The #EndSARS movement is focused on ending police brutality in Nigeria and has garnered huge interest from a multitude of people locally and globally.
At the peak of the protests in October 2020, the frontline organization, the Feminist Coalition, helped with ensuring protesters got adequate resources to amplify their voices and got donations not only in fiat form but through cryptocurrency (Bitcoin).
The donations helped cover important costs such as medical fees of protesters that were injured, legal fees of protesters forcefully detained and a relief fund for the families of victims of police brutality.
However, in the government’s attempt to crackdown on the donations, the fiat bank accounts of a number of protesters were frozen by the Central Bank of Nigeria which affected their means of survival. Technically, it implies that ideally, cryptocurrency would have swooped in to save the day but reports from the Feminist Coalition shows that there was a delay in confirming the BTC transaction due to BTC network clogs and the low transaction fee option so the transaction was only conformed in March 2021 and not at the peak of the protests in October 2021.
Kudos to the Feminist Coalition for ensuring a transparent process and publishing the transactions carried out in an accessible form online and coordinating aid activities that ensured people who needed help got the support promptly. Notwithstanding, we all need some reflection time to think through how we can do better. What lessons can we learn from this experience? How do you think Causevest could support people-driven campaigns for good governance and improved human rights?
Causevest aims to ensure that transaction fees will be lesser to cut off delays in confirming transactions and conversion to fiat. Also, since Causevest is community-driven, some of the charities or causes that may need support during a human rights campaign may already be part of the Causevest community. The advantage of the community membership would be that there would be a lesser need for fiat transactions since the causes will already have a wallet and direct transfers can be made. There will be a dedicated operator that can take the coins and convert it to fiat without the need of an intermediary to cashout. There would also be an increase in audit and integrity as operators on the Causevest platform will help track the spending for accountability purposes.
It would be great to hear more ideas from the community!
I’m a Development Expert with strong interests in gender and monitoring and evaluation. Looking forward to connecting more with the rest of the team.