This is my response to a potential client that wants to establish a blockchain-based contract product in Nigeria. I sent this response few minutes ago. I have edited out names to hide the privacy of the potential client, but the whole thesis remains. It may be of value as you consider launching a blockchain-based product in Nigeria.
There are many things which must be examined before any entity in Nigeria can setup a blockchain-based contract product in Nigeria. As I have noted, the biggest problem is not the technology. The challenge is the legal admissibility of the contract. Recall that there used to be a time when Nigerian law did not recognize email as evidence in court. Do not take it for granted; I expect blockchain-contracts to be tested in Nigerian courts. Just as Supreme Court ruled that biometric voter ID cards were not recognized by law on many gubernatorial elections, someone can take you to court claiming blockchain contracts may not have been recognized by law. With that loophole, you could put a contract in jeopardy.
Recall when banks used to demand physical signatures on original documents. The law improved and now they allow scanned documents. They do those things to cover themselves in case some troublesome customers want to use legality to get out of loan contracts.
Besides, even if you want to setup a blockchain-based contract system, what “monetary domicile” is the token going to be tied to? Would that be Bitcoin, the one you create, etc. Any contract that needs a monetary value needs a token. Would you use Naira thereby defeating the whole purpose of digitization since there would be another paper contract required for the Naira? If you want it to be digital, it means you need a token to drive that. Which one would you adopt? Remember that the contract must be legally sound to avoid a perception that you are creating another currency and expect the Nigerian law to protect the contract. So, your company engineered token may not suffice. And if Bitcoin, Ripples, and cryptocurrencies around the world cannot be useful, your blockchain-contract product may have no commercial value in Nigeria. Yes, null and void.
The universality of blockchain-based contracts would be tested in jurisdictions. Because if a party backs out, you need REAL courts from govt to help you. The law is critical on this.
I would be happy to visit [your office] and give a speech. We can build the technology. But in Nigeria, the real deal is not the tech. Yet, we ensure that every engagement is based on sound legal elements. My talk would be paid even before we explore further opportunities. We can educate on this. We have three packages. The first part is [amount] and lasts about 2 hours. We do not give free talks. Depending on the Discovery presentation, then if there is opportunity, we can move to next package. Hope to read from you.
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