“Central Banks and Monetary Authorities world over have turned on their antennas to pay rapt attention to the disruption pervading the financial service industries by digital currencies, which are enabled by Blockchain technology,” said Musa Itopa Jimoh, the Deputy Director, Banking & Payment System the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, at the first ever Blockchain conference held in Nigeria.

The two-day event which took place at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Way, Victoria Island Lagos was organized by the Blockchain Nigeria User Group with Chimezie Chuta as national coordinator.

Chuta explains that having to reconfigure the prevailing mindset of the majority of participants who see Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as some MLM and Ponzi schemes was an aspect of the event which required a lot of resources.

However, he is confident that the presentations by the participating Blockchain organizations and the continued effort of his group through educational materials and future events will go a long way in correcting the people’s perception and set the nation on the pedestal of Blockchain revolution.

There is no alternative to the Blockchain

In his opening address, Jimoh emphasized the need for collaboration between Blockchain solution providers and government institutions.

According to him, some countries have come out with specific directives and stance on the adoption of the digital currency and Blockchain technology while others are still reviewing their positions to enable them to decide on which way to go.

But whether they like it or not, it will just be a matter of delay tactics and being cautious, because all central banks and monetary authorities will eventually and very soon, give legitimacy to the use of Blockchain technology to drive financial services including the issuance of digital currency.

Jimoh says:

“Nigeria’s position is very clear. We cannot stop the tide of waves generated by the Blockchain technology and its derivatives. However the Central Bank has the responsibilities of ensuring price and financial system stability. This is why digital currency issuance becomes a major concern to the central bank of Nigeria. To this end, the central bank of Nigeria has kick started several initiatives and research works to identify the various use cases of Blockchain technology including the issuance of digital currency using the Blockchain technology.”

Jimoh acknowledges the Blockchain Nigeria User Group as being on the right path and poised to raise awareness on Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in Nigeria.

“This event is one of such measures to raise the awareness amongst stakeholders including the regulatory authorities,” he concludes.

The keynote speaker at the conference, Dr. David Isiavwe notes that the reality of the world today, particularly in Nigeria, is that the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), Blockchain and cryptocurrency are facts that must be confronted.

“We cannot wish this reality away. It is made worse when we realize that we are still grappling with current challenges of e-commerce and other electronic payment systems but technology development and advancements are not waiting. In this dynamic age that we find ourselves, the only mantra to survival as is propagated by the Information Security Society of Africa – Nigeria (ISSAN) is: ‘Innovate or Die!," says Isiavwe.