National Nigerian banks have teamed up with US-based software development company Hashcash to combat the African nation’s widespread issue of financial exclusion through a blockchain banking implementation.
The collaboration aims to promote economic growth by banking a large number of the mainly rural residents that do not have accounts, as well as offer more efficient methods of transferring money. Right now, the primary method of delivering cash outside of towns and cities relies on bus transfers, a situation that is highly vulnerable to pillaging en route.
Across Nigeria, there is a lack of traditional bank branches and technology such as desktops for citizens to access their bank accounts. Mobile phones capable of managing blockchain wallets are, however, something most Nigerians do have in their possession, making the project to overturn economic exclusion a highly feasible solution for success.
What can blockchain banking bring Nigeria?
Blockchain banking can improve the situation for unbanked Nigerians by allowing them to make financial transactions of any size to another individual with a blockchain-backed wallet, no matter the geographical location of both parties. This adds enhanced security over traveling across the nation that is suffering from civil disruption with cash, also saving people the time they would take to physically travel.
Another benefit that blockchain provides is transparency over the movement of finances, something NGOs have been fighting for because a lack of evidenced bank transactions can hinder demographics that are attempting to move into the larger economy. Take, for example, the difficulties of renting a property in a major city without providing your banking history. Blockchain banking solutions in Nigeria have the potential to increase productivity with a nearly immediate effect while supporting the empowerment of women and marginalized communities who can not access traditional bank accounts in the country.
Blockchain in developing nations
Blockchain solutions have been touted by many experts as key in helping developing nations progress through the technology’s fundamentals of transparency, security, and accountability. David Crosbie, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, said earlier this year that the decentralized technology can also bring developing states the same levels of convenience that countries such as the US take for advantage. Crosbie’s analysis focuses fundamentally on bringing trust to these societies in order to bring about progression.
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