Vodafone Cash and CalBank customers have been granted the opportunity to test the online version of Bank of Ghana’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the eCedi.
According to reports in Ghana, the opportunity to test the online version of the eCedi is restricted to Vodafone Cash and CalBank customers only in Accra, the capital, and Tarkwa in the Western Region.
Meanwhile, the offline version of the eCedi is currently being piloted at Sefwi Asafo in the Western North Region, and the Central Bank said it is encouraged by the way selected persons use the eCedi for daily purchases such as food, grocery, and drinks in that town.
Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Ernest Addison, who was interviewed by Bloomberg, says feedback from the piloting has been positive and that gives them the indication that the country is ready for a full nationwide roll-out of the eCedi soon:
“There has been a pilot carried out in different parts of the country and the feedback I have gotten is that people have been quite enthusiastic about having the opportunity to be part of the pilot and even gone out of their way to reload the CBDC using their own resources to be able to carry out transactions.
The enthusiasm showed by Ghanaians is a good sign that by the end of the pilot we will be able to move on as planned.”
– Governor, Bank of Ghana (BoG)
According to Dr Addison, the eCedi will further deepen financial inclusion and trigger higher mobilization of savings resources, which will hopefully lead to economic growth.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank has created online and offline wallets for eCedi to ensure convenience and easy accessibility for users.
In its eCedi Design Paper, the BoG stated that two wallets created are:
The Hosted Wallets, which will be managed by the various financial institutions in the country, and
Hardware Wallets, which are secure portable handheld storage devices for individuals
According to the Central Bank, hosted wallets require access to the internet to be operational, whereas hardware wallets work in offline mode.