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Ghana’s SEC Launches Task Force to Help Oversee and Regulate Crypto Assets: Report

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Ghana’s Pioneering Steps in Digital Asset Regulation

  • The Ghanaian SEC, led by Director-General Daniel Ogbamey-Tetteh, has announced measures to regulate digital and cryptocurrency assets, aiming to safeguard investors against potential risks in this rapidly evolving sector.
  • The SEC is enhancing its institutional capabilities, emphasizing human capital development and the adoption of digital and Risk-Based Supervision frameworks to maintain market integrity amid financial innovations.
  • Through its 5-year strategic plan within a broader 10-year master plan, the Ghanaian SEC is focusing on diversifying and deepening Ghana’s capital market, incorporating sustainable finance principles in line with global investment trends.

Ghana’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has initiated steps to regulate digital and cryptocurrency assets, aiming to protect investors from potential risks. This development was announced by the SEC Director-General, Daniel Ogbamey-Tetteh, at the 2023 Ghana Capital Market Conference, marking the regulator’s 25th anniversary.

Acknowledging the rapid evolution of digital assets, the SEC is adapting to these changes. Inspired by guidelines from the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the SEC has formed a task force to help integrate digital assets into its regulatory framework. This move is a response to the growing complexity and significance of digital assets in the global financial ecosystem.

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Ghana Works on Building Capacity and Confidence

The SEC’s initiatives are not just limited to regulatory measures. Efforts are also being made to enhance the institutional capacity and transparency of Ghana’s capital market. The Director-General emphasized the importance of investing in human capital and implementing digitalization programs. A shift towards Risk-Based Supervision and the pursuit of Regulatory Technology (Reg-Tech) and Supervisory Technology (Sup-Tech) solutions are key to balancing financial innovation with market integrity and stability.

The digital asset space has been marred by controversies and challenges, notably the bankruptcy of FTX in November 2022 and the subsequent revelation of corporate governance failures. Additionally, Binance faced legal troubles with its founder resigning after pleading guilty to money laundering violations.

Despite these setbacks, there are positive developments globally. Namibia legalized virtual assets in June 2023, and Kenya is taking steps to regulate its burgeoning crypto market. Nigeria, Africa’s largest crypto market, has seen significant growth attributed to regulatory measures and a favorable economic environment.

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Ghana’s Strategic Approach to the Country’s Capital Market

In response to these global and regional trends, the SEC of Ghana is implementing a 5-year strategic plan as part of a broader 10-year capital market master plan. This plan focuses on enhancing the depth and diversity of Ghana’s capital market and includes 60 initiatives aimed at catalyzing transformation. Central to this strategy is the incorporation of sustainable finance principles, reflecting a global shift towards ethical and accountable investment practices.

The SEC’s move towards regulating digital assets represents a significant milestone in the integration of modern financial technologies into traditional regulatory frameworks. As digital assets continue to evolve and gain prominence, regulatory bodies worldwide are faced with the challenge of adapting to these changes while ensuring investor protection and market stability. Ghana’s proactive approach in this domain sets a precedent for other emerging economies grappling with similar challenges.

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