Legislators in Ghana in April called on the Bank of Ghana (BOG) to update existing financial laws to regulate the Cryptocurrency market in the country. A Member of Parliament, Pomaa Boateng noted that the rise in the use of Cryptocurrency demands urgent attention hence the need for its examination of the future of digital currency and its impact on the economy.
In a statement at Parliamentary deliberation, she said there was the need for Parliament to probe the issue because the bulk of crypto assets transactions and users were not reported. Boateng urged the government to take the lead in regulating Cryptocurrency as the House advanced in the processes of passing a law.
“It would allow the government to supervise digital currency activities and create a stable regulatory environment where Cryptocurrency could thrive. Virtual currencies could change the way Ghanaians bank and make financial transactions. Members of Parliament must broaden their knowledge on the issue and pioneer legislation that recognises blockchain technology and virtual currency, which had become a game changer.”
Some Members’ Pessimism
Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, however, warned the populace not to invest and deal in the digital currency because they were not licensed. “Currently there is no central control for cryptocurrency, the scheme is more of peer-to-peer, making its regulation difficult.”
He maintained that it is dangerous, and you can lose all your money in a day. For him, until lawmakers can handle how to regulate Cryptocurrency in the country, his simple advice is for people to stay away.
In his contribution, James Klutse Avedze, the Deputy Minority Leader, called on the BOG to start training its staff to acquire knowledge on how Crypto could be regulated. “Many unsuspecting Ghanaians are being swindled with cryptocurrency, which they are made to believe could swell their investments and give them higher returns,” Avedze said.
Blockchain Expert’s View
QBITtimes reached out to Abdul Salam Mahamadu of Dash Direct Africa to solicit his position on the call to regulate Crypto in Ghana by Legislators. “It is a call in the right direction. Ghana is making impressive progress in the usage of Cryptocurrency in the sub-region,” he expressed.
According to Mahamadu, a pioneer in Crypto adoption drive in Ghana, a good amount of economic activities, mainly trade, and remittances currently evolve around Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other altcoins. He thinks the government of Ghana loses a lot of revenue for not taking measures to intervene in the cryptocurrency industry.
“Today people like me who earn only Cryptocurrency do not pay income taxes consequently, the tax net of government is getting loose every single day. Mahamadu, further, believes regulation will inspire confidence in the Ghanaian public regarding the usage of Cryptocurrency, which would spur adoption.
But he concedes that if regulation is not handled well, it could lead to limitation of freedom. “Well, I have confidence in the technology for the furtherance of transparency, ease, and cheaper transactions and therefore no government can stop or control it,” he told QBITtimes.
BOG’s Position On Cryptocurrencies
The Bank of Ghana’s animosity towards Cryptocurrencies is well documented. On several occasions, it has called on Ghanaians to stay away from Crypto assets.
Not long ago, the central bank engaged in sensitisation programmes and advised the public to do business with only institutions licensed with their outfit to ensure that such interactions fall under the regulatory framework.
It singled out digital currencies and cautioned the public to invest in them at their own risk since they are not authorised under the Payments System Act 2003 (Act 662).