The recent approval of a blockchain adoption strategy by the Nigerian government has been described as a milestone that will “add clarity, trust and confidence in the [blockchain] ecosystem.” The unveiling of the adoption strategy document has also been hailed as a step that will lend “some form of legitimacy” to a technology that many Nigerians still only associate with cryptocurrency.
Central Bank Expected to Eventually Change Its Position on Crypto
The Nigerian government’s recent approval of a blockchain adoption strategy has been hailed by advocates of the technology as “a significant milestone for the blockchain industry in Nigeria.” The advocates have also argued that the unveiling of the strategy document by the government helps to lend “some form of legitimacy” to a technology that many still confuse with cryptocurrency.
As recently reported, the approval of the blockchain strategy followed what Isa Pantami, the country’s minister of communications and digital economy, characterized as widespread consultations with some 56 Nigerian institutions and personalities. However, despite the positive step taken by the government of outgoing president Muhammadu Buhari, some in Nigeria’s crypto space have insisted that this will not result in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reversing its position on cryptocurrencies.
However, according to Rume Ophi, the executive secretary of the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN), the Nigerian central bank will eventually change its stance and start regulating cryptocurrencies just as countries like Saudi Arabia have done. Ophi also hinted that the incoming government of Bola Tinubu might result in changed fortunes for Nigeria’s crypto industry.
“A few players in the space think the policy is just an academic exercise but I think with time there will be a balance just like the Markets in Crypto Asset [that has] just [been] approved by the European parliament. The new [Bola Tinubu] administration might just do something different from the outgoing administration,” Ophi said.
Nigeria’s ‘All-Encompassing Approach’ Hailed
Meanwhile, Binance’s director for West and East Africa, Nadeem Anjarwalla, said the approval of the adoption strategy means that 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.”
The adoption strategy will also “add clarity, trust and confidence in the ecosystem” which is still in its very early stages of development. Anjarwalla also commended what she described as the Nigerian government’s “all-encompassing approach” which is laid out in the policy document.
As stated in the National Blockchain Adoption Strategy, the government of outgoing Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari believes the unveiling of the strategy document will likely bolster efforts aimed at “creating and fostering an efficient, safe, and economically viable digital Nigeria using blockchain technology.” The Nigerian government said it is also confident that the blockchain will not only facilitate the development of Nigeria’s digital economy but will also “enable citizens to have more confidence in digital platforms.”
At its conclusion, the strategy document said while the blockchain is said to pose challenges to governments, Nigeria’s focus will be “on the application of blockchain to resolve business and governance process inefficiencies.”
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