Chuta Chimezie is the coordinator of Blockchain Nigeria User Group, a group he founded in 2016 to help drive the adoption of Blockchain technology and digital assets by educating and empowering Africa and Africans to take advantage of the innovative power of Blockchain and other cutting edge innovations.
In this interview with CryptopreneurNG, he talks about his upcoming event in Abuja Nigeria;Blockchain and AI Round Table Conference that will shed more light on the Marriage of Blockchain Technology and Artificial Inteligence (AI)
Can you please introduce yourself to us? Who is Chimezie Chuta?
Chimezie Chuta is the Coordinator of Blockchain Nigeria User Group, a group founded in 2016 to help drive adoption and awareness of blockchain, cryptocurrency and related technologies. Author, Developer, certified Innovation Expert and tech community organizer.
You are the regional Director at Paxful, what are the challenges so far in pushing for the adoption of Blockchain and cryptocurrency in Africa?
The primary challenge we see here is education. A lot of people have been “mis-educated”, under-educated, or not-educated, hence must be guided through a process of unlearning that which they have wrongly presumed to know.
You are the convener of Blockchain and cryptocurrency summit across the nation of Nigeria, can you tell us about the concept behind this venture. When did it start and what’s the journey so far?
We began holding our events in 2016 after I completed my MOOC certificate at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus. That course was highly empowering because it was thought by global leaders in Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, Andreas M. AntonopoulosVerified, @aantonop, and Antonis Polemitis, @polemitis. I found out that a lot was already happening in the developed world about the emerging techs and was bothered that nothing was even being said in Nigeria and across sub-saharan Africa. Well, I asked myself “Who were you expecting to do something about this if not you?” That was how it all started. We put together the community, with the help of several others and today blockchain conferences and Crypto seminars are popping up all over Nigeria and across Africa.
We at Blockchain Nigeria User Group believe that Africa is not a dumping ground of technologies, especially innovative technologies of Blockchain and AI, but the right awareness must be created if mass adoption is to be experienced. Through what we are doing, a lot of startups are getting spurred up in the ecosystem. This has been the driving force behind our initiative.
What inspired your passion for blockchain and digital assets?
I was there when the internet age was unveiled, and I watched the transition of web 1.0 -2.0 and Africa could not even find its feet because of the Digital-Divide of that era. Now the internet is here and Web 2.0 has matured and is transitioning in Web 3.0. There are no longer any barriers, divides, digital or otherwise. What is holding us back? To me Blockchain and the Digital Asset is the surest way African countries can leapfrog most of its technological backwardness and create a very agrarian economy for its people. We will not miss this opportunity.
Your upcoming event in October is about the marriage of blockchain and artificial intelligence can you shed more light on it?
Yeah. Most of the conferences we have held in the past focused on Blockchain and Digital Assets. This time around, we want to do something different. Most people are erroneously beginning to relegate blockchain tech to only digital assets, especially cryptocurrencies. That is very limiting. Blockchain technology has proven to be a tremendous invention. It has proven to deliver great advantages when having a public immutable record of something is desired.
Artificial Intelligence on the other hand deals with data and its intelligent application in real world, solving knotty problems hitherto unimaginable. A marriage of the two will be a blockbuster for entrepreneurs looking to create solutions in the emerging sharing economy. Through this conference, we intend to explore the opportunities at the intersection of the two techs. I had made a few presentations at different fora, and the slides can be viewed here https://slides.com/chuta.
In your opinion, do you think that blockchain technology and artificial intelligence can help foster developmental growth in Africa?
Absolutely! Africa’s number one problem is unavailability of reliable data. Without data, I mean data with integrity, planning and development is near impossible, because agencies have to work “blind” as it were, in carrying out their developmental initiative. Is it a wonder we are where we are today. In Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Somalia etc. the story is the same. But we can begin to alter that trajectory bay leveraging the emerging techs of AI and Blockchain. While Artificial Intelligence will help in gathering useful data, Blockchain will provide the security and integrity required.
People are already looking up for the Blockchain and AI Round Table Conference in the digital assets ecosystem, what are we to expect from you and your team of organizers?
We are aware of the expectations from this event and we are doing our best to ensure that it delivers value to attendees. We expect that everyone will grab one or two actionable insight that they can put to use almost immediately.
Have you ever been involved in any other start up? If yes, can you tell us about it and it’s success record so far?
I have founded several Startups, some openly and some through proxies. I have a very strong background in ICT spanning over 15 years. I funded Web Print Express, StartUP Bits Funds, and Fragments Multimedia LLc.
With your level of success and exposure so far in this space, what do you think are the challenges that will make incoming cryptopreneurs and new start-up founders in the space will have to face to succeed?
Incidentally, I’m in the process of concluding my second book, “The Building Blocks of Africa Blockchain StartUPs Entrepreneurs”. One of the focuses, as expressed in the text is that succeeding in this space will require identification of real problem solving areas and plugging in with these innovative techs to drive value. Startups founders and co-founders must locate the problems first, before proffering solutions, and not the other way.
Is the government playing their role to enhance the adoption of this disruptive technology especially in Nigeria?
From what we have seen, government and its agencies seek to understand this technology. Its not that simple to understand because it also has to do with money. And wherever money is involved, scammers abound! No serious government will dive into what it does not understand.
Do you have some advice for CryptopreneuNG community on starting and growing their own businesses in this space?
Find a way to create a platform that aggregates relevant data in the space. That will be your high selling point in the years to come.
What do you think about us, CryptopreneurNG in particular? Any advice for us or shout out for us?
Folks, keep doing what you are doing. Be bold, confident and never lose focus on what you have set out to do. Remember you cannot disrupt unless you are offering something which probably exist better, cheaper and more assessable. Find out the Minimum Viable Quality (MVQ) in your field and focus on it. See you at the top.
For more information visit www.blockchainnigeria.group
It’s our pleasure having you on CryptopreneurNG sir. Thanks for coming around