At the Technext Coinference 2.0, the largest blockchain gathering in Africa, held in Lagos two days ago, key stakeholders and enthusiasts held heated debates on the future of blockchain in Africa.
In a series of panel sessions and keynote addresses industry insiders touched on hot-bottom topics ranging from regulations in the crypto space, the future of decentralised finance (DeFi), opportunities for Africa with Web 3 and how NFT is disrupting the industry.
In case you missed the event, here is a brief summary of all that happened at the event for your reading pleasure:
Keynote on “Blockchain for Africa: Decentralised Economies, Merged Future”
Speaker: Hanu Fejiro, CEO Patricia
Hanu Fejiro, the CEO of crypto exchange company Patricia led the call at the plenary session for a more robust adoption of Web3, especially in African countries.
“Crypto creates a new way of web creation, especially in ways we’ve never seen before. You create an NFT, put it on OpenSea and you could get 95% of the royalties, that’s really the game changer,” he said.
He went on to add that the massive adoption of crypto by Africans is poised to give the continent a major stake in the burgeoning blockchain industry.
“I believe that Africa has the most use cases for crypto and can become the headquarter of crypto while Nigeria becomes the SI unit, that is my dream and vision and conversations like these will drive that,” Hanu said.
Breakout Panel Session: DeFi and the future of finance in Africa
Moderator: Emmanuel Onwuka, Presenter, Nigeria Info FM
- Buki Ogunsakin, BBO Solicitors
- Sandi Bitenc, Chief Executive Officer, 3air
- Obi Emetarom, Co-founder and CEO, AppZone
- Mohammed Jega, Co-founder, Domineum Blockchain Solutions
- Gideon Orovwiroro, COO, Korapay Technologies
In a more intimate session, panellists debated the rising adoption of DeFi in Africa and how it will affect the way Africans think of finance in the nearest future.
Obi Emetarom of AppZone made the case that with DeFi anyone with an interest in digital assets has the opportunity to own numerous digital assets using the Blockchain wallet system.
Buki Ogunsakin of BBO Solicitors said that more legal work and sensitisation are needed for the space to reach its full potential in the nearest future.
Breakout Panel Session: Building a Career in Blockchain
Moderator: Ebere Etike, Journalist, Technext
- Deji Awosika, Founder, Web3 Bridge
- Famous Ehichioya, CTO, Youverify
- Seun Lanlege. Founder, Polytope Labs, Lagos, Nigeria
How does one start a career on the blockchain?
Panellists in the session debated the topic. They said that beginners looking to start careers in blockchain need to be intentional with the specific field that they want to veer into.
They said that getting mentors in the field is a good way to accelerate their careers in the blockchain.
Breakout Panel Session: All you need to know about Web 3
Moderator: Oluwadamilare Akinpelu, Communications Manager, Technext
- Oloye Oluniyi, Co-founder, CryptoRoundupAfrica
- Ebenezer Ugo Akachukwu – Artist & Web3.0
- Oluchi Enebeli, Founder, Web3 Ladies
The message from the panellists was clear; Web3 is for all who would have it.
“Everyone can play a part in web3. You don’t really need to know the technical and coding aspects to consider doing something with Web3,” Oloye Oluniyi of CryptoRoundupAfrica said.
They also called for more people with different skill sets other than coding to explore opportunities in the space. “Blockchain technology, crypto, NFTs, DAOs, and others require diverse skillsets other than just coding,” Oluchi Enebeli, of Web3 Ladies said.
But even then panellists want beginners in the space to know that it’s more than just crypto and minting NFTs.
“Web3 is just beyond making money by buying crypto or minting NFTs, but also about creating value and improving lives,” Ebenezer Ugo Akachukwu said.
Breakout Panel Session: Making money from NFTs
Moderator: Omoleye Omoruyi, Journalist, Technext
- Adisa Olashile, Creator and Seller, Baba Onilu
- Efosa Ighodaro, Founder/CEO, Hashgreed
- Tunji Anjorin, President, Panaramic Entertainment
The panellists chatted during the session about how NFTs are disrupting the art world. Adisa Olashile, who made and sold the famous Baba Onilu NFT for a million naira said that he hadn’t anticipated making a lot of money from the NFT.
“I didn’t expect to make money that day, I just saw the old man, took his picture, the picture went viral, and a collector reached out to me to mint it, and he’ll buy it. I minted it, and it got sold,” he said.
Efosa Ighodaro, the founder and CEO of Hashgreed, an NFT marketplace, seized the moment to appeal to NFT enthusiasts and creators to make more African art. NFT he said offers a unique platform to take African art to the word.
“We have to create African art and take it to the world through the NFTs,” he said.
Tunji Anjorin who is one of the brains behind the Benin Bronze NFT Exchange Project said that collectors must be weary of scam links on the internet, which have proliferated in recent times.
“Staying away from suspicious links is the best way to protect your assets from hackers and scammers,” he said.
Celebrity Spotlight: Akah Nnani- Actor, Content Creator, Producer and TV host
Moderator: Anderson Ozakpo, Business Chief, Technext
Speaking on his foray into the world of digital currency, rising Nollywood star, Akah Nnani said that crypto poses massive opportunities for Africans, especially those that have been excluded from financial trading conversations for decades.
But he cautioned that the opportunities are only for those with some “spine.”
“There is no chance of changing your financial trajectory without risk. I don’t think there is a clearer legal way of making money…People who can make it in the crypto space are people who have a spine,” he said.
On the question of how to avoid losses while trading in crypto, Nnani said that investors must be calculated while making their decisions.
“There is no blueprint,” Akah Nnani said of determining when the market will fall or rise. “Just have a goal of how much you want to get back. When you get that, pull out,” he explained.
2nd Keynote: DeFi in Africa – Possibilities Beyond the Hype
Speaker: Emmanuel Babalola, CEO, Bundle Africa
Emmanuel Babalola, the CEO, of Bundle Africa, argued that the age-long myth that DeFi had come to extinguish traditional financial systems from the face of the planet is near impossible. Rather, he said that DeFi is only an alternative to traditional forms of banking.
“Back then, we wanted to replace the existing [financial] system,” he said of his venture into the DeFi space.
“But over time, we have come to realise that in the ideal world, many of the existing systems would have to evolve. When Satoshi created Bitcoin, it was meant to be an alternative and not a replacement,” he added.
He drew on data from DeFi Pulse, the data and analytics company focused on DeFi, to make the case for the growth DeFi adoption has seen in recent years. He highlighted that the worth of assets locked on DeFi grew from less than $1 billion in 2019 to over $15 billion at the end of 2020, and over $80 billion in May 2021.
“Yet DeFi is still in its early stage,” he said.
Plenary Panel Session- Crypto x Africa: The Strains, the Gains and the Future
Moderator: Temitope Akintade, Journalist, Technext
- Chris Ani, Founder/CEO, Digital Abundance
- Buchi Okoro, CEO and Co-Founder, Quidax
- Ruth Iselema, Founder/CEO, Bitmama
- Senator Ihenyen, Lead Partner, Infusion Lawyers
- Osamede Arhunmwunde, CEO, GIGX
- Chinedu Obidiegwu, Country Manager, Luno
On the panel, key industry stakeholders looked at the journey so far with crypto. They touched on the work that needs to be done to accelerate the adoption of crypto in the country. They called for better regulations.
They also spoke on the decline of the digital currency market in recent years. The message from the session was that in crypto, traders who wait often do not lose.
See more photos from the event below:
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