From the view of Luno’s Country Manager: Crypto Education and Adoption in Nigeria

Luno had been in the news recently when its Nigeria Team commenced the first Leg of the company’s cryptocurrency literacy tour in the University of Lagos, Nigeria (Unilag). Luno is a Cryptocurrency company headquartered in London that has been taking major steps towards promoting crypto education and adoption in Nigeria. Owenize Woghiren-Odia, Luno’s Country Manager addressed in a recent interview how to better understand these efforts that continued in May and the reasons behind them.

Education is the channel through which Luno has embarked on it mission of enlightening the Nigerian population about cryptocurrencies.  The company is targeting universities in all geopolitical zones in the West African nation to create awareness and complete this mission. Crypto education will help Nigerians to dissociate cryptocurrencies like bitcoin from schemes that are fraudulently masked as actual crypto trading and will inform them of cryptocurrency acquisition with just a token in Naira, according to Owenize.

 

The pilot of the literacy Varsity tour was successful with over 300 students in attendance as reported; Luno was able to speak to students of Unilag, Nigeria and plans to continue spreading awareness through university students. The youth is definitely a strong channel to pass across new information and what better place to find willing learners than in school. “Students represent the future and we wanted to engage with the future of money,” The country Manager said.

It turns out Luno had run a survey and found that crypto awareness in Nigeria is increasing. From their discovery, 65 percent of Nigerians are aware of cryptocurrencies. Luno also predicts that by 2019 more Nigerians will buy crypto being that the respondents showing a willingness to buy were about 48 percent. Interestingly the users buying crypto on the Luno platform in Nigeria are between the ages of 22 to 45 which signifies a lot of interest from the youth.

Owing to the awareness increase is a notable rise in crypto demand and this is resulting in driving up investment. The country manager stated that numerous crypto projects have been launched in the West African nation and global crypto exchanges are funding local businesses in Nigeria. Of the top countries in Africa with high bitcoin trading volumes on the LocalBitcoins platform, Nigeria takes a spot on the list.

The lack of regulation for cryptocurrency has continued to be a cloud over the crypto shine despite increasing crypto adoption in Nigeria and even other countries at large. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may have shifted its approach to a neutral position, Owenize noted in that regard. “Part of that is being driven by increased interest from global financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. So the CBN, I believe, is also watching increasing investments from other nations flowing into the country and they, of course, want to ensure they stay current and connected with what is going on in this new and increasingly popular financial space,” the country manager explained.

Attributed to be some of the factors pushing cryptocurrency adoption in Nigeria are: Remittance flows from the Diaspora, cross-border payments, and crypto jobs. Prior reports state that ‘To bridge the learning gap both in Nigeria and across Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe, the company has carried out Meetups, Webinars and Cryptocurrency events to create more awareness and knowledge of cryptocurrency.’ added to the literacy tour.

On a personal note, youths really have become curious about what cryptocurrency is, with the trending news on most social media platforms for the most part of the week being Blockchain or Digital currency related; one couldn’t help but notice and become curious. Twitter feeds of this week alone has seen ‘Bitcoin above $9k after a long dip’, ‘Facebook’s unveiling of Libra coin’ and more as top headlines. These trends undoubtedly haven’t gone unnoticed in Nigeria.

Luno is, therefore, way on track with its West African Centred mission; this crypto education is important and necessary for the fast evolution that is the blockchain technology. The earlier it is understood and gotten accustomed to, the easier it will be to capitalize on its potentials and eventually benefit from it. Hopefully, as the world explores the crypto space Nigeria will not be left behind.

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Credits- Angeline Mbogo

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