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Ghana’s SEC urges the public not to engage in crypto transactions as digital currencies are unregulated

SEC Deputy Director-General Paul Ababio hinted that crypto regulation is in the works.

Ghana flag. Shutterstock

Wed, 05 May 2021, 03:38 am UTC

Ghana’s Securities and Exchange Commission warned the public against engaging in transactions of cryptos such as Bitcoin. The regulator explained that digital currencies are illegal in the country and are risky since they not regulated by the commission.

The warning was made by SEC Deputy Director-General Paul Ababio in an interview with ModernGhana. Ababio pointed out that there are risks associated with cryptocurrencies and reminded residents of the West African country that people have already lost funds to such transactions.

Despite the warning, it appears that the government might be planning to regulate the country’s crypto industry. Ababio said that the SEC is forming a fintech round table to study digital currencies so it can formulate the proper approach to the space.

However, Ababio revealed that this work is still in progress. In the meantime, the SEC is urging the public to steer clear of crypto transactions.

“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,” the SEC Deputy Director-General said. “So, people should desist from participating.”

Some African countries are among the global leaders in crypto adoption. Ghana, along with South Africa and Nigeria, is one of the countries in the continent that have posted the highest growth in peer-to-peer crypto trade volumes, according to Bitcoin.com.

Unfortunately, Ghana’s regulator also noted the rising number of cases where citizens lost their funds along with the rising crypto activity in the country, prompting it to issue the warning. “There are clear risks to the nature of it,” Ababio added. “People have lost their keys and they can no longer access their funds so it is something that we are studying and this year there will be some action on that front.”

While the SEC Deputy Director-General hinted that crypto regulation is in the works, he did not give a timeline as to when the commission is expected to finalize the regulatory framework.

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