Fintech offers blockchain solution to boost ecosystem
The Blockchain technology is described as a peer-to-peer version of electronic cash that would operate with the Internet, allowing online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.
Speaking at a press conference recently in Lagos, the Strategist/ Coordinator, Fintech Worldwide Africa/Founder and CEO Eka Consult, Steph Mekwuye, said Blockchain offers huge possibilities in every sector of the economy, as its can be used for more than currency transactions.
According to her, the technology would impact our supply chains, healthcare, insurance, transportation, voting system, contract management and more.
She said: “Blockchain has become a platform for building a new generation of products like international money transfers that is faster and cheaper than Western Union and there are no known limits to what can be built on this technology.
“Blockchain technology provides the answer to digital trust because it records important information in a public space and doesn’t allow anyone to remove it. It’s transparent, time-stamped, and decentralised information exists as a shared and continually reconciled database.
“On how seriously it’s been studied and adopted, IBM has 1,000 employees working on Blockchain-powered projects, and has set aside $200million for development, while financial and tech firms invested an estimate of $1.4billion in Blockchain in 2016, with an increase to $2.1million in 2018.”
Mekwuye maintained that Blockchain’s database isn’t stored in a single location, noting that the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable, and has no centralised version of the information available to hackers to corrupt, as it is hosted by millions of computers simultaneously.
“With Blockchain, we can imagine a world in which contracts are embedded in digital codes, and stored in a transparent and shared database where they are protected from deletion, tampering, and revision.
“With this, every agreement, every process, task, and payment would have a digital record and signature that could be identified, validated, stored, and shared, making intermediaries like lawyers, brokers, and bankers unnecessary in transactions.
Also, individuals, organisations, and algorithms would freely transact and interact with one another with little friction.
“Nearly 15 per cent of financial institutions are currently using Blockchain in the world, and as Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria is a natural place to begin the Fintech Worldwide African series,” she added.
She reiterated that Fintech and Eka will continue to work directly with governments, large multi-nationals, investors and start-ups in order to increase growth and awareness from the grassroots, as Blockchain holds many potential benefits for citizens, which include reduced costs, improved security, and a more accessible and innovative financial system.