Ghana is developing independent features of its future Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in order to facilitate its use by all walks of life in Ghanaian society.
According to a Bloomberg report released on Monday, Kwame Obong, Head of FinTech and Innovation at Bank of Ghana (BoG), said the country’s digital currency, e-cedi, will support offline transactions during the Ghana Economic Forum on Monday.
Obong stressed that the stand-alone advantage would allow Ghanaians who do not have reliable access to electricity and the Internet to benefit from the country’s CBD, saying:
E-cedi can also be used in a standalone environment via any smart card.
A smart card is a credit card sized plastic card with a chip that allows the user to make transactions using a preloaded balance. A similar system has been tested by Oxfam to facilitate payments using the decentralized Dai stack for environmental disaster relief.
According to World Bank data released in 2019, 84% of Ghanaians had stable access to electricity, while only 53% were online.
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In August, the BoG announced that it had partnered with German financial services firm Giesecke + Devrient to pilot digital currencies for retail central banks in Ghana.
The announcement came just one month after Ghana’s Vice President Muhammadu Bafumiya urged African governments to use digital currencies as a way to increase trade across the continent during the Fifth International Conference on Trade and Finance in Ghana in July.
Domestic use of decentralized cryptocurrencies is also on the rise, with analyst firm Chainalysis reporting that the crypto market in Africa has grown more than 1,200% since 2020 compared to last month.