Today in our editorial series of “My Life In Fintech & Blockchain”, we‘re having an exclusive interview with Tunmise Olaoluwa, a Blockchain Research Analyst, OctaFX trader, and the Founder of FinSmart Community, who shares how he started his journey in the fintech, pivoted into the blockchain while dishing out insightful pieces of advice for those looking to launch their careers in these spaces. Hold your bowl of popcorn and enjoy this ride.
Bitmama: Let’s start at the very beginning. What inspired your journey in fintech and blockchain?
Tunmise Olaoluwa: I’ve always had a strong interest in the financial markets in general. My passion led me to pursue a degree in Banking and Finance at both the polytechnic and university levels. During those periods, I did a lot of research into the global financial markets, because I was interested in going into investment banking. While in school, I had an experience that changed the trajectory of my life.
Every year, the Bank of America comes to Africa to select students who are passionate about finance and have the enthusiasm to deliver value in the financial space. In 2019, they came to Nigeria and I was selected. Although I scaled through five interview processes, where others didn’t make it, I couldn’t advance to the final level, which involved me getting an internship in either their American or London office. Yet, that experience alone made me see so much more in myself. and convinced me that finance was a career path I wanted to pursue. ,
My interest was in Security trading. I began trading forex, gained so much knowledge, and finally bridged the gap between what I learned in school and what happens in the real world.
Soon, I was able to learn more about how inflation and interest rates affect a country’s economy and how that has a direct impact on the currency, as well as monetary and fiscal policy. I became so engrossed that people began to call me the “Apostle of Finance.” seeking counsel on which stock or bond they should buy. I began making recommendations based on my limited knowledge at the time. When I first heard about blockchain technology, I knew I had to get involved because if traditional technology could have such a large impact on finance and other industries, then blockchain technology could do even more.
Bitmama: Your journey is an interesting one. It brings our mind to a recently ongoing argument about who the blockchain is or isn’t for. What’ll be your fair response to “must everyone be a crypto trader?”
Tunmise: Everyone can not be a crypto trader because there are multiple ways to make money from crypto. You can profit from crypto arbitrage, writing for a crypto firm, providing content, managing communities for crypto organizations, yield farming, and annual percentage use of verified platforms, blockchain, and protocols.
Bitmama: The fintech and blockchain industries are said to be male-dominated. Given your experience with running a financial community, how do you inspire more female participation in the field?
Tunmise: Although I don’t have scientific proof, I believe that there are more men working in the financial industry than females. Despite this, I’ve met women who work in the finance industry in a variety of capacities, from sales and trading to investment; you name it. However, I’ve discovered that when it comes to trading, very few women are willing to take risks and deal with the emotional side of the financial market. This, I believe, is one of the areas where the females tend to draw the line. In order to change this, we must raise awareness by organizing financial events, specifically targeted at women, and having insightful discussions on how they can become great financial analysts, crypto traders, or influencers in the industry.
Bitmama: Many young Africans want to work in fintech but face obstacles. How can one easily transition into the fintech and blockchain space?
Tunmise: Some of these barriers are self-inflicted by young people who want to get involved in this space because they lack vital skills. Yet, the barrier to entry into the fintech space is low because there are so many opportunities that have sprung up from fintech. One of the things I feel is a setback for young people is the lack of good advice and guidance.
Bitmama: In recent times, it’s alluded that fintech is shaking up the traditional financial landscape. Given your stint experience in the space, do you believe a time will come when people boycott traditional financial institutions?
Tunmise: Fintech products would dominate many things in Nigeria, Africa, and the rest of the world, and I believe there is a need for more of these solutions. Fintech products will take off regardless of the government’s acts. It’s also worth noting that traditional banks are looking for ways to get involved with fintech. The thing is, every fintech company wants to get a banking license because it will solve a lot of their problems while also reducing the bureaucratic process.
Also, every traditional bank wants to become a full-fledged fintech company, indicating that traditional banks are very interested in fintech. Fintechs, on the other hand, are sometimes heavily reliant on traditional banks to complete financial transactions due to the bureaucratic process. Regardless of how much technology advances, I can assure you that many things will be possible outside of the government, and outside of the current circumstances.
Bitmama: Many people believe the financial industry is very rigid, especially the people who work in fintech. Do you agree with them? If not, how do you relax and unwind?
Tunmise: It is dependent on the individual’s specific interests. Everyone can choose specific days and times to relax, socialize, and have fun. People who enjoy nightlife may choose to go out at night to unwind, chill, and listen to music after working during the day, while others may choose weekends to visit beautiful places, have fun, and relax their minds. Personally, I enjoy taking time off to watch movies, spend time with friends, and travel when I have the opportunity. That’s how you recharge your batteries and get ready for the next race. The part about having fun is up to the individual, but in order to cope, you must create time for fun, relaxation, or socializing with friends.
Bitmama: What would be your advice to those who are transitioning into fintech given the perceived saturation in the space??
Tunmise: It’s interesting to know that “problem no dey finish” as people will say. Fintech solutions are still desperately needed, and believe me when I say that we are still in the early stages of solving many financial problems with technology. Rather than saying it’s saturated, I believe it’s just getting started because we still need a tech product that can solve some very fundamental problems. Some of what we have now could just be a slew of similar tech products. The sky is big enough for tech products to fly right now, so anyone interested in getting involved in technology should do so because there is no better time than now.
Thank you Tunmise for granting this interview, we agree that Fintech companies should provide much-needed solutions for Africans. At Bitmama, we are committed to serving the market with our range of products like the Buy Crypto Pay Later (BCPL) feature, and our Crypto cards that afford you over $10,000 in monthly spending. Interested in learning more about Blockchain and Crypto, join our community of crypto newbies and experts to learn and have fun together here
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Ps: This interview has been edited for clarity and readability.