While Nigeria appears to have a high level of blockchain and crypto awareness, the country is still facing issues related to public education in the field. A group of local blockchain experts discussed blockchain education’s challenges in Nigeria at the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN)’s Digital Assets Summit 2023, held in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
In the panel titled “Web3 Education: Capacity Building,” the group discussed the current level of blockchain and Web3 awareness in the country and the challenges that have surfaced in the journey so far.
The chief operating officer (COO) of Bitkova Academy, a blockchain education platform, Bello Usman Abdullahi said that the language barrier is one of the current major challenges due to the complexity of blockchain technology and its jargon. Nigeria is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world, with over 500 languages spoken.
However, local blockchain hubs have begun educating individuals who are not familiar with blockchain technology using local Nigerian languages. Abdullahi said that it is important to help individuals who are new to blockchain technology and Web3 understand what Satoshi Nakamoto was trying to achieve with blockchain technology. This is mostly important to correct the fear and negativity created in the minds of citizens by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the government, he said.
In February 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria severed connections between local banks and cryptocurrency exchange firms. According to Abdullahi, this act by the government and the CBN played a role in slowing down the level of blockchain awareness in Nigeria, associating blockchain and crypto with adverse perceptions.
Nigeria has seen better days in terms of crypto interest, with Google Trends data showing the country stepped down from its previous top placing to No. 2 in the world in terms of search interest for Bitcoin (BTC).