Creating Impact (At Scale): Mundo Crypto Founder Mani Thawani
Mani Thawani, founder of Mundo Crypto, is on a mission to educate 20 million people in blockchain and crypto for free.
The entrepreneurial journey of Mani Thawani, founder of Mundo Crypto, an educational platform on blockchain with offices in Spain and the UAE, can attest that the best business ideas indeed come from personal experience.
Thawani is leading a movement to make education on blockchain and cryptocurrencies accessible to everyone, and especially to those who have been deprived of the opportunity to pursue traditional education- much like he himself was, once upon a time.
Originally from the Canary Islands, Thawani quit school at 16 to start working and financially supporting his family after his father passed away. In his spare time, however, he enrolled in numerous online courses on a variety of topics, from economics to marketing. "It was then that I realized that my generation's learning method had little to do with our parents' or prior generations' learning and teaching models, and that great education was accessible to everybody, regardless of their financial means, and from the comfort of our own homes," Thawani recalls. "And so, by 2016, when I was only 23 years old, I had already accumulated more than seven years of work experience for various companies, and I had already completed more than a hundred educational courses, and I repeat, all online, and many of them, free."
It was also in 2016 that Thawani stumbled upon Bitcoin, and today, he says that discovery "has grown from a mere curiosity into an obsession," and has also built his strong conviction that blockchain and cryptocurrencies can fundamentally change lives. After all, blockchain did change Thawani's life- that's how he became the founder of the Canary Islands-headquartered blockchain and crypto group, Mundo Crypto Holding.
In order to dwell deeper into the five years -from discovering Bitcoin in 2016 to founding his crypto conglomerate in 2021- that changed Thawani's life, I first want to grasp what about blockchain technology impressed him so much. "At first glance, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies may appear to be nothing more than a means of making money, especially if our access to information is restricted," Thawani says. "But it took me several years to understand that the most significant element in this business is not making money, but that the essence of it all is that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have dramatically redefined the concept of freedom."
According to Thawani, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies can enable anyone with a smartphone and internet connection, especially a large number of still unbanked people, to benefit from financial inclusion. "This gives people control over their money, and thus affords them more freedom," Thawani says. "I am one of those who feels that the essence of it all is to provide individuals the sovereignty and independence they need to manage their own wealth." In this spirit, Thawani founded Mundo Crypto in 2018 with a mission to offer a didactic, innovative, and disruptive education on blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Mani Thawani, founder, Mundo Crypto / Photography by: Farooq Salik
"Mundo Crypto began as an online academy, and because of my experience in the online education industry, we rapidly became the number one online crypto academy for the Spanish-speaking market, generating more than US$20 million in training courses by 2021," Thawani says. "However, I felt compelled to make a change, because Mundo Crypto was created with the intention of evolving and becoming a key component of mass adoption."
Today, Thawani's goal for Mundo Crypto is clear and measurable- to educate 20 million people in blockchain and crypto for free. "The expansion of this business must allow present and future generations to benefit from a more equitable and decentralized economy, built on the notion of freedom in its broadest sense," Thawani says.
The Mundo Crypto team currently has over 150 employees spread throughout offices in Canary Islands, Madrid, and Dubai, with one of their most recent undertakings being Mundo Crypto News, which has been envisioned as "the first completely decentralized media outlet" that will "give the most up-to-date cryptocurrency news." Meanwhile, Mundo Crypto's educational platform on blockchain and cryptocurrencies is evolving into a decentralized metaverse to cater for learners seeking a more immersive experience. "They can use their virtual reality (VR) glasses to enter the metaverse with hyper-realistic avatars and chat with other students, and so on," Thawani says.
"We have already spent roughly $22 million on this, because we recognize that our community, students, and media users all demand a secure digital environment in which they can grow as one of the industry's most significant communities." On top of that, Mundo Crypto has also developed two new concepts: "learn to earn," which follows "the more you study, the more you earn" formula to incentivize its users, and "proof of community," which offers rewards to the most devoted community members. "It is through these two notions that we will achieve our core goal which is mass adoption," Thawani adds.
In essence, Mundo Crypto is trying to building the world's greatest crypto community, Thawani declares. "With over 200,000 people, we are the largest Spanish-speaking crypto community, and we started expanding into additional languages this year," he says. "We have a significant advantage over the competition in this area, because most of the competitors focus on creating their products, and lack a community. Due to our expertise, we can devote over 60% of our efforts to building a greater community, while also creating our products. The community is what we treasure."
Source: Mundo Crypto
The beta version of the Mundo Crypto metaverse is expected to be launched in 2022. "For the past few months, we have been working on tackling several challenges, including integrating blockchain with virtual reality," Thawani says. "We must, however, continue to work with the limitations of VR, whether at server level, hyperrealism, or team rearrangement, because we plan to make all our people who engage with clients digital avatars. Consider a hyper-realistic avatar representing a decentralized media outlet reporting from the metaverse. That's where we are right now, and if all goes well, we'll be ready this year."
Another goal for 2022 is a Mundo Crypto community event at the WiZink center in Madrid on August 27, which will be a hybrid event expecting roughly 7,000 in-person attendees and up to 50,000 people joining in digitally. "We intend to set a new record by showing the metaverse to 7,000 people wearing virtual glasses," Thawani explains. "And by 2023, our mid-term goal is to educate five million individuals globally, becoming the world's largest crypto community, and having the metaverse servers ready for this community's massive adoption."
Thawani chose Dubai as the base for Mundo Crypto's international expansion due to its forwardthinking government, cutting-edge infrastructure and banking system, and a strategic location between Asia, Europe, and Africa. "I would advise anyone interested in expanding or starting a business in Dubai to seek professional assistance, as regulations are always changing, and you must be aware of and understand the legal ins and outs," he says. "It's critical to have a solid team of local advisors on your side. We're not the only ones who've arrived in Dubai. Binance and Bybit, two other crypto industry behemoths, have already done so too."
We cannot ignore the fact that this interview is being conducted during one of the crypto's bear markets, but Thawani advises everyone to remain unfazed by the crypto tokens currently plummeting in value. "I used to be an active investor and trader, and some of my best investments were made during times of crisis," he adds. "If you're an investor, a hedge fund manager, or a trader, this is the period in which using common sense can help you to make so much money."
However, instead of making money through crypto trading or investing, Thawani would like to advise everyone to focus on creating a valuable crypto service or product. "Despite the drop in prices, the number of people interested in this business continues to grow, and it's projected that in the next three to four years, the number of users will triple. So, if you have a fantastic idea that will benefit the world, go for it. If you supply something of great quality and intrinsic value, there is no reason to be anxious."
Mani Thawani, founder, Mundo Crypto / Photography by: Farooq Salik
When it comes to the opportunities in the blockchain and cryptocurrencies space, Thawani believes that decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) hold a lot of potential. "Many people believe the biggest and the best have already been born, but I believe that the most significant ones are yet to be born," he explains. "Consider the following scenario: you're ready to start a corporation that will manage vast sums of wealth and resources, or a digital environment that is a metaverse, but you don't have complete trust in the rest of your team. In a DAO, this would not be a problem, since you would simply have to trust the DAO's code, which is entirely transparent and open to everyone. The idea of a decentralized organization that can run autonomously via smart contracts is fantastic and has unlimited applications."
For the concept of DAOs to succeed, regulation is essential, Thawani adds. "Due to a lack of regulation, each of the DAO-managed foundations must build its own structure, and they are often readily influenced with false promises of decentralization," he says. This issue can be solved by jurisdictions creating an acceptable regulatory framework for this sector, Thawani adds, and goes on to highlight -one more time- that due to a current gap in the market for true decentralized autonomous systems, the opportunities presented by DAOs will only continue to grow. "If I were you, I would be very aware of everything that is about to happen," Thawani concludes with a nod and a wink.
'TREP TALK: Mani Thawani's tips for entrepreneurs exploring the crypto space
1. BE INTENTIONAL WHEN DEVELOPING YOUR BLOCKCHAIN IDEA "I would say that you must prepare and thoroughly understand the business and team; the people who make up a company are its most valuable assets. You must actively listen to the team and its recommendations, while also providing them with the tools they need to become active members of the project."
2. ADOPT AN EFFECTIVE STRATEGY "It's just as crucial to present a strong and effective strategy, as it is to build solutions using appropriate technology; technological integration enables for the creation of a new competitive framework."
3. BE FLEXIBLE "You must also recognize the need of being flexible in response to market needs. Organizations can expand or contract in reaction to market conditions, and it is critical for you to develop clear strategies from the start that allow you to respond rapidly to any scenario."
4. FOCUS ON THE GREATER GOOD "I feel that we are approaching a point in this sector where projects that solely provide monetary value will become obsolete, thus your utility should outweigh, say, staking incentives. This model, as we recently found, is no longer viable."