During the 2nd Ghana Blockchain Editor`s Forum held on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 as a precursor to a Blockchain Conference scheduled for October 25, speaker after speaker pointed to the value of blockchain technology and the need for government to work towards harnessing its potentials for national development.
Mr. Kobina Hughes, a blockchain enthusiast and a lawyer by profession noted that Mauritius is one of the countries that have signaled their resolve to leverage blockchain technology for advancing national development, having established a Centre of Excellence purposely to explore blockchain and other new technologies.
Mr. Hughes asserted: “All I think is that, this area is moving very quickly and that nobody can be on top of every aspect; it’s complicated and I think that having a panel or an advisory committee in a way that a country like Mauritius has set-up a centre of excellence would be a good idea for Ghana.”
He further stated: “So that, government and the public sector and business can be advised without having to do all the research for themselves, it’s just a shortcut where people do the research and whenever a proposal is being made it could be tested by the advisory committee”.
He posited that one of the viable ways blockchain technology can come handy could be in relation to speeding up business transactions as well as cost reduction associated with same.
Professor Nii Narku Quaynor, another speaker at the event was of the conviction that blockchain technology is at the centre of the economy of Ghana and that government ought to come on board to give it a push towards its adoption. He expressed concern that should government hesitate in adopting blockchain, Ghana risks lagging behind in many advances in technology being facilitated by the use of blockchain technology in many advanced countries.
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2nd Blockchain Conference
This conference is the second of its kind as the name suggests and has been themed “Blockchain Technology for development.” A two-day Blockchain Training Workshop is scheduled to be held prior to this conference to be graced by resource persons from global as well as the local community.
Making reference to the 2nd Blockchain Conference held in Ghana in November 2017, Madam Nancy Dotse, Programmes Chair for the conference noted that her outfit thought it a worth-while venture to organize a second conference this year. This she noted was informed by the success of the maiden edition and that they are poised to engage the Blockchain community in a wide array of applications from Banking and Finance, academia, ICT, medical care and documentation.
“As a country, we need to position ourselves to benefit from this emerging trend. How can we do this? We need to build capacity, share information, and provide access for everyone,” Madam Dotse explained.
A blockchain is basically a growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. Blockchain has varied uses. A significant number of cryptocurrencies such as the Ethereum network and the Bitcoin network employ blockchain technology to record transactions.
Substantial segments of the financial industry in many advanced countries are implementing distributed ledgers (a blockchain technology) for use in banking, and a September 2016 IBM study indicates that this is happening faster than expected.
Blockchain technology can also be used to create a permanent, public, transparent ledger system for compiling data on sales, tracking digital use and payments to content creators, such as wireless users or musicians. In 2017 for instance, IBM partnered with ASCAP and PRS for Music to adopt blockchain technology in music distribution.