Africa’s blockchain journey begins with poverty alleviation — SumoTrust CEO

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Many people have called for Nigeria and Africa to incorporate blockchain technology into daily life; however, poverty must first be conquered before blockchain technology can be properly integrated into society, according to GT Igwe Chrisent, the CEO of SumoTrust, an online savings and investment platform; and Truzact, a crypto wallet.

At the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN) Digital Assets Summit 2023, held in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, Chrisent stated that hunger and poverty must first be eradicated from Africa before achieving a better level of blockchain technology integration.

Chrisent (right) at the SIBAN Digital Assets Summit 2023. Source: SIBAN

According to a World Bank report titled “A Better Future for All Nigerians: Nigeria Poverty Assessment 2022,” just 17 percent of Nigerian workers hold the best wage jobs to lift people out of poverty.

In Chrisent’s view, helping the poor move to the middle class would be the biggest driver of faster blockchain technology adoption because it enables people to afford three square meals daily and have a little extra to save. However, the CEO said that the stability of the economy in Africa is key to facilitating this:

“ If we do not fix that, we’ll keep having these conversations over and over again”

Despite the extra scalability that comes from incorporating blockchain technology into society and the economy, individuals cannot focus on exploring the technology while still battling to provide basic amenities, said Chrisent.

Related: Nigeria’s Web3 education efforts seek to tackle language challenges

Despite poverty challenges, Nigeria has emerged as one of the most active countries in terms of adoption and curiosity about Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies. According to data from Google Trends, Nigeria ranks second by search interest for the keyword “Bitcoin,” behind El Salvador.

The current Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu, released a manifesto during his campaign, which, if implemented, would enable the use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the nation’s banking and finance sector.

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