Ghana is Paving the Way for Cryptocurrency in Africa
Finchcoin is the first official digital currency of Ghana. Operators are planning to expand the coin in the coming months into what they call “enterprise territory” by building a Finchcoin-based bank, a crypto exchange, crypto bonds and a crypto mining station.
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Change Can Lead to Opportunity
For years, Ghana (and most of Africa) has been pummeled with high unemployment. Lack of steady positions and corrupt business officials make it hard for entrepreneurs to make their mark on the continent, and cryptocurrency has given many business owners and workers opportunities they likely wouldn’t have had otherwise.
One of those people is 16-year-old Elisha Owusu Akyaw. As the CEO of Token Media, his company, though relatively small, has conducted some very big operations thanks to some blockchain magic. After working with several local firms to direct and manage their projects, his company has managed to conduct over $40 million USD in token sales through its growing marketing services.
Akyaw described his entry into the cryptocurrency and tech scene:
“I got into the tech space sometime in 2013. I had my second phone after using a Nokia 3310, so I got access to the Internet and began to explore what mobile phones, operating systems and websites were all about, and in 2014, I learned how to create websites on my own through YouTube.”
Africa’s Residents Love Their Crypto
Cryptocurrency fever is now striking Africa hard, with a new Citibank report ranking Kenya as the fifth-highest holder of bitcoin, Nigeria as the third, and South Africa as the sixth.
And yet, most of Africa still holds a hostile attitude towards bitcoin. At press time, very few platforms in Ghana or the rest of the continent support cryptocurrency integration or the transfer of crypto funds. Additionally, Ghana has declared bitcoin as “not yet legal,” and has repeatedly warned against cryptocurrency use, though this has eased a bit since the birth of Finchcoin.
The Bank of Ghana is now seeking to regulate – not outlaw – digital currency activities and “sanitize” the financial industry through a new bill that the bank’s director of communications Bernard Otabil says is in a parliamentary phase.
“We have a new Payment Systems and Services bill currently in Parliament, and once that is concluded, I’m sure the way forward will be made clear.”
He says the newfound interest in bitcoin and other digital currencies is something the bank is “taking very seriously.”
A Positive End?
Akyaw also believes that in the long run, cryptocurrency will make its mark on the African community and steer Ghana and neighboring countries away from financial turbulence:
“The futures of cryptocurrencies in Africa is bright, as it has moved from just being currencies into various useful platforms that will be essential to the African continent. I’m currently working on putting together an event on cryptocurrencies with a focus on regulations, the future of cryptocurrencies, and how they can help Africa.”
Is Ghana thinking clearly in its attempts to regulate digital currency? Post your comments below.
Images via Finchcoin, Wikipedia, ghheadlines