THE NIGERIA BLOCKCHAIN ALLIANCE CONFERENCE SHOWS NIGERIA IS OPEN TO CRYPTOCURRENCIES

THE NIGERIA BLOCKCHAIN ALLIANCE CONFERENCE SHOWS NIGERIA IS OPEN TO CRYPTOCURRENCIES

The Nigeria Blockchain Alliance Conference 2017 – organised by the Cryptographic Development Initiative in Nigeria (CDIN) – was held on the 23rd and 24th of November in Lagos. The conference brought together blockchain entrepreneurs, policymakers, and cryptocurrency enthusiasts to discuss how blockchain technology and decentralised digital currencies can be leveraged to boost the economy in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

The Deputy Governor for Economy Policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Joseph Nnanna, gave the opening speech. He stated that the theme ‘National Development in the Era of Distributed Technology & Digital Currency’ offers a unique opportunity to reflect on the impact of financial technologies and digital currencies on financial system stability and economic development.

He also expressed confidence in how the distributed ledger technology can help Nigeria improve payments, system efficiency, and help eliminate incidences such as counterfeit currencies.

Nnanna, however, also stressed the need for an appropriate regulatory framework as the government is mindful of the potential challenges such technology could pose.

“Distributed ledger and digital currencies can lead to boom-bust in the domestic assets market. Cyber crimes and other security breaches in payment system platform can be amplified if we’re ill-prepared in developing an appropriate framework for seamless utilisation of the technology,” he said.

Also speaking at the event was the CBN Director for Banking and Payments, Dr. Dipo Fatokun who stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria is excited about the opportunities and prospects that comes with blockchain technology, especially for financial inclusion.

“The CBN is currently holding broad industry consultations on distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrency use cases and regulation, innovators forums hold regularly and it is planning to implement a Regulatory Sandbox regime,” Fatokun said.

Another Speaker from the CBN was the Chief Information Security Officer Dr. Rakiya Mohammed who is part of the committee set aside by the central bank for distributed Ledger technology (DLT) and digital currencies. She also reiterated that the CBN recognises what is happening and stated that announcements will be made early next year in regards to digital currency regulation.

“We’re about to receive an approval of the framework for regulating the top players in the bitcoin ecosystem in Nigeria,” she stated.

Nigeria Blockchain Alliance Conference

The two-day event attracted over two hundred attendees from different backgrounds which included experts from Microsoft, Stellar, and blockchain startups.

One of the interesting topics discussed was the high growing interest the Nigeria’s bitcoin ecosystem is witnessing. According to the research carried out by Lucky Uwakwe, co-founder of Blockchain Solutions Limited, Nigerian trade around 10 billion nairas worth of cryptocurrency each month.

Paxful CTO, Artur Schaback, stated that 35% of their traffic comes from Nigeria which amounts to one-third of the Paxful’s peer-to-peer exchange community.

Furthermore, Earnest Mbenkum, founder of Fintech Ltd based in Cameroon, expressed optimism saying that 2018 will be the year that Africa puts itself on the map in terms of blockchain technology and innovation, which will offer African economies a golden opportunity to catch up with top economies.

“The difference between then and now is that this is the first time that a revolutionary technology and invention is no longer limited to Western countries. Blockchain technology is available to anyone all over the world at the same time including the African continent,” he stated.

The conference was brought to an end by closing remarks of the founder of CDIN, Fadele Adeolu, who said that he is astonished at how fast the blockchain ecosystem has grown in Nigeria to become what it is today.

“I must confess that the activities in this space today are far beyond my imagination. As a cryptographer, I could not imagine that terms like public and private keys could become a discussion of the general public in 2017. The reason being that even IT professionals don’t usually find those terms friendly. Believe me or not, crypto trading and investment did the magic.”

The Nigeria Blockchain Alliance conference showed that Nigerian policymakers are open to new innovation from the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, which, of course, bodes well for the local crypto community and its startup scene.

 

 

Source: BitcoinAfrica

CBN to Harness Opportunities in Fintechs

 

The Deputy Governor, Economic policy, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Okwu Nnanna has expressed confidence in the ability of financial technologies and digital currencies to impact positively on financial system stability and general economic development.

This was contained in his opening remarks at the Cryptography Development Initiative in Nigeria (NDIN) during their Nigeria Blockchain Alliance (NBA) conference held in Lagos recently. The theme of the conference was: ‘National Development in the Era of Distributed Ledger Technology and Digital Currency.’

Nnanna stated that the theme of the conference offers a unique opportunity to reflect once again on the impact of financial technologies and digital currency on financial system stability and economic development

The CBN Deputy Governor, represented by Dr. Emmanuel Adamgbe argued that “financial innovations add to a country’s financial sector competitiveness and sophistication, while facilitating greater productive investment.”

He, therefore expressed optimism that financial innovations can help Nigeria improve payment system efficiency, eliminate incidences such as counterfeit currencies in transactions, build virtual financial communities across continents, foster greater trade and exchange as well as provide a diversified portfolio of investment for individuals, households and firms.

He however, harped on the need to develop an appropriate framework to regulate the system considering the potential threats that go with it. “We should be mindful of the challenges posed by distributed ledger technology and digital currencies which can lead to boom-bust in the domestic asset markets,” he concluded.

Also speaking at the event, Chief Information Security Officer, CBN, Dr. Rakiya Mohammed, who was guest speaker at the conference, said government was not averse to innovations but had certain concerns which include consumer right, tax evasion, and money laundering, among others.
She said that the CBN was studying the phenomenon and would soon make formal pronouncements and probably come up with necessary framework to regulate blockchain technology and digital currency in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Crypto experts who spoke at the conference said bitcoin and other digital currencies have already become global phenomena. They shared their experiences and explained how the system works.
Ray Youssef from the USA and CEO of PAXFUL, a global marketplace for bitcoin that operates in the US and Africa and powered by people and blockchain said they provide support for bitcoin users and educate new entrants on the opportunities for entrepreneurs and individuals.

Represented by PAXFUL Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Artur Schaback, Youssef noted that Nigerians were already taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the bitcoin technology to better their lives.

“35 percent traffic on PAXFUL is from Nigeria. Africa is our biggest market with our highest numbers coming from Nigeria and Ethiopia. We are proud to say that one-third of PAXFUL community are from Nigeria which is our number one country by volume; which is why we would be opening our technology space here soon,” he said.

He revealed that PAXFUL had been successful over the years because it built a safe and secure platform for trade. “If you are a buyer you are 100 percent protected. We verify and check all our sellers for safety, you can pay with confidence with 2-factor authentication, escrow, highest level encryption and professional audited security,” he stated.

Startups and Government to Develop Blockchain in Nigeria

Startups and Government to Develop Blockchain in Nigeria

 

Blockchain activities in Nigeria have already put the country on a concrete technical foundation. Many experts, therefore, predict that Africa stands to profit more than any nation on the planet from this up-and-coming technology.

It has become evident in the vast directness and balanced approach of Nigerian government towards understanding the intricacies of the ecosystem. The Nigerian government does its best to map out an unbiased equipped environment where the most benefit can be achieved from the Blockchain technology.

The Cryptography Development Initiative of Nigeria (CDIN) is the most significant stakeholder within Blockchain industry that has been working extensively with the Nigerian government. Since 2015, through the Nigerian Blockchain Alliance (NBA), one of its primary organs, CDIN has already been involved in the fight against numerous crypto scams in Nigeria.

The President of CDIN, Adeolu Fadele, in his numerous interviews keeps on saying that the primary purpose of this group is to help Nigerians force the opportunities presented by both digital currency and blockchain. For example, many bitcoin baccarat casinos have already used this perfect opportunity. Eventually, it will move the nation for general development and growth while shielding them from numerous risks.

Fadele also told that CDIN has already played the role of a “precursor organization.” They created consciousness amongst the appropriate government agencies on the call for understanding and responding to the troublesome nature of the global digital revolution without stifling innovation.

“We are very proud to say that the welcoming regulatory environment enjoyed by the Nigerian Blockchain and digital currency ecosystem could be partly attributed to our early engagements with law enforcement agents and the policymakers. We have worked in collaboration with the commercial banks, the Nigerian Police Force, and the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum to fight cryptocurrency scammers,” NAIJ Nigeria cites Fadele.

The group will also organize the Nigeria Blockchain Alliance Conference to team up all private establishments, national institutions, businesses, professionals, the general public, and global partners. The conference will undoubtedly discourage crime, create awareness, defend consumers and release new job and business opportunities in the most populated country in Africa.

Tech Hub Company is another group that has been working together with the Nigerian government in boosting Blockchain development in Nigeria.

The Founder of Tech Hub, Samuel Benedict, told that his company’s principal objective is to give Blockchain-driven solutions to Nigeria.

In particular, Benedict tells the following: “Our key mission is to bring pragmatic Blockchain solutions to the access of Africans. So far, every day we receive plenty of positive feedback from the Nigerian government. Presently, we have a couple of meetings with the ministry of communication and technology. Moreover, we keep on negotiating with First Bank of Nigeria Plc to present an ATM card system. It will be undoubtedly linked to wallets for users to have straight fiat currency withdrawals.”

According to Samuel Benedict, the Blockchain industry is up-and-coming in Nigeria. Several talented startups have already started to build services on Blockchain. “The larger Nigerian population requires more Blockchain education beyond just cryptocurrency and to learn how to stay away from possible scams,” concluded the Founder of Tech Hub.

THE NIGERIA BLOCKCHAIN ALLIANCE CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 23-24 IN LAGOS

 

The Nigeria Blockchain Alliance (NBA), a platform under the umbrella of the cryptography development initiative of Nigeria (CDIN), will be hosting the first edition of its long-awaited blockchain conference. The Nigeria Blockchain Alliance Conference will be held at the Muson Center in Lagos on the 23rd and 24th of November 2017.

Nigeria’s blockchain community has experienced tremendous growth in the past 12 to 24 months. Several new startups have launched and the CDIN initiative has been making substantial strides towards building a better, more informed cryptocurrency community in Nigeria.

The CDIN initiative has done a lot in educating the masses about blockchain technology and its benefits. Furthermore, to support the government’s fight against electronic fraud, the CDIN launched the Nigeria Blockchain Alliance, a platform which brings together relevant bodies, and government agencies to collaborate in the fight against crypto-related crimes.

In an interview with BitcoinAfrica.io, CDIN founder Adeolu Fadele highlighted some of the key themes of the upcoming blockchain conference in Nigeria.

“The truth is that the entire programme of cryptography development initiative in Nigeria (CDIN), including the NBA conference, is targeted towards making sure that Nigeria(ns) do not miss the opportunities presented by the crypto-enabled innovations. That is why even the theme, brand and the agenda are also designed to reflect that focus – National Development in the Era of Distributed Ledger Technology & Digital Currency.

While we have our focus on national development, we have equally incorporated global partners into the agenda of the conference to give the participants a balanced event. The conference will feature speakers from Technology giants like Microsoft and IBM, startups and government agencies in Nigeria.”

According to Fadele, the conference will have six main focus points.

1. Update on regulatory direction for blockchain/digital currency in Nigeria

2. Expert/stakeholders’ opinion on having a “Nigerian blockchain and national digital currency”

3. Meeting the blockchain startups in Nigeria during an innovation session

4. Exhibition and distribution of free digital currencies

5. Learning the art of crypto-investments

6. Getting down the rabbit hole (Technical Session)

“As reflected in the six points agenda of the conference, a whole session has been dedicated to investment discussion and enthusiasts will have opportunities to learn from the experts.

[…] the conference is about bringing Nigerians together to work out how best to help our country leverage opportunities presented by digital innovations to produce overall growth and development while minimizing the risks,” he added.

For more information about the conference, registration, and purchasing of tickets please visit The Nigeria Blockchain Alliance Conference

 

Source: BitcoinAfrica

Government and Startups are Partnering Effectively to Develop Blockchain in Nigeria

Government and Startups are Partnering Effectively to Develop Blockchain in Nigeria

Blockchain activities in Nigeria is beginning to put the nation on a solid technical foundation. This is causing some to suggest that Africa stands to benefit more than any place in the world from the emerging technology.

The signs of a welcoming community are evident in the openness and unbiased approach of the nation’s government so far towards understanding the intricacies of the ecosystem. The Nigerian government is trying to map out a balanced operational environment where the most benefit can be achieved from the emerging technology.

Awareness and protection

One of the major stakeholders within the industry that has worked extensively with the Nigerian government is the Cryptography Development Initiative of Nigeria (CDIN). Through one of its organs, the Nigerian Blockchain Alliance (NBA), CDIN has been involved in the fight against crypto scams in Nigeria since 2015.

According to Adeolu Fadele, President of CDIN, the major objective of his group is to help Nigerians leverage the opportunities presented by Blockchain and digital currency. Ultimately, this will reposition the nation for overall growth and development while protecting them from risks.

Fadele notes that as a trailblazer in the Nigerian Blockchain and digital currency ecosystem, CDIN has played the role of a “forerunner organization.” They have created 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. Fadele elaborates:

“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. 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.”

He continues by explaining that these proactive efforts have discouraged criminals from taking advantage of the regulatory gap to give Nigeria a bad name.

To further these efforts, the group is organizing the Nigeria Blockchain Alliance Conference, bringing together national institutions, private establishments, professionals, businesses, global partners and the general public. The conference is intended to create awareness, discourage crime, protect consumers and unlock new job and business opportunities in Nigeria.

Education and tech development

Another group that has collaborated with the Nigerian government in enhancing Blockchain development is the company Tech Hub.

Samuel Benedict, Founder of Tech Hub, tells Cointelegraph that his company’s objective is to provide Blockchain-driven solutions Nigeria and Africa at large. Benedict says:

“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.  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.”

Benedict also notes that the Blockchain industry shows great promise in Nigeria and several startups are building services on Blockchain already. According to him, the larger Nigerian population needs more Blockchain education beyond just cryptocurrency and to learn how to stay away from possible scams.

 

 

Source: cointelegraph