The rise and proliferation of digital currencies are inevitable because the future is digital, this is according to Julian Kingsley Opuni, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank.

According to him, the potential advantages and the viable alternative it serves to our traditional currency options demands that the digital currency space be explored with all seriousness.

In an interview with the Business and Financial Times, the Chartered banker stated that it is noteworthy that the Bank of Ghana is partnering with Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) to pilot a general-purpose central bank digital currency dubbed the e-Cedi.

“This will serve as a digital alternative to physical cash, providing a secure and safe medium to drive the cash lite agenda in Ghana. A pilot of this digital currency is expected to commence in September with banks, payment service providers, merchants, consumers, and other relevant stakeholders.

“If successful, the e-Cedi will further drive flexibility in payments and boost the financial inclusion agenda by making it easy for people to pay for products and services even without a bank account, contract, or smartphone,” the member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana said.

He added that with the influx of Fintech companies in Ghana’s banking space, other locally produced digital currencies, the e-cedi being the first, will take off rapidly.

However, the Fidelity Bank MD was cautious about the use of data in the advent of digital currency.

He explained that without proactive measures to regulate the digital currency space, the country could face data protection issues and data breaches.

“As people gradually begin to adopt digital currencies, one of the critical issues that need to be addressed is access to data. We must determine how much disclosure is appropriate vis-à-vis data protection considerations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

“As we work at digitalizing our business operations, processes, and products, we must lock in all these regulations to secure the integrity of customer data and avoid breaches,” he said.

He proffered that control measures need to be set to guarantee that “hackers and fraudsters are unable to circumnavigate our systems and exploit data for their nefarious activities….”

“In this regard, I am glad to note that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) are working in tandem to streamline and regulate digital currencies in Ghana,” he revealed.

He also called on Ghana’s financial unit and law enforcement agencies to collaborate with the central bank and SEC “to implement a tight regime for the roll-out of locally relevant digital currencies.”

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