The Bank of Ghana, in collaboration with EMTECH Solutions Inc., has unveiled the eCedi Hackathon to encourage FinTechs, developers, and innovators to devise inventive solutions exploring diverse use cases for a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
Termed the “eCedi Hackathon,” this innovation challenge is set to span a 12-week period, during which innovators will engage in brainstorming sessions to develop solutions aimed at addressing financial inclusion challenges in Ghana.
The event provided an ideal platform for developers, innovators, and block chain enthusiasts to exhibit their creativity by exploring the myriad possibilities presented by CBDC technology, thereby contributing to the future of Ghana’s digital financial ecosystem.
The culmination of the event will be marked by a conference, during which outstanding solutions will be recognized in an award ceremony, celebrating the innovative spirit driving the development of novel financial technologies.
A hackathon, characterized by its time-bound, collaborative, and intensive nature, gathers individuals or teams to work on creative and ground-breaking projects, often in the realms of technology, software development, or problem-solving. This event typically brings together a diverse array of professionals, including programmers, designers, engineers, and others, pooling their skills and backgrounds to brainstorm ideas and create prototypes or software applications.
This project aligns with the eCedi research initiative, offering the Bank a vital opportunity to delve into emerging technologies, nurture creativity, and actively contribute to the progress of eCedi development.
Objectives of the eCedi Innovation Challenge
Meanwhile, the objectives of the eCedi Innovation Challenge include: Encouraging local developers to showcase their creativity by collaborating with peers to generate innovative solutions towards solving financial inclusion problems based on the eCedi; Facilitating CBDC knowledge sharing among the Bank of Ghana, banks and payment service providers; and to provide an opportunity for networking and collaboration with other organizations and software developers working in the CBDC domain.
The proposed innovations are expected to leverage eCedi tokens and APIs to prototype solutions or develop tools that address the following use cases: Use of eCedi in Merchants transactions (C2B); Use of eCedi for government payments (G2P, P2G); Use of eCedi in Agriculture and Trade (C2B, B2B); Data Privacy while holding or transacting with eCedi; Use eCedi for inbound remittance; Combatting the use of eCedi for illicit transactions; Make the eCedi Interoperable; KYC models solutions for eCedi; Possible models for cross-border payments and transactions.
Registration for the eCedi Innovation Challenge has been announced today, 3rd October 2023, and applications will be open on 6th October 2023. The Bank of Ghana is therefore, inviting interested individuals and teams to join in the journey to investigate new ideas of making eCedi relevant in diverse use cases.
Ghana’s payment system has improved in recent years and continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of users. This development has been facilitated by Bank of Ghana’s agenda to promote innovative and affordable digital financial services as a means of expanding financial inclusion and encouraging the use of digital payment as an alternative to cash.
Importantly, mainstreaming digital payments is expected to formalise the economy thereby enhancing the efficiency of fiscal operations and monetary policy transmission mechanisms. Consequently, at its press conference that followed the 91st Monetary Policy Committee meeting, Bank of Ghana declared its intention to explore a CBDC within the framework of the financial sector digitalisation program.
It is in pursuit of this goal that Bank of Ghana announced the concept of the eCedi – a digital version of the Cedi banknotes and coins.