Ghana considers offline functionality for upcoming CBDC

Ghana may have just started working on making its upcoming central bank digital currency CBDC to possess offline capabilities
Ghana may have just started working on making its upcoming central bank digital currency CBDC to possess offline capabilities

Ghana may have just started working on making its upcoming central bank digital currency (CBDC), to possess offline capabilities. This is definitely in order to ensure an even wider use for the digital currency across all of the Ghanaian society.

During the Ghana Economic Forum on Monday October 18, head of fintech and innovation at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Kwame Oppong had revealed that the country’s CBDC — the e-cedi, will also support offline transactions, per Bloomberg reports.

Oppong then added that this offline feature, will allow Ghanaian residents who lack access to the internet or a reliable source of electricity, to also accept and embrace the CBDC.

According to him, for the e-cedi to be used in an offline environment, the e-cedi would do so, through some smart cards.

Smart cards as they were, are plastic credit card-sized cards with a chip which allows users to transact using a pre-loaded balance. One would recall that Oxfam did explore a similar system for payments using the decentralized stablecoin DAI in order to provide relief from environmental disaster.

If World Bank data published in 2019 is anything to go by, then 84% of Ghana citizens have a stable access to electricity while only 53% has reliable access to the internet. These figures might have changed by now, but they are not yet officially available.

Also back in August, recall that BoG announced its partnership with German financial firm Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) to pilot a retail CBDC in Ghana.

The announcement followed just a month after the vice president of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia lent his voice to the embracing of digital currencies by African governments, during the Fifth Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference in July. He also said at the time, that embracing digital currencies would help to bolster trade across the African continent.

Ghana is not the only African country to be thinking in the line of a digital currency however. As TheCoinrise reported on October 3, Nigeria has even had its own eNaira approved by the Federal high court.

Meanwhile, the local adoption of decentralized cryptocurrencies is also rising impressively. Analytics firm Chainalysis reporting that Africa’s crypto market has grown by more than 1,200% since 2020 as of last month, is also a confirmation of the fact.