Business

February 29, 2024

KUYE: Embracing cryptocurrencies will save Naira and the country

KUYE: Embracing cryptocurrencies will save Naira and the country

Nigerians hedge against inflation with the US Dollar. Americans hedge against Dollar inflation with Bitcoin. The price of Bitcoin is universally uniform. Why is Nigeria blocking crypto innovation and self limiting as national resentments continue to grow. Or is banning crypto part of preconditions to access foreign loans?

Nigeria has one of the most fortunate governments in the world. A government which the citizens have zero expectations from. Nigerians expect absolutely nothing from their government. They know the emptiness of political platitudes and false promises, yet they persevere. The least the government can do is stay out of the way of Nigerians to fend for themselves.

We know that Nigeria’s current socio-political process doesn’t necessarily generate the most creative or competent leadership, and this has been self-limiting for the country.  Clamping down on innovation in order to plunge the country into debt is not a creative way to jump start the economy. Banning cryptocurrency innovation is a bad bet among many bad bets now synonymous with the administration.

The current leadership, while politically experienced, often struggles to address the challenges plaguing the nation at scale. Decades-old approaches may no longer be effective in navigating the complexities of the 21st century. 

Furthermore, the persistent economic downturn coupled with widespread insecurity poses a significant threat to Nigeria’s stability. Frustration festers, echoing past downfalls. Economic woes and insecurity threaten hard-won democracy. This time, ballots might not quell discontent, but boots and men in green uniforms. Nigeria needs a jolt: not seasoned agbadas and kaftans, but audacious youth with untainted ideas. Fix the economy, yes, but also prevent history’s grim repeat. Embrace bold solutions: crypto, decentralization. Not just progress, but survival.

Only decisive action and innovative solutions can prevent such a scenario. The wolves in the west, and Europe are machinating behind the scenes.

Here’s where fresh leadership becomes crucial. A new generation, unburdened by the constraints of the past, can embrace bold ideas and unconventional solutions to address the economic stagnation and insecurity plaguing the nation. This could involve:

  • Embracing new technology such as cryptocurrency to reduce the country’s weakening Naira, and dependency on the US Dollar. This will improve governance, transparency, and service delivery. Unbeknownst to most is that Americans hedge against the Dollar via cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. If the value of Bitcoin goes up, it goes up for everyone globally, and vice versa. This leads to social cohesion. There is no manipulation or varying exchange rates. The price of BTC is the same anywhere on the planet. The same cannot be said for other currencies, or commodities, not even gold or oil. The leaders are still stuck and mentally captured by oil…it’s a race to the bottom.
  • Investing in critical infrastructure to stimulate economic growth and create jobs. Decentralized technology platforms create a unique opportunity to leverage the talents, drive, and ingenuity of Nigerians. Imagine the in-flows that stem from embracing cryptocurrency innovation, unleashing Nigerian ingenuity and creativity, with governance at the top of course. This is already proven, with globalization of technology, ubiquity of access, and billion dollar unicorns in Nigeria from Lagos to Abuja.
  • Prioritizing education and skills development to empower the youth and foster innovation. Social cohesion happens when everyone feels a sense of ownership. This shift from raw materials and commodities to a knowledge based production empowers and adds to national growth. Imagine if every Nigerian produces even $10 (ten dollars) annually into the national coffers. That will be $2.3 billion (dollars) a year alone in direct contributions. With the right support and infrastructure, this number can be twenty times that number. An engaged and empowered population is a productive population and unstoppable cohesive unit of productivity.
  • Mandating a substantial portion of commodity transactions in the Naira. This will bolster the Nigerian economy by increasing demand for the currency. This higher demand will lead to an appreciation of the Naira’s value, making imports cheaper and reducing inflationary pressures. Additionally, it would decrease reliance on foreign currencies like the US dollar, potentially reducing volatility and improving the nation’s control over its monetary policy. This leads to;
  • Reduced currency exchange risk: Less exposure to fluctuations in foreign exchange markets.
  • Increased economic sovereignty: Enhanced control over monetary policy and financial transactions.
  • Support for domestic industries: Encourage trade within the domestic market.
  • Potential for increased currency stability: Greater demand for the domestic currency could lead to improved stability.

However, Nigeria’s future success hinges not only on domestic reforms but also on its ability to adapt to the evolving global landscape. In this context, embracing cryptocurrency and decentralized innovation is no longer a choice but a necessity.

Cryptocurrency offers faster, cheaper, and more secure financial transactions, economic diversification, asset tokenization at scale globally, potentially revolutionizing financial inclusion and cross-border trade. Decentralized platforms can enhance transparency, accountability, inclusion, ubiquity, and efficiency in various sectors, from governance to supply chain management and more. By actively engaging with these emerging technologies, Nigeria can position itself as a leader in the digital age and attract global investments and talent. This innovation in cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption started over the last four years, and is felt worldwide, with every blockchain platform sponsoring ecosystems in Nigeria. Solana, Stellar, NEAR protocol, to name a few. Banning cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Kraken stifles innovation, limits access to world markets, and deepens resentments across the population. There are either deliberate saboteurs plotting to undermine the current administration, or it’s willful ignorance on the part of the government. 

In conclusion, Nigeria’s future prosperity and stability hinge on embracing fresh leadership and innovative ideas. A new generation, brimming with untainted perspectives and the audacity to challenge the status quo, is essential to navigate the complex challenges of the 21st century. A combination of northern agitation and southern resentment is a recipe for disaster. Those in ivory towers cushioned from the population may not see historical patterns repeating.

By fostering an environment that encourages bold thinking and technological adaptation, Nigeria can not only overcome present hurdles but also secure its place as a thriving nation in the years to come.

Alani Olabanji Kuye is chairman of the Okuta / Kenilworth Group. 

A global entity with holdings in technology, agriculture, and manufacturing. He hails from Ogun State.