Technext, a technology news platform held the maiden edition of its Technext coinference; a gathering of key players in the African blockchain tech ecosystem and crypto enthusiasts to discuss the possibilities of cryptocurrencies and positioning for future leverage.
Themed as "reimagining crypto as the future of finance", the event held last Thursday in Lekki, Lagos. The hybrid event brought together individuals, institutions and stakeholders from regulatory bodies from across Nigeria and beyond.
David Afolayan, the Content Chief at Technext said "we need instruments to achieve conveniences, and trade is that instrument. Trade has taken different forms, and now we are lucky to be at the foothold of that change where digital currencies are replacing fiat money and we can transact without borders. "
Afolyan further stated that the rules guiding trade many years ago are no longer applicable and many people are not finding that convenient. Hence the need for the Technext Coinference to address these concerns, innovators, enthusiasts, and regulators need to have a conversation, one that the event provides.
In his keynote address, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, Nigeria's Minister of State for Budget and National Planning commended the organisers of the event stating that the government remains enthusiastic about the numerous possibilities the crypto industry provides despite the seemingly growing restrictions.
"So far, I hope I've demonstrated that both citizens and governments see the benefits of cryptocurrencies and share a mutual belief in them. I believe it is crucial for all stakeholders to view each player as a key teammate in forging a path toward a healthy crypto space in Nigeria", Agba said.
He further noted that cryptocurrencies could be the biggest disruptor in finance and governance the world has ever witnessed. However, the government needs to regulate the industry.
Regulations of the industry don't mean "a giant hammer slamming down on the activities going on in an industry," but rather to optimize conditions for growth, tailored towards the industry. - Prince Clem Ikanade Agba
Recall that, in February, the Central Bank of Nigeria banned banks from servicing crypto exchanges in the country, citing concerns including volatility, money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Despite the central bank’s actions, Nigeria’s crypto market has emerged as one of the biggest in Africa, with the continent’s overall retail transaction volume having increased by more than 1,200% between July 2020 and June 2021. Cointelegraph reported in August that the country had the second-largest market for peer-to-peer Bitcoin (BTC) trading.
"eNaira will encourage digital liquidity"
During one of the discussions at the Coinference, Buchi Okoro, CEO of Quidax stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria's introduction of the digital currency — eNaira is a step towards meeting stakeholders halfway and will encourage digital liquidity.
Owing to the popular belief that crypto transactions are not traceable, users wanted to know the veracity behind that claim. Buchi Okoro replied that "Bitcoin is not anonymous. Bitcoin is pseudonymous",
"When you track patterns on ether scan and blockchain explorer, you can actually see every transaction that’s happened on the blockchain up until the very first production of that bitcoin", he said.
Okoro added that the same way that WhatsApp can’t replace hugs and physical interactions, cryptos can’t replace fiat cash. Both currencies can only collaborate to bring better lives to the people.
Meanwhile, one of the panelists, Uzoma Dozie, CEO of Sparkle said that the eNaira, is not going to compete with card payments. It will only be one of the many available payment systems.
We have been succeeding in this industry with zero support. Imagine if we got support from the government. We can win and we will win as long as we continue to strive. - Hanu Fejiro Agbodje, CEO at Patricia.
Other panelists at the event were, Dickson Nsofor, CEO of Korapay; Austin Okere, CEO of CWG; Nkemdili Uwaje, CEO of Future Software; and Chimezie Chuta, Founder of the Blockchain Nigeria User Group;
Emmanuel Babalola, Africa Director at Binance and Interim CEO of Bundle; Modibe Matsepena, Senior Associate of Growth in Africa at Paxful; Founder of Aza Pay, Jacqueline Madu, and Bitmama CEO, Ruth Iselema.
Featured image from Technext