For some in the formal banking system, cryptocurrency is a threat. For people like Christopher Perceptions, it is an innovative way of making money that must be taught to others, particularly people in marginalized communities like the one he was raised in.
Perceptions grew up in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park/Uptown neighborhood. Born to a Christian evangelist mother and a father who dealt in drugs, the entrepreneur grew up hearing frequent gunshots and police sirens. “I had a decision to make. I was either going to be a statistic or a pioneer, and I wanted to become a pioneer,” he told Bizjournal.
He has been an entrepreneur since he was 18. A college dropout, Perceptions decided to leave school to avoid student debt and rather invest the money in businesses, including the faith-focused clothing company ARTLife Forever.
Perceptions initially did not know anything about cryptocurrency. He took pains to study it for several years. He took the cryptocurrency path because of his firm belief that cryptocurrency could be leveraged in deprived and marginalized communities to empower others to become like him.
In 2020, he developed and launched a cryptocurrency platform known as PerceptForm. The startup offers online courses about cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). To date, PerceptForm has over 550 subscribers worldwide.
“PerceptForm is an end-to-end ecosystem of cryptocurrency/blockchain products & services that introduces communities to the new world of blockchain technology. PerceptForm aims to be the bridge that creates solutions in finance, education, art, and real estate by leveraging blockchain technology,” the firm says on its website.
Perceptions further took his startup a notch higher by introducing PerceptPay. PerceptPay is a marketplace that will allow businesses to accept U.S. dollars for goods and services but receive payment in bitcoin.
The journey to his point has not been easy for the entrepreneur and spoken word artist. He recalls having a mental breakdown and being homeless for some time. “I lost almost everything but I would not give up my dream because I only needed time, a laptop, WiFi, an outlet to charge, and tools to create. These were my means of cash flow, my assets in a life of liabilities and unforeseen variables,” he said.
Perceptions in a Question and Answer on Quora described his grandmother as his first angel investor. He further praised his wife for not giving up during trying times. “My wife always believed in me and the vision God gave me, no matter what the cost. She never budged in trying times,” he said.
According to Bizjournal, Perceptions is on the education board at the Milwaukee Art Museum and previously served on the Bronzeville Advisory Committee for the city of Milwaukee.