Last updated on December 7th, 2023 at 01:21 pm
When you know the direction you’re headed at a very tender age and have financial and moral support from people around you, you have no choice but to succeed beyond your own imagination, that’s the story of Tomiwa Lasebikan, one of the leading voices in blockchain technology in Africa.
His achievements in the blockchain space which include cryptocurrency and software development make him one of the most travelled and sought-after in his own world.
Apart from working as a software engineer at Microsoft, Lasebikan along with other young, inspiring, and talented colleagues has built products that make trans-border transactions easier than anyone could imagine.
Here is the biography of Tomiwa Lasebikan, the man who said bitcoin has afforded Nigerians living abroad to send money back home safely and as a means of evading the overvalued Nigerian Naira. According to him, CBN cannot kill bitcoin among Nigerians despite stringent regulations.
Who is Olatomiwa?
Christened Olatomiwa, but called Tomiwa by friends was born into the Lasebikan family in Osun State, South West, Nigeria.
His exceptional brilliance in school was influenced by the late Nelson Mandela, who in one of his hundreds of evergreen motivational speeches said, “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”
His fervent belief in technology is centred on the fact that education and tech are the tools to tackle the everyday social and economic challenges facing mankind.
After his Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE), Engr. Lasebikan gained admission at one of the most historic universities in the World, Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America to earn a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from 2010-2014.
The super-brilliant Tomiwa Lasebikan also attended the prestigious Vanderbilt University.
Known for its research, Vanderbilt University has Al Gore (former Vice President of the United States), James Patterson, Jay Cutler (ex-member of the National Football League), Muhammad Yunus (Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader) as some of its notable alumni.
His Professional Experiences:
A few months as a Computer Science and Mathematics student, Engr. Lasebikan started his career as a Web Development Intern at the Center for Physics and Chemistry of Materials, Nashville, TN from June 2011 to August 2011.
As an intern, he developed a website for the Center for Physics and Chemistry of Materials (CPCoM) using WIX and also built a mobile version of the center’s website using HTML5 and CSS3.
From Jun 2012 to Aug 2012, Tomiwa Lasebikan, who would later become the co-founder of BuyCoins Africa and Sendcash, worked as a Research Assistant at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) Knoxville, Tennessee Area, U.S.A.
At NIMBioS, he worked on a new and independent research project using MATLAB and designed the development approach from the ground up to allow for fluid programmability and re-usable code post-internship.
As the leader of the research group, he managed the code base of the entire research group and helped non-technical teammates to develop little programming experience.
Before completing of his first degree, Olasebikan got a placement at Microsoft as a Software Developer Engineer between May 2013 to August 2013.
Within three months, the promising young Engineer worked on implementing a feedback and rating feature for users to review and rate the Windows RT app and give feedback to the product team from within the application for Microsoft Power BI application.
Some of his other responsibilities include:
- Performing bug bash and ad-hoc testing of team product
- Developing a formatting tool to analyze and properly format product user logs.
- He also gained exposure, coordinating with PM team, Developers and Testing team.
Upon the completion of his degree in 2014, Engr. Tomiwa Lasebikan was employed as Microsoft Engineer.
From June 2014 to October 2018, he worked with Microsoft Big Data Service, HDInsight integrated into Azure.
His roles include:
- Telemetry Pipeline which extracts logs from customer clusters,
- Does computation on big data
- Pushes meaningful and analyzed data into back end SQL-Server data warehouse.
- Presented data visualization for use by senior executives to make business-critical decisions.
- Analysis of terabytes of daily logs using Hadoop, Hive, Sqoop and SQL, and data visualization and presentation using Excel, SharePoint and Power BI.
Life after Exiting Microsoft
Apart from the various innovations he has brought to the blockchain industry in Africa, the life of the young engineer has been wonderful, thrilling and inspiring.
In one of his podcasts, Olasebikan agrees that the blockchain space is filled with untold challenges ranging from security to government policies.
Some of the prominent products he had co-founded within two years of exiting Microsoft include:
- BuyCoins (crypto trading platform)
According to him, his products were brought in order to solve the problem of trans-border remittances.
“It was clear that there was a remittance problem,” was quoted as saying in an interview where he said he had to ask himself: “What is the best experience we could build where people could get started using Bitcoin to solve some of their money problems?” reported TechCabal.
Specifically, he said Sendcash was designed to create an MVP to help Nigeria-based freelancers who worked gigs that paid in Bitcoin
First, BuyCoins.Africa was founded before carving another product out of an existing one named, “Sendcash” an online platform for direct Bitcoin remittances to Nigerian bank accounts where the receiver gets his account credited in Naira.
It enables Nigerian expatriates to send up to $1,000 US dollars daily to any Nigerian or Ghanaian bank account using Bitcoin or USDC.
His principle about life
The hardworking Lasebikan encouraged young Nigerians not to allow the Nigerian factor to discourage them from achieving their long-held dreams.
“Nigeria easily demands of us to be mediocre, late, ineffective, nonchalant etc.
People can have weaknesses but it’s really important that they don’t give up on working on these weaknesses and on their own growth: that’s how high standards are nurtured,” he told workaroo in December 2019 interview
He’s truly one of the most powerful influencers in the blockchain industry in Nigeria, Africa and the world.