: We certainly, Gwera and I, and our audience, and many folks in the crypto community across the continent, this argument that there's a tremendous amount of opportunity for Web3 in Africa is one that resonates deeply with us. You've now been going around and actually sort of taking that argument one step further and talking about crypto needs, or Web3 needs Africa as well, which again, another argument that we agree with, and that resonates with us. So, can you talk a little bit about that thesis that you have, and how I think it went from also going to seeing the opportunity for Web3 in Africa to now, this argument that Web3 needs Africa?

[00:08:00] Yoseph Ayele: Since the beginning of Bitcoin and decentralization, a lot of Web3 applications, there's always been this narrative of, let's bring this technology for mass adoption, let's build real world applications. That narrative is still very present and we're still having the same types of conversations today. That's been in this space for the last 13 plus years. So, that is very present, and I guess when I dig deeper into the applications of decentralization, and Web3 in general, we ask the question, what problem are we actually solving? When we look at the types of needs and problems in many sophisticated economies, generally, things are working for the masses.

Yes, there is like a small 5%, 10%, 15% of our population that really, really cares about privacy, that goes to crazy extent to build a private life. Or the people who are frustrated with the banking systems, that people who are frustrated with some of the traditional infrastructures, and I can resonate with that. But fundamentally, when you look at 50%, 70% of a country's population, what are the needs people have? A lot of those needs are kind of met by centralized entities, right? So, all these decentralized technologies, they're competing with a really well-entrenched, and well-established legacy infrastructures and apparatus, and we're at a stage where this technology is still in research and development. There's still a lot of work to be done. The user experience is still very crappy. The friction level is very high. All those things are just such a high bar for mass scale adoption.

Yes, maybe NFT give us an interesting pathway into that. But so much of the activity for a while has been predominantly speculation. So, if we go back to the fundamentals of what are the primitives of crypto, and generally speaking, the very sophisticated advanced economies, it's just a high bar to meet for mass scale adoption. When you look at Africa, on the other side, we have immense amount of unmet needs, right? That centralized bodies haven't even tried to scratch the surface for. There's a lot to build, there’s a lot of infrastructure to create, and finance, and trust, and better economic coordination, and ownership titles, and basically creating the fundamental financial and economic infrastructures for us to really have vibrant activities in our economy and our society.

So, there's a lot to build on that front. On the other side, Africa has really got a track record. Well, I don't want to talk about Africa as if it's one bit, but many African countries have a track record of being first adopters to new technologies. We've seen that with mobile phones. We've seen that with Internet and mobile banking, and mobile money. Now, we're seeing a lot of crypto. Look, we have a track record of taking these new innovations and just swarming it and using it to fill gaps that we have so far.

When I look at these different dynamics happening on one side, an incredible amount of technology, just trying to find product market fit, and then a mountain of problem areas, and a very large population base that is really hungry for sophisticated infrastructures, that's a really amazing match, and that's really where I believe actually, for the crypto world, to reach mass adoption, bring the next billion users, and actually solve real world problems that people will use these tools for on a daily basis. Africa is going to play a massive role in it.

[00:11:48] Gwera Kiwana: I want to maybe pull on that thread a little bit more. You mentioned how different African countries and we tend to adopt technology pretty quickly, early on. But this is like telcos, phones, the world had phones and mobile phones before it reached Africa. We saw the Internet as well, even though we've seen crazy adoption of that, it was very widely used. People are surfing the web in America and New Zealand, well before we were. There's something important about how crypto and blockchain technology in general is technology that's reaching the whole world at the same time. Can you talk more about that and what that means? We've received this new technology, we're starting to research and develop on it at the same pace and same time, it just looks quite different. Can you explain a little bit about what your perspective is on that?

[00:12:33] Yoseph Ayele: I think for this question, I'd love to go maybe into the primitives of the technology, not just the technology itself. What are the values that stand behind the technology? To me that's as interesting and as exciting as the tools that are built for us in this very specific moment. When we talk about decentralization in so many different ways, fundamentally, what does decentralization mean to each of us, and maybe that's a conversation for us to have. In my view, some of the things that decentralization means is that trust is not based on me knowing you, or me knowing an individual or an organization or an entity. Trust is basically built by a distributed group of computers or individuals, and the fact that we're heavily decentralized means there's no one point of failure, or it doesn't require me trusting just one entity. And that builds the foundation of trust. The more decentralized something is, then the more you can trust it, that a bad actor cannot come and destroy all value in that place.

So, I think that's like, really interesting. That's a really amazing fundamental, because one of the things that is really coming on that front into the African continent is that trust is not based on me meeting some foreign player, and having a whole lot of meetings and saying, “Do I trust this person? Do I trust the contract? Do I trust really, that they have the money on the other side?” Because there's so much human resource and energy is wasted in that way. This is actually enabling a very high level of trust.

The second bit is that it's permissionless participation, to build, create, and use. I think that's a game changer, because we – I think that that's really broad access to crypto to regular users. Just to give you a few examples of some of the folks that I've been meeting randomly on Telegram and on Twitter from Kenya, for example. One of them is, he was in university studying architecture. He basically had this thought process saying, “Well, I can go to my architecture degree, and I could try to climb the architecture ladder. Maybe that will take me 20 years to try to get to a position of some level of financial abundance and feeling like I've done really good in the world, and that I have really expanded.” There's a lot of luck that's involved in that whole process.

That hat is still very gated for that young person, because you got to be an insider, you got to know someone who knows someone. You got to have those unfair advantages within society to even do well in that category of field. He’s like, well, he discovered the decentralized world taught himself a lot of skills on YouTube, and he started contributing to Dows, with an anonymous name, anonymous entity and started participating. Very quickly, he got a very easy job to work on. Then later on, he got a bit more of a permanent work. That person is plugged into a global economy, earning real global income, without even anyone knowing where that person is from, what that person looks like, how old that person is, what formal qualification that person has.

So, I think that permissionless nature has created so many of such stories of young, hungry, driven self-learners, basically finding pathways to express themselves, pathways to really participate in a global economy. I think I think that has been really, really incredible. Another fundamental premise is sovereignty, and that is something that's really important too. It's like, “Hey, I want to have sovereignty over my own money, and my own set of assets, over my own creation, art.” We're seeing so many artists, bringing that into the Web3 world, including artists who are basically saving cultural heritage pieces that did not – either are dying off, or are not in their physical location on chain. I mean, the list goes on, how people are finding their own connection to the primitives, and then to the tools of crypto to really build the life that they want to build, and we're just scratching the surface.

[00:16:50] Justin Norman: As I hear you also just talk about the primitives of decentralization, permissionless, borderless, sovereignty, I've heard you talk before also about these fundamental tensions, and points of tension that exist between bringing this global technology over to Africa, this idea about globalization versus localization. We've also talked about speed versus longevity, user experience versus the desire to decentralize something. As I hear you talk about that, I think, obviously, the question that gets raised is practically speaking, when we're talking about mass adoption at scale, what are the things that need to happen or what you think needs to happen in order for this vision to be realized, for crypto to truly be this great equalizer? How do you think about these tension points and some of what you hope to see across the continent, and really across the world to be able to truly leverage the technology and its opportunities?

[00:17:41] Yoseph Ayele: That's a really good question. It's not one I have like a quick and easy answer for. I guess the important thing that I'd say is that we've got to really think from first principles. When I say we, people who are building technology, people who are building projects, people who are building policies, people like yourselves for educating and bringing more awareness into the space. What does North Star look like, for us, from here.

There's an optimizer in all of us, which is like, “Hey, there's some really flashy, interesting technology being built somewhere else. Let's just bring it and then try to make quick bucks.” If this can help me send money quickly from point A to point B, I'm just going to use it and that solved my problem right away. But within this technology, and within this movement is not just a piece of tool, it is a new form of organizing talent. It's a new form of coordinating resources. So, I think we got to really start from first principles, and what is the place we're trying to get to? I think, that's a critical first conversation to be having, and it's not one we start and end, things like conversation, I think we got to keep having so that we're not kind of missing the whole point and going in a weird direction that is not serving us in the first place.

[00:19:01] Gwera Kiwana: I like the idea of an ongoing conversation. Because yes, it's so easy to just sit on Twitter and theorize and people write papers and actually, Yoseph, you yourself. I've seen your name on paper since – dating back, as far back as 2018. But you've taken your theories and really also, your beliefs and passion, a step further by actually doing those conversations in person and taking a step further by going into communities on the ground. Earlier this year, you led an engagement trip with the Ethereum community, to meet with Ethereum community and to have Vitalik actually, come to Africa as well. Can you tell us a little bit about what that trip was about? What led to this trip happening? Which countries did you go to? What kinds of engagements did you have? What learnings did you gain from that?

[00:19:46] Yoseph Ayele: For context, that was a learning trip that I led with Vitalik and then there was Aya Miyaguchi, who is the head of the Ethereum Foundation, and a number of Ethereum core developers and communities within it. It's a learning and listening trip. How it came about is that I spent a lot of time basically carrying the flag of saying, “Hey, guys, you've been talking about mass adoption and bring it the next billion users, and Africa has a lot of those conditions for that to thrive. But the world doesn't fully understand many African countries. We don't fully understand the different economic socio-political dynamics that exist even within each country. There are 54 countries, right? So, we need more bridge building. That's been a gap. 

I gave that talk at DEVCON last year. I met Vitalik the next morning for breakfast and he's asking a lot of questions, and basically saying, “Hey, how can I help this movement? What do I need to do?” I was like, “Well, first, come spend time on the ground. It's hard to theorize about all these things. And I can tell you as much until the end of time, but you got to come and experience. You got to meet the community builders. You got to meet students. You got to meet people, actually, doing this work on the ground.”

So, he was very generous, he made a whole month available. We went to Ethiopia, Kenya, and Zambia in Ghana. This is not the only trip. This is the first opening trip to bridge more of the Ethereum and global Web3 communities and African grassroots communities. I think there was a lot that we learned, and I cannot speak for everyone on behalf of that group. But I can share with you some of the things that came out of there. Ultimately, it was about building high context relationships. He'd be very curious to hear what your experience was from it as well.

First and foremost is just that Ethereum as a network and as a community is very values driven, and those values are extremely aligned with where many African builder communities and grassroots communities’ values are. That's not to say that, hey, the world should move the theory on but it's, it's really good to have values aligned partners in the space. And I see then a lot of folks in the Ethereum world, they kind of see themselves as carrying kind of like the North Star flag of where the industry is going, beyond just meeting the needs of the immediate Ethereum network activities.

But then, that network is extremely inaccessible, and it has been for too long, because they sacrificed scale for decentralization, and we can talk about tradeoffs. Every metric has a tradeoff. And the tradeoff that Ethereum decided to do is maximize decentralization, but it's been very expensive. So, layer two makes so much more sense as an entry point for African builders and users to leverage Ethereum security layer. That's kind of been one.

Another takeaway is we talked to a lot of just grassroots communities and student groups, learning group, WhatsApp community organizers, people who do regular meetups, and we really try to go as grassroots as we could, during that first trip. There's just incredible value, right? And you can see it in people's eyes, just that hunger, desire to learn and absorb on their own. But a lot of people are also learning by themselves and being fed with whatever algorithm that Twitter or YouTube gives them. There just needs to be better bridges and connectivity between what communities are doing outside of Africa, be it in Europe, Asia, America, and then what's happening on the ground. So, I think there’s more gaps. I think we need to have more activities, more events happening on the continent that I tried a lot of local builders. Sadly, it is hard to get African builders to go overseas just for visa reasons, right? So, we got to have more consciousness of where global events are happening, where basically African builders can get visa. That’s another take away.

Probably, the last takeaway that I give is we met a whole lot of government forks in each country, and we're quite surprised just by the level of openness and receptivity and curiosity that various, either ministers or administrators have, and regulators have around this. They're keen to listen to just trying to figure out what the heck this space is, how it works, and how to how to better regulate it, and how to create the right environments for innovation, creativity applications to thrive. But I reason more about some of the takeaways that I have, so people can check it on Twitter as well.

[00:24:37] Justin Norman: One follow-up question that I have about the trip and maybe in general, the response to this crypto needs Africa narrative that you're pushing is, I've thought about a lot through my own lens growing up in the US, again, thinking about this idea of well, centralized intermediator has served me pretty well. So, there's a Western response to why do we need crypto. Then, just spending a lot of time, I've lived on the continent now since 2017, spending a lot of time on the ground. You see very clearly why it exists or the types of problems that it can solve across the continent. I'm wondering, as you plan more trips, as you've taken people over, as you're sharing this narrative in the crypto community, in the Ethereum community, what sort of response you're getting, and if it's something that people are getting, or if they're excited by? Are more people interested in coming over to the continent and doing more of these learning trips? What's the sort of reaction to all the work you're doing in that regard?

[00:25:31] Yoseph Ayele: At the moment, there's a lot of excitement and curiosity around Africa and use cases, one because of the data, right? If you look at a number of the self-custody wallets, like MetaMask, or a number of others, African users are really high up on the charts, specifically a lot of activity in Kenya, in Nigeria, and South Africa, and Egypt. So, the data speaks for itself in terms of the level of interest and usage. So, that's there. Second is in a bear market, which we're in right now, and in many ways, I think it's a good environment for deep soul searching, and for crappy projects to be washed out, is that people are asking, “Okay, what’s going to keep this technology real? Where are the real users? What are we actually meeting real needs?” When the speculative energies kind of parked on the side, then you're left to ask how can we actually build real tools in real applications?

I think there's more openness, more excitement, that's in a contributor. But also, I think, in general, in my view, is crypto adoption in Africa has kind of been growing in the last few years only, right? Since the last bull market, at least from the data that I look at is 2019, 2021, ’22, ‘23. In some cases, this is like the first big cycle that we're seeing on the continent where millions of people or tens of millions of people are coming to the world in space. I think there's a lot of energy.

For example, this ETHSafari happening in Kenya this September, and there are a whole lot of folks that are going to be coming over. I'm organizing multiple trips now with a number of layer two projects, and their leaders to come and do similar things, which is listen, connect, understand, and learn how different African countries are approaching crypto. There are real applications as well that are interested in coming. There are a number of global VCs that are interested in investing in African projects, and there's already activities happening. But there's also just the gap of, “Hey, let's invest in the X of Africa”, as opposed to kind of, “Let's understand what are the bottom up build projects that might not necessarily reflect the types of projects that we're seeing elsewhere.” I think overall, it's a good time, and there's good energy around the continent.

[00:27:59] Gwera Kiwana: This energy, we can feel it. I think we started this podcast beginning of this year at a really good time, where, yes, we're also riding on that wave. The interest is growing even within large banks and traditional institutions as well. They're all starting to ask questions, and I think it's important to have these grassroots communities and these more accessible spaces remain quite strong, because they are the ones who are driving the use cases rather than large corporations.

With that in mind, I just want to follow up with what you've just said, these trips of global north to Africa, Americans or Western world people, coming to the continent and having these learning trips, it's great to – and I think this is a critique I shared publicly in Nairobi when you were around, but it's great to see that there's this interest, aside from a suntan, and some stories to tell, what really is the outcome? What do you envision? I'll share what I envision but I would like to hear yours. But I would like to see those trips actually manifest in real partnerships, real strong partnerships and where it's bilateral, and it's not just one way, Africa being the receiver of aid or of technology or of advice. We can learn from each other.

That's the first thing. The second thing that I really envision is homegrown heroes, kind of like homegrown hero use cases, homegrown hero projects, and startups, and companies. What are your thoughts on that?

[00:29:22] Yoseph Ayele: I 100% agree with you on that front. I think that's really critical, too. That's a critical lens to be looking at it from. So, my goal and the reason why I'm putting a lot of energy in this bridge building. One is, this recognition that the centers of gravity of the critical technology building and the research is currently happening outside of the continent. I think, ensuring that the people who are doing that research, and the people who have the biggest stake and the usability of it, and the accessibility of it, they're talking to each other, and actually, they're inspiring and learning from each other, as kind of equals. I think that's really important. 

Because ultimately, my view is that a lot of the homegrown applications and technologies is what is going to – that's what's going to drive real Web3 adoption across the continent. I don't even want to call it adoption. It's just real use, right? Like leveraging this movement and making it our movement as well. I think that's the only scenario where it makes sense. I don't think it's a scenario where global players are building real applications for African users, wherein, they just wouldn't know how to do that really well, that actually meets the day user, because they're not living, breathing with the end user on a daily basis. I'm not betting on that.

I think that first stage is that. But also, I think what we need is the African economy and one just more builders, more founders, more entrepreneurs, for playing a long term game in this space, who are building applications. We're building protocols that are meeting real needs, instead of falling in the trap of what's going to help me to raise as much money as possible from VCs who don't understand Africa, which is an easier pathway, right? It's so easy to tell the African story and narrative in a way that is just appealing to some money guys somewhere. Because everyone wants to have some level of access and exposure to the African market.

I think that, on one side, we needed a lot of builders. On the other side, we need – it'd be amazing to have an African base layer too on top of Ethereum, and I think that's becoming more possible, right? We need more African based researchers. I think, there's a lot of that infrastructure to be built. But I think the starting point for me is, first of all, just people meeting and bridges being built. I believe that's kind of the face that we're approaching this with.

[00:32:01] Gwera Kiwana: As we come to wrapping up the episode I want to touch on and shed light on a talk you recently gave a DEVCON and the title of which was Borderless Africa. That title overseas is pertinent given to the work you've done around visas and immigration in the past and your love for crypto, obviously. But that resonates also with me, and with the work we do at MFS Africa, our core mission is making borders matter less. As a payments company, we work in as many countries as we can on the continent, connecting them and making mobile money interoperable. So, it's certainly something that resonates with me, and I also see how hard it is to do. It's incredibly difficult, to one of the most highly fragmented spaces in the world. It is often treated as a bloc, but it's not. But practically speaking, what do you think a borderless Africa looks like and how do we get there?

[00:32:44] Yoseph Ayele: There are different ways of navigating a borderless Africa. To me a lot of the challenges that I see on the continent, the challenges that I faced and the challenges that I see people still facing today, they have something to do with borders, in some way, either physical borders, digital borders, financial economy borders. Whenever you had anything that crosses a border, either within the African continent, because we've got 54 borders, and that's a lot. You get into the global financial system and that's where Africa keeps getting the short end of the stick, in my perspective.

I think if we leave it to the status quo, my belief is that our position at the bottom of the pyramid is pretty much locked in for the next 50, 100 years. To me, what a borderless Africa really looks like is that a young person born anywhere on the continent, will have full access to a global economy, will have ability to learn whatever that person wants to learn, the ability to be part of global cultures and communities, to participate, to contribute, and for nobody to have any form of ceiling on their potential, and the value they can add and create into this world.

I want as many young people on the continent to be able to have full access to a global economy and full access to global communities. That kind of multi layered, it's ultimately this financial tools and participation, is the first bit. Participation for work and contribution, I think, when you look at charts around the world, population is declining in most parts of the world. The one place that it's really going fast is in Africa. So, all the young people in the world are and will be from the African continent, and that's the talent base.

Our biggest value to me is not natural resources. Yes, there's gold and there’s diamond and oil and all those things, but the best value is the human capital. Right? Africans actually having the ability to contribute to the world without needing to ask anyone for permission, and for Africans to also coordinate amongst ourselves within the continent, it's just so hard to do business between one country and another country. In some countries is easier to do business between that country in a European country than amongst each other. I think, it also looks like with more young people coordinating amongst each other building projects, building companies, building tools that serve one another. To create that type of world, to me, it's not about abolishing nation states or kind of going around government. I think governments have a big role to play and people are trying their best wherever they are. But I'm betting on individuals, founders, builders, entrepreneurs, to actually build a lot of this infrastructure for ourselves. To me, that's what being a borderless person really looks like, is your life, your potential, your creativity is not limited by the lottery of where you're born in.

[00:35:51] Gwera Kiwana: That's such a great note to leave this on. We're going to come to the end of the show. Each show, we ask our guests for one or two recommendations for sources that you want to give to the crypto community that gets you excited about crypto. So, that could be a recent talk, it could be a newsletter, it could be a website, a project. Could you give one or two recommendations that's getting you excited about crypto right now?

[00:36:12] Yoseph Ayele: I'd like to focus just on the basics. A lot of people talk about crypto and Web3, but I think it's useful for people who are interested to understand the basics. One resource that I find super useful to learn a lot of the basics is ethereum.org. It's got a lot of resources on it. Another resource that has helped me a lot is the Bankless Podcast, where they actually interview founders, builders, and just to get to hear how the people behind a lot of the tools are thinking and approaching.

The last thing I'd say is, there's a lot of events happening around the world, even around Africa. Just go on YouTube, search the title of the event, and listen to the talks of the builders. I think that's the best way to learn is not from some person drawing charts on YouTube, it's actually from the builders themselves. The last piece I'd give is there's a lot of hackathons happening around the world, and that is where people get together for a weekend and build products. The big part of the value is just the learning together aspect. They're online, and you can participate in them from wherever you are. Go check, for example, ETHGlobal Hackathons. There are multiple happening every year, and you can join remotely and collaborate with people from somewhere around the world, be it Russia, China, the US, Ukraine, wherever and collaborate with people and actually get your hands dirty.

[00:37:37] Justin Norman: Well, Yoseph, I think that that wraps up today's discussion, and thank you so much for joining us. Before we go, where can more people find out about you and the work that you're doing?

[00:37:44] Yoseph Ayele: Twitter is the best place right now. I'll announce some things I'm working on at some point soon.

[00:37:50] Justin Norman: You can find us on Twitter @cryptoatscale. If you enjoyed this episode, please do hit that follow button on your favorite podcast app and share with a friend or colleague who you think may enjoy as well. Yoseph, thanks so much for joining us.

[00:38:01] Yoseph Ayele: Thanks for having me.