/Ghana May Launch National Digital Currency in Near Future

Ghana May Launch National Digital Currency in Near Future

  • Ghana central bank will lead a pilot of a national blockchain-based digital currency likened to a stablecoin
  • Ghana recorded 1.4 billion Mobile Money transactions in 2018, with e-payments booming in the country

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Ernest Addison, has announced that the Central Bank and key stakeholders are piloting a digital currency in a sandbox environment, and may release a national digital currency called the e-cedi in the near future. This puts Ghana among a growing list of countries that have announced their interest in launching a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), including China, United States, Marshall Islands, Turkey, and Iran, among others.

Addison commented: “The digital age provides enormous potential for the financial sector to re-orient itself to satisfy the new consumer and business demands for financial services”.

As with other CBDCs, Ghana’s digital currency would likely use blockchain technology and be similar to a stablecoin, with citizens being able to exchange e-cedi for regular fiat cedi. The benefit of blockchain technology is that it provides cryptographic security, everything can be tracked from a single distributed ledger which increases trust in the system, and transactions are instant. Also, a permissioned blockchain can be used by the government to stay in control of the flow of digital currency.

Ghana has already seen growth in the electronic payments sector, with a nationwide service called Mobile Money seeing a volume increase from 982 million transactions in 2017 to 1.4 billion transactions in 2018.

 

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