According to a statement on the Ghanaian central bank’s website, the bank could soon issue a central bank digital currency. With this statement, Ghana has joined the ranks nations globally that are seeking to issue a national digital currency.
While no concrete date was established, Ghana’s central bank governor stated that the issuance of the digital cedi, the nation’s national currency, could happen in the near future. He added that talks were already ongoing for the creation of a pilot project to test the feasibility of the idea.
The governor noted that the Ghanaian economy was undergoing rapid digitization pointing out the growing mobile banking sector that is being driven by mobile devices. For instance, he noted that mobile money transfers had grown by 70% between 2017 and 2018.
The central bank of Ghana has already authorized the issuance of mobile money backed 1:1 by the cedi, which will be held in electronic wallets. However, he noted that the mobile money would not work the same as the usual cryptocurrencies.
The governor clarified that the mobile money was electronic money, which is backed by Ghanian cedi. As a result, the bank will not be creating money. Instead, the mobile money will serve as a representation of the national fiat currency that is put in circulation by the central bank. As a result, it is not a cryptocurrency. The technology that will be used for the electronic cedi has yet to be defined by the bank.
Ghana is not the only nation pursuing a digital currency. Other nations such as China are in the advanced stages of launching a digital version of their national currency. Reports emerging out of China indicate that the digital currency will initially be used to facilitate retail payments in the nation.
Even the EU has hinted that it might consider a digital currency. This is in a bid not be left behind by nations such as China and private firms such as Facebook. The US has also been rumored to be looking into the issuance of a digital currency too. However, it is not likely that any concrete steps will be taken by the global superpower any time soon in this field.