The Blockchain technology has the potential to be a transformative agent across diverse industries. The blockchain offers immutability, transparency and is a distributed and shared ledger that accommodates the storage of information. This makes it a choice for most industries constantly in need for a better means and technology as opposed to their way of doing things. But one industry that doesn’t pop into your mind when you think of high tech will be the legal sector. Paper work seems to be synonymous with the legal profession however, the blockchain technology can be a transformative agency for the legal sector in Africa.
The world is already leaning towards change as there exist a Global Legal Blockchain Consortium with the aim of standardizing and promoting the adoption of the technology. But what about Africa in general and Nigeria in particular. During an interview on “Inside Blockchain” at the Cryptotvplus studio, Senator Ihenyen, a partner at Infusion Lawyers, a digital law firm that helps innovators in Africa protect their intellectual property. He was discussing on the topic, “how the blockchain technology will revolutionise law.”
Considering the numerous challenges facing the legal system in Nigeria, a newer, better and more sophisticated way of doing things will surely turn things around. Senator explained why the law is slow saying,
“the law should regulate competing interest of the society. The law should bring about about law and order. There should be orderliness and some level of predictability about people’s rights, liabilities and actions. What the law is facing right now is a lot of challenges and it is trying to meet up with the realities of our time. Especially with the disruptive technology you hear about everywhere. We talk about digital currencies for instance, digital age (the age of e-commerce), and the law is supposed to catch up with these. It is a big struggle for the law.
The legal sector is constantly struggling in many sectors, what can the blockchain technology do to bring the legal sector up to par with its shortcomings? The blockchain technology and its transparency is well suited for supply chain management. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is constantly battling counterfeit drugs. Recently some major pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria were shut down because of evidences that was revealed by investigative journalism that revealed that codinene was been sold illegally. With the use of the blockchain technology, drugs can be tracked from manufacturer to patient and this can help curb counterfeit drugs as if a counterfeit drug is discovered, not is easy to trace its source.
Determining the real owner of a landed property can sometimes prove to be difficult because of the bulky paperwork involved. Senator described the African Land registry system as “terrible”. He goes on to say that, “Over 60% of litigations today are land related issues.” He explained further, “Right now we use an analogue system. If I do an assignment of a property in Lekki to Party today and tomorrow I do the same thing to Party B. They would not be able to trace it immediately. But, when you have a land registry system on the blockchain, they will be able yo use the blockchain to record the title owners name, address and history of the property.” This would prevent a lot of court cases that tend to drag on for years. He talked about how Ghana was using Bitland, a blockchain land registry platform to revolutionise land ownership in the country.
Nigeria still depend largely on an analogue system ridden with paperworks requiring a significant amount of time to accomplish all that is needed for a binding legal agreement. The blockchain can change this into a digital process called ‘smart contracts’. Senator affirms, “Smart contracts can enable transactions verification”. This means that smart contracts can be built on the blockchain and executed between stakeholder involved without having to go through rigorous paper works.
The law is in a constant struggle when it comes to intellectual property protection, infringement especially in the digital age. Protecting images, audio, and video files, designs and symbols, efforts of artists and musicians keep proving difficult as most their works get used without their permission and profits do not get to them. Senator used “content ID” from YouTube as an example. He explained that it was a means of protecting an original song every time a cover is made.
As technology advances, so does the question of security. Smart contracts makes it easy to protect your intellectual property across borders. When this technology will be adopted in the Nigerian legal sector, we cannot say. Nigerian lawmakers have remained silent on the tecnology since its mention in the National Assembly early this year.
What do you think about adopting the blockchain in the legal sector? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.
Image credit: Pixabay
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Block.one Offers Early Backers a 6567% ROI Buyout Option
Block.one, the Cayman Islands-registered firm which is behind the world’s largest ICO till date, $4 billion EOS software has recently sent out an email to early backers stating its intention to buy back some portion of its shares giving them a whopping 6567% ROI in less than 3 years according to a Bloomberg report.
In July of 2018, billionaire investor Peter Thiel invested into Block.one joining the like of Alan Howard and Louis Baycon who were early backers of the startup since 2017. These investors are faced with the mouthwatering option of either liquidating their shares of the company and cashing out huge gains or remaining with them.
Block.one in a March 19 e-mail to shareholders seeks to rein in external ownership of its equity by offering a $1,500 per share as compared to the $22 per share seed round. When asked about this move, a spokeswoman of the company merely said the company intends to use proceeds it generated from token sales to expand its resources while building its business strong clearly dodging the main question asked.
According to an email circulated to its investors, by February 2019, Block.one was valued at $3 billion as compared to $40 million during its seed round in 2017. And unaware to most of the public, it holds as much as $2.2 billion in U.S. government bonds as compared to the jurisdiction it is registered in the Cayman Islands.
Block.one had faced serious criticisms from industry stakeholders with many labeling it a shady enterprise that certainly didn’t need as much as $4 billion to launch a decentralized software. One of such critics is Richard Burton, San Francisco-based founder of Balance.io, a blockchain company that designs applications for open source financial products, he has once said
They designed a very clever mechanism to hoover up as much capital as possible,
He continued by saying,
Bitcoin was started on a shoestring and Ethereum raised just a few million dollars, which goes to show you don’t need anything like the money Block.one raised to launch and scale a successful network. It should be beholden on them to explain why they needed that much and what they are doing with it.
Brendan Blumer, the young CEO of Block.one however disagrees with such critics as he made his stance known in a Bloomberg interview in November of 2018, saying
too much transparency into everything that we are doing on an ongoing basis can actually take away a lot of the competitive advantage when we’re trying to put out new types of technology
clearly knocking off the argument of critics who demand squeaky clean transparency after raising so many funds.
When asked if they were willing to take up the buyback offer, Bacon and Howard declined to comment while Thiel ignored numerous messages sent to him privately, sources reported. On the other hand, early backer, Christian Angermayer made his stance known. He had this to say,
Block.one is one of the most promising and best-positioned companies in the blockchain industry, and its success story is just beginning,
Recall that Mike Novogratz had earlier liquidated his stakes in the firm and realizing as much as 123% in returns valued at up to $71.2 million in the transaction.
Although Block.one which holds up to 140,000 units of bitcoin as assets, cited extreme volatility as a major factor that impacted its valuation clearly halving its holdings valued at around $1 billion, which has since been recovered in the recent bitcoin really, it is looking promising and sure has the likes of Peter Thiel happy at any of the option it decides to pursue.
Chilliz, the Sports Platform Partners with Binance Chain
Chiliz, the digital currency for sports and entertainment platforms, has announced a strategic partnership with Binance Chain, to bring about the usher in in of football giants such as Juventus FC and Paris Saint-Germain FC (PSG) into the growing cryptocurrency industry.
Chilliz released thannouncementent in a press release issued on the 17th of May 2019 signaling in a new phase of its growing business.
Chiliz raised more than $66 million through private placement in 2018, with Binance as one of its major investor amongst others.
Chiliz is a digital currency that fuels blockchain-backed platforms and products geared towards casual, mainstream consumers, starting with Socios.com, a tokenized fan influence mobile app. It aims to bridge the gap between mainstream users in a 3.5 billion people powered sports industry and blockchain technology.
While blockchain as a pervasive technology, continues to gain grounds globally by finding use cases, Chiliz takes it a step further to bring about real use cases with it socios.com platform.
Socios.com, the consumer-facing tokenized fan influence product from Chiliz, powered by the platform’s native currency $CHZ, will allow sports fans to participate in club-related polls and access exclusive rewards with the purchase of club-branded Fan Tokens.
Speaking on this development, Alex Dreyfus, the CEO of Chiliz and Socios.com said:
Integration of Binance Chain protocol will increase our access to the large liquidity pool of the Binance community, one of the largest and most vibrant communities in the cryptosphere. Through Socios.com, we will highlight blockchain to a more mainstream audience – an addressable audience of 3.5 billion fans around the world – as well as allowing global brands and household names the chance to access the crypto space.
Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, an equally excited partner to the Chiliz project had this to say:
Sports is the perfect vehicle through which to educate mass consumers about the potential and the utility of blockchain technology. I’m proud that Binance and Chiliz are leading that charge globally.
Alex Dreyfus further highlights the important of this partnership and the Binance Chain move undertaken as a strategic step for the Chiliz project. He continued by saying:
Binance Chain’s focus on usability, security and incredible one-second block time speed will be crucial to the success of the platform we are building, and for the eventual audience of hundreds of millions of sports fans
May 27th, 2019, has been set as the date for the unveiling of this partnership. The Binance team will be joining Chiliz for a meetup in Seoul, South Korea joined by the legendary Juventus FC striker, David Trezeguet to discuss more on the importance of fan engagement and the use of blockchain in football.
Further details to be released in the coming weeks of the technical integration of the partial migration of ERC20 tokens to BEP2 with competitions and giveaways to entice and engage the community.
Digital Assets Exchange Luno Launches Cryptocurrency Literacy Tour For Varsities in Nigeria
Luno has kicked off its cryptocurrency adoption program for Nigerian universities dubbed “Cryptocurrency Literacy Tour for Universities” launching out with the University of Lagos as the first of a series of tour where it will go about canvassing for the favourable adoption of cryptocurrency through knowledge in 6 Nigerian universities.
Luno, an exchange based off of South Africa was launched in 2013. It has since continued its growth trajectory by adding new users across 40 countries spanning more than 4 continents. It presently boasts of up to 3 million registered users across its platform with Nigeria as one of its biggest market.
Speaking on this development, Owenize Odia, the Country Manager for Luno said:
We are committed to educating our customers given the nature of the market and the tendency for people to fall into the wrong hands while online
With its debut tour kicking off in Unilag and having 300 youths in attendance, Luno is clearly taking the charge to bringing about perceptual shift and a favorable disposition towards cryptocurrencies which it says has not been properly understood. Through its representative Odia, it argues that the current financial systems was built for a non-digital age, ignoring the needs of the modern individual. Citing on the decentralized nature of a peer to peer digital currency like the bitcoin, it is not dependent on any central government or authority as obtainable with fiat.
She continued by saying
We are contributing by investing heavily into our Luno Learning Portal, which helps the public, the media, and other stakeholders educate themselves about the facts, opportunities, and risks in the cryptocurrency market,
In her post on LinkedIn, Odia assured the participants and other stakeholders that Luno would continue to focus on awareness initiatives such as this in Nigeria and Africa at large, thereby providing a reliable platform where just about anyone can visit either buy or sell cryptocurrencies.
AfricaBlockchainUG19 Conference Launches
Scheduled to Hold on the 3rd & 4th July by the BlockchainaUG’s Kwame Rugunda
The AfricaBlockchainUG19 Conference recently launched by the Blockchain Association of Ugandan’s Chairman Kwame Rugunda and some strategic partners is scheduled to hold in Kampala on the 3rd and 4th of July, 2019 according to a Tweet. This conference is expected to assist the Africa continent in tapping into the vast opportunities from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The conference according to data on the blockchain Uganda’s website featured will accommodate about 3000 delegates, 50 speakers and feature at least one Tech Expo. The conference is focused on Blockchain Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Internet of Things, Drones technology, and Big Data.
The Blockchain Association of Uganda, BAU which is based in Kampala, Uganda is a membership organization that consists of individuals & organizations that are interested in promoting blockchain related technologies and capabilities.
The 2018 edition tagged “The Role of Blockchain Technology in Africa’s Transformation” featured key speakers such as the President of Uganda Yoweri K. Museveni, Former President of Mauritius Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, CEO of Binance Changpeng Zhao, the Governor of the Bank of Uganda, Tumusiime- Mutebile.
Meanwhile, this conference is coming at a time just after the Blockchain Africa Ladies Conference in Lagos, Nigeria which saw the attendance of speakers travel from the world coming over in April 2019 and its Second edition which will be holding in Ghana within the same quarter.
Uganda is one of the fastest blockchain growing nations in Africa and this can be attributed to the reception of the technology by the President as against those of other Africa countries. This reception is evident in the acceptance and activities of Top Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance in the Country.
More so, Uganda is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and currently home to over 45 million citizens which is an increase of 3.27% from the previous year of which 17.5% are urban dwellers. The population Density in the country is rated at 229 per kilometer square with a land area of 77,147sq miles.
Tickets are currently on sale on the website and it can be purchased here to secure a sit at the AfricaBlockchainUG19 Conference.
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