Introducing our growth blog series & Focus market Nigeria


First of all, thank you everyone for the warm welcome last month. I can in all sincerity say that so far integrating in the team and community has been great. What especially stuck with me were the invitations to leverage the knowledge, ability and experience in the community.

As a starting point to do this, we will introduce a blog series around growth. In today’s article we’ll elaborate on our approach and then deep-dive into one specific area: Focus market Nigeria.

The intention is to:

  • Share our efforts, underlying thinking and learnings
  • Spark ideas and further activate the community
  • Improve based on feedback, ideas and results

Our approach

People across the globe believe in the goal of nano to provide open access to anyone in the world wanting to transfer value instantly, without fees and in an eco-friendly way.

As the Nano Foundation, we aim to find these people, bring them together in communities and provide them with the tools & resources to build a functioning economy around nano.

Whether these people are enthusiastic individuals, developers, aspiring entrepreneurs, business leaders, educators, social media influencers, press, regulators or a different group that I’m forgetting, we’re trying to serve them all, so they can use nano to their benefit.

The goals of the Nano Foundation

Focus market Nigeria

We chose Nigeria as our first focus market because multiple macro factors seem advantageous to adoption. First of all, the population of Nigeria is growing rapidly. To illustrate this: in 1982 the populations of Germany and Nigeria were comparable at about 80M. Fast forward to 2020 and there are now 206M people living in Nigeria and 83M in Germany. Nigeria is currently the 7th most populous country in the world and according to the United Nations it will become the 3rd most populous country overtaking the United States shortly before 2050.

Nigeria is expected to become the 3rd most populous country in the world by 2050

Nigeria switched from the Nigerian Pound to the Nigerian Naira on the 1st of 1973. Back then 0.66 Naira would get you 1 dollar (source). At the time of writing it takes 415 Naira to acquire 1 dollar (source). Over the course of almost four decades the yearly inflation rate peaked to well over 50% for multiple times and hardly ever fell below 10%.

Inflation has varied from high to extreme in Nigeria over the past four decades

Due to this volatile history we believe it is fair to say that there is relatively little trust in the economy and currency. We also believe that it’s one of the factors that strongly contribute to the relatively high interest in Nigeria for cryptocurrencies as illustrated by the continuously high ranking in relative Google Searches for the topic Cryptocurrency and a survey from Statista (1, 2).

The relative interest in the topic CryptoCurrency in Google Search is high in Nigeria

In addition to this, the population of Nigeria is relatively young and tech-savvy. Mobile device ownership and internet penetration are also rapidly rising.

The whole of Nigeria is connecting at a rapid pace

Banks and financial organisations aren’t allowed to trade cryptocurrency, but beyond that the sector is unregulated. The combination of all the factors described above makes us feel like Nigeria is fertile soil for nano to be used in the real world as a currency.

The question then arises, where to start? We identified that it would be interesting to reach:

  • Individuals with a somewhat technical background
  • Businesses with small payments
  • Charities who either receive international donations or focussed on tech
  • Influencers who create videos on how to send money to Nigeria
  • University professors in fields like computer science
  • Bloggers who write about finance
  • Local cryptocurrency exchanges
  • Local blockchain or technology communities

We quickly learned that cold outreaches form the other side of the world were not what was needed to kick start our work however down to our wonderful ambassador and community manager were able to make contacts due to their physical presence.

Picture taken at meetup a few years ago

Thanks to them the local community is growing and nano is amongst other things on the radar of some local blockchain leaders and journalists. We also learned that, through creating spots in WeNano, running a small ad campaign and promoting our Telegram group, we are capable of sparking interest with individuals.

Sparking interest for nano with individuals

Going forward, we aim to further empower the people on the ground and expand the local communities with enthusiastic individuals (more info on this in the weeks to come). How we’ll do this is:

  1. Spark interest through WeNano

Getting people to download a wallet and make their first transaction is a huge step. We believe that WeNano is very suited for that first interaction and in potential has a high K-factor. It likely requires a catalyst, some updates, some funds and a lot of persistence, but it could ultimately mean that the vast majority of nano we would all spend to onboard new people onto the network remains nano. It might also intrigue press, educators, bloggers and influencers.

Challenge: How can we drive awareness for WeNano and educate people on how to use it?

2. Provide easy access to information and tools

By zooming in on Nigeria we’ve noticed that some basic information and tutorials are either missing or hard to find. For example things like: How can I claim nano from a WeNano spot in Nigeria? How can I buy nano in Nigeria? How can I use nano to send money to Nigeria?

Challenge: How can we best organise this information? And how should we go about making the missing information available?

3. Build out the economy together

We would love to find ways to ignite even the smallest economies around nano in Nigeria. Together with people on the ground we’ll explore: Where to spend a small amount of nano? How to earn nano? How to build trust for nano on the remittances routes? How to get in touch with educators, press, bloggers? How to get in touch with exchanges?

Challenge: What are the places with the potential for a positive feedback loop? Meaning the economy at some point won’t need artificial input of nano.

I hope the above write-up did a decent job in fulfilling the intentions outlined at the beginning of the post. In my view we’re on a wonderful journey and I’m looking very much forward to any further discourse on this topic.

Nano Foundation does not endorse or approve products and/or services used or developed by third parties. Any links to third party software or sites are for informational purposes only. Nano Foundation bears no responsibility for the operability, accuracy, legality or content of third party products and/or services. Any questions regarding third party material should be directed to that party.