Australia’s Bitcoin Ambassador: Eli Afram

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By Alex Speirs Published: October 16, 2020
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As Chief Technology Officer of blockchain development firm Layer2 Technologies, as well as a Bitcoin Association Ambassador for Australia, Eli Afram knows his fair share about Bitcoin. A long-serving member of the Bitcoin community, Afram has a clear vision for how the technology should shape the future – a vision he’s dedicating himself to helping achieve.

‘It all started for me when my father brought home a Commodore 64 computer when I was about seven years old. I wrote my first computer program not long after and I’ve been obsessed with programming and computers ever since,’ explains Afram.

‘I fell into the Bitcoin circle and started writing a lot around 2015-16 about scaling Bitcoin, because I saw the urgent need for Bitcoin scale, and that amassed a bit of a following.’

Afram’s writings eventually got him connected with Dr Craig Wright, presenting Afram the opportunity to work alongside him and write coverage of Wright’s research and activities. And before he knew it, Afram was in the thick of the Bitcoin SV movement.

‘I listened with a blank canvas, very quickly realising that [Dr. Wright] was the real deal: not just because of what he said, but because of his passion and willingness to see Bitcoin succeed like no other person.’

Today, Afram is the CTO of a group of companies operating under the Layer2 Technologies banner, all aligned on developing businesses and ideas for the Bitcoin SV ecosystem, with tokenisation at the tip of the tongue.

‘The idea is to to help other companies tokenise products. The first one we’re looking at doing is gold, because there’s existing demand for that. We’ve already spoken to a number of vaults and mints and banks that are interested in tokenisation.’

Afram uses gold as an example, but emphasises that there are many other asset classes which lend themselves well to tokenisation, though he is quick to point out that tokenisation itself is not a new concept.

‘Tokens are used every day in the in in the real world, whether people realise it or not,’ he explains.

‘Every time people buy gold, they’re not actually buying physical gold; they’re buying a certificate that represents that gold. That certificate is the token representing that gold. Today, it might be on a piece of paper. Tomorrow, it might be a digital certificate represented as tokens on the blockchain.’

Bitcoin SV is the only blockchain with the ability to efficiently and effectively tokenise assets, offering the fast settlement times, low transaction fees and unlimited data capacity required. Already, a number of different ventures have emerged seeking to bring a tokenised future to the Bitcoin SV ecosystem, with some prominent examples already beginning to rise to the fore.

‘I’m such a fan of the Tokenized platform and protocol envisioned by James Belding, currently being developed by his team,’ Afram says.

‘I remember when he first approached me with the idea, and my eyes shot open: he understood what tokens were, and he wasn’t marred by what had happened in the ICO craze, where assets that were not backed against anything were issued, pumped, scammed, sold, dumped.’

The negative applications of blockchain technology – such as with the ICO craze – and the associated poor reputation that still permeates in many circles as a result, is exactly what Afram is trying to address with Layer2 Technologies, all of which are centred on an approach rooted firmly in maximising utility.

‘Everything that is in the real world can operate more efficiently on the blockchain. That’s just what we have to focus on doing. Maybe it even means that we need to start departing from certain terminology that we use,’ says Afram.

‘When we start explaining things in real-world terms, it becomes a lot easier for businesses and for ecosystem partners and teams to digest and understand what this technology can do.’

In both his capacity as CTO at Layer2 Technology and a Bitcoin Association Ambassador, Afram works to educate leaders in the business community about the potential of blockchain technology and the business-friendly ecosystem that has emerged with Bitcoin SV.

‘BSV is very business focused and very business-oriented. We want businesses to build on-chain. It’s businesses that are going to drive the value in, and once businesses adopt, so will people, because people and businesses work together,’ Afram explains.

‘What we need is for more transactions to happen on-chain. The more we can bring on, the better.  I think developers need to build as many middle layer technologies as possible; I like to call these people enablers because they are developers who create products that enable other developers.

‘As long as we keep doing this – and we are doing it – then other developers will develop. Build it, and they will come. It’s not entirely 100% accurate but there’s a bit of truth to that: if you make it easy for people, they will come.’

As a Bitcoin Association Ambassador to Australia, Afram has a close eye on how the local community is growing, as well as what is needed for it to continue to do so.

A lot of the talent that’s coming out in terms of BSV is coming from Australia. I’m proud of that. I’m proud of the fact that Satoshi Nakamoto is Australian, despite having a Japanese name,’ he says.

‘At the same time, I really feel we do still have a way to go in order to win over big businesses and corporations – these are the places we really need to keep addressing and investing our time in so that they understand what can be achieved with Bitcoin SV.’