Bank of Ghana wants to regulate cryptos, not ban them

For anyone who has taken the time to read the statement from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) on “digital and virtual currencies operations in Ghana” it should be clear that the objective of the central bank is to prevent unlicensed financial institutions from offering cryptocurrencies to the general public. Not, as some claim, to prevent trading in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies altogether.

The statement reads:

The Bank of Ghana has taken notice of recent developments in the use, holding, and trading of virtual or digital currencies (also known as cryptocurrencies), such as Bitcoin in Ghana. The Bank of Ghana wishes to notify the general public that these activities in digital currency are currently not licensed under the Payments System Act 2003 (Act 662).

And concludes:

The public is therefore strongly encouraged to do business with only institutions licensed by the Bank of Ghana to ensure that such transactions fall under our regulatory purview.

Someone may ask whether the BoG is essentially banning trading in cryptos since licensed financial institutions may not be offering that option. Well, the BoG is trying to protect investors and the financial system here. There is no guarantee that folks hitting you up on WhatsApp and pitching an ICO to you are for real, regardless of the viability of the coin itself. It makes sense to bring some kind of accountability to the system and crypto-traders should see this as an opportunity to take cryptocurrencies to the mainstream.

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Jerome Kuseh

Accountant | Economist-in-Training | Finance Blogger
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