Economist makes case for blockchain technology in Nigeria, Africa
THE Chief Economist at the PriceWaterHouse Coopers (PwC) Nigeria, Dr Andrew Nevin has said that the adoption of Blockchain technology can increased transparency, lead to accurate tracking and cost reduction in financial intermediation.
According to him, using blockchain can confirm transactions without the need for a central certifying authority; even as potential applications include funds transfer, settling trades, voting and many other uses.
At a recent Technology Conference hosted in Lagos, Nevin explored the theme “Blockchain, AI Digital Virtual Financial Assets and Other Technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution” and how it could drive economic advancement across Africa. Nigeria in particular and Africa in general must not neglect evolving technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality, and the internet, he submitted.
The economist though identified the risks and potential applications of blockchain technology as follows: complex technology; regulatory implications; Implementation challenges and competing platforms.
On potential applications, Nevin noted identity management; Voting; peer-to-peer transactions; supply chain management; smart contracting; asset registration/ownership; trade finance and record management.
Citing the De Beers example, the PwC Economist said blockchain is used to ensure that diamonds are authentic, conflict-free and natural. According to Nevin, it provides a permanent, unchangeable record for every diamond registered from the moment the diamonds removed from mines.
Nevin also highlighted the fact that the Nigeria Customs Service has improved its services by deploying blockchain for excise and tax collection.
On the issue of using technology in trading commodities, he mentioned Binkabi as a platform for issuing and trading commodities on the blockchain. He also highlighted the partnership between Interswitch and Microsoft, which has led to the launch of a blockchain, based supply chain financing service, enabling SMEs to get financing to meet client orders.
According to him, Artificial Intelligence is meant to solve problems as UBA has done with the LEO chatbot. Likewise, adopting blockchain will bring about greater trust among Nigerians because trust is one issue that people are battling.
“In the past, the cost of 3D printing was expensive, and the technology was available only to large corporations, but the development of desktop 3D printers has made the technology more accessible to small and mid-sized businesses and home users,” Nevin said.
He highlighted the Benefits, Risks, and Potential Applications of 3D printing technology.
The economist noted that through blockchain technology, there could be more supported services to rural Nigerian communities