Bank of Ghana ties up with G+D as CBDCs are coming, for sure

Karthik Subramanian

Bank of Ghana, the central bank of Ghana, has tied up with the Germany-based notes and securities printing firm Giesecke+Devrient (G+D)  to use its technology for carrying out a pilot on central bank digital currency (CBDC).

This move follows very closely on the heels of the Bank of Jamaica proposing a pilot on CBDCs which was reported by us just yesterday. All these are clear signs that CBDCs are coming and it is the smaller countries that are taking the lead in this space. This does make sense as their monetary systems are much smaller than those of larger countries and are hence flexible and can be steered in any direction quickly. These countries would have to enact laws to regulate the CBDCs as well and once the piloting is done, they will likely take the next step and launch the CBDCs into the monetary system.

If this does happen, then this will act as a test for the bigger countries as they would be able to see how these countries are handling the CBDCs and can learn lessons from this which would be useful for their own CBDC launches in the long term. Bank of Ghana would be using the proprietary CBDC solution of G+D which is called Filia. It is proposed that the pilot would be carried out among banks, payment providers, and many merchants as well.

BoG governor Ernest Addison said that “From all indications, the concept has a significant role to play in the future of financial service delivery globally. This project is a significant step towards positioning Ghana to take full advantage of this emerging concept,” he added.

Most of these countries view the CBDCs as a solution for reaching out to people in the remotest places within their country. The banks believe that it would help to bank the unbanked and bring them into the monetary system as they would be able to use the CBDCs without any bank or even a smartphone and this would be useful for delivering government services and subsidies to the people directly. What remains to be seen is how this would be integrated into the overall monetary system and what impact it would have on the economy as this would mean that fiat and the CBDCs would have to co-exist side by side.

This is a shot in the arm for G+D which has been investing heavily in the blockchain and digital currency space over the last year or so, especially on its CBDC solution Filia and it has been reported that it has been negotiating with many central banks for launching their CBDCs while other contenders like Ripple and Ethereum do not seem to have made much progress in this aspect.

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