The Bank of Ghana will September this year pilot the digital Cedi, First Deputy Governor, Dr Maxwell Opoku Afare has hinted.
This, he said forms part of the BoG’s agenda of creating cash-lite society.
In an era of cryptocurrencies, he said the introduction of the digital cedi would also help Ghanaians who want to trade with digital currencies, do so safely.
Dr Opoku Afare, said this in an interview with the media on the sidelines of a media training organized by the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA).
He said the introduction of the digital Cedi which would be regulated by the central bank would further deepen financial inclusion, promote the efficiency and stability of the payment system, and foster competition in the financial sector.
He said the BoG would take its time to design it with all the security features.
“We want to ensure that when we make the e-cedi public no one will be able to create fake ones. So we want to first pilot it in a sandbox to learn lessons, fix what needs to be fixed before we open it up to the entire population.”
He said the Sandbox which was like an incubator where ideas would be developed was already in place, with lots of FinTechs and banks already connected.
“We are looking at selecting about 500 of those FinTechs for the piloting from September and the success rate will determine when the e-cedi will be introduced to the general public.
He said even after the pilot phase, the Sandbox would still be maintained for the development of future products.
He said unlike mobile money, which is just electronic money backed by cash, e-cedi is cash in itself.
“So when it goes public, people can actually go to a bank and ask for either part or all of their money to be saved in e-cedi form.
“The central bank’s digital currency is fiat money – it is cash on its own,” he said.
He noted that with GHQR Code already launched and in use by the banks, accessing the e-cedi for transactions even becomes easier and convenient for Ghanaians when it is finally introduced to the public.
The First Deputy Governor also pointed out that as part of the preparations for the launch of the digital currency, there would be a coordination between BoG and other central banks across the world, to enable Ghanaians use e-cedi for international transactions as well.