Ghana developing offline uses for its Central Bank Digital Currency

To promote its use in all segments of Ghanaian society, Ghana is developing offline capabilities for its upcoming central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Ghana developing offline uses for its Central Bank Digital Currency

To promote its use in all segments of Ghanaian society, Ghana is developing offline capabilities for its upcoming central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Bloomberg reported on Oct. 18 that the Ghanaian central bank will allow offline transactions for its digital currency, the cedi. Kwame Oppong, head of fintech and innovation at the BoG, announced the development during Monday's Ghana Economic Forum.

In regard to offline functionality, Oppong stated that it will allow Ghanaians without reliable electricity or internet connection to take advantage of the CBDC.

Through smart cards, the e-cedi could also be used in an offline environment.

Smart cards are small plastic cards with a chip that can be used to transact with a preloaded balance.

Approximately 84 percent of Ghanaians had stable access to electricity and only 53 percent were connected to the internet during 2019, according to World Bank data.

In August, BoG announced its partnership with Germany's Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) to develop a retail Central Bank digital currency in Ghana.

At the Fifth Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference in July, Ghanaian Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia called on African governments to embrace digital currencies as a means to improve trade across the continent.

CBDCs are being studied in more than 80 countries around the world. Africa’s largest economy is preparing to launch its e-Naira while the European Central Bank began a two-year trial of the digital euro in October.

Based on the growth of crypto and stablecoin markets, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) encouraged central banks to start proactively addressing CBDCs in September.

According to analytics firm Chainalysis, Africa's crypto market has grown 1,200% since last year.