The blockchain boom!
Ezekiel Osborne has his sights set on the MENA region with his firm Lightspeed Tech dedicated towards maturing the regional tech market through disruptive solutions and innovation.
In a sea of suits, Osborne stands out with his larger than life personality. Blunt and witty, the entrepreneur found himself at the age of 18 an early adopter of bitcoin, the popular and well-known form of cryptocurrency, which ultimately earned him millions. Hailing from a self-described obscure town, Osborne faced challenges, which served as a catalyst towards his success. Combined with his business acumen and strong work ethic, Osborne's transition into becoming an entrepreneur was inevitable. "I was always keen from a young age to partake in ventures which would make an impact." The passion to serve his own purpose of achieving success through independence meant Osborne had an arduous journey ahead of him. "The real challenge was not to fall prey to the distractions many peers my age were struggling with. As a self-starter, I was constantly focused on creating opportunities for myself, even if it meant undertaking menial jobs," he says.
At twenty-two, Osborne was acquiring businesses and rapidly growing his empire, which he regards as a "massive learning lesson". "Tapping into various business ventures taught me very early on that as an entrepreneur it is essential to not overstretch yourself. I have had successes and failures that have attributed to my expertise over the years. From 2015 to 2017, the industry stood still and we were developing solutions to help the block chain industry move forward. Due to the lack of innovation and technology to support the industry, there was no growth. It needed to mature, and a current and relatable problem now is that there are no banking solutions" he comments.
To combat this pressing issue, Osborne believes that making cryptocurrency accessible is important. "I have been in the industry since its inception, and the biggest hindrance of it, including the immaturity of the technology and factors which would stimulate mass adoption, is the ease of spending cryptocurrency. If everyone could spend their bitcoin or other currencies conveniently, it would become mainstream," he explains.
In a recent study by Accenture, only 26% of "Millennials", which include people aged 18 to 34, expect to use digital currencies "daily or weekly by 2020". Bridging the gap between immature markets and cryptocurrency poses as a challenge. Lightspeed Tech aims to overcome that challenge by providing options and key tools to users and investors. "As a tech development company we specialise in a multi facet of sectors like block chain development, artificial intelligence, process automation, cryptocurrency and government department solutions are just a few of the areas of our expertise. We started the company in 2015, purely focused on blockchain development. I tapped into cryptocurrency when it was a fresh market in 2012, personally purchasing bitcoin at $34. By 2017, it had boomed into a full-fledged industry. As the market capitalisation increased and billions were poured into cryptocurrency, a total of $900bn USD at its peak in December 2017, there were no end-to-end solutions for development in that sector. It was a very immature market with limited professional services. At that time I already had two companies under my belt, one being construction and the other an online tech solutions provider which developed applications pertaining to a wide range of industries."
"Lightspeed Tech was born when we educated our tech team about block chain, realigning our focus. The year 2014 marked our milestone when I became a founding member of Monero - an anonymous cryptocurrency in the top 10 digital currencies worldwide. This same year Osborne created Lightspeed Launch, which is a web dashboard and monitor system ICO's to take crowdfunding payments and manage their crowdfunding sales. We made around 87 million dollars in that year, from something that we made sitting around the table, with seven other people. This experience was a mind opener to the whole decentralised aspect of block chain," he adds.
In addition to educating the masses and providing solutions, Osborne is launching his own ICO at the end of October. Osborne recognised a problem for developers and investors in the real estate space and decided to address the issue with an innovative solution. His team and himself have recently developed the first Real Estate STO (Security Token) Exchange. This will be an online exchange to will list and allow the facilitation of trades for tokenised property. Osborne has been working with the biggest names in development and has acquired over 2 billion in property that will be tokenised and listed on the exchange. With Security Tokens being asset backed and now regulated in the likes of the ADGM, Singapore etc. as a financial asset, Osborne plans to create a solution that will make real estate a liquid investment and encourage fractional ownership by making it easy, secure and instant, with the deployment of blockchain and smart contracts.
"We are trying to fill the gaps in the market; by the real estate exchange we can solve these burgeoning issues and encourage others to make efforts as well. A poster child for the power of crypto currency, at 24, Osborne is joining the ranks of influential decision makers, by investing his currency into creditable ventures and liaising with local governments and foreign powers to advise on regulation and the way forward in this new era. His transparency is what makes him earnest as he hopes to motivate power players to strengthen industries through investment of blockchain applications and digital assets.
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