Cryptocurrencies are digital assets that use cryptography to secure transactions and control the creation of new units. They have gained popularity in recent years as alternatives to traditional currencies, especially in countries with unstable economies or strict capital controls. One of the most successful cryptocurrencies in the world is Populous PPT, which was created by Nigerian twins Sam and Steve Williams in their mum’s kitchen in London.
Sam and Steve Williams are the sons of Nigerian parents who migrated to the UK in the 1970s. They grew up in a tough neighbourhood in south London, where they were exposed to gang violence and crime. Steve even served time for fraud in 2006, which he later regretted and vowed to change his life. The twins had a passion for business and technology, and they studied advanced business and computer programming at Crofton Comprehensive School in Lewisham.
After trying various ventures, such as a magazine called Tramp and researching financial markets, they decided to enter the cryptocurrency space in 2013. They spent four years working on their project in their mum’s kitchen, where Sam had to sleep on the couch due to lack of space. They lived with their mother, a chef, their father, an accountant and their sister.
Their project was called Populous PPT, a platform that uses blockchain technology to enable small and medium-sized businesses with cash flow problems to raise funds against invoices from the crypto community. The platform works by discounting invoices, thus allowing businesses to access liquidity without waiting for their customers to pay. The crypto community can then earn interest by buying the discounted invoices using Populous tokens (PPT).
The twins launched Populous PPT in June 2017, hoping to raise a few thousand pounds from an initial coin offering (ICO), a process where new cryptocurrencies sell tokens to investors in exchange for funding. To their surprise, they raised £1.85 million in Ethereum digital currency within 24 hours. Their token was listed on several crypto exchanges and its value soared over time.
As of December 2021, Populous PPT has a market capitalisation of about $130 million and is ranked 52 out of 2000 most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world, according to CoinMarketCap. The platform has facilitated over £100 million worth of invoice financing transactions since its inception, and has over 30,000 registered users from 50 countries.
The success of Populous PPT has transformed the lives of the twins, who now live in exclusive neighbourhoods of Knightsbridge and Essex respectively. They also mingle with celebrities such as 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather, who are also interested in cryptocurrencies. The twins have also become role models for young people in Nigeria and the UK, especially those who are involved in street crime or lack opportunities.
“We want to give back by helping youths on the streets and those involved in street crime and we hope to inspire and create positive opportunities for them,” Steve said.
The twins have also received several awards and recognitions for their innovation and entrepreneurship, such as being named among the Top 100 Most Influential Black People in Britain by Powerlist Magazine in 2018.
The story of Sam and Steve Williams is an example of how cryptocurrencies can create wealth and social impact for people from different backgrounds and circumstances. It also shows how Nigeria is a global leader in Bitcoin trade, with 32% of Nigerians using cryptocurrencies, according to a 2020 online survey by Statista.
Wandile and Wanele Ganya are not just twins, they are also both medical doctors who graduated from Stellenbosch University in 2015. Their story is one of resilience, perseverance and determination to overcome the odds that were stacked against them.
The Ganya twins grew up in Khayelitsha, a township in Cape Town, where they faced many challenges such as poverty, crime and poor education. Their mother, Sylvia, worked as a domestic worker and supported six children on her meagre income. Their father was absent for most of their lives.
Despite these hardships, the twins excelled academically and developed a passion for science and medicine. They attended the Centre of Science and Technology, a school that offers quality education to disadvantaged learners. They also received scholarships from the Student Sponsorship Programme, which enabled them to pursue their dream of becoming doctors.
The twins enrolled at Stellenbosch University in 2010 and faced a new set of challenges such as language barriers, cultural differences and academic pressure. They had to adapt to a different environment and learn Afrikaans, the main language of instruction at the university. They also had to cope with the stigma and stereotypes that some people had about township students. Click here to continue reading about Wandile and Wanele.