Earlier in 2018, Solomon Adaelu, a member of the Nigerian House of Representatives moved a motion for the need to regulate blockchain applications and Internet of Things (IoT) technology in the country.
Adeolu, while defending his motion, urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to engage technology experts and cryptocurrency enthusiasts to educate the National Assembly on the benefits of blockchain technology towards giving appropriate legislation.
About a year before then, the deputy director, Banking and Payment System, CBN, Musa Jimoh had affirmed that the apex bank has never made any official statement asking the public not to make use of blockchain or cryptocurrency.
So far, the CBN hasn’t taken a stand on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Irrespective of these, cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies are gaining ground in the country. Nigerian startups are raising millions through initial coin offerings (ICO), which is considered as the “cryptocurrency space’s rough equivalent to an initial public offering (IPO) in the mainstream investment world”.
Last year, the likes of Facebook, Google and Twitter waged a war against cryptocurrency by banning ads about it on their respective platforms. But despite being the first to make the move, Facebook was also the first to reverse its action on the ban. There’s a chance that Nigeria’s apex bank, having never placed an outright ban on the use of cryptocurrency and blockchain in the country, could definitely warm up to the technology as time goes on.
According to the Nigerian Startup Funding Report 2018, two companies that participated in ICOs made it to the top 10 funding rounds by any Nigerian internet company in the year, individually raising millions of dollars each.
And as highlighted in the report, both foreign and Nigerian investors are backing startups playing in the cryptocurrency space, denoting a great potential for the space in the future.
A total of five companies in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space raised one form of investment or the other. Three of these startups enable people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on their online platforms.
What are the companies that raised through ICOs? Which are the ones that are playing in the cryptocurrency space? Find out about this and many more in the Nigerian Startup Funding Report 2018.
Nigerian startups raised $17.6m in Q1 2019, 8.5% higher than they did in Q1 2018. Find out more in the latest quarterly edition of the Nigerian Startup Funding Report here.