Nigerian Blockchain Educator Says Uncertain Regulations and Scams Slow Adoption of Cryptocurrencies – Interview Bitcoin News
With a population of over 200 million, Nigeria is rightly considered one of the largest cryptocurrency markets in the world. Some players in the crypto world believe that Nigeria is one of the few countries that recognize digital coins better than others.
Despite this optimism, Nigeria’s cryptocurrency sector continues to face persistent obstacles that prevent mass adoption. Challenges include an unclear regulatory framework and the widespread nature of bitcoin-related fraud, which often tarnishes the image of cryptocurrencies.
However, according to Tony Emeka, founder and CEO of Cryptotvplus, a Nigerian media company specializing in cryptocurrency, some of these challenges can be overcome through education.
Nigeria is very active in digital currencies and is one of the leading countries in Africa in cryptocurrency trading. However, the Nigerian blockchain and cryptocurrency industry is facing regulatory uncertainty.
In a Q&A with Bitcoin.com News, Emeka talks about his latest education project Earnathon and why he thinks it will make a difference. The CEO also shared his views on the current impasse between the Central Bank of Nigeria and the cryptocurrency industry.
For starters, Bitcoin.com News’ Terence Zimwara (TZ) asked Emeka about his background and experiences that led him to focus on crypto?
Tony Emeka (TE): The Nigerian cryptocurrency industry is considered one of the largest in the world based on market data. This increase is due to the poor situation in the country and the strong desire of Nigerians to go out and do something for themselves. However, this illustrious growth has only been possible thanks to education. However, given the negative sentiment towards cryptocurrencies as a fraudulent tool, this has not been easy.
However, with the help of many individuals and companies, including Cryptotvplus, the industry has grown significantly. Thus, Cryptotvplus, through its educational platform, Campus Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Awareness Tour (BCAT), is helping to raise awareness on blockchain and cryptocurrencies across Nigeria from 2019. At one point, Cryptotvplus helped organize one of the largest crypto meetings in West Africa. The educational platform has also helped to familiarize tens of thousands of people, especially students, with cryptocurrencies.
Having seen the success of the BCAT campaign in Nigerian universities, the team concluded that more needed to be done. To achieve mass acceptance, it was necessary to automate the process and have millions of people learn cryptography simultaneously. We also saw how boosting visitors with bird drops led many people to cryptocurrencies. These experiences and ideas formed the basis of Ernaton.
We bring cryptographic education to millions of people around the world.
TK: What is your impression of what is currently happening in the Nigerian crypto space, in terms of education?
TE: Education plays a unique role in shaping any (emerging) industry. Education in cryptography has increased worldwide, as has awareness. This is evidenced by tracked search trends and user adoption. But more needs to be done. To achieve mass acceptance, educational efforts must begin at the grassroots level. That’s one of the things that was missing, and that’s now one of the things we’re trying to achieve through Earnathon.
TK: I know crypto fraud is a problem in Nigeria. Will you also specifically address this issue?
TE: While it is impossible to eradicate fraud completely, it is possible to reduce it to a very small number. In Nigeria and around the world, cryptocurrency fraud has increased and continues to increase, but quality crypto-education is the key, the only effective weapon in the fight against fraudsters. Supervisors can issue warnings and law enforcement officers will arrest poor performers. However, since these organizations are largely reactive, training is an interesting solution.
If people are proactive with their knowledge of solid coding, they can easily thwart bad actors. Education is therefore an essential factor.
TK: Now, as someone who is trying to raise awareness about cryptocurrencies and blockchain, what is your assessment of the level of ignorance of the government and the CBN?
TE: In a circular of 7. In February 2021, the CBN declared that financial institutions may no longer facilitate transactions with cryptocurrencies. Surprisingly, the CBN’s position was approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) months after the same regulator classified cryptocurrencies as securities. This shows that the CBN and the government still do not have a good understanding of cryptocurrencies and currency.
TK: Do you think the CBN has it right (cryptocurrencies) or did they just hastily issue the directive in February?
TE: The circular of 7. February, in a way, came from fear. He was admissible. The senior bank must be proactive. The government had earlier indicated its intention to study blockchain technology.
This can only be achieved by creating the right conditions for existing businesses to grow. But the circular was a setback for many companies and therefore seems to have been rushed.
TK: How do we end this impasse between the cryptocurrency industry and the CBN?
TE: The CBN’s stance on cryptocurrencies seems to be based on an incorrect foundation. However, progress can only be made by involving regulators and showing them the potential and importance of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. No organization needs an intruder. The enlightenment of the CBN will enable it to view cryptocurrencies as instruments of economic growth.
Do you agree with Emeka’s assertion that education is the critical step that will ensure wider adoption of crypto? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
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