Cryptocurrency adoption has been on a steady rise around the world, and Osita Oparaugo, founder of Ogelle, Africa’s first user generated content platform for African content only, has enjoined African governments to get on board the fast-changing world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Speaking to journalists in Lagos shortly after he co-hosted a LIVE event on Decentralized Finance as a pathway to growth for Africa, Oparaugo pointed at how digital money is reshaping the tech and financial world and maintained that Africa cannot continue to play catch-up.
He hinted that he is in the process of starting a gaming app that would be focused around African celebrities and that cryptocurrency would be the means of monetary exchange as stakes and buying of accessories on the app by players. He said with this, it would be possible for a Nigerian in Lagos to play against a Rwandan in Kigali or a South African player who lives in China.
“Cryptocurrency and digital money will eventually unite the world and the earlier African governments embrace it, the better for the continent’s growth,” said Oparaugo, who is also the founder of Footprint to Africa, a media and investment bridge company.
“Africa can’t afford to play catch-up on blockchain technology; it’s the future,” he said.
On exactly how digital money is reshaping the tech and financial world, Oparaugo drew attention to the recent announcement by Twitter that it would include Bitcoin among other payment options on the tipping feature on its platform.
Twitter had in a blog post on September 23 announced that people can now ‘tip’ with Bitcoin on its platform using Strike, an American payment application platform that incorporates the use of the Bitcoin Lightning network to enable instant payments globally at virtually no cost.
Oparaugo also cited billionaire investor Mark Cuban, who recently expressed optimism on the growth of DeFi applications which he thinks would pose a challenge to traditional banks.
DeFi, or decentralized finance, is a blockchain-based form of finance that does not rely on central financial intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks to offer traditional financial instruments, and instead utilizes smart contracts on blockchains, the most common being Ethereum.
Cuban, in a tweet responding to a debate about DeFi, had said DeFi had the foundational benefit of simplifying borrowing for personal purposes.
“It’s a hassle to borrow money from a bank. And [DeFi] allows anyone with funds to be a lender as well,” Cuban had said.
He said through DeFi lending, users can lend out cryptocurrency, like a traditional bank does with fiat currency, and earn interest as a lender. The barrier to entry to borrow is low compared with that of a traditional system. In most cases, the only requirement to take out a DeFi loan is the ability to provide collateral with other crypto assets.
″[B]usinesses, decentralized or otherwise, tend to benefit when they offer customers the path of least resistance to get what they want and/or need,” Cuban said.
“DeFi is not monolithic. It’s competitive. It will evolve to meet customer needs,” he said.
Analysts have pointed out, however, that DeFi is much riskier than a traditional bank.