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Ghana’s Securities and Exchange Commission speaks out against cryptocurrencies

Ghana’s Securities and Exchange Commission speaks out against cryptocurrencies

Ghana’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has spoken out against cryptocurrencies, and warned members of the public against participating in crypto-related activities.

The Deputy Director General of Ghana’s SEC, Paul Ababio, reiterated that crypto is illegal in the country, and outlined a number of associated risks that people who participate in crypto may run. In an interview, Ababio outlined the views of the SEC, while also hinting at possible regulation in the future. 

“There are clear risks to the nature of it. People have lost their keys and they can no longer access their funds so it is something that we are studying and this year there will be some action on that front”

As it currently stands, cryptocurrency is not regulated in Ghana, and while the SEC has labeled participation in crypto ‘illegal’, the commission suggested that there may be room for regulation at a non-specified future date.

“Bank of Ghana does not treat it as a form of payment, it is not a legal tender but we will be engaging further to come out with frameworks. So, people should desist from participating”.

Mr Ababio revealed that the SEC will form a fintech round table where it will look into possible frameworks and innovation, however reinforced that this was still very much a work in progress.

Previous indications of regulation of cryptocurrencies by regulatory bodies in Ghana have not been fulfilled. Back in 2018, the Bank of Ghana drafted a Payment Systems and Services Bill (Ghanaian Bill) which suggested possible future regulation, however apart from a reference to labelling crypto companies as “Electronic Money Issuers’ there was little action taken with regards to regulatory functions. 

Despite the lack of concrete action on the regulatory front, Ghana is one of Africa’s top countries in terms of crypto trading volume, which is in part due to the large percentage of unbanked citizens who turn to crypto as a way into the financial market. 

As Ghana looks to focus on digitization, Ghana’s central bank confirmed that they were looking into CBDC’s, but have yet to announce their plans for a pilot. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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