Technology continues to eat up traditional infrastructures at a rapid rate. In Nigeria, the proliferation of Bitcoin technology gives rise to new opportunities for financial inclusion.
Nigeria was strongly reliant on the conventional banking paradigm for financial services and transfers only a decade ago. It was evident the need to change the industry.
Different attempts have been made by traditional finance institutions, government, and private businesses to expand the volume of people using financial services in Nigeria.
In 2012, by launching the National Financial Inclusion Plan, Nigeria took big strides in its journey (NFIS). The key priority of the NFIS is to ensure the financial inclusion of 80 percent of Nigerian adults by 2020.
As mobile phones have gotten cheaper over the years, it has become a lot easier for people in Nigeria, who would normally not be able to access financial services, to easily be onboarded onto finance platforms.
Even with more attempts over the years to use technology as a tool for financial inclusion, there have been a lot of challenges which continue to limit financial inclusion in the West-African region. In many senses, Nigerians have had to take matters into their own hands.
Despite warnings from the Central Bank of Nigeria over the use of digital currencies, more Nigerians than ever are using Bitcoin. The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria recently published, ‘The Nigerian Banker’. The publication details reasons for the upsurge in users of Bitcoin in Nigeria.
Twitter and Square CEO, JackDorsey believes Africa will define the future of Bitcoin. During his visit to Nigeria, he attended a blockchain meetup.
“Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I’ll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020.”