According to a Bloomberg report, the largest stock exchange in Nigeria, Nigerian Exchange Limited will roll out a blockchain-enabled exchange in 2023 to facilitate the capital market and attract young investors.
This move is coming at the back of the introduction of regulations to guide the trade of digital assets by the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) earlier in May.
According to Temi Popoola, the chief executive officer of Nigeria Exchange Ltd. in an interview, the exchange looks to deploy the blockchain technology in settlement of capital market transactions:
“For a lot of young and upcoming Nigerians, that is the kind of technology they adopt and we want to see how we can deploy it to grow our market.
Blockchain technology can facilitate different parts of the capital market, whether around creation of products or facilitation of the Exchange to trade financial assets,”
Crypto adoption continues to rise in Nigeria
Despite earlier hurdles and obstacles, the Nigerian authorities and citizenry alike are now coming to embrace the revolutionary blockchain technology.
Recall that in February 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria ordered commercial lenders to stop transactions or operations in cryptocurrencies, citing a threat to the financial system. They followed it up in April this year when the apex bank sanctioned five banks for engaging in crypto transactions.
However, barely a month later the Nigerian Securities and Exchanges commission rolled out a regulatory framework to guide digital assets, exchanges and players in the Nigerian blockchain space.
Since then the West Africa country has been on an upward spiral. A Coingecko report last week says Nigeria is the most interested country in cryptocurrency since the start of the market downturn in May, a applaudable feat considering the standards.
Although Nigeria continues to play a predominant role in crypto adoption on the continent, local exchanges haven’t gained prominence and the Nigeria Exchange Ltd foray into the world of blockchain is a welcome development which will further stamp the signature of the revolutionary technology on the country’s shores.
On the other side of the continent, South African authorities are engaging with the fintech industry to enable the incorporation of the distributed-ledger technology in the financial markets. Also in Kenya, lenders are seeking approval to deploy the technology in payments to reduce the incidence of bad loans.
Those developments point to one thing – Africa is now dancing harder than ever in the blockchain party. We are just getting started!