Cardano is a political statement. Nigeria, are you ready?
As of writing this article, Cardano released an update that would make it a multi-asset network. This means you will be able to create native tokens on the Cardano network without paying gas fees. This is something that has been a pain in the neck for Ethereum users. If you are familiar with the blockchain space, then you are ahead in the game. If not, don’t worry, I’ll try to break a few concepts down for you to understand. The advent of Bitcoin and it’s survival is ushering a new era of fintech. One that takes the utility of infrastructure and the availability of the internet to provide secure and faster transactions.The beauty of it all is that it is done in a democratic fashion. True democracy. Not one marred by human error or a sabotaged system. Bitcoin established itself as a reliable way of securing and recording transactions. This is done via blockchain technology.
The current system of securing transactions and storage of wealth is archaic and has failed us multiple times — it feels like a slowing down of time. Time is money so you understand how important speed is. Layer that with a shaky security apparatus and an expensive infrastructure, we are left with no means of transferring wealth other than through physical connection.
This system scales slowly and has uneven reach across various geopolitical zones. Millions, if not billions of people in the world are still in the dark. How can blockchain help in bridging that gap?
Blockchain technology has begun to spark curiosity among my peers. Why? It promises to break down the structure that has held us from becoming truly financially independent. The current unreliable structure hasn’t just failed us, it has promised to continue failing us. It often seems like Africans are always at the tail end of anything good that makes it out into the world. Even though Africa is among the richest continents in both natural and human resources. Many companies exist only because Africa exists. So why can’t the African population enjoy the benefits of the tech spaces that it enables? How do you excel in a system that snatches from your nest, your golden eggs, your capital, your wealth, your life?
In October 2020, when the End SARS protests were raging in Nigeria, we were left with nothing but ourselves to fight the battle. We had the money and could gather resources to sustain the protests. The government didn’t like this, they wanted to shut down the movement and they tried. How? They shut down the bank accounts that were used for gathering donations meant for the welfare of protesters nationwide. Momentum slowed and the youth immediately found a solution. We found Bitcoin. With the blessing of Jack Dorsey, daddy of Twitter, Nigerians found a way to find hope again. Money started moving between crypto wallets and the protests continued to gain momentum. Clearly the powers that be didn’t like this so they resorted to murder. They were and are scared of the future of their positions. But what do dinosaurs do but wait for the asteroid to hit?
Nigerians are desperate for change, but it’s not just Nigerians. It’s Argentinians, Russians, Ghanaians, South Africans, the whole world. It’s every corner of the world battling to become financially secure. To be free from the oppression of governments and invincible financial institutions. It’s the French revolution all over again. A change in how government and its citizens relate. How democracy is filtered. How financial institutions operate. And how wealth is exchanged and stored.
So, how does Cardano and blockchain as a whole help in solving these problems? What even is Cardano? I can’t talk about Cardano without talking about the history of Cardano. That history involves Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency coin by market cap. Ethereum is a decentralized open source blockchain that features smart contracts and decentralized applications. Smart contracts can define rules like a regular contract. These rules are then automatically enforced.
Ethereum improved on the technology Bitcoin was operating on with smart contracts. Unfortunately Ethereum still uses the same method to validate transactions on its network called the Proof of Work methodology. This method is difficult to scale and expensive to operate. This and other factors made a co-founder, Charles Hoskinson, leave the Ethereum project to pursue the Cardano project. He wasn’t convinced that the Ethereum network could live up to its promise.
What is Cardano? Cardano is a third generation blockchain technology that uses the proof of stake methodology. It is the first network that is implemented only through a peer review process involving professionals in the field of computer science, mathematics, game theory and other related fields. Cardano plans to be the foundation of decentralized apps across the globe. And it plans to do this by making the barrier of entry very low.
A big part of his vision for Cardano is Africa. How can we use this network to lift the dark continent into the light? To give the continent its flowers while it still has people on it. Cardano might be just that piece of technology that teaches us how to truly interact with each other at scale and with full transparency.
There are many questions I have swarming my mind at this time. I’m sure you have your questions too. If you want to participate in how we can build the West African Cardano community, you can do so by following the WADA (West Africa Decentralized Alliance).
This project is dedicated to building a community for education on how the Cardano blockchain operates. I truly believe that this might be the beginning of something amazing for Nigerians and Africans as a whole.
If you would like to talk to me about crypto or shawarma, you can follow me on Twitter.
Till next time, stay well.