Nigeria is a unique country in West Africa, geographically situated between the Sahel to the north and the Gulf of Guinea to the south in the Atlantic Ocean. Inflation is currently over 18%, and money debasement is sometimes a daily occurrence. If you’ve never had a backpack full of useless naira, you wouldn’t understand.
In places like Accra, Ghana, the cost of living is among the highest in any African country. But Bitcoin can remove the trust factor of money from the hands of nefarious governments and broken monetary policy, which drive inflation and high costs of living across Africa.
A recent KuCoin report found that, of the 51% of Nigerians who have access to the internet, 86% are familiar with cryptocurrency as an investment vehicle. And a country like Nigeria, with boundless talent, full of entrepreneurs and developers looking for ways to solve the country’s numerous economic problems through the Bitcoin protocol, will have profound impact.
Breaking Ground With Bitcoin
For instance, a circular Bitcoin economy, similar to El Salvador’s infamous Bitcoin Beach, is being built there, and it could be just as significant and world-changing as its Latin American counterpart. The time is now to make Nigeria a place of tourism for Bitcoiners worldwide.
Satoshis Journal founders Jeremy Garcia and Oluwasegun Kosemani of Satoshis Journal are working to build the first-ever Bitcoin Village in Lagos, Nigeria. They plan to power it with solar energy, mine Bitcoin onsite, educate the local community on Bitcoin and create a synergy of Bitcoin Core development with a STEM lab.
This won’t be the typical village that you see in Africa, entrenched in steamy jungles with no internet connection — this place is going to create a new economy in Nigeria using Bitcoin.
Nigeria has had its fair share of fear, uncertainty and doubt in regards to Bitcoin, whether this has come in the form of a government ban on cryptocurrency activity or in competition with the nation’s CBDC, the eNaira, which brings more challenges in establishing government-led adoption.
It Takes A Village
But this has not stopped Nigerians who see Bitcoin’s benefit in their daily lives. And creating a circular economy on a bitcoin standard could start with this Bitcoin Village in West Africa.
In a promotional video, Kosemani, who is breaking ground on the site, states, “We’re going to open up a Bitcoin village in Lagos, Nigeria. You would come here, spend your bitcoins, buy fish from the local fishermen, buy items from locals directly using the lightning network, and all that.”
A domestic water well and solar panels will allow continuous running water throughout the village and a boundless supply of energy to power the school, mining equipment, street lights and a hospital. The property is on private land in the heart of the financial metropolis of Lagos.
The first phases of the build will include:
- Surveying the property
- Clearing land, which consists of lush jungle vegetation
- Construction of a 2,500 square-foot school and a 120-person amphitheater
As Satoshi Nakamoto detailed the motivation behind the development of Bitcoin in numerous writings, they framed the new protocol as a solution to the shortcomings of traditional money. This village will open up the possibilities of bitcoin’s peer-to-peer capabilities in Africa and it hopes to quell the shortcomings of corruption and money debasement there.
The Bitcoin Village will eventually also include the construction of a basketball court, soccer field and swimming pool. The village’s school curriculum will revolve around what money is and how bitcoin is money, and a regular school curriculum will also be implemented to meet local educational requirements.
Not only will locals have the best Bitcoin education as residents of the village, but tourists can also experience the store-of-value benefits of bitcoin, as well as its use as a payments rail at shops there.
The technology laboratory in the village has hopes of attracting the top technology talent in the region. Nigeria has proven to produce Bitcoin adroit developers, like BTrust’s Abubakar Nur Khalil, so fostering a new generation of developers for Bitcoin’s protocol is a win-win. The STEM program will eventually include programming for Bitcoin, building nodes and servicing miners. The undertaking is massive, but the power of Bitcoin is even more significant.
Upon construction of the first phase of the Bitcoin Village, sponsor Botmecash will donate 1 BTC to the village to use as the first step in establishing a sovereign circular economy, just as Bitcoin Beach started.
Making Bitcoin History
In conclusion, Nigeria is in a unique position in Bitcoin history, and although it has not yet officially declared bitcoin as legal tender, many of the people that live there see it that way.
Upon completion, the Bitcoin Village will host a conference both virtually and in person with the plan to open source the Bitcoin Village idea to the world. Currently, the Bitcoin Village expects to be completed by the anniversary of the first Bitcoin client release, on January 9, 2023.
As countries like El Salvador and the Central African Republic accept bitcoin as legal tender, Nigerians are building something special of their own. Stay tuned, because the moment that innovation in the Bitcoin ecosystem seems stagnant, new businesses, solutions and ideas are being propelled ahead with conviction that the best digital monetary asset man has ever created is here to stay.
This is a guest post by Dawdu M. Amantanah. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.