The year 2020 arrived with a lot of expectations for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. Other than Bitcoin price, there are fundamental factors can be used to measure the growth of blockchain. It is the use cases and areas of implementation that will determine the growth and sustainability of this emerging industry.
Of course, Bitcoin is the pioneer cryptocurrency and the biggest of them all today. However, there are currently several other blockchain projects that have supported the growth of the industry. Also, the role of the tech community and regulatory bodies are important in the growth of blockchain and crypto.
Somehow, the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry has developed in phases. Since the invention of Bitcoin, it has been all about seasons and the aspects of the industry that dominate them. Right now, what seems to be finding its own place in the blockchain industry are stablecoins. Many crypto enthusiasts believe that stablecoins represent the perfect route for governments to get into crypto. Perhaps, that could be the most appropriate channel for a wholesome adoption of the technology into the mainstream.
The Era of Stablecoins
According to Lucky Uwakwe, founder of SaBi exchange, one of Africa’s pioneer cryptocurrency exchanges, in 2020, the people should look out for stablecoins. Uwakwe identifies this and the growth of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) as the next phase of crypto development.
As soon as we begin to see countries around the world implement CBDC on an open scale then we know the ecosystem has been fully accepted. This includes both private or government issued digital currencies. Irrespective of the price action of private digital currencies like Bitcoin, we can see countries like China, Bahamas, Brunei already creating their own national digital currencies.
Uwakwe expressed concern towards the slowness of African Central banks in adopting the emerging technology. He notes that if the region does not start on time, it will be forced to embrace that of other nations, with China leading the pack. This is one of the ways that Africa can bridge the gap of financial inclusion.
How the Government Can Benefit From Stablecoins
In the consideration of stablecoins, Uwakwe focused on some of the benefits that can be derived by their implementation. According to him, they can facilitate the full expression of one of the major benefits of digital currencies – speed of transaction. With digital currencies, sending and receiving without barriers is easily achievable. However, with private digital currencies like Bitcoin comes the risk of volatility. This has been a major setback in the industry for a long time.
With stablecoin, there seems to be a solution to volatility issues, since they are usually pegged to more stable entities. According to Uwakwe, by the time most major fiat currencies have their own associated digital currencies, then we can start talking about the global adoption of blockchain technology.
“I think that the stablecoin phenomenon is now a trend, says Uwakwe. “I can count a good number of the major currencies of the world that already have stablecoins pegged to them. Even the Nigerian Naira as at the time of writing backs a minimum of 3 stablecoins.”
Uwakwe also notes that he expects to see more implementation of blockchain in records and logistics. For instance, government owned universities could start issuing certificates on the blockchain. Also, ports and customs could start using blockchain technology in logistics and supply chain management. The same goes with agriculture. These will be signs of total embrace of the technology, and they are happening already.
The Actual Blockchain Growth Index
While all eyes remain on the price of Bitcoin, Uwakwe is of the opinion that the actual benchmark for the industry revolves around the use cases mentioned above. This is akin to understanding how the internet is much more bigger than just email. Despite the crucial role of email in the early days of the internet, its popularity in the 90’s was mainly as a result of “first mover advantage”.
Bringing it closer home, Uwakwe notes some of the activities of SaBi as part of the processes of enhancing the fourth industrial revolution(4IR). The activities cover some of his expectations around blockchain technology in the coming season.
SaBi Exchange is already deeply involved in technological and cryptocurrency aspects of the blockchain ecosystem. This includes such areas as education and collaboration with relevant government agencies. Uwakwe and his team have been advocating for African leaders especially the Nigerian government to establish a free trade zone for the fourth industrial revolution. This includes blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning virtual and augmented reality, etc. The proposed free trade zone will encourage the convergence of many startup companies that are currently participating in the 4IR within the region.
At SaBi, we are working towards making value transfer and remittance on the blockchain very easy and efficient. We have observed a steady demand on our services, and for the first time Africa is having similar experience and quality of service like other parts of the world. We are the ones on the ground and we understand the peculiarity of our challenges. Yet, we will continue to build and collaborate with relevant stakeholders and individuals for a win-win situation for everyone.
Iyke Aru is a seasoned author and educator in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. He has been in the business of crypto content writing for many years with thousands of his articles across several platforms on the internet. Iyke is based in Nigeria where he stands out as one of the most informed and credible figures in the cryptocurrency industry. Outside blockchain and crypto, you will most likely catch Iyke playing or discussing football with friends and family.