The blockchain movement marches on – Punch Newspapers

Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr.

The world has entered into a period of unprecedented advancement in technology and smart nations are racing, to shore up their intellectual property filings, in as many areas, as possible. Supporters of blockchain technology argue that it is indeed a new chapter for the world.

According to some of them, blockchain technology will be way bigger than the Internet and it would not stop at that, it will bring about unprecedented transparency and for some, redistribution of wealth. What believers in this technology like the most, is ‘decentralisation’.

Well, the reality today is that, blockchain is gaining grounds and even, in Nigeria, a group, known as, Blockchain Nigeria User Group, founded by Chimezie Chuta, is swelling in size and influence. This is the group, behind the much talked about ‘blockchain, artificial intelligence and digital assets conference’, which held in Lagos a few days ago and frankly, it was an event that focused on using blockchain to solve the multiple, often humongous problems, confronting us, as a nation.

I am a keen follower of the blockchain industry. I have written a few times, on how I did not take advantage of the bitcoin opportunity that came my way in the early days of the crypto currency. A missed opportunity that sort of saddens me each time I think about it. Like many of us would say, life goes on!

Due to the fact that I am interested in developments in the blockchain industry, I make it a point of duty, to attend any event, or, meet up that, I believe would add value, particularly to my followers. This growing interest in the blockchain industry, motivated me to attend the conference, which was on its 7th leg and returning to Lagos, for the 3rd consecutive season.

The conference is aimed at bridging the knowledge gap, by providing government functionaries, decision makers, professionals and practitioners, with the resources they need, to make key business-shaping decisions, in a rapidly changing world.

The event was well attended with speakers from across the globe. As I sat in, listening to speaker after speaker, what kept running through my mind was, what are some of the practical ways that blockchain can bring almost immediate changes and even disruption to a country like Nigeria?

The reality is that as the president begins a second term in office, Nigeria desperately needs to make progress. We need to, tactfully and truthfully, tame the corruption monster, provide jobs for citizens, push towards real economic development, stop the fleecing of the economy, through massive importation of almost everything, under the sun, including most of the software that power the fabric of our national lives.

Since this column started many years ago, I have maintained and still maintain that, technology holds the ace. If implemented correctly and sincerely, it would bring about efficiency and transparency, which to me, are the bane of most of our challenges. Thankfully, blockchain can deliver unprecedented transparency, effectiveness and efficiency to the Nigerian economy.

One of the straight-from-the-heart presentations at that conference that, I found quite revealing, is that of the Chief Economist, PwC Nigeria, Andrew Nevin. This gentleman seats on top of one of the largest consulting firms and deals, both, with the private and public sectors, which makes him privy to tons of information. If I have to be a seer, I bet he would be wondering, why would a country be so blessed, yet so poor? And as some of my diplomatic friends would often ask, CFA, what exactly is wrong with Nigeria?

Anyways, some statements that Andrew Nevin made at the blockchain conference, are worth repeating here. One of such, is that, Nigeria should not neglect the potentials of emerging technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality, internet of things, among others.

For the nation to make progress, however, it needs ubiquitous broadband, to tap into the aforementioned emerging technologies. Speaking further, “Nigeria will find it difficult, to deliver quality healthcare and education, in the nearest future, particularly, to the rural dwellers, if it should neglect the emerging technologies.”

Likewise, adopting blockchain would bring about  trust among Nigerians. This is because trust is one of the issues  people are battling with. This ever present issue of trust is indeed a challenge. One of the bane of the challenges of e-commerce and marketplaces is that people are simply not trusting enough.

Pay on delivery is still as highly demanded today as it was years back when it was first introduced. Speaking personally, I have had challenges a few times, when I paid online and the products that came to me was different from what was advertised. I hope that blockchain can help in building trust so that if I can trace that a product is indeed coming from the original manufacturer, or importer, as the case may be, I would have increased confidence in parting with my money.

Also speaking at the event, President, Fintech Association of Nigeria, Segun Aina, stated that there was the need to, critically, look at what solutions of blockchain application, the country would want to latch on for its growth.

He said that, to actualise this, there was also the need to domesticate blockchain application in the country. “Government needs to ensure that, it digitises its activities, elevate discussion of the technology, as such that, it is well known by the public, to improve their lives,” he stressed.

The Founder of Blockchain Nigeria user group and convener of the conference, Chimezie Chuta, believes that, the conference lived up to expectations and hopes that all attendees, including blockchain enthusiasts, start-ups, public and private sector players, as well as, other stakeholders, would leverage blockchain and technology in general, to re-position the country for growth.

In his words, “we need to receive valuable things that, would aid the country go out with information and be able to apply them. The application of these information, will give us new experience that, will push the country to the next level.”

The nation looks up to the likes of Chimezie to continue to put Nigeria on the blockchain map and we should not make the usual error of disrespecting a ‘prophet’ just because we know him and see his face everyday.

It is fair to say that the conference was successful but what will be most important is that, all the life-transforming sessions are translated into positive outcomes for Nigeria.

CFA is the founder of CFAmedia.ng, a business and innovation platform

Copyright PUNCH.

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]

DOWNLOAD THE PUNCH NEWS APP NOW ON


Crypto Destroyer

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.