“The future is crypto” is an expression that is gradually becoming popular online. Slow as Nigeria may have seemed to be in joining with the Blockchain revolution and cryptocurrency movement around the world, she is now catching up. At the forefront of this movement are the Millenials and Gen Z who appear more attuned to the space and willing to explore every investment and earning opportunity that it presents.
AFEN blockchain is a Nigerian startup that is facilitating this move in Africa by building solutions and creating opportunities to leverage blockchain technologies in the arts, education and real estate sector. Beyond this, AFEN is also driving for enlightenment and education, to show Nigerians that there are more ways to make money from blockchain technology other than just buying and selling cryptocurrencies.
Deborah Ojengbede, CEO of AFEN Blockchain, spoke more about this on the Nairametrics Business Half Hour show where she was a guest.
According to Ojengbede, the NFT space is a core part of this technology, and AFEN launched the NFT marketplace in 2021 to allow people buy, sell and trade NFTs on the blockchain. Even though it is very new, it is presenting opportunities for ordinary people to make money from NFTs.
“One of the most recurring challenge we have had is people not really knowing what we do, or what the blockchain is set to achieve. A lot of people reach out to us to tell us that they are interested in the Blockchain technology, or in cryptocurrency and NFTs but they do not really know what to do, or how they can make money from it. There is this knowledge gap with blockchain technology and that is what we are trying to break.This is why we came up with the Learn-to-earn initiative so that people can learn more about the space and make money from it,” Ojengbede explained.
The first phase of the learning initiative launched in January will educate people while exposing them to other opportunities as well. According to Ojengbede, there will be bite-sized courses and articles that explain details about blockchain in simple lay terms. For others looking to pursue a professional course and a career in the blockchain space, there are advanced courses available to them for free.
“For the first phase, we have short articles, and video tutorials that explain blockchain technology and different opportunities on the space. This covers the basic things. The second phase focuses on people looking to build a career in the blockchain industry, and also people in web 2 looking to get into web 3, this to give them a soft landing in the space. We are collaborating with our partners to create professional courses in different related areas.
“When you take those courses and you come out successful, your certificate will come in the form of an NFT and those certificate NFTs grant you access to internships and job opportunities with our partners,” Ojengbede explained.
AFEN to launch Metacity and tokenise real estate for Nigerians
AFEN Blockchain also has plans to launch the Metacity in Nigeria before the end of 2022. The Metacity is a project which will allow Nigerians own bits and portions of real estate properties in the country, even if they do not have large sums.
“You can own a portion of land, or real estate asset with $100 instead of waiting to have $10,000. NFTs are digital assets that represent real-life assets on the blockchain and through NFTs, we will tokenise the value of real estate assets in such a way that you can own a fraction of that asset on the blockchain and also get returns and whatever perks that come with it based on the value of the NFT,” she said.
With investment analysts predicting that investment habits will move more in the direction of digital assets, and foreign currencies, this initiative from AFEN will help define the path of Nigerians into the blockchain space. An innovation that will help people own little bits and portion of real-time assets around them, will likely gain a lot of acceptance among the younger generation.
After raising funds through series of private sales and an initial public offering of the token in april 2021, AFEN started out with its first product, the NFT marketplace. Despite the concerns about regulation of the cryptocurrency space in Nigeria, there is a rising interest in the NFT space especially among sectors like fashion, arts, education, and even real estate. The NFT is an asset that can be used to secure provenance of various artworks on the blockchain, so even artistes may be embracing it more. As this is ongoing, AFEN is creating platforms for more discussions around the issues.
“While we are optimising our platforms, we also started a series of twitter spaces where we bring NFT creators who are doing things in the space, to showcase their work, and educate upcoming creators coming into the space, so that they can learn from their success and their mistakes. This keeps the conversation ongoing,” she said.