User base for Ghana’s digital currency much wider than Bitcoin

By David Whitehouse

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Posted on July 20, 2021 11:05

Illustration picture of the app for China’s digital currency © Ghana hopes to follow China in adopting a digital currency. REUTERS/Florence Lo
Ghana hopes to follow China in adopting a digital currency. REUTERS/Florence Lo

The success of Ghana’s planned digital currency will hinge on how well the advantages are explained to the public, analysts say.

The country is set to start piloting an electronic currency fully backed by the cedi in September. First deputy governor of the central bank, Maxwell Opoku-Afari, has said that Covid-19 has accelerated the shift to a cash-lite economy and that the project will stimulate the growth of digital financial services. No date for the launch of the digital currency has yet been given.

China became the world’s first country to introduce a sovereign digital currency in April 2020. Ghana joins African countries including Morocco, Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa in exploring its feasibility. But central bank creation of digital currencies is not risk-free.

In a book called The (Near) Future of Central Bank Digital Currencies published this year, Tim Masela argues that a possible unintended consequence is that giving the public direct access to their central bank may lead to a loss of confidence in

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