Cyberchain’s Jude Ozinegbe says blockchain would have improved Nigeria’s 2023 election

Temitope Akintade
Jude Ozinegbe, Founder/Convener of Cyberchain

Before his foraying into blockchain technology, Jude Ozinegbe was an electrical practitioner. He was also building ICT infrastructures with Zinochrome, a company which he founded. 

According to him, they were trying to integrate a payment gateway, but the cumbersome process of going to a bank and filling out a form for approval before integration was strenuous. With that, he started researching payment gateways and found some options. In 2009, he heard about Bitcoin but could not interact with it until around 2013. 

“We were just playing with it here and there but we still didn’t understand how it worked.” Jude Ozinegbe said

Fast forward to 2017( after the MMM era, when people lost money and there was a proliferation of ‘investment schemes’), Jude Ozinegbe got fully into the blockchain space. And from the standpoint of an ICT person, the ease of cross-border payment ( he and his team were able to integrate it to make international payments) made him fall into the rabbit hole.

How Jude Ozinegbe founded Cyberchain 

Cyberchain started as an advocate firm for cybersecurity and blockchain (hence the name cyberchain), after the proliferation of investment scams in Nigeria after MMM, in 2018. 


Also, it was organised to sensitise and educate Nigerians about emerging technologies like the blockchain.

Cyberchain was born at that time to bridge the gap between the producers of this tech, mainly from abroad and the end users mainly in Nigeria. Education, awareness, campaign, webinars, conferences, all with the sole aim of educating Nigerians on the current technology.” – Jude Ozinegbe. 

Looking at both concepts, blockchain and cybersecurity seem to be different fields that do not correlate. However, Jude says blockchain is a major feature of cybersecurity.

Without cybersecurity, blockchain is nonexistent because one of the major things blockchain promises is the security of its network. Cybersecurity can exist without blockchain, but blockchain cannot exist without cybersecurity. For a blockchain protocol to successfully initiate and execute a transaction, cybersecurity features must be a part of that transaction.”

Jude Ozinegbe further explains that cybersecurity secures blockchain consensus, and many things could go wrong without that. This is the reason why Cyberchain decided to enlighten people on the need to recognise security as a potent tool for technology to perform effectively. 

Jude Ozinegbe, convener/founder of Cyberchain
Jude Ozinegbe, Founder/Convener of Cyberchain

So, Cyberchain focuses on users and gets them aware of the need of staying safe online. Many people have their whole life on their phone devices, so why shouldn’t it keep it safe by taking extra efforts for a device that connects you to the world?”

Nigerian election would have been better with blockchain 

In the opinion of Jude Ozinegbe, the Nigerian general elections that were held in February – March earlier in the year and which have been acclaimed to be characterised with several irregularities would have been better off with the use of blockchain.

Read also:

Would blockchain technology have prevented ‘irregularities’ in the 2023 Nigerian elections?

The blockchain for voting is a business to person to business (b-p-b). For this transaction to go seamlessly, it has to be routed via a smart contract to avoid human errors. One of the features of smart contracts is cybersecurity features for consensus.”

According to Jude, some parameters would be featured when an election blockchain is built. Firstly, it has to be a consortium blockchain – it has to be a combination of both public and private. INEC will be the main proponent, while others like party agents, NPF, and NBA will form the consortium. They would see everything from the backend. 

“If someone’s identity has been used to vote the first time, such cannot be used the second time. What this means is that you cannot have double voting or falsification of numbers. But it will be powered by a smart contract because this cannot be done manually. The bodies involved will see the algorithm and vet it. It will be proven by a stress test. When it is put out on election day, no problem and the result will come out on the same day.”

One advantage of this style of voting is that people can vote from anywhere, and it is super fast. Also, there would be no need to shut down businesses or cripple the economy because elections are happening. 

2023 elections: social media influence discussed

In his words, one of the countries that have tested this technology in the past is Sierra Leone, in 2018, when it used the blockchain for a state election. Also, Russia did something similar in 2019, and a few other countries are considering the possibility.

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However, one of the reasons why this cannot be deployed on a large scale yet is that some infrastructures have not been put in place, especially in Africa. Those in the rural and some urban areas still do not have constant access to power, and the elections would be held online. This puts reliance on telecom, energy and other services that could falter anytime.

Before we can start thinking about that, our infrastructure, our power, our internet connectivity must be in place. But it could be tested at the local governments and senate level elections, until we interact with it and use it, we would not know.”

Subsequently, Cyberchain would be organising events in Lagos and Abuja before the end of the year.

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