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Ghana’s Anti-Money Laundering Body Cites Virtual Currency Use as National Security Risk

Ghana’s Anti-Money Laundering Body Cites Virtual Currency Use as National Security Risk

Ghana’s Financial Intelligence Centre says the use of virtual markets and virtual currencies such as bitcoin and kitiwa is a severe risk to the country’s security.

The assessment is based on available international records that show insurgencies have been funded from #Ghana .

Saddled with combating money laundering and #terroristfinancing, the centre is now working to make Ghana the first country in #WestAfrica to publish its national risk assessment....

The country will also undergo the second phase of a regional mutual evaluation against money laundering in its readiness to fight the crime, added the centre’s CEO, Samuel Essel.

More African countries are moving towards a #cashlesseconomy and more Africans are using #Bitcoin particularly for its ease of use and #transparency features.......

.......official statements that tie various electronic payment platforms including bitcoin to money laundering and terrorism financing create doubts in the larger population that is yet to understand the disruptive tendency of the #digitalcurrency .....

.....The situation has been worsened by the several plans mentioned by African governments to regulate bitcoin use across the region through relevant institutions with none having achieved anything concrete yet.

Rather, lingering talks of impending policies have become another factor that has added to the low level of public awareness about bitcoin to aid lack of interest in Africa’s growing #fintech sector.....

.....The situation is the same in #Kenya with Apex bank stating in December that no entity is currently licensed to offer money remittance services and products in Kenya using virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. 

In Africa’s largest economy, #Nigeria , its #centralbank has indicated its intention to regulate bitcoin use in the country specifically to deter its potential use for money laundering and terrorist financing.......

.....All these are coming at a time when the world’s largest money transfer firm, Western Union, is investing in Digital Currency Group which supports bitcoin and #blockchain startups, so as to keep its “eye on innovation” according to #WesternUnion ’s chief #technology officer, David Thompson.....

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