3air weekly AMA, 16th February 2022 @5pm CET
This is a transcript from our weekly YouTube live AMA:
Anita Mlakar: 00:28
Hello, everybody and welcome to 3air's weekly, AMA every Wednesday on our channels. We are happy to have you here and to be able to give you some additional information about the project of bringing internet to Africa, and how you can be a part of this community that it is making a change.
My name is Anita Mlakar. I am the host of our AMAs with our main speaker, Sandi Bitenc, and our special guest. So let me invite you to be a part of this to get involved, you have more options. You can click like, write a comment, a suggestion, write your question in a chat hit the bell icon to get notifications, subscribe to our YouTube channel or invite a friend and you can be a member of our community on telegram on Twitter or discord.
We will have a special guest joining us Saqr Ereiquat, the co-founder, and Managing Partner of Crypto Oasis Sentio and we are looking forward to announcing the new giveaway and we will give away 1000 tokens today.
So let me just remind you of what we are doing 3air is all about covering Africa with internet access and offering the right solution. Nearly half of the world's population has no broadband Internet access. And the sad reality is most of this population is located in Africa. According to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, providing universal access to the Internet continues to increase in importance, allowing many to access online services in health care, education, and other skills necessary to reduce poverty ensure economic growth and foster inclusion on the global market. With so many brilliant minds in Africa, many believe that the right technology can help support their education and communication with the rest of the world. The team behind 3air believes that we have a solution that can make this a reality. So 3air, a blockchain platform aims to solve this digital divide in Africa by partnering with K3 Telecom, a Swiss broadband providers specializing in infrastructure to solve this issue with novel technology that can transmit optics, great broadband, internet, digital TV, and IP telephony over the air.
This technology is said to have the ability to connect millions of people. And onboard a 3air blockchain platform catered specifically to the needs of developing countries and telecom. And you can be a part of the solution. Sandi Bitenc, the CEO of 3air is with us today. Also, telling us more about it.
Sandi Bitenc: 03:14
Hello, Anita. Hi, 3air fam. How are you?
Anita Mlakar: 03:18
I am great. Do you see me, Sandi?
Sandi Bitenc: 03:21
Yes, I do.
Anita Mlakar: 03:22
Because I cannot see myself right now but maybe that is how it is supposed to be. I am just kidding. really?
Sandi Bitenc: 03:29
Everything is fine.
Anita Mlakar: 03:30
Okay, the most important thing is that you are here, and we can see you. And if you can see me then I believe others can see me too.
Sandi, how are you today?
Sandi Bitenc: 03:40
I am good. I am very good. Thanks. And you?
Anita Mlakar: 03:45
I am great. I had a great day, full of new possibilities but I am not important right now. What I want to hear is what you are currently doing and what is happening?
Sandi Bitenc: 04:00
Well, that there is really a lot. My day was mostly about the new website that we put on. So, if you still did not see it, go, and look at 3air.io It is not the final version. So, it is just something that we needed to do now to change from the old one, it was really overdue to do that. So now we are slowly moving into a bit let us say modern or blockchain design. There was some comments on the social media that you want some more, let us say blockchain like design, our designer, she is really good, but she is a bit more traditional. So, she likes a bit different style of design. And we also are a company that's not like fully blockchain. We are just using Blockchain technology to deliver like real world services, so we are still a bit more in the traditional way, let us say like this. And we are overhauling the design. And we will come out with a different style still not so this what you see is not yet the final version.
Anita Mlakar: 05:23
Okay but it is really great to have a new website and all the information on it. It was pretty interesting. Not just the week, but three weeks Sandi with everything going on. Are you okay now? did you get some sleep?
Sandi Bitenc: 05:41
Yeah, I did get some sleep now a bit. how things are turning out. I sleep like a baby. Things are looking good, and we will share more info a bit later.
Anita Mlakar: 05:59
Yes. We will be talking about it later because we do have a special guest coming up and I am really happy to invite and say hello to Saqr Ereiquat.
Saqr, hello, and welcome.
Saqr Ereiquat: 06:14
Hi there. So, I learned quickly. This is the greeting here. This is what we are supposed to be greeting. So, hello 3air fam.
Anita Mlakar: 06:23
Yes, it is not so easy. Right?
Saqr Ereiquat: 06:29
It is easier said that I am with you. It was great to hear. I would be here with you guys. Thank you for having me.
Anita Mlakar: 06:37
Thank you for being with us before we start this conversation, just allow me to do a short introduction. So, Saqr Ereiquat is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Crypto Oasis Sentio. And he is also the founder of Riddermark, thirteen-year veteran of IBM in Middle East and Africa. He is a former Head of Public Sector Consultancy in Dubai, where he is recognized as a pioneer in enterprise blockchain, being a co-author of the first IBM blockchain for government mythology and helped define the official government blockchain strategy of Dubai. And he is currently working with the Dubai International Financial Center, the Arab Youth Center and the founder Institute as a mentor supporting startups in the region. So, I could just go on and on Saqr because it is just amazing what you are doing, and I am sure that we will reveal some of this during this conversation.
Saqr, just for starters, you have moved to Dubai from London. And what was it that brought you there?
Saqr Ereiquat: 07:44
See, that is very easy for anyone that is very close to their family. My older sister at the time she decided to move to Dubai, and I did not want her to be alone in the big city of Dubai. So, I came and followed her. When I followed her, I then brought the rest of the family with me. so, it is my sister to thank for this actually.
Anita Mlakar: 08:07
But you are not sorry, right?
Saqr Ereiquat: 08:09
No, on the contrary, the world is my oyster. I could leave any day, but I think Dubai is the best place to be, especially in the world of blockchain that we are seeing right now. And we believe in this so much that we actually are betting our names against it. And we are announcing something called the Crypto Oasis. We believe that the Crypto Oasis is soon going to be a geography like Silicon Valley that people will start referring to.
Anita Mlakar: 08:39
Yes. So, there are many special things about Dubai, I suppose. You do like it because you decided to stay there but you do not only work in Dubai, right?
Saqr Ereiquat: 08:52
Yes. So, in the last 12 years, I have had the pleasure of working in 23 countries in the region, and living in nine of them, a lot of them actually in Africa.
Anita Mlakar: 09:02
Well, that is great. Now, I would like to know, when did you get involved in blockchain?
Saqr Ereiquat: 09:12
So that was, must be 2015 When we were engaged at the time with a government entity here in the UAE, and they were looking at emerging technologies to use for government services and then we involved a large research institute at the time, and they came back and they announced a set of technologies and one of them that they announced, for example that the government should go into would be AI as a service, which again, 2015 was not too much out of the box.
Another one would have been to have somewhat of a centralized CRM on government level and understand that and then one popped out, and it was blockchain and blockchain was simply no one knew what blockchain meant. So, when blockchain came back, we sat there trying to figure out what it was and essentially, that is when I caught the bug. And, you know, they say as soon as you understand blockchain, you cannot sleep peacefully anymore. So yes, so I was caught by the blockchain bug round about then.
Anita Mlakar: 10:30
Okay. Now, because we are also educating people 3air is also doing that, about blockchain, about cryptocurrency and so on. I was listening to one of your interviews, and you said that people are often confusing blockchain and cryptocurrency?
Yeah, I think there is a very big and important difference and the best way to think about this is, think about concrete. Concrete is a building material with concrete you can essentially, build a wall or you can build a hospital, or you can build a hotel, or you can build a school. Or maybe you build a bunker to protect yourself. So, if we think about cryptocurrencies, they are one application of blockchain. They are the longest running application of blockchain because the first time we saw blockchain as we know it today was in the Bitcoin Blockchain. And the Bitcoin blockchain clearly is a cryptocurrency but blockchain has much more to offer than just cryptocurrencies.
Anita Mlakar: 11:36
Okay, so blockchain is going to let us say, drive us forward, right?
Saqr Ereiquat: 11:42
Do not take my word for it anymore. This was much more difficult sell a couple of years ago today, the World Economic Forum PwC, Ernst & Young, IBM, Accenture and the likes are arguing the value of blockchain. And if we look at one of the great reports that came out by PwC, there they call blockchain out as being an opportunity that will improve the global GDP, by- do not beat me to the number, but I think it was 7% and that is significant. If we think about one technology being able to catapult us forward by 7%, that is amazing.
Anita Mlakar: 12:29
Yes, true, and where is it being adopted? In most of the industries?
Saqr Ereiquat: 12:37
Again, this was a much more difficult sell a couple of years ago. Today. Let us start with central banks. 87% of all central banks around the world are currently talking about how to start adopting somewhat of a central bank, digital currency strategy. 87%. This is not a point of view anymore. This is happening. We think about tomorrow, I am invited to speak at the largest food and beverage conference in Middle East and Africa, Gulfood. And then you ask yourself, why food and beverage? but believe it or not, blockchain has applications in that industry as well. You think about the shipping industry, the shipping industry is an industry that is using technology and processes that are antiquated. And today, some of the largest enterprise blockchain applications that we are seeing with the most amount of transactions are in the shipping industry for container tracking and the list goes on and on and on and on because you have to think of blockchain as a new way to deal with our transactions. It is essentially a way that allows us to record transactions in an immutable way accessible to everyone that should access them. And in that, in itself, lies a huge promise. Slowly but surely, we are seeing that come to life.
Anita Mlakar: 14:10
Okay, now, just to get back, of course, to your work, and because you are working in Crypto Oasis Sentio, what is it that you do?
Saqr Ereiquat: 14:21
So, Crypto Oasis, we believe that the UAE, the Middle East, is ripe for its own definition and so similar to how we say Google and Facebook came out of silicon Oasis, we actually see so much potential in this region that we believe that a few years from now, we will say, hey, this company came out of Crypto Oasis. So, we believe that an ecosystem consists of various different players, but it requires infrastructure, which, the UAE has some of the best infrastructure in the world if it was physical or digital infrastructure or legal or regulatory infrastructure, it compromises of talent and Dubai is always open for business attitude, which particularly over the last couple of years, saw a huge influx of quality talent coming to the UAE, Dubai particularly. And we see that what is required also in that ecosystem is capital. And when we say capital, we mean the kind of capital that helps projects succeed. So as partners, we came together, and we formed Crypto Oasis Sentio. Crypto Oasis Sentio is an early stage token Investment Fund, that we operate our early stage token investment structure, I think that we operate as partners where we look for the "best projects" here in the UAE, and then invest into their token.
Anita Mlakar: 15:59
Okay, so is it possible to answer the question in what projects do people or even companies mostly invest right now?
Saqr Ereiquat: 16:10
There's a couple of trends, Anita. These trends are Web3, GamyFi, NFT's, Metaverse and the likes, these are the big trends but again, back to blockchain and how large blockchain is, as an opportunity. Similarly, the companies you invest in are similarly of a very large variety. So, we have some companies in our portfolio today that provide a play to earn models, we have others that provide transparency into the market by rating them. We have others that are building the internet in Africa. We have others that are taking sports and turning it into an accessible commodity through NFT's. And the list goes on and on. It is really such a wide range that we have others, for example, talking about food and beverage. And we have others which create traceability for the food and beverage industry. The list goes on and on and I do not think particularly with our investment thesis, because we believe in the UAE and we want to invest in companies that are in the UAE and provide services for the UAE, we considered to put a little bit of a boundary there, but I think there is too much great opportunities for us to exclude one or the other.
Anita Mlakar: 17:44
Okay, we will get to 3air but because we have, before that the question from the people in the community, what are some challenges that you are facing with Crypto Oasis, is asking Create it with Michael?
Saqr Ereiquat: 18:01
Hey, first of all, thanks for your question, Create it with Michael. I think there is always two ways to look at everything, glass half full and glass half empty, asked me to give you the glass half empty story. And you will have me sitting here for an hour and talking about how difficult life can be, but I am a glass half full guy. So right now, it is really the best time to be here in Crypto Oasis, to be in the UAE, to be in Dubai, because what we are seeing is a huge influx of talent. I mean, people are arriving here, day after day after day, great developers, great projects, people that are changing all of their bases back to the UAE. And with that we are seeing some great capital arrived here as well and when I say great capital again, it is not about the ticket size or the number of funds that you have here but the quality funds that we are starting to see in the region that are operating really to advance this entire space.
Anita Mlakar: 19:09
Okay, now there J Juels is writing. Saqr statement reminded me of a statement I heard a long time ago when you get to know about crypto and research about it. You will never look back.
Saqr Ereiquat: 19:25
Yeah, I will go one level higher. It is not just about crypto, it is about blockchain but yes, I guess there is an opportunity there in crypto as well, but I guess every one of us will have to do their own research. We will have to read behind the lines, read deeper into it and educate themselves because there is one thing that has to be said is that crypto is hyper volatile. It is very risky, and it is not for everyone, but it is definitely a bug that catches you that does not leave you.
Anita Mlakar: 19:59
Now you have mentioned I mentioned companies that bring internet to Africa. Of course, we are talking here about 3air. And I would really like to also ask you to tell me, what do you think? what is your opinion about this project and the goal that this project is following? And the team, of course?
Saqr Ereiquat: 20:20
I think first things first, maybe on my background in Africa, I have spent three years working for telecommunication companies in Africa, managing 16 countries at the time, and mergers and acquisitions there and technology implementations. Everyone that is on the call and would have dealt in Africa, Africa just works in a different way and has different challenges. Having said that, with those challenges, again, glass half empty glass half full comes a huge opportunity. So having been on site in Africa, lived in Kenya for a long time, lived in South Africa for a long time, lived some time in Morocco, the opportunity is immense because things we take for granted are simply not given in Africa.
Think about electricity, water, that every one of us here is sitting on a laptop with running electricity, probably has running water, access to running water, and access to the internet. These simple things simply sometimes do not exist in Africa. So, with that is obviously a noble cause. I think 3air has a very noble cause, which is why Crypto Oasis, we are supporting 3air as part of our ecosystem and are providing the help and necessary support where we can. Having said that it is a mammoth task, right. So, this is as noble as the cause is, as beautiful as the outcome might be. I am glad that we are here to support the 3air team, not only because they are doing such a great job to support them with the wider network that we have because it is a large challenge. And one that if achieved can be one for the history books.
Anita Mlakar: 22:30
Okay, thank you Saqr. Now, there is another question, what are some of the telecom companies you have worked with? J Juels is asking.
Saqr Ereiquat: 22:41
So, at the time, there was a company called Zain. Zain had just sold their Africa operation to a company called Airtel and right there, they had become, at the time I am not sure where they are today, the third largest telecom provider in the world and then obviously, I am working with Airtel, there was some interface with MTN sometimes, there are good a lot of network providers like NSN and Motorola at the time. So, between Zain, MTN and Airtel. Airtel is where I spent most of my time.
Anita Mlakar: 23:23
Okay, so thank you for the answer. I am just going to pick this one because it is cute. Back in 2015. I can imagine it was really tough pitching blockchain. Are there any funny stories?
Saqr Ereiquat: 23:37
Yeah, I can tell you one story after the next. Obviously, I was laughed out of the room one too many times. which I always took with my chin up and with my head held high because I could see the potential of it. And by the way, from technology companies, governments, and private sector companies alike but the people that to see all of that was okay, because the people that understood it really understood it. And I was blessed with clients at the time who really understood this put their weight behind this and I always say to people that what we are seeing today in Dubai, is not happening by chance. This was done by design. Starting from 2015-16 maybe even earlier and it is really impressive, but I guess one anecdote was one of the tech executives that I was working with, that would always refer to blockchain as the black hole. And it was like suck at you and your black hole, this is a fad this is going to go away and but yes, I guess the learning from it is if you are passionate about something, stay with it because if I would have listened to everyone around me, I would not be here today, I guess.
Anita Mlakar: 25:04
Thank you for this advice. Just another thing. Now you are on the other side because you are working with so many companies and startups listening to their ideas pitching them to you. Do you have a suggestion for them, how they can do that better, or what is it that attracts you to invest or investors to invest. I am working with startups, too. But I am just consulting them about the public speaking and stuff like that, and I know that they need, or they need all the experience. So, it helped, could you suggest something?
Saqr Ereiquat: 25:42
I guess what can probably be said about everyone in this industry is that time is probably our most and that is not just for people in our industry but for every one time is the one resource that we cannot get back. And so, I guess the one word of advice would be to KISS, K I S S, keep it simple and stupid. If you can keep it simple and stupid. If you can KISS it, then life is good. So, in short, that would be the advice.
Anita Mlakar: 26:19
Okay. You are very busy man. You have one meeting after another, you said you are running to another right now. Just tell me. How do you take time for yourself? And to do? I do not know, whatever you like to do?
Saqr Ereiquat: 26:35
So, I am a family man, I guess. So, what is important is that I take some time out, and even if it is five minutes, so which is why I live close to the office. And I am 10 minutes to the office, 10 minutes away from the office, and just reward yourself with quick breaks. I do not actually believe in the long breaks, I was never able, I think since I started working to take like a break for more than a couple of days. So, reward yourself with a lot of mini breaks, they will be very rewarding or at least this is what works for me.
Anita Mlakar: 27:11
This is good advice for anybody who is working so hard.
Sandi? Do you have another question? Maybe?
Sandi Bitenc: 27:19
No, I just I just need to tell that, I am so glad that we are part of the Crypto Oasis and Saqr's team, and he is always connecting us to people. I have been at the office a day before yesterday and in two minutes, I met 10 different people through him. It is just amazing.
Saqr Ereiquat: 27:52
Well, that is what we are here for Sandi. We are at your service when it comes to that.
Sandi Bitenc: 27:58
And it helps a lot. I really need to say it does help a lot. And I wanted to point out that, that is really good to how you say and differentiate the crypto and blockchain because people still think it is one and the same, but it is really not. So crypto is when you have the cryptocurrencies and blockchain is an underlying technology that enables actually cryptocurrencies, and you do not need to have a token or a coin to actually use blockchain and thinking about blockchain. It is what it is really, really important, I think.
Saqr Ereiquat: 28:33
Yes, definitely. Thanks, Sandi.
Anita Mlakar: 28:35
Okay. Thank you very much Saqr for being with us today. I hope there will be another opportunity to have your here.
Saqr Ereiquat: 28:42
I hope that too.
Anita Mlakar: 28:43
Yes, it was very nice. Have a good day and meetings that are following. And thank you again, for being with us.
Saqr Ereiquat: 28:53
humbled and grateful for you to have me. Thank you so much. And I look forward to speaking to you again.
Anita Mlakar: 28:58
Thank you. Bye.
Saqr Ereiquat: 29:00
Sandi Bitenc: 29:00
See you soon.
Anita Mlakar: 29:04
Okay, now Sandi. Oh my God, it was nice to talk with Saqr with so many experiences and knowledge and such amazing work. I was just pointing some of the work he is doing but there is so much more I could not go through it all but of course you can read it and you can listen or look at him on internet and learn from him and I did learn today too I have to say. Okay, Sandi, now let us get back to 3air and everything that is happening right now. You already mentioned the website.
Sandi Bitenc: 29:42
I think that there is one important thing that we need to answer first because they see it in just from the start, I think even before the start. It was like what T-shirt is Sandi wearing.
Anita Mlakar: 29:58
Sandi Bitenc: 29:59
Yes. I do not have a Star Wars T-shirt today, but some of you already noticed, which one is it.
Anita Mlakar: 30:09
What is it? tell me.
Sandi Bitenc: 30:10
Michael knew it. He was right. So, it is Thanos T-shirt.
Anita Mlakar: 30:18
Okay, it looks good.
Sandi Bitenc: 30:20
Yeah, It is my second favorite.
Anita Mlakar: 30:24
Okay, now speaking about T-shirts, the contest of the best design for the T-shirt is also finished, right?
Sandi Bitenc: 30:33
Yes, exactly and we already announced the winners. So, it is a few designs that we really liked. We still did not decide which one we want to print. So, but the token rewards go out in any case. And I think that the team already contacted everybody that was in the top five spots. But in the next few days, we will decide what we want to print. It might be that we will just go with a bit of the new design. Let us see how much it changes. Laura needs to come back to us, first. She is working on the new design, as we said. So, let us see what we actually can use how much different it is or not. And on that one, we will then decide what exactly we will be printing.
Anita Mlakar: 31:35
Okay, great. So, I am looking forward to wearing the T-shirt soon. As soon as possible.
Sandi Bitenc: 31:42
As soon as possible. I think the new design should be ready, as Laura says in next week. Hopefully. I think next week, early next week, it should be ready and then we will be a step closer to know which ones we want to print. So, I think next Wednesday we can talk a bit more about it again.
Anita Mlakar: 32:11
Okay. Sandi, there is another question that still has to do with Saqr because Michael is asking how does Saqr help exactly with 3air?
Sandi Bitenc: 32:24
So first of all, we are partners of CV. And so, it is kind of a spin of CV labs and, but it is not Crypto Valley, it is Crypto Oasis. So, it is focused on this region. So, we are partnered with them also. And they are an investor in us and so this is one part, and the other part is, I just call him if I need a connection to somebody from the crypto space that is in their ecosystem, and their ecosystem is growing really a lot. It is not only their ecosystem, each person individually there is actually really well connected throughout the crypto space. So, for instance, two days ago, as I said, I was there at the offices. And I met a guy that is doing market making is really good. I met with four guys that are doing a play to earn game a new one. So, we are talking about that. I met two other big blockchain guys. Kobe is also stationed here. So, I met them. It is like really unbelievable how many people you can meet just through being a partner in organizations like this.
Anita Mlakar: 34:11
Yes, very important to have such support. Okay, Sandi now talking about 3air. There is a lot going on and you are preparing yourself and you are traveling soon from Dubai because you will be speaking at a very important event.
Sandi Bitenc: 34:30
Yes, we are going to Africa Tech Summit, and that is going to be on the 23rd and on the 24th. 3air will be present there, we will have our own exhibition booth. So, we expect quite a lot of contacts there. For instance, what I know is the guys from Meta will be there. I know that a lot of guys do not like Meta but still they are really huge and whatever exposure we can get through that it is going to be good for 3air and they are actually an investor in a lot of telecoms and new ideas of how to bring internet. so, I am kind of hoping to get some time with them. There are a lot of other telecoms will be there, they will be sitting on a panel about internet in Africa with some other telecom companies. So, let us see how this one goes, and this is going to be on the 24th. I think it is around noon or one local time in, so it is going to be in Nairobi, Kenya.
Anita Mlakar: 35:48
Okay, you will be a part of this event, of course, do you have any other issues there? any other goals? Will you be looking around a little bit?
Sandi Bitenc: 36:00
I do not think it is going to be enough time to really look around, I would love to go on a safari. Maybe one half day Safari will be possible, just maybe for a game drive for something close, but I think we will need to come back to that. It is just that we need to be back in Dubai, on the 25th. So, when the 24th is over on 25th late Night, we are flying back, we need to be back on the 26th actually. So, this is it, there will not be enough time. We wanted to stay in one really nice place that we found with some giraffes, but we were we were trying to book it. And it is booked till October. Till October! Yes.
Anita Mlakar: 36:56
Sandi Bitenc: 36:57
Anita Mlakar: 36:58
J Juels said that he hopes you will visit the game park in Nairobi. It is fascinating. Imagine a game park in the middle of the city.
Sandi Bitenc: 37:09
As said, we will have like half a day of free time. So hopefully, we will be able to do that. I am still meeting a lot of people there. So, you met Hilina, you met Markos. I think also Adedayo is coming there. So, there will be a lot of our guides, there a lot of our advisors and we have a lot to talk and a lot of plans to make. So, hopefully for the day, I would really love it.
Anita Mlakar: 37:45
It will be very busy, but you have to take you know, just a little time also to enjoy. You will be enjoying everything, of course, meeting all these people. Sandi, what activities are taking place? When we are talking about the three are in the mission right now?
Sandi Bitenc: 38:04
Yes, so there is something going on, as we already said, still I cannot confirm it, I can tell you that today, our team was flying into a country in Africa, one of the biggest ones and that most of the things are now agreed. So, it is really agreed so far that the team flew down to sign the contracts. So once this is signed, we will let you know, confirm everything, but it is going to be huge news. It is going to be probably the biggest news that we had for 3air and K3, ever. It is, not that it will probably be, it is the biggest news, we just need to have it really black on white, and then I will be able to really announce it and it should not take long really. Everything was already agreed verbally, and the contracts have been finalized. They just need to be signed now.
Anita Mlakar: 39:12
Okay, but what we can announce is a new giveaway.
Sandi Bitenc: 39:19
Yes, a new giveaway is coming on Friday, we will do something similar that we did for the New Year's giveaway. So, we will still thinking about what the prize will be. We can again go for another iPhone but let us see, maybe somebody has some good ideas of a nice prize just there in the level of a new iPhone, for instance. So, we will put up a nice prize and, but you will need to work for it. We will do it a bit differently than last time. We said we do not want such a big community from outside of 3air coming in. So, we want to really keep it a bit in the current community and grow the community from inside out. So, we will not be promoting the giveaway so much to just get people that are not related to 3air to just come in, but we really want that the guys that are right now in 3air and supporting us all the time that they have the biggest chances of getting it and we want to really expand from inside out. So that we get as many people staying with us and supporting us for the future as possible.
Anita Mlakar: 40:47
Great! So, you can write a suggestion in a comment maybe for what the prize should be. because we will give away 1000 tokens today, as we always do. Maybe in a 10 minute time. So, you do have a chance to write a suggestion and then we will pick one Sandi who gets 1000 tokens today, right?
Sandi Bitenc: 41:07
Yes, we will.
Anita Mlakar: 41:09
Okay, that is great. Now, there is also a question, can you tell us a little bit more about the website, what is the main goal of the website to educate people or to caption more sales?
Sandi Bitenc: 41:25
So right now, it is to capture a bit more sales, and it is just a landing page and with the landing page, we do want people to start to become curious and wanting to learn more. So, then we have a big documents section. And so, everything that goes from the landing page actually leads to the docs section. So, we want people then to educate themselves more on the cause and how we are doing it. We think that if people really know what we are doing, and how we want to do it, and the team behind it that is actually the people that we want in the community. we are not really the types of hyping things up crazy with like, the meme coins or whatever is right now popular. No, we are here for the long run. And we want also people that are staying with us and going with us the whole experience and adventure that we are going on, you heard Saqr, it is a mammoth task and we do know that, and we are prepared for it. And I am confident that we will succeed. And this is going to be something for the history.
Anita Mlakar: 43:05
Okay, we do have some suggestions coming up for the prize. Of course, there is also an opportunity to ask questions, if you have any right now, Sandi, part of the work that 3air is doing is also educating people and getting them to know the situation in Africa. And that is why also the Twitter spaces that we are preparing for Friday is going to be very interesting.
Sandi Bitenc: 43:33
Yes. what is it actually about? So, I am not preparing the twitter spaces. So, this is more Ruba's part. I am just joining but I think we will be talking about Internet connectivity in Africa right now. So, we are expecting some people to chime in from on ground there and telling us a bit of their experience. Probably we will have some of our advisors also on the call that are there in Africa. And I know that the message was pushed through the SKALE Africa community, they have actually a separate Africa channel that is really active. So, we are slowly also getting into that part. So, I think it is going to be interesting. I do hope that the time is okay. It is 11:11 AM Central Europe time. We wanted to have somebody from SKALE on, but they are going to be in Denver because they are going to East Denver, and it is I think it is they said it would be 3 AM for them. So, we are real for sure been missing the part from the people from America that That's for sure. So, let us see, we will test, we said we will and this twitter spaces maybe also the next week, but if not, we will try and move it to another spot. So, we said we will not be doing it on Friday evening. so, if we need to do switch it to a bit later time, we will probably do it Monday evening then.
Anita Mlakar: 45:25
Okay. So, we can also invite all of you to be of course active in our communities, on telegram and on Discord. Discord is really the one that is having everything but the subject and concerning 3air. And of course, you're welcome to be a part of it, to participate, to ask questions and to chat. It is very interesting. And there are some great ideas coming up also from people being in a community. So, we are thankful for that.
Sandi Bitenc: 45:55
You know what? maybe one thing that I can share a bit is and it's probably going to be interesting for the majority is we had a really long developers meeting today for 3air, and we were discussing a lot what we want to do with the NFT's and so on. So, as it looks like we will integrate all the monthly or whatever subscriptions we will offer you know, it is not it will offer only monthly subscriptions, we will have them all on NFT's. So, you will be able to actually buy NFT's that will give you a monthly Internet access at a certain speed and you will actually be able to use this if you are on our network. So just plug it in, and you will have internet access with it. Or you will also be able to just give it away to somebody, I think having the possibility of connecting a school, so we will be setting up some connectivity to school. we will be having a list of NGOs or some really good students that could benefit from this. And then you will be able to actually select from that list and with sending them an NFT you will be able to give them a month worth of Internet access and it is going to be verifiable on chain.
We are still working on the on how to design this because we are also thinking about how to actually enable roaming services with NFT's and that there is a solution that we found we need to test it right now. But we will be doing big stuffs with NFT's I think as we are one of the first let us say RealFi project as if we can say it like this. So, connecting blockchain to real world use cases. I think we are also one of the first ones that have NFT's with kind of real world use cases. So, I think the design that we came up today makes sense and we will be writing up a paper on this and we will be sharing then the details when we have everything set up, but we will also be pairing the NFT's not only with functionalities will kind of make it will make them also beautiful having a collectible also out of this. That is actually the easiest part.
Anita Mlakar: 49:01
Great news Sandi. There is a question from Richard, if you can answer that if Twitter space is more popular compared to YouTube?
Sandi Bitenc: 49:13
I do not actually know. So, we just started Twitter spaces. So, we did get some people in, but you do not see everybody who is on because a lot of people are using desktops and you do not see if somebody connects from my desktop. It just you see people that are connected through phones. And also, only if you are connected through a phone, you are able to speak. I do like it because everybody from the community like they are writing the comments here. there you can actually request to speak, and you then get the ability to get to ask the question to live yourself.
Anita Mlakar: 50:01
It is a totally different experience for me too because you can only hear people you cannot see them. You cannot read them, you just give them an opportunity to speak, and they ask questions, and it is interesting, but you have to pay attention and listen well, which that is very important. J Juels is asking if would there be a chance to watch your talk at the conference?
Sandi Bitenc: 50:28
I do not know exactly. If it is online, I will ask if it is online but if not, I will probably be filming it. I usually just film it. So, if it is possible, if they allowed to film, I will just film it, and then we will put it up why not. I will not put it up if I say something stupid.
Anita Mlakar: 50:56
About listening to you, I think you would have to be an attendee at the conference. That is how it usually is but maybe, I do not know, maybe it is a possibility to enter it and to watch it. So, we will check that out.
Sandi Bitenc: 51:11
Yeah, I will ask. I do not know exactly how it is done. I did not ask yet. I know that around 500 companies have applied. So that is huge. I think that is really a lot. And they are all Africa focused and a big part of them is investors. A big part is tech, and they are having a smaller part, it is getting bigger and bigger about the blockchain. So, it is kind of Africa, tech, telecoms, are really big there and mobile operators. So, in that regard, so we do fit nicely, and we will just connect to the new stuff. So, with the blockchain to the telecoms.
Anita Mlakar: 52:03
it is a very important place to be, and we are going to be there. That is important. Okay, Sandi, now, we should pick one for the 1000 tokens, I think, now we should invite you to say, "I want them- I want them" but we said that you should write a suggestion. What should be the prize for the giveaway, and I see that you are active. So, Sandi, this is your work today, to pick someone.
Sandi Bitenc: 52:36
Let me see, I think everybody wants a MacBook now.
Anita Mlakar: 52:44
Sandi Bitenc: 52:45
But I think MacBook Air could be possible probably.
Anita Mlakar: 52:51
Sandi Bitenc: 52:52
We were talking about that already. So, we said that. Okay, iPhone is nice and so on, but a laptop is kind of better. And in regard to people being able to kind of do some more work on it and educate themselves a bit. I think we will go with the MacBook Air, and I hope that it goes somewhere it to Africa.
Anita Mlakar: 53:26
Oh my god. Now, you said it. Yes. You just said it, the prize. Wow!
Sandi Bitenc: 53:34
Yes, it is not confirmed, but I think we will go with it. I think it makes sense.
Anita Mlakar: 53:40
Okay, so it was a good suggestion coming from people. So, thank you for participating and giving the suggestions. And someone said a branded new MacBook from 3air.
Sandi Bitenc: 53:54
We will do brand it, we will put a sticker on. We just usually what we do is we just order it online and from a local provider and ship it makes the most sense because if we want to ship something from here from Dubai, the iPhone actually went to the US. It does not make sense. It is the shipping costs are too much and then you need to pay additional fees and now we just ordered it directly within the US and shipped it.
Anita Mlakar: 54:36
Here is another question. Could it be possible one day 3air issuing vias at NFT's to enter a country in Africa imagine the potential of Internet of tourists to visit such a country.
Sandi Bitenc: 54:54
I do not think so. So, this one is tough. To be honest, I do not think that governments will just get away those stuff, but we are working closely with governments. And although I do not think that vias will be really NFTs, I do not think there will be NFTs, I think they will go more into digital identities. It makes more sense and digital identities and decentralized identities. They are really evolving pretty fast. The standards are being proposed and finalized. And I think this is going to be part of a digital identity, not so much in NFT but we will be working on digital identities. That was also a big part of how we want to do it, on our call with the depths today.
Anita Mlakar: 55:53
Right. So, Sandi, did you pick one for the prize?
Sandi Bitenc: 55:57
I think, every other comment that I read is from J Juels and I think he is actually from Africa, and I think he should it.
Anita Mlakar: 56:18
Juels what did you say, What do you write? So, congratulations.
Sandi Bitenc: 56:25
He was also suggesting a MacBook Air. So, we said it will be from there. So yes, I think he is all over the chat. He deserves it. So, congratulations, Juels.
Anita Mlakar: 56:38
Congratulations. I look, there is another question or suggestion. Could you tell us more about the IDs?
Sandi Bitenc: 56:48
Yes, so before we were thinking about just using Atala PRISM for it, we found another solution that is doing it pretty much the same way. They are actually SDKs out and code out that already being really catered to include everything that is needed, from the side of the W3C standard. And I think we will just implement it ourselves. So, it looks like the team gotten out the task of researching it a bit better if we can do it ourselves, how much work it takes? And you always need to weigh is, is it better to use an already existing solution? Or is it better to just invest a bit of time and funds up front, and then you have the solution, and you can offer it to other ones. So, it looks like it is not going to be so tough to implement it. And let us see, within the next few weeks, we will probably see if we are just switching and doing it ourselves. I think this makes sense.
In the end, it is a standard. So, everybody who is doing it should come out with kind of a same result, not the same way, but the same result and that is how it is. You know what a digital identity or decentralized identity, how we want to call it is, it is actually something that gives you control over your data. I do not think that they will be really on chain, everything, I do not think that personal data should be stored on chain. The problem is once something is stored on chain, you cannot take it down. So even with some encryptions and so for. Encryptions will probably get broken sometime in the future, whatever, maybe it is 10 years, maybe it is 100 years, but they will probably get broken. And that's why encryption is also evolving, and we have better, and better encryptions and the older ones just get broken.
I personally I would not want to have my personal information on chain, even if it is encrypted. So, I do not think that we will be for sure will be will not be doing that. So, I think that the information needs to stay with the user, and he needs to be in control over it. The thing is how you actually do it, because then people if they have their own information, they actually need to store it and they need to keep track of it.
Some companies are doing it so that they are storing the user's data on their phones but what happens if you if you did not switch, change the phone? What do you need to Get another set of credentials again, so on. So, it is something to think about and how we want to solve it. Especially who has control. It is kind of the same thing, as we were talking about with private keys, and everybody in crypto spaces right now, not your keys, not your funds and so on but we all know that the biggest issue right now in crypto adoption is probably that people just do not know how exactly to deal with it. I know a lot of people just do not know what a private key is. I know how I entered the space and I just, I created a wallet and I saw there the private key with the mnemonic phrase, and I just thought, Okay, I will write it down, maybe later. Not right now. Either way, I will be able to retrieve it somewhere. No, it is not retrievable.
So, you do not write it down, you forget your private key your funds are gone, and I do not think that the majority of the people actually want to have that burden. I think that they would rather trust someone although blockchain is all about trust lessness, I think still people want to trust someone with this. Maybe it is going to be within a generation or two, it is going to be a bit different. I do not know. But right now, I think that the custodial solutions and so on are still going to drive the adoption of blockchain and crypto a bit faster. So, I think it is the same dilemma with digital identities. So where to store your private data, actually.
Anita Mlakar: 1:01:50
Thank you very much Sandi for this educational part. And by the way, Juels is writing that he is from Kampala. Congratulations, Juels. Again, we have reached a cap of one hour.
Sandi Bitenc: 1:02:13
We try to keep it below one hour, but I think we succeeded two or three times maybe.
Anita Mlakar: 1:02:22
It is amazing, because when you are going to the end, and then questions come up. And we are having this discussion, but it is okay. It is always nice to have this discussion.
Sandi, thank you very much, again, for all the, the answers. Thank you for your questions and suggestions. And we will be talking again on Friday, 11:00 Central European Time in Twitter spaces, and then again, next week, Wednesday, the same time, the same place. Looking forward to that.
Sandi Bitenc: 1:02:51
I will be in Kenya then, Nairobi.
Anita Mlakar: 1:02:57
Okay, that will be interesting. Bye. Bye. Have a great day.
Sandi Bitenc: 1:03:02
Anita Mlakar: 1:03:03
Bye to everyone.