How Akachukwu Ugochukwu is helping folks hedge against inflation with crypto

Temitope Akintade
•Ugochukwu was an investor in music and tech projects before going into crypto | •He co-founded SaFi, where users can hedge against inflation by saving Bitcoin and other macro cryptocurrency in bits


Ebenezer Ugo Akachukwu
’s journey into the crypto-verse started in 2019. Ugochukwu had been in the music industry as an executive and entrepreneur for eight years and was searching for the perfect meeting point of music and tech.

Ugochukwu got into conversations with his cousin and partner who had found Bitcoin earlier that year. They were blown by the idea of nodes hosted across systems all over the world. In an exclusive interview with Technext, he narrates his experience in the cryptocurrency space.

“I was already an investor in different music and tech projects, so, I took time to read up and research on the tech of crypto before deciding to invest in bitcoin. I’m sure Bitcoin was everyone’s first crypto investment.”

The most intriguing sectors of cryptocurrency to Ugochukwu include computational blockchains like Ethereum, Solana, the tokens that can be built on them, NFTs, and Decentralised Finance. 

Ugochukwu.eth

The most appealing blockchain to Ugochukwu in the crypto world is the largest decentralised network – Ethereum. He preaches the Ethereum gospel whenever he has the opportunity and he is regarded as an Ethereum Maximalist.

He was already intrigued with the technology of Ethereum and alt Layer 1s and how they are different from the Bitcoin blockchain. Then he started with DeFi protocols such as NEXO, Celsius, using different wallets to farm protocol tokens, and getting acquainted with DeFi as a function of Ethereum. 

“In August 2021, I bought an ENS domain, then got an airdrop of a huge sum of tokens. That was literally where I fell into the Ethereum rabbit hole. A succession of sleepless nights ensued. I discovered the best way to enjoy the value of web3 was to actively engage in it. Also, I found the ultrasound community and learned how Ethereum’s computational tech will spread into literally everything. By the way, my ENS name was also an NFT. This all trickled down to an obsession with smart contracts, today I can say I have gone from novice to smart contract developer and an Ethereum Maxi!”

Ebenezer Ugo Akachukwu

Say hello to the ultimate Maxi!!!

Regardless of his love and passion for the Ethereum network, Ugochukwu does not shy away from the fact that there are some lapses inherent in the network that need to be worked on. Some of the key areas he believes Ethereum developers should work on include method-of-issuance (consensus algorithm), high transaction fees and full decentralisation. 

Ethereum uses a proof-of-work algorithm. The disadvantage of this method of issuance is it takes a toll on our environment and it uses a lot of energy. Ethereum is already moving to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, which is known as ETH2.0 upgrade. On high gas fees, Ugochukwu believes there should be a system where people do not have to pay money for little things on the blockchain. 

“These issues have hindered the adoption rate for Ethereum. It can also do better in the area of decentralization, Bitcoin maxis always point to Ethereum as not really decentralized.”

DAOs

DAOs are decentralised autonomous organisations. In layman’s terms, they are a collection of individuals who have come together to achieve a purpose and have decided not to be governed by any central system.

In Ugochukwu’s words, anything done in DAOs will be taken care of by smart contracts.

“One of the DAOs I belong to is for engineers who have come together to build protocols. Enthusiasts refer to DAOs as the future of work, what that means is that you can be anywhere in the world and connect and contribute to a DAO. Any industry that has to do with an asset or intellectual property, where it seems enough funding is not going to, those are the sectors that need DAOs.”

“The easiest way to make money from DAOs is to contribute to the DAOs, find a skill you’re good at and offer it to the DAO. Personally, I am in DeFi and a couple of NFTs DAOs including music DAOs as well. So it’s about finding what suits you and what works for you.”

About SaFi

Ugochukwu was a part of the founding team of Freeme Digital, a content aggregation and label services product. Freeme was arguably the second music distribution platform in Nigeria. The aim was to provide music services to artists without having them sign record deals. Ugochukwu later co-founded SaFi. Being a crypto ‘John the Baptist’ preaching crypto to all family and friends. 

“I had relatives who wanted to invest in crypto and didn’t  know how, so I would take their money, invest it and keep track with excel sheets.”

He did this for a while and then met up with a friend and partner, Asher.

“We found out more people didn’t realise you could purchase Bitcoin for as little as $10. He came up with the name and SaFi was born. SaFi is offering to be a gateway to cryptocurrency for the Nigerian youth. With SaFi they can hedge against inflation by saving using Bitcoin and other macro cryptocurrencies in bits.”

SaFi is just about to go to beta testing.

“We want to be able to create a product that’s run by the community and users. It’s not been a straightforward path, but we’re on course to build something that stands out.”

Crypto in Nigeria 

Ugochukwu thinks crypto has fared really well. Nigeria tops the Google charts for Bitcoin searches. According to him, the crypto market valuation in Nigeria was at $500 million as of October 2021 and there are so many more figures to back up the fact that crypto has been good for Nigeria.

He also noted that diasporans can now send money into Nigeria quicker and for lesser fees. Entrepreneurs and startups do have their own share of hurdles in the process of building. What is life without obstacles anyways? Ugochukwu says: 

“I would say finding the right talent to work with. It’s harder when you’re very much about details. The poor economy has meant there are more chances to find impostors and people who just want to earn a living and worry about impact making later. Also, the high cost of running businesses daily, power, etc. The economic policies as well have proved to be a problem, such as inflow of forex into the country, and many other things as well.”

In spite of all these, the future is bright for Ugochukwu and SaFi. “We’re hoping to build a product that can liberate our users from the effects of inflation, and financial inadequacy. For me it looks great, I do not intend to stop at SaFi, I love building things that can impact human lives, and hope to create more solutions in the future.”

Make sure you keep tabs on SaFi!


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