Bank of Ghana, Ghana’s Central Bank is toying with the idea of issuing digital currency in the future.
This was mentioned in a keynote address at the 23rd annual banking conference by Bank of Ghana’s governor, Dr Ernest Addison.
“The Bank of Bank is also in discussion with key stakeholders to explore a pilot project (in a sandbox environment) on central bank digital currency with the possibility of issuing an e-cedi in the near future,” the governor said. The cedi by the way is Ghana’s official currency and one cedi is equivalent to roughly Kshs 18.
“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,” the governor said.
To illustrate the point further, Mr Addison gave an example of mobile money. “The potential for growth is evident; mobile money transaction volumes increased from 982 million to 1.4 billion between 2017 and 2018,” he said.
This is such an unprecedented move by a central bank. Central banks have been notorious at the rise of ‘digital currency’, especially of the blockchain nature since they render them useless. Other forms of digital money like mobile money have led to the governments being behind on legislation and having to play catch up.
It is unclear what version of digital currency the Bank of Ghana is planning to test but it has the potential of being a trendsetter in the region, continent and the world.
Kenya’s Central Bank said in their 2017 annual report that they are “open to emerging technologies with an underlying philosophy of maximizing opportunities while minimizing risk” after mentioning blockchain severally in the report.