Nigerian British twins, Sam and Steve Williams, have taken over the internet with their touching story, as the 39-year-old twins are being celebrated for creating one of the world’s leading cryptocurrencies.
Steve Williams (left) and brother Sam (Photo: Cavendish)
Two identical twins once ‘on the fringes’ of gangs in south London are now worth more than £41 million.
Sam and Steve Nico Williams, 38, launched the cryptocurrency Populous (PPT) which is the 52nd most valuable cryptocurrency token in the world.
Their other investments include a stake in the Michelin-starred Restaurant Story in London Bridge, and a London estate agency chain.
They rub shoulders with 50 Cent and former world boxing champion Floyd Mayweather and say their ‘hard work has paid off’.
The brothers, from Brockley, both attended Crofton Comprehensive in Lewisham, now renamed Prendergast Ladywell School, where 22% of pupils get free school meals and exam passes are well below the national average.
Steve Williams (right) and brother Sam as children
Their mother, a chef, and their father, an accountant, moved to the UK from Nigeria and worked long hours to provide for their sons.
But Steve says he fell into the wrong crowd for a while, and 12 years ago was convicted of obtaining money by deception.
Steve said: ‘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.
‘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.’
Steve, described as ‘the brains’ behind Populous, is a commercial data expert and studied a GNVQ in Advanced Business at Crofton Comprehensive School in Lewisham.
Sam excelled at computer programming at the same school’s sixth form.
The twins with rapper 50 Cent
After leaving school, the brothers started various businesses such as Tramp, a lifestyle and concierge magazine, and researched financial markets and data, before they decided to move into cryptocurrency.
They worked solidly for four years to build the blockchain code for their tokens on their mum’s kitchen table in Brockley and were shocked by the huge success when Steve put the Populous (PPT) token on the market in June 2017.
They originally thought it might raise a few thousand pounds, but 24 hours later they had assets worth £1.85 million in Ethereum digital currency.
Sam said: ‘The success 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.’
The brothers have released 37 million PPT tokens to have funds to develop the coin further and retained 16 million PPT tokens which are currently trading at $3.42 which makes their current net worth £41.76 million, according to the CoinMarketCap table of the world’s leading cryptocurrencies.
The twins with boxer Floyd Mayweather
Populous is an invoice discounting platform that helps small and medium-sized businesses with cash flow problems to raise finance against invoices from the crypto community.
The value of cryptocurrencies changes daily, but all of Populous’ early investors have made a fortune.
At the peak of the crypto market back in March 2018, the brothers were worth up to £1 billion when the coin peaked at $68.91 but there has been a steep market change downwards since then. Even now, with the market at its lowest ebb, they are still sitting on a fortune worth tens of millions.
The Williams brothers’ business operations are located in Mayfair’s exclusive Berkeley Square. They also own a stake in Tom Sellers’ critically acclaimed Michelin-starred Restaurant Story in London – famous for its 10-course set menu.
Speculation in cryptocurrencies has shot up in the past 18 months and the biggest and best known currency, Bitcoin, reached a value of $20,000 earlier this year, though it has since slumped back to just over $6,400.
Major banks are now getting involved in trading cryptocurrencies and Goldman Sachs launched a Crypto trading desk in May this year to capitalise on the huge growth of this market.