Sam and Steve Williams, 39, are identical twins of African descent who grew up in a tough neighborhood in South London. Their parents are both Nigerians who found a new home in the United Kingdom after leaving their country of birth in the early seventies.
Until some months ago, the twin brothers were basically just another case of the quite common ‘diploid-zygote-splitting,’ at least from a biological point of view. But the duo may have inadvertently strutted their way into a select group which features some of the world’s wealthiest and most famous twins.
Sam and Steve may have had to dig in deep and claw their way up to their current status but they would undoubtedly revel in the knowledge that all of it was worth in the end. The brothers became multi-millionaires a little over a year ago when the value of a cryptocurrency they created in their mother’s kitchen hit the roof.
But this was no ‘flash-in-the-pan’ incident, though. They didn’t happen to just storm their mother’s kitchen and have the sizzling aroma of fried chicken and the clatter of utensils work them into some kind of appetite for making money.
Both boys had to put in four years and a whole lot of work into building the software behind their cryptocurrency known as Populous (PPT). But they will probably be licking their lips or even salivating at the thought of the ‘sumptuous wonder’ that was made on the kitchen table in their Brockley home.
While the brothers may have gotten their idea spot-on, they couldn’t have possibly anticipated the rain of bills that was to follow. The initial batch of tokens became an instant hit upon launching in June 2017. Incredibly, within the first week, its worth had gone up to over USD 10 Mn – something the boys couldn’t have seen coming. And the rest is pretty much history.
The twins are now reaping the rewards of their creation, Populous, which a discounting platform that assists SMEs battling cash flow problems by helping them raise finance against invoices from the crypto community. Both brothers also boast a string of investments in other businesses, including a stake in a London-based real estate chain.
But it wasn’t always candies and cookies for the brothers who have been seen with famous celebrities such as Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. in recent times. Their childhood was marred by less-than-palatable events including connections with gangs and even convictions.
Having been raised by a father who put in long hours as an Accountant and a mother who was often caught up in work commitments as a Chef, the boys had a lot of time to themselves while growing up. In trying to keep up with the times, Steve; the older twin by a minute, may have bowed to peer pressure and joined the wrong crowd. That led to a conviction for obtaining money by deception which saw him do time some twelve years ago.
But all that now seems like a relic of a forgotten past as the older twin appears to have learned his lesson and turned a corner, albeit the hard way.
“It was a major wake-up call and I had plenty of time to think about what I was going to do with my life. I made a big mistake and I paid for it,” Steve says. “I knew I had to turn my life around and work hard to achieve a good life for me and my family.”
“I also want to give back by helping youths on the streets and those involved in street crime and I hope to inspire and create positive opportunities for them,” he added.
Both boys were students of Crofton Comprehensive, now called Prendergast Ladywell School, in Lewisham. Steve is known for his aptitude as a commercial data expert and he studied a GNVQ in Advanced Business at the institution.
His twin brother, Sam, displayed quite a prowess for programming during those early days at Crofton. Together, the duo can be said to be quite the team as they compliment each other.
Before they landed the gold mine, the brothers had tried their hands at various businesses after leaving school. Their first venture was called Tramp; a lifestyle and concierge magazine. And that was followed by years of conducting research on financial markets and obtaining data – this may have encouraged their foray into the lucrative world of cryptocurrency.
For four years, they worked on the blockchain code for their cryptocurrency out of their mom’s kitchen. And that culminated in resounding success when the token was made public in 2017. Interestingly, the initial idea was to raise a few thousand pounds, but they exceeded even their own expectations by amassing a fortune worth USD 2.4 Mn in Ethereum within 24 hours of launch.
As Sam says; “The success of Populous has exceeded all expectations – we thought it would do well but this has been phenomenal. We had been involved on the fringes of gangs as teenagers when we were growing up in South London – but it’s fair to say that our lifestyles have changed completely in the past year.”
With a current market value of around USD 125 Mn, their cryptocurrency, PPT, now ranks 52nd amongst the world’s most valuable cryptocurrencies. And if that doesn’t seem like much of an impressive position, we are talking about a list that ranks no less than 2,000 cryptocurrencies across the globe.
Having already released 37 million PPT tokens to have funds to further develop the coins, Sam and Steve are believed to own a combined 16 million PPT tokens which would be collectively worth up to USD 54 Mn at the current market price of around USD 3.42 per token.
In the early days of last year which witnessed some sort of ‘Bitcoin-rave,’ their holding value stood on the threshold of a billion pounds when the coin peaked at USD 68.91. But as the crypto market is highly volatile, the value of the tokens has plummeted somewhat since then.
Even as the market has dipped to its lowest ebb in recent times, the early investors in the PPT tokens did rake up a significant fortune. The twins, for example, still sit on a fortune that is believed to amount to tens of millions.
Sam has since launched two other crypto tokens; Zloadr and DocTailor. The former is a due diligence token, whereas, the former is a token for legal professionals. On his part, Steve has also taken up other projects including PXT; a business intelligence token, as well as Populous World’s XBRL platform.
After being derailed early in life, it does make for a pleasant ending that the twins who may have been potentially headed for a life of crime have done a one-eighty and turned their lives around in a remarkable way.
Featured Image Credit: express.co.uk