Nigerians have invested funds in excess of $5 million into the cryptocurrency market in the last few years, New Telegraph has learnt.
Those investments, though against government’s advice, also makes the country one of the early adopters of the various virtual currencies.
Figures released by KureCoin Hub, a Nigerian cyptocurrency platform indicate that Nigerians are making huge contributions to the global cryptocurrency market, whose capitalisation is said to be running into $500 billion. This, however, is despite repeated warnings by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) against investments in the unregulated market driven by blockchain technology.
But, according to the Chief Executive Officer of Kure Holdings, Mr Tega Abikure, whose company is driving the KureCoin platform, the current stance of the Nigerian government on cryptocurrencies would only leave the country to play catch up when other countries of the world begins to reap the economic benefits of the new technology. According to him, some African countries have begun to take steps to integrate the blockchain technology into their economy having realised its potentials for growth. “South Africa has already started taking actions, same as Uganda, in fact, the Presidentof Uganda is very particular about blockchain. Kenya is also at the forefront and Nigeria is being left behind,” he said.
Abikure noted that Nigerian government would have no choice but to embrace blockchain technology because it is the future of the global economy.
He added: “It is not a matter of whether government likes it; it is about whether they need it. I am not sure the internet was liked when it first came. As a matter of fact, the government bodies were the last to have website, but now, all of them own website. It is not a matter of whether they are going to embrace it; it is about when they are going to do so.”
Blockchain is a digitised, decentralised, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Originally developed as the accounting method for the virtual currency, Bitcoin, blockchains, which use what is known as distributed ledger technology (DLT), are appearing in a variety of commercial applications today.
Currently, the technology is primarily used to verify transactions, within digital currencies though it is possible to digitise code and insert practically any document into the blockchain. Doing so creates an indelible record that cannot be changed; furthermore, the record’s authenticity can be verified by the entire community using the blockchain instead of a single centralised authority.
The CEO of Kure Holdings, which is also driving the KureCoin in Nigeria and across Africa, said millions of dollars are already being created in cyptocurrencies from Africa, adding that a lot of money is already leaving the region’s economy as liquidity in the cryptocurrency market.
According to him, in the next five to 10 years, there would be no sector that would bring Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) like blockchain technology.
Abikure added that adoption of the blockchain technology in Nigeria could help the country put an end to tax and election frauds. “It is completely transparent and cannot be changed; it can be used to create a decentralised system of payment where the tax payer had an unhindered access to the collector which is the government. It enhances revenue collection and removes the challenges of remittances, everything becomes easy when it is brought to the blockchain infrastructure,” he said.
Besides, he said the technology addresses complexities in governance and administrative systems, as it is essentially a decentralised transaction ledger in which digital information can be distributed and viewed but not copied or altered.
On elections, he said: “from anywhere you are across the country, and the world, if the system shows that you are a Nigerian through imputing certain data, you can vote. With the technology, wherever you are, you do not need to go to a polling unit, the moment you put in your vote, everybody can see that you have voted and once your vote is put in, it cannot be hacked by any means.
“Instead of government setting up committees to curb election malpractices, the simple thing to do, is to take election to blockchain”, Abikure said.
He added that as a distributed database, it lives across a network of computers, which makes it exceptionally secure.
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