The Federal Government of Nigeria recently passed a nationwide blockchain policy with the aim of institutionalising blockchain technology in the economic and security sectors of the country.
The approval, which highlights the potential opportunities for blockchain technology, opens room for Nigerians, especially the tech-savvy youths to tap more from the trillion-dollar blockchain market.
According to a PwC report, blockchain technologies could boost the global economy to $1.76 trillion by 2030 through raising levels of tracking, tracing and trust.
Blockchain technology is a decentralised digital ledger that records transactions in a secure, transparent, and immutable way. Each block in the chain contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, creating an unbreakable chain of information that allows for a high level of trust and integrity, as it is virtually impossible to alter past transactions without consensus from the network. It has the potential to revolutionise a wide range of industries by enabling secure and efficient peer-to-peer transactions without the need for intermediaries.
Many tech-savvy Nigerians who had intentions of building their platform leveraging the technology over the years have sometimes been discouraged due to regulatory concern, and this policy now presents an opportunity to further their projects.
“Nigeria’s economy, if allowed to become a blockchain-driven one, will experience a huge improvement, where blockchain-based projects and startups will increase, innovations will thrive, foreign investors will flood the country, transactions will be safe, data sharing will be easy to access and secure and trust will increase,” Jude Ozinegbe, founder of Cyberchain, said.
Ozinigbe said that with the approved policy being implemented, Africa’s biggest economy will reconsider the position of blockchain and other related platforms, which were neglected since 2021 following the ban on cryptocurrency transactions by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He said: “In 2021, there was a restriction on commercial banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria from engaging and facilitating cryptocurrency transactions. This had a huge negative effect on anything that had to do with blockchain, when in the actual sense, crypto is just one subset of blockchain. With this approval, this narrative will change very soon. We will begin to see an increase in the acceptance level of blockchain technology across the nation.”
“Over time, we will see huge industry growth, creation of jobs, new sources of wealth, and increased productivity in both the private and public sectors. As a matter of fact, Nigeria’s economy is about to experience a huge boost and expansion.”
He called for more education and awareness to enable relevant stakeholders to experience a better understanding of what blockchain offers.
For Gozie Onyema, a cryptocurrency investor, the policy will enable the government to gain more understanding of the potential of these platforms including cryptocurrency, which have been neglected because of the proposed dangers they envisaged in the market.
“Despite crypto operations not fully accepted by the Nigerian government, the country has been ranked as one of the leading markets globally. When our leaders start seeing the success of the blockchain technology, they might reconsider crypto operation, which is the future disruptor of payment,” Onyema said.
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He added that the technology being approved will also help in identifying talent who can now tap the technology to secure wealth and create more job opportunities in the country as unemployment remains on the rise, especially among youths.
Nadeem Anjarwalla, director at Binance West & East Africa, said with the approval of the National Blockchain Adoption Policy, Nigeria is positioning itself as a nation significantly ahead of the curve, supporting further blockchain innovation, user protection, security and economic competitiveness in the long term.
“While still in the early stages, we are pleased to see this development as it will aid clarity, trust and confidence in the ecosystem,” Anjarwalla said. “We believe that growth in blockchain technology is set to become a key differentiator for economies and a key measure of international competitiveness in the next decade for attracting foreign direct investment, cultivating innovation and creating jobs. As such, this is a welcome development and a significant milestone for the blockchain industry in Nigeria.”
With the approval, Nigeria has joined the list of countries like the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Estonia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Denmark in adopting blockchain technology at national level.