Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have been described as the future of the financial ecosystem, though many countries of the world especially the third world countries are trying to come to terms with the immense benefits of this technology, Nigeria inclusive. Having said this, an indigenous information technology (IT) firm, Patricia is bringing to Nigerians these aforementioned benefits of blockchain, cryptocurrencies and other associated technology through the introduction of gift cards, debit cards and others.

Established about three years ago, Patricia has been able to demonstrate easy ways Nigerians can use cryptocurrencies for their everyday transactions. Speaking to the media, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Patricia, Fejiro Hanu Agbodje said “Patricia shares a special bond with the Nigerian market. We will always try to ensure that our features and builds can cater to the bubbling and ever-growing crypto market base in the country, a very healthy percentage of our users are in Nigeria. We intend to strengthen that bond by listening to the customers and trying to solve their problems by making crypto trades as easy as washing your hands…We are building simple and convenient solutions to rewrite people’s financial experiences in simple and accessible ways. Although due to the regulations we’ve been forced to scale faster than we planned. The first thing we thought of when we got wind of the CBN love letter in February 2021, was the safety of customers’ funds. We expected a lot of panic actions. We quickly deployed many educational materials to educate our customers on what the policy meant and how it affected them. “

On the awareness that has been associated with cryptocurrencies in Nigeria, Fejiro Hanu Agbodje added that “Not even globally as everyone is still an early adopter of cryptocurrencies. This is because digital money hit the limelight when? Circa 2017, when the value of one BTC hit $10k. There is a lot of chatter around Crypto but not enough people are adopting it as fast as it should be adopted, why? The idea of Crypto is complex, it’s almost as if it is reserved for a select few. This is why we (Patricia) are in business, to not only provide people with a safe and seamless platform where they can trade, but to also educate enthusiasts and everyone at large what crypto is about, and how it is the future of digital payments and settlements.”
On the level of acceptance in the country, Patricia explained that since they established and created their mobile app which includes the web platform, the Patricia App (both Mobile and web versions) from March 2020 till date, they have been able to garner over five hundred thousand (500,000.00) active users and over One hundred thousand downloads from both iOS and Google stores.

On acceptability, Fejiro said that Nigerians are growth drivers personally; a lot have gone out of their way to self-learn a lot about what cryptocurrencies are. Hence, not a lot has changed for the market in recent times, more than ever, a lot more people are interested and buying into the crypto space now. Nigeria is the second-largest Bitcoin market in the world. This alone gives you a clear-cut picture of our level of acceptance. Recent policies haven’t deterred us (Nigerians) as one would expect. Rather it has sparked more conversations and curiosity and now we have Nigerian creators embrace NFTs, which has put the works before a global audience.

The launch of The Patricia Bitcoin debit card which is the first-ever introduced in Africa, it helped customers understand what crypto is and how it can be used for daily transactions.
On the government policies as it relates to the full adoption of blockchain and crypto technologies, the company opined that we are eager to help usher the government into the benefits of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The opportunities and benefits are endless, blockchain can be applied in all areas; Healthcare, Transportation, Social Services, Data management. We would continue to advocate and educate the public on the benefits of embracing blockchain and we are positive that we would get there faster than we imagined.

“You see, where it concerns cryptocurrencies in general, they all serve different purposes. And every economy in the world definitely has different needs. This means that each government will adopt the ones that are best progressive for its people. In regards to Bitcoin, the first small step in that direction was taken by the El Salvadoran president a few weeks ago. If a small country of 10 million people can transact daily using Bitcoin. It’s just a matter of time before the rest of the world agrees that it has potential”, Fejiro concluded.


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