Ghana’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently warned residents of the West African country to avoid cryptocurrency transactions of any kind. In the warning, the regulator reiterated that “cryptocurrencies are illegal in the country and are not regulated by the Commission, so Ghanaians should stay away from them.”
Risks Associated with Crypto
In remarks during a interviewPaul Ababio, the SEC’s assistant director general, claims that “there are risks associated with cryptocurrencies and people have lost money through such transactions”. However, despite the warning, Ababio points out that his organization may decide to regulate the crypto space.
The Bank of Ghana does not treat it as a means of payment, it is not legal tender, but we will continue to work to create framework conditions.
Until that happens, however, the regulator urges Ghanaians to “refrain from participating (in cryptocurrency transactions)”.
Meanwhile, Ababio announced that “the Commission is setting up a fintech round table as part of its master plan to examine some of these innovations and the approach to be followed.” However, he warns that this is still a work in progress.
A number of countries in Africa are leading the way in adopting crypto assets worldwide. Apart from places like Nigeria and South Africa, Ghana is one of the top countries in Africa with increasing peer-to-peer crypto trading volume.
Ghana’s government has noticed the adoption and the SEC has seen alleged stories of citizens losing money. The SEC official also took time to explain why the regulator has committed to further investigating cryptos. He said:
There are clear risks to nature. People have lost their keys and can no longer access their money. So we study it.
While Ababio has promised “some action on this front”, he still fails to give the exact timeframe within which “the Commission is likely to take a final decision on this matter”.
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