Losing money to a Ponzi scam is not the ideal introduction to the crypto ecosystem. Fortunately, 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 in 2017 to participate in a very popular crypto project. The project team asked him to make a video of himself in exchange for free tokens. He was then advised to reinvest the profits. Lured by the high returns, Manansala eventually invested more money into the scheme only to discover it was a scam.
“After studying and depositing my money for about three months, it became clear that it was a scam. I did what I could to recover and get out what I could, and I was able to save some of the investment before their token crashed completely.
When asked how the experience changed his perspective on crypto, Manansala noted that he didn’t view crypto as something negative, despite being “totally pissed off by that particular platform”.
As life gave Manansala lemons, he made lemonades. “The meeting made me curious about crypto, Bitcoin and the technology behind it,” said Manansala. The Ponzi victim told Coin-Crypto that he started educating himself, and after being sure of the life-changing opportunities within the industry, he wanted to share what he knew so that others would find crypto too.
“After knowing quite a bit about it, I started a weekly meeting in GenSan. It was a somewhat simple, informal seminar or an ‘open talk’ in a cafe, inviting everyone who wanted to know more about crypto and blockchain. †
In 2017, Manansala started his crypto crusade with the person closest to him: his girlfriend. The crypto evangelist said she studied to become a pharmacist but ended up going all in in the crypto industry.
“From there we became like a tandem. We’ve had a common language that was crypto – our subject all the time. Then we started the meetup together in 2018, when we were sure of what we knew,” said Manansala.
Mark teaches students about blockchain at the NDDU School in General Santos City, Philippines. Source: Mark Manansala
After that, the Filipino Bitcoiner moved on with friends and family. He then opened the meeting to anyone in his city who wanted to learn more about crypto or blockchain. After a year, he was invited to speak at 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. Therefore, during his speeches, he mainly discussed the history of money. “Blockchain is a bit too technical for some, but if they just want to know the basics of crypto, it’s important to understand where money comes from,” Manansala says.
“Some thought 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 participants in his gatherings became traders. At the moment, the crypto lawyer says he is training four students who started without knowledge. He also trains an advanced team that learns to create smart contracts and advanced websites.
Manansala dreams of a time when his audience would have enough skills to get a job with what they learned from him. He said he wants to become an advocate of opportunity by educating others. The crypto advocate believes that even if the markets fall, knowledge can empower people to work and earn a living.