Pending regulation, Ghana’s SEC warns citizens to “stay away from crypto”
Ghana’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a warning to the people in its country. The regulator said to avoid cryptocurrencies and repeated that “they are illegal in the country and are not regulated by the commission hence Ghanaians should stay away from them.”
In an exclusive interview with ModernGhana News, Paul Ababio, the Deputy Director-General of the (SEC) said that “there are risks associated with cryptocurrencies and people have lost funds to such transactions.” Nonetheless, he did not rule out regulations for the crypto space, but advised Ghana citizens to “desist from participating”.
(The) Bank of Ghana does not treat it as a form of payment, it is not a legal tender but we will be engaging further to come out with frameworks.
In the interview, Ababio acknowledges the SEC is studying the crypto space and said that “the commission is forming a fintech round table as part of its master plan to look into some of these innovations and the approach to take.”
The increased crypto adoption in the country has not gone unnoticed to Ghana’s SEC. According to Ababio, there are some clear risks associated to the nature of crypto, which drives the need for regulation in the country.
“There are clear risks to the nature of it. People have lost their keys and they can no longer access their funds so it is something that we are studying”, Ababio said.
The Deputy Director did not confirm an exact timeframe within which “the commission is expected to come out with a final decision on the matter.”
Africa at the forefront of global adoption
When looking at the global adoption of crypto assets, the African continent is at the forefront. Data from analytics platform UsefulTulips.org indicates that peer to peer trading in Ghana has significantly boomed this year and follows similar developments as nearby Nigeria.
It remains to be seen if the SEC’s warning will keep people away from crypto. In just three months after Nigeria’s central bank put restrictions in place that prevents anyone from dealing with anything crypto-related, Bitcoin peer-to-peer trading in the country ironically surged almost 30%.
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