Blockchain & Cryptocurrency In Nigeria: Raising Awareness Where It Matters Most

Nothing beats tech adoption through education

Recent reports released by Coinbase, a U.S headquartered global cryptocurrency exchange giant, show that crypto and blockchain courses are on the rise having surveyed students across the top 50 universities. This is an impressive growth when compared with where we were just two years back.

As intelligently presented in the reports, this growing wave of students taking up courses in crypto and blockchain stems from impulsive interests by the students themselves after either attending a crypto or blockchain event or having been propped up by the historic bull run of 2017.

The human brain is hardwired to retain events that touch and affect the most delicate part of their being. I say this for quite some reasons one of which I vividly remember growing up as a child. While memes circulate and trend on social media in this age of unprecedented happenings, many of us who experienced first hand the analogue dispensation is even more thrilled with the incredible pace of technological advancement in this new age.

The thrilling remembrance of the past reminds one how change is indeed the only constant thing in the world. Its dynamism evolves at a quantum pace. Well, you might want to say the force of gravity is also constant but we all know how horrific it sounds when we hear of brilliant laws whether in the physical or social sciences continually being disproved and replaced with “more correct” theories or laws due to newer discoveries in the field of pure sciences or enduring changes happening and being experienced in our social constructs.

Technology continues to change how social, economic and even political interactions are modeled. Just eight years ago when the elite squad of the United States military carried out a top-secret mission, a little lad in the distant area of middle east tweeted and received a resonating response from all around the world in realtime and that was news for CNN at that time. Why? He used the incredibly effective microblogging tool called Twitter. Today, the President of the most powerful country on earth uses the same technology to push out content without having to depend on traditional media. Even today, Hong Kong protest lingered without so much of a brutal crackdown from mainland China arguably due to one very key reason, social media relays information in any format in realtime, most likely deterring the government from staging a violent crackdown not far from the reality of Tiananmen Square.

There’s probably no argument on how effective technology has been on man and his environment; more so, a disruptive tech like the blockchain which has soared to become one of the most talked-about technological revolutions. The blockchain technology has gained prominent attention even in Nigeria today through its most popular application called cryptocurrency.

From supply chain management, gaming, financial services, the democratization of data, intellectual property protection and other applications, use cases of the blockchain which promote transparency and trust continue to expand beyond what it was originally conceived to be.

Information, as regards any innovation, determines how wide and far-reaching its application would be. This is why anyone or company involved in the business of offering a solution as a value proposition which seeks to capture a market, consumers or even the general public in a predetermined direction should invest meaningful resources in data, which is the digital oil redefining the power of corporations and nation-states. Simply put, after research which carefully studies raw or preset data, classifies and interprets these digital oil, product engineers embark on a mission to craft out a user-focused piece that meets a specific need for the consumer more so in an impressive way. This is what is termed product-market fit. Just as we were taught in high school, production is not complete until the product or service reaches the end-user or consumer. Product in this sense doesn’t in any way exclude vital information targeted at a mass audience.

This has been the same strategy employed in the past. Town criers target market squares to pass vital information because of the mass reach whether during important festivals or any other crucial traditional function.

By now, it’s no longer news that the biggest and hottest event on Nigerian campuses which is the Campus Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Awareness Tour dubbed CampusBCAT for short held its maiden edition at the premier university in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan UI campus, clearly setting a record as the most attended blockchain & crypto event in the southwestern part of Nigeria excluding Lagos.

With the impact being felt across the nation and students clamoring for the CampusBCAT2019 train to arrive at their respective schools, one would only begin to imagine what would happen when the tour happens in just 20% of the more than 170 recognized universities in the country, not even counting, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education. While some will argue that this initiative like any other new movement might lose steam after the initial galloping speed, my confidence about the continual growth and relevance of the CampusBCAT initiative lies in the fact that there is a perpetuating seed being sown in every campus visited. This is what any blockchain or cryptocurrency-related initiative and even any other movement at all should adopt. A legacy must never be found missing.

Now, the interesting thing about this move is that over the years, the buzz and deep interest in the technology have grown astronomically. We have bodies like SiBAN pushing for sanity and collaboration between operators and regulators within the local blockchain ecosystem. BNUG also has continually blazed the trail with its constant activities where it brings tech and regulatory experts to help brainstorm while also creating numerous avenues for operators in the space to showcase their products and services to those that matter. Those who matter are no one other than the users of this technology whether individuals, corporations or even government agencies. Having thought it through deeply on how exactly to raise and kickstart an awareness and advocacy campaign which not just adds to empty hypes without substance, and also being saddled with the planning and publicity of the maiden edition of CampusBCAT, I thought CryptoTVPlus in complementing the efforts of these amazing players within the ecosystem should take the awareness campaign where it matters most.

From the current statistics, especially gathered from the Millennials, many of those who are acquainted with the disruptive impact of the blockchain technology came to know about it while they were still in school or just newly graduated. The traders of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies popularly regarded as alts are those within the ages of 18 to 37. Within this age spectrum, many would agree to be categorized With the characteristic volatile nature of digital assets, experts within the banking sector and other established industries are quick to dismiss the vast opportunities in the cryptocurrency industry stating how much of a wild west zone it is. Nevertheless, even on Wall Street, volatility is anticipated by maestros. The underlying nature of digital assets has volatility embedded in its core making it a character rather than a flaw.

The blockchain is a new generation technology that must not be defined in its entirety by some of its perceived “flaws”. Together with the IoT, AI and other impressive technologies, decentralized ledger technology brings with it huge promises which are already noticeably applicable. The health, political, economic, agricultural and even the legal sector of nation-states are already being remodeled to better fit into the imminent fourth industrial revolution.

If African states must square up to their Asian, European or American counterparts, her youth must be well equipped with the knowledge that breeds genuine interest. Awareness without a concomitant plan of action to institutionalize knowledge invariably fizzles out without beneficial results.

It is easier to relate with a software developer who has been building on the blockchain or a business owner leveraging the same technology to offer innovative products and services to users than just classroom theories. How about rejigging the process in Nigeria? Instead of waiting four or five years in school and probably another one year for the compulsory youth service before even thinking of acquiring an MBA with so much cost and less practice, our university students can become well tutored and exposed to the happenings around the blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Startup founders and project leaders and pioneers around this technology can become visiting lecturers who would share their wealth of experience with our students. The proper curriculum can be developed and institutionalized to help every student and not just the science inclined folks to understand the rudiments of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain as a technology has found use cases across a web of industries and cryptocurrencies are touted to be the future of money even by Christine Lagarde, former IMF President. Why then should the awareness and knowledge in our universities be the exclusive reserve of the computer, maths or engineering students? It’s about time we re-engineered how it’s done. This is the vision propelling the CampusBCAT movement.

Join us and let’s BUIDL our nation together, empowering our students with the promising power of the Blockchain.

Reach out to me for Blockchain technology and Cryptocurrency consultancy. Get more information about me via LinkedIn

Writer| Organizational Growth | Keen Blockchain Researcher | Lover of a decentralized world | Futurist, Founder & Lead Business Developer @betpsyche |@storeload