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.