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3air weekly AMA 22nd December 2021 5pm CET


This is a transcript from our weekly YouTube live AMA:

Anita Mlakar: 00:29

Hello and welcome to our weekly AMA. My name is Anita Mlakar, and we are live again to tell you more about 3air and the project of bringing broadband internet to Africa.


It is nice to have you here live today and of course in our communities, on Instagram, on Twitter and on Discord. You are welcome to join us there if you’re not a part of it yet, because that is the place where you can get all the information and answers to your questions. You get a chance to connect to other members exchange opinions and participate in giveaways.


By the way there will be some of them in this AMA too, giveaways of course. So, get involved, click like, write a comment, suggestion, write your question in a chat hit the bell icon to get notifications, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or invite a friend.


Sandi Bitenc the CEO of 3air will be joining us in a minute but let’s start with a short introduction of the project as we usually do.


So 3air about covering Africa with internet access and offering the right solution. 3air is a blockchain based startup who will leverage the power of decentralization to provide internet connectivity to consumers in Africa and provide the physical infrastructure to support this through its partnership with K3 telecom. Only 20% of people on the African continent are active Internet users, with less than 1% Having access to broadband. So African nations have quite a distance to go in order to fully benefit from the World Wide Web. The lack of internet in this region has also a social and economic impact, including the way citizens interact with their government, with business and with each other. 3air’s vision is to make broadband connectivity available to the masses that is easy to access through its blockchain based platform. We will be talking about this today and with us is Sandi Bitenc the CEO of 3air and I’m happy to welcome him again.


Hello, Sandi.

Sandi Bitenc: 02:42

Hi. Hello. Hi, everyone.

Anita Mlakar: 02:45

Yeah, well, I know how to do it now. I ask you many questions that I have for you today. And then we will invite our special guests just tell me where are you right now?

Sandi Bitenc: 02:58

I am really close to you. I’m back in my hometown Maribor in Slovenia, staying here for Christmas and then on Sunday, I’m already flying back to Dubai. Some meetings are next week, so it’s going to be really short, and people are just trying to pull me apart right now.

Anita Mlakar: 03:22

Yeah, I can just imagine it’s really a short visit, you should stay longer.

Sandi Bitenc: 03:27

We actually plan to stay longer, but in a way with all the happenings, it’s impossible right now.

Anita Mlakar: 03:35

Okay, you have an excuse. It’s okay. So, Sandi, we have a special guest coming up a little later and some giveaway opportunities, of course, for all of you following us but you will have to participate and get involved use the opportunity to ask questions and get the answers here, live. We will also reveal about our Christmas special a little later on but now let’s continue with today’s subject, which is “Bandwidth sharing and the 3air sharing model”. So, Sandi is the right man to give us some answers and of course information to the subject and later on we will continue this with our guest Markos Lemma, looking forward to that.


Sandi, bandwidth is I looking at it. Bandwidth sharing it just means that you can let other people use your internet connection, the easiest way would be to just let them connect to your Wi-Fi and then you are sharing this bandwidth with them. We have all done that, but I think there is much more to it. right?

Sandi Bitenc: 04:41

Yeah, it is. Let me let me first just say something else not connected to this. And I think it’s really important because what happened today is that we got some people impersonating us on our social media. So, it needs to be said, please be careful if anybody asks you for your either private keys, or some mnemonic phrases or some words and something like that and you actually don’t know exactly what it means. Please don’t give anybody anything. Don’t send anybody any money directly, will never ask you for any money. Never. And for no codes, no passwords or something like that. The only thing that we have the official channel and that’s the only way for us to actually communicate with you on the presale and the token sale and that’s the only place you can get tokens right now, in the presale, so please be careful and I know that there’s an account now impersonating me, it looks the same just one number afterwards and they’re trying, that’s scam. So please stay away and stay safe.

Anita Mlakar: 06:03

It’s already happening. So yeah, be careful.

Sandi Bitenc: 06:07

Okay, and then. So, let’s do the bandwidth sharing. There’s a lot of projects, trying to do it right now. Helium is probably one of the biggest ones. Now it is the biggest one. So at least in the blockchain space and the idea is good, it’s really good. And for sure we are going into that direction. The problem is that it needs to be sustainable for long and we as an ISP, we know that there are potential problems because of it, you’re actually not allowed to just share your bandwidth without permission. And there’s always a fair usage policy, and so on and this is going to be a problem in the future if everybody starts doing it. So, until it’s not a lot of people doing it, it probably won’t get even know this so much but once you understand this that even the bandwidth that you are getting already is already shared. So, if you’re sharing this further and everybody is doing it, then the ISP that actually have they need to buy back the real bandwidth from the backbone. They won’t have it enough. So, they’ll need to buy more and what people usually don’t understand is that it’s the other way around.


So, we as the end client, we think that we are buying it more expensive than per megabyte than actually the ISP is buying it, but it’s a bit the other way around. So, an ISP will have a higher price per megabyte of bandwidth as the end user but what they can do is they can actually they share this megabyte and then resell it to 100 clients. So, this is how an ISP actually makes money. So, the end client gets it cheaper and now if everybody starts using up all 100% of their bandwidth, then it’s going to be unsustainable, either the ISPs will just start shutting you down, or the prices of the internet going to style skyrockets. So, there’s no other way around. If only a few people, do it, it’s not going to be a problem but if everybody starts doing it is going to be a problem.


So, I hope this is understandable and this is how we actually thought about it and what we are doing, we are thinking about everybody who’s involved. So, you have the ISP provider that needs to get a share of the revenue, you have the access point operator that needs to get a share of the revenue, you get the token holders that actually ensure the infrastructure, they also need to get a share of the revenue. So, this is how we set it up and for this, running everything through nodes is actually not even that much important because there is not so much and so many transaction going on in here.


At one point for sure it parents its own chain, but you don’t need to actually provide the whole bandwidth to a node and that usually doesn’t make sense. So, what we build around is a token-based revenue model and the business model and this is how we are going about it and we think, that’s a perfect solution for the emerging markets in Africa because we you will just give out the access points to interested clients. Like, for instance, somebody who has its restaurant or some business or a bus station, I don’t know, we’ve been in a lot of shopping malls in Africa, and none actually have internet connection. So, it’s also a way how to provide, let’s say, free internet for your clients or something like that.

Anita Mlakar: 10:39

It’s a very interesting subject, but also interesting is talking about security and privacy, because like you said it, at the beginning, there’s always something happening around that. How is it with in this field, providing security and also privacy?

Sandi Bitenc: 10:58

Yeah, blockchain can help a lot with that and we are thinking about this and that then warrant its own blockchain for sure. Yeah, there we would need, if you want to separate the privacy layer from all the data and be able to not only share bandwidth, but we are thinking about, sharing the data like with some authorities, or maybe some third-party service provider or something like that, that can be done in a privacy enabled manner on the blockchain and this is also one thing that we are trying to solve with our platform, but it’s not connected to bandwidth sharing directly.

Anita Mlakar: 11:43

Okay, thank you, Sandi. Thank you for starting this subject and explaining a very important part of it. Now, maybe we should invite our special guest. He is a 3air’s advisor and partner of the project also with 3air and I’m really happy to introduce to you, Markos Lemma.

Anita Mlakar: 12:06

Hello, Markos.

Markos Lemma: 12:08

Hello, guys. Thank you for having me today.

Anita Mlakar: 12:11

We are happy to have you, Markos.

Markos Lemma: 12:16

How are you?

Anita Mlakar: 12:18

I’m great. I mean, I can speak for myself. I’m just great. These holidays coming up and everything is going so great with three air and the project is, so Sandi, maybe you should also- Oh Sandi is out. Also, we will talk. Okay. I wanted to ask him, how is he but we already know that he’s in Slovenia doing well and now it’s time to- before I ask you the first question, Markos, because I really have some questions for you. Let me just do a short introduction.


So, Markos is the CEO and the co-founder of Iceaddis, and he opened first Innovation Hub, and tech startup incubator, founder of Salem Company an edutech venture working on primary education and literacy, representing Ethiopian innovation ecosystem on the international stage and you were also organizing blockchain community events since 2013. Markos works with high potential startups in East Africa, also supporting high tech companies and so on and so on. Markos, this is just amazing. I did a short introduction. Could you please tell us a little more about yourself? What do you actually do?

Markos Lemma: 12:56

Thank you very much, Anita. That’s very kind.


So first of all, I’m very proud to be in this 3air communities, very noble projects, we have at hand to connect millions of people, the ones who it is the most, at the same time, like really creating extreme economic value, highly measurable economic value in the long term. So, for me, I have been in the tech space, over 10 years now, more specifically, in technology startup support system that we established. We started, basically in 2011. So, we’ve been in the market the last 10 years in Ethiopia. So, the time, I started the internet reservation, Ethiopia was 0.4%. So, there is less than 1% of the population is connected to the internet. So, it was kind of, how Web 3 is now.


No one was really giving attention to connectivity. So, for many, it’s been a luxury but actually quickly, expanded a little bit in terms of the value of startups so I’ve been really engaging a lot working with early-stage startups, and we know that the development community go hand in hand with the launching of new productions and services, right. So, it’s a, it’s not just a project but rather creating something economic variable products to launch in the market and that’s actually why we created Iceaddis in 2011 it was quickly expanding into other markets, or we expand it to Egypt, Ice Cairo, and Ice Alex in Germany.


Also, we try to actually engage in Pan African level with other friends with other hubs. Because, by back of the time I think there are seven, eight, hubs I was there, I have from Kenya, they’ve been the main news at the time in terms of startup support systems and the communities in Kenya and also an activist base in Cameroon and CCR in Nigeria, start to actually, showcase that, what’s possible on the ground working with innovators, highly skilled individuals on the ground can actually create products that can solve real life problems. So that’s been become a movement. I don’t think anyone actually anymore question the value of those in this kind of market, because already we have, like unicorns on this continent.

Anita Mlakar: 16:13

That is a very interesting subject because I’m working lately with a lot of startups here in Slovenia, and Europe also and there’s a lot of talk in Europe, how we should make this environment better for startups and scale ups, also how the investment should be more reachable to them, especially those with higher amounts over a million so that they can maybe really become unicorns one day and that is a very important subject and you say, you have some good companies, that means also unicorns there.

Markos Lemma: 16:51

Yeah, absolutely. If you’re looking at any ecosystem, its either developed or developing ecosystems, I think there are three major things are important.


The first thing is basic infrastructure. So, that’s also where 3air comes, that’s the basics, we need to have that in place. So that we can actually like think about anything else after that and then the other thing is, the enabling environment, this is related with investment but also ease of doing business, in the countries having smart policies, and so on and search, we need the mindset, like the culture, having community development, having events having have a positive, where entrepreneurs are celebrated kind of mindset. So, the combination of these three items will bring in any ecosystem forward become an innovative nation.


So, I think in that regard, there is a lot of progress, of course, has happening. I’m very happy that 3air is part of this movement, and the same time we are. The mindsets shifting, so there’s a lot of young people in Africa, the second most populous continent, and also really fast growing in terms of technology adaptation, not only in the mobile sector, but also all in the emerging technology sector. So that mindset of connected young, talented individuals has been increasing in the last years but at the same time, governments are also paying attention to this, they’re being frontrunner in terms of creating enabling environments. So, looking at startup policies in Tunisia, that was started few years ago that’s adopted, no more than seven countries in Africa, including Senegal, Rwandan, and so on and also really be open minded for emerging technologies. We know the Cardano Ethiopia deal that the Minister of Education wants to do the digital identities with Cardano ecosystem, showing like these kind of examples are like Africa is ready to leapfrog to the next stage.

Anita Mlakar: 19:07

Very interesting. Now, I know, you have a lot of issues or challenges also, but really, how big of a problem are internet issues in Africa? How are they affecting the development of startups, or let’s say entrepreneurs in the region?

Markos Lemma: 19:25

It’s huge. I think it’s almost no operator. we need a basic infrastructure to build anything else. So, I think if anyone in any startup try to develop something, what they first do is, what is actually my marketable address is, and most market marketing addresses are actually found online. So, I think just by having, not connectivity, we’re eliminating any sort of, addressable market in that regard. I think that’s extremely important.


Then the second thing is If you’re looking at the number of connectivity, it’s leapfrog because so many people actually connected with mobile, 3G technologies and stuff like that, but with absolute percentage is actually very low. Starting from Ethiopia was actually one of the lowest performing countries for 110+ million people, the number of penetration is still struggling around 26% and the people who needs it the most, are not the one who are connected. So, there’s a lot of data support this, I think, if I remember correctly, even a 1% Internet penetration grows, means 1% of GDP growth. So, this is extremely interlinked, how people like be productive and lead their life.


So again, countries, from one African country to the other in terms of internet penetration, performance is different but what we have seen is, there is a huge need for quality of internet and the first place, so is like, what kind of QOS we have, and also the prices. So, in terms it is very expensive. if you’re looking at the absolute it is sell one MB internet connection, Ethiopia is number one, in terms of like how expensive it is, globally, I’m talking about globally, right. So how does actually you connect that where developing countries with low-income countries, but actually pay much more for internet, it’s very hard to match this idea but the same this is also very true, even in some of these places where 3air has been operating, before that, internet penetration was so expensive that for a normal user is almost not affordable. So, it’s not just only the quality, but also the prices actually also matters.


Eventually, you know what, Sandi also earlier talking about, how our public avenues are connected to the internet as well. So, if you’re talking about smart cities, that we need to build interconnected cities with transportation, interconnected malls, interconnected services, for this to happen, we need to have free Wi-Fi in public areas, so that we can actually continue providing quality of services to citizens and in this case, I think there is a huge gap. Again, even in Europe there are so many places were kind of designed for public internet connectivity, assuming that will be used by for tourists and so on but when it comes to Africa, you doesn’t need it for the citizens itself. So, I think in that regard, actually, there’s a huge need for that and the gap is huge but also, I think both the government but also the private sector understand the need now. So, they’re actually really ready to invest and jump on this.

Anita Mlakar: 23:04

So, a lot is changing. Is this something that attracted you to be a part of 3air’s project, solving all these problems and making this connectivity better?

Markos Lemma: 23:15

Yeah, absolutely. I don’t think actually, I even finished listening to the whole pitch, because I think the value proposition is like something that we’re that are absolutely love it because we know what’s needed on the ground. We know what actually the startups are actually looking for and their users are looking for and I think having this kind of product is just directly creating a real impact on the ground.

Anita Mlakar: 23:40

Yeah. And you’re such a great contribution to this team. As an advisor, of course, and today, I was spending time, just checking you a little out and also watching the TEDx talk. I love TEDx and all the talks, it’s like everything is in it, all the knowledge and everything and I really enjoyed it. And you were talking about where someone in Ethiopia or let’s say, in Africa can go, if they have a great idea. Could you just tell us from Europe? How does this work?

Markos Lemma: 24:16

Yeah, so I think it seems very simple question, but it’s a little bit complex. So, if someone doesn’t have a good family background in terms of like investments, we always say is like you’re raising first money, from the three F’s, friends, family, and fools, and it’s also not available around and this was limited, like government incentives in most cases, but also lack of seed funding. The legal requirements are complicated or not well known by the general public, and so on. So, it’s a very complex business environment at the end.


So, for a very young person to really succeed. We need to have a starting point. I mean, that’s also like kind of the reason why we created an organization like Iceaddis because it’s going to serve like a one stop shop for that. So, if someone has want to have an entry level understanding of, what’s the business environment looks like? And how do they launch their product and services to the market? they need to get all the support in one place and innovation hubs and incubators and accelerators in this market actually play an extremely important role because of that.


Of course, there are a lot of people skeptical about some of these things because people say, there are many startups are actually without the support systems, but the support systems was actually like, kind of creating a better result, especially the ones who don’t have a place to start. So those are actually the areas we need to look at. And I think, I really believe that there are so many innovators in Africa and so many times, I’ve said that the next thing doesn’t come from Africa, there will be no next thing. So, I think this is kind of what we see the trend is also brilliant new ideas are actually coming in with a proper Pan African view. And the future is more excited than ever.

Anita Mlakar: 26:30

Yeah, it’s a very important role of this innovative community, in Ethiopia and Africa. So, what you’re saying is that there is space, or they’re open to innovation, right?

Markos Lemma: 26:43

Yeah, exactly. I think if you put together smart people, they always bring in creative ideas that can actually solve problems. So, I think the whole idea of centralized systems, when we talk about, like, Silicon Valley is very centralized. So, it’s easier to bring it together, investors and VCs and startups and whatever, smart policymakers in one place, so that we can create that ecosystem. This is like now at least from cities to cities, like this has been decentralized. Now, innovation and products are coming from anywhere, we’re talking about countries that we don’t expect, actually, like creating new products. I don’t know how many people for instance know and our audiences that the robot Sophia, most of those actually programmed in Ethiopia, by Ethiopian developers and I think this is the kind of like examples that most people are not aware of it, but things are happening on the ground.

Anita Mlakar: 27:47

Yeah. What is the role of all the blockchain in that area?

Markos Lemma: 27:55

Yeah, so I think as an emerging technology, I think blockchain actually has been tested, I would say, I don’t know anymore, many people are skeptical about it maybe five years ago, about the role of decentralized solutions and I think when we have bigger companies in decentralized systems that actually providing services, a lot of people starts to question those ideas like, how much control do we really have? So, this is the same thing is with the telecom services like, how much control do we have in our connectivity? And not much. So, I think with reliable blockchain technology, now, we can actually say that it’s true, without having is like, a guidance and pulling from a sustained kind of, like centralized system, we can actually create value in decentralized system. And I think that’s something is also very African in many aspects.


We have a very decentralized governance systems, and in many countries, and even in Ethiopia, our system, for instance it has been very decentralized in many aspects. And there are so many different issues, which is very decentralized in that case, so we really, like kind of build on that, on this content. And then if you add the new technology, like DFIs and then it’s like, all non-fungible tokens and stuff like that. It’ll bring a next like new idea to the table because the issue is even more needed here. I can give you millions of example, but for instance, land ownership. In most African countries, there is not a very good documentary system for land ownership. And mostly especially Like after conflict and so on. A lot of these ownership might be sold to someone else, or it might be like some corruption case is identified in most cases, it just might disappear. If we actually have those land ownership titles or value on blockchain, that’s wherever no one can actually touch that. So, that’s the kind of like promise that the blockchain has in many of these markets and it’s countless.

Anita Mlakar: 30:32

Okay. So, if we say that, just looking like the whole Africa, you have, like the government is the one listening to the needs, let’s say, of the entrepreneurs, the startups, then there is a good way now for this internet connection to come into Africa, you have a lot of great startups, they know where to go, where to share the idea. There are also some unicorns, so there’s a lot of, I should say space for them to develop and to really do remarkable job, right?

Markos Lemma: 31:09

Yeah, absolutely. So, there’s that energy. So, in 100, there is objective market value. Also, there is a huge number of population who are ready to use this product. So, I mean, I think this is kind of like a Greenfield, for that space but there is a more awareness is created about. A lot of governments and tech communities like they feel that they kind of like missed the WTO Bubble, but they don’t want to miss the next one. So, there is a sense of urgency in that regard to be a frontrunner and some of the things like we want to do.

Anita Mlakar: 31:56

Great. We have so many great comments they’re all very happy to have you here to have information from firsthand. And this is also a question coming from our community, besides the direct commercial benefits of internet access, do you think that providing Internet access to the wider population could help increase the literacy rate in places like Ethiopia?

Markos Lemma: 32:23

Yeah, very good question. Yes, absolutely. I think, right now the digital divide is very clear. We can see that that’s actually one of the highest risk in the 21st century is like having that digital divide but when it comes to literacy, I think it’s also interlinked with literacy I’ve been working on educational sector for a long time.


I’ve done research project with MIT University, on the ground for out of school children, and more specifically, like, how do we use technology to millions of children who are out of school who can’t actually walk to school, can we create technological product can actually like serve as a teacher. Tried to actually take the teachers out of the equation and solve the problem. And I think what we have seen is like, I think, now, the digital literacy and general literacy is like going hand in hand, I think if someone actually know how to read and write, it’s more likely that they will actually use digital devices, at least the mobile phone and vice versa, if people actually start to use mobile phone, there is a high chance they will actually be literate and start reading and write. So, this is like becoming interlinked, which is a new, phenomenal that many developed nations they never really thought about before.


So, I think in that regard, I think we have a huge potential by providing last mile technology and connectivity with the right devices, we can actually make everyone be literate in countries like Ethiopia and it doesn’t really take that much. At the end right now, device are actually getting very cheap. We know that like, I think the cheapest probably is like around 77 euro or something, tablets has been produced, at least so far. And if bigger companies like Google, if they want to jump, they can create a $10 tablet, if they really want to, I mean, it will make sense from the service side later on, because they can sell a lot of services on top of that and if you have connectivity, and if you have that kind of devices, you can teach everyone.

Anita Mlakar: 34:35

That’s true.

Sandi Bitenc: 34:36

So, one other thing that I remembered right now that we’ve been doing in Sierra Leone already or working on it. I don’t know if Markos actually knows this, but we’ve been filming some with local help. We’ve been filming some educational material and because we have our own streaming solution that’s in house build, we can actually have an on-demand education, or even we can just stream it 24 hours like a TV program just on the TVs, and it’s compatible with all the old connections, devices you can even hook up a 20–30-year-old TV to that.

Markos Lemma: 35:23

Yeah, I’m aware of that actually, it’s a fantastic product. This is again, another important feature, which telecoms never thought about this before, is like, kind of the streaming service. So that’s like, students where they are, they can receive see this content, which is extremely useful.

Anita Mlakar: 35:44

There’s another question from Miran. He’s asking, is Ethiopian Government blockchain friendly?

Markos Lemma: 35:56

Well, I’m not to defend governments representative to be honest but I think I would say yes, just in general. I think the in the last two years, Ethiopian government has been very friendly for any sort of technological advancement. So especially for emerging technology, I can give you countless examples for that as well. I think recently, the government set up the AI Lab is a government owned AI Lab, to promote the growth of artificial intelligence in the country. And then there is a lot of with the Cardano blockchain in the school, connectivity with digital IDs, and also actually expanding the digital IDs, also, for the general citizens. The government’s exploring blockchain technologies is actually a very extremely positive progress in that regard.


But I think even more, I think there is a lot of interest in general, actually, I’ve heard it directly from the national bank management, in recent times, that they were actually even studying about cryptocurrencies actually how would they impact, both positive and negative ways in Ethiopian economy and so on. So, there is a lot of interest in leapfrogging and bringing smart ideas on the ground. And also currently, the Ethiopian startup act or proclamation is under ratifying, which also kind of help the startup community to progress. So, this is, again, part of the government initiative to support the entrepreneurs further.

Anita Mlakar: 37:43

Okay, we have another question here. Are you advocating? Okay, just put it on Sandi, so that I can see it, please because that is also- are you educating the Ethiopian people on the benefits of switching to your network?

Markos Lemma: 37:58

Yeah, I think it’s the question actually means that kind of network with kind of reliable internet and so on. I think, again, this is like, there is a clear value proposition for this. So, in most cases, the public knowledge around a certain area is influenced by availability in one hand.


The second thing is what are actually like the local community is connected it’s like you’re looking at the developers community, the designers community, the bloggers, community, and so on and how many of these community members are convinced about a certain technology, because you always need these early adopters, for any sort of connectivity. So, in this case, I think we are in the right place in that regard. So, we’re building the tech community with Iceaddis. We’ve been working on that the last 10 years. So, this is going to be a continuous effort to engage the developers, the builders community to the networks and services like this.

Anita Mlakar: 39:11

Okay, there’s another question. With African getting internet, what would be the main device they use Laptop, PC, phone, tablets?

Markos Lemma: 39:22

I think handheld devices are by far the most used ones. Again, I think that makes sense, a lot of people are on the move, and we know that in the last years the prices and also the CPU power and the productivity on a handheld device that actually also be increased and also gives a lot of freedom for people to do both informal and formal businesses. So, I think this has been the case actually, for a long time, if I remember correctly and some point actually even in Uganda for instance there were more mobile phones than light bulbs.

Sandi Bitenc: 40:14

I still think that a laptop is unbeatable in regards to really educational needs, but just that everybody cannot afford a phone and a laptop. So, they usually go for a phone because they can do both things and with laptops, you cannot just call someone and that’s pretty needed but in regards to comparisons of smartphones and so on, they’re actually more smartphones in the world than there are internet connections. So, that’s also something to think about.

Markos Lemma: 40:51

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there are more smartphones, like internet connectivity. People, even sometimes they have one phone per family and so on. So that’s, I think it’s like, I’m wondering is what the data looks like, especially after COVID? Because a lot of people are kind of bringing their workstation to the house and probably purchase more and more laptop, I would say but there’s clearly like, there’s much more mobile devices.

Anita Mlakar: 41:21

Yeah. Can I give you another question we will use because you are here with us live and there are so many questions? So, let’s use the opportunity, Markos, to give you another one. Lawrence is asking this question, Are people in Africa ready for blockchain technology the same as their government?

Markos Lemma: 41:43

I think that’s a very good question. I think if you’re talking about readiness, I would maybe rephrase it to adoption. I think the readiness, yes, no question about it. Everyone is ready for a new technology as long as like you solve a certain problem on the ground. And in most cases, people wouldn’t even know what kind of the basic technology is. but they will still use it if it actually providing faster services. So, if you actually providing moving money from one device to the other with a minimal cost and then people really don’t know, like, what is actually the technology behind that. This is like flying a plane without knowing how it works.


I think I wouldn’t be worried about that kind of interests but more from the adoption side, like how the people who are creating technology, and also the frontrunners, how they actually use blockchain technology. I think in that regard, I think there is a huge awareness. Again, Africa is very big and when it comes to demographic, like I said, the second most populous, and even the same countries, the urban and rural areas are extremely different. There is a huge language, difference in the content and so on. So, it’s very hard to create that kind of bandwidth in there in the same the same way but I think, at least from the tech community that I’m engaged in many markets, this is like extremely well adopted.

Anita Mlakar: 43:22

Okay, just another question for you, Markos before we also go to our giveaways today, and talking about a special Christmas edition of the AMA, you have done so many things still doing them, a very active on all the fields of entrepreneurship startups and everything. Is there something that you still want to do? because you have done so many things? What is maybe the next thing that you would like to do? Or is this what you wanted to do? And is it just satisfying and okay with you?

Markos Lemma: 43:56

No, actually haven’t yet started very well, actually. So, I personally believe that, if there is a smart way of like putting capital in many of this innovative ideas coming in, especially the young innovators in Africa, I think they will build something really amazing in the next years to come. So, I personally want to focus in the next five years, try to identify and scout very early mistake startups who have actually potential and connect them with the right kind of finance. So that’s kind of a natural next level and I’m sure we can show a lot of good ideas on that.

Anita Mlakar: 44:38

And we have a comment. We need more half a day listening to Markos, please.

Sandi Bitenc: 44:44

Guess we’ll need to get you back on the goal.

Anita Mlakar: 44:48

Absolutely. This is a very interesting subject. We could just go on and on talking about it, but we are so glad to have you here. Markos, thank you for your time. Sandi, is there’s something else you would like to ask or to add?

Sandi Bitenc: 45:04

Well, I just want I want to add that the Markos was a really big and helpful addition to our team and I’m so glad that he’s on. And he’s too humble. So, he has so many connections not only in Ethiopia, but all-around Africa and we have been banking on that a lot. So, it’s really good for. And thank you, Markos for everything that you’ve done and helped with 3air and I’m pretty sure we’ll be giving a lot back to Markos and to the communities around there.

Markos Lemma: 45:41

Yeah, thank very much, Sandi. I know there is a lot of work is happening in the background. Sometimes people only see the front lines but there’s a lot of efforts from the team. And actually, I’m very proud of this team, how much effort is putting to bring this forward. So, thank you very much.

Anita Mlakar: 45:58

Thank you, Markos, for being with us today. I hope there will be opportunity so that we could meet also live and talk about all of this. So, thank you for now and till the next time.

Markos Lemma: 46:11

Thank you very much.

Sandi Bitenc: 46:12

Next time will be on Saturday. Markos is joining us on Saturday.

Anita Mlakar: 46:17

Oh, great, Markos.

Markos Lemma: 46:19

Actually, yeah, I almost forgot.

Anita Mlakar: 46:22

This is something that we will reveal right now. Talk about it more. So. Let’s do this. Thank you very much.

Markos Lemma: 46:29

Thank you, guys for having me.

Anita Mlakar: 46:32

Thank you. So, Sandi, y’all already started this subject and now it’s time of course to tell more. Should we reveal, what will be happening on Saturday, Christmas day.

Sandi Bitenc: 46:43

Christmas special. So, on Saturday, we’ll do a show. I don’t know how long it’s going to take us. No plans on that but we won’t be talking about 3air on that one, we’ll just try and make some people happy. We already put some things in motion in Africa. So, I think we’ll make somebody happy in Kenya and Ethiopia, and Sierra Leone, and so on. We love Africa. So, we want to do something additionally good there and this is going to come from the 3air team. And this is going to be one, I think we’ll have a really big show there. I have 15 people confirmed coming on, that’s going to be big. And I actually just saw that Restream allows us only 10 people on the show. So, we’ll kind of need to make a schedule to exchange.


But I’m really happy, I think it’s going to be really fun. So, hope everybody joins. And we’ll also be giving out some prizes for people that are going to join but not in the way that we are used to. We’ll be giving away 10 times 1000 tokens, but it’s going to be different. So, we want to be giving away, but we also want you to giveaway so how it’s going to work is that we are now going to start collecting. How do I say, referrals, so you will need to tell us who you think we should give it to? So, we’ll then select 10 People from what people say who we should give it to. And keep in mind, it’s the tokens and we’ll collect this on our social media. So, telegram and discord are preferred. Also, if somebody writes something on Twitter, it’s also we will try and just point us through it. So, tell us who we should give the 1000 tokens to and maybe also why and we’ll select people out of that. And yeah, we’ll give away some smaller prizes, also to other participants.

Anita Mlakar: 49:08

Yeah, so we really need your suggestions. And right now, write in the comment if you will be with us on Christmas Day at 5pm, Central European Time. So, let’s see who is with us on that day. I cannot wait for this to happen. It will be so festive, holiday feeling. I like Christmas, like really looking forward to that but still Sandi, we are in the middle also of the new year’s game right still going on. And I saw some codes being revealed today in the middle of our conversation.

Sandi Bitenc: 49:44

Yeah, this one you’ll need to go back to and then look, it’s today’s code. So, it’s not the big one but there is something else coming in the last week of the year. So, what we’ll do is we’ll hide on the website and on our social media all around, we’ll just hide some codes, it’s going to be 50 codes. So, 50 codes, and they’re just going to be written somewhere it’s not going to be said it’s a secret code or something like that, but it’s going to be recognizable, but it’s not going to be searchable so we’re not going to make it so easy for you that you just type in some search and it’s going to show up so you’re going to need to follow us and there are going to be 50 codes that’s going to be quite a lot of points. And just to make it clear, the points don’t directly determine the winner so it’s still going to be a draw. So even with the one point can potentially be a winner. And he just needs to be really lucky. So, the points are actually tickets to the draw. So yeah, everybody still has the chance to win and there are going to be a lot of points given away in the last week so nobody’s too late yet.

Anita Mlakar: 51:08

I have a feeling like you are a Santa today.

Sandi Bitenc: 51:12

Where’s my hat? Where’s my Santa hat let me-

Anita Mlakar: 51:16

Just spreading good news.

Sandi Bitenc: 51:18

I have that one.

Anita Mlakar: 51:21

Go and get your cap I will have one-

Sandi Bitenc: 51:26

I shaved my beard. I would need to shave I already have this white beard you know it could be like this.

Anita Mlakar: 51:33

It looks good, also the matching sweater so yeah, great.

Sandi Bitenc: 51:40

I have a better sweater and I’m forced to wear once per year and then I I’ll wear it now twice, I will wear it on Saturday also.

Anita Mlakar: 51:51

we all have this Christmas sweaters you know just wearing them once a year and then just putting them away somewhere so no one can see them but they’re great.

Sandi Bitenc: 52:00

I actually left it here in Slovenia because I thought if I leave it here, I won’t have to wear it but man I’m back here so.

Anita Mlakar: 52:09

Okay since you are being in this Santa role. Let’s do some giveaways now because that is also something that we have to do now live.

Sandi Bitenc: 52:20

Do we have Markos still on the call? Markos could give away one, let me see if Markos is here. Yeah, Markos is still here. Let’s give Markos the chance to give pick someone

Markos Lemma: 52:31

I’m reading the questions.

Sandi Bitenc: 52:35

Are we both trying to put him on? Yeah, there is.

Anita Mlakar: 52:42

Markos, you have to choose one of those who are commenting or asking questions, and he will receive 1000 tokens.

Markos Lemma: 52:57

Tell me again so I just have to choose anyone from the chat.

Sandi Bitenc: 53:02

Somebody from the chat. Try not to pick the ones that already won but we don’t know who they are.

Markos Lemma: 53:12

I don’t know who they are. Yeah, exactly. I think I will go for Carlos Agyeman.

Sandi Bitenc: 53:24

Okay, Carlos just click, or you cannot click on it.

Anita Mlakar: 53:28

We will look for him. So, Carlos is your pick, who finds him first. Let’s see, Sandi.

Sandi Bitenc: 53:40

Carlos, if you heard this write in the chat. I’ll pick somebody from discord.

Anita Mlakar: 53:57

Okay. Do that. So, we have 3 giveaways. Three times 1000 tokens. We have one now Sandi is picking another one. This is Carlos saying, I’m listening. Yeah.

Sandi Bitenc: 54:19

Okay, Carlos. if you’re listening, please send us here in the chat. Please write your telegram or discord or twitter handle. Somewhere we can contact you directly on our social media just for identification purposes because we have so much scam around.

Anita Mlakar: 54:41

Carlos, congratulations.

Sandi Bitenc: 54:44

Yeah, congratulations. Okay, so let’s see. I pick Maurice. Maurice, you’re a winner from discord and that’s for your wife. Yeah. Congratulations.

Anita Mlakar: 55:11


Sandi Bitenc: 55:13

Anita, do you have a telegram open? Maybe you could choose somebody from telegram.

Anita Mlakar: 55:18

I can of course open it and see. Let’s choose someone from Telegram, right?

Sandi Bitenc: 55:25


Anita Mlakar: 55:27

Who is live now? Oh, there are a lot of them. Okay we have another Carlos, but this is Jose Carlos I’m not sure. Let’s not do this or maybe should we? Okay.

Sandi Bitenc: 55:50

Now they’re starting to write.

Anita Mlakar: 55:52

Yeah, somebody’s saying I want to win so I can move to Africa to help. Okay, Elijah? I’m picking Elijah.

Sandi Bitenc: 56:16


Anita Mlakar: 56:18

Congratulations. We have three winners. Yeah, okay. He’s picked the winner, right. So, we have three times 1000 tokens giveaways this day, of this day, of this AMA. Great. It’s so nice to be Santa(s). I’m really enjoying this and there will be another opportunity on Saturday. So really looking forward to that. So, do we have the addresses? I didn’t check it now. Did you see Sandi if we have Carlos handle? Because we really need it. Carlos, if you’re looking right now, just write your handle. Oh, yeah, we have it. Okay.

Sandi Bitenc: 57:20

Okay. Markos says to Jules, next time. Markos, if write, it just goes through our private chat.

Markos Lemma: 57:28

Oh, yeah. Okay, sorry.

Sandi Bitenc: 57:33

if I can give you some permissions to write in the chat is just this is how it is. I should know how it works.

Anita Mlakar: 57:40

Okay, just see. I think I have written down the handle from Carlos.

Sandi Bitenc: 57:47

Yeah, I see it also now.

Anita Mlakar: 57:51

Okay, so we have it. Great.

Sandi Bitenc: 57:58

That’s it. This was pretty good. It was really an interesting call. You should do it without me.

Anita Mlakar: 58:09

I was enjoying it so much. Thank you. Thank you, both of you very much, to all of you who are with us today and on our communities, of course, thank you for being with us do participate. Do get involved, click like, subscribe to our YouTube channel. Check our Telegram, or discord or Twitter. We are there all the time. These conversations are going to going on and, on every day, and you can get all the answers to the questions. Everything is there. So just stick with us and we will be with you again live on Saturday. But before that-


Oh, Petra Hi. Another Santa is here.

Sandi Bitenc: 58:56

We will be here on Saturday. Yeah, there’s one thing we are doing NFTs.

Anita Mlakar: 59:04

Okay, so thank you, and have a great Christmas and also before the Christmas Eve, we are celebrating on 24th in Slovenia. And then we’ll see us on Christmas Day on the 25th of December. Looking forward to that 5pm Central European Time. Thank you very much. Bye.

Sandi Bitenc: 59:32

Thank you. Thanks Markos, bye.

Markos Lemma: 59:34