How did Ikechukwu Sunday Okonkwo (Cross) go from being a housemate on the Big Brother Naija 2021 show, one of the biggest reality TV shows on the continent, to a full-fledged metaverse obsessive?
As with most people, it started with friends.
How Cross got into the crypto space
On a WhatsApp group chat he shared with friends from secondary school, the 30-year-old said they started talking about cryptocurrency, long before he even thought of auditioning for the BBNaija show.
“It was through friends that I pretty much got into it,” he said of how he stumbled upon the world of cryptocurrency in a recent interview with Technext.
“I told them ‘carry me along with this thing that you’re doing.’ That was how I knew that there was this space, this world of crypto. This was between 2015 and 2016.”
But first, he had to understand the market. So, he started researching, monitoring the trends, and following and befriending people in the space.
“Eventually I started to get into it, to understand the market, to see how it works,” he said.
Even though he was aware of the topsy-turvy nature of the crypto market, when he came face to face with it, he made the rookie mistake of taking out his assets when the market had fallen.
He needed money to pay bills, so he started selling the crypto for cheap. When the market rose again, he found himself still on the losing side.
“It was a big mistake,” he said of taking his money out of it.
Instead of me to wait for it to rise back up. I didn’t. I started withdrawing the money, a little here, a little there. But my friends made money from it because they left their money there. So, I said let me give it another try.Cross
Then, BBNaija came calling
But, even as fame ensued, Cross has remained loyal to the crypto world, picking up endorsement deals here and there, hawking NFTs on social media, spending hours in the metaverse in his oculus and haptic gloves, meeting people all over the world in the metaverse.
“You can be here in Lagos and when you go into the metaverse you’ll meet people all over the world. It’s crazy man,” he said.
On his bucket list are the new VR glasses Apple is set to release.
“That will be a game-changer,” he said. “It’s smaller and will have a better experience.”
His foray into NFTs
The first time he bought an NFT, a friend had sent a bunch his way, just for him to look at what was available.
“I didn’t think it was going to do well or anything like that. I just bought it because I like it,” he said. That NFT, he adds, has now more than tripled in value.
Since then, he has become an expert of some sort in deciphering which NFTs will do well and which wouldn’t. His trick is simply to buy what he likes.
“That’s it,” he said. “I just buy what I like. If I see it and I like it, then I’ll buy it.”
He mentions that his collection of NFTs is in the works.
Why are entertainers trading NFTs?
It is about ownership for Cross.
“On social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, having many followers is good,” Cross said. “But at the end of the day, you don’t own them. Instagram owns them. It’s not yours. You might get a cut from advertising here and there, but Instagram owns them.
“But with NFTs you own them. And you own them forever.”
Even when users choose to resell their NFTs, the original creators still get a reselling fee, between one to ten per cent, for all the times the NFTs are sold.
“It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved,” he said.
On theft in the NFT space
In recent times, theft has dominated the NFTs space, with millions of dollars being syphoned on the regular. Cross said that he is paying attention to the news as someone who now plays fully in the space.
Since after a friend lost millions in a password recovery type scheme, he has become paranoid about random links.
“In front of my eyes, he was losing money until his wallet was almost empty,” he said.
I don’t just click on links. When people send me links, I call them to ask what that link leads to and is for. One has to be careful.Cross
These days, he just wants to invest as much as he can in the metaverse, a subject he has become vastly familiar with.
“Any money I get is for the metaverse and NFT,” he said. “I don’t keep money in cash anymore. I just convert everything into digital assets.”
“I am working with really great people to create my own NFTs that people can buy and own. You’ll see them soon.”
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