While Blockchain technology is best-known, most used and generally linked to the currency domain –Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, its potential impact of the technology is much greater and wider than virtual currencies. As the technological and economic landscape evolves, blockchain technology is set to reshape and redefine Finance, Health, Agriculture, Governance, Law and Trust which will ultimately help us prioritize transparency over anonymity. Blockchain technology will provide a new way to think about how we agree on things as multiple untrusted parties can create and agree on a single source of truth, without the use of a middleman.

So, what is Blockchain? This is a decentralized, distributed and public digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that the record cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and the collusion of the network. For illustration, Blockchain technology provides an interconnected system such that when an action takes place on a particular system, every member of the community becomes aware and when the action is changed (actions can be changed at will), every member of the community sees that it has changed.

Block chain can be a closed system or an open system not open to the public. Open Blockchain is a public network that maintains an immutable record of transactions. Anyone can publish a transaction and participate in the network by adhering to a set of published rules. While a Closed Blockchain is a private network that maintains a shared record of transactions. The network is accessible only to those who have permission and transactions can be edited by administrators. But we must note that the more open a blockchain system is, the better it is.

Despite the opportunities that are locked up in the Blockchain technology, no entity or organisation in Nigeria is presently propagating and spreading the Blockchain news, hence, the need to begin the conversation via this article, We will briefly highlight some of the industries Blockchain technology is revolutionizing and will affect both globally and in the African emerging market

  1.  Financial Industry: Adoption of this technology will impact almost every area of the financial industry. Blockchain technology will ensure a more efficient, more transparent, more secure financial marketplace. For instance, if several computers are sharing unified capacity, this will makes transactions easier. With this, realistic asset and transactions will be turned to virtual assets. We suggest that the Central Bank, which is the regulatory body in conjunction with the government of each African country, should promote a Virtual Asset Law (VAL). That will be the foundation block of Blockchain Technology to effectively and efficiently affect the financial industry.
  2. Agriculture: Blockchain technology will bring many solutions to mitigate the rising concerns of consumers with regards to food safety and traceability. We will be able to make use of Blockchain technology to ensure accountability, traceability and food quality and this will improve information sharing across the food chain and will ensure that farmers always get their fair share of income.
  3. Smart Contracts: Blockchain technology will help in playing a more active, potentially autonomous role in the management and implementation of transactions. Transactions can be executed automatically in response to certain conditions being met, providing a ‘guarantee of execution’. Self-executing smart contracts based upon this functionality are developing rapidly. Block chain will make it impossible unless I give the permission. Smart contract is signed when parameters are set. For instance a Central Bank can use Blockchain to initiate programmable money which will make it impossible for beneficiaries to get money unduly without meeting the contract terms. We need a system that makes contract and transaction more secure. With blockchain, people will take signing contracts more serious because there will be penalty and reward. This same principle can also be applied for tax collection. It makes it efficient for you to collect taxes. Doing business becomes easier.
  4. Land Ownership: With Blockchain technology, there is no duplication of land assets. Everything you have is real and original. It helps provide critical information that allows you to know whether a transaction is legitimate or there is no double spending and that real estate properties are not sold by people who don’t own them. Blockchain technology offers a way for untrusted parties to reach agreement (consensus) on a common digital history. Once a land distribution is agreed upon, it can be recorded in a distributed ledger and no longer be subject to any debate.
  5. Electioneering: Needless to say that Blockchain technology will also help to seamlessly simplify election processes by ensuring that fake people won’t vote and that once you vote your vote cannot be changed.

Critical & Strategic Need:
There is a critical need for a country like Nigeria to invest in a National IT infrastructure based on the Blockchain technology where all the Federal, State and Local government data will reside. This will help in ensuring accountability and transparency in Government activities while improving tax and revenue collection viz allocation, implementation and administration of contracts.

Blockchain requires champions because it speaks to the future of our nation and enterprises, that is why Simplex Business Solutions and PayMaster Ltd are collaborating strongly to drive this innovative conversations specifically in Nigeria and Africa in general as we believe it offers big values to our economies.

Akin Oluwaleye and Femi Adeniyi.

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