In Africa, the quantity of business people chipping away at digital currency and blockchain organizations is on the ascent because of a developing worldwide craving for blockchain-based arrangements and crypto-trade. A case of this would be the narrative of Africa’s most youthful blockchain business person, Elisha Owusu Akyaw.
Turning into a Blockchain Entrepreneur at a Young Age
Elisha is the author and CEO of Token Media, a Ghana-based cryptographic money showcasing organization. Established in 2017, the organization intends to help new and existing blockchain ventures to arrive at their intended interest group utilizing worldwide best work on advertising arrangements.
Token MediaInterestingly, the vast majority would concur that Elisha doesn’t fit the profile of your common business person. The 16-year-old is hoping to cut his own specialty in publicizing with a specific spotlight on blockchain ventures, when his companions are generally worried about school or other social exercises. He initially ran over cryptographic forms of money on TV, began to look all starry eyed at the innovation and chose the open doors displayed in the space were too acceptable to possibly be overlooked.
About what built up his enthusiasm for digital forms of money he referenced this in a meeting with BitcoinAfrica.io,
“I got into the cryptographic money space after I saw a news thing about bitcoin on TV and afterward chose to look at it. The possibility of budgetary opportunity and a whole economy dependent on the blockchain spoke to my interest, which made me research about bitcoins and digital forms of money overall. After research, I at that point took a gander at how I could apply my abilities in the field and later joined the DASH people group and began the main DASH business blog.”
Establishing his Mark on Blockchain Advertising with Token Media
Elisha’s foray into digital currencies could not have been at a more opportune time when big players like Goldman Sachs and Google recognise the untapped potential of blockchain technology. Meanwhile, startups are developing other uses for blockchain technology to secure information from tampering and allow users to access the entire record of transactions.
Elisha identified the need for PR services for established companies as well as new market entrants. With this in mind, Token Media was conceived. He states his inspiration for starting the company was,
“I watched a lot of cryptocurrency related videos and I remember watching one that spoke about bringing businesses from other industries into the blockchain industry, which got me thinking about a PR solutions company. After the boom of ICO’s and the popularity of cryptocurrencies, the need for proper marketing services in the space has become very important which lead to the birth of Token Media. Our solutions are unique because we blend affordability and quality.”
Token Media offers a variety of services primarily in public relations, ICO marketing, and social media management. Under public relations the company creates, publishes and distributes press releases, working with notable partners such as BTC Manager, Merkle, and Hongico just to name a few. With ICO marketing, the core activities are public relations and investor relations. Social media management involves spreading the message about various blockchain projects on popular social media channels.
According to Elisha, the company which began operations in June last year has so far worked with several clients such as PIVX, Komodo, Local World Forwarder, and SmartCash. Token Media has helped raise over $40 million in token sales through its marketing services and has worked with cryptocurrencies with a combined market capitalisation of over $1 billion.
While this may seem impressive for a company less than a year old, for Elisha this is just the beginning,
“In the future Token Media aims to be more than a marketing solutions firm. We are working on new projects that include an initial coin offering startup platform, content distribution, and creation on the blockchain and a blockchain related content platform that integrates all media formats,” he said about his future plans.
Challenges Faced and Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs
However, a journey into entrepreneurship is not without its hiccups and blockchain businesses are no exception. For Elisha, a persistent problem has been the presence of few platforms in Africa with cryptocurrency integration which makes moving money around quite hectic. Until recently he couldn’t find a decent cryptocurrency exchange in Ghana that offered excellent services with reasonable fees.
With cryptocurrency adoption in the continent still at its infancy stage, most Africans have to contend with international peer-to-peer exchanges like Localbitcoins and Remitano to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. While the exchanges support millions of dollars in trades every day, users are often faced with above market rate prices when buying bitcoin and other digital currencies. Lately, though, we are seeing more localised exchanges coming up across the continent that supports local currencies.
However, the biggest challenge according to Elisha has been unpredictable nature of market regulators. He says,
“Another problem that is getting bigger is the silence on the part of most governments on the continent on the regulation of cryptocurrencies. Regulators on the content seem not to understand the fundamental concepts of blockchain technology and may take rushed decisions that will hamper the growth of the blockchain industry in Africa. As an entrepreneur, it makes it hard for me to plan with this high level of uncertainty at play.”
The reality is the legal status of cryptocurrencies remains undefined in most African countries with regulators regularly sounding warnings against its use. The lack of a policy framework pertaining to digital currencies creates an environment of uncertainty for blockchain enterprises and hampers digital currency innovation across the continent. Hopefully, African governments which are more receptive towards blockchain technologies will involve stakeholders like Elisha in coming up with structures that can assimilate cryptocurrencies into local ecosystems.
For now, the Accra-based entrepreneur has split his time between growing Token Media and his studies. His advice to other young aspiring African cryptocurrency entrepreneurs is:
”There is a lot to be done in the blockchain space in Africa. Identify the problems around you, fix the problem and you will have a winning project or product in your hands. Let’s all work together to bridge the gaps on the continent, educate the masses and help the continent grow.”