How a Ponzi victim became a crypto evangelist

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How a Ponzi victim became a crypto evangelist

Losing money to a Ponzi scam is not the ideal introduction to the crypto ecosystem. Thankfully, Mark Dave Manansala gave crypto and blockchain a second chance and discovered a new passion.

It all started when Manansala was invited by an acquaintance to join a very popular crypto project in 2017. The project’s team asked him to create a video of himself in exchange for free tokens. After this, he was advised to reinvest the gains. Baited by the high returns, Manansala ended up investing more money into the scheme only to discover that it was a scam.

“After studying and putting my money in for about three months, it became clearer that it was a scam. I did what a can to recover and pull out what I could, and I was able to save some of the investments before their token totally crashed.”

When asked about how the experience changed his perspective of crypto, Manansala noted that he didn’t perceive crypto as a negative thing despite being “totally pissed off by that particular platform.”

As life gave Manansala lemons, he made lemonades. “Because of the encounter, I became curious about crypto, Bitcoin and the tech behind it,” said Manansala. The Ponzi victim told Cointelegraph that he started educating himself, and after being confident about the life-changing opportunities within the industry, he wanted to share what he knew so that others would find crypto as well.

“After knowing quite a bit about it, I started a weekly meetup in GenSan. It was a somewhat simple, informal seminar or an ‘open talk’ in a cafe, inviting anyone who wanted to learn about crypto and blockchain. ”

Back in 2017, Manansala started his crypto crusade with the person closest to him — his girlfriend. The crypto evangelist said that she was studying to be a pharmacist but ended up going all-in on the crypto industry.

“From there, we became like a tandem. We’ve had a common language which was crypto – our topic all the time. Then, together, we started the meetup in 2018 when we were confident with what we knew,” said Manansala.

Mark teaching students about blockchain at NDDU School in General Santos City, Philippines. Source: Mark Manansala

After that, the Filipino Bitcoiner moved on to friends and family. Then, he opened up the meetup for anyone in his city who wanted to learn about crypto or blockchain. After a year, he started being invited to talk in schools and events and was able to go to countries like Vietnam and Indonesia to spread the good news about Bitcoin (BTC) and blockchain.

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The crypto speaker shared that many of his audience have very little knowledge about crypto and blockchain. Because of this, he mostly discussed the history of money during his talks. “Blockchain is kind of too technical to some, but if they just wanted to know the basics of crypto, having an understanding of where money comes from is important,” said Manansala.

“Some thought that Bitcoin and blockchain were the same thing. So, we had to work on that. I gave them examples and explained that Bitcoin is only one way to use and apply blockchain technology. I also explained possible use cases of blockchain.”

According to Manansala, many of the previous attendees to his meetups became traders. At the moment, the crypto advocate says that he is training four students that started with zero knowledge. He is also training an advanced team who are learning to make smart contracts and advanced websites. 

Manansala dreams of a time when his audiences would have enough skills to get a job with what they learned from him. He said that he wants to become an advocate of opportunities by educating others. The crypto advocate believes that even if the markets go down, knowledge can enable people to work and earn a living.