The CEO of SatoshiCentre, Mrs Alakanani Itireleng is a very passionate woman about the disruption of Businesses and the economy of Africa with Blockchain Technology, a journey she began after working to earn bitcoin for some personal health related issues.
Ever since mrs Alakanani Itireleng is championing the course for blockchain Adoption in Botswana and other countries of Africa, The” Botswana’s Blockchain Iron lady” as she is fondly called is indeed one woman who has created a career path in Blockchain ecosystem in Africa.
In this interview with Cryptopreneurng, she bares it all on her journey so far, how she has managed to build the biggest blockchain hub in Botswana.
Here are excerpts of the interview;
Q Can you please introduce yourself to us? Who is Mrs Alakanani Itireleng?
A Hello, Mrs.Alakanani Itireleng is a lady of 40, mother to Bakang and wife to Anderson. She is the CEO of Satoshicentre a blockchain hub in Gaborone Botswana.
Q You are the CEO of Satoshicentre Botswana, what are the challenges so far in pushing for the adoption of Blockchain and cryptocurrency in Africa?
A one of the biggest challenge is making people understand what cryptocurrency is and what it is not. There are so many pyramid schemes and scams that come in the name of Bitcoin for example, when people have been burned by these schemes it takes a whole lot of time to try convince them that cryptocurrency is the future.
Secondly, the other challenge might be from uncertainty as many governments are silent in Africa on cryptocurrency you just don’t know what they will say next and how they will affect the education that we are giving to the people.
Lastly, we can say fear of change, some people are just so hung out to the old ways of doing things and they don’t want to think of a possibility of something new even worse something as digital as bitcoin. They is so much conspiracy for some that make them be so much afraid to even think of using cryptocurrency.
Q Satoshi centre is the breeding ground for a lot of blockchain startups and projects can you tell us about them and what you intend to achieve with these projects?.
A I am working with a group of young people and each have a startup that there are working on including one of my own startup all birthed inside Satoshicentre. The whole reason for all these is to show the talent that Botswana has and show that we can actually contribute in the building of a blockchain ecosystem.
Some of these startups are
Plaas: PLAAS is seeking to leverage blockchain technology by providing all the players in the African agricultural sector with a platform where they can store and share information about crops and animals securely. The platform works by using blockchain technology to store sensitive agricultural data like the breed and ancestry of animals to help buyers identify the traits of the animals that they are buying. www.plaas.io
Mpege is a transport application built on the blockchain. The project is on going www.mpege.io
This is health mobile appliction that gives you access to your medical status is built on the blockchain
Orphans of the world dAPP is a proposed blockchain application that is going to address the plight faced by orphans around the world. Orphans of the World is a blockchain-based dAPP that allows donors to help orphans directly without relying on
middlemen.The project is waiting to be listed on stellar directory before its lauched across Africa. www.orphansoftheworld.io
METROLINCE is a blockchain real estate technology as well as a web application platform that will allow individuals, organization as well as property owners to advertise their current property for sale or rental or rent to buy and use the LINCE token in the real estate industry. www.metrolince.io
Q Tell us more about Plaas platform
A PLAAS is seeking to leverage blockchain technology by providing all the players in the African agricultural sector with a platform where they can store and share information about crops and animals securely. The platform works by using blockchain technology to store sensitive agricultural data like the breed and ancestry of animals to help buyers identify the traits of the animals that they are buying.
This gives insight of whether the animal is able to produce high yields based on the past ancestry and the conditions of the new farm. Additionally, the platform also provides information on plants and animals to keep track of the food security in the country remotely. This is done by leveraging RFID information and combining it with blockchain technology to ensure all the animals in the platform can be tracked, and their genetic information is available to users.
The platform will also provide an online marketplace for buyers and sellers on the market who can use the native PLAAS coin to remit payments. Cooperatives can also use the platform to track the contributions of the farmers and disburse payment through the platform to avoid fraud and mismanagement of resources.
We will be chipping animals recorded in the platform using the Radio Frequency Identification (tech) so the details contained in the RFID will for example cows’ date of birth breed and heredity details health history and also geolocation information
When a cow is at the slaughter house the machines can scan the chip which is basically an Ethereum address and can review all the data there.
The slaughter house will have a private key that signs the Ethereum address and signals on the Plaas smart contract to redact the Ethereum address
This done to confirm if the information about that particular cow is true and then can save the transaction hash and Ethereum address on the database
Q Plaas is revolutionizing agriculture in Botswana so far has the government jumped on this, any cooperation from the government?
A I see a good future for Plaas not only in Botswana but across Africa with the good response we have received thus far. In 2017 we had a presentation with the secretary to the ministry of youth sports and culture and he loved the project especially the idea of being able to track stray animals and asked us to come back to them once we are ready to pilot. We have also got great feedback from farmers and businesses in Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and South Africa.
Q What inspired your passion for blockchain technology?
A Journey to help myself get medical assistance through working online and earning bitcoins gave birth to what became my passion to use the technology to empower others. I learnt about during that time, it was about helping my son and when I lost him to hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy I turned what I learnt during that time about Bitcoin to start community education.
Q What other sector do you think blockchain can disrupt in Africa
A Finance, charity, agriculture and health
Q In your opinion, do you think that there are hindrances to the advancement of blockchain technology in Africa?
A Lack of resources to use, so as to reach massive adoption and also the lack of financing opportunities.
Q Have you ever been involved in any other start up? If yes, can you tell us about it and its success record so far?
A I work only with Satoshicentre but I have been involved in Humaniq as their lead ambassador during their ICO and I did a lot of media reach out promoting them and I always look at that as one of my success stories.
Q With your level of success and exposure so far in this space, what do you think are the challenges that will make incoming cryptopreneurs and new start-up founders in the space will have to face to succeed?
A I believe we are all at the early stage of the technology and everyone who is involved in this space is still a forerunner. I think the challenges that they will face will be to prove that they are the real deal. They are so many scam businesses that claim to be bringing some sort of solution while in actual fact they are just in it for a quick buck.
The other challenge will be that issue of financing, being able to receive funding for a project can be a daunting exercise because what I have learnt is that for you to be able to make any money you need money to do so, for in order for people to know about your startup is been able to market yourself and investing in your idea with finances and investing in it with you just believing that one day you will make it.
Q What are your plans for the expansion of blockchain awareness in Botswana?
A My greatest goal is to be able to open the satoshicentre fundraising platform which is a platform that startups in Botswana and around Africa can use to connect with mentors and investors.(www.satoshicentre.com) We might just have a blockchain school right here at satoshicentre too,the possibilities are endless.
Q Do you have some advice for CryptopreneuNG community on starting and growing their own businesses in this space?
A I think the best advice I can give you is; believe in your startup and have people to advise so that from time to time they can give you instrumental mentorship and guidance in building your startup, don’t be a loner.
Q What do you think about us, CryptopreneurNG in particular? Any advice for us or shout out for us?
I think a media house is important in this space and you being a news platform it is important that the news you bring are positive and are helping the community understand and adopt cryptocurrency. It is important also for you to learn how other platforms are doing and improve on what your predecessors have brought and do better. Be connected to people on ground and never find yourself having written information that is not true. No fake News!
— plaas (@plaasio) October 29, 2018
It’s our pleasure having you on CryptopreneurNG madam. Thanks for coming around.
Satoshicentre Hub: www.satoshicentre.tech
Satoshicentre fundraising Platform: www.satoshicentre.com