Nigeria may have banned its citizens from using cryptocurrencies, but all is not lost: blockchain technology could help the African market boost its economy. The advantages of crypto and its technologies for boosting the economy are currently being discussed.
A two-day workshop on the distributed ledger technology ecosystem, decentralization and adoption methods was recently held in Nigeria. A commission organized this meeting in cooperation with the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR).
All participants agreed that efficient implementation of the policies formulated in the Nigerian Communications Commission's (NCC) guidelines, rules and instructions could be a basis for innovation and growth.
Attendees included representatives from financial institutions, government departments and agencies, academics, the Nigerian military and paramilitary forces, the Nigerian Cyberwarfare Command and the private sector.
Strong advances in blockchain technology
During the workshop, the participants of the NCC recognized and greatly appreciated their role in promoting a dynamic digital regulatory environment. In her eyes, it is commendable that the Nigerian Communications Commission has introduced adaptive regulatory mechanisms to support the emerging technologies and breakthrough innovations in this sector.
The Director of New Media and Information Security at the National Cybersecurity Commission, Dr. Haru Al-Hassan said that the existing national frameworks have been instrumental in boosting the development of blockchain and emerging technologies in Nigeria.
More specifically, according to Al-Hassan:
"Good regulatory policy is the foundation for innovation and growth, and the Commission aims to ensure that distributed ledger technologies, also known as blockchain, and other innovative technologies and services continue to thrive and contribute to Nigeria's growth and development."
The Director-General BPSR, Dr. Dasuki Arabi, also explained that the government is already working to bring new technologies into line with the modern public sector. These initiatives would improve efficiency in different sectors.
What is the importance of blockchain for Nigeria?
He also stated that blockchain technology will play a central role in the implementation of the national e-government master plan. Thus, technology becomes a key pillar for government to accelerate e-government initiatives.
The introduction of the Unified Financial Account, Integrated Payroll and Human Resources Information System, Bank Verification Number enables the automation of enforcement activities in the government agencies in Nigeria.
Technology has become a pervasive part of government, enabling both the Federal Road Safety Corps and automated performance measurement systems for public sector employees are examples of the use of technology in the public sector.
Bitcoin as a means of payment – hope for unbanked people in Africa
In a related development, the Central African Republic (CAR) now accepts bitcoin as legal tender, becoming the second country after El Salvador where citizens can pay with bitcoin.
Faustin Archange Touadéra, President of the Central African Republic, announced that cryptocurrency will be accepted as legal tender.
Parliament had previously passed the relevant law unanimously and followed El Salvador despite warnings from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
This step had already been taken there in September 2021. At that time, the IMF spoke of a dangerous move that could endanger financial stability and integrity as well as consumer protection.
After Cuba, the Central African Republic is now one of the countries where heads of state and governments are trying to accept and/or regulate cryptocurrencies.
It is mainly developing countries and countries with high inflation and weak economies that want to use cryptocurrencies. Third world countries benefit the most from digital money as they seek new ways to make money and preserve wealth.
Especially in countries in which central banks are subject to state control, interest rate policies cause high inflation or there are major economic crises, people increasingly prefer mobile payment.
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