Thursday, July 08, 2021 / 05:15 PM / FintechNGR / Header Image Credit: FintechNGR
It was indeed a huge learning moment at the just concluded #FintechNGRIntercontinentalWebinar, one of the major flagship events and knowledge session organized by the Fintech Association of Nigeria, held on the 29th of June 2021.
In his opening address, Ade Bajomo, President FintechNGR, talked about strides the fintech industry is making globally and in Nigeria as well, saying that "it has moved from digitization to digitalization, rode the digital transformation wave and is now driving the post-COVID19 digital surge." He also highlighted the Distributed Ledger Technology as being very instrumental to the impending disruption referring to applications and uses from cryptocurrency to CBDCs.
It was quite an expository event and the recurring theme of the conversation which was further enriched with the panelists touching on real-life pilots of CBDCs they had been a part of and even learnings from the application of an actual stable coin. A major reiterated point was the need to pay less attention to the upheavals a Central Bank Digital Currency could create but rather to the connectivity it would bring, even with banks. In addition, one of the points also constantly mentioned was the need to carry out thorough, iterative research on not only CBDCs but the blockchain as well to determine how best to incorporate the technology as opposed to shutting it down and inadvertently closing out on the opportunity it presents for an ever-evolving economy and innovative monetary policy.
The virtual event sponsored by Sterling Bank PLC had over 1000+ participants with a selection of panelists from the different value chain the theme of the webinar covered and they included - John A. Rolle, Governor, Central Bank of The Bahamas, Serey Chea, Assistant Governor National Bank of Cambodia, Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank PLC, Christian Catalani, Co-creator, Diem, & Chief Economist, Diem Association, Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore, with Carmelle Cadet, Founder & CEO, EMTECH as moderator.
Sharing his view on the topic of the day, Abubakar Suleiman commenting on the conversation around the Central Bank Digital Currency, noted it was fundamental and inevitable, saying that the advancement CBDCs and programmable currency would bring is beyond the security that cryptography offers against counterfeiting but more on the efficiency it offers against traditional fiat. He also touched on the fact that most times the conversation around CBDCs, blockchain and cryptographic assets were usually seen considering payments, whilst pointing out that banking went far beyond that vertical.
Taking the conversation further, Sopnendu Mohanty touched on the issue of Decentralized Finance, De-Fi, saying that "it does not mean removing the Central Bank. It basically hovers around three (3) things; Programmable Money, Programmable Regulations, Programmable Instruments and to get there we need all the innovation we can get be it retail CBDCs or commercial bank digital hubs."
Giving the closing remark, the Association's board Chair, Dr. Segun Aina, described the event as informative whilst appreciating panelists as well as attendees and commending the effort put into organizing the event. He went on to add that it had become clear that CBDCs was the way to go for the future taking into consideration the emerging technology all over the world seeing that it was just a way of representing a country's official currency in a digital form, adding that Nigeria and Africa needed to begin thinking along the lines of a digital currency that cut across considering the AfCFTA.
Fintech Association of Nigeria, the pioneer national fintech association in Africa and founding member of Africa Fintech Network (A Network of thirty-four (34) National Fintech Associations in Africa), member Global Fintech Hub Federation has been at the forefront, promoting and advocating for right regulation and investment as the key enablers of innovation in financial technology. To learn more about the Association, kindly visit: www.fintechng.org or send an email to email@example.com to enquire about the membership, partnership, and data on fintech in Nigeria and Africa.
Click here to catch a replay of the webinar. You could also follow FintechNGR across social media platforms @fintechngr to see updates on its activities.