The Blockchain Nigeria Users Group (BNUG) held its annual Blockchain & FutureTech Conference/ Exhibition on September 29, 2022, at Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. The conference, with the theme "Immerse and Grow in FutureTech," had some of the biggest names in the Nigerian and international blockchain space in attendance.
The event featured important talks that looked at the future of blockchain technology in Nigeria and Africa at large. It had speakers and people from government agencies and private businesses present. Among them was Dmytro Popov, CIO of International Business Development, Whitebit; Martins Akpughe Emamowho, Marketing lead, Despace Protocol; Ruth Isalema, CEO, Bitmama.
Chimezie Chuta, founder and coordinator of BNUG, delivered the welcome address and spoke briefly on the strides of blockchain technology in recent years and what the future holds. He then introduced some of the speakers at various intervals of the event.
Speaking at the conference was the representative of Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). She commended the conference organisers and spoke on the success of NFTs, Metaverse and blockchain technology.
On behalf of NITDA she commended the organisers of the event for their commitment in providing blockchain technology awareness, education across all sectors of the economy.
She spoke about the success of blockchain technology, "The success of cryptocurrencies stable coins, NFTs, metaverse, Web3 is beginning to take over the industrial and financial spaces with the blockchain supporting the new age concepts."
She said many businesses are exploring blockchain to create a niche for themselves. According to her, NITDA has developed a national blockchain adoption strategy to facilitate the effective utilisation of blockchain technology towards realising Nigeria's transition into the digital economy.
The first panel session was held under the theme, "beyond lives: building foundations of the future in Africa."
The session featured Oluseyi Akindeinde, CTO at Digital Encode; Charles Okaformbah, CTO at Convexity; Bolaji Onibudo, Founder & CEO, (Nifty Row) Metablocks (UK) ltd.
Other speakers were Nurdin Momodu, animator, NFT/3D artist and founder Lotusfly Animation; Hammed Arowosegbe, Founder SwiftXR and Chapter President Nigeria - VR/AR Association.
The panel session looked at the foundations needed in Africa to guarantee its place in the future. It saw discussions on the metaverse, NFTs and their impacts on the creator economy.
The panellists discussed the future of the metaverse, NFTs and its potential use cases in various areas such as arts, music, movies, and animations.
Dave Partner, senior developer at Brainterm, delivered a talk on "the human brain on the blockchain" and gave the audience a peek into the future.
He spoke on how humans have grown as a civilisation and developed to the point where conversations of transferring the human brain (consciousness) to computers are coming up. He cited the example of what billionaire Elon Musk is doing with Neuralink, a neurotechnology company that develops implantable brain-machine interfaces. Dave said it's only a matter of time before the human brain will start getting stored on the blockchain, adding that work is currently ongoing in that space.
The second panel discussion at the conference was on the topic, "legal and trust issues in the emerging world of dynamic NFTs, Smart Contracts and the Metaverse."
The session had Buki Ogunsakin, Principal and Head Satoshi (Thinker) at BBO Solicitors; Kue Barinor Paul, Principal Partner at Blocklex and Head, Legal, Blockchain Nigeria User Group; and Davidson Oturu, Partner at AELEX. Other speakers were Sarah Malik, CEO & founder SOL International ltd, and Nicola Rayment, Consultant Counsel, SOL International ltd, who joined the session virtually.
They spoke on the need for regulation in the blockchain space. The conversations also touched on smart contracts, and it was established that it's important to have regulators in the space for guidelines and frameworks.
Some of the speakers were specially awarded for their works in the blockchain space. The conference lasted for two days and featured exciting art and product exhibitions and innovations.