Most people love a good rags-to-riches story. Those tales facilitate hope and often lay out the details of how one made it. The road to success is paved differently for everyone, but one thing is consistent: it takes dedication. No matter the background, everyone has the potential to flourish, and that’s exactly how some people use crypto to fuel their success.

Coinbase has positioned itself as a leader in the crypto industry, and it’s committed to giving people the tools for financial success through the power of cryptocurrency.

Recently, AfroTech had the opportunity to learn about Marilyn Charlot, Canaan Severin and Abrahim Adewunm and their work with cryptocurrency.

Marilyn Charlot

Charlot works at Coinbase as an AML Compliance Testing Officer within the Trust and Risk department. Before she joined, Charlot discovered the platform while doing some research on alternative investment strategies — specifically investing in precious metals like silver and gold. This research eventually led her to bitcoin, which, at the time, she thought was way too risky. Discovering the Coinbase app was the game-changer that mitigated the risk for her. From there, Charlot used the app to discover how to purchase, sell and trade crypto.

This newfound knowledge was just what she needed to forge her path toward healthier financial well-being.

“When I purchased my first BTC at $450, it went to $600 in approximately 48 hours and I thought…’The dot-com boom is back!’ Which we nowadays refer to as finance 2.0,” Charlot explains.

This purchase was just the beginning of what the possibilities were with crypto. And they awakened in her the understanding that financial freedom is available for everyone if they’re willing to learn. In addition to financial freedom, using crypto and being in the industry has offered flexibility with remote work at Coinbase, provided opportunities for usage in everyday purchases and promoted Charlot’s knowledge as an emerging leader for those looking to invest. These are the types of benefits she likes to point out as the world of crypto continues to expand. Charlot believes the possibilities are limitless.


Canaan Severin

As an Account Manager on the Cloud team for Coinbase’s Query and Transact product, Severin is responsible for simplifying how nodes are run across the globe. His team does this in such a way that if anything goes wrong with any of the computers, they can rover it almost immediately. Sounds complicated? Sure. But that’s where Coinbase comes in! People like Severin have leveraged their passion and research around crypto to be core leaders in creating systems, processes and products that make it easy for end-users.

“Now that I have been able to be a part of a team that provides blockchain infrastructure for some of the top leaders in crypto, it has only motivated me to dive in and learn about all the interesting things the space has to offer,” Severin points out.

The rising value of crypto was not what initially drew him in. He saw a bigger picture. Severin discovered the value of smart contracts, how they worked and how many industries could change and help people as a result.

Helping people has been at the core of his work at Coinbase. Being a part of the team has allowed him to have firsthand use of many of its products. Going deep into the inner workings of products like NBA Topshot, Decentraland and the DeFi ecosystem has given him intimate experience as he learns and grows in the industry and uses this knowledge to tell others how beneficial crypto can be. He is proud to share the resources that Coinbase has and encourage others to actively pursue economic freedom.

“I try to reiterate that this is still the beginning. It is exciting to hear what else is possible in the crypto world and see what is being built,” Severin says.


Abrahim Adewunmi


Being first isn’t always easy, but someone has to do it. And Adewunmi understood the assignment. As the first recipient of Coinbase’s flagship scholarship program a program that provides minorities with the opportunity to learn about the crypto space without the financial barriers Adewunm’s crypto journey started with some bad news. One day, he walked into work to find out his company was cutting everyone’s salary by 50 percent. Receiving the news without warning, Adewunmi could not sit idle and just accept this reality. He took a deep dive into researching the world of cryptocurrency.

“I started playing around with crypto, learning everything I could from leaders in the space — blogs, podcasts, books — and gleaning every little bit of wisdom I could find,” Adewunmi explains.

After all of the research he did on the crypto industry, Adewunmi was most intrigued by the ease of access. Regardless of race, gender or age, crypto is available to everyone. Because of this, he sees it as a vehicle for change in how people derive value within their daily attention, personal data and money. This perspective is why he isn’t selfish with all he’s learned. This consistent thirst for knowledge is the exact thing that got the attention of the people at Coinbase and landed him the scholarship to pursue his master’s degree in digital currency from the University of Nicosia.

Adewunmi believes that cryptocurrency offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in one of the most significant wealth transfers of the 21st century. This is the advice he gives others, and it serves as a key building block for his business. Adewunmi has leveraged his scholarship success to create CryptoNoir, a guided program for novice investors who need to know precisely how to grow their wealth through crypto. The first cohort will begin its 10-week journey in January 2022. To learn more about applying to the course, you can find more information at or @investor_abe on Instagram.

There’s no denying that cryptocurrency is engrained in the fiber of the future of finance. Coinbase is consistently evolving to keep up with the ever-expanding world of the crypto industry. And with crypto champions like Charlot, Severin and Adewunmi, very soon even more people will have access to and be immersed in a world that can change their lives forever.

To learn more about how you too can start your crypto journey, click here.

This editorial is brought to you in partnership with Coinbase.