Since the adoption of bitcoin in 2017, crypto has been more appealing to the youths. According to a report, 42% of Nigerians who have adopted cryptocurrency are between the ages of 18 and 34. The international monetary fund affirms this. Their activities have involved trading and hodling coins and assets for a quick buck. Young people see it as an avenue to make quick cash from the comfort of their homes and gain financial freedom. But, the gain of economic freedom has held off the youths from exploring its potential.
Making a quick buck has always attracted young people to invest in risky assets. Even cautionary tales of losing huge amounts of money don’t seem to deter young traders. The Nigerian poverty rate is high and the local currency, the naira, is experiencing hyperinflation. Hence, the increase in desire for a solution that can shield them from the economy. For Generation Z, the volatility – and the decentralized nature – of digital assets such as cryptocurrency and NFTs appeals. Though the industry is only in its infancy, it has achieved a high level of growth. It is still evolving or unveiling itself thus providing and producing new possibilities. The youths need to look beyond the financial gain and plug into blockchain technology.
BLOCKCHAIN, INNOVATION, AND POSSIBILITIES
The cryptocurrency Adoption rate in Nigeria
According to a Finder crypto report, Cryptocurrency Adoption Index for August 2022, Nigeria is one of the top 3 countries in the world with 27% crypto adoption of the total population of internet users aged 18+ currently owning cryptocurrency. This number represents a 6% increase from the 21% recorded last year.
The pandemic has only increased this growing trend of young people trading crypto and NFTs. Consequently,The increase in adoption. Blockchain is the “operating system” of cryptocurrency.
What is Blockchain?
According to Investopedia, Blockchain is a shared database or ledger spread among the nodes of a computer network. As a database, blockchain stores information in digital format. Blockchains are best known for their crucial role in cryptocurrency systems, such as Bitcoin. They maintain a secure and decentralized record of transactions. The innovation of a blockchain is the fidelity it guarantees, security of a record of data and trust due to absence of third party. In this way, information stored cannot be altered. However, this feature can be translated to different uses to solve African problems. Especially corruption and lack of transparency in the long run. Some companies in the united states of America are already taking advantage of this.
For example, Blockchain can be used in healthcare, logistics, government, media, personal identity security, and much more. It has the ability to create transparency and fairness whilst saving businesses time and money. Blockchain is impacting a variety of sectors which range from how contracts are enforced to making government work more efficiently.
OPPORTUNITIES IN BLOCKCHAIN
Though the Nigerian government banned cryptocurrency-related activities, Nigerians have continued to engage in them. The average Nigerian has taken an interest in cryptocurrency because of the opportunities the space offers.
Cryptocurrency impacts the lives of Nigerians in different ways. Like creating job opportunities, crypto trading, and granting financial freedom. The whole point of Bitcoin, as noted in Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper, is to create a currency that conventional financial institutions can’t influence. Nigerians can make cryptocurrency trades without the interference of third parties like banks. This is because transactions on the blockchain are peer-to-peer.
This adoption rate shows the trust Nigerians and young people have in cryptocurrency. Yet, this belief should not be limited to financial transactions alone. Blockchain and cryptocurrency have the power to transform our economy.
Blockchain in healthcare
Blockchain in healthcare though early in its adoption, is already showing some promise. Early blockchain solutions have shown the potential to reduce healthcare costs, improve access to information across stakeholders and improve business processes. A system that collects and shares private data could be what healthcare professionals need to make services cost-effective. This is already in use in companies like Chronicled, and Wholecare. Moreso, it has the power to partner with other aspects of technology like artificial intelligence to aid research.
Blockchain in Media
Problems of data privacy, royalty payments, and intellectual property piracy can be solved with blockchain. According to a study by Deloitte, the digitization of media has caused widespread sharing of content that infringes on copyrights. Deloitte believes blockchain can give the industry a much-needed facelift regarding data rights, piracy, and payments. Companies like madhive and steem are already taking advantage of this.
Blockchain in Government
One of the most surprising applications for blockchain can be in the form of improving government. Some state governments like Illinois are using the technology to secure government documents. Thus, Blockchain can also improve bureaucratic efficiency, and accountability and reduce massive financial burdens. Blockchain can cut through millions of hours of red tape every year, hold public officials accountable through smart contracts, and provides transparency by keeping a public record of all activity, according to the New York Times.
Furthermore, Blockchain may also revolutionize our elections. Blockchain-based voting could improve civic engagement. By providing a level of security and incorruptibility that allows voting to be done on mobile devices. This might be the solution to our never-ending problem of corruption in Nigeria and Africa. This encourages transparency and reeds the system of fraudulent practice in all sectors. For example, the Ethiopian government is boosting education using blockchain. This technology is employed to digitally verify grades, monitor school performance, and boost education and employment nationwide.
The goals were to reduce fraudulent university and job applications and increase social mobility. Allowing potential employers to verify grades without third-party agencies and interference as decentralization makes data stored in blockchain harder to tamper with.