Cryptocurrency is happening, let’s not sit on the fence – Minister of Communications

In her address at the two-day Ghana Canadian Diaspora Investment Summit in Toronto, Canada, the Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Madam Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, mentioned that cryptocurrency is becoming the order of the day and advised the Ghanaian economy to find ways of benefitting from it.

The theme for the summit, “Grow in Ghana, grow with Ghana”, was organized by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in order to discuss with Ghanaians in the Diaspora long-term investments and partnerships for Ghana’s Development.

In June 2018, the Bank of Ghana declared cryptocurrency illegal in Ghana and issued a warning to all financial institutions not to trade crypto. The warning was also directed to all crypto platforms.

Since then, the Central Bank has always been going after crypto platforms and cautions the general public against these platforms.

BoG has been looking at a more trusted and stable central bank digital currency (CBDC), eCedi, which will be backed by the Ghanaian Cedi, and the central bank online the cryptocurrency that has no backing.

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The Minister lauded BoG for pushing its own eCedi but reiterated that the government should take a look at the ban on cryptocurrency because it gaining legitimacy in other parts of the world.

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The Minister compared crypto today to VoIP (voice over internet protocol) like WhatsApp call, Facebook call, Telegram call, and others in the past, saying that VoIP used to be illegal, and several steps were taken to clamp down on operators that allowed it then, but today it is the norm.

“In the same vein, cryptocurrencies that are now illegal may very well become the norm many years down the line,” she said.

This statement from the minister backs what the Chairman of Ghana.com, Professor Nii Narku Quaynor said a while back. Prof also said Ghanaians are delaying and sleeping on cryptocurrency as they did before when he introduced the internet to Ghana.

According to Dr. Quaynor, he had plans for Ghana to be the internet access hub for the continent for which he pleaded for regulations from the regulators but stakeholders watched for foreigners to take over before regulations were designed for him.

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Dr. Quaynor, therefore, called on the Bank of Ghana to stop restricting financial sector operators from transacting in crypto and rather use regulatory innovation to position Ghana to benefit fully from the global blockchain revolution and its attendant technologies like crypto, DeFi (decentralized finance), NFTs (non-fungible token) and others.

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