• Joy Abia

Blockchain: Its benefits to Nigeria.

Like every technological advancement in the world, blockchain is one that has come about as a result of the existing flaws of already established technology.

Blockchain is defined as a growing list of records called blocks that are linked using cryptography. A manual ledger is used to record transactions but blockchain is a digital ledger that records transactions between people and the information of that transaction is stored as a block with a list or variety of other transactions that have been made and the list of transactions is called the chain.

Blockchain is distinguished with three elements which are decentralization, transparency and immutability. These are the core elements of the blockchain technology and they have birthed the other features and advantages of the blockchain.

The biggest problem that Nigeria faces is corruption and poor leadership. These give birth to the other problems like misappropriation of public funds, fraudulent practices, under-utilization of resources, extreme poverty, which are very obvious in the nation and many agendas have been setup or put in place to address this issues and have been stated as effective but there has been no effective improvement in the economy and the country as a whole.

The same system has been used to run the country and new technologies have surfaced to “make things easier for Nigerians” but an average Nigerian hasn’t seen the impact of these technologies especially when they sit in front their tv sets at the end of the day and watch the news and notice that their leaders aren’t even thinking about their well-being. Corruption begins from the top, where leaders that have been appointed and given authority at the center start to alter the correct practices to please them for most of their selfish reasons and regulate other sectors according as the like.

The earlier stated core elements of blockchain is a revolution that can help Nigeria out of its core and root out the problems of corruption.

Free and Fair Elections: Knowing that the beginning of corruption is from the election of leaders, here is how blockchain would be of great help. The blockchain can be used to regain the trust of Nigerians and those ones who vote. Blockchain enables information and transactions to be stored in blocks and to be visible to everyone on the network. This enables transparency and assurance that the elections were free and exactly the choice of the majority. On blockchain, the information cannot be tampered with and cannot be hacked, rigged or altered. This ensures Nigerians that the leader who comes into power is not one who pays more but rather one who the majority have picked because this information is not visible and available in blockchain.

Budget Tracking: When Blockchain has helped to select the leader according to the people’s preference, now what? The national budget is always publicly released and so everyone knows how much is being allocated to different sectors and for different purposes in the country. Blockchain would help to track the budget allocation and see how different ministers of these sectors are spending the money. The transaction evidences would be posted on the blockchain as proof that the money is going to the correct use which it was assigned for.

Security of Information: It is no doubt that top secret files can be easily hacked and gotten from the central source which it is stored. With blockchain, if the Nigerian government has nothing to hide then it can trust that its information is safer in a decentralized and unified database. It’s impossible or almost impossible to hack the entire network of those part of the blockchain, even if one person’s database is hacked and tampered with, others who belong to the network will still have the entire record.

Simplicity of Running Transactions: It is known that to perform a successful transaction both national and international through traditional means, there is a lot of protocol involved and even exorbitant fees are charged both hidden and obvious ones. Blockchain allows for better and easier transactions without third party approval and no transaction fees translating to simplicity in transactions for Nigerians.

Reduction of Fraudulent Practices: Recently, Nigeria has been recording cases of internet fraud amongst the youth of the nation both at home and caught abroad. In blockchain, there are various consensus protocol that are needed to validate an entry, with this there is reduced cases of fraud and double-entry.

The government is making little or no effort to implement the adaptation of blockchain to help improve conditions in the economy and the country as a whole. The Central Bank of Nigeria has warned the citizens against investments in the cryptocurrency and the use of blockchain because it is unregulated and decentralized. The truth is that the country would benefit a lot from this as explained.

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