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Ghana’s E-Cedi: What You Need To Know About Ghana’s Digital Currency (E-CEDI)

By Paa Kwesi Eshun

The Bank of Ghana (BOG) will pilot the digital Cedi currency also known as the E-CEDI this month.

This was announced by the First Deputy Governor, Dr. Maxwell Opoku Afare, when he addressed the media on Monday, July 12, 2021.

In June 2021, the governor of the BOG, Dr. Ernest Addison, disclosed that the digital currency (E-Cedi) is in the advanced stages and will go through three phases – design, implementation, and piloting – before it goes into circulation.

The design phase, which involves the design of the digital money, is completed. The Central Bank is moving to the implementation and the piloting stage where a few people would be able to use the digital cedi on their mobile applications and other apps that are currently running.

Ghana’s Central Bank partnered with a U.S. company called EMTECH, a fintech startup dedicated to central banks for a digital transformation journey that will establish a template that other regulators and stakeholders can embrace for a robust banking sector. The partnership will leverage EMTECH’s software to test innovative solutions, including blockchain. The approach will bring on board new products and services as well as bridge the gap between the banked and unbanked.

The project is also designed to speed up the time to market for the Bank of Ghana’s CBDC.

What is a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)?

The Central bank’s digital currency is the digital form of a country’s fiat currency.  The BOG will issue electronic tokens whose value will be backed by the full faith and credit of the government and will replace the minting coins or the paper notes.

The supply of the digital currency will be wholly determined and controlled by the central government.

Can Ghanaians use the E-Cedi in other countries?

Dr. Maxwell Opoku Afare says that as part of the preparations for the launch of the digital currency, there would be coordination between the Bank of Ghana and other central banks across the world, to enable Ghanaians to use e-cedi for international transactions as well.

Is the E-Cedi Volatile?

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are characterised by a number of factors, including a lack of proper central bank regulation, that leads to its volatility. 

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