Ola Doudin, the Jordanian founder of the Dubai-based start-up BitOasis, bought her first Bitcoin three years ago.
She was living in Amman, having quit her job in London’s finance industry in the aftermath of the global financial crash.
“I was 23 or 24” when the markets collapsed, she says. At Ernst Young, where she worked in IT risk and assurance, “a lot of people were being laid off. I couldn’t make sense any more, [of] what I was doing, why I was working”.
She decided to moved back to Jordan just as the Arab Spring uprisings were sweeping the region and soon began working on entrepreneurship initiatives with Aramex founder Fadi Ghandour. It was 2013 when she picked up an issue of Business Insider that covered Bitcoin, and thought: “What is this crazy thing that everyone is talking about? This is something transformative, if it actually works”.
She spent months reading up on the digital currency in scientific journals and on Reddit and connecting with other enthusiasts on Twitter.