Steve and Sam Williams, the developers of Populous (PPT), a peer-to-peer (P2P) blockchain-powered invoice discounting platform, are identical twins who became millionaires after growing up in a rough neighborhood in south London.

The twins revealed that they worked diligently for four years at their family’s residence in Brockley to develop the Populous platform, which currently has a market capitalization of around $115 million according to data from CryptoCompare.

As explained on its official website, Populous is a “global invoice trading platform” that aims to “disrupt” the traditional invoicing system by eliminating the intermediaries as it directly connects businesses with invoice buyers.

Launched in June of 2017, Populous’ token sale generated $10.5 million in only its first five days. However, the distributed ledger technology (DLT) based platform that now aims to help small and medium sized (SME) organizations with their cash flow was developed after its founders revealed they were “always in trouble.”

Tough Times, “Gang Violence”

Steve Nico Williams, who graduated from the London Metropolitan University with a bachelor’s in philosophy, recollects:

It was very tough in terms of gang violence. You had no choice: you either got bullied or you pretended to be part of one of the gangs to safeguard yourself.

Steve Williams

Sam Williams remembers having to sleep on the sofa while growing up in a small and cramped apartment with his brother Steve, sister, mother, a chef, and accountant father. Despite being raised in an uncomfortable and dangerous environment, Sam managed to focus on learning computer programming and Steve studied advanced business.

In 2008, the twin brothers were reportedly arrested and charged with being involved in fraudulent money transfers. Their prosecutors alleged that they had embezzled £236,934 ($311,237) from three business executives.

Jailed For Money Transfer Fraud

The allegations and subsequent investigation led to Steve’s conviction and he spent 18 months in prison. Reflecting on the experience, Steve said:

[it] made me learn a lot about what it means to be a victim of crime and how it impacts on them. It filled in some elements that were missing in me and opened my eyes to what could happen to me.

Steve Williams

Meanwhile, Sam remarked:

We have gone through a lot together as brothers and it is great that all our hard work has paid off.

Sam Williams

In addition to contributing to the development of Populous, Sam is also the founder of Zloadr, a blockchain-enabled publishing platform, and DocTailor, a smart contract-based system to manage legal documents.