Month: January 2022


Dividend Dates

It is often confusing when companies announce large dividends. You will see hype around a certain dividend and think “I can buy the share and get the dividend”. Be careful of this thinking. The markets are forward-looking. The share price that you pay, will include the dividend amount. Subsequently, on ex-dividend date the share price will drop by the dividend amount. I will explain this with an illustration for Anglo American below.


Five dates are important when it pertains to dividend declarations:


  1. Declaration Date/Cum-dividend date

As the English word suggests, this is the day the dividend is declared and announced to the market. Finance scholars will often use the Latin word cum-dividend. Cum means “including”. The share price will increase by the dividend amount per share from this day. So, if you buy the share on cum-dividend day, you pay for the dividend. You are not in the same position as someone who bought the stock a week ago. If the dividend is 10%, you are paying 10% higher. The current shareholder took a chance on the company before they knew about the dividend. You are jumping on and attempting to “Buy the Dividend” It does not work like that in the stock market.


  1. Last Day to Trade/Register (LDT/LDR)

The name gives it away again. This is the last day to trade in the shares to qualify for the dividend. If you own the share at 5pm on LDT date, you will qualify for the dividend. You must own it at market close.


  1. Ex-dividend Date

This is the first day the share starts trading excluding the dividend. The share price will drop by the dividend amount per share at the market open on the ex-dividend date. This is always the very next business day after LDT. Do not be shocked when you see the share price drop on this. The dividends were allocated to the qualifying shareholders the previous day, so the share price will drop the dividend amount from the share price.


  1. Record date

Investors are not affected by this date. This is the date that the company is required to update its records of which shareholders qualify, as per 5 pm on LDT. It is for the company, not the investors.


  1. Payment Date

This is the day when the dividend is paid and the company issues dividend payments.



You will see an announcement like the one below. You must own the share at market close on 18 August to receive payment on 24 August.


Tax for Investors

Tax for Investors

We can never speak about investing and not talk about tax. There are many types of taxes, but the three that affect investors are Normal Tax (Personal Income Tax), Capital Gains Tax (CGT), and Dividends Tax.


Normal Tax/Income Tax

Normal tax is the tax you pay on normal income, like your salary. There are different tax brackets. The higher your income, the higher your tax bracket. The lowest bracket at the time of writing is 18% for those with an annual taxable income lower than R216 200. The highest bracket at the time of writing is 45% for those with an annual taxable income higher than R1 656 601.

The table below is a South African income tax band for the 2022 tax year.


Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

This is the tax you pay when you sell an income-producing asset like a rental property, shares, or cryptocurrencies. CGT is calculated as follows.

  • The first R40 000 is tax-free. So, SARS won’t tax you on anything under R40k profit per tax year.
  • The balance has an inclusion rate of 40%. They will then include 40% of the remaining R60k into your tax calculation.
  • You will pay tax on R24k.
  • If you are in the highest tax bracket, you will pay 45% tax on the R24k.



There are instances where SARS will tax profits on the sale of shares and cryptocurrencies at the normal tax rates. This makes a significant difference. Where you only paid 10.8% on the R100k above, if SARS decides that you are a trader and not an investor, they will tax you at 45% meaning R45k. They essentially include the R100k in your normal income and tax it without the CGT rules.


When will this happen, depends on how you treat your accounts? If you buy and sell often, you are a trader. If you buy and hold long-term, you are an investor. The laws are not very clear in terms of how long you need to hold the shares for. SARS determines patterns.


Do not forget that stock and crypto brokers are allowed in terms of the law to give SARS access to your transactions. If you know you are a trader, declare your profits as normal income. Never shy from approaching a tax advisor if you are unsure.


I keep my trading accounts and investment accounts 100% separate. I invest on EasyEquities, and I trade on Interactive Brokers. If you invest as a family, you can trade on your partner’s account and invest on your account or vice versa.


Dividends Tax

Dividends Tax applies to all South African resident companies as well as non-resident companies listed on the JSE. Dividends tax is a final tax on dividends at a rate of 20%, subject to any reduction in terms of a double taxation agreement. We must note that dividend tax is a withholding tax, this means that is the responsibility of the company to withhold the 20% levy during dividend distribution and pay it over to SARS.



JSE Investing

Investing in the JSE


The JSE was established in 1887 during the gold rush and went electronic in 1990 only.


What is an Index?

You will often hear people talk about the ALSI, FINI & RESI. What the hell are these? They are indexes.


An index is a sample of stocks that tracks a specific number of shares.


Examples of common Indexes on the JSE

  • ALSI
  • ALSI 40
  • All Gold
  • RESI
  • FINI
  • INDI

Whenever you see a number after the index name, that is the number of shares in the index eg RESI 10, it contains 10 stocks.


The JSE All-Share index is the main index of the local share market. It comprises 62 stocks in total. It is made of the top 40 shares by market capitalization and another 22 shares across all industries and sectors



These are the top 40 shares on the JSE by market capitalization.


Companies selected for inclusion in the ALSI 40 Index are generally larger companies of sound financial standing having widely traded and marketable shares.


All gold index

A weighted average of all the companies that mine gold that are listed on the JSE.


Other indexes

There is also a resources index (RESI), financial index (FINI), and an industrial index (INDI):

  • The RESI is made up of resource shares e.g. BHP Billiton
  • The FINI includes shares such as banks. e.g. Standard Bank
  • The INDI is made up of industrial companies. e.g. Richemont


What is a SENS Announcement?

SENS is the JSE communication channel.

The only manner in which companies are allowed to communicate with shareholders is via the Stock Exchange News Service (SENS) process. SENS is channeled through authorized JSE Sponsors.


What is a Sponsor?

The JSE Sponsor is the middleman between the company & the JSE. No listed entities are allowed to communicate directly with the JSE


Example: Ascendis is the listed entity, but Questco communicates with the JSE via SENS. They sign the SENS.


Useful Resources to Research JSE Listed Companies


  3. Follow @JSE_SENS on Twitter
  4. Register a free account with





E-commerce Monsters

Disclaimer:  The stocks mentioned in this newsletter are not intended to be construed as buy recommendations and should not be interpreted as investment advice. Stocks mentioned in this newsletter should only end up in your own portfolio after you conduct your own research and due diligence. I encourage everyone to do their own research and due diligence before buying any stocks mentioned in my newsletter. Please manage your own portfolio and position sizes in accordance with your own risk tolerance and investment objectives. At the time of writing, I have positions in Amazon and Coupang.


Amazon – The Parent

Coupang – The South Korean Wizkid

Ozon – Russia’s biggest grower


What is e-commerce?

E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods or services via the internet, and the transfer of money and data to complete the sales. You will often hear people use terms like B2B, B2C, D2C and they will assume that you know what they are talking about. It is honestly very simple. B is for Business; C is for Consumer and D is for Direct


Business to Consumer (B2C): This is the most popular. Where business sells to a consumer. Think Woolies, PnP.

Business to Business (B2B): Here businesses sell to each other. These are not consumer-facing platforms. It’s often raw materials or software.

Direct to Consumer (D2C): Direct to consumer e-commerce is the newest model of e-commerce. D2C means that a brand is selling directly to its end customer without going through a retailer, distributor, or wholesaler. Subscriptions are a popular D2C item, and social selling via platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat.

Consumer to Consumer (C2C): C2C e-commerce refers to the sale of a good or service to another consumer. Consumer-to-consumer sales take place on platforms like eBay, Etsy, Fivver.

Consumer to Business (C2B): Consumer to business is when an individual sells their services or products to a business organization. C2B encompasses influencers offering exposure, photographers, consultants, freelance writers, etc.


You will notice that I have not mentioned our three monsters in the above definitions, because what have they done? They have gone and merged all the above in their strategies and platforms. No wonder they are monsters.


Some examples of types of e-commerce:


  1. Retail: The sale of products directly to a consumer without an intermediary.
  2. Dropshipping: The sale of products that are manufactured and shipped to consumers via a third party. (This is a very lucrative side hustle. Remind me on another day)
  3. Digital products: Downloadable items like templates, courses, e-books, software, or media that must be purchased for use. Whether it is the purchase of software, tools, cloud-based products, or digital assets, these represent a large percentage of e-commerce transactions.
  4. Wholesale: Products sold in bulk. Wholesale products are usually sold to a retailer, who then sells the products to consumers.
  5. Services: These are skills like coaching, writing, influencer marketing, etc., that are purchased and paid for online.
  6. Subscription: A popular D2C model, subscription services are the recurring purchases of products or services on a regular basis.
  7. Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding allows sellers to raise start-up capital in order to bring their product to the market. Once enough consumers have purchased the item, it’s then created and shipped.


Numbers do not lie. In 2014 the e-commerce market size was $1,3 trillion. It is estimated to grow to $6,4 trillion in 2024. This is clearly a sizeable part of the global economy and we cannot ignore its growth potential.


I am not going to compare the three monsters to each other. That would be impossible, as they are in different geographies and they are in different life stages.




Amazon owns 40% of the US e-commerce market. That is massive. Look at the 2nd company which is Walmart at 7%. Amazon’s market share has just been growing and growing. There has not been a single year that they have lost market share to any competitor.


I have seen many articles over the years of how expensive Amazon stock is and that it is the wrong time to invest in Amazon. I sat on the sidelines from 2018 to 2020. See what Amazon did over that period. I was hesitant to buy at $1000 and when I finally bought, I paid just under $1 800 per share. I also heard to never buy Amazon because they do not pay dividends. I really need to close my ears. The reason Jeff Bezos has never paid shareholders a dividend makes 100% sense once I learnt why.


The company’s promise to investors has been built around the idea that as Amazon grows, eats up business in new markets, and starts generating meaningful profit, investors will get more excited about buying the stock, pushing the price up. It’s a virtuous cycle that has seen Amazon’s stock price increase around 5.5 times from this same point five years ago. Bezos is essentially saying trust Amazon to use the dividend money. We know better how to make you more money and he is correct. I want my companies to make me more money, that’s why I never cry over dividends while I am in the accumulation phase of investing. This strategy will change once I need to live off my investments. I am not part of the aged yet, so I invest in exciting companies that will make me money faster than any dividend-paying stock.


If I bought Walmart on the same day in 2020 when I bought Amazon, I would have paid $130. Today that $130 would be worth $141 and I would have received 2 dividends totaling a whopping $2. A total return of 7%.


The Amazon shares I bought for $1800 are worth $3 346. Mr. Bezos paid me $0 but gave me an 86% return.

This is just an example. There are dividend-paying stocks that grew more than 7%, but not a single one that grew like Amazon. Always put dividends into perspective. It cannot be the sole reason you invest in a stock.

 Now many will ask “Soul, but Amazon is trading at $3 346. Is it not too late to buy?” History has a way of repeating itself, so back to the numbers, as numbers do not lie:


So, I am making a huge assumption here that Amazon will not increase its market share nor lose significant market share. By that standard, Amazon should increase the share price by 30% in 2024. If only the markets were that easy, we would all be rich. We do not know what will happen to the 40% and we do not know if a mega-trend could replace e-commerce in the future. Until then, in Amazon I trust.

Let us look at the fun stuff…growth. Everything at Amazon screams CUSTOMER. They even use the word “obsessed” because that is what they require from each and every employee.

Below are the areas that Amazon is currently doing extensive research in. You can go to their website and click on each of these topics. You will be amazed at how much this company is busy with. Their Innovation Department is rumoured to be one of the largest in the US.


The Amazon bear case…I do not have one. The most realistic I can be is that Amazon is threatened by a massive new competitor. Until then, I am a very happy Amazon holder.


A little snapshot for the numbers-lovers only. Move swiftly along to Coupang if this makes your head spin, please. Last 12 months vs next 12 months numbers gang:





If you read all the above, you realize that everything at Coupang also screams CUSTOMER. They put the customer first in everything they do.


Coupang is a South Korean company that listed on the NYSE on 11 March 2021. The business, founded in 2010 by Bom Suk Kim, raised $4.6 billion in its initial public offering (IPO). So Coupang is not a brand-new company, they have an 11-year track record.


Coupang was founded with the goal of building an end-to-end e-commerce platform for the Korean market. Its flagship offerings are the Rocket Delivery service and the Rocket Wow membership (similar to Amazon Prime) that give people same-day and next-day delivery on millions of items. This part of the business is almost an exact match for what Amazon does in the United States and other markets. However, Coupang goes a step further by offering its members what it calls “Dawn Delivery,” a program that delivers any item ordered before midnight by 7 a.m. the next day.


What makes Coupang different? This I love…

An interesting aspect of Coupang’s journey is the fact it had to build out its own logistics network. Unlike North America and Europe, where companies like FedEx had already invested billions of dollars in infrastructure that e-commerce start-ups could use, Coupang has built its own network from scratch. It took years and tons of capital spending to build, but the company now has 25 million square feet of warehouse space across 30 cities in Korea, with 70% of the country’s population within seven miles of a fulfillment center. It also has 15,000 full-time delivery drivers that power its last-mile solutions, similar to what has built in recent years.


Coupang also offers MyStore, which allows small businesses to sell on Coupang and have access to its 15 million customers


Coupang’s logistics network powers other products besides the traditional e-commerce site, like Coupang Eats, a food delivery platform, and Rocket Fresh, which does grocery delivery. Coupang also offers MyStore, which allows small businesses to sell on Coupang and have access to its 15 million customers. Lastly, it provides Coupang Logistics, an offering that imitates what Amazon does with its third-party partners.


Basically, Coupang is Amazon and a bit more with their Logistics leg. They keep it all in the Coupang family.



Revenue: Coupang reported around $12 billion in revenue in 2020, which was up 91% from 2019 and more than 600% than in 2016.

GP Margins: Gross margin expanded from 7.8% in 2016 to 16.6% in 2020, and operating cash flow over the past 12 months came in at $301 million. While margins aren’t anything to get excited about, the expansion from sub-10% to close to 20% shows that Coupang is achieving efficiencies at scale.

Cash flow: Coupang is already generating cash, which shows the business model can be sustainable over the long haul. Free cash flow was negative in 2020, as Coupang spent almost $500 million on capital expenditures. However, that investment is necessary to fund the bold technology and delivery investments it is making. In its S-1 document, management says that its long-term focus would be on increasing free cash flow while minimizing shareholder dilution. This should is music to my ears.

Price/Earnings ratio: Coupang is a growth stock. The company is investing billions still into capex to build networks. It would be ridiculous to expect Coupang to be profitable and have a positive Price/Earnings ratio. We do not do that. Friends do not let friends compare PE ratios of growth stocks. That is just dumb.

Price/Sales ratio: A current share price of $38.60 puts Coupang’s market cap at $64 billion. This gives it a price-to-sales ratio (P/S) of 4.7, substantially higher than that of, a company with a comparable business structure, at 1.4. Coupang’s market cap is also high relative to its $2 billion in gross profit, which reflects investor expectations for strong growth. Like with most IPOs, it is likely prudent to wait for two or more quarterly earnings reports and for the lock-up period to end, which is typically six months post-IPO, before thinking of buying shares in Coupang.


With all the above information, I bought Coupang after IPO at around $40. I decided because this is a new IPO, I want to see three quarterly reports, and I will invest equal amounts at each quarter if my conviction grows and the company keeps its promises. It is called Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA). You will see this strategy often on FinTwitter. You take your investment amount and spread it over time. I like it for IPOs specifically.


Coupang looks like a fantastic business. But with such a premium valuation, investors should exhibit discipline and patience before investing in the Korean e-commerce giant.


Watch this very informative video where the Brians break down how they researched Coupang from scratch. Brian Feroldi has an amazing checklist that he uses when he analyses stocks. You can get it on Gumroad. It is extensively extensive, so proceed with caution.



Ozon is an online marketplace connecting buyers and sellers throughout Russia. The company offers products in various categories that include electronics, home and decor products, children’s goods, fast-moving consumer goods, fresh food, and car parts. It also manages an online marketplace that enables third-party sellers to offer their products to consumers on its mobile apps, as well as and websites. In addition, the company provides advertising services and payment solutions to vendors and third-party sellers.

Some investors are already calling Ozon the “Amazon of Russia” which might be true given how fast they are growing and how fast they are investing in logistics and fulfillment (although Amazon is a $1.6 trillion company so, please keep things in perspective). Ozon has already said they are likely to spend the proceeds from their recent IPO to add 2.7 million square feet of distribution space and open five new fulfillment hubs. The company has already developed a nationwide logistics infrastructure consisting of nine fulfillment centers, 43 sorting hubs, 7,500 parcel lockers, 4,600 pickup points, and 2,700 couriers.

A recent interview with the CEO on CNBC [click here]


It’s like Ozon CEO read my mind. Where is the growth dude?


*GMV is Gross Merchandise Value

Ozon is also a growth stock. Please don’t judge it by it’s PE ratio. Why Ozon is on my watchlist is because I want more exposure to e-commerce without increasing Amazon. I love growth stocks and underdogs. I am still doing research on Ozon competitors, but like all things Russian, it is difficult. But Russia gave us vodka, so I don’t even care.



USD Investing

USD Investing

Many new investors are overwhelmed by the size of the US markets. That’s okay.

  • The JSE has 462 listed companies.
  • The US has 16 366 listed companies.


Why invest in the US stock market?

No other financial market is as large, accessible, transparent, and liquid as the U.S. market. Its transaction volume, market capitalization, and the number of listed companies make this market a unique investment opportunity for international investors.


Looking at the NYSE alone, the value of the share trading for 2018 was 7.6 times that of London, 3.1 times that of Tokyo, and 8.3 times that of Hong Kong. The U.S. markets are also the biggest in terms of turnover too. This means you have a good chance of finding a buyer or seller of any stock at any time.


More liquidity: The U.S. stock markets represent the biggest single concentration of wealth in history. Together, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ comprise the deepest financial market in the world.


Greater diversification: U.S. markets offer access to a large variety of American companies seeking capital. With close to 5,000 companies to choose from, you can invest in major corporations and global brands that list their shares here.


Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

One huge difference between the JSE and the NYSE/NASDAQ is the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Who da heck is the SEC? The SEC is a U.S. government oversight agency responsible for regulating the securities markets and protecting investors. The SEC can itself bring civil actions against lawbreakers and works with the Justice Department on criminal cases.

Another thing that frustrates & scares investors are the SEC Forms. They don’t need to be scary. They are there to protect investors, I promise.


I’m going to highlight the Forms you need to read when you do research

  • Form 4
  • Form 8-K
  • Form 10-K
  • Form 10-Q
  • Form S-1


Form 4

  • Remember when Elon pulled his Twitter poll stunt and sold billions worth of Tesla shares? That’s where the Form 4 comes in.
  • Form 4 must be filed with the SEC whenever there is a material change in the holdings of company insiders.
  • If a party fails to disclose required information on a Form 4, civil or criminal actions could result.
  • It must be filed within two business days starting from the end of the day the material transaction occurred.


Form 8-K

  • The SEC requires companies to file an 8-K to announce significant events relevant to shareholders.
  • Companies have four business days to file an 8-K for most specified items.
  • Public companies use Form 8-K as needed, unlike some other forms that must be filed annually or quarterly.
  • Form 8-K is a valuable source of complete and unfiltered information for investors and researchers.


Form 10-K

  • A 10-K is a comprehensive report filed annually by public companies about their financial performance.
  • The report is required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is far more detailed than the annual report.
  • Information in the 10-K includes corporate history, financial statements, earnings per share, and any other relevant data.
  • The 10-K is a useful tool for investors to make important decisions about their investments.

This form has 5 Sections:

  • Business. This provides an overview of the company’s main operations, including its products and services (i.e., how it makes money).
  • Risk factors. These outline any and all risks the company faces or may face in the future. The risks are typically listed in order of importance.
  • Selected financial data. This section details specific financial information about the company over the last five years. This section presents more of a near-term view of the company’s recent performance.
  • Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations. Also known as MD&A, this gives the company an opportunity to explain its business results from the previous fiscal year. This section is where the company can tell its story in its own words.
  • Financial statements and supplementary data. This includes the company’s audited financial statements including the income statement, balance sheets, and statement of cash flows. A letter from the company’s independent auditor certifying the scope of their review is also included in this section.


Form 10-Q

  • SEC Form 10-Q is a comprehensive report of financial performance submitted quarterly by all public companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Form 10-Q contains financial statements, management discussion and analysis, disclosures, and internal controls for the previous quarter.
  • Companies must file their 10-Qs 40 or 45 days after the end of their quarters, depending on the size of their public float.
  • A snapshot of the company’s financial position, Form 10-Q provides investors with the information they can compare to previous periods and use to evaluate the outlook for the stock’s performance.
  • Form 10-Q is not an audited statement, unlike the annual Form 10-K companies are also required to file.


Form S-1

  • SEC Form S-1 is an SEC registration required for U.S. companies that want to be listed on a national exchange.
  • It is basically a registration statement for a company that is usually filed in connection with an initial public offering.
  • Any amendments or changes that have to be made by the issuer are filed under SEC Form S-1/A.
  • The issuer is responsible for any material misrepresentations or omissions.


Why Go Directly Offshore?

  • Ultimately, offshore investments are made because investors can enhance their portfolio diversification and get access to much broader and deeper markets with the second-degree benefit of diversifying away from country and currency concerns.
  • In addition, they provide protection against a poor local economic policy which may push the country over the fiscal cliff and cause a spike in inflation and interest rates, and result in, inter alia, the ZAR weakening further.
  • This is not to say that you should not have a local component to your portfolio but rather that you should almost always have a foreign component.




What is an NFT?

What is a non-fungible token (NFT)?


Textbook Definition

NFTs (or “non-fungible tokens”) are a special kind of crypto asset in which each token is unique — as opposed to “fungible” assets like Bitcoin and dollar bills, which are all worth exactly the same amount. Because every NFT is unique, it can be used to authenticate ownership of digital assets like artworks, recordings, and virtual real estate or pets.


2021 was the year of CryptoPunks, Pet Rocks, and Bored Apes. Why are people paying millions of dollars for Jack’s (Founder of Twitter) first tweet or a JPEG of an ape?


Fungible means replaceable by another identical item; mutually interchangeable. Non-fungible, therefore, means it cannot be replaced by anything. There is only one.


NFTs are simply items that have been tokenized and immortalized on the blockchain. By now you must be tired of hearing how safe, secure, incorruptible the blockchain is.


Let us take Jack’s first tweet again. The NFT of the tweet was sold on auction to a Singaporean businessman for $2.9 million. The value of the NFT has been logged into public record and could exceed the current $2.9m depending on future potential buyers.


Let’s bring this back to normal art. Who decided that Picasso was talented or that his art was valuable? Th public of course. So just like with NFTs, the users decide on what is valuable. If everyone decides tomorrow that Picasso is rubbish, you can be assured that it will become pointless owning a Picasso.


What makes NFTs more special than physical art is that we have a public record of ownership that cannot be changed unless all miners agree.


The argument that looking at a JPEG online is the same as ownership does not hold. Looking at the Mona Lisa on the internet or reading Jack’s tweet until I am blue in the face does not make it mine. That my dear is an NFT.


Anything can be tokenized:

  • Art
  • Music
  • Video clips
  • Real Estate
  • Collectibles
  • Autographs
  • Commodities
  • Virtual worlds
  • Domain names
  • Marvel characters
  • Rhino conservation
  • Sports club fan base (voting rights)


How to Buy an NFT

You’ll need an Ethereum-compatible crypto wallet and some ETH to get started. Buy some ETH from an exchange like Coinbase/VALR and send it to Coinbase Wallet (which is separate from the main Coinbase app; you can download it via Apple’s App Store or Google Play).

  • Tip: Buy ETH on VALR/Luno and send it to your Coinbase Wallet on the blockchain. Keep very accurate records of these transactions for tax purposes.


Follow the simple instructions to set up your wallet.


There are many NFT markets, from Rarible to Mintable. For this tutorial, we will focus on OpenSea – which is the biggest and works a lot like a decentralized eBay. To connect your wallet to OpenSea, go to, click on the icon in the top right, and select “My Profile” – you will be prompted (and given instructions) to connect your wallet.


Get browsing! Prices range from essentially free to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more for a rare item. Some items are sold via auction, while others can be snagged immediately via a “buy now” button.


Even if the NFT is free or cheap, you’ll still have to pay fees to make the transaction happen. Most of the digital collectibles on OpenSea use the Ethereum blockchain, and the network charges a “gas” fee for transactions like NFT sales. Gas prices rise and fall depending on how busy the network is.


What can you do with NFTs once you buy them?

  • Good question! Some people display their digital artworks on large monitors.
  • Some buy virtual real estate (via NFT, of course) in which they’re able to build virtual galleries or museums.
  • You can also roam virtual worlds like Decentraland and check out other people’s collections.
  • For some fans, the appeal is in the buying and selling — much like any other asset class. We call this flipping NFTs. Buy them when they launch for cheap. Hold for a few months or years and then sell them high. This one is where the money is at. The first three are more for collectors.



What is DeFi?


Confession time! When I first heard the words “Decentralized Finance”, I was like “but isn’t all of crypto DeFi? Why are people making such a big deal out of it the past year?” I needed to dig deeper.


I’ve since discovered that it kind of is the same thing BUT the DeFi movement refers to a specific genre of financial product that champions decentralization above all else and uses lucrative incentive mechanisms to encourage investors to play along.


DeFi takes the basic premise of Bitcoin – digital money – and expands on it, creating an entire digital alternative to Wall Street, but without all the associated costs (think office towers, trading floors, banker salaries, commission). This has the potential to create more open, free, and fair financial markets that are accessible to anyone with an internet connection.


Among the most popular projects are lending protocols Aave, Maker, and Compound. These are protocols that let you borrow cryptocurrencies instantaneously and often in large amounts if you can prove you can pay back the loan in a single transaction. You can also earn interest from lending out cryptocurrencies.


Then there’s Uniswap, a decentralized exchange that lets you trade any Ethereum-based token you like or earn staking rewards.


Why should you love DeFi?

  • Lending: Lend out your crypto and earn interest and rewards every minute and not monthly. This is called staking.


  • Getting a loan: Imagine obtaining a loan instantly without filling in paperwork! These include extremely short-term “flash loans” that traditional financial institutions don’t offer.


  • Saving for the future: Put some of your crypto into savings account alternatives and earn better interest rates than you’d typically get from a bank.



Everybody loves passive income and staking gives you some of the best returns you will not get from any bank or dividend-paying stock. Crypto staking is the process of locking up crypto holdings in order to obtain rewards or earn interest. Cryptocurrencies are built with blockchain technology, in which crypto transactions are verified, and the resulting data is stored on the blockchain. Staking is another way to describe validating those transactions on a blockchain.

When a crypto investor stakes their holdings, the network can use those holdings to forge new blocks on the blockchain. The more crypto you’re staking, the better the odds are that your holdings will be selected. Information is “written” into the new block, and the investor’s holdings are used to validate it. Since coins already have “baked in” data from the blockchain, they can be used as validators. Then, for allowing those holdings to be used as validators, the network rewards the staker.


You get rewarded for locking up your coins and increasing the efficiency of the blockchain.


What is Blockchain?


You cannot understand cryptocurrencies without understanding the blockchain technology that enables cryptocurrencies to exist, however, this is often where newcomers to crypto get lost or confused.


Read each bullet slowly:


  • The blockchain is a network of anonymous computers around the world. They are called miners/validators.


  • Miners are rewarded in cryptocurrency to solve mathematical equations.


  • Every time a Bitcoin transaction is initiated, thousands of miners solve the equation, and it gets added to a block.


  • Once a block is completed and all miners agree, it gets added to the blockchain and it moves and becomes a public record.


  • A block can never ever be altered again once it is complete. It remains in the public record as true and accurate forever.


  • Blockchain is the technology that allows us to send our coins around the world safely and securely.


  • The blockchain is the “bank” on the internet, but instead of a few old men making decisions in a boardroom, it is done by super-smart strangers from all corners of the earth.


  • Always remember, if you want to corrupt the blockchain, you need to find at least 1000 strangers you do not know, and then you need to bribe them so that they must all agree. Possible?


  • I love using the train and track example. Think of the blockchain as the track and the coins/tokens are the trains. The trains cannot move without a track. And this is the safest track on earth because members of the maintenance team do not know each other. They just get rewarded for keeping the track in excellent condition.


  • This is the true meaning of DECENTRALIZATION.




Satoshi designed the first blockchain when he designed Bitcoin. Nakamoto’s goal was to create digital money that would make online transactions between two strangers anywhere in the world possible without requiring a third party like a credit card company or a payment processor like PayPal in the middle.


This required a system that would eliminate a thorny issue called the “double spending” problem, where a person might use the same money more than once. The solution is a network that is constantly verifying the movement of Bitcoin. That network is the blockchain.


The blockchain idea has turned out to be a platform that a huge range of applications can be built on top of. It’s still a new and rapidly developing technology, but many experts have described blockchain’s potential to change the way we live and work as being similar to the potential public internet protocols like HTML had in the early days of the World Wide Web.




What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin 101


Bitcoin’s network is a payment system, plain and simple. Think about payments you currently use, credit cards, PayPal, bank transfers, etc…that is why Bitcoin is disruptive. Bitcoin is a payment system where the currency used is called Bitcoins (BTC) rather than dollars.


The traditional payments systems that you currently use, credit cards, PayPal, bank transfers are all controlled by centralized entities who control the network in which they run.

  • Credit card transactions are controlled by the Visa/Mastercard. They have the power to control your spending, place restrictions on where you can use their cards, how much you can spend, and they can deny you access at any time.
  • PayPal can suspend your account at any given time. PayPal can hold your funds and force you to do a credit check and/or to provide proof of purchases for things you sell online. PayPal can also control how much you spend from your account.
  • Banks have infinite power over your funds. They question where your money is coming from and where it is going. They can stop where you can send money and how much you can withdraw. There are so many restrictions on your own money.


Bitcoin’s payment system is decentralized and is run by the community. The whole system is maintained, verified, secured by individuals such as yourself. The Bitcoin network has never been hacked and is considered the safest network in the world, and most importantly, with Bitcoin’s decentralized network you control your own money.




Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym. We do not know who he/she/they are. Many speculate that they are from Japan due to the choice of name, but nobody truly knows. Satoshi released the white paper in 2008 and disappeared in 2010.


The community took over the project since then. Bitcoin’s code is considered open-source. This means it is license-free for anyone to use. Anyone can take the code and try to create their own version of Bitcoin and the Bitcoin network.


Many have done so, and these cryptocurrencies are called Altcoins.


However, there is no fear that a hacker can change Bitcoin’s network. Any changes must be adopted by all the miners, the ones powering the network. Without their adoption, any new code will not be accepted. In 2021, the identity of Bitcoin’s inventor is irrelevant and will probably stay hidden forever.


Is crypto money?

Are cryptocurrencies really money?


A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography (unique computer coding), which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. Many cryptocurrencies are decentralized networks based on blockchain technology (a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers). There is a chapter on the blockchain later.


A defining feature of cryptocurrencies is that they are generally not issued by any central authority, rendering them theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation. Experts believe that blockchain and related technology will disrupt many industries, including finance and law.


The money that we use today was designed before the internet. It does not serve the digital world in the manner it needs to. Example…If I hire a graphic designer in India and she does a great job for me. When it’s time for payment, I first need to contact my bank and order dollars. A process that takes 2 days. As India’s currency is in rupees, those dollars must be converted. I do not have a rupee bank account, so that’s another 3 days for the banks to negotiate. By the time the designer gets her money, easily 7-10 days have passed. In addition, we both would have paid excessive fees to the banks for these transactions. My own money is basically locked up in a cage and I need to ask permission to pay someone else.


Along comes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The graphic designer drops me her wallet address via email or social media, and I pay her. She has her money in less than 3 minutes. Internet money for an internet era.


  1. Means of Payment

Cryptocurrencies are not regulated by any governments, however, let’s look at some interesting statistics why I think that Bitcoin passes the Means of Payment test.

  • More than 76 million people as of August 2021 created unique Bitcoin wallets on, a site that makes buying Bitcoin possible. That’s about 43% more than a year earlier and a 171% increase since 2018.
  • There are more than 270,000 confirmed transactions of Bitcoin daily, a staggering amount.
  • Research from July 2021 shows that 89% of American adults have heard of Bitcoin.
  • As of 2021, about 106 million people around the world use cryptocurrencies.
  • About 46 million Americans (roughly 22% of the adult population) own a share of Bitcoin.
  • By 2025, financial analysts say, the global blockchain market will grow by $25.1 billion U.S. dollars.
  • 29% of all millennial American parents own cryptocurrency.
  • 51% of Americans in May 2021 had bought cryptocurrency for the first time within the last 12 months.


Cryptocurrency adoption is happening fast and 2021 was the year of institutional adoption. If you are still unsure, you cannot deny these three facts:

  • Coinbase was listed on the NASDAQ in April 2021. The very first cryptocurrency exchange to list on a stock exchange.
  • The SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) allowed the first five Bitcoin ETFs to list on the stock exchange, meaning institutions can now buy Bitcoin for their members and clients.
  • El Salvador (a country) made Bitcoin legal tender alongside the US Dollar.


  1. Unit of Account

Divisible – The smallest unit of a Bitcoin is called a Satoshi (sats). Think of Rands and Cents. You will often hear the crypto community say they are “stacking sats”. That means that they are accumulating pieces of cryptocurrencies. All crypto is divisible and the sats add up to a whole coin.


Fungible – Are cryptocurrencies interchangeable? They most certainly are. One Bitcoin is the same as another Bitcoin. You can also trade currency pairs. This means you can change one Bitcoin for its equivalent number of Ethereum.


Countable – A unit of account is also countable and subject to mathematical operations. You can easily add, subtract, divide, and multiply units. This allows people to account for profits, losses, income, expenses, debt, and wealth. Cryptocurrencies also pass this test.


  1. Store of Value

The biggest disagreement between the believers in traditional finance and the crypto community is on the store of value requirement. Does Bitcoin act as a hedge against inflation if it is so volatile? It can be reliably saved, stored, and retrieved, but we cannot ignore that Bitcoin is volatile. A 30% drop or 40% increase is deemed normal. That is not normal with any fiat currency.


What we however need to consider is that Bitcoin is only 13 years old. Most other currencies are still in their infancy. Currencies take decades to stabilize. So when people think they are late to crypto, I just smile because I know they are so early.


Printing of Money (Fiat)

New investors often do not understand why the printing of money is bad for economies. It is a fact that 40% of the total dollars ever printed in history was printed in the past 12 months. When you print more money you devalue other assets in your economy and the dollar, especially against other first-world stable currencies. The more there is of something, the less valuable it is. It is simple economics. Imagine the Reserve Bank prints R5 trillion tomorrow and just hands it out to anyone willing to take it. The value of your Rands in your bank account will drop significantly. The printing of money creates inflation.