- The Nigerian government has approved the national blockchain policy.
- The policy is expected to provide a legal framework for the adoption of blockchain in the country.
- According to the latest blockchain adoption strategy, the government highlighted some of the ways blockchain can help the country.
The blockchain and crypto communities in Nigeria were elated when the approval of the national blockchain policy was announced on May 3, 2023. Some felt it meant crypto would be approved as legal tender while others felt it would lead to transparent government records.
According to the national blockchain adoption strategy first drafted in 2019, blockchain adoption will "facilitate the development of the Nigerian digital economy and will enable citizens to have more confidence in digital platforms."
However, there's the question of how blockchain will do this.
In this article we will go through publicly available information about the national blockchain policy, what motivated it, why we should care and what to look forward to.
What does the national blockchain policy mean?
From the final draft of the blockchain adoption strategy (PDF), it can be inferred that the national blockchain policy is a regulatory framework that will guide the adoption of blockchain technology.
When and why did Nigeria decide to create a national blockchain policy?
According to a draft of the national blockchain adoption strategy, the national blockchain policy was created because of the need to diversify Nigeria's economy.
There is a need for the economy to go from its heavy reliance on the oil and gas sector and "leapfrog into an economy driven by digital technologies."
Because of this, the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE) was charged with creating a digital economy policy strategy for Nigeria.
The FMoCDE in turn charged the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) with the responsibility of creating a framework for information technology practices in Nigeria.
NITDA then came up with the blockchain adoption strategy as part of the mission towards a digitally viable economy.
Why is the approval of the national blockchain policy important?
The adoption of a national blockchain policy is important because it lays the groundwork for blockchain adoption in the country.
Although the country doesn't have a legal framework for blockchain adoption, the approval of the national blockchain policy is more like a go-ahead for stakeholders to come together and create a legal framework for blockchain use.
What will the national blockchain policy do for Nigeria?
The national blockchain policy will ensure the secure adoption of blockchain in the country.
What does the federal government think blockchain will do for Nigeria?
Interestingly, the Nigerian government believes there is more to blockchain than crypto. It highlighted some use cases of blockchain that can help the country, including:
- Tracking and tracing drugs in the pharmaceutical supply chain.
- Verification of university certificates.
- Identity data management; identity management system can evolve into a self-sovereign identity approach where everyone can take charge of their data through blockchain.
- Digital content publication and sales: It can be inferred from this that the country hopes to leverage blockchain the same way it is still being used for NFTs.
- Peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions.
Is this worth being excited about?
Blockchain has been touted as a revolutionary technology capable of fostering data transparency and immutable data storage.
In the first draft of the blockchain adoption strategy, electronic voting and anti-corruption efforts are some of the potential uses of blockchain. These use cases could alter governance in the country significantly.