The Year 2020 had both its downsides and upsides. As we all know, this year had the first quarter, the pandemic plus lockdown and December. As the poverty capital of the world, it was one the toughest times to be Nigerian, but even from the struggles are born better ways to do things; innovations, although not as great as robot nannies or money trees. But these technological advancements 2020 brought with it and the many possibilities we saw in the year, made us look forward to each day, and have dreams.
As we round off 2020, let’s look at the top four technological breakthroughs in Nigeria this year:
Fintech was one of the biggest wins this year as the sector saw Ezra Olubi and Shola Akinlade of Paystack take home N76 billion (over $200m) in an acquisition by Stripe, an American financial services and software company.
The sector also saw mobile payment, payment processing, mobile lending and personal finance as the most active Fintech businesses in Nigeria. Despite the huge successes being recorded, other trends such as blockchain application, peer-to-peer lending, asset management, investment and insurance are still in the development stage, however, it is these same successes that are a beacon of hope. Although restrictions were imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on banking institutions trading or dealing in virtual currencies and from assisting their clients to facilitate the same, Fintech businesses are booming.
It is now clear that this digital currency has come to stay. With an increasing number of tech users unperturbed by banking regulations, Peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges are the most popular way to buy bitcoin in Africa because users do not have to worry about cryptocurrency regulation by the government.
Interestingly, Nigeria is now the second-largest bitcoin market in the world, after the US. With the likes of Elon Musk taking an interest, it is clear that the sky might just be a starting point. One of the most important take-homes, however, is that China’s digital Yuan, Facebook’s Libra, and Bitcoin might compete in the market in 2021.
Introductions to the forex market arguably peaked this year, as people sought ways to make money off trading. Forex trading, also known as foreign exchange, is a network of buyers and sellers who transfer currency at an agreed price. With the constant devaluation of Naira, the best advice anyone who means well can give you is to earn money in dollars and one can easily do that through Forex but said trade is not easy for an average Nigerian. In the Forex market, the rewards are high, but so are the losses. Nigeria’s forex traders trade currency according to DailyFX positions worth as much as $1.25 million on average, daily.
Remote Location Job
Adults tugging along backpacks are a common sight in Nigeria. However, with the high rate of job losses, the world was forced to look for alternatives to living their lives in all areas, including making a living. And along came the blessing of remote working. That way, employees can work from home with a strong internet connection and a tech device. But even this has its curse- Its flexibility means that there is no clear cut time between work and rest hours, as many have now experienced whenever sleep comes calling. And even the sleep is determined by if you are done for the day’s work, you can make as much as $100,000 per job and with the high rate of job losses during the pandemic and restriction of movement. Remote location jobs seem like the best alternative to physical ones.