There has been a resounding call for Nigeria, and Africa in general, to incorporate blockchain technology into its mainstream living. However, during a fireside chat involving stakeholders in the Nigerian blockchain community, it was noted that poverty has to be conquered first before blockchain technology can be properly incorporated into African society.
At the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN)’s Digital Assets Summit 2023, held in Abuja, the nation’s capital, GT Igwe Chrisent, the CEO of Sumotrust & Truzact, an online savings and investment platform stated that hunger and poverty first need to be eradicated from Africa before a better level of blockchain technology incorporation can be achieved.
According to a World Bank report titled “A Better Future for All Nigerians: Nigeria Poverty Assessment 2022,” just 17 percent of Nigerian workers hold the wage jobs best able to lift people out of poverty.
In Chrisent’s view, being able to erase the poor class in general and move them to the middle class would be the biggest driver of faster blockchain technology incorporation. This is to enable them to afford three square meals daily and have a little extra to save. However, the stability of the economy in Africa is key to establishing this.
In his words:
“ If we do not fix that, we’ll keep having these conversations over and over again”
Despite the extra scalability that comes from incorporating blockchain technology as a nation and continent, individuals cannot focus on exploring them while still battling with the problem of basic amenities, said Chrisent.
Despite the poverty challenges, Nigeria has emerged as one of the most active countries in terms of adoption and curiosity about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. According to data from Google Trends, Nigeria ranks second by search interest for the keyword “Bitcoin,” behind El Salvador.
The current Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu released a manifesto during his campaign which, if implemented, would enable the use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the nation’s banking and finance sector.