Popular Blockchain Lawyer, Senator Ihenyen has advised Nigeria policy makers to focus on specific application of both AI and blockchain technology and their uses, not the technology itself.
Senator made his remark yesterday at Tech Cabal Town Hall Meeting, Zone Tech Park, Lagos.
While he informed the Watsapp community of Stakeholders in Blockchain Association of Nigeria(SiBAN) on the outcome of the event, Ihenyen added:
“I had the opportunity to attend the policy workshop today where players, regulators, and experts came to discuss policy and regulation in a closed-door session. Chuta Chimezie, BNUG Founder, was also in this session.
“All stakeholders, including representatives of Fintech Nigeria Association, NITDA, NDIC, and the Bank of Industry, were in the room.
“Though a short session due to inadequate time, it was a very meaningful engagement as players shared their challenges, regulators shared their concerns, and experts shared their insights. All the regulators in the room shared the same concerns: we are not here to stifle innovation, and this is why they are not in a hurry to introduce regulating yet. We are learning the technology, they said.
“Everyone of also agreed that rather than starting with regulation, policy should go first so we have a clearer sense of direction before regulation drops. At the session, we identified some of the points to note as we develop policies for AI and blockchain.
“Chuta Chimezie also contributed, sharing how the SEC FinTech Roadmap Committee has come up with a p8icy direction for SEC. The recommendations are awaiting implementation.
“All in all, we agreed that regulation–which is typically a body of legislation and subsidiary legislations–is best served after policies have been formulated, otherwise regulation may result in the frictions it should prevent or check against. Policy formulation gives direction. Regulation stamps it feet on it. We shouldn’t be stamping our feet on what we have no direction about.
“So the emphasis, at this stage, is policy. And this requires roundtables, not high tables or podiums.
“The conversations must continue, and the private sector needs to drive it, while engaging the government.
“After the closed-door session, I joined two other learned colleagues to respond to questions from some participants, including our own @Munachi, on regulation of cryptocurrency, tax treatment of bitcoin, AI regulation, smart contracts enforcement, and related matters.”