Welcome Address at the Legal Business Conference 2022

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    Good morning, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen (Joining us physically and virtually).

    The future is different! I welcome you to the 2022 edition of the Legal Business Conference, themed “Regulating Blockchain & FinTech innovations: Finding the balance.” As I’m sure many of you realize, the theme of today’s event is quite exciting and relevant. I am delighted to be addressing you this morning in my capacity as the Chairman of the NBA-SBL on such a crucial and trending subject area of Law. I deliberately stated earlier that the future is different. Why? Well … if we look at the world today, some apparent factors have expedited and changed the entire trajectory of the future.

    One of such factors is Tech innovations in the financial sector, which has seen the rise of Unicorns such as Interswitch, Paystack, Flutterwave, and M-Pesa dramatically changing payments and transactions for trade/commerce within the last ten (10) years. In 2008, a whitepaper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System” submitted by a pseudonymous character called Satoshi Nakomoto introduced the very first cryptocurrency called Bitcoin. The underlying infrastructure is what we now know as blockchain technology, which has birthed an entirely new ecosystem and several categories of digital assets. Money, as well as anything of value that can be digitally represented,  is now decentralized, immutable, and not reliant on trust in this modern age. The reality is that we are now living through an era of technological revolution where smart contracts are programmed to execute transactions.

    The convergence of Artificial Intelligence, Extended Reality, and Blockchain has several use-cases with the potential to leapfrog our nation from obscurity into limelight. However, this revolutionary alternative to the traditional, ‘centralized’ and what some people consider an untrusted system has left some individuals, corporates, governments, and regulators weary; reasonably so, as innovation with technology is also the perfect opportunity for bad actors to plague the system with money laundering, fraud, hacks, and other illicit activity.

    Legal professionals, governments, and regulators must also evolve as technology evolves. We must not shun change but instead create a conducive environment for innovation to thrive.

    I firmly believe we must rise to the call of duty to find the balance between Innovation, Code, and the Law. Therefore, I challenge us to take advantage of this forum’s panel sessions and discussions. It is a privilege to participate in this Tech revolution of our lifetime.

    Welcome to a new future!

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