My Crypto Journey: Kayode Babarinde – Director, Africa Blockchain Institute (ABI)

Tracing the African evolution from traditional banking systems, to seemingly, the current proliferation of fintech and agritech startups, there is no gainsaying the fact that blockchain, and by extension, cryptocurrencies, will constitute a major player in the continent’s evolution story. 

With the increasing fluctuations in the African economic systems, coupled with the need to key into relatively stable forms of investment as an alternative to unemployment, several Africans have turned to crypto assets. 

However, in spite of this large user base which crypto has garnered over the years, there is a plethora of stories involving African crypto traders who have ventured into the crypto market and have either lost their capital, or generally failed in their quest to gain profits. This is the backdrop for the launch of the My Crypto Journey series. 

The series is a compilation of interviews conducted with experienced and successful cryptocurrency and blockchain professionals, who would be willing to share useful experiences, tips, as well as mistakes they made during the course of their respective journeys. The first edition of this Series an interview with one of early active crypto and blockchain professionals, Kayode Babarinde, currently the director at Africa Blockchain Institute headquartered in Kigali, Rwanda.

Meet Kayode Babarinde

Executive Director, the Africa Blockchain Institute. 

In 2015, I met Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, the founder of Bitnation, at a camp I attended. This was majorly my first step towards discovering blockchain. Subsequently, the camp organizer had me host MeetUps and Workshops on blockchain. It sparked my interest in the concept, and I became very curious. But of course, at the time, I was more interested in educating interested people on the complexities of blockchain and cryptocurrency. 

During the first few years of my blockchain journey, the proliferation of mistrust was quite overwhelming. Many Africans were heavily suspicious of cryptocurrency trading, and viewed it as another scam which was set to take over the market for a while, scoop profits, and suddenly vanish into thin air. 

The regulatory gaps didn’t let up either. There were (and still are) limited or no legal pronouncements on operating crypto businesses on the African continent. The best we often have access to are recommendations from the policy makers, warning citizens on Ponzi Schemes. Asides that, there is virtually nothing. As a result, many law abiding crypto businesses now have to operate under FinTech Laws instead. However good this is, it still limits the full potentials of crypto business operations.

But looking back, if I had to retrace my steps, one of the major things I would have paid attention to, especially as a cryptocurrency enthusiast, is the fact that losing is basically built into the system. It is inevitable. Investment is the Interplay of risks, and cryptocurrency trading is not an exception. As a trader, your major focus should be on optimising your percentages, and not gunning for perfection or a perfect record of correct trade predictions. Also, whilst being in the process of optimising your productivity, it is pertinent to learn how to pause and verify information before moving to trade based on such pieces of information. This is because should the information turn out to be wrong, it could be quite detrimental to profitability. So, one thing you need to have as a cryptocurrency investor, is a list of reliable sites you can always consult to verify any piece of cryptocurrency-related information. 

Similarly, an important element in the journey of every cryptocurrency trader should be the ability to only invest what one can afford to lose, and be considerably comfortable with the fact that one might lose it all. These elements do not necessarily connote the adoption of failure as a mindset, they only reiterate the nature of cryptocurrency as an investment where massive profits are attainable, and deep losses can equally be incurred. 

My cryptocurrency journey has been quite interesting, to say the least. Of course, there are challenges, but as a saying goes, “If you want to quit, remember why you started”. The journey is definitely for a long ride, and I have packed my bags.

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