Bank of Ghana Eyes Digital Currency

The Bank of Ghana continues to consider the creation of a digital currency, GhanaWeb reported.

Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari, the bank’s first deputy governor, reportedly said during a digital workshop that the bank remains steadfast in facilitating innovation and piloting ideas like a central bank cryptocurrency.

Ghana’s central bank has changed its organizational framework over time because of the payment space’s ever-changing nature. A unit in the central bank’s banking department supervised the area prior to 2016. At that time, the central bank created the Payment Systems Department to sufficiently oversee a mobile money industry that was expanding.

And, to take the place of the Branchless Banking Guidelines, the bank put forward the Electronic Money Issuers and Agent Guidelines in 2015.

Additionally, the bank has recently created a FinTech and Innovation office to oversee and advance the actions of FinTechs in the country.

The organization, via the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems, has also helped put a strong and contemporary interbank collection of payment systems into place that encompass automated clearing house (ACH) and e-zwich, among others.

In other news, authorities have purportedly frozen approximately 4,000 bank accounts in China belonging to digital currency traders, Cointelegraph reported.

The outlet noted that frozen accounts aren’t necessarily connected to illegal activities, and they can reportedly be unfrozen when a study shows that no nefarious activity has taken place. It is said that local authorities are acquiring knowledge to analyze the blockchain to trace transactions.

A retail investor reportedly discovered that his account has been frozen after he made a digital currency purchase on what was described to be a large and trustworthy exchange. The news comes amid a broader probe into illicit actions like money laundering and gambling that are said to be helped by the over-the-counter (OTC) trading of Tether, the digital currency stablecoin.

Cointelegraph also noted that IntSights, the threat intelligence company, contended that digital currencies are used more and more in Latin America to launder funds.

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LIVE PYMNTS ROUNDTABLE: MODERNIZING AND SCALING FOR THE NEW NORMAL

The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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