Digital Cedi holds potential to be global leader — Fintech expert
An international financial technology (Fintech) expert, Jason Marshall, has said Ghana’s digital currency yet to be fully rolled out holds the potential to become the leading central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the world.
He explained that the introduction of the digital Cedi, which would be regulated by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), would further deepen financial inclusion, promote the efficiency and stability of the payment system, and foster competition in the country’s financial sector.
That, he said, followed detailed research into the development of the digital Cedi and the central bank’s willingness to provide fintechs, developers and innovators an opportunity to design innovative solutions that explore various uses of the CBDC.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra last Thursday, Mr Marshall, who is the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Yellow Card, a firm in digital payments, commended BoG’s approach towards the development of the digital currency platform.
“The exciting aspect of this initiative is the central bank’s approach towards the development of the digital currency also known as digital Cedi.
“What we are seeing is that the digital Cedi spearheaded by BoG is built on a true blockchain-based solution.
It is a currency and not a token issued by the bank,” he said.
The fintech expert added that unlike mobile money, which was just electronic money backed by cash, digital Cedi was cash in itself.
Mr Marshall noted that the digital Cedi had been set up in a way that banking and fintech innovators could build on the platform to design consumer applications that provide value.
“In an era of cryptocurrencies, the introduction of the digital Cedi would also help Ghanaians who wanted to trade with digital currencies to do so safely,” he added.
“As developers, we think BoG is trying to provide a safe infrastructure and platform for innovation.
“With this digital currency, the first thing that comes to mind is that people should be able to send money from the United States to Ghana for free instantly,” the expert said.
Mr Marshall’s comments follow the decision of BoG and EMTECH Solutions Inc. to hold an eCedi hackathon to provide opportunities for fintechs, developers and innovators to design innovative solutions that explore various use cases of a CBDC.
Dubbed “eCedi Hackathon”, the event is an innovation challenge set to run for a 12-week period, during which innovators will brainstorm to come up with solutions to address financial inclusion challenges in Ghana.
It seeks to provide a platform for developers, innovators and blockchain enthusiasts to showcase their creativity by exploring the many possibilities of CBDC technology and contribute to the future of Ghana’s digital financial ecosystem.
The event will culminate in a conference during which the best solutions will be recognised in an award ceremony.
Mr Marshall stated that Yellow Card, just like other fintechs, developers and innovators, would participate in the hackathon.
“We just learnt a little information about the initiative but our engineers are currently studying the system to be able to fully participate in the eCedi Hackathon competition.
“From what we have seen so far, we really think that it can be the leading central bank digital currency in the globe,” the fintech expert added.