Cryptocurrency festival extends to enthusiasts in Nigeria, Sierra Leone

A decentralised event aimed at existing Bitcoiners as well as other cryptocurrency enthusiasts is heading to more African countries this year.

Besides Ghana, which is hosting for the third year, CoinFest will extend to Nigeria and Sierra Leone as part of the six countries hosting it across the world.

As a stated non-profit global movement aimed at proving "the viability of a fiat-free organisation" and to discourage exhibitors/guests from "using currency backed by the host country except for the purpose of purchasing alternative currency", the event is designed to be held on the same weekend globally.

Mustapha Cole, co-founder of the Sierra Leone Liberty Group, confirmed that the Sierra Leone version of the event slated for 9 April will be held in Freetown to educate on peer-to-peer digital money transfer. In Nigeria where the event is also being hosted for the first time, it will hold on Friday, April 7 in Lagos according to African Youth Peace Call's Babarinde Kayode.

One of the invited remote speakers to the Sierra Leone event, Kumar Gaurav, Founder of Cashaa (Auxesis Group), said, "Sierra Leone is one of the best-fit countries in Africa where technologies like Bitcoin can bring the population into the financial system and let them participate in the global economyIt's a pity that (despite) African countries have gotten their freedom, they are still being kept financially enslaved through different methods. I am open to help bring awareness of the technologies that can help obtain (some amount of) freedom."

According to CoinFest's vision, it will "inevitably turn into a decentralised autonomous organisation". A DAO is a computer programme that runs on a peer-to-peer network and incorporates governance and decision-making rules.

Though not new, the DAO concept has become more popular in the cryptocurrency era when Ethereum introduced it as a major project on its platform last year. People who shared common values globally raised about US$160 million - the world's biggest crowdfunding project to date - for investment in business ideas submitted and approved by the DAO members through a voting process based on individual assessments of business plans.

The idea was yet to take off when a hacker capitalised on a lapse in the DAO's code and was able to steal part of the fund.

Though most of it has been recovered, the Ethereum network has been concentrating on its security system for almost a year now rather than moving ahead with its earlier planned objectives.

Ethereum has since been regaining its trust as a platform created to solve problems relevant to corporate bodies including banks. Most African banks that are into any cryptocurrency/Blockchain-related project are working with Ethereum.

Organisers of CoinFest seek to continue improving awareness of cryptocurrencies through the event until it is left truly uncontrolled or owned by anyone. By that, its representatives and important decisions would have to be decided by a vote on the blockchain and representatives' administrative powers would be revocable any time.

Gaurav thinks countries like Sierra Leone should be encouraged to be a part of such initiative.

He said: "I can see the organisers are trying hard to spread the awareness of cryptocurrencies in the country. Given its very limited infrastructure and financial support and it being the first attempt to be made in Sierra Leone, we all should encourage it."