It is said that the entire continent of Africa could benefit from blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. There are, naturally, some countries that are better than others, and today we’re talking about one of those we would consider better in terms of blockchain adoption – Nigeria. There, the government along with other members of the crypto community are building a solid foundation for future growth.
Building the awareness
One of the major players in the country, and also a partner of the government, is the Cryptography Development Initiative of Nigeria (CDIN), which works to help Nigerians leverage the opportunities presented by Blockchain and digital currency. As part of that bold goal, the organization it promoting the use of blockchain as well as fighting crypto scams through one of its organs, the Nigerian Blockchain Alliance (NBA).
According to CDIN’s President Adeolu Fadele, CDIN has helped create awareness among the relevant government agencies on the need to understand and respond to the disruptive nature of the global digital revolution without stifling innovation.
“Today, we are proud to say that the friendly regulatory environment enjoyed by the Nigerian Blockchain and digital currency ecosystem could be partly attributed to our early engagements with the policy makers and law enforcements agents,” he said. “We have worked in collaboration with the commercial banks, Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) and the Nigerian Police Force to fight cryptocurrency SCAM. Significant success was recorded in discouraging the growing criminal activities in the Nigerian Blockchain and Digital currency ecosystem and funds were successfully recovered for victims in many cases.”
These proactive efforts, Fadele claims, have discouraged criminals from taking advantage of the regulatory gap to give Nigeria a bad name.
Also as part of the wider promotion of the technology, the group is organizing the Nigeria Blockchain Alliance Conference that brings together national institutions, professionals, businesses, global partners and the general public.
Not the only organization in the country
Another important player is the company called Tech Hub, which aims to provide Blockchain-driven solutions to Nigeria and Africa at large.
“Our mission is to bring pragmatic Blockchain solutions to the doorstep of Africans, So far we are [receiving] a lot of positive feedback from the government and currently we are having series of meetings with the ministry of communication and technology,” Samuel Benedict, Founder of Tech Hub, told Cointelegraph. “We are also in negotiation with First Bank of Nigeria Plc in order to provide an [ATM] card system that will be linked to wallets for users to have direct fiat currency withdrawals.”
He went on to add that the larger Nigerian population needs more Blockchain education beyond just cryptocurrency and to learn how to stay away from possible scams.
We second that, adding that the population of entire world needs more education about blockchain.
Nigeria’s central bank is also vested in the matter
In August 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) invited stakeholders — including exchanges, wallet providers, miners, software developers and individual investors — to discuss “Virtual currencies as a medium of exchange in Nigeria.”
A few days after that the country had its first Blockchain conference, hosted by Blockchain Nigeria User Group and Blockchain Education Network (Nigeria). It brought together enthusiasts, practitioners, entrepreneurs, startups and developers “playing in the Blockchain and Virtual Currency community, under one roof.”
Nigeria’s central bank committee on “The Study of Virtual Currency as an Emerging Medium of Exchange” also participated both as panelists and observers.
In addition, there is also the recently launched Bitkoin.Africa, which offers support for Nigeria and partial (buying only) support for all other countries. It includes automated escrow service and the ability to buy Bitcoin using Visa and MasterCard. From what we’ve heard, Bitkoin.Africa is a bit pricier than its Europe or U.S.-based counterparts.
All being said, we can clearly see Nigeria shaping up to emerge as a blockchain leader of Africa. With that in mind, we expect to cover it more in the days and weeks to come. Stay tuned.